Firm Profile > AA Thornton > London, England

AA Thornton
Octagon Point
5 Cheapside

PATMA: Trade mark attorneys Tier 1

AA Thornton offers a combined attorney and solicitor team that is experienced in the full range of trade mark services, including due diligence, audits, portfolio development and management, representation in opposition proceedings, and litigation. The fashion and technology sectors are core pillars of the group's wide-ranging caseload, which recently also included work for consumer product, energy and pharmaceutical players. Well-versed in domestic and cross-border matters alike, the team of practice head Ian Gill is especially active for clients from the UK and other European countries, as well as those from North America, India and the Far East. The arrival of former Bristows LLP solicitor Simon Spink and barrister Daniel Byrne, previously at Gide Loyrette Nouel LLP, strengthened the IP litigation wing of the firm.

Practice head(s):


‘We have used the services of AA Thornton for many years, and have no hesitation in recommending them to other commercial entities who have sought advice on IP or trade mark matters.’

‘We have every confidence in the advice given from the team at AA Thornton, not only on technical aspects we might not have considered, but also on practical approaches to solutions.’

‘What sets Ian Gill apart from other professionals I have met is his unique combination of being very approachable and having an extensive knowledge of all areas we seek advice on, and the ability to explain often complex matters in a way we can then understand from our perspective in the commercial world.’

‘Ian Gill is dependable, brilliant, great fun, a total expert in his field and good to have as part of our wider team.’

‘A great team of specialist trade mark attorneys and practitioners. Down-to-earth, business-friendly advice from people who not only know the technicalities of trade mark law and practice here and elsewhere, but understand how trade marks work for businesses.’

‘Ian Gill is very calm, knowledgeable and thinks outside the box to provide solutions. He gives advice and not just options. He is very accessible and responsive and you feel that you really get his attention.’

‘Knowledgeable, communicative, punctilious.’

‘They have a great team. Knowledgeable, clear and good communicators. They understand our business.’

‘Ian Gill is excellent in his specific fields.’

‘Business oriented, fast and efficient.’

‘The AAT team is extremely talented and their technical IP expertise is impressive. They are great at adapting to the client’s business needs and they appoint the most appropriate team member to each matter.’

‘Sarah Darby is a particular star as she is extremely bright and technical but can explain legal issues effectively and without unnecessary complication. In short, she sorts the wheat from the chaff brilliantly. Sarah manages her team well and is an expert on long-term strategic thinking for the business.’

‘Very professional and approachable organisation that carefully and clearly takes you through the complexities of legal issues.’

‘Ian Gill has demonstrated solid commercial acumen and has a practical, pragmatic approach, which differentiates him from most other practitioners I’ve come across in this sector. Most practitioners will execute what has been asked for without necessarily running their own commercial rule over what they think makes sense for the business. I know with Ian that if he has doubts commercially he’ll express them.’

Key clients

Virgin Enterprises Limited

Admiral Group

J. Choo Limited

Associated British Foods Plc

R. Twinings and Company Limited

Jordans, Dorset, Ryvita Company Limited


Calor Gas

CK Hutchinson

PATMA: Patent attorneys Tier 2

AA Thornton assists clients with the full spread of patent prosecution work, ranging from freedom to operate searches and patent application drafting to representation in opposition and appeals proceedings, patent due diligence work, IP audits, and the development and implementation of patent portfolio strategies. The firm offers a joint prosecution-litigation service to handle contentious and non-contentious issues alike. It advises on a wide range of technologies, with key expertise in pharmaceutical and life sciences patents; inventions in electronics and electrical engineering; oil, gas and petrochemical matters; and IT and telecoms patents. The team has a distinctly international caseload, with clients from the UK and other European countries, the US, India and the Far East. Partnership chair Adrian Bennett also heads the engineering, physics and mechanical device group, while Craig Turner directs the chemistry, biotechnology and pharmaceuticals team and Mike Jennings heads the electrical engineering, electronics, telecoms and IT practice.

Other key lawyers:


‘This is most certainly a unique practice. Their key strengths and capabilities are the uniformly very high standard of patent and trade mark work across the entire firm; very good communication skills; ability to obtain excellent results; and the exceptionally high level of honesty and trust. Their cost structure is very fair and they are nice people to do business with. Overall, this is an outstanding firm, and I cannot recommend it too highly.’

‘Craig Turner is an absolutely outstanding attorney. He has managed to obtain patent grants in the most difficult (and sometimes hopeless) cases. Craig is an excellent advocate in addition to his more usual, routine patent agent work. Finally, he always responds to written questions very quickly, and is always very happy to set up phone discussions and face-to-face meetings. In short: an attorney of the highest calibre.’

‘They are flexible to the needs of start-up companies.’

‘The team are innovative and creative in their responses on challenging issues in software and telecoms prosecution. They listen to feedback, work to understand the business goals, and then work to create a path to issuance with those elements at the front of their mind. Their success rate and the quality of the claims they obtain is consistently high – an excellent combination.’

‘Mike Jennings has the benefit of both a very creative approach to legal problem solving and an engagement in the patent community generally and with the EPO and UKIPO, which gives him the ability to understand and even help guide the offices towards appropriate solutions to their challenges while also giving his clients access to insights into the current law and its potential and likely developments.’

‘A highly professional, knowledgeable and kind team.’

‘Great attention to details. They advise businesses and draft patents with the commercial aspects in mind.’

Key clients


Halliburton Energy Services

Cipla Ltd

Chevron Philips Chemical Company



Associated British Foods

CK Hutchinson Holdings Limited

Allegro Microsystems

Intellectual property: patents (contentious and non-contentious) Tier 5

AA Thornton offers expertise in patent disputes, commercial IP matters and licensing negotiations and advises a range of high-profile clients. Recent instructions for practice head Geoff Hussey have involved cross-border patent revocations and patent infringement claims before the Intellectual Property Enterprise Court (IPEC), and highly complex breach-of-confidence and patent entitlement disputes regarding quantum computing technology. Other sectors of strength include life sciences, medical devices and electronics.

Practice head(s):


Exceptional knowledge and experience in complex IP litigation, including in the area of complex emerging technologies.

Geoff Hussey – two words – he wins.

Geoff Hussey simplifies everything and makes managing litigation easy for in-house counsel. A strategic, pragmatic and commercially minded lawyer, he knows how to read adversaries and when to apply leverage. Straightforward and easy to work with.


Key clients


Adolf Nissen Elektrobau

Cambridge Quantum Computing

Halliburton Energy Services

Bial – Portela & CA


Robert Bosch


Intellectual property: trade marks, copyright and design Tier 5

The IP litigation department at specialist firm AA Thornton works with a broad client base on contentious and commercial matters. Practice head Geoff Hussey (who 'puts the intellectual into intellectual property') handles trade mark and design enforcement proceedings before the High Court and EUIPO for venture capital, food and drink, engineering and building supplies clients. On the non-contentious side, Hussey advises on IP strategy, audits, due diligence and ownership and licensing negotiations. Recent team growth has included the arrivals of barrister Dan Byrne and Simon Spink (previously of Bristows LLP), enhancing the firm's litigation capabilities.

Practice head(s):

Other key lawyers:


First-rate service, thoughtful and bespoke advice, amazingly proactive team. I know that AA Thornton will understand the issue I am trying to solve and deliver great advice in the desired timeframe.

Geoff Hussey is a go-to man for all issues on IP. He puts the intellectual into intellectual property.

Key clients

Virgin Enterprises Limited

Cambridge Quantum Computing

Admiral Group

Jimmy Choo Limited

Associated British Foods

Robert Bosch


We are a leading intellectual property firm based in London and Alicante. Our team of committed and passionate individuals include patent, trade mark and design attorneys, as well as litigation solicitors, working with clients across a huge range of technologies and commercial fields. We provide the full range of IP services to clients around the world, from prosecution to litigation, in patent law, trade mark, design and copyright law.

Having an excellent understanding of our clients’ industries and the challenges they face is key to us delivering commercial, insightful legal advice. Our highly qualified industry teams are made of attorneys and solicitors who work together to share knowledge and experience. We firmly believe it’s our people that make the difference and that this sets us apart from others. Simply stated, we speak our clients’ technical language!

We offer a completely bespoke service at a competitive price. We pride ourselves on our genuine desire to understand the way clients want to work with us, and provide every client with a personalised, superior service that reflects their commercial needs. Our advice is always in-depth, commercial  and accessible. We ensure that your inventions, brands and designs are expertly protected and your risks are minimised.

Our corporate vision is “To be your preferred Intellectual Property Firm”

Department Name Email Telephone
Patents: Engineering, physics and mechanical devices Adrian Bennett
Patents: Electrical, electronics, telecoms and IT Mike Jennings
Patents: Chemistry, biotechnology and pharmaceuticals Dr Craig Turner
Patents: Chemistry, biotechnology and pharmaceuticals Dr Lawrence King
Trade marks, design rights and copyright Ian Gill
Trade marks, design rights and copyright Rachel Havard
IP litigation and legal Geoff Hussey
Trade marks, design rights and copyright Sarah Darby
Patents: Electrical, electronics, telecoms and IT Nick South
Patents: Electrical, electronics, telecoms and IT Nikesh Patel
Patents: Chemistry, biotechnology and pharmaceuticals Dr Marianne Privett
Patents: Engineering, physics and mechanical devices Alex Bone
IP litigation and legal Daniel Byrne
Photo Name Position Profile
 Adrian Bennett  photo Adrian Bennett Adrian is currently the firm’s partnership chairperson with responsibility for working with the…
 Alex Bone  photo Alex Bone Alex is a partner and UK Chartered and European Patent Attorney in…
Mr Daniel Byrne  photo Mr Daniel Byrne Daniel Byrne is a partner and barrister with extensive experience in intellectual…
 Sarah Darby  photo Sarah Darby Sarah is a partner and UK Chartered Trade Mark Attorney and European…
 Ian Gill  photo Ian Gill Ian Gill has been a partner since 2001.  With over 20 years…
 Rachel Havard  photo Rachel Havard Rachel Havard has been a partner within the trade mark team since…
 Geoff Hussey  photo Geoff Hussey With over 14 years’ experience, Geoff joined A.A. Thornton & Co. in…
 Mike Jennings  photo Mike Jennings Partner Mike Jennings  leads AAThornton’s highly rated Electrical Patents group. He specialises…
 Nikesh Patel  photo Nikesh Patel Nikesh is a partner and UK Chartered and European Patent Attorney inthe…
Dr Marianne Privett  photo Dr Marianne Privett Marianne began her patent career in 2003 at Johnson Matthey. Whilst at…
 Nick South  photo Nick South Nick is a partner in the firm’s Electrical Engineering, Electronics, Telecoms &…
Dr Craig Turner  photo Dr Craig Turner Dr Craig Turner is a partner within the chemistry, biotechnology and pharmaceuticals…
Number of partners : 13
Number of other fee-earners : 30

CLIENT: Andy Kemp, Founder
TESTIMONIAL: “One of the more surprising aspects of our relation with AA Thornton is how easily you guys appeared to understand and handle this, and to adapt to the continuously moving target. I would definitely recommend looking for people you can work with easily, and who “get it” and speak your language!”

CLIENT: Ahmed Refaat, CTO
TESTIMONIAL: “We believe in the possibility of a better future, and we are glad that we chose you in our journey as you are equally passionate about our efforts to change the world. Thanks AA Thornton, we wouldn`t have done it without your input!”

CLIENT: Ahmed Refaat, CTO
TESTIMONIAL: “Since we are small team, we didn’t have resources to hire a separate intellectual property strategy team outside of AA Thornton, and we are very glad that we didn’t as AA Thornton helped us understand the boundaries of the protection of intellectual property in such a way that we formed our own intellectual property strategy and decided how we wanted to proceed with our intellectual property decisions without any additional costs. Your team has been very helpful and accommodating in every way imaginable. You know we are a small start-up trying to make an impact with limited resources and all of our interactions reflect the professionalism we were looking for.”

CLIENT: Gregg Peacock, Shareholder/Patent Attorney
TESTIMONIAL: “Mike is one of the elite practitioners in this profession. I would consider both his legal and technical skills as superior. Having worked as a patent attorney for more than 20 years in the United States, I have come to appreciate Mike’s professionalism and the value he brings. Without hesitation, he always answers my questions (whether simple or complex) regarding various patent law issues for both Europe and Great Britain.”

CLIENT: General Counsel
COMPANY/FIRM: A leading technology software company
TESTIMONIAL: “Geoff simplifies everything and makes managing litigation easy for in-house counsel. A strategic
pragmatic and commercially minded lawyer, he knows how to read adversaries and when to apply leverage.”

CLIENT: Matt Gowar, CEO
COMPANY/FIRM: Equip Outdoor Technologies
TESTIMONIAL: “Dan was superb and helped us through our case, clearly explaining the next steps and giving superb
advice, that resulted in a great outcome for us.” –

CLIENT: – Clarke Simmons, Managing Director
COMPANY/FIRM: Neuville Grid Data
TESTIMONIAL: “Simon is a skilled and tenacious IP development clause negotiator who looks for the practical, workable solution.”

CLIENT: Howard Speight
COMPANY/FIRM: Howard L. Speight, PLLC:
TESTIMONIAL: “You have always been responsive, creative, technically astute, and clear in your communications. I appreciate the accuracy and organization of your emails, which make them easy to pass along to the client for review.”

Raising awareness of the importance of diversity to individuals and firms, and encouraging firms to think more about diversity and inclusion is extremely important to us. We are therefore delighted to be involved with IP Inclusive, an organisation that promotes diversity and inclusion within the various IP professions. It aims to improve access to the intellectual property professions, regardless of disability, age, gender, sexual orientation or social, economic and cultural background. AA Thornton were among the first signatories to the IP Inclusive charter in 2016, which is part of our ongoing commitment to improving diversity and inclusion within the firm.

We take an active lead in IP Inclusive, which sees us taking part in projects such as “Careers in Ideas” in which we visit schools and universities across the country to promote careers in IP, welcome classes of pupils into our offices to educate them on IP topics and host work experience weeks for students who are interested in joining the profession.

We also strongly believe in the importance of providing ongoing support to charitable ventures. Each year we let our employees choose which charity we support and run fundraising events throughout the year. Charities we have recently supported include the Alzheimer’s Society (2019), (2017-18) and Bliss (2016).

The firm also has its own ‘Corporate to Classroom’ programme- the AAT outreach programme- where we donate our decommissioned computers and monitors to schools in need of computer equipment. In particular we have been working closely with Southend High School for Boys, in Essex, and its art department. The students regularly send pieces of their digital design art work, some of which is displayed around our offices. You can see examples of their striking artwork here.