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UK Bar: Intellectual Property 2017

In this chapter, 42 leading barristers are recognised for their prowess in intellectual property disputes. Each nominee has a proven track record represented clients in patent litigation, copyright and design rights issues, trademark infringements, passing off and matters relating to trade secrets.

Most Highly Regarded
Tom Mitcheson QC 3 New Square
Richard Meade QC 8 New Square
James Mellor QC 8 New Square
Michael Tappin QC 8 New Square
Iain Purvis QC 11 South Square
Miles Copeland 3 New Square
Brian Nicholson 11 South Square
Kathryn Pickard 11 South Square


8 NEW SQUARE is the largest specialised IP chambers at the Bar, which translates into the largest number of listings in our IP research. Nine outstanding silks are selected, including several of the most highly regarded at the Bar.
James Mellor QC is a renowned IP silk with 30 years of experience handling a wide range of patents, trademarks and copyright litigation, as well as IP-related arbitrations. According to respondents, he is “a class act” and “a complete pleasure to work with”.
Michael Tappin QC comes highly recommended for patent work with one source highlighting his “avid attention to detail, strong scientific background, prodigious memory, incisive identification of the best arguments and convincing court manner”.  Another source notes, "he has an unparalleled ability to clearly explain the most difficult of concepts or technical issues.”
Richard Meade QC is “at the peak of the profession with many years of practice ahead”, according to sources. In particular, he is noted for his ability to “instantly identify the heart of the issues and how best to exploit them to the client's advantage”. Meade regularly appears in complex, multi-jurisdictional patent disputes across a wide range of sectors including the technology and life sciences industries.
The “excellent” Adrian Speck QC enjoys widespread praise from interviewees for his broad IP practice and impressive track record in high-profile disputes. Sources deem him “excellent in highly technical cases” and praise his ability to “make the most of a difficult case with a creative approach."
Andrew Lykiardopoulos QC is "a very user-friendly and very effective barrister" with considerable experience acting in IP disputes in the High Court, Court of Appeal and Supreme Court. Recently, Lykiardopoulos acted for Gilead as the Court of Appeal upheld the 2014 judgment in the Gilead v Idenix patent litigation involving hepatitis C drug Sovaldi.

Leading IP set 3 NEW SQUARE boasts an impressive bench of silks, with six of the Chambers’ eight Queen’s Counsel singled out during the course of this year’s research.
Tom Mitcheson QC offers significant experience across the full gamut of contentious IP matters but is particularly impressive in complex patent litigation: “He is deservedly one of the most respected patent practitioners at the IP Bar," says one interviewee. Another claims that he is “a pleasure to work with” and “on top of all the issues”.
Simon Malynicz QC is considered "the best trademarks silk at the London Bar" thanks to his significant experience acting in high profile trademarks and passing-off cases before the High Court, Court of Appeal and the Court of Justice of the European Union.
The “superb” Justin Turner QC continues to move from strength to strength. He is “hitting the big time as a silk” regularly appearing as lead counsel in high-profile IP disputes – especially relating to the biotechnology sector. He recently represented Regeneron in its High Court patents dispute with Kymab.
Andrew Waugh QC is described as “at the top of his game” and “unstoppable on the right case” by sources. He is particularly proficient in patent litigation in the chemical, pharmaceutical, biotechnology and genetic engineering sectors.

The highly rated 11 SOUTH SQUARE specialises in in all areas of IP law and frequently sees many of its members acting in leading disputes in the UK and worldwide. Its excellence is illustrated by the fact that four of its five Queen’s Counsel are listed.
Iain Purvis QC is a highly sought-after practitioner with a wide-ranging practice covering patents, musical copyrights and protection of image rights. One source notes, “He is calm, incisive and extremely smart: easily one of the best three silks in the city.”
Piers Acland QC is another key player known for his proficiency in patent litigation. One respondent considers him “a pleasure to work and a top choice for pharmaceutical patent cases on account of his scientific background, hard work and discerning mind."
Mark Vanhegan QC also draws praise from respondents: "He is very sharp and really throws himself into a case."
Since taking silk in 2015, Hugo Cuddigan QC has done well to build on his popular practice as a junior. He is well-liked by solicitors who call him “a pleasure to work with”.

ONE ESSEX COURT’s Geoffrey Hobbs QC is an experienced IP litigator and advisor known for his considerable expertise in trademark disputes. One source dubs him “the doyen of trademark law".


Seven juniors are recognised from 11 SOUTH SQUARE, a testament to the chambers’ strength in depth.
Peers warmly endorse Kathryn Pickard as “a delight to work with”. Her impressive IP practice sees her instructed in complex patent cases, trademark and copyright issues.
The “pragmatic” Brian Nicholson is considered "the go-to junior for electronics and telecoms cases". He is also recognised for his "gift for reducing the complex into user friendly concepts".
Anna Edwards-Stuart is an experienced and reputable junior with a strong and broad IP practice, covering pharmaceutical, mechanical and electrical patents and trademarks. She is praised for her “outstanding drafting skills”.
Tom Alkin enjoys an excellent reputation in the market for his diverse IP practice which sees him regularly act in both patent and trademark cases, as well as offering advice on copyright, design and media disputes. Sources consider him an "effective advocate” who is “bright and quick on his feet”.

At 8 NEW SQUARE, five excellent junior barristers are recommended.
Isabel Jamal draws widespread praise from sources: "No list of good patent juniors would be complete without Isabel. She has rapidly and deservedly become highly in demand for pharmaceutical and physics-based work." She is instructed in patent and SPC cases, trademark disputes and design rights proceedings.
Respondents are also effusive in their praise of James Whyte’s abilities with one interviewee commending his "all-round excellent written work and advocacy”; another states, “James is comfortable arguing patent cases across a range of technical subject matters."
Mark Chacksfield is considered "a phenomenal junior barrister” who stands out for his expertise in IP cases relating to the life sciences industries in which “he is simply brimming with ideas".

3 NEW SQUARE garners two inclusions, including “first-rate junior” Miles Copeland who is reliable and knowledgeable". He is commended for his considerable experience across the full spectrum of IP law.
The “fantastic” Joe Delaney regularly acts for pharmaceutical, biotechnology and technology corporates in patent litigation and is praised for “consistently delivering results”.


AXIOM ADVOCATES is the go-to set for IP law expertise at the Scottish Bar, with four candidates identified.
Roisin Higgins QC draws high praise for her broad practice covering breaches of trade secrets, copyright litigation, trademark infringement cases and passing off. According to one respondent, "Roisin is very good and calm in court even under pressure. She is also very clear in her written opinion and court documents. She is very commercial, client friendly and enjoyable to work with."
Sources consider Jonathan Lake QC a “first-class practitioner” who is “detail-oriented, commercially-minded and a powerful asset to any team”.
Heriot Currie QC is considered an “exceptional advocate” who has “great instincts” and “fills clients and judges with confidence”.
Paul O'Brien is “one of the go-to barristers for IP disputes in Scotland”. One source sums up market sentiment by commenting: “He is very bright and thorough with the ability to narrow the issues down in very complex disputes."

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Nominees have been selected based upon comprehensive, independent survey work with both general counsel and private practice lawyers worldwide. Only specialists who have met independent international research criteria are listed.

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