Category Archives: News

UK transactional IP lawyers 2013 – the IP Draughts table

top leagueFor the third year running, we offer the IP Draughts league table of UK transactional IP lawyers.  This table is based on a very simple premise: make a list of the people who are ranked in both of the following two tables:

  1. IAM Patent 1000’s current list of UK patent licensing lawyers; and
  2. Chambers Directory’s current list (published today; click on “ranked lawyers” and scroll down to “transactional”) of UK transactional life sciences lawyers.

Inevitably there is an arbitrary element in any list of this kind, and it misses out some fine IP lawyers that IP Draughts respects.  But it does include most of the people that IP Draughts would regard as leading IP transactional lawyers in the UK, and it has the merit that two sets of researchers have independently identified these individuals as specialists.

In alphabetical order, this year’s list is as follows:

Laura Anderson (Bristows LLP)

Mark Anderson (Anderson Law LLP)

Malcolm Bates (Taylor Wessing LLP)

Richard Binns (Simmons & Simmons LLP)

Allistair Booth (Pinsent Masons LLP)

Patrick Duxbury (Wragge & Co LLP)

Jim Ford (Allen & Overy LLP)

Michael Gavey (Simmons & Simmons LLP)

Sarah Hanson (CMS Cameron McKenna LLP)

Gary Howes (Fasken Martineau LLP)

Colleen Keck (Allen & Overy LLP)

Mark Lubbock (Ashurst LLP)

Nicola Maguire (Reed Smith LLP)

Daniel Pavin (Covington & Burling LLP)

Stephen M Reese (Olswang)

Chris Shelley (Penningtons Manches LLP)

Sally Shorthose (Bird & Bird LLP)

John Wilkinson (Reed Smith LLP)

making listsA couple of names have dropped out since last year, probably due to changes in personal circumstances.  There are no new names compared with last year.

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RIP David Jacobs

david jacobsBritish newspapers, TV and radio programmes are full of stories about the recent deaths of two famous broadcasters called David.

The first, David Frost, had international renown for his interviews with ex-President Nixon in 1977.  The second, David Jacobs, is less well known internationally, but in the UK he had a very long career that covered many of the iconic, popular TV programmes of the last 50 years.  At various times, he presented Juke Box Jury, Top of the Pops, the Eurovision Song Contest, Miss World, and Come Dancing.

On the radio he presented many music programmes and also, for about 15 years, the political panel programme, Any Questions? The programme is still running in 2013 under the chairmanship of Jonathan Dimbleby.

IP Draughts once asked a question on Any Questions?, during Jacobs’ chairmanship of the show.  The programme was being broadcast, in about 1981, from Durham University, where IP Draughts was an undergraduate.  The audience were required to be in their seats 90 minutes before the show was broadcast live. As we trooped in, we were invited to write down questions on cards.  IP Draughts wrote down 5 questions and one was selected.  He was one of about 6 students whose questions were selected.

Before the show started, there was a warm-up session, in which the producer told some stories and jokes and interacted with the audience.  At one point, IP Draughts heard himself shouting out “heard it” as the producer began to tell an elaborate joke.  Inevitably, perhaps, the producer challenged IP Draughts to come to the front and tell the joke himself.

The joke, or allegedly true story, is about the student who was asked how to measure the height of a building using a barometer.  It has its own Wikipedia page here.  IP Draughts had read it in a book of stories that he had received as a Christmas present the year before, and could just about remember the various alternative methods of measuring the building’s height.

When, an hour or so after telling the story, IP Draughts was invited to ask a question on the programme, the audience reaction was perhaps a little stronger than it might otherwise have been.  His question was whether a system of student loans should be introduced.  In 1981, when the programme was broadcast, this was merely a controversial proposal in the UK, and it was not implemented until 1990.

The volume of noise from some members of the audience shouting “no!” in response to IP Draughts’ question appeared to startle David Jacobs, who repeated the question with a comment: “[IP Draughts], who clearly hasn’t brought his fan club with him this evening, asks…”  For some people, and at that time, it seemed that it was an unforgivable heresy even to ask the question.

This is the only occasion on which IP Draughts has spoken on live national radio or TV, and it will probably be the last!

any questionsIP Draughts was reminded of this incident today, when he heard the re-broadasting of another incident from Any Questions? during Jacobs’ reign.  In one episode, it seems that the live proceedings were held up for 10 minutes by protestors who shouted complaints about the presence of Enoch Powell, a right wing politician, on the show.  Ah, the heady days of protest during the early days of Mrs Thatcher!

After the programme, panelists and questioners were invited for drinks with the producer.  While he waited for the taxi that would take him to the railway station for his train back to London, David Jacobs was very friendly and courteous to the assembled students.

He left behind him a memory of someone with great facility and charm, and considerable competence at handling a live audience.

RIP David Jacobs.

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Tobacco Merchant’s Lawyer

calton hillApologies for the lack of a posting last week.  IP Draughts and the Draughtatrix were enjoying themselves at the Edinburgh Festival.

The various festivals that go under the collective name Edinburgh Festival (including Festival proper, Fringe and Book Festival) are in full swing for the next few days.  Worth a trip.

IP Draughts recommends:

  • the Tobacco Merchant’s Lawyer – a one-man play, set in the 18th century, about a failing Glasgow lawyer who is trying to marry off his humourless daughter and escape the clutches of a local businessman – very funny.
  • the Chamber Orchestra of Europe’s performance of Beethoven’s 7th Symphony – a gripping, edge-of-the seat performance, completely engrossing.
  • the Best of Edinburgh Showcase Show – a taster menu of comedians performing at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe.  Of the comedians who performed when we visited this show, IP Draughts particularly enjoyed Joe Bor in his character as Jasper Cromwell Jones.
  • Calistoga – a Californian restaurant in a sleazy backstreet of central Edinburgh. Good value for excellent steaks and Californian wine.
  • A walk up Calton Hill – a very steep walk up to the top, but great views of the City when you get there.

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International patent licensing rankings for 2013

top sixAlthough no official announcement has been made, the 2013 edition of IAM Patent 1000 is now available online.  This international guide to patent lawyers is one of the very few whose rankings coincide fairly closely with IP Draughts’ impressions of the market leaders in this field; all credit is due to the researchers.

This year, two of the contributors to this blog feature in the UK rankings: Mark Anderson and Stephen Brett.  It is a double celebration for Stephen, who recently married and is about to come back from honeymoon.  Mark makes it into the “highly recommended” top tier category for IP licensing, one of only 6 UK lawyers to do so.

IAM’s encomium for Anderson Law LLP reads as follows:

A slew of satisfied clients enthuse about the “considered and prompt approach” of this small but perfectly formed group. It provides an “excellent service that considers legal and commercial implications – it competes with the big boys in terms of quality, but is frequently able to undercut them on price”. Mandates are received from both the business and research communities, with licence agreements, consultancy contracts and revenue-sharing contracts its bread and butter. The group’s illustrious founder Mark Anderson is “technically brilliant”; his exhaustive knowledge of IP licensing was recently recognised by the EPO, which commissioned him to prepare training materials on the subject. Fellow expert Stephen Brett concentrates his busy practice on commercialisation issues for universities and the NHS.

slewThank you very much to all the clients who provided these references.  They are very gratifying.  Now we have to live up to them – we will do our best to do so!

While on the subject of legal rankings, we should not overlook IAM’s companion guide to trade mark practitioners, WTR 1000.  Anderson Law’s consultant, Isabel Davies, features in the latest edition of this guide, with the following write-up:

“Grand name” Isabel Davies … “Incredibly experienced, dedicated and determined”, she enjoys significant prestige on the market.

Congratulations are also due to IP Draughts’ friends and colleagues who are volunteer speakers on the UCL course, IP Transactions: Law and Practice, who feature in these rankings, including:

Mark Lubbock of Ashursts

Ashley Roughton of Counsel

Chris Shelley of Manches

Sally Shorthose of Bird & Bird

Matthew Warren of Bristows



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