How should clients choose a transactional IP lawyer in 2012?

Almost a year ago, this blog offered up a league table of UK lawyers who specialise in IP agreements.  The table comprised lawyers who featured in both the Chambers UK Directory national rankings for life science transactional lawyers and the IAM 250 rankings for UK patent licensing lawyers.

Creating that table was a small experiment to see whether it revealed the people whom IP Draughts considers to be the main UK specialists in the field of IP transactions.  On the whole, we thought it did reveal the right people, and was much more reliable than the two tables from which it was derived.  For such a simply constructed table, we were surprised to find several law firms trumpeting their lawyers’ inclusion in the table, in press releases.  Perhaps we were naive to be surprised.

Today, Chambers UK Directory 2013 has been published, which provides an opportunity to repeat the experiment with two new sets of data.  What was the IAM Licensing 250 table is now a table of licensing specialists within the renamed IAM Patent 1000, but the principle remains the same.

Below are the names and affiliations of the people who are featured in both tables this year (apologies for any errors or omissions):

Laura Anderson (Bristows)

Mark Anderson (Anderson Law LLP)

Dominic Batchelor (Ashurst)

Malcolm Bates (Taylor Wessing LLP)

Richard Binns (Simmons & Simmons LLP)

Allistair Booth (Fasken Martineau LLP)

Patrick Duxbury (Wragge & Co LLP)

Jim Ford (Allen & Overy LLP)

Michael Gavey (Simmons & Simmons LLP)

Sarah Hanson (CMS)

Gary Howes (Fasken Martineau LLP)

Colleen Keck (Allen & Overy LLP)

Janet Knowles (Eversheds LLP)

Mark Lubbock (Ashurst)

Nicola Maguire (Reed Smith LLP)

Daniel Pavin (Covington & Burling LLP)

Stephen M Reese (Olswang)

Chris Shelley (Manches LLP)

Sally Shorthose (Bird & Bird)

Julian Thurston (Morrison & Foerster (UK) LLP)

John Wilkinson (Reed Smith LLP)

Intriguingly, although the two source tables look significantly different to their counterparts in 2011, the above table is almost identical to its predecessor.  There is only one difference – Jim Ford of Allen & Overy now features but didn’t last year.  IP Draughts has not encountered Jim; it appears from his firm’s website that he has a broad-based, commercial and IP transactional practice.

Although the above list omits some very good transactional IP lawyers (eg Matthew Warren of Bristows) and has one or two names that IP Draughts thinks of as corporate lawyers, it is still, in IP Draughts’ view, much more useful for clients than either of the source lists.

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Filed under Intellectual Property, Legal practice, Licensing

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