Practice area

IP STARS Reviews


Bird & Bird has maintained its reputation as one of the leading law firms for patent litigation in the UK. The firm has a stable team of IP lawyers in the UK, and it is also highly recommended in other European jurisdictions such as France and Germany, making it one of the most reliable firms to instruct to handle pan-European patent litigation. Patent litigation stars Morag Macdonald, Robert Williams and Katharine Stephens are leaders in its UK IP practice. Macdonald is co-head of its international IP practice. Stephens is featured in Managing IP's Top 250 Women in IP (2019).

Other experienced patent lawyers in the practice include Jennifer Jones, Richard Vary, Tim Harris, Neil Jenkins and Jane Mutimear. Jenkins, Jones and Harris are noted for their disputes work in the life sciences sector while Vary and Mutimear lead on telecoms/electronics disputes. Sally Shorthose is the IP transactions specialist in the practice. The partners are supported by a team of associates including rising stars Matthew Noble and Christopher de Mauny. Eleanor Root, who was recognised as a rising star in 2018, is now a partner in the firm. For the second time within two years, the firm represented Actavis UK before the UK Supreme Court in a patent dispute with Eli Lilly & Company. The apex court's ruling in this dispute, in favour of its client, clarified the test for assessing the obviousness of a dosage regime patent.

Trade mark

Bird & Bird has a strong team for trade mark and copyright work in the UK. Its IP practice is led by patent stars Morag Macdonald, Katharine Stephens and Robert Williams. Mark Holah, Allan Poulter and Peter Brownlow are the key practitioners for trade mark protection and disputes. Phil Sherrell and IT law expert Graham Smith are recommended for copyright matters. Another notable lawyer in the firm for copyright advice is Eleonora Rosati, a well-known IP scholar who joined the firm as counsel in early 2019. Ewan Grist leads the firm's designs practice. The firm also has a dedicated IP transactions practice with experienced lawyers such as Craig Giles, Sally Shorthose and Tom Snaith. Giles advises clients in the sports and media sectors. Rebecca O'Kelly-Gillard, who specialises in soft IP disputes; James Pearson, who focuses on IP transactions; and Patricia Collis, who deals with brand protection, are among the experienced junior IP practitioners in the firm.