HGF maintains its position in the UK market as one of the leading firms for IP protection and portfolio management. The firm continues to expand in Europe: it opened new offices in Ireland and France and merged with Patronus IP in 2019. The senior leaders in the firm are Martyn Fish, who acts as CEO, and Jason Lumber, who serves as the chairman. Fish and Lumber are qualified solicitors.
In the UK, most of the firm’s IP practitioners are based in England. It has a large team of patent attorneys covering a range of technical fields including engineering, chemistry, life sciences and electronics. The patent practice leaders are Christopher Benson, Kate Taylor, Lucy Johnson, Andrew Wells and Chris Moore. Other notable senior European patent attorneys in the firm are Hsu Min Chung, Vanessa Stainthorpe, Jennifer Uno, Harry Hutchinson, and Richard Jenkins.
Its trade mark practice is led by David Potter. Stephanie Loeffler-Reading, Jonathan Thurgood, Geoffrey Smith and Lee Curtis are among the experienced trade mark attorneys at the firm. The firm also offers dispute resolution and commercial IP services through its sister law firm HGF Law, which is led by the experienced IP litigator Rachel Fetches. Other notable lawyers in the legal practice are Paul Sanderson, Janet Knowles, and Marie McMorrow. Knowles specialises in IP transactions.
Chemistry specialist Gary Wilson oversees the firm’s operations in Scotland, where he is supported by sector practice leaders Jamie Thomson, Craig Watson, and Susan Keston. Other notable senior attorneys are life sciences specialists Douglas Drysdale and Craig Thomson. Patent and trade mark attorney Neil McKechnie, who serves as a consultant, looks after its trade mark practice in Scotland. Caroline Pigott is a key trade mark attorney in the practice.
"We appreciate that they provide a single point of contact with a good working relationship. They respond very quickly for urgent matters, and also have the ability to draft in other HGF experts if required."
"They act as part of our in-house team."
"They are friendly, approachable and knowledgeable about the needs and issues surrounding the healthcare sector."
"They are personable, bright, and sharp intellectually. The best."
"They are professional – a well organised team."
"We appreciate the continuity and quality of advice."
"We like their reliability, expertise, attention to detail, and their ability to quickly establish a trusting and professional relationship with our inventors. We appreciate that we can rely on their scientific expertise when lacking our own, and that they have a creative approach to prosecution, as well as being budget-savvy."
"We particularly appreciate their fast reaction."
"We appreciate their ability to deliver exceptional quality work and to tight deadlines. Fees are fair, and represent value for the quality of work. They are competent people who are easy to deal with. "
"They are approachable, and can make difficult concepts easy."
"They provide very good quality work and information for our clients."
"In addition to their comprehensive legal knowledge of all things IP, they immediately understand the client's needs and they showcase an impressive commercial understanding, enabling them to give to-the-point advice that actually fits the client's need. Furthermore, Lee Curtis, Lauren Somers and Suzan Ure, who we regularly work with, all have a great sense of humour and are great fun to work with. That is why they are our definitive go-to firm in the UK."
"They have great experience and knowledge and are very diligent in their work."
2022 client testimonials
"We get a consistent service from this well-organised firm."
"They have an excellent knowledge of our IP portfolio."
"They give some really good strategic advice and guidance during the patenting process."
"The firm has great fundamental knowledge and understanding of the subject-matter and strength in depth for different areas. They provide detailed analysis and explanation of the position and options, with recommendations for the best route forward. Top-notch systems underpin the workload management, ensuring nothing is missed."
"They are very approachable, friendly and have a great command of their field. They are also keen to develop new talent."
"Expert advice borne out by results."
"HGF is a supplier trusted to deliver quality service at a good price."
"They understand what matters to us commercially and the attorneys are easy to talk to."
"They are proactive and provide commercial advice and prompt replies."
"They have a good understanding of how we work and what we are trying to achieve."
"We have a long-standing relationship with HGF, an IP firm that has consistently delivered clear, concise and practical advice."
"HGF always delivers clear advice, explaining the risks, outlining the options and providing clear guidance and a steer."
"Excellent knowledge, advice and support."
"We trust HGF because they have a broad spectrum of knowledge, good commercial skills and are very professional in their approach."
"The team is very responsive, with a vast amount of knowledge, and easy to work with."
"They are experts in chemistry and biology and can understand the complexity of our IP requirements."
2021 client testimonials
A long-standing client explained why they use the firm: “They are always approachable, very fast and have many patent attorneys in the required field so it is easy to avoid a conflict of interest.”
One client commended the firm’s commercial IP lawyers: “The team is very responsive, thorough and, of course, very personable.”
A brand owner client said the firm’s trade mark attorneys provide “clear, prompt and practical advice”.
Another client appreciates the firm’s “pragmatic, business-oriented approach to solving issues and value-added services such as organising webinars”.
“They are all extremely reliable and do work quickly and diligently,” says a client.
The firm’s legal practice received commendation: “The team were very engaged throughout the process and we felt we had the right experience.”
2020 client testimonials
A telecommunications client said: “The attorneys are experts in multiple technology areas, and they can learn inventions in a very quick manner. They are very flexible to meet urgent filing deadlines.”
Another client commended the firm’s patent attorneys for their “very high level of service, grasp of the subject matter, and continued success in patent applications”.
“We receive the same level of professional service whether we are dealing with a partner, attorney, solicitor or members of the formalities teams,” says a client.
A client said: “They think along, sometimes ahead, with us. They really take care of our IP matters and always respond on time with a solution to our problems.”
A patent applicant said the firm’s attorneys are “extremely adept at grasping complex and specialised concepts and drafting a patent application”.
A client of the firm’s legal practice was impressed by the “clarity of thought and excellent knowledge of IP” and said the lawyers provided “tailored advice in a timely manner”.
2019 client testimonials
One client explained: “The HGF team seem to provide exactly what we need from our external patent counsel. It is a seamless process of prosecution, with collaboration between HGF and our technology teams. This keeps costs manageable.”
A client uses the firm because of its “flexibility and ability to adapt to demands”. The client noted: “HGF gets as involved as our in-house team in all our IP matters.”
A client said the firm delivered a “thorough, first-class” service.
Case studies show the firm dealt with patent strategy, filing/prosecution, and disputes in different sectors. Filing/prosecution clients include Byte Dance, Sunamp, Bombardier Aerospace, Spirit AeroSystems, Synairgen and Intelligent Growth Solutions. The firm was also involved in patent litigation, advising companies such as Sun Pharmaceuticals Industries.
The firm hired European patent attorney Vivien Verbrugge in 2021 to lead its new office in Rennes, France. Verbrugge was previously a senior in-house technology counsel at the manufacturing company ITW. Its engineering and life sciences departments expanded with the arrival of Nick Manley and Kerry Rees as partners in 2020. Patent director Joanna Deas and pharma specialist Gareth Probert left the firm in 2020 while engineering specialist Matthew Dixon left in January 2021.
This year’s patent practitioners to watch are Nathan Hinks, Scott Fletcher, Matthew Johnson, Ellie Purnell, and Lauris Kemp. The ones to watch in Scotland are Jerry Bretherton, Chris Mellor, Clara Orofino, Andrew McGettrick and Inge Muellejans. Jerry Bretherton, Michelle Davies, Rebecca Field, Adam Hines, Nathan Hinks, Matthew Johnson, Simon Turberville and Dan Woollaston joined the partnership in May 2022.
Case studies show the firm advised several clients on trade mark protection strategy, prosecution and disputes. Filing/prosecution clients include AGA Rangemaster Group, Enovate Systems, Emirates, Pulse Comms, and Iron Ocean. It also represented companies such as The Hut Group and Sky Insurance in court proceedings.
The firm strengthened its trade mark team in 2020 by hiring Rigel Moss McGrath, a partner based in England, and Caroline Pigott, a senior trade mark attorney and solicitor based in Scotland. In July 2021, former head of HGF Law Martyn Fish succeeded Paul Sanderson as the firm’s CEO. IP lawyer Antony Gold now serves as a consultant in the firm. Rachel Denholm, a senior trade mark attorney in its Glasgow office, left the firm in 2020. Apostolos Dakanalis, Rebecca Field (nee Tilbury) and Jennifer Good are trade mark practitioners to watch.