Read the first set of our interviews with some of the leading intellectual property practitioners and learn about what influenced their career choices, their advice to would-be practitioners, recent client matters, and life outside work.
Liliane Roriz of Licks Attorneys
Roriz entered the IP profession after retiring from the judiciary. In her interview, Roriz explained why she joined her firm and shared three recent client matters. When asked about why she enjoys IP work, she said: "What I like the most is how complex and strategic the world of IP is. The fact that IP is growing at a fast pace, especially during crises, shows us just how crucial it is for society and its influence on our everyday lives."
Read Roriz's interview here.
D Lynne Watt of Gowling WLG
Watt had "a fairly steep learning curve" in IP, especially copyright. She continued: "I used to stay up at night trying to work my way through the Copyright Act until I fell asleep. I had charts and diagrams on my office wall, charting the rights and relationships between the various collective societies in Canada and around the world. I eventually figured it out and now I really enjoy it."
In her interview, Watt shared two client matters and an interesting project outside work. Read the interview here.
Lorraine Tay of Bird & Bird ATMD
Tay talked about her career, key principles when dealing with clients, and life outside work. In the interview, she mentions the appeal of working with local brands and developing business ventures.
On client work principles, she said: “[B]e sincere in all your dealings – whether with clients, stakeholders or even your opponents. I like to also put myself in the client’s shoes and appreciate their challenges, needs, objectives and risk appetite. Only then can I be effective and evolve from being just a legal counsel to a trusted advisor.”
Read Tay’s interview here.
Archana Shanker of Anand and Anand
Shanker’s “love for science” influenced her career in patent law. She shared two client matters and a fascinating project outside work.
When asked about her firm, she said: “I joined Anand and Anand as a young patent lawyer in 1995, and there has been no looking back since. My journey has been an interesting one. The best part of my workplace is the freedom to develop innovative solutions for clients, build the patent practice, take risks, and be a mentor for my junior colleagues.”
Read Shanker’s interview here.
Camilla Hamrin of Groth & Co
Hamrin described her career path, which included working in the publishing industry. She also highlighted her most memorable work as an IP practitioner and shared fun facts in her private life.
When asked about why she enjoys IP work, Hamrin said: “Understanding the business and needs of my clients and knowing that I have the expertise to strengthen their business activities makes the role rewarding.”
Read Hamrin’s interview here.
Morag Macdonald of Bird & Bird
Macdonald shared her career experiences, including interesting client matters, and a personal life story.
When asked about the career advice she would give to women interested in joining the profession, she said: “Get the best possible training you can. Find a mentor, not necessarily in your organisation. There are a lot of different career paths in IP, and you need to have a good mentor that you can discuss this with to find what fits you best. Do not be afraid to ask senior women in the profession for a chat. They do not want you to have the difficulties they experienced in advancing your career.”
Read Macdonald’s interview here.
Ana-Maria Baciu of Simion & Baciu
Baciu spoke about her career in IP and setting up her firm. She also shared an interesting client matter and aspects of her private life. When asked about her key principle for client work, Baciu said: “Always put your client’s interest ahead of anything else, including your interests.”
Read Baciu’s interview here.
Camilla Rendal Nielsen of Zacco
Nielsen talked about her career in patent law and a case study involving a start-up client with an invention for clean water in rural parts of Africa. When we asked Nielsen about what keeps her motivated when things are not going according to plan, she said: "[I] tend to take quite a positive approach generally so if things are not going to plan I tend to dig in and work through the potential challenges as they arise. I enjoy solving problems and sometimes working quickly to get back ‘on plan’ or solve issues another way can be very exciting."
Read Nielsen's interview here.
Laura Fresco of Hoyng Rokh Monegier
Fresco shared insights into her career in law and why she undertook a challenging activity recently. Her advice to would-be female IP practitioners is this:"Ask why you want to pursue a career in IP. For me, it's the innate curiosity and passion for creation and innovation. It’s easy to get distracted by things like status or money or to be intimidated by the ‘old boys' network’. Doing things your own way is a strength! This mindset also really helped me to connect with women facing similar challenges, both within and outside the legal profession."
Read Fresco's interview here.
Kate Swaine of Gowling WLG
In her interview Swaine talked about how she got into IP. "I was very lucky, she said, adding: "I only applied to one firm, Wragge & Co, and was offered a training contract...." Swaine was promoted to co-head of IP in 2020 and had to manage the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the practice. She explained: "Balancing the need to maintain communication and engagement without overload! For our clients and people alike, the line between home and work disappeared. In order to ensure we worked together effectively, we had to really think about how engagement could support but also respect boundaries that were being lost."
Read Swaine's interview here.
Christine Kanz of Hoyng Rokh Monegier
Kanz shared the story of her career, which started with an internship and PhD in trade mark law. She said: "My first contact with IP was in the area of trade mark law during an internship with the French car manufacturer Citroën. My PhD thesis was on trade mark law. But when I found out that patent law would allow me to combine my still strong interest in biology and chemistry with the practice of law, it was a done deal!"
Kanz also shared career advice and an interesting project outside work. Read her interview here.
Sabine Agé of Hoyng Rokh Monegier
Agé talked about her career in IP law, diversity in the French legal market, most memorable client matter, and life outside work. Read the interview here.
Gwilym Roberts of Kilburn & Strode
In our first IP Leaders Corner interview, Roberts talked about his role as the Chair of Kilburn & Strode, client and firm management, corporate social responsibility, recent developments in the firm and industry, and the future of IP law and practice.
Roberts shared insights into how the firm and its staff coped with the COVID-19 pandemic and the challenges for the IP law industry.
On the pandemic, he said: “One of the lessons has been the extraordinary way in which people responded. I think we saw real resilience, kindness, and leadership right across the firm during the pandemic. We also saw a lot of good humour and optimism too, which I think is so important.”
Read Roberts’s interview here.
Jürgen Feldmeier of Prüfer & Partner
For our second IP Leaders Corner interview, Prüfer & Partner’s managing partner Jürgen Feldmeier talked about his career in IP, the role and qualities of a managing partner, firm management during the COVID-19 pandemic, and the impact of the pandemic and the UPC system on law firms.
Read Feldmeier's interview here.