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Intellectual Property

Chambers & Partners 2017


An excellent set, regarded as a leader for IP matters due to its “strength and depth at all levels.” It is host to a skilled bench of impressive QCs and juniors, who are well known for their client care, courtroom presentation and abilities handling complex patent litigation. Members are also highlighted for their representation of TMT and pharmaceutical clients, as well as those embroiled in high-profile copyright, design right and trade mark disputes.

Client service: ”The clerks have got a really good manner and are obviously excellent at dealing with solicitors. They know their way around the court and how to get things done.” Ashley Carr is the senior clerk and is praised for being “unfailingly commercial” and “really good to deal with because he knows the industry inside-out.”


Iain Purvis QC
One of the most sought-after silks at the Intellectual Property Bar, and regarded as an extremely bright and effective barrister. He is well known for his skill in trade mark litigation and is also recommended for patent disputes involving hi-tech and pharmaceutical companies.
Strengths: “He is at the top of his game: he has great analytical skills and presents cases in a way that judges want to listen to.” “He is a first choice for ‘bet the company’ litigation. He is enormously clever and very well respected in the highest courts.”
Recent work: Acted for IPcom in its patent infringement action against telecommunications manufacturer HTC.

Mark Vanhegan QC
A knowledgeable and incredibly bright silk highlighted for his client care skills, his practical advice and the strength of his courtroom advocacy. He is known for his abilities handling high-profile TMT patent disputes, and is also fully conversant with claims of design right and trade mark infringement.
Strengths: ”He is a very experienced litigator and a very persuasive cross-examiner.” “He is incredibly bright, whilst also being down-to-earth and very easy to work with. He has an excellent bedside manner with clients.”
Recent work: Appeared for PMS International in appellate proceedings arising from its long-running dispute with Magmatic over ride-on children’s suitcases. The dispute concerns the alleged infringement of a Community registered design, a UK unregistered design right and a copyright.

Piers Acland QC
A hands-on and very approachable silk, highlighted for his client care skills and the quality of his courtroom advocacy, particularly in cross-examination. He is sought after for his experience representing life sciences companies in high-value patent litigation.
Strengths: “He is really quick to identify the legal points and winnow out the critical arguments.” “He is absolutely brilliant. He is very end goal-oriented and he gets the best result. He has a relaxed style in court, and is very succinct and clear. He is very persuasive and very successful.”
Recent work: Represented Idenix Pharmaceuticals in its dispute with Gilead Sciences, in which Idenix alleged patent infringement by Gilead in relation to its hepatitis C treatment, Solvadi.

Michael Silverleaf QC
An authoritative silk renowned for his oral presentation and his tenacious advocacy. He has substantial experience of assisting with trade mark and patent litigation matters, including infringement, invalidation and passing-off claims.
Strengths: ”His advocacy skills are exactly what you would expect for someone of his level, and his input before the hearings is just as valuable. He is good at identifying the critical points to focus on.” “He is phenomenal. He gets straight to the nub of the issues and gives absolutely correct advice.” ”He is fiercely intelligent – you want him on your side.”
Recent work: Represented Starbucks (HK) in its trade mark dispute with BSkyB regarding the use of the mark NOW TV. The case reached the Supreme Court, which considered the extent to which an overseas business can rely upon the goodwill in its name to restrain acts of passing-off in the UK.

Hugo Cuddigan QC
A very commercial recent silk, distinguished for his tactical ability, work ethic and user-friendliness. He is comfortable handling litigation involving pharmaceutical, mechanical and hi-tech patents, and his recent work also includes a high-profile copyright infringement case.
Strengths: ”He has got excellent judgement and is very good on his feet as well.” ”He has got a very good court manner and is incredibly hard-working.”
Recent work: Successfully acted for singer Rihanna in her copyright infringement action against high-street retailer Topshop, concerning a T-shirt featuring her likeness.


Brian Nicholson
Extremely sharp and thorough senior junior recommended for his abilities assisting with hi-tech patent litigation proceedings involving telecommunications companies. His other areas of experience include Community design right disputes and pharmaceutical patent infringement claims
Strengths: “He has got an excellent grasp of IP law and can apply his brilliance to it. He is a real pleasure to work with.” “He combines his technical background with legal skills very effectively. A prodigiously hard worker, with a real eye for detail and strategic planning.”
Recent work: Acted for Dr. Reddy’s Laboratories in its patent infringement dispute with Warner-Lambert regarding the drug pregabalin, which is used to treat epilepsy and generalised anxiety disorder.

Benet Brandreth
Efficient, pragmatic and responsive barrister recommended for his commercial advice. He enjoys a strong reputation for trade mark and copyright infringement disputes. He also has experience in litigation concerning mechanical patents.
Strengths: “He is really good to deal with. He is very clever and persuasive, and has a great advocacy style.” “He has strong oral advocacy skills and is very knowledgeable about trade marks.”
Recent work: Represented a Swiss manufacturer of cycling clothing, ASSOS, in its trade mark and passing-off claim against ASOS. The appellate proceedings of this long-running case hinged on the application of an own-name defence.

Anna Edwards-Stuart
A very experienced senior junior, highlighted for her responsiveness, pragmatic advice and strong written opinion work. She has experience of invalidation and infringement actions relating to patents and trade marks, as well as IPEC proceedings.
Strengths: “She is an up-and-coming star who is a great favourite with clients.” “She is great to have on big cases because she works extremely hard and is not fazed by enormous tasks.”
Recent work: Represented Ono Pharmaceuticals in its patent dispute with Merck Sharp & Dohme concerning an oncology treatment using anti-PD-1 antibodies.

Tom Alkin
A quick-thinking and forthright junior praised for his courtroom presentation. He is particularly effective in patent litigation involving life sciences and technology sector clients. He also has experience assisting with trade mark invalidation actions and royalties disputes.
Strengths: ”He is very impressive on his feet.” “He is very thorough and quick-thinking. He grasps the facts and the commercial requirements of clients very quickly.”
Recent work: Acted for Convatec in its patent dispute with Smith & Nephew, concerning the silverising of fibres used in wound dressings.

Kathryn Pickard 
Noted for her representation of life sciences companies in litigation arising from second medical use claims, infringement allegations and market authorisation applications. She also assists media clients in passing-off disputes.
Strengths: “I am very impressed with her: she has good judgement and gives fast responses.” “She has an excellent knowledge of design law, is responsive and good to work with.” “She is an exceptionally sensible and user-friendly junior.”
Recent work: Represented Mylan in high-profile patent revocation proceedings brought against Warner-Lambert regarding the drug pregabalin.

Chris Aikens
Well liked by instructing solicitors, with a good reputation for IPEC proceedings and contentious design rights matters. He is also noted for his assistance with patent entitlement disputes, Community trade mark infringement claims and allegations of passing-off.
Strengths: “He impresses with his expertise, his understanding of patent law and his ability to grasp the details of the case.” “He is detailed, responsive, bright and technically sound. He is great to bring in on complex patent disputes.”
Recent work: Represented Premium Interest in the defence of a trade mark passing-off claim made by internet company Pinterest.

Chris Hall
A rising star at the Junior Bar, recommended for design right, copyright and trade mark infringement claims. He is also noted for his experience assisting with IPEC and IPO proceedings. Instructing solicitors highlight him as incisive, hard-working and practical.
Strengths: “He is obviously really smart and really helpful. He’s always available, really responsive and shows a great grasp of legal and commercial issues.” “He is very tenacious and has a good attention to detail.” “He is a young man who is going places.”
Recent work: Represented Kenilworth Funding in its patent infringement claim against BlackBerry and Microsoft relating to visual voicemail interface technology.

Jacqueline Reid
A very bright junior noted for her robust courtroom presentation and her expertise in design rights matters. She is also noted for her experience assisting with mechanical patent disputes and IPEC proceedings arising from trade mark infringement claims.
Strengths: “She is very bright; her advice is spot-on and very commercial. She has an annoying habit of always being right.” “She is very experienced and combines a thorough and methodical approach with a combative attitude in court. Clients have the confidence that she is fighting their corner.”
Recent work: Instructed by Giordano Poultry to act in its patent infringement dispute with Crocker Enterprises over the design of a water supply device for poultry.


Legal 500 2016


For many, 11 South Square is ‘the leading intellectual property set’. ‘There is talent from top to bottom and no weak links’; ‘if your first-choice counsel is unavailable, it is rare that a suitable substitute cannot be found in chambers’. ‘The clerks provide by far and away the best service’; ‘they are honest, transparent and recognise the importance of putting the client’s needs first’. In particular, senior clerk Ashley Carr is ‘a commercial pragmatist, who always strives to provide a first-class service’. ‘Rarely does a problem come up that he can’t fix’, and ‘when the pressure is on and a request for help goes out, he is on it like a shot’. The clerking team also includes Michelle Carter, who is ‘superb and could not be more helpful’.

Within Intellectual property, 11 South Square is a first tier set.

At 11 South Square, ‘the strength in depth of the set is self-evident’. Members regularly handle IP matters with a media slant and pharmaceutical patent disputes. In 2015, several counsel appeared in the Trunki design dispute. Henry Carr QC was recently appointed to the bench.

Michael Silverleaf QC ‘He has a deep understanding of the most arcane aspects of IP law.’ 

Iain Purvis QC‘He has a calm, balanced approach and is extremely bright.’ 

Mark Vanhegan QC‘A joy to work with and excellent with clients.’

Piers Acland QC ‘Responsive, always helpful and good with clients.’

Hugo Cuddigan QC - ‘He is thorough and responsive, and gives clear guidance and opinions.’

Heather Lawrence - ‘Her legal knowledge and skills are exemplary.’

Jacqueline Reid - ‘She has a great eye for detail and is forthright as an advocate.’ 

Benet Brandreth  ‘A very impressive advocate.’

Brian Nicholson ‘He has a zest for patent litigation which makes even the most difficult of cases fun.’ 

Anna Edwards-Stuart - ‘She continues to chart a path to the forefront of the IP Bar.’

Kathryn Pickard - ‘Known for pharmaceutical cases.’

Tom Alkin ‘Impressive in his paperwork and on his feet.’

Chris Aikens  - ‘He has very sound legal knowledge and in-depth experience of court procedures.’ 

Christopher Hall ‘He has a solid understanding of IP law and strong advocacy skills.’ 


Chambers and Partners Bar Awards 

IP/IT Set of the Year
2005, 2007, 2009, 2011 & 2013

IP/IT Junior of the Year
Brian Nicholson
(awarded 2013)

IP/IT Silk of the Year
Piers Acland QC
(short listed 2015, awarded 2010)
Iain Purvis QC
(awarded 2014)
Henry Carr QC
(awarded 2013)

Legal 500 Awards

IP, IT & Media Set of the Year
(awarded 2013, short listed 2014 & 2015) 

IP, IT & Media Silk of the Year
Michael Silverleaf QC
(short listed 2013 & 2014)
Henry Carr QC
(short listed 2013)


IP Inclusive Charter