Blackstone – UK 2021
Although a broader commercial set rather than a specialist-IP chambers, Blackstone has, throughout 2020, demonstrated its expertise in high-stakes patent cases, on both the pharmaceutical and tech side. Of particular note is the set’s work at the Supreme Court in the leading SEP and FRAND case of the year. Here, the highly-visible James Segan, who was made a Queen’s Counsel this year, acted alongside counsel from 8 New Square for respondent Huawei against both Unwired Planet, and for Huawei against Conversant. The latter case saw him joined by fellow Blackstone barrister Michael Bloch, demonstrating the importance of antitrust specialities in such complex litigation.
The set is also present, mostly on the competition side, in the dispute between PanOptis and Apple, acting primarily at the intersection between telecommunications, FRAND and regulatory law. The latter of which is also demonstrated in another Supreme Court appearance, this time for Regeneron against Kymab.
As such, the set might not have the patentclout of its neighbouring IP-specialist sets but it is undoubtedly integral addition to the UK IP bar.
Michael Bloch, James Segan
3 QCs, 1 junior
Supreme Court: Regeneron (defendant, David Pannick) against Kymab over transgenic mouse technology; Huawei (claimant, James Segan) against Unwired Planet over FRAND; Huawei (claimant, James Segan) and ZTE (claimant, Michael Bloch) against Conversant over FRAND; High Court London: PanOptis (defendant, Michael Bloch) against Apple over SEPs and FRAND.