This market-leading barrister set is the largest at the IP bar. Its 13 QCs and 17 juniors specialise in the core areas of patent law including telecommunications and pharmaceuticals, as well as SPC regulation and emerging areas such as medical devices. 8 New Square barristers are regularly seen at all levels of UK courts, including acting as advocates at the Supreme Court in cases which have the potential to shape Europe-wide patent law. An example is the parallel and high-profile Unwired Planet against Huawei, and Huawei and ZTE against Conversant cases, where a thorough grasp of FRAND complexities set 8 New Square apart from its competitors. Such knowledge is crucial as telecommunication litigation over FRAND steps up in the UK courts. In these cases the chambers also proved the versatility of its barristers, with Daniel Alexander leading the advocacy for technology company Huawei against fellow 8 New Square tenant Adrian Speck for Unwired Planet and Conversant. Pharmaceutical work also forms a major part of 8 New Square’s output, with other top-rated barrister Richard Meade acting for Pfizer in the recent High Court dispute against defendant Hoffman-La Roche. Both barristers are frequently recommended as being “judge material” due to their calm approach and highly intellectual grasp of IP law. They also sit as deputy judges at the High Court and IPEC, demonstrating the respected status of 8 New Square’s senior barristers. The set also boasts a former QC as the current and sole patent specialist Supreme Court judge, David Kitchin. However, despite its size, only two QCs are female.Further Analysis
The expertise at 3 New Square spans a wide array of technical fields, with barristers covering high-profile cases in mobile telecommunications, biotechnology and electronics. But it is perhaps in pharmaceuticals where 3 New Square shines, including work in SPC regulation. Notable recent cases involving this mixture of regulation and litigation include Novartis against Dr Reddy’s, which saw 3 New Square barristers working for both claimant and defendant. At the Supreme Court, recommended barristers Andrew Waugh, Tom Mitcheson and Katherine Moggridge have also represented innovators ICOS and Eli Lilly against generic companies over tadalafil. Its barristers are also visible in leading telecommunications cases, including infringement and revocation for cases concerning mobile phones. There is good exposure in high-profile cases for more junior barristers, for example the chambers representing Huawei and ZTE in a technical trial in the ongoing litigation against Conversant. However, as yet 3 New Square has seen less involvement in leading FRAND cases than barristers from 8 New Square and 11 South Square, with its recommended individuals being stronger in life sciences. This is not to say it is shy of a challenge, however; the set’s barristers and particularly QCs do not confine themselves to London. Recommended QCs like Andrew Waugh regularly represent Eli Lilly and other institutions, such as universities, in oral proceedings at the EPO. Colin Birss, current High Court judge, is 3 New Square alumnus. The set also has a prominent deputy judge in Douglas Campbell, who sits on the High Court and at the IPEC. Nevertheless, with eight QCs and 12 juniors, 3 New Square is slightly smaller than its neighbours. Currently, the set also has just one female silk, and three female juniors.Further Analysis
Technical know-how and knowledge in fields connected to intellectual property distinguish 11 South Square from its competitors. The seven silks and eleven juniors of the chambers are highly regarded in all aspects of IP, but particularly recommended for telecommunications and electronics. Recent high-profile cases include the ongoing litigation between TQ Delta and defendant Zyxel, notable for being the first standard essential patent case in the UK after the Unwired Planet against Huawei decision. Here, a team led by highly recommended QCs Iain Purvis and Brian Nicholsons acted at both the High Court and Court of Appeal. The set also had a relationship with IPCom, representing the non-practising entity before the UK courts on numerous occasions. However, change of counsel in a recent case against Xiaomi saw 11 South Square’s barristers replaced by 8 New Square counsel. In life sciences the chambers are recognised at the highest levels, for example with recommended barrister Kathryn Pickard litigating for generic companies Mylan and Actavis in the Supreme Court dispute against Warner-Lambert. Setting it apart from its closest competitors is the set's openness to a mixture of litigation. Its barristers regularly advocate and advise on cases in related areas such as media and IT. This flexibility is perhaps reflected in its track record in producing judges; current Court of Appeal judge Richard Arnold and Christopher Floyd, current IPEC judge Richard Hacon, and the late Henry Carr are all former tenants. The set has five female junior barristers, but currently no female QCs.Further Analysis
Blackstone Chambers’ barristers have a flexible approach to crossover patent cases. Although a broader commercial set rather than a specialised IP set, its QCs and juniors excel beyond simply the intersection between telecommunications, FRAND and antitrust law. Its barristers can also turn their hands to pharmaceutical and telecommunication cases, appearing in the Supreme Court and Court of Appeal over the past year. Indeed, the high-profile case between Warner-Lambert and Actavis and Mylan, saw all three clients represented by Blackstone barristers at the Supreme Court. Junior barrister James Segan also acted for Huawei in the year’s most high-profile FRAND case against Unwired Planet, again at the Supreme Court. Blackstone Chambers also has proved its worth in cross-border litigation, acting on the side of Lenovo in a recent case brought by IPCom in the UK and Paris. Recommended barrister Michael Bloch acts frequently on the side of technology companies against non-practising entities.Further Analysis
There are just six IP-specialist barristers at Brick Court Chambers. However, the size does not mirror its strength and its barristers are frequently visible at the UK courts, especially for hi-tech and FRAND cases. On the patent side, recommended QC Nicholas Saunders recently acted for TQ Delta in the case against Zyxel, litigating alongside 8 New Square to achieve an injunction. However, the key focus at Brick Court, differentiating it from other IP-driven chambers, is a clear expertise in antitrust law. It is here that the chambers is most often recommended, and as such appears at the highest level in vital disputes. For example, its QCs acted for Unwired Planet, Huawei and Conversant in front of the Supreme Court during the landmark cases between Unwired Planet and Huawei and ZTE. NPE Conversant has also turned to Brick Court for competition advocacy in the dispute over jurisdiction against Huawei and ZTE. Brick Court's IP barristers are involved in advisory work in areas such as FRAND licensing.Further Analysis
Hogarth Chambers is among the newer sets at the London IP bar. It specialises in both intellectual property and chancery law, with two QCs specialising in patent disputes. Hogarth has a qualified patent attorney in one of its junior barristers, and also recently admitted a former Hogan Lovells associate as a junior. The commercial focus of Hogarth means that it specialises in IP more broadly, including design and trademarks. However, after a quiet year in patents the set is seeing more visibility in the High Court, especially regarding technical and geotechnical patents.Further Analysis
Another chambers which hosts patent capacities alongside a commercial law arm, One Essex Court is heavily involved in the FRAND discussions shaping European patent jurisprudence. With appearances in the past year over all UK court levels, One Essex Court has a foot in the door when it comes to the interface between FRAND and competition. However, it also has capacities in patent infringement, with a junior recently advocating for claimant Excel-Eucan in a case concerning machine gun bandoliers.Further Analysis
The selection of law firms in the above table reflects the research of the editorial staff at JUVE and is based on interviews with clients, lawyers and academics. It remains a subjective view and implies no disparagement of any firm not mentioned here but which is nevertheless active in this field. The firms are alphabetically listed within the groups.