This set’s experienced barristers have traditionally been most visible in complex telecommunications proceedings, with a Court of Appeal case involving IPCom and Vodafone this year showcasing the set’s talents as both appellant and defendant. Here, recommended young QC Brian Nicholson (“thorough and excellent”) and junior Adam Gamsa appeared for IPCom, while Michael Silverleaf advocated for the co-litigant. Over 2021, however, it is cases at the High Court which have provided multiple opportunities for 11 South Square’s QCs, and especially its juniors, to demonstrate their breadth of patent knowledge in other fields. This includes life sciences, in which the set’s two closest competitors 8 New Square and 3 New Square have tended to be more dominant.
At the Court of Appeal, four of the set’s barristers appeared in the case between FibroGen, Akebia and Otsuka over anaemia drugs. Junior barrister Anna Edwards-Stuart has also been highly-visible in multiple life sciences cases, such as for Alcon against Actavis and Accord. One client says, “A very dependable senior junior, who is decisive in injunctive proceedings. She is invaluable when the pressure is on.” On the other hand, with 11 South Square appearing on both sides of the court in two high-profile trials between BAT and Philip Morris, it is also successfully showcasing the set’s continued deep knowledge in helping litigate technical and electronics patents.
But perhaps most impressively, 11 South Square’s barristers were at the forefront in the High Court case between Illumina and Latvia MGI, where a three-strong team helped lead the claimant Illumina to a successful patent infringement judgment. With DNA sequencing among the most important of emerging technologies, the set’s ability to grasp complex and developing areas of law stands it in good stead for similar future cases.
Although one of the smaller leading IP sets, with eight silks and eleven juniors, 11 South Square has remained a stable size in the past year. It also has form in helping staff the UK patent-specialist judiciary. A notable addition in 2021 is Christopher Floyd who, following his retirement as an IP judge from the Court of Appeal, has returned to pursue advisory work for clients. Current Court of Appeal judge Richard Arnold also hails from 11 South Square, with IPEC judge Richard Hacon another former tenant.
And, while harnessing some major names in IP, the chambers is adept at ensuring its juniors are visible in high-stakes cases – including in traditional life sciences and telecommunications work, as well as in other emerging areas. Kathryn Pickard, for example, is acting on the side of Illumina over DNA sequencing, and for AutoStore in complex proceedings involving robotic packing mechanisms against Ocado. Another junior, Adam Gamsa, has twice acted as sole barrister counsel on the defendant side for Neo Chemicals against Anan Kasei and Rhodia, and for Mylan against Neurim and Flynn. One firm describes him as having “excellent technical and tactical skills”.
11 South Square is another set showcasing its commitment to diversity in the sector, with Michael Silverleaf elected chair of IP Inclusive Management. On the other hand, while the set has five female junior barristers, it has not yet appointed a female QC. This is in stark contrast to most other specialist-IP sets, which tend to have at least one senior female.
Brian Nicholson (“excellent technical understanding and great at explaining the intricacies of English patent litigation”, competitor), Iain Purvis (“a leader of the IP Bar who is at the height of his powers”, “in our view one of the wisest counsel at the IP Bar in terms of judgment calls as to how the Court will decide. His understated demeanour is highly effective”, both competitors), Piers Acland (“easy to deal with, never too shy to explain the facts to clients in detail”, competitor), Kathryn Pickard (“excellent, hard-working, capable advocate”, “a solid and wise senior junior, who is very responsive and a pleasure to work with. Very effective without the fireworks”, both competitors), Adam Gamsa (“a brilliant lawyer and scientist who, while junior, punches way above his weight. He is hard-working and easy to work with”, competitor), Heather Lawrence (“the thoroughness of her preparation pays off in the effectiveness of the presentation of cases; her understanding of chemistry is a great help. Very thorough and calmly effective”, competitor), Hugo Cuddigan (“ultra-committed to the cause of the client. Excellent at helping the client make the right calls under pressure”, competitor), Kyra Nezami (“an excellent new junior barrister for tech patent litigation”, competitor)
7 QCs, 11 juniors
Court of Appeal: IPCom (appellant, Brian Nicholson, Adam Gamsa) against Vodafone (respondent) and Government Legal Department (respondent, Michael Silverleaf); Ocado (appellant, Iain Purvis) against AutoStore (respondent, Kathryn Pickard) over robotic warehouse systems; FibroGen (appellant) and Astellas (appellant, Kathryn Pickard) against Akebia and Otsuka (respondents, Iain Purvis, Piers Acland, Anna Edwards-Stuart); Apple (respondent, Brian Nicholson) against Optis/Unwired Planet over FRAND and jurisdiction. High Court: Illumina (claimant, Iain Purvis, Piers Acland, Kathryn Pickard) against Latvia/MGI over DANN sequencing technology; Philip Morris (claimant, Iain Purvis, Tom Alkin) against British American Tobacco (defendant, Kathryn Pickard); Generics/Mylan (defendant, Mark Vanhegan, Mitchell Beebe) against Neurim/Flynn over insomnia medication; Facebook (claimant, Mark Vanhegan) against Voxer (defendant, Brian Nicholson, Christopher Hall) over in-app technology; Alcon (claimant, Anna Edwards-Stuart) against Actavis and Accord over glaucoma treatment; Bristol-Myers Squibb/Pfizer (defendant, Anna Edwards-Stuart) against Sandoz and Teva (claimants); OnePlus, OPlus, Oppo, Xiaomi (defendants, Adam Gamsa) against Mitsubishi and Sisvel over SEPs and licensing; Huawei (defendant, Iain Purvis) against IP Bridge over 4G technology; AutoStore (claimant, Kathryn Pickard) against Ocado over retail automation systems; dSPACE (defendant, Mark Vanhegan) against ADD2 over electronics controls units; Neo Chemicals (defendant, Adam Gamsa) against Anan Kasei/Rhodia over damages; British American Tobacco/Nicoventures (claimant, Kathryn Pickard) against Philip Morris (defendant, Tom Alkin) over heat-not-burn cigarette technology; Promptu (claimant, Hugo Cuddigan, David Ivison) against Sky over subscription television services; Comptroller General of Patents, Designs and Trademarks (defendant, Anna Edwards-Stuart) against Renaissance over financial trading systems; Lenovo (defendant, Kyra Nezami) against Interdigital over telecommunication licensing standards; Generics/Mylan (defendant, Adam Gamsa) against Neurim and Flynn over insomnia drugs; Dexcom (defendant, Iain Purvis, Christopher Hall) against Abbott over medical devices; Med-El Elektromedizinische (defendant, Michael Silverleaf) against Advanced Bionics over cochlear implants; Teva (claimant, Anna Edwards-Stuart) against Bayer over sorafenib; OnePlus and Oppo (defendant, Iain Purvis) against Nokia over mobile communication; Neo Chemicals (defendant, Hugo Cuddigan) against Anan Kasei and Rhodia over confidentiality and loss of damages; Huawei (defendant, Iain Purvis, Kyra Nezami) over confidentiality; Dr Reddy’s (co-claimant, Brian Nicholson, Christopher Hall), Actavis and Teva, NHS England, Wales and Northern Ireland, NHS Scotland, Ranbaxy (co-claimant, Benet Brandreth), et al. against Warner Lambert and Pfizer over compensation for cross-undertaking in damages in pregabalin trial.