With an ambitious eye on its place in the UK patent market, the well-positioned patent practice at Mishcon de Reya continues to develop its visibility under the lead of partner David Rose. In 2022, this included the hire of Campbell Forsyth, who was formerly global co-head of European litigation and UK head of IP at mixed firm Dentons, as well as a partner promotion. The fruits of the former have already been seen in court; Forsyth had previously worked for Zentiva, and Mishcon de Reya is leading litigation work for this long-term client against Novartis in the global case concerning cancer drug fingolimod. Elsewhere, a strong connection with generic pharmaceutical companies remains a priority for the firm’s client list, for example in litigation for Dr Reddy’s against Warner-Lambert and Pfizer over damages. The case, which includes multiple parties, has seen the firm appear frequently in the UK courts alongside Taylor Wessing and Pinsent Masons. The firm’s strength on the pharmaceutical side is also demonstrated by the team winning a new client in the biopharmaceutical space, although the firm is yet to delve into medical devices litigation.
On the other hand, aside from a now-settled case for TOT against Vodafone over alleged patent infringement and jurisdictional issues, and ongoing work for Sky and Nintendo, the firm is not visible in litigation battles for telecommunications clients. The addition of Forsyth also means a new client in this area, however. His wealth of experience, for example as a deputy High Court judge, might also attract other companies looking for a knowledgeable and safe pair of hands.
However, with Mishcon de Reya looking to stabilise its patent partnership and given its lack of European offices, Mishcon must now look to younger talent on its UK bench to retain mobile technology-related clients – it has recently bolstered its associate bench four-fold, including with an associate from Kirkland & Ellis. Whether the practice can translate its increasing market visibility and expanding team into secure, long-term client work will become clear in the coming months and years.
Work for generic pharmaceutical companies.
Currently, Mishcon de Reya has no European offices, with the firm’s corporate approach reflected through its focus on offices in Hong Kong and Singapore. Since the firm’s patent practice currently lacks the clout of other London-centric IP firms, such as Bristows or Powell Gilbert, developing strategic relationships to other European firms might enhance Mishcon de Reya’s standing when it comes to a potential competition for clients once the UPC arrives. Taking its growth strategy into account, the Mishcon patent practice might be an attractive partner, especially for French and German patent teams in national full-service firms or independent IP boutiques.
On the other hand, the firm’s case for TOT against Vodafone included jurisdictional issues in Spain. The firm coordinated this case from London, working alongside in-house lawyers for TOT. Clearly, the firm’s partners are prepared to develop their cross-border expertise to tackle the ever-increasing number of jurisdictional questions posed in telecommunications cases.
David Rose (“very good, we have a long history of working together”, competitor), Campbell Forsyth (“good at what he does”, competitor)
Campbell Forsyth (from Dentons)
Litigation for generic drug companies. Work in the regulatory field for pharmaceutical companies including in cases over SPCs. FRAND and SEP litigation.
Litigation: Dr Reddy’s (claimant) against Warner-Lambert/Pfizer regarding damages over a second medical use patent for pregabalin; Zentiva (defendant) against Novartis regarding PI over fingolimod; Top Optimized Technologies (claimant) against Vodafone over breach of confidentality and alleged patent infringement (settled); frequent litigation for Sky (public knowledge).