In JUVE Patent's recent UK patent ranking, six patent lawyers and barristers drew the market's attention with their impressive development. Their increasing visibility and success in some of the country's major cases over the past year mean all are well on their way to becoming leaders in their craft. Now JUVE Patent's new category recognises these impressive patent litigators as part of the UK rankings 2022.
11 January 2022 by Amy Sandys
Gowling’s most recent partner brings new skills to a developing area of technology
AI expert and self-confessed technophile Matt Hervey has been a part of the Gowling WLG intellectual property team since 2007. He began his legal career in the patent market at the Anglo-Canadian outfit following a first career in publishing and graphic design. During this time Hervey, whom the firm promoted to the partnership in 2020, has carved out an impressive niche as one of London’s go-to experts on the intersection between patent and AI.
In fact, alongside the partnership title, Hervey is also Gowling’s Head of Artificial Intelligence Law. He also recently published a book, as joint-author, on the matter. And such expertise is already serving the firm well – not just its patent team, but its wider legal departments such as finance and retail. Here, AI is playing an increasingly pressing role in considering future legal implications and arguments.
As Hervey says, “There is lots of work to be done to ensure our laws unlock the benefits of AI while minimising the potential harms, such political polarisation, deep fakes and loss of privacy.” Thus, his AI expertise is also keeping parallel teams, such as the firm’s regulatory and antitrust partners, well-informed on developments in IP in general. This should have a knock-on effect in attracting future clients, especially those in life sciences, who will no doubt be keen to include an AI expert in their list of specialists.
However, Hervey is not just Gowling’s go-to AI man. On the patent side, he is visible in leading SEP and FRAND disputes and currently works in the team for InterDigital against Lenovo. The market is touting the case, which also involves multiple technical trials over mobile communication, as the next leading FRAND case in the UK. Hervey also worked on another FRAND case for TQ Delta in the now-settled case against ZyXel. One client describes him as “a key part of our go-to firm for litigation in the UK.”
The European patent market is currently putting emphasis on biosimilar litigation as another area expected to experience substantial growth in the coming months and years. Here, Hervey has his finger on the pulse in terms of developing patent trends. But if an AI case reaches the UK courts in the near future, it would be remiss for it not to involve Gowling’s patent team. After all, Hervey is more than qualified to lead the action.
Read JUVE Patent’s analysis of Gowling WLG in the JUVE Patent UK ranking 2022
With a background in natural sciences, Andrew Hutchinson is primed to advise innovators over biotechnology patents
Patent litigation over biosimilars is on the rise, and Andrew Hutchinson is in the thick of it. Recently, the young Simmons & Simmons partner has been increasingly active for innovators in disputes over patents protecting biologics. Competitors praise him as “impressive, a real technician” and a “great litigator”.
Hutchinson is also involved in the firm’s first litigation for Belgian innovator UCB in the UK. He is part of a team led by another Simmons & Simmons partner Scott Parker which prevailed in a pitch for the launch of biologic bimekizumab, and the associated dispute between patent holder UCB against Novartis and Genentec. The biologic is important in the treatment of psoriasis and other inflammatory diseases.
As such, the London partner benefits from his academic background in natural sciences. Biopharmaceuticals are produced using biotechnology and genetically modified organisms. Copycat products, so-called biosimilars, are significantly more complex than conventional generics.
Hutchinson, who joined Simmons & Simmons from Jones Day in 2010 and was promoted to the partner ranks in 2017, is leading numerous other patent disputes involving biologics from well-known innovators. He has also made a name for himself defending conventional pharmaceuticals, especially in relation to SPCs. For example, he represented Bayer against generics manufacturers in the dispute over cancer drug sorafenib, marketed as Nexavar.
In addition to his focus on pharma and life science patents, Andrew Hutchinson also demonstrates his versatile expertise in other technical fields, most recently in disputes over 3D printing and novel fibers in textiles. With this broad focus and his additional experience in regulatory matters, especially in the life sciences sector, the young litigator is one of the future pillars of Simmons & Simmons’ recently reorganised patent practice.
Read JUVE Patent’s analysis of Simmons & Simmons in the JUVE Patent UK ranking 2022
Junior barrister Isabel Jamal is an asset to leading IP chambers, 8 New Square – and its next QC?
It is perhaps not unreasonable to expect things from someone graduating with a first-class degree in physics and philosophy from Oxford University. As if on cue, just two years after achieving this feat, in 2008 Isabel Jamal (39) joined the venerated 8 New Square barrister chambers.
Now, she belongs to the ranks of highly-regarded patent and IP-specialist barristers making a lasting impression on clients and fellow patent lawyers alike. Although still a junior, Jamal often holds lead counsel positions alongside fellow 8 New Square barristers, or colleagues from other chambers, for clients in high-profile disputes.
For example, she appeared alongside Jennifer Dixon for Optis in the ongoing litigation against US mobile communications giant Apple. She also appeared as joint counsel for OnePlus, OPlus, Oppo, Xiaomi against Mitsubishi/Sisvel – here, Jamal demonstrates her ability to act for both implementer and patent holder, which could be key in attracting further instructions for future potential SEP and FRAND disputes. Elsewhere, Jamal represents Latvia against Illumina over DNA sequencing technology. This is another area on which the market has a keen eye, given its rapid pace of development and potential for future heated litigation.
Cases which involve such complex, and in some cases fairly ground-breaking, technology are helping solidify Jamal’s reputation in the market. Indeed, such is Jamal’s maturity that recommending firms from the UK patent market are already identifying her as “one of the next patent silks”.
However, her talents also extend outside of the patent field. Recently, Jamal acted for Associated Newspapers in the high-profile case against Meghan Markle, Duchess of Sussex over the publication of her letter extracts, which Thomas Markle sent to two newspapers.
With another patent litigation firm describing Jamal as “incomparable. Clever, good on her feet, and brings people together as part of a team”, it is clear she is an asset to 8 New Square – for both patent, and in other areas. It’s no surprise that so many patent lawyers want Jamal integrated into their legal team.
Read JUVE Patent’s analysis of 8 New Square in the JUVE Patent UK ranking 2022
Jin Ooi is stepping out of Nicola Dagg’s shadow, thanks to his various activities in litigation
The pressure on Jin Ooi (35) at the moment is great. A good three years ago he, along with Nicola Dagg and three other patent litigators, moved from Allen & Overy to Kirkland & Ellis. The US firm, which is a heavyweight in the US patent litigation business, also has big plans in Europe.
In addition, London patent firms are closely watching his development. The question is whether Ooi, along with his four fellow junior partners, can develop a market profile away from mentor and renowned patent litigator, Nicola Dagg. Many competitors consider this step as the true measure of the patent team’s success. Now, the 35-year-old is beginning to attract high levels of market attention, largely down to his work in a number of high-profile disputes with a cross-border dimension. “We consider Jin the best in the Kirkland practice,” says a competitor.
For example, in the global battle between British American Tobacco and Philip Morris, Jin Ooi leads the UK proceedings. However, he is also coordinating the case in Europe, meaning he is in contact with numerous law firms on both sides of the case.
Ooi also represents Pfizer subsidiary Warner-Lambert in what is likely to be an important career benchmark. The case concerns the second medical use of blockbuster medicine Lyrica, whereby active ingredient pregabalin should help with neuropathic pain. For a long time, the Kirkland team kept competing generic products from the UK market. Ultimately, however, the UK Supreme Court refused Warner-Lambert an interim injunction. Consequently, the generics manufacturers and the UK’s National Health Service (NHS) are now fighting with Warner-Lambert for damages.
Some competitors cite the pregabalin case as proof of the varied successes of the Kirkland team. But, in the end, whether Kirkland’s litigation strategy is commercially successful for the client is the deciding factor in its success. Irrespective of the result, Ooi has undeniably gained a great deal of experience in the pregabalin battle, up to and including Supreme Court proceedings. He is now the partner in charge of the damages enquiry, proving that the Kirkland litigation team trust him to succeed in high-stakes battles.
Thus, with Ooi and his fellow young partners leading numerous important UK cases, few doubt that after just three years, the Kirkland patent team is gaining commercial success in London. In a team going from strength to strength, Jin Ooi stands out for the technical diversity of his cases, from pharmaceuticals to mobile communications to e-cigarettes – as well as his hard work and tenacity.
Read JUVE Patent’s analysis of Kirkland & Ellis in the JUVE Patent UK ranking 2022
Highly-visible in the UK market, Arty Rajendra is part of hugely-important SEP and FRAND cases
Arty Rajendra can be almost single-handedly credited with the meteoric rise in visibility of Osborne Clarke in London. Until a few years ago, the firm’s patent team belonged to the ranks of patent litigation outfits which, although attracting clients, had little clout with which to challenge the success of the market-leading firms.
However, when Rajendra moved from Rouse to Osborne Clarke in 2017, she opened the floodgates to a steady stream of patent litigation. Having previously focused on soft IP, Rajendra’s move to Osborne Clarke heralded a more serious focus on patent litigation. After just three years at the firm, she was working alongside EIP’s Gary Moss for Unwired Planet in its extensive, and ultimately successful, litigation against Huawei.
The case, which reached the Supreme Court, helped propel Rajendra, and thus the Osborne Clarke team, into the spotlight. This is especially given its associated aspects of competition law. As FRAND and SEP litigation becomes more frequent in the UK and Europe, expertise in such associated areas is increasingly sought-after.
Furthermore, the instruction continues to keep Rajendra busy through work for Unwired Planet subsidiary PanOptis against Apple. So far, the team led by Rajendra and Gary Moss has more or less held its own against the US mobile giant. Indeed, the firm’s continued work for the NPE is a key driving factor behind the firm’s ability to continue to attract clients in this area, especially as the FRAND landscape in Europe and China becomes more entwined with the UK courts.
Her move to Osborne Clarke has also marked the beginning of a rapid expansion of the outfit’s patent litigation partnership, notably through the hire of Will James from Marks & Clerk in 2019, and Tim Harris from Bird & Bird in 2020. These additions, of which James brings pharmaceutical expertise and Harris brings a more mixed practice, complement Rajendra’s tech-focused practice. And, undoubtedly, as her visibility in high-stakes cases continues to rise, the market is taking more notice of her dedication to her clients. One competitor describes her as “extremely competent at what she does”.
From not reaching the JUVE Patent UK rankings 2019, to climbing two places by 2022, all eyes are on Osborne Clarke to see what happens in its continued offensive in the UK patent market.
Read JUVE Patent’s analysis of Osborne Clarke in the JUVE Patent UK ranking 2022
Win by Laura Whiting of major client Facebook is the envy of London’s patent market
In 2018, Laura Whiting joined Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer from Arnold & Porter, along with fellow patent litigator Christopher Stothers. It is fair to say that the task of rebuilding the firm’s London patent team following the departure of some notable individuals was not an easy one. But Whiting’s recent win of some impressive instructions, alongside elevation to the Freshfields partnership, lends her a secure platform from which she can continue the successful development of the Freshfields patent team.
In terms of attracting international clients, the UK’s withdrawal from the UPC project could have compromised the Freshfields client list, especially given the cross-border-heavy nature of the firm’s work. However, the two Freshfields patent partners in London are in an increasingly strong position to offer clients advice, which provides a good counterbalance given the impending UPC launch. This is especially important for clients on the regulatory side, which is a historic interest of the firm’s patent team.
Elsewhere, of particular note is Whiting’s work for Facebook, which she is coordinating globally while handling parallel litigation in Germany. Court wins against competitor Voxer in the UK followed her gaining this instruction. It is clear the case is vital in helping raise Whiting’s profile among her fellow patent partners in London, with one competitor highlighting “Laura’s impressive handling of the Facebook case. The client was a great win for the team”.
And, with the omnipresent Stothers having dominated Freshfields’ visibility at partner level until recently, especially in life sciences, Whiting’s addition to the firm’s partnership provides an additional counterweight. It helps level out the previously top-heavy partnership, while allowing more room for the team to attract clients in other areas of technology. This balance of power is already coming into its own, for example in the firm’s improved ability to litigate in cases in the mobile communications sector.
So, while continuing to strengthen the Freshfields practice is a lot of pressure for a young lawyer, Whiting’s attitude and talent proves she is more than ready for the task at hand. Here, her reputation is already beginning to precede her.
Read JUVE Patent’s analysis of Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer in the JUVE Patent UK ranking 2022