Bird & Bird hires dual-qualified life sciences specialist in Paris

Bird & Bird's French patent litigation practice is filling a gap in its technical lineup with new counsel Frédéric Portal. With the addition of the dual-qualified life sciences lawyer, the firm is underlining its commitment to a mixed setup, as successfully practiced by the market-leading German team.

28 September 2021 by Christina Schulze

In preparation for the UPC, the willingness of French patent practices to invest in a mixed team setup is growing ©jasckal/ADOBE STOCK

As of September, Frédéric Portal (43) has joined Bird & Bird’s IP team in Paris as counsel. Previously, he was a partner at mixed law firm Lavoix for ten years. Portal is a patent attorney in chemistry, with a wealth of experience with life science clients. This expertise makes him a good addition to the practice.

Furthermore, this year the Paris Bar admitted Portal after he obtained an LLM in IP Law in 2017.

Bird & Bird covers all bases

Frédéric Portal

Frédéric Portal

The Paris team around Anne-Charlotte Le Bihan and Yves Bizollon includes six other lawyers and now three patent attorneys. It can now cover all important technical fields.

Anne-Charlotte Le Bihan and Yves Bizollon, partners in its IP department in France, says, “With his dual profile as a European patent attorney and an attorney-at-law, we are delighted to welcome Frédéric. He has a very complete profile and brilliant expertise in the field of patents, particularly in the life sciences sector.”

They say, “Frédéric’s addition to our team makes us a leading firm in the practice of patent litigation, particularly in the era of the UPC”. Thus the firm is clearly committed to the UPC, which following recent developments is now within reach.

European development

In addition, Bird & Bird also strengthened its Dutch practice at the beginning of the year. The team brought in patent and trade secrets specialist Tjibbe Douma (38) from Dentons. Furthermore, the firm plans to continue its expansion.

The firm, which is one of few the major Dutch litigation teams to be based in The Hague, is planning to open an office in Amsterdam at the end of the year.

Following the departure, the life sciences group at Lavoix remains very large, with around 20 patent attorneys and lawyers working in this field. The practice around Bertrand Domenego and Camille Pecnard recently bolstered its standing with young patent attorneys.