Forresters boosts Munich presence with Hofstetter Schurack hire

UK and German patent attorney firm Forresters has bolstered its Munich office with Vera Kühr, who specialises in biotechnology. She joins the team as it expands its presence in the Bavarian capital. This is the firm's next move to strengthen its team in preparation for the Unified Patent Court.

4 July 2022 by Amy Sandys

Forresters, Vera Kühr, Munich Vera Kühr has joined the Munich office of UK and German firm Forresters, where she will bolster the firm's biotechnology expertise ©Forresters

Vera Kühr (47) has joined Forresters as its second partner and fifth patent attorney in Munich. Kühr joined the team from Hofstetter Schurack & Partner in June, where she had worked for almost eleven years. She specialises in biotechnology, and also has specific interests in molecular biology, plant molecular biology, microbiology and biochemistry.

Forresters doubles partnership

In addition, Kühr has experience in other industries including pharmaceuticals, medical devices, computer-implemented inventions, automotive engineering and mechanics. One example of the latter specialties is her work for a major German automotive client.

In 2018, Kühr joined Hofstetter Schurack & Partner in a full-time capacity, after having worked freelance for the firm since 2012. During this time as a freelancer, she also worked for IP firm Boehmert & Boehmert. In the past, she has also worked as a patent attorney for full-service US firm Jones Day. Prior to specialising in IP law, Kühr worked at the Institute of Plant Breeding in Stuttgart. Here, she focused on protein and gene expression in maize.

She says, “Moving to Forresters is a great chance for me to bring my previous experience to a team which has a great working atmosphere. I am excited to have joined a forward-thinking, international firm, and I look forward to helping develop Forresters’ German practice.”

UPC steps forward

Currently, Forresters has two partners in Munich. Across the whole firm, which includes three UK offices, it has 21 partners in total. Of these, 17 are patent specialists. The firm’s expansion comes in the wake of several developments regarding the Unified Patent Court.

Matt Barton, partner and head of Forresters Munich office, says, “We think that the UPC will bring further opportunities and that our base in Munich is even more important, as the UPC will have both a central division and a local division here. Having more attorneys on the ground in Munich will be an advantage when guiding our clients through the new court system as soon as it begins.”

Securing expertise

Furthermore, in March 2022 the UPC Administrative Committee confirmed that UK and non-EU resident patent attorneys with sufficient qualifications will be eligible to represent clients. As such, firms such as Forresters with a pan-European offering are looking to bolster their expertise in strategic locations.

Barton continues, “We have two trainee patent attorneys in chemistry who will join us in September 2022. We are also hoping to bring in one further German-qualified partner this year, to continue this period of expansion.”

Hofstetter Schurack & Partner has 20 patent attorneys remaining in its team, of which nine are partners.