Pinsent Masons hires former Freshfields counsel as London partner

The London office of international firm Pinsent Masons has added Gina Bicknell as a partner to its intellectual property practice. Bicknell, who joins from Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer, brings life sciences and transactional expertise to the firm.

20 September 2021 by Amy Sandys

Pinsent Masons, Gina Bicknell Pinsent Masons has added new partner Gina Bicknell to its IP and life sciences team in London ©AA+W/ADOBE STOCK

Pinsent Masons has expanded its IP practice in London through the addition of Gina Bicknell (45) to its partnership. Bicknell joins from a previous role as counsel at Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer. She brings 20 years of experience in life sciences in the patent and IP field, with a special focus on transactions.

Now Pinsent Masons has 17 IP partners across its European offices. As a full-service practice, the firm has 29 life sciences partners.

Bicknell brings transaction expertise

Gina Bicknell is qualified both as a UK solicitor, and a US attorney-at-law. Previously, she was a counsel in the IP team of the London office of Freshfields, which she joined in 2011. Here, she worked with clients such as the 2020 AstraZeneca acquisition of Alexion, and Novartis when its eye division, Alcon, spun off in 2019. Bicknell also worked pro-bono for Cancer Research UK.

However, her time at Freshfields was punctuated between 2016 and 2018 with a stint as partner at the Kent-based corporate firm Thomson Snell & Passmore. Bicknell worked as an associate at Kirkland & Ellis, and at US boutique Marshall, Gerstein & Borun, which is based in Chicago. However, Bicknell began her career in the tech transfer department of University College London (UCL). She then spent five years in-house to Baxter Healthcare.

Gina Bicknell

Gina Bicknell

Gina Bicknell says, “The people at Pinsent Masons drew me to the firm. There’s a great group of down-to-earth lawyers and other professionals here who have a deep understanding in the life sciences and technology space.”

“At Pinsent Masons, we can draw expertise from all the firm’s practice areas, such as corporate, competition law, and litigation, among others. This creates an exciting offer for our clients across our sector groups.”

Pinsent Masons expands life sciences offer

In June 2021, Pinsent Masons also launched its first office in the Netherlands, welcoming Machteld Hiemstra as its third partner in Amsterdam. Hiemstra, who joined from Simmons & Simmons, also brings life science expertise, specifically regarding supplementary protection certificates and regulatory enforcement.

She joined two other partners at the firm’s new office: practice head Wouter Seinen, who came from Baker & McKenzie and focuses on TMT, data privacy and digital, and Alexander Spoor. The latter focuses on commercial litigation.

However, during 2021 the firm also lost two patent partners in Germany, following the departure of Michael Schneider in May, and Peter Koch in August. This leaves three patent-specialist partners in Munich.