Powell Gilbert has continued its own impressive climb up the rankings. The firm which specialises in biosciences, has been involved in a number of complex cases over the last 12 months. It represented Human Genome Sciences in a case against Eli Lilly which could define the level of research required before a data gene patent can be filed. The team also acted for Monsanto in 2008 in the UK's first action on the validity and infringement of a fundamental GM food patent. Partner Penny Gilbert received this glowing client reference: "She can control a team, she is receptive, she gives excellent counsel on both international and UK and she always produces optimum results. In my view, she is as good as it gets." In early 2009 ex-Nokia lawyer Ari Laakkonen joined the firm from Bird & Bird where he had been senior European counsel, and is expected to boost its IT practice.