News & Insights

January 2009: Powell Gilbert LLP announces arrival of new partner

January 2009: Powell Gilbert LLP announces arrival of new partner

07/01/2009 17:27:35


Dr Ari Laakkonen, former head of Nokia’s European Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) Litigation Group, responsible for Nokia’s patent, intellectual property and related litigation and disputes in Europe, joins IP boutique, Powell Gilbert on 6th January 2009, as the firm’s 7th partner.

Powell Gilbert LLP, founded in March 2007, has expanded fast and rapidly secured its place as one of the UK’s leading IP litigation practices. Since starting up it has been involved in many important UK patent cases and continues to win new clients from areas of cutting edge technology and from major brand owners. Recognised as having particular expertise in the life sciences, PG’s founding partners have also been building highly successful telecoms, electronics and IT practices and represent international clients in many high profile cases .

Powell Gilbert is now set for further growth with the addition of Laakkonen to the team. A Chartered Engineer with a PhD in Computer Science, he spent a year as Senior European Counsel at Bird & Bird after years of experience with Nokia handling major IPR matters, including patent litigation.

Dr Penny Gilbert, one of the founding partners at PG said today, ‘We are delighted to welcome Ari to the partnership. With a Doctorate in Computer Science, his technical background is exceptional and he has a breadth of experience, as both in-house and outside legal counsel, which will be invaluable to Powell Gilbert and our clients as we extend the range and depth of services we offer. We are thrilled he has decided to join us.’

Notes for Editors

Powell Gilbert LLP

  • Launched in March 2007 by 5 partners and 5 associates from Bristows
  • Expanded in 20 months to 28 people in all: 6 partners and 15 fee earners, including one barrister on secondment and 5 litigation support team/technical assistants/paralegals) with 7 support staff Actively recruiting across all litigation areas despite economic downturn
  • 5 partners ranked in Chambers UK 2009 for Intellectual Property expertise
  • Clients include: a major mobile telephone company; several major Japanese electronics companies; German, Japanese, Australian, Indian, UK and US pharmaceutical companies; Danish, UK and US biotech companies; a variety of households brands in the FMCG sector, including perfume creators and a leading Danish furniture designer
  • Major patent cases in which PG has represented clients have included:

Yeda v Sanofi Aventis & ImClone (the only IP case heard in the House of Lords in 2007), where PG successfully represented Yeda

Aerotel v Wavecrest – the leading patents case on business method patents, appeal in 2009

Eli Lilly v Human Genome Sciences Inc – important gene patent litigation, appeal in 2009

Monsanto v Cargill – first patent case on GM crops

Eli Lilly v Dr Reddy – patent protection for olanzapine, appeal in 2009

Almirall v Boehringer Ingelheim – asthma treatment patents case, judgment awaited

Ratiopharm & Sandoz v Napp – successful defence of two pharmaceutical formulation patents, appeal likely.


Dr Ari Laakkonen

  • Aged 42, Finnish, educated in Finland and at Imperial College and Kings College, London (PhD in Computer Science), Bristol University and The College of Law, trained at Linklaters, admitted as an English solicitor in 1997
  • Chartered Engineer and Chartered Member of the British
    Computer Society
  • Council Member AIPPI, UK
  • Senior European Counsel at Bird & Bird for a year dealing with various cases before the Patents Court for Nokia and other telecoms and electronics companies
  • Previously, Director of IPR and Senior IPR Litigation Counsel at Nokia, responsible for managing all Nokia’s intellectual property litigation in Europe, including multi-jurisdictional disputes. Cases for which he was responsible were decided in France, Italy, Germany, Asia, The Netherlands, China, and the US as well as the UK
  • Speaks Finnish, Swedish and French