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5 March 2008: Powell Gilbert LLP celebrates amazing first year by adding a new partner

5 March 2008: Powell Gilbert LLP celebrates amazing first year by adding a new partner

05/03/2008 15:35:13

Specialist boutique intellectual property law firm, Powell Gilbert LLP celebrates the end of an amazing first year by announcing that it is adding a new partner to the team.

Rebecca Lawrence will join the founding 5 partners on 1st April, taking the firm to a 6 partner, 7 associate and 3 paralegal practice. Trained at Linklaters, Rebecca moved to Bristows in 2000 and was part of the team which established PG last year. Rebecca has a background in biological sciences and has extensive experience of IP litigation before the UK courts. She is experienced in co-ordinating European patent litigation and has been involved in anti-counterfeiting and parallel import matters for well known household brands. Key clients in the past year have included Monsanto, Boehringer Ingelheim and Yeda, the technology transfer arm of the Weizmann Institute.

PG’s first year, which started on 6 March 2007, has seen rapid growth. The firm has almost doubled in size – both in terms of headcount and space – to handle the volume of new business it has attracted. The firm launched with 5 partners and 5 associates from Bristows, and has now expanded from 12 to a total of 22 people, taking extra space in its stunning former Patent Office premises. The firm now has one of the largest IP litigation teams in the UK and acted on a number of groundbreaking patents cases in the High Court, Court of Appeal and House of Lords during 2007.

The firm was recently short-listed for the TMT team of the year award by Legal Business and co-founder, Penny Gilbert has been named in the Lawyer Hot 100 for 2008 (‘truly triumphant…. If Gilbert could patent her methods for a successful IP practice, there would be a great many people clamouring for licences’).

Key patent cases involving PG in the UK Courts in its first year, include:

  • Yeda v Sanofi Aventis & ImClone – the only IP case heard by the House of Lords in 2007, where PG successfully represented Yeda and in so doing established a precedent for the issue of entitlement to claim rights in a patent
  • Aeorotel v Wavecrest – the leading patent case on business method patents, in which PG represented Aerotel
  • Elli Lilly v Human Genome Sciences Inc – a crucial case involving important issues for gene patents, in which PG represented HGS
  • Monsanto v Cargill – the first UK patent case on GM crops, urrently under appeal, in which PG represents Monsanto
  • Nichia v Argos – PG represented Japanese electronics company Nichia in a Court of Appeal hearing clarifying the disclosure to be given in patent validity cases.

Amongst new clients won by PG during this start-up year are a leading global mobile telephone company; German, Japanese, Australian and US pharmaceutical companies; Danish, UK and US biotech companies; a European telephone services provider and a variety of household name brands in the FMCG sector. PG is already scheduled to act in 4 patent trials, and an appeal, across various technologies, during 2008.

Established with a determination to create a boutique IP firm which works in a non-City, collegiate way, with an emphasis on resultsoriented ground-breaking work, top flight clients, true excellence and personal service, supported by a commitment to flexibility, PG remains true to its founders’ aspirations.

‘We have had an amazing start’, said founder partner, Penny Gilbert, ‘we are doing interesting and innovative work for great clients, we have a remarkable team and we have a great working environment. The last year has been tremendous.’

‘We are very excited to welcome Becky as a partner’, said founder partner, Tim Powell. ‘It is a real milestone for us to be growing the partnership after only a year in business and we look forward to further expansion as our client base continues to increase.’

Notes for Editors

  • PG was founded by a group of experienced and highly regarded partners from one of Europe’s leading IP law practices and is a boutique law firm dedicated to IP and to serving knowledge, technology and brands based industries.
  • Founding partners were Tim Powell, Penny Gilbert, Simon Ayrton, Alex Wilson and ZoĆ« Butler.
  • It launched on 6 March 2007 with 5 partners and 5 associates, and from 1 April will have 6 partners and 7 associates, with a head of litigation support, a team of 2 paralegals and an admin support team of 6. It is continuing to recruit.
  • Lawyers have joined recently from Taylor Wessing, from Briffa, and from Australian firm, Allens Arthur Robinson as well as from Bristows.
  • Located in the historic former Patent Office in Chancery Lane, PG’s clients come from all over the world.
  • Cases have involved products as diverse as DNA microarrays, computer software, pharmaceutical blockbusters, petrochemicals, semi-conductors, bubblegum and razor blades.
  • PG lawyers have represented clients in the UK Patent Courts, Court of Appeal and House of Lords and the European Court of Justice. Its lawyers have assisted in cases before many overseas courts, including in continental Europe, the US, Australia and Japan and are frequently involved in European Patent Office opposition proceedings and in representing clients before the UK and European trade mark registries.
  • As well as being highly-experienced litigators, the PG team includes solicitor advocates, a qualified mediator and many experienced in arbitration proceedings.

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