The AmeriKat has the great pleasure to report on this year's set of talented IP barristers who have taken silk. It is quite the blockbuster year with five senior juniors making the leap to QC-dom. Three New Square took the prize with the most number of promotions this year with three. In order of call:
Douglas Campbell (Three New Square): The AmeriKat has had the pleasure to work closely with Douglas over the past year. Called to the Bar in 1993, Douglas's encyclopedic knowledge of patent and procedural law is staggering (if not sometimes frightening) and with a black belt in karate, it is no surprise that his 2015 Chambers entry describes Douglas as "excellent at fighting the client's position". In 2015, readers could see him put his mental martial arts to test in AP Racing v Alcon  EWHC 1371, Warner-Lambert v Actavis on behalf of the Highland Health Board  EWHC 72 and Global Flood Defence System v Van den Noort Innovations  EWHC 153. But it is not just the bar, Douglas is also a frequenter of the bench in his roles as Civil Recorder, Crime Recorder on the South Eastern Circuit and Deputy Enterprise Judge of the IPEC. So, the AmeriKat wonders whether in a few years she will soon be breaking the news of another title for Douglas, that of Mr Justice Campbell? Time will tell!
Tom Moody-Stuart (8 New Square): Tom was one of the first barristers the AmeriKat got to work with as a trainee and she quickly became a steadfast fan for reasons echoed by his Chambers 2016 entry which called him "intelligent, charming and easy to work with". Tom covers all areas of IP law. Most recently, he acted in the patent trial concerning Novartis' rivastigmine drug used for treating Alzheimer's disease (Novartis v Focus  EWHC 1068), for Gilead in its dispute with Idenix concerning the launch of Sovaldi (see IPKat post here) and for the successful claimants in Vestergaard v Bestnet  EWHC 3159 concerning trade secrets relating to the manufacture of insecticidal mosquito nets. Tom, with his "magisterial command of trade mark and patent law", is also one of the four co-authors of Kerly's Law of Trade Marks and Trade Names - no small task given his already busy (and now likely busier) practice.
Tom Hinchliffe (Three New Square): Although Tom is the only one of this year's new QCs who the AmeriKat has not worked with, she has often seen him in action on the opposite side of the court room. As his recent Legal 500 entry states, Tom is as "smooth as silk, and no doubt he will be one soon." ["Congratulations to whichever solicitor submitted that feedback, you are a prophecy and a poet." chuckles Merpel]. Called to the Bar in 1997, Tom is probably one of the most physically fit barristers at the IP bar - he can often be spied running up Chancery Lane in a variety of Lycra. And he needs that endurance, as Tom was one of the busiest patent barristers at the bar last year when he acted on behalf of Novartis against Teva in relation to Novartis' Rivastigmine patches, then for Teva against Synthon in the second round of the Copaxone litigation and for Merck in the big anti-PD-1 antibody case against Ono (see IPKat report here). But it is not just life sciences patents where Tom flexes his muscles, 2014 saw him act in numerous tech cases including Vringo v ZTE  EWHC 3924, Philips v Nintendo  EWHC 1959 and Samsung v Apple  EWCA Civ 250. Readers can next see Tom in action in the third installment of the ongoing Unwired Planet cases starting in a few weeks time.
Simon Malynicz (Three New Square): Mr Trade Mark Law himself, Simon Malynicz has had an exceptionally busy few years appearing before the CJEU and UK courts, most recently in the ongoing Kit Kat trade mark case concerning the acquired distinctiveness and technical function of the shape of the Kit Kat bar. Simon also appeared in the ultimate AdWords saga of Interflora v M&S (see posts here) and Enterprise v Europcar  EWHC 17 (Ch) (see IPKat reports here). So far, Simon has acted in over 20 references to the CJEU not just on trade marks, but also copyright (e.g., Football Dataco, SAS Institute), registered designs and SPCs. With his extensive CJEU experience, it is no surprise that Chambers called him "one of the most experienced ECJ (sic) advocates with respect to trade mark and copyright cases." An accolade that is well deserved, as will his new title be when he becomes Simon Malynicz QC.
James Abrahams (8 New Square): It seems that the "A" in "Abrahams" stands for "astute" as Chambers in 2015 and 2016 used that word to describe James, as well as noting him for his "excellent written and oral skills". Indeed, the AmeriKat recalls James once turning a pretty much perfect pleading around so fast the ink had only just dried. As another 1997 call, James is well known for his work in mighty mobile telcoms patent disputes for Huawei, Motorola, Nokia, Ericsson and Microsoft. In 2015, he acted in Rovi v Virgin Media  EWCA Civ 781, Wobben v Siemens  EWHC 2114 concerning wind turbine technology and in Teva v Actavis which related to Teva's patent for rasagiline tartrate (a treatment for Parkinson's disease). In 2013 and 2014, James was also involved in the high profile copyright and breach of confidence case of Coward v Phaestos  EWCA Civ 1256 where he acted for the IKOS group of companies.Many congratulations to everyone who was promoted this year - the IPKat team wish you every success (unless you are ever against the AmeriKat, of course)!