Consistently ranked in the top tier in all major directories, the patent litigation practice combines technical expertise covering all the major scientific and engineering disciplines, with an unrivalled depth and breadth of litigation experience.

Whilst operating mainly in the Patents Court in London, our team is also very experienced in the coordination of international disputes (including arbitration), often also working with colleagues in complementary practices within Bristows in areas such as regulatory and competition law.

Comprising 11 partners, over 30 other UK qualified lawyers, and a further 20 fee-earners, the patent litigation team is probably the largest dedicated patent litigation group in the UK. We also work regularly with other groups within Bristows, notably the life sciences regulatory group and the competition group across a range of issues from life sciences to telecoms, for example in relation to Standard Essential Patent disputes.

Most partners and associates have at least a first degree in science or engineering, with several (including five of the partners) having PhD level qualifications. This enables us to understand even the most complex technology and communicate it effectively through expert witness evidence to the Court. Whilst life sciences and telecoms cases dominate our workload, the team has an abundance of experience in numerous other technical areas such as automotive, aerospace, optics and oil & gas. Put simply, we relish the opportunity to dig deeply into complex technology of any sort to assist our clients achieve their commercial goals.

Whilst practising mainly in the London Patents Court, the team also has substantial experience of acting in smaller cases in the Intellectual Property Enterprise Court, and the Patent Office where we also offer advocacy services. We deal with all types of patent disputes, including as well as infringement and validity cases, matters such as entitlement (ownership), SPCs, employee compensation, exhaustion of rights, and threats of patent infringement. The team also deals, often in conjunction with colleagues in the commercial & technology disputes group, with licensing disputes which may involve arbitration or other forms of alternative dispute resolution.

With an eye on the future, the team has ensured that it is fully prepared for the Unified Patent Court, including providing client training and seminars as well as information through our dedicated UPC site.

Key contacts

Andrew Bowler

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Robert Burrows

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What others say

“We work with Bristows because we think they are very competent, and they have a very pragmatic approach. We think that working with them is essential for a lot of transactions we do. They have been helpful in speeding up projects and finding the right solutions.”

Chambers and Partners 2024

“Bristows has an exceptionally strong team of patent litigators, with excellent individuals at both at partner and associate level. In my view it remains in the top patent litigation firms in the UK.”

Legal 500 2024

“The team at Bristows is highly skilled and has extensive experience handling very complex patent litigation matters…You always get the feeling that you are top of mind when working with Bristows.”

MIP, IP Stars 2023

“I have experience of working with all of the major patent litigation firms in the UK, and in my view Bristows is right up there with the best of them.”

MIP, IP Stars 2023

“It is nearly impossible to find lawyers that keep responses concise and appreciate the reality of running a business. We require straightforward advice that can be implemented within the business within a short period of time. Bristows does just that.”

MIP, IP Stars 2023

“Bristows has in the past engaged more strongly than other London law firms with the launch of the UPC.”

Juve UK 2023

“Bristows remains a force to be reckoned with in Europe.”

Juve UK 2023

“Bristows has always been a first choice for life sciences clients.”

Juve UK 2023

“Market-leading firm Bristows remains excellently placed to retain a variety of big-name clients while being a leading name among its European competitors.”

Juve UK 2023

“They are excellent, they have really good work and nice people there.”

Chambers and Partners 2023

“Their reputation is well deserved.”

Chambers and Partners 2023

“Bristows has really good practitioners of patent litigation and trade mark work.”

Chambers and Partners 2023

“The Bristows team is extremely capable at balancing competing factors.”

Chambers and Partners 2023

“Bristows provides very strong and pragmatic advice founded on a deep understanding of the life sciences sector.”

Chambers and Partners 2023

“Bristows is known for its deep bench of high-calibre litigators with supreme expertise in contentious patent, trade mark, designs and copyright matters. The team is particularly sought after for biosimilars and telecommunications litigation, and is frequently instructed for standard-essential patent-related disputes. The Bristows IP team is also distinguished for its work on the commercialisation of IP at the vanguard of life sciences and technology, and is additionally recommended for its trade mark prosecution service.”

Chambers and Partners 2023

“They are competent, efficient and very supportive.”

Legal 500 2023

“A law firm that sees its team members as a family and could teach bigger international firms a great deal about how law should be practised.”

Legal 500 2023

“Hugely experienced partners and associates, based in a full-service firm, provide a personal first class service in a friendly and cost-effective manner.”

Legal 500 2023

“Bristows remains one of the top UK-based patent litigation firms.”

Legal 500 2023

“Consistently at the forefront of the market, dealing with precedent setting cases or managing multi-jurisdictional matters, the team advises high-profile global clients in the technology and life sciences sectors on commercial, regulatory, competition, and contentious matters.”

Legal 500 2023

“Maintaining one of the broadest patent benches, Bristows LLP is praised as ‘one of the top UK-based patent litigation firms‘ with a full-service capacity.”

Legal 500 2023

“The team at Bristows strike the perfect balance between excellent technical legal knowledge and industry insight and experience. They are able to distil often complex legal positions into easy to digest and practical advice. The strategic value they are able to add sets them apart from their competitors.”

Legal 500 2023

“Their understanding of the industry and therefore ability to provide tailored advice is great. They also take a pragmatic view, such that in negotiation with providers they focus on what is important and likely, rather than focusing on theoretical, pedantic legal points that have no” probability of happening in practice.”

Legal 500 2023

“The team at Bristows is second to none in the UK technology law space. They are accessible, responsive, highly knowledgeable and experienced and are a go-to team for any complex, high value or innovative IT deal.”

Legal 500 2023

“The practice has strengths in new and emerging technologies, advising clients on cloud issues, robotics and AI.”

Legal 500 2023

“The team demonstrates wide-ranging expertise across telecoms M&A, SaaS and outsourcing issues, and regulatory matters, and is notably strong in contentious mandates.”

Legal 500 2023

“Bristows LLP has a vast array of clients, including technology and telecoms companies, regulators, and purchasers of IT, such as governmental departments and financial institutions.”

Legal 500 2023

“Great expertise, very approachable.”

Legal 500 2023

“The team at Bristows is second to none in the UK technology law space. They are accessible, responsive, highly knowledgeable and experienced and are our go-to team for any complex, high-value or innovative IT deals.”

Legal 500 2023

“On the non-contentious side, strengths include corporate M&A and venture capital matters, commercial IP work, and strategic and project advice for clients across the technology, media, and telecoms sectors.”

Legal 500 2023

Recent rankings and awards

Patent Litigation - Gold

Intellectual Property: Patent Litigation (UK) - Band 1

Intellectual Property - Band 1

Intellectual Property: Law Firms with Patent & Trade Mark Attorneys (Spotlight)

Life Sciences: IP/Patent Litigation - Band 1

Intellectual Property: Patent Litigation - Band 1

Patent Litigation - Tier 1

Impact Case - Fingolimod litigations

Patent Disputes - Tier 1

Patent Litigation - Gold

European Cross-border Patent Litigation Team of the Year

UK Impact Case of the Year (x2)

Best Firm for Intellectual Property

Intellectual Property - Band 1

IP: Patent Litigation - Band 1

Intellectual Property: Patents (contentious and non-contentious) - Tier 1

IP: Law Firms with Patent & Trade Mark Attorneys - Band 1

IT and Telecoms - Tier 1

Life Sciences and Healthcare - Tier 1

Technology, Media and Telecoms - Tier 2