We have one of the largest groups of intellectual property lawyers in the UK that specialises in advising on and negotiating standalone intellectual property transactions. Clients seek our support on a wide range of commercial arrangements involving the creation, development and commercialisation of their most valuable assets - their inventions, ideas, technologies, brands, designs, software and content.

We work with a wide variety of clients, ranging from start-ups and SMEs to household names and global multinationals to academic institutions, charities and government bodies. Our clients come from every business sector including life sciences, IT, electronics, telecommunications, industrial, chemical, education, charities, publishing, digital media, branding and consumer products.

We advise on many different types of transactions that involve the creation, development and commercialisation of intellectual property, the majority of which are cross-border. The matters we advise on include anything from high value research collaboration and licensing deals, the licensing and merchandising of brands, through to the intellectual property aspects of corporate or joint venture transactions. Many of our lawyers have extensive technical qualifications and industry experience.

Details on the some of the areas in which we have particular expertise are as follows:

  • We regularly advise on a wide range of research and development, collaboration, joint venture and other arrangements under which new discoveries, technologies, designs and content are developed. We help clients to ensure that the risks in such arrangements are allocated appropriately, that their existing intellectual property rights are sufficiently protected, and that they secure the ownership and licence rights that they need to exploit the results.
  • One of our core strengths is advising on and negotiating life sciences partnering arrangements to help develop and bring new patient treatments and medical devices to market. We advise on agreements of all types and at all stages of a product’s lifecycle, from research and development arrangements and early stage licensing, through to manufacturing, supply and distribution contracts and consultancy agreements with healthcare professionals – working closely with Bristows’ regulatory, data protection and competition law teams to address all related compliance issues.
  • We regularly provide opinions on the interpretation, scope, enforceability and termination of licences and other agreements involving intellectual property rights, drawing where relevant on the expertise of Bristows’ competition law specialists as the application of competition laws to intellectual property arrangements is complex and nuanced.
  • Increasingly frequently, we are asked to advise on projects where digital technology and healthcare come together. We understand the specific commercial, technical, privacy and regulatory issues faced by those operating in this space. Working alongside colleagues in Bristows’ regulatory and data protection teams, we provide a “one-stop-shop” legal service for those involved in developing and commercialising digital health solutions.
  • For many years we (together with our colleagues in Bristows’ competition law team) have been advising clients on the licensing of standard essential patents. We have developed a deep understanding of the requirements of and the issues relating to offering licences on fair, reasonable and non-discriminatory (FRAND) terms and are experienced in advising on FRAND licensing strategies. 
  • Bristows has one of the leading intellectual property litigation practices. As a consequence we have a great wealth of expertise in negotiating complex agreements often required to settle patent, trade mark and other types of intellectual property disputes.
  • We work alongside Bristows’ corporate team to advise on the intellectual property and commercial aspects of corporate transactions, including acquisitions and disposals, joint ventures, spin-outs and investments. Our deep expertise and understanding of intellectual property and technical knowledge are key assets when carrying out properly focused due diligence and for drafting and negotiating intellectual property warranties, licences and assignments, and any supply, technology transfer and transitional arrangements, that need to be put in place in connection with such deals.

Key contact

Matthew Warren



Negotiating a global partnering arrangement for the development and commercialisation of a ground breaking cancer therapy and pioneering digital health solutions, including advising on the related data protection and regulatory aspects.

Advising a consortium of major international technology companies in relation to the establishment of a new digital telecommunications standard and the ownership and licensing of intellectual property rights relating to the standard.

Acting for a household name on a major multi-jurisdictional disposal of a portfolio of some of its most famous consumer products, involving advice on complex matters in relation to the sale and ongoing licensing and co‑existence arrangements in respect of various iconic brands.

Advising on the intellectual property, IT, privacy and other aspects of a major government programme to develop and deliver new healthcare based upon whole genome sequencing of patients’ DNA.

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What others say

“Comprehensive IT practice with powerful resources for major commercial transactions and complex litigation”

Chambers and Partners 2020

“Unlike some of the boutique IP firms, Bristows benefits from being a full-service firm, drawing on experience, when required, from non-IP departments including the commercial and competition groups.”

Legal 500 2020

“Bristows LLP advises clients across a range of sectors, but has notable expertise in technology, IP and life sciences”

Legal 500 2020

“The ‘excellent’ and ‘client-focused’ Bristows LLP has a strong reputation in patent litigation, but also works on matters involving transactions, regulations and competition.”

Legal 500 2019

“Bristows LLP has a strong client following in the commercial contracts space, owing to its ‘high degree of partner-level engagement'”

Legal 500 2019

“Bristows LLP ‘stands out as a client-focused firm that goes the extra mile to understand its clients’ commercial needs'”

Legal 500 2019

“Bristows LLP has a strong client following in the commercial contracts space, owing to its ‘high degree of partner-level engagement'”

Legal 500 2019

“Bristows LLP has been described as ‘undoubtedly one of the leading IP firms’ and attracts praise for its ‘strong legal and technical expertise’.”

Legal 500 2019

“They are strong on both the technology and commercial sides owing to their powerful IP and data capabilities.”

Chambers and Partners 2019

Recent rankings and awards

Intellectual Property - Commended
The Times Best Law Firms 2020

Intellectual Property - Band 1
Chambers and Partners 2020

Intellectual Property - Tier 1
Legal 500 2020

Commercial Contracts - Tier 6
Legal 500 2020

Life Sciences: Transactional - Band 2
Chambers and Partners UK 2020

UK Trademark Contentious
Firm of the Year, MIP Awards 2020

IAM Patent 1000 2019
Highly recommended - Transactions