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 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

Contact

Experience

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

“It was the expertise on hand at Bristows that made them a go-to firm for me. I like that they are the kind of people I can pick up the phone to and have conversations on strategy. They work hard to understand the client’s business.”

Chambers and Partners 2022

“A perfect combination of legal and technical expertise.”

Chambers and Partners 2022

“A leading specialism is in crossover intellectual property and competition cases. They have great strength and depth in that regard.”

Chambers and Partners 2022

“Others have claimed to have deep understanding in tech, but Bristows seem to walk the walk where others have not.”

Legal 500 2022

“Knowledgeable, pragmatic, provides sensible advice, and consequently value for money.”

Legal 500 2022

“They took the time to understand our business and risk appetite and this was factored in to the advice throughout.”

Legal 500 2022

“The [Fintech] team is ‘approachable, highly experienced and commercial in its advice’.”

Legal 500 2022

“Bristows remains top tier and for good reason.”

Legal 500 2022

“They are all accomplished litigators with a particular strength in life sciences cases.”

Legal 500 2022

“The individuals live and breathe their subject matter, know the industry inside out and are supported by their excellent regulatory and competition colleagues, which helps them stand out in global pharma litigation.”

Legal 500 2022

“Probably the best UK-focused IP and TMT firm around.”

Legal 500 2022

“The outstanding quality of both partners and associates is second to none.”

Legal 500 2022

“Bristows fields one of the most extensive patent litigation benches in Europe.”

Legal 500 2022

“Industry knowledge, client intimacy and business savvy.”

Legal 500 2022

“Just pleasant to work with to support our business operations.”

Legal 500 2022

“Bristows LLP is highly regarded for its depth of expertise in the technology sector.”

Legal 500 2022

“Partners are very hands-on, always available and a pleasure to work with.”

Legal 500 2022

“The quality that Bristows provides is exceptionally high.”

Legal 500 2022

“They have a perfect understanding of the client’s needs and a diverse team of experts to fulfil these.”

Legal 500 2022

“Apart from their outstanding professional skills, all team members are very approachable and always open for a quick discussion.”

Legal 500 2022

“Exceptionally high quality life sciences practice.”

Legal 500 2022

“Flexible team that is able to respond at short notice.”

Legal 500 2022

“I have tried other firms but Bristows are the most responsive and understand what we do best.”

Legal 500 2022

“They take time to invest in relationships.”

Legal 500 2022

“There is a huge wealth of talent in the team, as well as a deep understanding of the sector and current trends. This ability to contextualise the legal advice given is immeasurably beneficial to clients.”

Legal 500 2022

“Capable of advising on all areas of competition law, Bristows is recognised across the market as one of the premier firms working at the intersection between IP and competition law, a notoriously complex area of practice.”

Legal 500 2022

“Bristows was a valued partner in the success of making our vision become a reality.”

Stephanie Morris, Director of Industry Partnerships and Commercialisation at Imperial College London

“They enabled a very positive conclusion to the overall deal.”

Richard Fagan, Director of BioPharma at UCL Business

“Their expertise made them the perfect partner to work with on the highly complex Apollo transaction.”

Richard Fagan, Director of BioPharma at UCL Business

“UCLB has worked with Bristows for over 25 years, in relation to intellectual property licensing transactions as well as corporate transactions such as spinout formation.”

Richard Fagan, Director of BioPharma at UCL Business

“Bristows’ knowledge of the life sciences market and players, as well as their licensing expertise, was invaluable as we navigated this complex transaction.”

Iain Thomas, Cambridge Enterprise’s Head of Life Sciences

Recent rankings and awards

Intellectual Property - Band 1

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

Life Sciences: Transactional - Band 2

Intellectual Property: Trade Marks, Copyright & Design - Tier 1

Top Firm for Intellectual Property

Best Life Sciences Law Firm - Europe

Gold

Technology, Media and Telecoms - Commended

Intellectual Property - Tier 1

Commercial Contracts - Tier 6

UK Trademark Contentious

Highly recommended - Transactions