Robert Burrows


Robert specialises in patent litigation. He has a PhD in molecular genetics and is particularly active for clients within the life sciences sector.

Many of the patent and SPC cases he has managed in recent years have required the coordination of parallel proceedings in the UK, EPO and other jurisdictions within Europe and elsewhere in the world. He therefore has in-depth knowledge of European litigation and, alongside appearing for clients in the High Court and Court of Appeal, has attended preliminary injunction and main action proceedings in multiple countries within Europe and overseen inspections of pharmaceutical manufacturing processes in India and Japan. Alongside the assessment of validity and infringement issues, his recent cases have included a damages enquiry, a reference to the Court of Justice of the European Union and the availability of Arrow declaratory relief.

Robert regularly advises clients on the Unitary Patent and the Unified Patent Court and, in more recent times, on the impact of Brexit.

He also advises on other IP rights and is one of a small number of lawyers who have acted in matters concerning plant variety rights. In addition to his litigation experience, Robert assists clients with freedom to operate opinions and due diligence on the intellectual property aspects of commercial transactions.

Robert is one of the founding editors of Bristows’ Biotech Review publication.


  • BSc Biological Sciences, University of Leicester
  • PhD Molecular Genetics, University of Leicester
  • Diploma in Intellectual Property Law and Practice, University of Bristol
  • Qualified 2002
  • Partner 2011

What others say

"The combination of being an able scientist and an effective litigator is rare even in IP, and he is one of the few who bring these skills together effectively" Chambers and Partners 2019
"Robert Burrows really impresses thanks to "superb organisational and communication abilities". One impressed source also notes: "His intelligence and good humour helped the team to cope with any problem with ease." Who's Who Legal 2018
"‘exceptionally able litigator’ Robert Burrows, who is ‘highly intelligent’ and ‘well- placed to handle complex and difficult litigation in the life science sector’." Legal 500 2017
"With a practice centring on the life sciences, Robert Burrows has 'tremendous focus and impressive memory, and is on the spot when it comes to international litigation coordination'." IAM Patent 1000 2017
“He is extremely able and has the confidence of an obviously experienced practitioner. He is meticulous in his preparation and gets the best out of the facts – regardless of what he has to play with.” IAM Patent 1000 2016
“[An] excellent and sensible opponent you can work with.” Managing Intellectual Property 2016

Recommended For

Pharmaceuticals and Biotechnology (next generation partner)
Legal 500 2020

Pharmaceuticals and Biotechnology
Legal 500 2020/2019/2018

Intellectual Property
Legal 500 2020

Patents; Life Sciences: Patent Litigation
Who’s Who Legal 2019/2018

Who’s Who Legal: Thought Leaders

IP: Patent Litigation
Chambers & Partners 2019

Patent Litigation
IAM Patent 1000 2019/2018

Who's Who Legal Thought Leader 2019/2018

Who's Who Legal Thought Leader 2018

Expert Guides – Life Sciences: mentioned in their Intellectual Property section

Patent Litigator
Managing Intellectual Property, IP Stars 2017

Intellectual Property
Legal 500 2017

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