Olswang has lured senior patent attorney Robert Stephen away from pharmaceuticals company GlaxoSmithKline to grow its patent prosecution practice.
Olswang head of life sciences Michael Burdon said the move would benefit existing clients, such as Wellcome Trust and Cancer Research, and help the firm get instructions in new areas.
“The other angle is the venture capital and investor community,” said Burdon. “They have to do due diligence in life sciences and often the patent portfolio is a key asset to a company.”
The firm has also hired patent attorney Kevin Cordina, a specialist in software and electronics, and contentious IP solicitor Sarah Abbott from Eversheds. The moves will take the number of lawyers in Olswang’s IP department up to 29.
Burdon said he expected the practice to grow by a third over the next 12 months.