Teams at the top

Solicitors tell Matheu Swallow which dream teams they would want to take the case that their lives depended on.

TEAM one

Simon Thorley QC (Three New Square)

Called to the Bar: 197Appointed QC: 198Professional achievements/associations: co-editor of Terrell on Patents (13th and 14th editions); chairman the IP Bar Association (1995-); member of the Bar Council.

Practice areas: has an extensive IP practice, particularly in the field of chemical and biotechnology patents but extending to cover all other patent matters, passing off, infringement of trade marks, copyright and breach of confidence.

Recent cases: Merrell Dow Pharmaceuticals v HN Norton (1996) HL; Canon KK v Green Cartridge Co (1996) CA.

What they say about him: “Simon is an artist as much as a lawyer. He is quick and clear thinking, with an ability to concentrate on the factors which are really important. He is extremely skilled in assessing and tailoring arguments according to the particular judge and he is a superb advocate.”

Teamed with Guy Burkill

(Three New Square)

Called to the Bar: 198Practice areas: has a thorough understanding of computer hardware/software and electronics. His practice tends to favour patent cases, in a variety of technologies.

Recent Cases: Lubrizol v Exxon (1997) CA; Pioneer v Warner (1996) CA.

What they say about him: “The senior heavyweight junior around and he's on a diet!”

TEAM two

David Kitchin QC

(8 New Square)

Called to the Bar: 197Appointed QC: 199Professional achievements/ associations: co-author of a commentary on the Trade Marks Act 1994 and co-editor of Kerly on Trade Marks; chairman of the code of practice committee of the National Office of Animal Health (1995).

Practice areas: all areas of IP from patents to EU and other competition law with an IP element.

Recent cases: Anheuser-Busch Inc v Budejovicky Budvar Narodni Podnik (1998); Re Norton Healthcare (1997).

What they say about him: “Fantastic with clients, hardworking, can let him loose on anything”; “probably better than he's given credit for.”

Teamed with Colin Birss (Three New Square)

Called to the Bar: 1990

Professional associations: member of the IP Bar Association; member of the Chancery Bar Association.

Practice areas: most areas of IP and in related fields such as information technology law.

Recent cases: Merrell Dow v Norton (1996) HL; Harrods v Harrodian School (1996) CA.

What they say about him: “First rate on his feet, brings something extra to the party. For example, he may ring you in the evening to say that he had been thinking about the case while cycling home and has had a new idea.”

TEAM three

Geoffrey Hobbs QC (One Essex Court)

Called to the Bar: 197Appointed QC: 199Professional associations: member of IP Bar Association; appointed to hear appeals at the Trade Mark Registry.

Practice areas: all areas of IP but his expertise is best suited to trade mark-related matters and passing off.

Recent cases: Healing Herbs v Bach Flower Remedies (1998); (1)BT, (2)Virgin Enterprises, (3)J Sainsbury, (4)Marks & Spencer, (5)Ladbrokes v One in a Million & ors (1998).

What they say about him: “Hobbs doesn't have weaknesses”; “he has a particularly strong knowledge of registry matters”; “like dealing with him, but less strong paperwork”; “very, very thorough lawyer who gives a detailed analysis.”

Teamed with Dr Heather Lawrence (11 South Square)

Called to the Bar: 1990

Professional associations: honorary secretary of the IP Bar Association 1992-1997; associate member of the Royal Society of Chemistry.

Practice areas: all areas of IP and other litigation with a technical content, media and entertainment law, data protection.

Recent cases: Performing Rights Society v British Airways (1998); Pepsico Incorporated v Flodor Societe Anonyme (1997)

What they say about her: “Very good on paper”; “Doctor impressive.”