Sand the juniors
8 November 1998
Running through the list of barristers who practise in intellectual property, virtually all the juniors at the leading sets of Three and 8 New Square and 11 South Square win praise. But as with silks there are still not enough new names coming up through the ranks to meet the demand in this ever-growing practice area.
The problem is exasperated by the elevation of some of the top-rate senior juniors to QC, while those of middling seniority have not yet "acquired the greatness of their predecessors".
The concern that supply is not equalling demand is echoed by clerks at the leading sets who are searching for new recruits while improving efficiency by updating technology.
When instructing barristers in this field, great emphasis is being placed on "legal grind and knowledge of the law" and the selection of juniors listed represents a good mix of paper strength and advocacy skills.
At 8 New Square Richard Meade wins most commendations and is described as "terrific", especially for technical cases, followed closely by the "very clever" and all-round "nice guy" Daniel Alexander. Meanwhile, James Mellor is "good on his feet" and rated for trade marks and some European matters, while Fiona Clark is recommended for her advice. Robert Onslow is very knowledgeable on computer software and "works very hard", while Adrian Speck is "very clever". Michael Tappin is rated, as is George Hamer.
Thomas Moody-Stuart is "very approachable" and commended for his handling of biotech matters, while at the more junior end both Charlotte May and Lindsay Lane win praise.
Three New Square has retained its small size to preserve quality of service and a contented and happy in-house atmosphere, but this year it finds itself finally bowing to external pressures to expand. Colin Birss, with his "pleasant manner", comes up trumps as the favourite junior there.
He is closely followed by the "popular" Douglas Campbell who is "clever", "works hard" and is "very sensible", and the more senior Guy Burkill, who is "very bright" and "very good on paper". Also rated at this set are Thomas Mitcheson, described as "up and coming", and Denise McFarland.
At 11 South Square, Iain Purvis is "absolutely first rate intellectually", winning an equal number of votes as the very experienced Henry Whittle, who is described as "very clever, enormously dependable" and "extremely thorough and supportive, leaving nothing unturned". "He is an excellent supporter for both solicitors and silks."
Dr Heather Lawrence is rated for industrial copyright and patent matters and is alternatively described as "Dr Impressive", while with a robust client you can do no better than Richard Arnold. Mark Vanhegan is a "superb team player", Richard Hacon comes highly rated and Piers Acland also wins praise.
Paul Dickens of 5 New Square is "excellent on copyright" and wins strong praise for possessing a "pragmatic, resourceful and creative character" and, "if his initial scepticism on anything can be overcome, displays real guts when in court". Amanda Michaels at this set is also rated.
At One Essex Court Emma Himsworth is "good" for trade mark and passing off matters. A new junior at this set is Philip Roberts. Called in 1996, he is described as providing "a perfect foil" for the highly-rated Geoffrey Hobbs QC.
At 3 Verulam Buildings Richard Edwards is busy building up his own portfolio of IP work and is "very competent". Peter Colley of 19 Old Buildings "surprised me [in a positive way]". Also at this set, Michael Hicks is good, while Michael Edenborough and Jessica Jones at One Raymond Buildings are doing pretty well.
Finally, Thomas de la Mare of 2 Hare Court, currently working with the highly commended Nicholas Green QC of Brick Court Chambers, wins hard-earned praise.