Work Life Quiz: Rafi Azim-Khan, Pillsbury

Azim Khan

What was your first-ever job?

Sorting through dozens of plastic lemons when I worked on the House of Lords Jif passing off/false advertising case during a vacation job with IP firm Woodham Smith.

What was your worst experience as a trainee?

Dealing with cryptic partner instructions.

Where’s the best place to go to find out what’s really going on in the office?

The secretaries or the reception staff; they’re way ahead of the partners.

What’s your favourite restaurant?

London’s Oxo Tower restaurant.

What’s your favourite film?

Blade Runner.

What’s your biggest work/career mistake and what did you learn from it?

After working with non-specialists I learned pretty quickly that it’s important to have the right skill-sets.

What are the most exciting cases you’ve worked on?

I helped Energizer Wilkinson Sword launch its Quattro product despite fierce opposition from rival Gillette. We won or positively settled in over 20 parallel false advertising, trade mark and unfair competition cases in countries including Australia, Germany, the US and the UK. I also helped GE to ‘e-enable’ all its businesses, advising on rapidly changing laws in 25 countries in the areas of data protection, e-commerce and consumer/business dealings online.    

If a movie was being made about your life, who would play you and why?

No idea, although I was once told David Duchovny from The X-Files looks a bit like me.

If you were stranded on a desert island which two luxury items would you take?

Laptop and fridge (solar-powered of course).

Who’s your hero and why?

I’ve been inspired by some incredible people over the years who have coped with genuine adversity with a smile and a positive spirit. The London 2012 Paralympic Games was similarly inspiring to me.

Tell us two truths and one lie about yourself, in any order…

My mother’s Scottish; my father’s Irish; I once gave a lecture with Vint Cerf, the so-called ‘father of the internet’. 


Name: Rafi Azim-Khan

Title: Head of IP/IT & data privacy, Europe

Firm: Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman


1987-90: LLB (Hons), University of London

1990-91: The College of Law, Chancery Lane

Work history

1991-95:Trainee/associate, Lewis Silkin

1995-97:Associate, CMS Cameron McKenna

1997-2000:Senior associate, Theodore Goddard

2000-03: Partner, McDermott Will & Emery

2003-08: Partner, Wragge & Co

2008-present: Partner, Pillsbury