Richard Bassett Senior Partner and Board Member

Richard Bassett
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Personal profile

Richard read natural sciences (biochemistry) at Cambridge University and specialises in the fields of biotechnology and pharmaceutical chemistry. He lectures on European Patent Law, or has done so, at the Universities of London and Strasbourg, and he is responsible for the chapter on Biological Inventions in the European Patents Handbook (edited by the Chartered Institute of Patent Attorneys, and published by Sweet & Maxwell). Before joining Potter Clarkson, Richard worked in the corporate patent department of a large British pharmaceutical company.

MA (Cantab), Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Patent Attorneys, European Patent Attorney.

He joined Potter Clarkson in 1986 and became a partner in 1990. Richard became Managing Partner and Chairman of the Board of Management in 2001. In December 2013, he stepped down from these positions and was appointed Senior Partner in recognition of his service to the partnership. He remains a member of the Board.


Richard has great experience of advocacy before the Opposition Divisions and Boards of Appeal of the European Patent Office, having represented clients (such as Baxter Healthcare, AstraZeneca, Beckman Coulter and Novozymes) in well over 200 hearings.


A notable recent success, together with his partner Stephen McNeeney, was the obtaining and then the defence of two EPO patents for AstraZeneca's blockbuster drug Nexium® esomeprazole against opposition by 13 generic pharmaceutical companies. The patents (for respective salts of the drug) concerned an individual enantiomer (with a specific optical purity) of the existing racemic form of the drug omeprazole.

Richard is listed as an IP Star by Managing Intellectual Property for 2017 and was also awarded this accolade in 2016. In addition, he is one of only 14 individual patent attorneys to be ranked in the 2018 Chambers Guide to the UK profession.