What was your first ever job?
Silver service catering in a conference centre.
How did you get involved in intellectual property and what first attracted you to the field?
During my PhD, I competed in the Biotech YES competition, which involved discussing IP with a specialist. Until then, I did not realise such careers existed.
When did you join Potter Clarkson and why?
June 2018. I wanted to shift careers from research to IP. Potter Clarkson stood out to me as its biotech department had people from a breadth of backgrounds, and an ex-colleague of mine who trained with Potter Clarkson spoke very highly of the firm in general.
What is your area of speciality and why did you choose it?
I work in the biotechnology department, but my speciality is immunology and biochemistry. My interest in immunology stems from wanting to understand how our bodies fight back against disease, and how we can harness our immune system to put up a stronger fight.
What does a typical day in your role entail and what do you most enjoy about it/find most challenging?
I start the day by checking emails and my prompt list to prioritise my workload. My day can be a mix of preparing responses to examination reports, research business development opportunities, reporting official communications, drafting patent specifications, and participating in internal meetings.
The job is deadline-driven, and it can be challenging balancing multiple tasks while having the flexibility to jump from case to case when the circumstances call for it.
I most enjoy digging into the science and case law to craft robust arguments for use in responses to examination reports and oppositions.
What has been the highlight of your career at Potter Clarkson so far?
Having the opportunity to observe an experienced colleague, Richard Bassett, at opposition proceedings. The excitement of pre-empting what attacks may come your way and having the poise to deal with the unsuspected in real time is always a real thrill.
What advice would you give anyone looking to enter the field?
Firstly, research the career. Websites like https://www.ipcareers.co.uk/ are fantastic, and attending an open day answered many of my remaining questions. Secondly, perseverance is really important. IP is an incredibly competitive field and you may need to go through multiple attempts to even get through to interview. Finally, always have someone else read through your cover letter and CV – they may spot mistakes you have missed!