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Specialist IP litigation trio joins Penningtons Manches Cooper

Posted: 12/04/2022


Top 50 law firm Penningtons Manches Cooper has recruited a team of three senior lawyers to spearhead the growth of its intellectual property (IP) litigation practice.

Based in the firm’s London office, Dr Duncan Curley, Dr Amanda Easey and Cheng Tan’s extensive expertise spans all contentious IP matters, including patent disputes, trademark disputes, patent analysis, freedom to operate, and regulatory issues. Their skills and experience will complement the firm’s successful and growing IP practice, and will bring additional weight in life sciences – a sector in which Penningtons Manches Cooper has a long-established reputation.

The trio have worked closely together for several years at Innovate Legal, a boutique practice founded by Dr Duncan Curley, advising businesses in the life sciences sector, including generic pharmaceutical manufacturers and brand owners.

Joining as a partner, Duncan will lead the expansion of the firm’s IP disputes work. With over 25 years’ experience advising clients on a broad range of disputes involving patents, trade marks, designs and confidential information, he is particularly known for advising on freedom to operate and market entry for companies operating in the life sciences sector. He has advised on claims before the Patents Court of the High Court of England and Wales, the Court of Appeal and the Supreme Court. He also has significant experience of international arbitration work.

Duncan assists companies with their strategy at all stages of the pharmaceutical product development process from inception through to launch, advising on patent issues relating to manufacturing, formulation advice, product labelling and posology. He is also experienced in international arbitration work involving patents, IP and licensing. He is ranked for his patent expertise in the IAM 1000, has authored over 50 published articles and is a regular contributor to public policy debates on IP issues.

His scientific background – a PhD in medicinal and synthetic organic chemistry – gives him a deep understanding of the issues facing the life sciences sector. Prior to founding Innovate Legal, he was a partner at McDermott Will & Emery, having helped to establish its London IP department in the early 2000s.

Dr Amanda Easey joins the firm as a senior associate. Before taking the decision to pursue a career in law, she qualified as a doctor and practised at an NHS hospital, acquiring experience in various medical specialties. She also gained research experience in the fields of electrophysiology and virology.

Since qualifying as lawyer in the London Office of McDermott, Will & Emery, she has specialised in IP dispute resolution, developing particular experience of pharmaceutical patent litigation and cases involving multiple European jurisdictions. She has advised on claims before the Patents Court of the High Court and the Court of Appeal. In addition to her pharmaceutical caseload, Amanda has had experience of a broad range of other intellectual property related matters, covering litigation, commercial agreements and IP licensing work. She has also advised on matters concerning trade mark infringement and data protection issues.

Also joining as a senior associate, Cheng Tan has expertise in procurement, enforcement and commercial exploitation of trade marks, designs and copyright. Her experience covers mainly soft Intellectual Property Rights in a variety of industries, some of which include generic pharmaceuticals, technology, clothing, technology and finance. With over two decades of experience as a UK solicitor, she brings with her strategic and tactical experience in managing contentious registry proceedings and portfolio management.

Cheng has practised in a number of leading London City law firms. In mid-2000s, Cheng was the head of trade marks at McDermott, Will & Emery and prior to joining Penningtons Manches Cooper she was the head of trade marks at Innovate Legal managing all aspects involving trade marks and design rights.

The team’s arrival represents a key milestone in the growth of Penningtons Manches Cooper’s wider IP, IT and commercial practice. Following the recent promotion to partner of three other lawyers – Daniel Berry, who is cross-qualified as a lawyer and trade mark attorney, Oliver Kidd, a commercial contracts specialist in the tech sector, and Dr Lisa Page, an IP expert specialising in the life sciences sector – the team has this year seen its partner cohort grow from five to nine.

Commenting on the appointments, partner Anna Frankum, who leads Penningtons Manches Cooper’s IT, IP and commercial team said: “I’m absolutely delighted to be welcoming Duncan, Amanda and Cheng to the team. They are all excellent lawyers who will help us drive forward our growth strategy, with highly specialist skills and experience that complement those of the wider team, especially in the life sciences sector. We all very much look forward to working closely with them to further develop our client offering.”


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Penningtons Manches Cooper LLP

Penningtons Manches Cooper LLP is a limited liability partnership registered in England and Wales with registered number OC311575 and is authorised and regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority.

Penningtons Manches Cooper LLP