Dentons takes Olswang team to launch UK patents practice


Dentons is set to launch a UK patent prosecution and opposition practice with the hire of a team leaving Olswang ahead of its merger with CMS and Nabarro.

The eight-strong team will be reunited at Dentons with former Olswang patent prosecution group co-chair Justin Hill, whose move to Dentons was sealed last November, one month after Olswang’s partners voted in favour of the three-way merger.

Hill will spearhead the launch of the new practice at Dentons, alongside the team of five lawyers, one trainee and two members of staff following him from Olswang.

The team – all of who will start work at Dentons in May – comprises legal director Alexander Rees, who is joining Dentons as a counsel, associates and patent attorneys Marie Jansson Heeks and Louis Trichard, who join as senior patent attorneys, and associate and patent attorney Gemma Sparrow.

Dentons has also taken on trainee Naznin Sheikh, practice manager Michael Folan and paralegal Paul McEvaddy.

Dentons UK managing partner Brandon Ransley said: “Our objective as a firm is to build a leading global patent capability. We already have a very strong patent litigation and prosecution practice in the US. Clients from North America and Asia increasingly require patent advice in Europe and the arrival of Justin and the team will immediately propel us into a major patent player in this very important market.”

UK TMT practice head Andy Lucas added: “Justin and the team joining us means that we will be able to offer clients heavyweight patent filing capability, adding to the patent litigation experience of [former King & Wood Mallesons partner] Campbell Forsyth, who joined us last year.”

Olswang’s upcoming three-way merger with CMS UK and Nabarro is due to go live on 1 May. Other resignations from the firm’s IP practice since news of the merger broke last September include former London IP partner and co-head of life sciences Stephen Reese, who joined Clifford Chance at the start of October.

In a statement, Olswang said: “We can confirm that Justin Hill has left Olswang along with a handful of paralegals, trainees and patent attorneys. We wish them well for the future.

“Olswang’s international IP practice continues to thrive, with more than 80 IP partners, lawyers and specialists serving some of the firm’s largest, longest-standing clients. The team has recently been realigning and growing its patent group to bring in experienced new attorneys, including four new team members who are already working in the team, with six more due to join soon to work on our rapidly expanding client base, and in expectation of opportunities arising out of our combination with CMS and Nabarro.”