2 July 2023

Meet our team: Kirsty Dolphin

As part of our ‘meet the team’ series, we ask Kirsty Dolphin, Chemical & Life Sciences partner, focused on Cell & Gene Therapy and head of Renewals about her journey to becoming a patent attorney, why she loves her job and what else she enjoys in life.

When did you join Venner Shipley and what office do you work in?
I joined Venner Shipley in January 2021 and am based in our London office.

How did you get into working in IP or your current role?
I realised pretty quickly into my DPhil that working in a lab was not for me. I began to look for career paths outside academia and came across patent attorneys in a career guide! I initially qualified in-house, working for a big consumer goods company, before moving to private practice to focus on biotech.

What areas do you currently specialise in in your role?
My practice covers inventions across a broad range of the biotechnology sector such as gene therapy, vaccines, antibodies, recombinant DNA technology, immunology, siRNA, sequencing and screening methods and diagnostics. I handle many EPO oppositions and appeals as well as due diligence projects.

What do you enjoy most about working in IP law?
I particularly enjoy contentious opposition work; working on cases that are commercially relevant to clients and their competitors. I also enjoy keeping up to date with scientific developments and the range of inventions that come across my desk.

What recent successes/achievements have you had (personal/professional)?
Achieving a commercially relevant outcome for my client on a major opposition was a big win.

What’s the best thing about working at Venner Shipley?
Absolutely the people! We are a great bunch of people to work with.

“I also enjoy keeping up to date with scientific developments and the range of inventions that come across my desk.”

Kirsty Dolphin, Partner
Chemical & Life Sciences

What do you think is the next big thing (or on the horizon) in IP? 
Personalised medicine and AI.

What do you do outside of work? (hobbies, family?)
Whenever possible, I travel the world with my husband and camera. We met on a photography course. Recent trips include Madagascar, Siberia, Cuba and Botswana. I recently won the Audley Travel Photography Competition and ranked in the top 10 of Amateur Photographer of the Year 2023, being shortlisted in nearly every category and winning the Travel category.
When I have the time, I also dance. I have done ballet since I was little and try and still get to classes, and then I competed in ballroom, latin and salsa, and more recently have taken up Ceroc with my husband.

Tell us a little more about you!
I live in a small village in Essex with my husband, fox red Labrador and two rescue cats. I love the contrast of working in London and all the restaurants and west end shows it has to offer, and the ability to walk out of the front door to walk the dog and not see anybody else for an hour!

For more information about Cell and Gene therapy click here.