2 May 2016

Venner Shipley Adds Legal Practice

We are delighted to announce the creation of a full service legal practice with the appointment of a team of lawyers.

James Tumbridge and Paul Harris, two award-winning intellectual property lawyers, join the London office as partners from US law firm Pillsbury. James and Paul bring a wide-ranging background in IP litigation and transactions, dispute resolution and government relations, with a client base that spans industries and disciplines, including consumer goods, medical devices, electronics, food, luxury products, healthcare and lifestyle. Joining with them are associates Katerina Woolhouse and Robert Peake. The talented team has worked together for many years and offers advice in English, Italian, French and Russian.   

Managing Partner, Jan Walaski, said of the deal “We are delighted that this outstanding team is joining us. It is a significant development for the firm, and will allow us to offer the full spectrum of legal services to our existing and future clients. The team comes with an excellent reputation, and an ambitious and energetic approach that will be the perfect complement to our existing IP prosecution practice. At the same time, it allows us to offer a complete dispute resolution service, extending our strong patent opposition practice to include litigation throughout the UK and Europe, including in the upcoming Unified Patent Court.”

James Tumbridge said “The practice of IP in Europe is going through significant changes, and clients want a complete IP service. Venner Shipley are an excellent practice, providing the right European platform for the age of the Unified Patent Court. Importantly with our team, Venner Shipley can now offer every aspect of IP service from conception and registration, through commercialisation and dispute resolution. It’s an exciting opportunity and we are really pleased to be joining Venner Shipley.” 

James Tumbridge
James Tumbridge trained as an English barrister and has practised in the US, Canada and the UK across a range of litigious matters, but particularly IP, and has an international reputation for his alternative dispute resolution work. In May 2012 The Lawyer described Tumbridge in a feature of ‘Bright sparks, prior to The Lawyer Awards’.  Tumbridge was short listed for two lawyer of the year awards, and won 3 litigation lawyer of the year awards across 2013-14, as well as being recognized globally as a patent and trade mark lawyer. His client work is also unique having organised participation in U.K. trade missions for clients to Russia, China, the Middle East and Canada. Tumbridge has served as an ad hoc advisor to U.K. Ministers, Members of Parliament and Members of the European Parliament on IP and dispute matters. In his role as a Common Councilman with the City of London Corporation, he frequently deals with senior government representatives. His considerable engagement with policymakers gives him unique insight into how to help assist clients in preparing for legislative changes and regulation compliance. Tumbridge is also a qualified mediator listed with the World Intellectual Property Organization, the U.K. Intellectual Property Office, IDRS, ADR Group and numerous other alternative dispute resolution providers.

Paul Harris
Paul Harris is a leading IP litigator with more than 25 years’ expertise, having been involved in a number of prominent IP cases and recognized by the World Trademark Review and Chambers U.K. as a leading figure on trade marks.  He successfully defended Stanley Black & Decker in an important patent litigation case and handled the Wagamama restaurant chain case, which was the first of its kind to consider the UK Trade Marks Act 1994 and its implementation of the European Trade Marks Directive. His non-contentious work extends to the sale and licensing of businesses, the global registration of trade marks and in copyright issues for technology companies in particular. He has worked on contentious matters relating to patents, including complex chemical cases, electronics and mechanical patents, and also advises on international licensing arrangements and programmes for registering trade marks overseas.  Harris earned his Chemistry BSc at Keele University prior to qualifying as a solicitor. He also teaches on the Intellectual Property Diploma Course at the University of Oxford.