Intellectual Property: Getting the Best out of External IP Counsel

Sophie Braithwaite, In-house Legal Counsel, Airwave
Julian Potter, Partner, W P Thompson
Gill Smaggasgale, Partner, W P Thompson

This session will focus on two areas. First, an update on recent developments in company law, including the relaxation of the capital maintenance rules in the Companies Act 2006. Second, consideration of the Companies (Cross-Border) Merger Regulations 2007 and its increasing use by groups seeking to consolidate their group structures.

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UK Intellectual Property General May 2013

Sophie Braithwaite


Sophie Braithwaite works as In-house Legal Counsel at Airwave Solutions Limited (“Airwave”), a technology & telecommunications company which delivers critical communications solutions both within the UK and Internationally. Sophie trained as a solicitor at Wragge & Co in London. Prior to training she worked for several years in the Food & Drink/ Media sectors, as a Business Affairs Executive for Jamie Oliver Limited - supporting Jamie Oliver’s range of businesses in their commercial endeavours. Most notably Sophie was responsible for the management of the company’s Intellectual Property portfolio.

Julian Potter


Dr Julian Potter graduated from the University of London in 1986 with a degree in physics with microcomputer electronics and in 1990 obtained a PhD in millimetrewave physics. He is a Chartered Patent Attorney and a European Patent Attorney and his practice encompasses all physics-based disciplines, in particular telecommunications and associated technologies. He has wide experience in drafting and prosecuting patent applications and representing clients before both the UK Intellectual Property Office and the European Patent Office. Julian is also an experienced Patent Attorney Litigator and has been involved in both Patents Court and Patents County Court litigation covering a wide range of technologies from cryptographic key exchange architecture (Irdeto v Telewest), design methods for oil exploration drill bits (Halliburton v Smith), GPS applications (GPS industries v Prolink) and packaging films (Innovia Films Ltd v Frito-Lay North America Inc.). Whilst managing the UK patent department of a leading global cellular telecommunications company, he gained wide experience of the commercial and strategic value of intellectual property on a global scale and regularly advises clients on the development, exploitation and enforcement of a global intellectual property portfolio.

Gill Smaggasgale


Gill Smaggasgale has an honours degree in Chemistry from Exeter University. She is a Chartered Patent Attorney, a European Patent Attorney and a Registered Trade Mark Attorney. Gill’s practice encompasses a broad range of technologies with her core practice being in the fields of life science, medical device and chemical processing fields. Gill is a partner in the firm of WP Thompson. Prior to moving to private practice, Gill worked first as a research scientist before working in the in-house patent department of a major international company. These experiences enable Gill to bring a true commercial understanding to the protection and exploitation of intellectual property.

W P Thompson


WP Thompson was established in 1873 by Mr. William Phillips Thompson. Since then, the firm has expanded both geographically and in terms of its areas of expertise to make it a truly twenty-first century practice offering a full range of Intellectual Property (IP) services not limited just to the field of patent, trade marks and designs filings. Our attorneys have a wealth of experience in working with clients across all technical fields and in advising on a wide variety of IP matters. This includes in particular, securing the most appropriate, cost-effective and commercially valuable, protection for our clients’ intellectual investment and innovation. The firm also has considerable expertise and a proven track record in contentious IP matters, especially in oppositions before the European Patent Office and, in the case of Trade Marks, oppositions at both the Office for Harmonization in the Internal Market (OHIM) in Alicante, and the United Kingdom Intellectual Property Office (UKIPO). Additionally, our professionals, especially those qualified as Patent Attorney Litigators, and/or practising with the a Design and Trade Mark Litigator’s Certificate, are accustomed to assisting clients in the preparation, initiating and management of litigation both in the UK and abroad.



Airwave Solutions Limited designed, built and operates the largest public safety radio communications network in the world, delivering critical voice and data communications to organisations that provide vital public services. It was also an official supplier to London 2012, delivering a radio communications network and solutions to over 15,000 end users. Whilst Sophie supports the business across the full commercial spectrum in a general in-house role, she has an interest in and specialises in Intellectual Property and business innovation.

UK Intellectual Property General May 2013

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