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Is now the time to give your career a major shake-up? We think so

spruson article

We’re recruiting for one of the most successful practices in Australia, Spruson & Ferguson, who are on the look-out for qualified patent attorneys with a variety of backgrounds to make the leap and join them from the UK. The firm has offices spread across most major cities and is a top tier IP practice with highly qualified and experienced professionals. Their attorneys work directly with a significant number of local Australian clients, as well as having direct access to a highly valuable portfolio of clients across APAC through their various other office locations.

Spruson & Ferguson has the benefit of being part of a larger IP community, which ensures they can provide an unparalleled support and administrative structure for their attorneys, as well as the opportunity to work and gain experience from IP and legal professionals with varying backgrounds and skillsets to their own.

“Spruson & Ferguson companies are incorporated entities owned by IPH Limited, a public company that is the holding company for a number of intellectual property professional services and adjacent businesses operating under different brands in a range of jurisdictions.”

Experienced Patent Attorney, Electrical Engineering, Australia

The firm is looking for at least one foreign qualified patent attorney to help assist with their international client base. There will also be the opportunity to cross qualify and work closely with clients local to the region.

Qualified Patent Attorney, Chemistry, Australia

Spruson & Ferguson is ramping up their recruitment across a number of disciplines, chemistry being one of them. They’re in need of qualified patent attorneys with strong UK and/or European experience to join them and continue their career in sunnier climes.

Biotechnology Patent Attorney, Australia

They’re looking for an attorney with a technical background in biotechnology with likely a few years’ post qualified experience.  They’re flexible on your experience level however, as long as you’re qualified and can work reasonably independently. They’re also pretty flexible as to where they can locate you if you have a preference.

Fellows and Associates has substantial experience in moving candidates cross-jurisdictionally and is an excellent position to guide and advise on the relocation process. In addition to this, Spruson & Ferguson has also welcomed a number of overseas qualified attorneys and is fully aware of what it takes to integrate them smoothly and successfully.

So, whatever your reason for hoping to move to Australia, February 2023 could be your moment.  Well, if you’re a patent attorney anyway.

Fellows and Associates hire a head of social media

_Fellows__Associates_hire_a_Head_of_Social_Media._1.pngCarys Bello has joined Fellows and Associates as Head of Social Media and under duress she's agreed to talk about it

Fellows and Associates thought it was about time for an upgrade. With this in mind I've joined... Fellows and Associates as Head of Social Media. I, Carys Bello, come from an experienced background in content creation, particularly in video production and editing. From creating digital campaigns and advertising I am very passionate about pushing companies towards a more digital and visual era.

For me, a 21-year-old growing up with social media evolving, I constantly consume visual content on a daily basis but it’s not just me. The average screen time for users in the United Kingdom in 2021 was four hours per day on their mobile phones, this indicates that the mass consumption of social media is growing as it was an extra 3.5 hours more than the years before. This makes it one of the most effective ways for companies to be heard and known and most importantly generate leads.

I think it’s more important now than ever for recruiters, particularly within the IP sector, to start gravitating towards the new digital age of things. In our case, social media allows us to target professionals with the credentials we are seeking as well as just reaching vastly more people. A social media strategy can enable companies to theoretically reach millions instantaneously. Social media is a great way of engaging passive candidates by spreading information about job openings as oppose to active candidates who traditionally engage through online job boards.

With me around, you should start to notice things shaking up at Fellows and Associates! I’m here to build Fellows and Associates online presence to continue show that we are a company you can trust. Through consistency in our posting and striking content to increase our engagement you do not want to miss out on what we’ve got going on. 

Carys Bello

Is hiring from overseas on the increase for British Intellectual Property firms?

bigstock Future Expectations 3181101

Yes.

I sense you want a little more context. Oh, alright then. There appears to be a significant shortage of candidates in the UK at around Associate level for patent attorneys and also, more recently, patent litigators up to and including Senior Associate. We’ve speculated as to why this might be on previous occasions, firms are better at holding on to their staff; flexible working minimises some of the conflicts that might exist in an office; nervousness of the wider political/economic situation, etc. This lack of resources does create opportunity, particularly for candidates interested in a move to the UK.

There is a mixed opinion on jurisdictions. For patent litigators the preference seems to be for attorneys from Australia, New Zealand or South Africa with similar legal systems and hopefully therefore a shallow learning curve. For patent attorneys we’ve been looking at any EPC contracting states as well as the USA, Australia, New Zealand and South Africa.

From a technical point of view, for patent attorneys recently our international searches have been focused on biotechnology. There seems to be significant difficulties finding Associate level patent attorneys for those roles in the UK (incidentally if you are a UK patent attorney in this technical area looking for a job, please get in touch!). For patent litigators there has been much more flexibility but ideally a scientific background plus demonstrable litigation experience.

UK firms seem to be more relaxed about visa sponsorship than in the past. Paradoxically, the UK’s decision to leave the EU and hence lose freedom of movement has meant that firms are perhaps more open minded to look at employing attorneys from around the world. The other impact of Brexit has been a not insubstantial uptick in firms investing in offices outside of the UK which has improved the diversity of the workforce and encouraged increased open-minded thinking.

There are a few things you should consider though before grabbing your nearest dinghy and hopping across the channel. The UK patent profession pays well, we’re on a par with most of Europe with the exception of Germany and Switzerland. It is also, in all likelihood, easier to become a Partner within a UK firm than either of those countries so the long term locally could be very attractive. However, if you are moving from the USA, expect a large pay drop. Most UK firms offer a fantastic work/life balance, with billable hours targets in the 700-900 hours per annum range, hybrid and remote working, part-time options and very little presenteeism. For patent litigators, remuneration is often higher than comparable European countries and our legal profession has a significant proportion of the world’s leading firms.

Cross-qualification is not necessarily straightforward, however. If you’re a qualified European patent attorney, you would not face too many difficulties. You would likely need to qualify in the UK as well, but you would have exemptions from many of the examinations. If you are qualified outside of the EPC, it’s a much longer road. The process can take 3-4 years and you would need to take examinations at both UK and EPO level. For patent attorneys we think it would be something you need to be fully invested in, this is a lifestyle move where you are committing to a number of years in the UK. For litigators, depending on jurisdiction, you would most likely be able cross-qualify as a UK solicitor. You can read more on that process here. It is not necessarily easy but not too onerous either.

The best time to move to the UK if you’re a patent attorney is probably when you’ve had somewhere around 3-5 years’ experience in the profession in total (not PQE). For litigators, perhaps up to 7 or so years’ total experience.

Over the years we’ve helped numerous attorneys change jurisdiction so if you are interested in an international move, we’d love to chat. We’re always happy to have an exploratory conversation, try and answer as many of your questions as you can and then you can determine if this type of move might be for you. 

Pete Fellows

Fellows and Associates

Media

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61 Bridge Street,
Kington
HR5 3DJ

+44 (0) 207 903 5019.
 
 
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