Duncan Coutts


Duncan graduated with an Honours degree in Chemistry from the University of Glasgow, Scotland, where he undertook a further three years of postgraduate research. He began his professional career in the R&D Department of a major UK company providing nuclear fuel cycle services.  It was here that Duncan began his involvement with Intellectual Property, becoming IP Liaison Manager for the company’s largest division.  He was charged with raising the level of IP awareness in order to bring forward and capture the company’s new innovations.

Duncan was subsequently instrumental in setting up the company’s in-house IP Department and commenced training as a patent agent. After several years practising as a part-qualified attorney, he became the company’s IP Outsourcing and Administration Manager, responsible for the outsourcing of the company’s IP work to several UK private practice firms. He was a member of the company’s IP Management Committee which took decisions on the company’s IP portfolio and controlled an IP budget of £2M.

Duncan’s role included management responsibility for a team handling formalities and renewals and the provision of a company-wide IP information service.

Duncan joined the Manchester office of HGF as a Partner in January 2000. He is responsible for all aspects of formalities in HGF Manchester and provides formalities support to HGF’s Glasgow office. Duncan’s team forms the interface between HGF Manchester’s attorneys, clients and overseas associates, as well as dealing directly with IP Offices in the UK and Europe. The key focus is to ensure that client’s needs are met and that all key deadlines are dealt with in a timely and professional manner.

Duncan is an associate member of the Chartered Institute of Patent Agents, having successfully completed the Certificate in Intellectual Property Law course at Queen Mary and Westfield College, University of London. In all, he provides almost 30 years of 360° IP experience and an inherent understanding of the client’s perspective.