Our attorney team at HGF has deep knowledge of plant science.  Our attorneys’ academic, research background or professional experience is plant biology and the relevant technologies.  Our practical professional work in the sector includes genetically modified crop plants, algal biotechnology and biofuels, genetic control of plant development, post-transcriptional control of gene expression in plants, plant breeding technologies (e.g. embryogenesis, double haploidy generation, creating stable epigenetic variants), plant protection products, secondary plant products, biocontrol agents, crop and horticulture storage, supply chain/logistics monitoring and analytics, arboricultural methods, seed treatments, seed priming, and diagnostic testing.  

HGF's specialist plant science team is perfectly placed within the industry to provide IP resources to the AgBio and plant science sector, aiding clients with investments, decision-making and the implementation of technical solutions. As well as a fundamental understanding of the science, our teams are genuinely dedicated to seeing present and future innovation having direct material effects. Whether consulting, obtaining rights or advising on litigation, our team is uniquely positioned to provide a full legal service.

Core areas of expertise include:

  • Patents for technical innovation, e.g. breeding, GM plants, seeds and seed treatment, crop protection, nutrient and water supply, algal production, machinery and equipment, processing and diagnostic testing.
  • Plant Variety Protection
  • Confidential Information
  • Material Transfer Agreements
  • International Treaty impacts
  • Database Rights and Copyright
  • Trademarks

Our team

The HGF AgBio and Plant Science team is small, but genuinely specialist. The team is headed by Dr Richard Williams, who has over 20 years’ experience in the patent profession and an academic background in plant science as a post-doctoral plant scientist at East Malling, Kent. Punita Shah is an experienced attorney who has worked in the plant sciences field throughout her career, and for many years for one of our major corporate clients. Dr Farzana Mia graduated from University of Cambridge and then did research at the John Innes Centre.  

Janet Knowles is a lawyer who deals with transactional IP and related anti-trust issues, particularly in the science and technology fields. She has advised and lectured on Material Transfer Agreements, R&D collaborations and IP licences, such as a case relating to increasing yield of Artemisia annua. She is one of a limited number of UK IP licensing professionals recommended by the international guide IAM 1000 - Guide to the World's Patent Practitioners.

To contact the AgBio team, please send an e-mail to rwilliams@hgf.com.

Please click here to request to join our AgBio+IP LinkedIn group which discusses the legal developments and the impact of IP and how it helps in protecting commercially useful technologies in the AgBio sector.

Our clients

Our clients in the field are various, based all around the world, and include plant science and agriculture faculties of Universities and Research Institutes, spin-outs, start-ups, SMEs and major global corporates.


All latest updates