Dr Richard Williams


Technical focus in the life sciences field.  Combines seasoned commercial experience with forensic level, multidisciplinary understanding of patent law, science and technology.  Practice experience covers due diligence and opinion work; portfolio management, European Patent Office (EPO) oppositions, pan-European restorations of lapsed rights; Appeals to Technical, Legal and Enlarged Boards of the EPO, advocacy and originating drafting of specifications.

Richard studied Plant Science at Oxford and then did a PhD research at Aberystwyth, followed by post-doctoral research with European funding at the-then government run East Malling Research Station.

Leaving the lab, Richard first trained with a long established and highly respected London patent firm. For the biotech boom years of the mid-1990s to early 2000s, Richard was part of the niche life sciences practice of a then younger, start-up patent firm. During that time Richard worked with a range of mainly US-based companies and inventors focussing on many of the basic disruptive technologies that shape the biosciences industry today, including recombinant protein expression systems, transgenic animals, gene chip manufacture, gene sequencing methods and equipment and polymerase chain reaction (PCR) based diagnostics.

Richard is more recently engaged working on technologies such as genetic testing, biomarkers and oncology diagnostics, artificial meat, algae and biofuel production, insect repellents, gene splicing tools, e.g. Crispr technology, plants and plant breeding tools and biodegradable packaging materials.

Richard has broad experience of meeting the commercial needs of clients both in the UK and overseas, ranging from individual inventors, private start-ups, universities and their spin-outs, research institutes, to big pharma. This includes original drafting of patent applications, strategic planning, due diligence, opinions and contentious work, much of the latter being before the EPO.

Richard has always been part of the HGF opposition-appeals team and has long experience in this area, including before the EPO Enlarged Board of Appeal. As well as these core areas of particular technical knowledge and experience, He has an excellent record when sorting out pure play administrative/legal problems, such as restoration of unintentionally lapsed or dropped cases or re-establishment of good title in complex transaction situations.

Richard happens to be one of only a very few patent attorneys working in the life sciences area who has specific plant science academics and a research background. He also has an LLM in Intellectual Property Litigation (Nottingham Law School, 2005).

Outside of professional work, Richard is a long time member of his local parish church choir and occasional organ deputy, and he enjoys occasional sailing, skiing, walking, cycling or motorcycling, whenever he can.


 “…excellent knowledge, experience and analytical acumen…”. (Legal500 - 2011)

 “…superb…”’ (Legal500 - 2012)