About HGF

Community engagement

Our vision is to be the leading IP firm in Europe. To achieve this we believe that we need to be a responsible business which earns the respect of all our stakeholders through a clear and sustainable strategy which adds value to all those who connect with us.

Led from the top by our Board and in particular by our Chair Jason Lumber and our Director of Strategic Development Alastair Da Costa we are at the beginning of our journey, but have ambitious plans to ensure a positive impact on our environment and create a lasting and positive difference.

Social impact

We provide opportunities for our colleagues to connect with students and to provide mentoring across STEM subjects in different universities across all our communities. Some of our attorneys run workshops for students at universities, colleges and schools. This is also supported by our internal HGF Women in Stem group led by HGF Partner and sponsor, Rachel Fetches.

HGF also has a number of employees who are committee, board members or governors in different educational organisations.

Sustainability

Led by Board sponsor Alastair Da Costa, we seek to create a firm that is sustainable thorough our environmental responsibilities, governance and also our social impact on the science and innovation community which is supported by initiatives across D&I where we seek to create an inclusive culture across the firm.

Giving and volunteering

HGF works to support a range of charitable organisations within our communities across Europe. Initiatives include sponsorship of In2Science which supports young people form low income backgrounds through their programme. In addition to making donations to charities selected by our employees, we encourage active involvement through a range of fund raising activities for the firm's nominated charity of the year which launches in May 2021. We empower our colleagues to connect with charities which mean something to them and offer 16 hours per annum to volunteer. We are delighted that a number of our employees are engaged as trustees and active members of local and national charities.

Janine Swarbrick, Senior Patent Attorney

“I am a STEM Ambassador, which means I am part of a network of scientists who are involved in all different outreach projects to encourage, support and inspire the next generation of scientists. For example, I held a virtual Q&A with Nottingham College at the end of 2020 to discuss paths into the profession. I am also a “scientist in residence” with the Lab_13 initiative, helping to plan and run sessions where primary school children can perform experiments and get a flavour for life as a real scientist. I am involved with Ada Lovelace Day celebrations organised with Boots and BioCity, where year 7-8 girls find out about opportunities in science careers and undertake science challenges. Last year I ran an inventor challenge asking the students to invent something to help their school. I also participated in a “Career Office Hours” event with BioCity in April 2021 for a Q&A session with life science undergraduates looking for support to enter the workplace”

Dr Claire Irvine, Partner

“I am a mentor for The Crankstart Careers Mentoring Programme at the University of Oxford. The programme matches Crankstart Scholars with an experienced professional in an industry/sector which the student is personally interested in pursuing. I remember how daunting it seemed when I decided I wanted a less conventional career for a scientist and one needs great faith in one’s abilities to tread off less worn tracks. I recognise that as a young graduate I would have appreciated gaining some advice and support from someone in the patent profession before taking on the challenge of gaining a training place. This has not become easier whilst the number of options for joining the IP world have increased. I enjoy providing my knowledge and experience to students informally and helping mentees to see attributes they were unaware could be the key to following me on a challenging but rewarding career path.” 

Rigel Moss McGrath, Partner

“I support a couple of local charities in particular, Nanny Biscuit and Warrington Youth Club (an Onside Youth Zone). The support that I can provide ranges from providing pro bono advice, to delivering food parcels, to litter picking, and later this year taking part in a sponsored climb up Kilimanjaro! I would love to say that I am driven by a strong moral duty, but the reality is that it is hugely personally rewarding. Being involved with these charities forces me to shift my perspective, to try and get a broader view and a better understanding of life, and in doing that I spend time with people that I probably otherwise wouldn’t have met, working towards specific goals. The shared experience is incredibly gratifying.”

Alastair Da Costa, Strategic Development Director

“I am a government appointed Commissioner to the UK Social Mobility Commission. It aims to promote improvements in social mobility and hold the government to account on social mobility improvement in the UK. I believe firmly in improving the availability of opportunity, for example through education, to as many people in as many communities as possible; my interest in joining the SMC came from a desire to be involved in influencing how policy can be developed to improve social mobility through the availability of more opportunity.”