Sourcing and securing a role in Intellectual Property is proving to be:
Very much in high demand again. The IP recruitment landscape is, in many ways, returning to a pre-pandemic level of high vacancy supply but relatively low Attorney availability. The pendulum has swung back to an increasing number of roles available once again (particularly in private practice) versus a relatively low supply of experienced and skilled Patent and Trade Mark Attorneys who are committed to moving roles.
Changes in the market have mirrored other similar legal sectors and jurisdictions, principally in the way legal professionals are working nowadays; both in terms of geographical location, and their work/life balance. The majority of firms we’ve spoken to in recent months have been encouraging their employees to shape how their respective working models will work, with several currently favouring a combination of 2 days in the office and 3 working from home.
As a consultancy, we are also adapting to the needs of both clients and candidates in this ever-evolving way of balancing home and work, with regard to presenting new opportunities in the market.
The IP skillsets in high demand include:
Biotechnology Patent Attorneys - especially finalists/newly-qualified and post-qualified CPA/EPA Attorneys who are sought-after to join expanding Life Sciences practices in Tier 1 and Tier 2 firms.
Trade Mark Attorneys - also increasingly in demand again, particularly for those who have proven client management skills and a capacity for Oppositions and litigious work. The demand for Trade Mark professionals with cross-functional sector experience is also high – FMCG, Fintech, leisure, sports and fashion branding in particular.
Likewise, for those Patent Attorneys with AI, Software and Electronics experience, vacancies are increasing in firms looking to bolster their existing teams with additional resource owing to new client instructions.
Whether you’re EPA, CPA or dual-qualified, new roles are becoming available for commercially astute, progressive and career-oriented fee-earners.
The ideal Patent Attorney candidate checklist:
Excellent knowledge in their respective field, demonstrating their credibility and how they have positively influenced team targets or business revenue.
Ease in relationship building with various stakeholders, whether in industry or in a private practice environment
Keeps up to date with changes in the law, as well as technological advances – sometimes in fields outside of their comfort zone!
Advising clients on their respective filing strategies – but not necessarily choosing the line of least resistance.
Keeping core skills like drafting and prosecution up to date, and balancing these skills accordingly.
Relishes client meetings, networking and business development to expand their contacts for future business. Trainees are encouraged to foster relationship-building as early as possible in their careers.
An ability to work proactively as an individual Attorney, but also possessing a genuine capacity for working in a team – especially for the time-intensive contentious oppositions and hearings.
Is commercially astute and recognises the limitations of some clients; an ability to say “no” to clients can be smarter than taking on too much work for the sake of it.
Someone who is good-humoured, even tempered and possesses good inter-personal skills will go far!
Know what you want from your next career move, but remain open minded about what that role may look like.
IP private practices are now:
Open to people who want to work on a much more flexible basis. The positive changes arising in a post-pandemic world have seen many firms altering their working model to fit around employees and their requirements – one size does not necessarily have to fit all either.
Agile-working is no longer a buzzword, it’s a practical business model for firms to shape their recruitment and retention policies. The main upshot for firms being that geographical catchment areas are no longer as limiting as they once were. For example, a Cambridge-based Attorney may have previously baulked at a 5 day London commute to a new firm, but two days will be deemed much more feasible.
To discuss your IP recruitment enquiry, whether candidate or client, please contact:
James Dawes, Executive Consultant (IP) on 0208 185 0754 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org
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