Tommy McKenna, Senior Associate, IP and Technology, Protection and Enforcement
I am an intellectual property lawyer in Fieldfisher's IP Enforcement and Litigation Group. I trained at the firm and currently hold the position of Senior Associate. Whilst my practice covers the full range of intellectual property rights, I most frequently advise on, and litigate, patent disputes.
Before switching to law, I graduated with a BEng in Electronic Engineering. Due to this background, much of my work is focused on highly technical sectors, with examples including the mobile telecommunications, mechanical engineering, electronics and medical device sectors; a recent highlight was being lead associate in a team advising GlaxoSmithKline in a global patent litigation dispute with Pfizer in relation to Meningitis B vaccines. I have a particular interest in the renewable energy and clean-tech sectors and regularly attend industry events in these areas.
As well as litigation before the UK courts (I have experience before the High Court, Intellectual Property and Enterprise Court and Court of Appeal) I have experience in the coordination of multi-jurisdictional patent litigation, working with legal advisers from across the globe. My practice also encompasses advising and assisting in relation to opposition and appeal proceedings before the UK Intellectual Property Office and European Patent Office.
I also regularly advise clients on contractual disputes (which, again, typically relate to subject matter within highly technical sectors) and have experience in data protection and privacy work, focusing on contentious matters including cyber security and data breach response.
I have a good understanding of the pressures, demands and priorities faced by in-house counsel, having spent time on secondment at MTV Networks Europe (a division of Viacom).
I regularly teach and lecture on various intellectual property rights and related issues, including to: students at the University of Cambridge (teaching the intellectual property element of the Masters in Bioscience Enterprise degree); delegates on the Music Publishers Association's induction course; and numerous Fieldfisher client events.
My professional memberships include the International Association for the Protection of Intellectual Property (AIPPI) and IPSoc, a society for junior IP practitioners. I have been an active committee member of IPSoc since 2012, during which time I have held a number of executive roles (Social Secretary, Publicity Secretary and, twice, Membership Secretary). I have also completed the University of Oxford Postgraduate Diploma in Intellectual Property Law and Practice.
I have been listed in the Managing IP 'IP Stars Handbook' for 2017 as "a notable associate" and, for 2018, as "a Rising Star".
Outside of work, I spend my time watching Liverpool Football Club and listening to punk music.