Australia is a split-profession jurisdiction. Solicitors listed tend to focus on the strategic planning and preparation of cases, with advocacy in court undertaken by barristers. There are also a handful of dual-qualified practitioners who cover all aspects of representation. A growing trend in the market is for Australian patent attorney firms to develop their own boutique litigation practices, while general practice firms are also active in this area.
One of the few countries with a split profession, Australia is home to a number of barristers who count patent litigation as a specialty. In the life sciences area the following counsel come strongly recommended by instructing lawyers and clients. Anthony Bannon SC of Tenth Floor Chambers is a “great lateral thinker and a razor-sharp, ruthless and dogged cross-examiner”. Commentators note that Bannon is “enjoying a purple patch of success at the moment” and praise his “commercial awareness”. At 5 Wentworth Chambers, the “fearless” Stephen Burley SC is a recent silk with a special interest in life sciences. Instructing lawyers describe him as “practical, user friendly, relaxed and calm under pressure”. Commentators admire the “organised and disciplined” style of Bruce Caine SC of Aickin Chambers; instructing parties appreciate his “well-planned, thorough, tactical approach and structured, economical advocacy style”. David Kenneth Catterns QC of Nigel Bowen Chambers is described as “a nimble strategist with an eye for detail and an ability to absorb a lot of information”. He is also praised for his “calm and measured approach, which is effective before judges and tribunals”. Sources conclude that he is an “innovative advocate with great integrity, and without doubt one of Australia's finest”. With a BSc in pharmacology, Katrina Howard SC of 15 Wardell Chambers is well placed to cover the field. Interviewees highlight her “remarkable depth of scientific understanding” and state that “her ability to get details out of a technical witness is second to none”. Owen Dixon Chambers tenant Ross Macaw QC is “a succinct advocate, great at absorbing complex technical information and articulating it clearly to a courtroom”. Macaw is also lauded for his cross-examination skills. The “solid and highly regarded” David Shavin QC is “a striking advocate” who has acted in some of Australia's most high-profile pharmaceutical cases. Shavin is a member of Owen Dixon Chambers.
Chemistry graduate Richard Hamer is based in Allens Arthur Robinson's Melbourne office. Market commentators praise his “incredible knowledge”; he is also seen as a “tough and shrewd litigator”, with an impressive client base. In the Allens Sydney office, the veteran Philip Kerr is a “strategic practitioner and fine advocate who knows all the tricks of the trade”; he is “a go-to name for innovators in Australia”. Jones Day’s recent recruitment of the “highly regarded, sharp and lateral thinking” Anthony Muratore from Gilbert + Tobin has gained the firm a significant innovator-focused practice: commentators agree that Muratore is “among the biggest names on the Australian patents scene and clients are sure to follow him”. Key to Davies Collison Cave's litigation capability was the recruitment of the “seasoned and thoroughly reliable” Ian Pascarl in 2008. Pascarl has a varied practice that in recent years has leaned towards pharmaceutical patent litigation.
Griffith Hack’s Melbourne-based Wayne Condon has been extending his life sciences work of late and “is making a mark for himself as a smart choice for generics”. Commentators note that Condon has “an excellent understanding of the academic side of cases”, coupled with “great tactical insights thanks to his wealth of experience”. Science graduate and Davies Collison Cave partner Richard Jarvis is noted for his appeals work. In Melbourne, Mallesons Stephen Jacques' operations are headed up by the “solid and well-respected” Wayne McMaster. As well as being a lawyer, McMaster is a qualified patent attorney and as such he is well positioned to cover a wide range of issues for his life sciences litigation clients. Despite the reduction in personnel at Mallesons, interviewees maintain that partner Kim O'Connell is “doing a fine job of maintaining the Sydney practice and getting some great work through their doors”. In Blake Dawson’s Melbourne office, Mary Padbury is hailed for her “tremendous flair and talent”. Recent work includes defending Smith & Nephew in patent infringement proceedings.
Blake Dawson’s Peter Chalk covers all kinds of contentious and non-contentious life sciences work and is “another excellent member of the Melbourne team”. Clayton Utz’s John Collins is recognised as “a staple of the Australian patent litigation scene”. His work on the *Gemzar* case has brought him back to prominence in the life sciences field. Chemistry graduate Grant Fisher heads Blake Dawson’s IP practice from the firm's Melbourne office. He is also a registered patent attorney and covers the full gamut of patent proceedings, with a particular focus on pharmaceutical work. Freehills’ Sydney-based partner Sue Gilchrist is a highly experienced IP practitioner with a broad practice including life sciences patent litigation. Corrs Chambers Westgarth’s Sydney-based partner Odette Gourley is “extremely good in this area” and “a firm favourite with several big pharmaceutical clients”. Her practice covers regulatory law as well as patent litigation, and she is an expert on brand strategy. Recent work includes resolving a range of issues for Nycomed and Solvay. Shaun McVicar co-chairs Freehills’ pharmaceuticals group from Melbourne. He is involved in significant and continuing work for Canadian company Apotex and is acting for Kinetic Concepts in a medical devices case. Simon Williams is with Spruson & Ferguson Lawyers, the litigation arm of the top patent attorney firm. He is described as an “excellent operator, great at everything in this field”. He is also qualified as a barrister and solicitor in the High Court of New Zealand.
Biochemistry graduate John Lee is based in Griffith Hack's Sydney office and is a qualified patent attorney. Commentators praise his technical comprehension and mark him as “a promising prospect”. In Sydney, Blake Dawson’s Ben Miller covers various patent matters. He holds a degree in biochemistry and molecular biology, and is described as a “strong competitor” for litigation work. Melbourne-based partner Matthew Swinn at Corrs Chambers Westgarth is cited as “a bright and capable practitioner and a tough opponent”. His work includes defending Pfizer's patents surrounding Viagra and work relating to Lundbeck's patented drug Lexapro. "Promising up and comer" Lisa Taliadoros has arrived at Jones Day with Anthony Muratore, having worked alongside him for several years.