Tom Leonard


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“I am a patent attorney specialising in life sciences and have been in the profession for nearly 11 years. I first found out about the profession after attending a careers event run by my university on alternative careers for scientists. There was a patent attorney speaking there, and I thought it sounded fascinating. I studied pharmacology and then musical theatre, and the bright lights of the EPO were enough to tempt me away from a (potential and probably unlikely) career treading the boards. I do not regret that decision.

I’m now a partner at a leading firm in London and I am loving it. Something that is not necessarily appreciated when looking for a career as a patent attorney is that this job is a people job. Progressing in your career is all about meeting and getting on with people, and establishing and growing client relationships. The profession is small, and there will be people that you work with for your entire career. And I love that. Of course, you have to be a good patent attorney too! But for me the people side is what is most rewarding.

More recently I have been involved in setting up IP Out, the support and networking group for LGBT people working in IP. The response so far has been phenomenal and we hope the group continues to go from strength to strength.”

Patent Attorney & Partner / Kilburn & Strode LLP / London

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