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  • Name: Stewart Eccles
  • Job Title: Trainee Patent Attorney
  • Location: Leeds
  • University: Leeds
  • Degree: PhD Organic Chemistry

I came across the patent profession quite by chance when searching for chemistry related jobs. After investigating the Patent Attorney profession I concluded that this was an extremely interesting career path that would suit my career goals, combining science, business and law. I discovered the Inside Careers website which presented me with a wealth of information about the profession and a number of vacancies for trainee positions.

I applied for my position at HGF due to the extremely positive things I had heard about the firm. When I joined HGF it was a relatively young firm, yet the firm was growing at an incredible rate (this continues to be true now, having eight offices spread across Scotland and England) and I was eager to join a firm with a positive future. I was also attracted to the varied type of work carried out by HGF. I have worked for a range of HGF clients from large pharmaceutical companies through to SMEs and individual inventors, each offering unique rewards and challenges.

From my very first day at HGF I worked on clients’ cases. The work was challenging and did seem daunting to begin with but I was given guidance at every step of the way. Upon completing a task I would sit down with my supervising partner and discuss what I had done and how it could be improved. In addition to this on-the-job training, the firm has supported me whilst training to qualify as a patent attorney through in-house tutorials and the provision of a training budget to buy external resources.

In addition to this training, HGF holds an annual CPD conference where a variety of key seminars are given by internal and external speakers on current hot topics and upcoming changes in IP law. Although my qualification is a priority for the firm, I was nevertheless allowed to progress at my own pace. HGF has proven to be very understanding of the needs of a trainee.

Whilst working at HGF I have been exposed to a variety of subject matter, from cutting edge pharmaceuticals to medical devices to pharmaceutical formulations, and this makes for a diverse working life. No two days are the same. In addition to the high calibre work, HGF is also a very social firm holding regular events, recent examples being walking the Yorkshire Three Peaks and walking up Scarfell Pike as well as monthly office get togethers.

The patent profession is an exhilarating combination of science, business and law and I have no reservations in recommending the profession as a career. I would certainly recommend HGF as a place to learn and grow in a supportive and nurturing environment.

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