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  • Name: Tom Woodhouse
  • Job Title: Patent Attorney
  • Location: London
  • University: Oxford
  • Degree: MPhys Physics & MSc Computer Science

I joined Page White & Farrer in 2011 as a graduate and attended the Certificate in Intellectual Property Law course at QMUL the following year with four other trainees from the firm. I passed my UK qualifying exams in 2014, and the EQE pre-qualifying exam in 2015. I will be sitting my full EQEs next year.

Having decided against pursuing academia some time before graduation, by the time it came around I had nevertheless given scant thought to the future and knew next to nothing about the patent profession when embarking on what would later turn out to be a career within it. Thankfully I have to my good fortune found working life at Page White & Farrer consistently interesting and enjoyable. The work is challenging and varied, and whilst support is always forthcoming, opportunities to work independently are plentiful. I attended interviews at three Patent and Trademark firms in total shortly after graduation – the one at PWF was the most welcoming and engaging by some margin, and I accepted the job offer from PWF before hearing back from the other two. Ultimately, I have found the firm a natural fit, and see my ending up here as a fortuitous result of blind luck and instinct.

Whilst training is closely supervised – and in this respect the willingness of members of the firm at every level to set aside considerable amounts of time for one-to-one training is especially noteworthy – it is not unduly regimented, and trainees have significant freedom in choosing whichever learning route best suits them.

PWF encourages trainees to take exams when they feel they have gained sufficient experience, and there is always exam support available at whatever level is required. This varies from practical advice from those who have just sat the exams, study groups with peers and academic and practical advice from qualified attorneys, from newly-qualified to Partner.

The working atmosphere is friendly and informal, and Christmas and summer parties are organised by the firm every year.

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