• Name: Lewis Bell
  • Job Title: Technical Assistant
  • Location: Cambridge
  • University: Cambridge
  • Degree: PhD Molecular Biology
  • Areas of Specialism: Life Sciences

After my PhD, I embarked on a postdoctoral research project which I thoroughly enjoyed but proved that academia wasn’t for me. I had learned of the patent profession from several talks and friends who had begun training, and I was lucky enough to be invited to several interviews for trainee positions, including at Sagittarius IP through a recruitment agency. After two very friendly interviews with the Partners of the firm and the senior attorneys I was offered a position in the Cambridge office. What made Sagittarius IP stand out for me was their personable approach. There was no overly-formal “interview day” with many candidates competing and being shepherded together. I have subsequently found that this extends from the way clients are handled, right through to HR, pastoral care and training.

Working at Sagittarius IP is challenging but never daunting. The approachability of everyone, from newly qualified and senior attorneys to the Partners, means that there really is no such thing as a daft question. For example, when I first started a series of in-house tutorials was arranged to prepare me for attendance at Queen Mary. These tutorials were given by each of the qualified attorneys, senior attorneys and Partners.

Since starting at Sagittarius IP in 2017, I have been involved in many different aspects of the job and given a lot of responsibility. In my first year, I was taken to Munich for an appeal hearing. Since then, I have worked on several drafts, been involved in an opposition and met with multiple clients to discuss their inventions and patent filings. I have also recently begun to work in-house with one of our clients. This involves working on-site with the client one day each week, discussing filing and patent strategy with the scientists directly, and has exposed me to a totally different way of working.

The toughest part of the job is obviously the studying. There is a lot to cover and the learning curve is steep – law is very different from science! I also found it difficult to get back into studying having been outside of that environment for several years. However, I soon found a routine, and this has been key. Everyone at Sagittarius IP has helped me achieve this and is always on hand should I need any advice, study materials or just a friendly ear.

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