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30 Apr 2021

The Role

We are looking for individuals who enjoy learning about cutting-edge research and who want to apply their scientific knowledge to work outside of academia. At Appleyard Lees, you will be able to put your degree to use from day one, as you’ll be working to protect the ground-breaking innovation of some of the world’s most well-known tech companies such as Samsung. The job is intellectually challenging, as you will work on brand new innovation before anyone else hears about it, but it is also rewarding. Many of our clients are developing exciting new Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning technologies, so we are looking for individuals with a background in Computer Science, Mathematics or Electrical Engineering to train with us as a patent attorney.

Ideally, you will have, or be expecting, a good degree or PhD in a discipline which includes modules focussed on AI / machine learning. We will also consider applications from anyone who is currently working as a trainee patent attorney, as well as anyone with industry experience in AI / machine learning. Knowledge of and interest in any of the following areas would be advantageous: machine learning models, image recognition / object detection, speech recognition, natural language processing, and data mining.

You will need to be articulate and good at communicating, particularly in writing. Our work can sometimes be multi-disciplinary and collaborative and so you will need to work with attorneys in other disciplines. For example, some of our clients use AI to identify and develop new drugs or use software to control medical robotic devices. So, you will need to have good people skills and be able to work in a team.

You will be trained by our Partners and Senior Associates, and from your first day you will be working on real work for our clients. You will be able to join meetings with inventors, watch our qualified attorneys when they participate in hearings/trials, and learn from our talented paralegals.  As our clients file patent applications in the UK and Europe, you will gain real experience that is directly relevant to the professional exams you will undertake. Our trainees are given all the support they need to qualify as UK and European patent attorneys. We combine in-house exam-specific tutorials with external courses, to help our trainees to obtain the knowledge and skills they need to qualify. Trainees are also supervised on their day-to-day work by our experienced and knowledgeable attorneys. Alongside the exam-specific training, we also provide trainees with personal development training in such areas as business skills, effective communication and presentation skills and support through our mentoring scheme.

We currently have around twenty trainee patent attorneys at various qualification levels, who share knowledge and advice. Our trainees also organise internal social and sporting activities, such as lunchtime group runs and yoga sessions. On top of this, we offer a generous benefits package. This includes but is not limited to the provision of a Health plan, Life Assurance, Employee Assistance Programme, agile working, interest-free season ticket loans, contributory pension scheme and a cycle to work scheme.

The Firm

Appleyard Lees is a leading intellectual property law firm, with over fifty patent and trademark attorneys and litigators. Our offices are located in Halifax, Leeds, Manchester and Cambridge with 19 partners and 120+ staff.

We provide a full range of intellectual property (IP) services covering patents, trade marks, designs and copyright in the UK, Europe and worldwide. We use our technical and legal skills, and many years of experience, to identify and protect IP assets and to uncover and eliminate the risks posed by other people’s IP rights.

Our specialist patent attorneys in electrical technology, electronics and computing have deep technical knowledge, and sound commercial understanding of our clients’ business operations and objectives. Both characteristics are needed to do the best work.

Our clients include multinational corporations and universities, as well as SMEs. We have a well-earned reputation for handling complex technical subject matter and for giving exceptionally clear advice. We ensure that we understand our clients’ business objectives.

Our clients choose us because we offer the combination of technical knowledge, clarity and commerciality whilst taking the time to get to know them.

Equality, Diversity & Inclusion

Equality, diversity and inclusion (EDI) has always been part of the core values of Appleyard Lees. This isn’t just about the partners, or how we do things at Appleyard Lees, this is about everyone. Appleyard Lees offers a career path within a structure that encourages development for everyone, and where individuals count.

We welcome the unique contribution that you will bring to our firm and actively encourage applications from all talented people – however your talent is packaged, whatever your background or circumstance and regardless of how you identify.

We are a member of IP Inclusive and many of our people, including trainees, are actively involved in IP Inclusive’s support groups for women and the LGBT+ community. Many of our trainees also participate in outreach activities to raise awareness of the IP professions among young people. We also have a dedicated diversity and inclusion focus group that includes attorneys, trainees, and HR, which is tasked with looking at ways we can continue to improve diversity and inclusion.


We pride ourselves on being small and friendly enough for you to get to know everyone – but big enough to offer you great career prospects. If you wish to apply, please send your CV and covering letter.

  • Job Type: Graduate Job
  • Career Sector: Patents
  • Area of Specialism: Computer Science, Electronics, Technology, Electrical Engineering
  • Location: Manchester, Leeds, Cambridge and Halifax.
  • Salary: Competitive
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