05 Aug 2024

We are a leading European intellectual property firm, advising some of the world’s most innovative and successful companies. Together, we help to improve lives by supporting innovation.

We hire talented and passionate people who think creatively and enjoy a challenge. Working collaboratively, we share our knowledge and experience across teams, actively learning from each other in a friendly and sociable environment.

We are passionate about creating a diverse and inclusive workplace. Diversity of thought is vital to our business; it’s how we approach challenges differently and offer our clients creative and original solutions. Through our work with organisations such as IP Inclusive, Stonewall and Business in the Community via the Race at Work Charter, we are putting the right steps in place to make sure that all our people feel supported and empowered to be themselves Further information on our commitment to diversity and inclusion is available on our website.

A healthy work/life balance is very important to us, and we run regular wellbeing events in addition to the large number of clubs and social activities that are available to everyone at the firm.  We are also enthusiastic supporters of our local community through partnerships with the Social Mobility Foundation and Holborn Community Association.

The role

Our Secretarial function is instrumental to our business. We support our attorneys and clients with their daily responsibilities to sustain a streamlined workflow. Our responsibilities include drafting and formatting of relevant legal documents, managing daily prompt lists and database and diary management. We are equipped with the knowledge and expertise to handle queries from our clients to an exceptional, professional standard and are committed to providing prompt support.

What you’ll be doing

As a Patent Secretary, you will be responsible for providing full secretarial, PA and administrative support for approximately 6 Fee Earners of mixed seniority.

Reporting to the Team Leader you are responsible for a range of activities including:

Legal Support

  • Proactively prepare official forms for UK, European and international patent and design applications and some foreign patent applications
  • Daily monitoring of prompt schedules, dealing with cases independently where possible, and liaising with records to remove old prompts
  • Amending letters, emails, specifications (including using tracked changes), ensuring completed documents are delivered accurately and to a consistently high standard
  • Using the internal database to look up case/client information, using links to relevant Patent Office websites
  • Preparing papers/bundles for oral proceedings
  • Preparing standard reporting letters without instruction

Secretarial support

  • Diary management including reminding Fee Earners in good time of their meetings and travel arrangements and prioritising where needed
  • Scheduling meetings (in person and virtual) including arranging all logistics (booking room, arranging refreshments, liaising with the Technology team, etc.)
  • Preparing relevant papers and presentations for meetings
  • Business travel arrangements and booking Munich flat/office as and when required
  • Liaising with clients and the EPO directly and taking detailed telephone messages
  • Primary point of contact for Fee Earners


  • Supporting additional project work
  • Preparing invoices by checking and amending narrative(s) via our billing portal checking client details, receiving unbilled WIP lists, liaising with accounts when necessary
  • File management: including scanning and managing case files via the DMS (SharePoint)
  • Providing cover in other secretaries’ absence
  • Liaising with other departments and fee earners as required
  • Constantly prioritising workload
  • Attending team meetings and practice group meetings
  • Implementing up-to-date client special instructions
  • Requesting translations
  • Sending out assignment documents and forwarding on communications from foreign attorneys
  • Monitoring e-workspaces when fee earners are away, dealing with files independently, where possible
  • Creating and maintaining pages and publishing material on intranet

Skills and experience we’re looking for

  • Recognised secretarial qualification (1 year course minimum); or
  • Previous relevant office experience as a Secretary or Team Administrator

Person Specification:

  •  Proactive with the ability to work on own initiative as well as being a strong team player
  • Has the ability to anticipate problems and devise solutions to meet them
  • Is flexible when required
  • Excellent communication skills, both written and verbal
  • Organised and able to prioritise turnaround time of work
  • Able to meet tight deadlines and work under pressure
  • Fast and accurate typing
  • Ability to compose simple letters with little to no assistance
  • Friendly, personable and approachable

Systems Used:

  • IT literate with knowledge of Microsoft Office tools (Outlook/PowerPoint/Excel/Word etc.)
  • Epoline
  • Inprotech
  • SharePoint

What we offer

We offer a competitive benefits package that currently includes the following:

  • 25 days’ holiday, increasing by 1 day per year up to our maximum of 28 days.
  • Employer pension contribution of 5% in your first year, with a minimum 3% employee contribution, increasing to 10% employer contribution after one year’s service.
  • Holiday buy scheme, with the option to purchase up to 5 additional days.
  • Holiday bonus, starting at £400 per year, increasing each year up to a maximum of £2,000.
  • Private medical insurance via Bupa, where you’ll be eligible to join the month following your start date. You will also have the option to add dependants, subject to a monthly cost.
  • Free confidential access to 24/7 medical, mental, legal and financial wellbeing support via Health Assured and WeCare from your first day of employment.
  • Access to internal Mental Health First Aiders, all of whom have completed the Mental Health First Aid England accredited training programme and champion wellbeing across the firm.
  • Life assurance of 4x your base salary.
  • Income protection, with cover for up to 5 years and compensating for up to 75% of your base salary.
  • Cycle2Work scheme.
  • Season ticket loan.
  • Access to Payroll Giving or Give As You Earn (GAYE) which allows you to donate to charity through your monthly pay.
  • We’re passionate about the benefits of corporate volunteering and offer all employees 1 paid volunteer day per year.

We’re very proud of our collegiate culture and the value that working together brings. Through our commitment to enabling everyone to do their best work, we offer a range of family and life-friendly policies.

This includes competitive enhanced maternity, paternity, adoption, surrogacy and shared parental leave schemes, if you’ve been with us for at least 26 weeks. Furthermore, our fertility policy aims to assist employees with both the logistical and emotional aspects of undergoing fertility treatment. This includes paid leave of up to five days for fertility treatment.

We also recognise the needs of balancing home life around the requirements of your role. Depending on the work you do and your team, we offer informal arrangements such as hybrid and agile working, as well as more formal arrangements such as flexible hours and part-time working. We’re very happy to discuss flexible and life-friendly working options during the recruitment process and upon joining us.

We are proud of our inclusive culture where individual differences are celebrated, and we are committed to providing equal opportunities to all employees and job applicants. We do not tolerate discrimination either directly or indirectly on the basis of race, sex, sexual orientation, gender reassignment, religion or belief, marital or civil partnership status, age, disability, pregnancy and maternity, or any other characteristic protected by law.  Our approach is embodied in our Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Policy, as well as our diversity and inclusion programmes.

Please note that we do not accept unsolicited CVs or speculative approaches from recruitment agencies unless they have been explicitly instructed on this vacancy by a member of our recruitment team. 

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