Anna Leathley


Anna’s area of expertise is in biotech. She has a current focus on cell therapy, and carries out European patent prosecution of a large portfolio of patent applications in this rapidly developing and complex field. Innovation in the cell therapy field comes in many forms, and in addition to this diverse field Anna also works with clients in many other technology areas. In particular she has extensive experience in the areas of protein therapeutics, diagnostics and platform technologies.

She has worked with clients of all sizes and types to develop and execute their IP strategies. At all stages, she focuses on building effective working relationships to ensure that clients’ objectives are fully understood. She has extensive experience of drafting patent applications, as well as prosecuting these and other applications at the EPO, and coordinating global patent portfolio prosecution.

Running alongside her drafting and prosecution work, is her advice and contentious work. She has considerable experience of oppositions and appeals at the EPO, and supports clients with a variety of advice, including freedom to operate analysis and due diligence exercises. The technical expertise that Anna acquired in her studies and during her time as a patent attorney means that irrespective of the specific technology, she is able to think creatively and solve problems. Anna always looks for the bigger picture, but without losing sight of the technical detail.

Her first class degree in Biochemistry from the University of Oxford gave her a broad understanding of the biotechnology field and she built on this with a PhD from the University of London. Anna’s research in cell and developmental biology was carried out at the Imperial Cancer Research Fund (now Cancer Research UK) and focused on intracellular protein targeting and signalling in development, specifically looking at EGF receptor family members and their signalling and intracellular targeting in polarised epithelial cells.

Anna entered the patent profession in 2000, and joined Carpmaels & Ransford in 2013 from another large UK firm. While training she was awarded the Bill Caro prize for overall first place in the Certificate in Intellectual Property Law examinations.

Anna is an Vice Chair of the IPO’s Women in IP Committee, and is a co-chair of the “Mentoring Across Borders” subcommittee. This involves coordinating group and pairs mentoring programs, which brings together participants from across the globe. She also participates as a mentor in the Social Mobility Foundation’s mentoring program for A-level students. Within the firm she takes a particular interest in recruitment and in the training of technical assistants. She is fluent in French, having lived in France previously.


  • MBiochem (University of Oxford)
  • PhD (University of London)
  • Chartered Patent Attorney
  • European Patent Attorney
  • UPC Representative