Ian Kirby


Ian is a Partner in the Dispute Resolution team and focuses on multi-jurisdictional patent litigation and intellectual property disputes. Ian has over 30 years’ experience in litigating and resolving cases before the English Patents Court and other IP courts, including the IPEC, as well as the English appeal courts and more recently the UPC. He frequently advises on matters that cross both the Atlantic and into continental Europe, and is at his happiest when faced with tricky and knotty commercial problems. His clients and peers highlight his tenacity, excellence and shrewdness but perhaps, above all, his ability to manage and get the most out of a team.

As well as litigating disputes in all areas of IP law, Ian is a strong user and supporter of alternative dispute resolution and is a member of the WIPO List of Mediators. Whether preparing witnesses for trial, or bringing together two warring parties, Ian pays attention not only to the legal and commercial issues, but also the psychology of the dispute and the parties in striving for success either at trial or through a negotiated resolution.

Ian is known for his pragmatic, clear and direct approach to managing, resolving and handling disputes. According to Legal 500 2024, “If you care about strategy and winning, Ian Kirby is the solicitor you want to anchor your litigation. He effectively manages and directs trial activities in court, and he is experienced with IP litigation on an international scale. He has good knowledge of US patent litigation processes and strategies, and he is able to adapt US litigation approaches into winning strategies in UK courts.” He is recommended by Managing Intellectual Property as an IP Star and a “smart” lawyer who is “always unruffled” during litigation, impressing clients with his “clear thinking”. He is also acknowledged by IAM Patent 1000 as “an ace when it comes to multi-jurisdictional patent litigation in any sector”. Chambers and Partners 2024 refers to Ian’s “excellent judgement and client-handling skills” while Legal 500 refers to him as a “thoughtful, pragmatic and astute litigator”. He maintains strong relationships with his litigation colleagues as well as the specialist external IP barristers. Despite the stresses and tensions caused by many pieces of major litigation, Ian’s relationships with many of his clients have been long-standing, and no job is too small or trivial, or too large and unwieldy, for Ian and the Carpmaels & Ransford team to handle.

Ian was Carpmaels & Ransford’s first litigation partner and during the last 30 years, Ian has litigated high profile patent cases concerning monoclonal antibodies, voice recognition technology, and audio and many other technologies; globally famous copyright cases for the world’s largest publisher; trade mark and passing off cases that have pushed upon the edges of the law. IAM Patent 1000 notes that “Ian Kirby has been racking up the wins for over 25 years and stands out for his inspiring team management and big-picture thinking both in and out of the courtroom.”,  while WTR 1000 comments that “Dispute-resolution maven Ian Kirby has put in many resonant courtroom performances over his 30-year career and has done much to shape the legal landscape.”

Kirby is revered as “one of the best patent litigators in the country”.
IAM Patent 1000, 2024


  • LLB Law (Hons) (University of the West of England)
  • PgDipLaw (IP) (University of Bristol)
  • Solicitor
  • UPC Representative

Key Cases

• CFI 1/2023 Sanofi-Aventis v Amgen, Inc (UPC Central Division)
• HP-2020-000028 – (1) Alcon Eye Care UK Limited (2) Alcon Inc v AMO Developments LLC
• HP-2020-000041 – (1) Ethicon Inc (2) Johnson & Johnson (3) Johnson & Johnson Medical Limited v (1) Meril Life Sciences Ltd (2) Meril GmbH (3) Uniplex (UK) Ltd.
• HP-2019-000042 – BISSELL International Trading Company B.V v Koninklijke Philips N.V.
• IL-2020-000063 – Anna Pasternak v Lara Prescott
• HP-2016-000047 – (1) Cantel Medical (UK) Limited (2) Cantel (UK) Limited v Arc Medical Design Limited
• HP 2017-000007 – Align Technology Inc. v ClearCorrect Holdings, Inc., ClearCorrect Operating LLC, and Your Smile Direct Ltd.
• HP-2017-000078 – Eli Lilly and Company v. Teva Pharmaceuticals International GmbH