Susan Hancock

Senior Associate

Susan’s practice focuses on obtaining patent protection for commercially valuable products and platform technologies, specializing in cell and gene therapies, genome editing, in vitro evolution and cell engineering. Much of Susan’s time is spent on contentious matters, working with clients to attack and defend patents in opposition and appeal proceedings before the European Patent Office, as well as providing support in UK litigation proceedings. Susan has particular experience advising on SPCs, and has handled appeals against SPC refusals across Europe. She also frequently provides validity and freedom-to-operate opinions. Susan brings a strong research background to her practice, stemming from doctoral and postdoctoral research, and has technical experience in biotechnology, molecular biology and organic chemistry.

Susan graduated from the University of Sheffield with a first class degree in Biological Chemistry, receiving the Harrison and Lilley Medal for placing top in her year. Her doctoral research at the University of Oxford focused on the development of biocatalysts for oligosaccharide synthesis. Susan was awarded prestigious postdoctoral fellowships to undertake research at the University of British Columbia, where she used directed evolution to create enzymes for the synthesis of glycosphingolipid therapeutics. Her interest in biotechnology then took her to the MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology in Cambridge where she developed and exploited technology for incorporating unnatural amino acids into proteins in eukaryotic cells. Susan’s research has been published extensively, including papers in respected peer-reviewed journals such as Nature Chemical Biology, Molecular Cell, the Journal of the American Chemical Society and Angewandte Chemie.

Susan enjoys going to the theatre, travelling, the out-of-doors and photography, and is a keen skier.



  • MChem (University of Sheffield)
  • DPhil (University of Oxford)
  • Chartered Patent Attorney
  • European Patent Attorney
  • Intellectual Property Litigation Certificate
  • UPC Representative