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Michael Tappin QC


Year of call: 1991
Year of silk: 2009

Michael Tappin QC is probably best known for his work on many of the leading patent cases of the last decade. Chambers & Partners 2016 said that he is “Widely acclaimed as one of the leading silks for biotech and pharmaceuticals patent cases, although he is also a powerful performer in telecoms disputes. He is noted for his sparkling intelligence, capacity for hard work and the collegiate approach he takes to working with instructing solicitors.” However, he has experience across the range of IP and has been involved in a series of trade mark and SPC references to the Court of Justice of the European Union. He has also conducted two trials in the High Court of Ireland and was responsible for handling the clinical evidence at a major international arbitration in The Hague.

Chambers & Partners 2018 says that "He has a great command of the law, and his analysis is exceptional both technically and legally" and that "He is very bright, very creative, very thorough and doesn't miss a trick." In previous years, he has been described in Chambers & Partners as being “a highly effective and persuasive advocate with a no-nonsense but user-friendly attitude”, “a very clear and effective advocate, who is calm, thoughtful and confident”, as having “great intellect, exceptional advocacy skills and impressive paperwork” and as being “a thorough thinker, technically brilliant and a purveyor of sound advice”. It was also said that he “always does a first-class job: he runs cases in a calm, efficient manner and is fully engaged with the litigation process”, that he “offers a strong mix of technical brilliance and practical advice, and is equally outstanding on his feet and on paper” and that “his advocacy style is fantastic”.

Michael obtained a first class degree in chemistry and a doctorate in biochemistry from the University of Oxford and was called to the Bar in 1991. Between 2003 and 2008 he was Standing Counsel to the Comptroller General of Patents, Designs and Trade Marks and in 2008 he was named Chambers & Partners’ Intellectual Property Junior of the Year. Michael took silk in 2009. He is a co-author of the 4th edition of Laddie, Prescott and Vitoria’s Modern Law of Copyright and Designs, published in 2011.

Additional Information

Education, Career and Awards

1982 – 1986: St John’s College, Oxford: BA Chemistry (1st).

1986 – 1989: Department of Biochemistry and Merton College,Oxford (Senior Scholar 1987-1989): D.Phil. in Biochemistry (NMR studies of protein structure).
Published eight papers in various scientific journals, including Nature, Biochemistry and European Journal of Biochemistry.

1989 – 1990: College of Law, Chancery Lane: Common Professional Examination, Commended with Distinctions in Contract and Tort.

1990 – 1991: Inns of Court School of Law: Bar Vocational Course, Very Competent. Middle Temple Queen Mother’s Fund Scholarship, the Stanley Levy Memorial Prize and the Campbell Foster Prize.

1991: Called to the Bar.

2003 – 2008: Standing Counsel to the Comptroller General of Patents, Designs and Trade Marks.

2008: Chambers & Partners IP Junior of the Year.

2009: Appointed Queen’s Counsel.

  • What the Directories Say
  • "He is the complete package. He gets all over the detail and is really accessible." "His advocacy style is fantastic. It strikes the balance between confident and friendly, and judges respond well to the delivery"
    Chambers & Partners (Intellectual Property) 2017

    "He is technically excellent and a fine advocate."
    Legal 500 (Intellectual Property) 2017

    "An excellent advocate with super-effective court skills"
    Legal 500 (Intellectual Property) 2016

    "A formidable life sciences expert whose scientific skills win cases"
    Chambers & Partners (Intellectual Property) 2016

    "Always prepared to roll his sleeves up and get stuck into a case"
    Legal 500 (Intellectual Property) 2015

    "He offers a strong mix of technical brilliance and practical advice, and is equally outstanding on his feet and on paper" " A very clear and effective advocate, who is calm and thoughtful"
    Chambers & Partners (Intellectual Property) 2015