European intellectual property firm, Withers & Rogers, is delighted to announce the appointment of as its new Chair, as well as the appointment of Zoe Bailey, who is joining the firm as its new Head of Strategic Operations.

With her career in intellectual property spanning thirty years, and twenty of those having been spent at Withers & Rogers, Fiona McBride brings a wealth of experience to the role. She is taking over the position from Karl Barnfather, one of the industry’s leading IP strategists, who will continue his excellent representation of international clients principally in the electronics and computing sectors.

In the post-Brexit era, Fiona will continue to focus on the firm’s European footprint and the benefits this brings for businesses seeking IP protection in both UK and EU markets. Her leadership will also ensure sustained concentration on delivering excellent client service as the firm continues its growth strategy.

People and culture, including diversity and inclusivity, is another key area of focus for Fiona, who is dedicated to strengthening the firm’s brand through the delivery of a people-first approach. As a founding member of the South West division of IP Inclusive, an organisation which promotes diversity within the IP industry, these values are a core part of the firm’s strategy going forward.

In the new position of Head of Strategic Operations, Zoe Bailey will be working closely with Fiona McBride, supporting the development and management of the firm’s operational activities. Joining Withers & Rogers from BDO LLP, where she was Chief Strategy Officer, Zoe is a senior business leader, board adviser and strategic development specialist, who delivers commercially-focused business strategies.

Fiona McBride, Chair of Withers & Rogers, said: “Although gender makes no difference to a person’s ability to perform a role, mine and Zoe’s new positions are an important step in the right direction for diversity and inclusivity in the IP industry, which lacks female representation at a senior level. I look forward to working alongside Zoe to deliver a business strategy that offers great results for our clients, whilst working to strengthen the firm’s employer brand.

“We are known by our clients for our bespoke and outstanding IP services. We will continue to develop our business around our clients’ needs now and in the future providing strategic advice across the UK and Europe.”

Speaking of his time as the firm’s Chair, Karl Barnfather added: “It has been an honour to serve as Chair of Withers & Rogers for the last nine years, during which there have been many changes in the IP services industry and indeed wider economies. Working with a very talented management team we have built a leading European intellectual property practice which Fiona will undoubtedly take forward with her fresh approach. I look forward to supporting Fiona and the wider firm over the coming years, whilst also focusing more of my time on developing stronger client relationships and delivering what I love doing as an IP strategist.”


About Withers & Rogers

Established in 1884, Withers & Rogers LLP is a leading European intellectual property (IP) firm providing expert advice on the protection and enforcement of IP rights particularly for inventions, designs and trade marks. Reflecting the firm’s distinctive entrepreneurial personality, its patent and trade mark attorneys come with a depth of specialist understanding and pride themselves on helping businesses to commercialise their IP.

With over 200 partners and staff, Withers & Rogers has four offices in the UK (London, Bristol, Leamington Spa and Sheffield) and two further offices in Paris and Munich. The firm’s client portfolio stretches across the Americas, the Far East and Australia as well as mainland Europe.

Withers & Rogers has a large, technology-diverse client base ranging from major corporations and multi-nationals to small and medium-sized enterprises and universities,



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