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Dr. Robert Whittock

Year of call: 2006

Dr. Robert Whittock
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Robert has a broad civil litigation practice focused on Intellectual Property, Professional Negligence and Personal Injury. He handles a wide range of claims including multi-claimant £multi-million professional negligence cases concerning off-plan property developments and complicated cases concerning patents.

He has appeared as sole counsel in the Court of Appeal & High Court and regularly appears in interlocutory matters, trials and appeals in the County Court.

Prior to commencing practice at the Bar, Robert was employed as a scientist at AstraZeneca, worked at Molecular Profiles on patent infringement testing of pharmaceutical drug substances & drug products and on a multi-national patent litigation case concerning extended wear contact lenses in the IP/IT department at Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP.

Robert has a keen interest in pharmaceutical patents and has been invited to give presentations and chair sessions at international conferences in this field, including Assa International IWPCPS-13.

He is known for his attention to detail and achieving the best result for the client even in the most challenging case.

Away from Hardwicke Robert is a reef aquarium enthusiast.

Intellectual Property

Robert’s practice covers all areas of Intellectual Property, including trade marks, designs, copyright and confidential information.  He has a particular interest in patents concerning specialty chemicals and pharmaceuticals.

In addition to his work at the Bar, he also spent two years in the IP/IT department at Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP where he worked on both non-contentious and contentious IP matters including multi-jurisdictional patent litigation concerning extended wear contact lenses (Novartis v Johnson & Johnson Medical Ltd. [2010] EWCA Civ 1039). As part of this involvement, he observed witnessed experiments in the US concerning the manufacture and testing of extended wear contact lenses.

Prior to commencing practice Robert obtained a PhD in synthetic organic chemistry concerning the synthesis, characterisation and measurement of the physical properties of new photochromic compounds.

Following his PhD studies he was a scientist in the pharmaceutical industry for six years, predominantly at AstraZeneca, where he gained a broad experience of the pharmaceutical research and development process from early lead identification to Phase III clinical trials.

He is a named inventor, has researched the solid state chemistry (polymorphs, hydrates and salts) of many candidate drugs including AstraZeneca’s Brillinta, Brilique (Ticagrelor, AZD6140) an oral anti-platelet for the treatment of acute coronary syndromes and has undertaken and supervised patent infringement testing of both drug substances and drug products.

He has presented and chaired sessions at numerous international conferences concerning the identification of suitable solid state forms for use as the pharmaceutical drug and pharmaceutical patents in respect of the same, including at Assa International IWPCPS-13 and IQPC Developing IP Strategies for Crystalline Forms 2010.

Recent Work:

  • Kupros Ltd. v Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Energy, Commerce, Industry and Tourism [2017] – Drafted skeleton argument opposing the opposition to the applicant’s UK trade mark applications for ANGLOUMI and ANGLUMI under s.5(2)(b) and s.5(3) of the Trade Marks Act 1994 relying upon the earlier UK trade mark HALLOUMI. Case settled prior to hearing.
  • Willow Automotive Limited v Colin Nash [2015] Cancellation No 9012C (INVALIDITY), OHIM: advised and drafted observations in response to allegations of bad faith in making a community trade mark application.
  • Nduka v Comptroller General of Patents, Designs & Trade Marks [2013] EWHC 2193 (Ch): appeal to the High Court from UK Intellectual Property Office in relation to a patent application for a biomedical device.
  • Advised in respect of the merits of commencing a further action for copyright infringement following determination of an earlier action concerning the same parties.
  • Advised in respect of patent infringement of a patent concerning a pharmacologically active chemical.
  • Advised a franchisor in respect of claims against ex-franchisees for passing off in relation to the get-up of a retail outlet and breaches of a franchise agreement.
  • Advised on jurisdiction issues in relation to a potential action concerning passing off in the UK and related causes of actions in other EU member states.
  • Advised and drafted particulars of claim in a defamation action against News Group Newspapers T/A The Sun.
  • Advised on the merits of seeking to re-instate a patent application that had been refused and an appeal in respect of the same.
  • Advised in respect of a cease and desist letter concerning allegations of trade mark infringement.
  • Drafted particulars of claim on behalf of a franchisor in a case involving trade mark infringement and passing off.
  • Drafted particulars of claim on behalf of a film director concerning copyright ownership of the film footage.

Personal Injury

Robert has significant experience in acting for both Claimants and Defendants in personal injury cases including:

  • Road Traffic Act 1988 issues, credit hire, fraud (staged accidents, phantom passengers, low velocity impact and exaggeration);
  • public liability and accidents in the workplace. He has a wide range of experience of accidents in the workplace ranging in severity from simple soft tissue injuries to chronic pain as a result of instructions from a UNISON panel solicitor firm. He has advised on liability and quantum in relation to personal injuries caused by dog bites, slips & trips in the workplace, manual handling, defective work equipment, stress & harassment in the workplace, repetitive strain injury and occupiers liability.
  • claims associated with cosmetic treatment & surgery.

He regularly provides advice on liability, quantum, procedure and litigation strategy and his experience covers both fast track and multi-track trials. He is experienced in preparing complex schedules of special damages involving future loss and future needs. He also deals with interlocutory applications concerning procedural points (extensions of time, relief from sanction, extension of primary limitation period pursuant to s.33 Limitation Act 1980). Robert has handled appeals in the County Court and Court of Appeal concerning issues such as exercise of Judge’s discretion (e.g. relief from sanction, permission to rely upon witness statement served out of time, amendment under the slip rule, amendment of the particulars of claim), compliance with unless orders and liability of an insurer under s.151 Road Traffic Act 1998 in relation to a Monk v Warbey claim against its insured driver.

Recent Work:

  • Ali-Naqvi v Ageas Insurance Ltd & Ors [2017] – high value complex personal injury case involving a brain injury and other serious injuries as a result of a pedestrian being hit by a speeding car that was being pursued by the police. Led by Colm Nugent.
  • Hayat v BMI The London Independent Hospital [2017] – complex clinical negligence case concerning a failure to treat a patient with disc prolapses resulting in a severe spinal cord injury.
  • Kimwanga-Jacob v Younas [2017] – instructed by Clyde & Co in relation to an infant settlement made on the basis of significant litigation risk in an infant pedestrian running down case.
  • Saeedi v Zurich Insurance PLC & Ors [2017] – instructed by Eversheds Sutherland in relation to a fast track trial concerning personal injury and credit hire. Settled at the court doors.
  • Jackie Innocent v Express Vending Ltd [2017] – instructed by DWF in relation to a fast track trial concerning an alleged manual handling accident whilst at work.
  • Marais v One Vision Housing [2017] – instructed by Eversheds Sutherland in relation to a mediation concerning a fire arising out of an alleged breach of implied covenant under s. 11 Landlord and Tenant Act 1985. Settled at mediation.
  • Davenport v DTZ Management Services Ltd. & Ors [2017] – instructed by Eversheds Sutherland in relation to a fast track trial concerning an accident at work concerning a lift. Settled at the court doors.
  • Williams v B&Q [2017] – instructed by Hill Dickinson in relation to a pre-action disclosure application.
  • Fera v Casualty & General Insurance Company (Europe) Ltd. [2017] instructed by Kennedys in relation to an application for stay of enforcement.
  • Sahin v (1) Havard (2) Riverstone Insurance (UK) Ltd. [2016] EWCA Civ 1202: appeal to the Court of Appeal, led by Mark Engelman, concerning the interpretation of s.151(2)(a) of the Road Traffic Act 1988 in light of EU Motor Insurance Directives. Permission to appeal to supreme court, led by Robert Weir QC.
  • Topham v Ageas Insurance (Dr. Grace Kerali as Interested Party) [2016]: led by Colm Nugent, a unique widely reported case in which the insurer sought to challenge the expert who had provided expert reports in support of the Claimants claims for modest whiplash.
  • Darren Scott v Nicholas Gavigan [2016] EWCA Civ 544: appeal to the Court of Appeal concerning whether it was a reasonably foreseeable for a pedestrian to cross the road having just passed a pedestrian crossing. A rare case in which the Defendant escaped a finding of negligence.
  • Cipriano Co v Esure Insurance Company Ltd. [2016]: a claim for personal injury and credit hire dismissed due to finding that the claimant lacked credibility. No finding of fundamental dishonesty despite the fact that the claimant had presented a different version of events in an earlier criminal trial and had not been frank with the medical expert and the court as to previous accidents and injuries sustained.
  • Blatchfords Solicitors v Dass Solicitors [2016]: a claim for breach of a solicitor’s lien over papers relating to a personal injury case. Case settled at the court doors.
  • Tutas v East London Bus & Coach Co Ltd. [2013] EWCA Civ 1380: appeal to the Court of Appeal concerning a case management decision and Judge’s findings of fact in relation to payment for physiotherapy charges.

Insurance Funded Disputes

Robert is regularly involved in claims involving insurers.  Please see the CDR, Professional Liability and Personal Injury sections of his profile for further details.

Professional associations

  • Royal Society of Chemistry Law Interest Group
  • Royal Society of Chemistry
  • Royal Society of Chemistry Law Group Committee Member
  • Intellectual Property Bar Association
  • Personal Injury Bar Association
  • Professional Negligence Bar Association
  • British Insurance Law Association

Qualifications

  • BSc. (Hons) (Chemistry)
  • PhD (Synthetic Organic Chemistry)
  • PGDipLaw
  • PGDipBar
  • ADR ODR Accredited Mediator
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