How would you describe your approach to work? Thorough. I like to do the best job I can for my clients, and I hate cutting corners. Clients can sometimes be too busy to want to know the fine detail behind every patent decision, and that’s fair enough. I’m happy to make the tedious details my job, and condense them into something that’s sensible and realistic for the client to use. Why did you decide to be a patent attorney? I love physics but didn’t want to go into academia. Being a patent attorney allows me to work in a physics-related environment and be privy to cutting-edge innovations, but I don’t need to work in a lab or invent them myself – I was always terrible at lab work. What was the most pivotal moment in your business life to date? Taking a career break to work in India. This may sound like a backwards answer, but when I first qualified I wasn’t sure that patents were really for me. Leaving it all behind for twelve months in 2009 gave me space to think and reassess, and to realise that yes, patents were where I wanted to be. What’s the best piece of advice you’ve received? Never pretend you know something you don’t. There’s nothing wrong in saying you don’t know, but you can find out. If you could work in another country, which would it be? India again, because the people there have a great attitude. No-one is defeatist and everything is possible – there’s something really inspiring about that. What’s the key to being a great attorney? Common sense and commerciality. It’s all very well knowing the fine detail of the law but if you can’t give no-nonsense, commercial advice then there’s not much point. How do you problem solve? I’m a slow reader but a fast thinker. I like to read everything I can to understand the problem, and while I do that my brain is working out the answer in the background. If I need to bounce ideas off another attorney I will – there’s nothing like trying to explain an argument to someone else for making you see the flaws in what you’re thinking. What’s the best talk you’ve been to? Not a talk as such, more an audio-visual extravaganza! As part of the Manchester science festival this year Public Service Broadcasting played their album The Race for Space end-to-end. For anyone who hasn’t heard of them (I imagine there are a few!) I would wholeheartedly recommend these guys for their skill in recreating the awe and excitement of the Apollo space missions in a converted theatre in 2016 Manchester. How do you relax? I relax through change – doing something new. In the last few years, I’ve cycled in Vietnam, walked the Inca Trail in Peru, gone backpacking in Bolivia and driven a 4×4 in Iceland. I honestly couldn’t tell you which was more fun, and suggestions for future destinations are always gratefully received.