Getting to know our newly appointed IP Partners

By Rebecca O'Kelly-Gillard, Domien Op de Beeck, Claudia Ricciardi

05-2020

Our international IP team are thrilled to announce the promotion of 3 new partners today! These promotions reflect our ongoing commitment to ensure the diversity of our team develops to reflect the rich pool of talent across our international firm today.

We’d like to introduce you to our new partners:

Rebecca O'Kelly-Gillard, London


Talk to us about a recent cross-border project you've been working on:

My focus is online infringement, which can happen anywhere in the world. The longest running project I manage is for a major financial institution who despite having a UK/US focus, has infringement issues everywhere. The upside of that is that I get to work with colleagues across all our offices. We've all been working for the client for so long now that the team in London can just ping any of them a simple email and we know they're on top of it for our client. We're really fortunate in IP to have a great team in every one of our offices that we can work with.

Who supported you in getting to this stage in your career?

There are too many people to name, but what I've realised since starting the formal process in September is that people have been helping me to this stage really since I joined B&B in 2012. All the (mostly…) positive feedback, the kind words of encouragement, the opportunities to get involved; they played a massive part when it came to putting together a business case for partnership. That isn't limited to the partners (who have been incredibly supportive), but also all the trainees, associates and non-fee earners I've worked with who have said I'm not a total nightmare to work with. And my husband for keeping our life functioning when I've worked long hours.

Finally how would your clients sum you up in one word?

Irish?! But more seriously, hopefully “refreshing”


Introducing New Partner, Claudia Ricciardi, Milan


How did you build your profile?

Since I started as a trainee I have been repeatedly told: "find your focus and specialise". Year after year, focussing on IP transactional pieces of work, I became passionate for the life sciences world and concentrated on the niche of technology transfer (for example research institutes with the vision of establishing collaborations to translate results to the patients). Today, the impact of research progress matters more now so than ever before.

What would you be if you weren't a lawyer?

My dilemma at the time when I chose the University path was whether I wanted to become a lawyer or a psychologist; not an easy choice actually. I finally decided on a being lawyer … though the attitude to investigate the psychological side definitely helps in pursuing effective contract negotiations!

Finally how would your clients sum you up in one word?

Intuitive

Introducing New Partner, Domien Op de Beeck, Brussels

Why did you want to become a partner?

The thing that had impressed me the most ever since I joined Bird & Bird is the passion the partners have for their work and their ability to also share it with others in a down-to-earth and respectful manner. Twelve years later, partnership feels like an organic step and an exciting challenge at the same time. It'll be my task now to preserve and promote such fantastic culture whilst servicing our clients to the best of my ability.

Why Bird & Bird?

As an IP lawyer at Bird & Bird, cross-border litigation is your daily bread and butter. It is an absolute pleasure to be part of a global group that masters the intricacies of the different court systems so well and that is able to share instructions with a foreign member of the team without reluctance, confident to find top-notch advise throughout its ranks.

How would your clients sum you up in one word?

Clients have described me as "bold" and (in a couple more words) "not afraid of a tough fight"