About Me

I am fascinated by IP and the challenge of helping my clients protect, exploit and defend their IP rights to further their business objectives.

I have a broad IP practice, mostly focused on litigation of patents, trade marks and designs. I have considerable experience of coordinating and running patent litigation in more than one jurisdiction and in designing and implementing pan-European protection and enforcement programs, running one such program for a consumer electronics client for almost 10 years.

I am lucky enough to be able to make use of my engineering background and over the years have done a lot of work in the engineering and tech & comms sectors, advising clients such as Nokia, BAE Systems, Semtech and InterDigital. More recently, I have been advising on AI issues – something which I find of particular interest since my final year dissertation for my Masters degree was in robotics.

I also enjoy the strategic and tactical nature of my work, whether it be in relation to advising on the protection, exploitation or the defence of my client's IP rights. I am very focused on getting the best result for my clients, be it through litigation, negotiation or other forms of dispute resolution.

For 18 years I was co-head of the London IP department and, for many of those years, had a role in the running of the international IP group. As a consequence, I know the international IP group very well and enjoy helping clients find the best person or team to assist them.

I am very focused on training and mentoring the next generation of IP lawyers. I write and speak regularly at industry events and am an active member of the IP Federation and the Chartered Institute of Patent Attorneys.
  • Leading teams in a number of patent actions for Nokia acting against Qualcomm, IPCom, Interdigital, HTC and more recently assisting in the arbitration against Samsung.
  • Other patent infringement actions include:
  • Storage Computer v. Hitachi (RAID storage systems).
  • DRS Data & Research Services v. NCS Pearson (software patents in the education field).
  • Koninklijke Philips Electronics v Amino Communications (MPEG-2 Video compression).
  • Jarden Consumer Products v SEB (health fryers).
  • BAE Systems v. Thales Visionix (helmet mounted displays).
  • Positec v. Husqvarna (robotic lawnmowers).


  • M.Eng Bristol University (1984 - 1988)


  • Law Society of England & Wales in 1992
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'Katharine knows everything there is to know about intellectual property.'

Chambers UK 2021

'Katharine Stephens is a formidable IP expert and trusted adviser to our business. She can be trusted to deal with the most nuanced and complex IP issues with commercial alacrity.'

Legal 500 UK 2020

A client says: 'She is solid as a rock - she has decades of experience and is very pragmatic and responsive'.

Chambers UK 2019

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