About Me

I am co-head of the IP department in London and a member of the International IP Steering Group. 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 enjoy making use of my engineering background and over the years have done a lot of work in the engineering and tech & comms sectors. More recently, I have been advising on AI issues – something which I find particular interesting since my final year dissertation for my Masters 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.

As part of my role in the international IP group, I help my clients to find the best person or team of people within Bird & Bird to assist them, whatever the IP issue or the technology. I also help to foster the use of Bird & Bird's project management and reporting tools in the management and coordination of cases.
  • 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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