About Me

I specialise in patent disputes in the technology and communications industry.

I'm a partner in the London office, where I work with an amazing team of high-tech patent litigators. As well as the patent expertise you'd expect, we have developed a unique expertise in the valuation of portfolios and FRAND.

Before Bird & Bird, I was Vice President and Head of Litigation at Nokia, where I managed global commercial litigation and was part of the Legal & Compliance leadership team. This mostly involved mobile telecoms patent litigation and arbitration all around the world, and I had a very successful track record in global patent litigation strategy. I was awarded 'In-House Counsel of the Year' by "The Lawyer" and have twice been recognised in Managing IP's annual list of the 50 most influential people in intellectual property.

I have also worked on a variety of international litigation and arbitration matters, from competition law to commercial and tax disputes, as well as brand protection, trademarks, and design and copyright issues.

I'm a part-time District Judge in the London and South East circuit, and in the Intellectual Property Enterprise Court.
  • Global patent and antitrust litigation between Nokia and Apple. The parties litigated 94 patents worldwide including 31 patents in Germany, nine in the UK and in many other courts across Europe, Asia and the United States.
  • ICC arbitrations between Nokia and LG Electronics, and Nokia and Samsung, concerning FRAND royalty rates for Nokia's cellular SEP portfolio.
  • Many international patent litigations between Nokia and HTC, IPCom, Qualcomm, Interdigital, Blackberry, Viewsonic and others.
  • Advising other SEP owners in relation to their licensing programmes and benchmarking rates to assist in licensing discussions and overseas litigation.
  • Advising an airline in relation to a software patent assertion by a patent licensing company.
  • Advising a manufacturer of wireless-connected measurement equipment in relation to a patent assertion.
  • Nokia v Apple (Patent and competition law litigation)
  • Nokia v AU Optronics et al (Cartel claim)
  • IPCom v Nokia (Patent and competition law litigation)
  • Nokia v HTC (Patent litigation)
  • Nokia v HMRC (Anti-counterfeiting)
  • Qualcomm v Nokia (Patent and competition litigation)
  • Nokia v Interdigital (Patent litigation)
  • Prudential Assurance v Prudential Insurance Co of America (Trade mark dispute)
  • Nutrinova v Arnold Suhr (Patents)
  • Palmaz v Boston Scientific (Patents)
  • Bourns v Raychem (Patents)


  • University of Cambridge, BA, MA (Cantab), Natural Sciences
  • College of Law, London


  • Law Society of England & Wales in 1999.
  • Solicitor-Advocate 2003.
  • Deputy District Judge 2010.
  • Authorisation to sit in the High Court 2016.
Testimonials Carousel Megaphone


'What sets Richard Vary apart is that he has long-term practical experience of real high-grade global IP litigation. That experience is invaluable in his day-to-day work both for case management as well as initial strategy development'

Legal 500 UK 2021

"Few people have Richard's level of knowledge of the most pressing issues. He has worked on many of the major cases in Germany, the Netherlands, Italy and the UK, as well as the US and China, so he understands how the major jurisdictions fit together and how to coordinate litigation around the world."

IAM Patent 2021

'An authority on FRAND matters whose expertise in telecommunications stems from a stint as head of litigation at Nokia'

IAM Patent 2020

Latest insights

More Insights
old style binoculars on yellow background

For attorneys’ eyes only? How the UK differs from international standards on disclosure

Mar 23 2023

Read More
microphone on a blue background 782x440

Webinar: FRAND treatment of early and late licensees

May 17 2022

Read More
Curiosity line blue background

What is Europe doing about anti-suit injunctions issued by Chinese courts?

May 11 2021

Read More

What's on TwoBirds TV?

More Videos