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Hazel Robson in profile

Hazel Robson in profile

Team news Careers 23/08/2022

Senior Associate Hazel Robson has been working in the field of intellectual property since 2001, having studied Natural Sciences and Chemistry at Cambridge. She specialises in the pharmaceutical and chemical sector and has been with Secerna since 2014.

What led you into a career in IP?

I have always enjoyed paper-based chemistry and knew that I wanted to work in the field but I was not as enthusiastic about the practical side. I was also very lucky to have a brilliant professor who would act as an expert witness for a large pharmaceutical company. He arranged for me to do some work experience in the intellectual property department of that company and I knew right away that it was what I wanted to do as a career.

What is the best thing about your job?

I love dissecting an invention to find out how it works and figuring out what the essential elements are. You then have to put it all back together, but this time in words on a piece of paper. It is only when you get to this point that you know if you have understood it properly or if you need to go back and look at it again.

What bought you to Secerna?

I have known Charlotte, one of the partners, ever since school and we went to university together. Secerna were looking for someone to focus on pharmaceutical and chemical inventions and I was looking for a change and a challenge. It’s been a brilliant fit for us all from the start.

What does a typical day look like?

A working day usually starts with checking emails and talking to our support team to look at deadlines and see what is coming up.

Generally, if I have a patent application to draft, that will be my sole focus for the day. It is important to give the invention my full attention and get the detail right so we can obtain the protection the client needs. Preparing replies to official patent office communications, and talking to clients are other very important aspects of my work. I am also responsible for organising our in-house CDP meetings so am always on the look-out for interesting case law and best practice.

What advice would you give someone considering a career in IP?

Make sure you get work experience at a good firm so that you know exactly what the job involves. Becoming a patent attorney is hard but rewarding work, and you need to be sure that it is for you.