Andrea Brewster

Andrea Brewster

Council Member

Qualifications
BA (Cantab) in Natural Sciences; CPA (registered 1991); EPA.

Professional career
1988-1989 Urquhart-Dykes & Lord, London; 1989-1991 Keith W Nash & Co, Cambridge; 1991-1993 Dibb Lupton Broomhead (solicitors), Leeds; 1993-1999 Mewburn Ellis, Bristol; 1999- 2015 Greaves Brewster LLP (formerly C P Greaves & Co): cofounder of the current partnership.

I have worked in both large and small firms, as well as in a department of patent attorneys within a firm of solicitors. For many years I was a partner in running a small, out-of-town life sciences practice. I have experience, therefore, as both employee and owner-manager, and of a range of client types and business practice issues.

Services to the Institute 
I have served on Council for five years, and as Vice-President from 2014-15. I have also served on several CIPA committees, including the Joint CIPA & ITMA Business Practice Committee, the Textbooks & Publications Committee the Education Committee (now the Education & Professional Standards Committee), and the Administrators’ Committee.

In recent years I have been involved in a number of education- and training-related Institute projects. I have organised and chaired many seminars and webinars, and regional events for the South-West of England. In 2010, I introduced an “induction day” for new entrants to the profession: this now runs twice a year, as a joint venture with ITMA. During 2011, I instigated and chaired a cross-committee review into “non-core” training for the profession, culminating in recommendations for delivering that training; since then I have been helping to implement the recommendations, in particular working on a “train the trainers” course, a course on EPO oral proceedings, a template training contract for CIPA members’ use and numerous commercially-focused training events.

Through these projects, I have worked with students, associates and fellows of the Institute; other Council and committee members; CIPA staff; and outside bodies such as ITMA, the IPO, IPReg and external suppliers. I have also assisted the IPO with projects, inspired by the Hargreaves Review, that encourage SMEs and their business advisers to engage with the IP system.

I have written for the CIPA Journal: a couple of articles on communication skills, items to do with education and training projects, and my monthly “not-so-secret diaries”. I also wrote the business practice chapter of the CIPA Patents Training Manual.

As Vice-President, I have:

  • helped to ensure that Council leads the Institute with an eye to strategic issues, provoking the creation of firstly a three-year “Strategic plan” for delivering benefits to our members, and secondly a “manifesto” to voice the IP profession’s priorities beyond the general election.
  • as part of the strategic plan, worked with the President and Chief Executive to articulate the membership offering in a way that can inform and shape the Institute’s work at all levels. “SILC” (Status-Influence-Learning-Community) has proved invaluable in aligning and prioritising our activities and policies, and now forms the basis of several committees’ formal Terms of Reference.
  • been instrumental in bringing the Informals into the CIPA fold, establishing them as a CIPA committee with full Institute support and authority but with the independence they need to represent their student members effectively.
  • driven the creation of a CIPA Administrators’ Committee, charged with representing the interests of IP administrators, promoting the status of their profession and in particular overseeing a review and update of the training and qualifications which CIPA offers in this field.
  • organised a round-table meeting on diversity, with key stakeholders from the IP professions including the IPO and BIS. I have since established a cross-profession “task force” to progress diversity-improving projects both upstream of and within the professions. This initiative has raised CIPA’s profile as a thought-leader and strengthened relationships with external stakeholders. In due course it will not only improve diversity but also increase awareness of the IP professions and hence facilitate recruitment.
  • carried out numerous “meet-the-members” visits to CIPA members throughout the UK, in a range of sizes and types of practice (including corporate departments), to increase engagement between the Institute and its members at all levels.

Election address 
I posted my Presidential “manifesto” on my blog a few months ago. It can be reached through this link:http://notsosecretcipadiary.blogspot.co.uk/2015/02/presidential-manifesto.html.

It is not a short document; there is much to be done at CIPA over the next twelve months and I want members to be aware of the work I intend to complete and the initiatives I hope to prioritise. I remain open to comments and suggestions about my plans, however. As President it will be my job to serve the Institute’s members, not to impose on them.

Attendance at Council Meetings: 10 out of 11 meetings (2014/15)