Friday 29 October

The Mercer Review

When and where

Date and time

Start: Friday 29 October 2021, 12:30 PM

End: Friday 29 October 2021, 01:30 PM

Event Overview

The Mercer Review Group has made a series of recommendations aiming to improve and modernise the training and examination of patent attorneys in the UK.

The recommendations are the conclusions of the Mercer Review, commissioned by CIPA Council, and are intended to encourage further discussion and debate between key stakeholders that will lead to improvements in the systems, mechanisms and processes in place for patent attorney education, training and assessment.

The main recommendations aim to create:

  • A common standard of assessment for all trainees, regardless of the training route taken.
  • A relevant curriculum, which prepares trainees for the demands of patent attorney practice, now and in the future.
  • An open and fair training and assessment system which promotes diversity and inclusivity, where all trainees are equally prepared, regardless of where they work and any specific needs they might have.

Join members of the Mercer Review Group as they discuss CIPA’s recently published review into the education, training and assessment arrangements for entry onto the UK Register of Patent Attorneys.


The panel includes: Chris Mercer, Vicki Salmon, Parminder Lally, Lindsay Pike and Lee Davies.

The Mercer Review was published in the September 2021 CIPA Journal. CIPA members can view this in the members area. Non members can also see the review here.


The UK patent attorney profession is changing in response to the world in which it operates. The review began just before the pandemic hit, but the impact of Covid-19, in particular the need to move at pace to online examinations, reinforced that the time was right to review the training and assessment of student patent attorneys.

The Mercer Review was commissioned by CIPA Council to examine the education, training and assessment arrangements for entry as a Registered Patent Attorney (RPA) onto the UK Register of Patent Attorneys maintained by IPReg and for election as a Fellow and Chartered Patent Attorney (CPA) of CIPA.

The Review was conducted independently from the governance of the CIPA, and Council views itself as a stakeholder in the process, alongside partner organisations involved in the organisation of the education process, regulation process and assessment process




Chris Mercer, CIPA Council

Chris Mercer, CIPA Council

Chris Mercer joined the patent profession in 1975 and passed the UK Finals exams in 1979. For the majority of his career, Chris was either a partner or a consultant for Carpmaels & Ransford, with a large practice in oppositions and appeals at the EPO and litigation before the UK courts. Chris is a member of Council for CIPA and is also on a number of CIPA committees, including the Education, Patents and Litigation Committees. He is also on epi’s Council and on various epi Committees and was a founding member of EPLIT. Chris is a former president of both CIPA and epi. He appeared as an advocate in a Moot Court event in 1977.

Parminder Lally, Appleyard Lees

Parminder Lally, Appleyard Lees

Parminder is a UK and European patent attorney and a Partner at Appleyard Lees. She joined the patent profession in 2011 and specialises in drafting and prosecuting patent applications for computer-implemented inventions, including AI.

Parminder is currently a member of CIPA Council, the Chair of CIPA’s Education Committee (EdCom) and on CIPA’s Computer Technology Committee. Parminder is particularly passionate about ensuring student members have access to training and learning opportunities, and support, wherever they work or are based. In her spare time, she writes her brAIn blog and tries to grow her own veg

Lee Davies, Chief Executive, CIPA

Lee Davies, Chief Executive, CIPA

Lee Davies has been the Chief Executive of the Chartered Institute of Patent Attorneys (CIPA) since February 2012. Prior to this, Lee was the Deputy Chief Executive of the Institute for Learning (IfL), the professional body for further education teachers. Lee’s professional background is in engineering (mechanical services) and further education teaching. Lee has experience of the governance of professional bodies, having served as the President of the Chartered Institute of Plumbing and Heating Engineering (CIPHE) in 2011-12.
Lee says that such a varied career, from apprentice plumber to CEO of CIPA, via organisations such as the Highbury College in Portsmouth, the Workers’ Educational Association (WEA) and IfL, has left him a little confused about his professional identity. Lee now identifies as an ‘association leader’, although the concept of association leadership is, in Lee’s words, “woefully undervalued and little recognised in the UK”. Lee is a passionate advocate for the association sector and is President and Chair of the Institute of Association Leadership (IAL), where he leads the Chief Executives’ Forum.

Lindsay Pike, Mathys & Squire

Lindsay Pike, Mathys & Squire

Lindsay is a trainee patent attorney and is a member of the life sciences and chemistry team at Mathys & Squire, having first joined the profession in January 2020. She is currently at an early stage of “part qualified”, having completed the PGCert in Intellectual Property Law at Queen Mary University of London in January 2021. She also holds a PhD in Biological Sciences from the University of Cambridge (2020) and a First Class BSc Genetics from Cardiff University (2015).

Since starting her training, Lindsay has gained experience in patent drafting, prosecution, and opposition of patent applications in the UK, Europe and worldwide. She has worked on cases from a variety of clients, including multinational companies, SMEs, and academic institutions, across the chemical and pharmaceutical fields. She has experience in inventions relating to gene therapies, antibodies, vaccines, chimeric antigen receptors, genetically-modified plants, food enzymes, and even anti-wrinkle creams (amongst others). She has a special interest in antibiotics and microorganisms.

Lindsay is the current Honorary Secretary of the CIPA Informals committee (2021-2022), having also been the Cambridge regional secretary and Education Coordinator for the Informals 2020-2021. She also has a 12-year-old black cat (“Little Cat”) and a 9-month-old golden retriever (“Big Pup”) who are both completely bonkers and great at helping her switch off after work.

Vicki Salmon, Impact IP

Vicki Salmon, Impact IP

Vicki Salmon is a solicitor and UK and European patent attorney and patent attorney litigator.  She began her career with Mewburn Ellis, before moving through city law firms and back to patent attorney practices.  She is now a co-founder of Impact Intellectual Property LLP, which started in September 2021.

Her work includes advising clients on all forms of IP protection, from strategy and filing, through clearance, disputes and exploitation.

Vicki is chair of the Education Committee, member of Council and vice chair of the Internal Governance Committee.  She is also a member of the Litigation Committee, having chaired it for a while, and a member of the Patents Committee.  She is a contributor to the CIPA Guide to the Patents Act.  As chair of litigation committee, Vicki worked on the development of the UPC with the other UK and EU professions, which involved many meetings with the IPO and appearances in front of a select committee.

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