Lee Davies wins CEO of the Year at membership sector awards

Our Chief Executive, Lee Davies, won the CEO Leadership Award at the Memcom Excellence Awards, the annual awards for the membership and association sector.

Lee, who has led CIPA for 11 years, regularly and selflessly gives of his time, experience and knowledge to support and mentor fellow CEOs and to share his thoughts on the future of the membership sector via Memcom’s CEO Forum.

Lee has successfully led CIPA through a minefield of political issues. As the UK’s departure from the European Union drew closer, he proposed and hosted a live webcast. He ensured visa-free access for members to the European Patent Office (EPO) and led the profession’s response to the Russian invasion of Ukraine and resulting sanctions regime.

Most significantly, he has protected CIPA’s members from potential unintended problems posed by international trade deals. In order to protect the UK’s membership of the EPO and safeguard CIPA’s members, Lee led a campaign urging the Government to ensure that IP provisions of the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) were aligned with existing international IP obligations – specifically UK membership of the EPO.

Around 75% of the profession’s work is conducted at the EPO. The UK patent profession’s pre-eminent reputation attracts work from around the world. Around 90% of the patent applications filed at the EPO by British patent attorneys are for overseas applicants, including many from CPTPP member states. Consequently, the profession generates around £1 billion for the UK economy in gross value added and approaching £750 million in exports, making it one of UK’s most export-intensive technical/legal service sectors.

Lee expertly steered CIPA Officers and Council on a course that ultimately led the Government to adopt CIPA’s position and to thank us for our support.

More than 30 influential parliamentarians were personally briefed by Lee, including Trade Minister Penny Mordaunt and the chairs of the international trade committees of both Houses. Overseas, Lee led meetings with key IP organisations in CPTPP countries to convince them to support the UK’s position. The campaign culminated in Lee appearing before the International Trade Committee (watch Lee’s evidence).

Lee said:  “I was nominated by the amazing people, staff and members, of CIPA and this is their award as much as it is mine. It is an honour and a privilege working with them all in what is, without a doubt, the best job in membership.

“I was judged by my peers and I know the rigour and scrutiny that goes into the judging process. To be found worthy of this accolade by people at the very top of their game is extraordinarily humbling.”

We were also Highly Commended in the Best Member Engagement category in recognition of the growth of our Paralegal membership grade.

Date published: 27 September 2023

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