Welcome from Rt Hon Lord Smith of Finsbury - Chair

Dear Candidate,

I am delighted that you are interested in applying to be a member of the IPReg Board. These vacancies have arisen because at the end of September this year, one of our patent attorney Board members (Nigel Robinson) will have completed two terms of office and is stepping down. At the end of June 2023, one of our lay Board members (Caroline Seddon) will also have completed two terms of office and is stepping down.

This is an exciting time to be part of legal services regulation – and the intellectual property sector (IP) in particular which will play a key role in the UK’s future economic success. In addition, IPReg is nearing completion of a major review of all its regulatory arrangements and ensuring that they are implemented smoothly will be a key piece of work for the IPReg Board. Our ambition is to be a regulator that patent and trade mark attorneys are proud to be regulated by. 

Legal services regulators also face some real practical challenges and, as is the case in so many regulatory environments, you will face intense scrutiny from demanding (and often challenging) stakeholders.

Because regulation is not legally separate from representative bodies, the Chartered Institute of Trade Mark Attorneys (CITMA) and the Chartered Institute of Patent Attorneys (CIPA) have an “oversight” role. We also have an “oversight” regulator – the Legal Services Board (LSB). Our relationship with these bodies is therefore a very important one and this means navigating the fine line between recognising their role and ensuring independent regulation.

Our executive team is small, but very capable and effective, with only 8 people (each working part time). Being part of the Board brings involvement with fascinating issues and interesting challenges; it is immensely enjoyable.  I hope you do decide to put yourself forward for the role. 

For a confidential conversation with Thewlis Graham Associates, who are supporting us with this recruitment, please contact Sarah Thewlis, Managing Director at: applications@thewlisgraham.com. Sarah will be happy to discuss this opportunity with you.

Yours faithfully

Rt Hon Lord Smith of Finsbury