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Dr. Chris Hayes

Dr. Chris HayesPartner

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I joined Lewis Silkin in January 2017 and I am a barrister specialising in intellectual property advising clients across a range of sectors on the identification, protection and enforcement of intellectual property rights.

I have an extremely strong scientific background, with a doctorate in molecular genetics from Oxford.

I was elected a Junior Research Fellow at Merton College and awarded a Medical Research Council Research Fellowship at Oxford. I have had work published in a range of leading scientific peer-reviewed journals. I have been fortunate to have worked as a scientist and as a lawyer for leading global pharmaceutical companies including Merck, Sharpe and Dohme, Bristol Myers-Squibb and Lundbeck. The experience of having worked in-house in industry has given me a highly commercial approach which I have carried through to private practice.

My practice spans a number of sectors, including automotive, fashion and retail, manufacturing and pharmaceuticals; however, the common thread is my focus on high-technology IP rich clients and brand-driven clients.

I have extensive experience litigating in Ireland as a centre for multi-jurisdictional pan-European disputes, particularly in the pharma sector.

Dispute Resolution


I have experience of patent cases from trial to appeal in the UK and have advised on issues of validity and infringement across multiple sectors, from pharmaceuticals, chemicals, biotechnology and foods through to manufacturing & engineering and telecommunications. In addition I have also litigated patent licences and advised on the validity of such licences, as well as advising on prior user rights and the application of the research exemption as potential defences to infringement. Because of my scientific background, I am very comfortable in dealing with technical subject matter.


In addition to this I have advised and acted in UK and Community trade mark infringement cases and passing off claims.


I have experience in copyright and database right matters particularly in relation to software. I have been involved in cases involving design Community design rights and UK design rights. I have also acted in breach of confidence and defamation claims.

Brands & IP

I provide a range of advice to clients on the protection, exploitation and enforcement of the intellectual property in their brands. I am particularly interested in exploiting and protecting brands via social media.

Technology & Communications

I have acted in software and database rights claims and software licensing disputes in the IT sector. In addition to this I have acted in breach of contract claims for IT systems (software and hardware), including defective practice management systems and systems’ outages. In addition to this I have also advised clients on the commercial aspects of technology agreements.

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