Tom Compton banner

Staff Stories

Home / Careers / Staff Stories / Tom Compton

Tom Compton

While searching for a graduate job during my final year of university, I knew that my number one requirement was that I wanted to make use of the knowledge and understanding of chemistry I had accumulated over the past four years. I also wanted an intellectually challenging job that didn’t involve spending long hours in a lab performing experiments that wouldn’t necessarily work. I am now four years into my training with J A Kemp and can safely say that I find myself relying on chemistry learnt during my degree on a day-to-day basis. I also thoroughly enjoy the fact that I am continuously learning about new aspects of chemistry through working on cases and discussing new technologies with inventors.

At J A Kemp, you are assigned a partner as your mentor from day one who is responsible for providing you with cases to work on and being a friendly face to go to with any questions. As you become more experienced, you also quickly start working with other partners who are able to offer their own wealth of experience and guidance. This collaborative processes provides a great learning opportunity and I’ve felt very well supported throughout my training at J A Kemp. In the first few months I also appreciated how quickly I was involved in analysing communications from the European Patent Office, drafting reports to clients and preparing arguments to overcome objections raised against applications. This gives you a real sense of responsibility for the cases you work on right from the start of your career, which can make it particularly satisfying when you achieve your client’s goals.

Day-to-day, I am never short of a challenging legal problem to solve or a complex new piece of technology to get my head around - the variety and intellectual stimulation of the job is a huge positive. For instance, my cases have involved working on small molecule pharmaceuticals, antibody-drug conjugates, lithium ion batteries and microorganisms that turn industrial waste into useful chemicals. Most of this work is done at my desk, reading and writing, but the tasks can vary enormously, from reporting and responding to communications issued on applications to attending contentious hearings before the European Patent Office in Munich or The Hague.

One of the benefits of J A Kemp being a relatively large IP firm is that there is a comprehensive training system in place that provides an introduction to patent law during your first year, followed by extensive tutoring and guidance throughout the qualification process. Another advantage is that there is always something interesting going on outside of work - J A Kemp offers a year-round calendar of social events, whether that be the Christmas and summer parties, trainee quiz nights, matches against other IP firms in various sports or just a good catch-up at the pub at the end of the week.

If you find that any of this sounds appealing to you then I would strongly recommend that you consider a career as a patent attorney. I have found the profession to be highly fulfilling and I am very glad to be working at J A Kemp.