Careers in Ideas, Remote access meeting

A free online event
about becoming an “Appointed Person”

Wednesday 22 September 2021
12 – 1.30 pm



An “Appointed Person” (AP) is a senior lawyer who is an expert in IP law. APs hear appeals against IPO decisions on trade mark and design cases. They are appointed by the Judicial Appointments Commission (JAC), an independent commission that selects candidates for judicial office in courts and tribunals in England and Wales.

This free online event, brought to life by the UK Intellectual Property Office (IPO) and IP Inclusive’s Careers in Ideas initiative, talked about what the AP role involves and offered the chance to learn from those already in post. We were pleased to welcome speakers from the JAC, who explained about the application process and the work they are doing to support diversity more broadly.

We were also delighted that Mr Justice Meade delivered the opening address for us, encouraging IP professionals to consider applying to become future APs.


Discussions covered:

  • What the AP role involves
  • The skills it requires
  • Who can apply
  • Typical working arrangements
  • The importance of a diverse judiciary and what’s being done towards that
  • How you can prepare if you’d like your career to develop in this direction

The event included a panel discussion chaired by Natasha Chick (Divisional Director, Tribunals, Trade Mark and Designs at the UK Intellectual Property Office), in which our experts shared their personal experiences as well as the basic facts. We then provided a chance for delegates to meet with individual APs in less formal breakout sessions, so they could ask their own questions and network with other IP professionals.

All IP professionals, legal professionals and other would-be APs were welcome to attend.

Please note that this event was not timed to coincide with an AP competition; it merely provided information for those considering applying for the role in future.


The panellists were:

  • Daniel Alexander QC, Appointed Person
  • Ruth Annand, Appointed Person
  • Emma Himsworth QC, Appointed Person
  • Tom Mitcheson QC, Appointed Person
  • Brie Stevens-Hoare QC, Commissioner, Judicial Appointments Commission
  • Claire Thurlow, Senior Stakeholder Engagement and Diversity Manager, Judicial Appointments Commission
  • Brian Whitehead, Appointed Person


Follow-up materials

You can listen to a recording of the panel discussion here, read the IPO’s report of the event or download the panellists’ bios. You may also like to visit the JAC’s general Guidance on the application process for judicial appointments.



This event was free. So are all our resources. We think it’s important to keep Careers in Ideas and IP Inclusive the right side of the paywall.

That said, we do need money to keep the show on the road, so if you enjoyed the event please consider contributing to our 2021-22 fundraising campaign. For individual ad hoc donations, our crowdfunding page is here. Or for more information – including for corporate sponsors – visit our general fundraising page here.

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