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Interview with Robert Stephen

Robert Stephen
Robert Stephen
Patent Attorney, Co-Chair Life Sciences & Healthcare Sector

What has been your most memorable moment as a lawyer? 

I was part of a team that negotiated  a patent cross-licence between GSK and Merck, relating to the blockbuster cervical cancer vaccines Cervarix® and Gardasil®. This was an intense and memorable experience. I’m also an inventor of one of the patents that now protects the second generation cancer vaccines.

If you weren’t a lawyer, how would you earn your living?

I’m not a lawyer! I started off life in molecular genetics and retrained as a patent attorney. To answer the question, I’d love to write detective stories but I’ve never managed to put pen to paper.

What is the best piece of advice  you’ve ever been given?

When everything I touched in the lab turned to failure, the stark assessment from a senior colleague was, “Go away. Do it again. Do it better.” I find this oddly helpful when trying to get things right the first time.