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Science Careers Outside the Lab: Legal Services

There is a growing need for legal firms to recruit graduates with scientific skills and knowledge to understand inventions, as well the appropriate licensing, marketing and legal compliance of pharmaceutical and medical products.

Date/Time: 18 March 2021, 11:00-12:00

Venue: Online

Join this session to find out more about using your science skills in a variety of legal roles- from intellectual property, patients, regulatory affairs and rural property.

This session will help you:

  • learn about the range of job roles within legal services, including those particularly aimed at science students and graduates
  • chat with Newcastle University graduates working in this area
  • understand how to enhance your chances of success when applying for legal roles


  • Steven Banks, Regulatory Affairs Consultant, Enviresearch
  • Charlotte Patterson-Ryan, Managing Associate, Private Wealth, Womble Bond Dickinson
  • Elliot Stephens, IP Strategy and Patent Prosecution Specialist, HGF Ltd 
  • Katy Frith, Regulatory Affairs CMC Associate Manager, Novartis
Steven Banks, Regulatory Affairs Consultant, Enviresearch

I joined the regulatory affairs team at Enviresearch in 2020, providing regulatory advice and support for the registration of plant protection products and chemicals under REACH. Enviresearch is a chemicals regulatory affairs and risk assessment company based in Newcastle upon Tyne. The team at Enviresearch includes risk assessors and regulatory consultants from a combination of academic and regulatory backgrounds in the fields of environmental and chemical science.

Previously, I worked as a research assistant for Procter and Gamble, gaining experience in product development and analytical methodology. I undertook my PhD in smart formulation for precise crop protection at Newcastle University with industrial sponsorship from Croda. Through my PhD, I was able to gain extensive experience in pesticide formulation development, crop and weed pesticide metabolism, and the impacts of adjuvant chemistry on efficacy. I also have an MSc in Industrial and Commercial Biotechnology and a BSc in Biochemistry.

View Steven's LinkedIn profile

Elliot Stephens, IP Strategy and Patent Prosecution Specialist, HGF Ltd

Elliot is a patent specialist based in HGF’s Newcastle office. He graduated from Newcastle University in 2016 with a Master’s degree in Medicinal Chemistry. During his studies, Elliot spent time at a global pharmaceutical company as a synthetic chemist, synthesising and studying compounds for the use in the treatment of cystic fibrosis. Following his graduation, Elliot joined a large European IP firm in which he prosecuted and advised on patent matters across a wide range of technology, including medical devices and chemical compositions.

Since joining HGF in 2019, Elliot has acted for clients in the biotechnology, pharmaceutical and automotive sectors in several patent matters, including contentious issues, such as infringement and validity opinions, and European patent oppositions. HGF Limited is one of Europe’s largest intellectual property specialist firms and has a strong group of commercial minded IP attorneys with experience and expertise covering chemistry, engineering, electronics, life sciences, nano- technology, trademarks and IP litigation.

View Elliot's LinkedIn profile

Charlotte Patterson-Ryan,  Managing Associate, Private Wealth, Womble Bond Dickinson

I work at Womble Bond Dickinson, an international commercial law firm with a wide-ranging client portfolio and a diverse sector offering. I am a senior lawyer in the Agriculture, Farms and Estates team within the Private Wealth department. I provide rural focused property law advice to individuals, businesses, farmers and other private and institutional landowners on a wide range of matters relating to their farms, estates and rural property portfolios. I originally studied Genetics at Newcastle University before completing a PhD in Structural and Molecular Biology at St Andrews University. I then spent two years as a research associate in my PhD lab before relocating back to Newcastle to complete the law conversion course at Northumbria University and my training contract at WBD (then Dickinson Dees).

The first six months of my training contract were with the Agriculture team and very much a 'wild-card' choice – as luck would have it we were perfectly matched and I've never looked back. I've been with the firm for over ten years now and I continue to love (nearly) every minute of it!

View Charlotte's LinkedIn profile

Katy Frith, Regulatory Affairs CMC Associate Manager, Novartis

After graduating from Newcastle University in 2019 with an MChem in Medicinal Chemistry, I worked for GSK on their R&D Future Leaders Programme in the Consumer Healthcare business.  My first rotation on this graduate scheme was in New Product Development, launching new oral healthcare products for the US market. My second rotation was a role within Global Regulatory Affairs, in the Product Lifecycle Management (PLM) team. I absolutely loved the work I carried out whilst in this team. I worked on the submission of national license variations for medicinal products in our portfolio. In addition, a large amount of my time was spent working on the Nitrosamines Project. This involved the management and oversight for the delivery of the Nitrosamine Impurity risk assessment outcomes on our global medicinal portfolio to different regulatory authorities. In December 2020, I relocated to Basel, Switzerland, and I have recently started a new role at Novartis Pharma as CMC Regulatory Affairs Associate Manager. In this role I will be working on regulatory strategy and documentation for our marketed product portfolio, in addition to the Renal and Cardiovascular therapeutic area.  

How to attend

This session is open to all current students, recent graduates and early career researchers. Click on the button below to login and book your place via MyCareer.

We encourage you to read our Virtual Events Code of Conduct to find out more about online etiquette during the session. Please note the session is due to be recorded.

We want our services to be accessible to our students and graduates. Please get in touch via MyCareer you have any specific requirements, eg an alternative format, communication support, or other adjustment, to access our workshop/event.