Congratulations to our new Senior Associates and Associates

We are pleased to announce the promotion of eight of our attorneys to Senior Associate and Associate positions, effective from 1 July 2020.

Managing Partner, Ross McFarlane says, “The lifeblood of our business is our outstanding people. These promotions are a significant professional development milestone that recognise technical expertise, demonstrable leadership, exceptional client service delivery, as well as a commitment and valued contribution towards the success of the POF Group.”


New Senior Associates:


Michelle Blythe – Senior Associate
BBiomed MEng MIPLaw
Michelle has been promoted to Senior Associate within our Electronics, Physics & IT team. Michelle joined Phillips Ormonde Fitzpatrick in 2014, and primarily practices as a Patent Attorney in the area of medical devices and instrumentation. She works across a diverse range of technologies, including electronic devices, electrical and mechanical systems, software, life sciences, and physics. Michelle provides client-focused and commercially-minded IP services for some of the largest clients in the Electronics, Physics & IT team. She also assists a number of smaller SME clients in protecting and commercialising their inventions.



Dr Leigh Guerin – Senior Associate
BMedPharmBiotech(1st Class Hons) PhD MIPLaw
Leigh has been promoted to Senior Associate within our Chemistry and Life Sciences team. Leigh’s work focuses on assisting clients such as research institutes, universities and SMEs in protecting their vital work in a range of biomedical technologies and biologicals. Leigh’s international research career in immunology and reproductive biology provides him with strong expertise in important medical technologies such as immunotherapeutics and cellular therapies.



Dr Annabella Newton – Senior Associate
Annabella has been promoted to Senior Associate within our Chemistry and Life Sciences team. Annabella works with a range of clients including global corporations, SMEs, start-ups and individuals, providing tailored IP advice aligned with their business objectives. She has experience handling large patent portfolios for multinational companies and specialises in pharmaceutical extensions of term, strategic patenting advice, and provides opinions on infringement, validity and freedom to operate.

Annabella has in-house experience, having been seconded to a leading Australian research organisation several times as an IP Manager. She is also a strong advocate for diversity and inclusion within the STEMM sector and the patent attorney profession and currently serves on the board for Women in STEMM Australia.



Dr Matthew Overett – Senior Associate
BSc (Hons), PhD Chem, MIP
Matthew has been promoted to Senior Associate within our Chemistry and Life Sciences team. Matthew’s practice includes drafting of patent specifications for Australian universities, research organisations, corporates and SMEs, advice on infringement and validity, and prosecution of local and international patent applications. Having worked in R&D and IP Manager roles at a multinational chemical company and a large research organisation, Matthew has in-depth insight into the value that IP rights can bring to an organisation.  His in-house experience of developing, protecting and commercialising innovative technologies enables him to provide pragmatic advice to clients on securing their intellectual property.


New Associates:


Dr James Burnley – Associate
MSci, PhD MIPLaw
James has been promoted to Associate within our Chemistry and Life Sciences team.  James joined Phillips Ormonde Fitzpatrick in early 2016 after stints working in academic and industrial settings.  He enjoys interacting with inventors to help them achieve success on their commercial journey.  He has experience with advising, drafting, and prosecuting patents over a wide range of technologies.  His experience includes managing a large patent portfolio throughout South East Asia and providing pharmaceutical litigation support in Australia.  James has a particular interest in chemical and medicinal inventions.



Alexis Keating – Associate
LLB (Hons), BSc
Alexis has been promoted to Associate within Phillips Ormonde Fitzpatrick Lawyers. Alexis is an IP Lawyer and Registered Trade Marks Attorney. She has assisted with contentious IP matters before the Federal Court of Australia, both at trial and appellate levels. She has also assisted with matters before the Trade Marks Office, Designs Office and Patent Office. Alexis’ non-contentious practice includes the negotiation and drafting of IP assignments and licences. She also does trade mark prosecution.

Alexis is completing a Master of IP Law at the University of Melbourne. She was recently awarded a Frank Pinkerton scholarship for achieving the highest result in Designs Law and Practice.



Adam Pepper – Associate
BSc, BEng(Hons), GradCertSocSc, MIP
Adam has been promoted to Associate within our Electronics, Physics and IT team. Adam has a decade of commercial research and development experience and is qualified in both electronic engineering and applied physics, having obtained dual Bachelor degrees with Honours from RMIT University. Adam joined Phillips Ormonde Fitzpatrick in 2016 as a Trainee Patent Attorney after completing his Master of Intellectual Property Law and is involved in patent prosecution for both local and international clients. Prior to joining Phillips Ormonde Fitzpatrick, Adam was a Design Engineer at NEC, a Japanese multinational provider of information technology services and products.



Peter Wassouf – Associate
B.Eng (Mech) (Hons), B.Bus JD MIPLaw
Peter has been promoted to Associate within our Engineering team. Peter is a mechanical engineer with a passion for innovation and the law. Since joining Phillips Ormonde Fitzpatrick in 2014 Peter has worked on large infrastructure projects, delivering innovative and strategic solutions with respect to mechanical, civil and electrical assets, and also assists individuals and SMEs in protecting and commercialising their inventions and designs.

Prior to joining Phillips Ormonde Fitzpatrick, Peter worked with a large water utility company, and was actively involved in the delivery and review of mechanical and civil infrastructure projects. Peter also worked as a mechanical engineer for a large global consultancy, where he was involved in a variety of technical and strategic projects.


We congratulate our attorneys on their promotions.