The Disciplinary and Interim Orders Tribunal

All members of the Disciplinary and Interim Orders Tribunal (“DIOT”) are independent of IPReg and were recruited following an open recruitment campaign supported by an independent recruitment agency. 

No members may have been a member of the IPReg Board, or the CIPA or CITMA Councils or IPReg staff members in the three years prior to their appointment.  Lay members of the DIOT are not and may not have ever practised as a legal professional.  Professional members may be retired or current patent attorneys, trade mark attorneys or other legal professionals regulated or formerly regulated by an approved regulator in the UK.   

Members of the DIOT will be appointed by the DIOT Chair to fulfil the following roles from time to time:

·       Interim Orders Panel members

·       Case Examiners

·       Disciplinary Panel members

A member of the DIOT may not fulfil more than one role in relation to an individual case (e.g. if a member sits on an Interim Orders Panel, they may not be a Case Examiner or a Disciplinary Panel member in the same case).


DIOT Members

Paul Brooks - Lay member, Chair of the Disciplinary and Interim Orders Tribunal

Paul has a background in private equity investment and venture capital. During his career, he has worked extensively with lawyers.

He is currently the lay chair of the Investigation Committee of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales (ICAEW), having previously chaired its Disciplinary Committee. He is also a lay member of the Council for Licensed Conveyancers’ Adjudication Panel. He therefore has considerable experience of professional regulation and disciplinary matters.

Paul is a justice of the peace, sitting in Central London, where he is a presiding magistrate.

Hannah Poulton - Lay member

Hannah worked for more than 20 years in financial services, where she developed an interest in governance and professional regulation.  This has led her to leave the corporate world and develop a portfolio of roles in this area.

She is now a Non-Executive Director of the Welsh Cycling Union and serves as a Lay Member on two advisory groups for NHS Blood and Transplant, and on the professional conduct committee for the General Chiropractic Council. She volunteers as a Justice of the Peace. Hannah also works with a range of businesses as a Part-time Marketing Director and also enjoys coaching and mentoring others to develop their skills and confidence. She is co-founder of the Nonpareil Network, a supportive network for professional women in midlife, which promotes equality and diversity.


Michael Glickman - Lay member

Michael has worked in education for over 40 years and is currently equality and diversity adviser within a local authority education department. His roles in the public sector have included director of a local Healthwatch, lead governor of an NHS Foundation Trust and founder and trustee of a health charity.

He has been an additional inspector for Ofsted and currently sits as a lay member of fitness to practise panels for the General Pharmaceutical Council, the Nursing and Midwifery Council and the General Chiropractic Council.


Judith Webb - Lay member

An ecologist and forester by background, Judith used to own and manage a small livestock farm from which she ran a woodland management consultancy and contracting business. She has a BSc in Biology & Geology, an MSc in Environmental Technology and a Post Graduate Certificate in Education and in 2011 Judith was awarded an MBE for Services to Conservation.  Judith has been involved in the Science Engineering & Technology mentoring programme for Women in Public Life and as a Public Appointments ambassador and mentor.

Judith now has a portfolio career working across England, Scotland and Wales, including lecturing in forestry and arboriculture, various non-executive, audit & risk assurance and regulatory / fitness to practice roles. The latter includes experience from appointments with the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons, Bar Standards Board, Independent Agricultural Appeals Panel, CILEX Regulation, Judicial Conduct Investigations Office, the Labour Party’s new Independent Complaints Board, Social Work England and the Nursing & Midwifery Council.


Richard Thompson - Lay member

Richard is a former Executive Director at the Financial Ombudsman Service with expertise in regulatory investigations, high-volume complaint handling and dispute resolution. He is an accredited commercial mediator and has more than 25 years’ experience leading and directing competition law, consumer protection and dispute resolution case teams across multiple sectors, including financial services and electronic communications.  Richard is a lay panel member on the Disciplinary Pool at the Institute & Faculty of Actuaries (IFoA).


Mark Stobbs - Lay member

Mark Stobbs began his career as a civil servant in what was then the Lord Chancellor’s Department (now the Ministry of Justice) where he worked on a number of projects, including the regulation of the legal profession.  He then joined the Bar Council, running its professional conduct work.  He worked there for 14 years, dealing with all aspects of the Council’s regulatory work and became the first Director of the Bar Standards Board.  He was Director of Legal Policy at the Law Society for eight years, dealing with the Society’s policy in respect of legislation, regulation and access to justice.

Since 2016, he has been Director of Scrutiny and Quality at the Professional Standards Authority for Health and Social Care, overseeing the process for reviewing the performance of the ten statutory health and social care regulators and considering fitness to practise decisions that may not be sufficient to protect the public.  He is a member of the Bar Standards Board’s Independent Decision-Making Body and of the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons’ Veterinary Nurses’ Preliminary Investigations Committee.  He edits the chapter on barristers in Cordery on Legal Services and on solicitors in the  County Court Practice.


Claire Breheny - Trade Mark attorney member

Claire is a registered UK and EU Trade Mark Attorney.  She is an Intangible Asset (IA) Director and Head of Support at Stobbs which she joined at its inception in 2013. Claire has worked in the profession since 2007 and specialises in managing expansive global portfolios for large UK based direct clients, and managing European work for US based clients. As part of her role, she provides advice on management and organisation of her client’s portfolios, and development of IP strategies which work alongside the commercial needs of the business (both from a filing and enforcement perspective). Claire is experienced in searching, clearing, protecting and enforcement work (including litigation, online brand enforcement and domain recovery) in a wide range of jurisdictions globally, with particular experience of managing complex disputes and settlements across a number of jurisdictions.

Claire has also appeared before the UKIPO in inter parties Hearings and has a number of published articles. Claire also regularly attends INTA and the INTA Midyear conferences, and currently sits on the INTA Unreal Committee. She has also featured regularly in publications including WTR 1000 and The Legal 500.


Louise Smith - Trade Mark attorney member

Louise is a registered UK trade mark attorney and patent attorney and a European patent attorney. 

She graduated with a BSc in Physics with German from the University of Birmingham and she holds a MSc in Management of Intellectual Property from Queen Mary college.  She also holds a LLM in Legal Practice from Nottingham Law School. 

Louise started her career in private practice handling trade mark, design and patent matters. She subsequently worked in house as an Intellectual Property Attorney for a global manufacturer of agricultural machines and tools where she was responsible for the Group's global trade mark portfolio and for patent matters emanating from the Group's R&D in Germany.  She enjoyed working in house and wanting a change of subject matter, she looked to the fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG) industry.  Louise is the Director Global Intellectual Property at Jacobs Douwe Egberts, a global manufacturer of coffee and tea products.  She heads up a team of IP specialists responsible for the company's patent, trade mark, design and domain name portfolios. 

Louise is an Officer within the Army Reserve.


Natalie Brindle - Trade Mark attorney member 

Natalie is a Chartered UK Trade Mark Attorney, and is a Director at Harrison IP, which she joined in 2007 to establish its trade mark practice.  Natalie has been in the profession since 1996, and started her trade mark career at Zeneca/Astra Zeneca where she handled large portfolios of pharmaceutical, agrochemical and specialty chemical trade marks. 

As part of her role, Natalie deals with all aspects of domestic and international trade mark portfolio management, from creation, clearance and registration to enforcement, licensing and assignments.  Natalie has handled the trade mark side of several large divestment and acquisition projects, and is experienced in contentious matters before the UKIPO and the EUIPO.

Natalie is an active member of CITMA, PTMG and ECTA.


Rhys Williams - Patent attorney member

Rhys is a registered UK patent attorney and a European patent attorney.  He  joined the profession in 2003, and is currently a Managing Partner at Abel + Imray. 

Rhys’ work involves a broad mix of technology in the physics and engineering subject areas.  He has worked with many types of client, from private individuals, to in-house departments of multi-national businesses.  In addition to his wide range of experience, he has for many years been involved in the training of new attorneys.  This includes a series of patent drafting and client management workshops run in collaboration with the UK Intellectual Property Office.


Andy Leppard - Patent attorney member

Andy is a registered UK patent attorney and a European patent attorney.  He qualified in 2004 and founded Script IP in 2012. 

Andy is a Chartered Engineer and specialises in electronics, semiconductors, telecoms, engineering and software patents.  Andy was an examiner for 10 years for the UK qualifying examinations.  Andy is a course leader for trainees patent attorneys sitting their UK examination in infringement & validity and their European qualifying examinations in drafting and amendment. 


Nicholas Fox - Patent attorney member

Nicholas is a solicitor and a European and Chartered British patent attorney, and is also qualified and admitted as an Attorney-at-Law in the State of New York.  He is a partner at Finnegan Europe LLP specialising in intellectual property law with a focus on electronics, telecoms and software.

Nicholas is the author of the practitioner’s work, "A Guide to the EPC 2000" and the consulting editor and author of the UK intellectual property, European patents, European enforcement and Unified Patent Court chapters of the book "Intellectual Property in Electronics and Software" published by Globe Law and Business.