John Harbottle

Intellectual property specialist Secerna LLP has added a new member to the team, enhancing the firm’s biotech expertise.

Doctor of Molecular Biology John Harbottle joins the established intellectual property law firm as a Trainee Attorney to support a growing worldwide client base of multi-national corporations, FTSE and NYSE listed companies, universities, spin out companies, small businesses and innovators.

Having graduated from Leeds University with a First-Class Honours degree in Pharmacology, John attained a Master’s degree in Drug Chemistry at Newcastle University. On completion of his Master’s, John undertook a PhD in Molecular Biology in which he identified and investigated novel molecular mechanisms of antimicrobials targeting nucleic acid polymerases.

At Secerna, John will apply his expertise to help biotech companies protect their intellectual property.


On moving into intellectual property law, John said, “I have had my eye on a career in IP law since the completion of my undergraduate degree. It will allow me to use the knowledge I have acquired through my education in a practical way. I’ve always had a passion for existing and developing technology, and this line of work enables me to be hands on with the latest developments, which excites me a lot.”

He added, “A few years ago I identified Secerna as a company I wanted to work for. They are a highly-regarded IP firm with the bonus of having offices in the north of the country, where I wanted to be. I’m extremely happy that the partners offered me the opportunity to join the firm.”

Secerna Partner Charlotte Watkins said, “Even through the Covid-19 pandemic our services remain in high demand, and we are seeing growth. We are committed to providing clear development paths for talented young science and technology graduates, like John, and I’m very happy to be attracting someone of his calibre to the company. He brings a wealth of knowledge to the role and we are looking forward to watching him grow and develop his skills. With more clients, and space at our city centre offices, our search for talented people to fill positions at all levels of our business continues.”