Martin MacLean


UK & European Patent Attorney


Martin has over 20 years of intellectual property (IP) experience with particular expertise in patent portfolio management for corporates and government. He is top ranked in Band 1 of the Chambers and Partners UK guide; a position he has held for the last 13 consecutive years. In the latest edition, Martin is described by sources as “highly competent and committed to his work” (2023). He is also recommended in the latest edition of The Legal 500, and has received praise for being “a pleasure to work with” (2023), “accessible”, “knowledgeable” and for his “outstanding, can-do attitude” (2021). He has been ranked as a ‘World Leading IP Strategist’ in IAM Strategy 300 for the last four years, and recognised in the inaugural IAM Strategy 300 Global Leaders list, in which he is described as “one of the top guns of the UK life sciences patent scene.” Ranked as a ‘Recommended Individual’ in IAM Patent 1000 in the last five editions, sources commend Martin’s “deft touch in managing sprawling patent portfolios” (2021) and his “knowledge on the targeting of bacterial toxins” (2020).

Martin has conducted over 100 European Patent Office hearings, with a success rate of approximately 90%. He has a strong biotech background (PhD in microbial engineering from Warwick University), and specialises in technologies such as the protein therapeutics, antibodies, vaccines, expression systems, diagnostic assays, and ‘green’ agrochemicals.

He has extensive high value A&M (£100 m+) due diligence experience, which he is able to combine with the above core aspects of IP management, to provide valuable advice that is both informed and balanced.

Martin’s principal practice areas include; drafting and global prosecution, defence and opposition, freedom to operate and strategic advice.

Martin is a co-author of ‘Intellectual Property Issues for Bacteriophages‘, a Springer publication (2020), pp. 1-19 Bacteriophages. This article was written in combination with Dr David Harper (CEO & Founder of Evolution Biotechnologies Limited), a leading world expert in phage technology, and addresses the key challenges (and myths) associated with securing patent rights in this tech space.

Martin has a strong background in biochemistry and biotechnology, having obtained a first class degree (Warwick University) in microbial technology and a PhD (Warwick University) for research conducted into the biochemical aspects of acidophilic bacteria. He also has a master’s degree in IP from the University of London.

He acts as a tutor for the UK and European qualifying examinations. He also serves as a lecturer and clinician for the Chartered Institute of Patent Attorneys.

Martin has presented on the challenges of stem cell patentability in Europe and provided practical advice on how to obtain commercially-relevant patents in this technical field. 

Key hearings

  • “HIV peptides” (Adaltis, Abbott Lab, United Biomedical, Institut Pasteur, Bio-Rad Pasteur)
  • “Factor XIII” (Novo Nordisk, Baxter, Aventis Behring)
  • “TACI” (ZymoGenetics, Corixa, HGS)
  • “Omega-3” (Martek Biosciences, Nagase Biochem, Aventis R&T, OmegaTech, Monsanto)
  • “Stomach-action molluscicides” (Young, W.Neudorff GmbH)
  • “Pesticidal compositions” (W.Neudorff GmbH, Bayer CropScience AG)
  • “Aqueous pesticide formulations” (Monsanto, Nufarm Australia Limited, Rhodia Operations)
  • “RNase Ρ detection of pathogenic organisms” (Herrmann; MacLean)
  • “Detection of microbial residues” (DSM IP Assets, Charm Sciences)
  • “One-step detection of antimicrobial residues” (DSM IP Assets, Charm Sciences)
  • “Clonal virus therapeutics” (Wellstat Biologics, Bayer Schering Pharma AG)
  • “Propagation and directed differentiation of CNS stem cells” (Neuralstem Biopharma, Stem Cells Inc.)
  • “Recombinant EPO” (Sterrenbeld Biotechnologie; Polymun Scientific Immunbiologische)
  • “Neural Stimulation” (Enteromedics)
  • “Livestock feeds” (Univ. BC, Akzo)

Martin is a member of the Life Sciences Committee for the Chartered Institute of Patent Attorneys (CIPA).

“Martin MacLean offers insightful guidance on intellectual property issues that is both practical and future-focused in its analysis of business and market trends. He takes a sophisticated and personalised approach to his work, and his strong portfolio management skills are an excellent asset.”

IAM Strategy 300 Global Leaders (2023)

“Martin MacLean is highly competent and committed to his work.”

Chambers and Partners (2023)

“Our main contact, Martin MacLean, has truly extensive experience in prosecuting patent applications through the whole process from filing to award. His support team are also highly competent. It is a pleasure to work with Martin.”

The Legal 500 (2023)

“Martin is deeply knowledgeable and very flexible.”

Chambers and Partners (2022)

“Biotechnology boffin Martin MacLean exhibits a deft touch in managing sprawling patent portfolios for everybody from large corporations to governmental organisations and has expertly conducted more than 100 EPO opposition hearings, at a 90%-plus success rate.”

IAM Patent 1000 (2021)

“As well as being an outstanding technology attorney and exceptionally astute, Martin MacLean really knows how companies and businesses work, making him the complete package. He is one of the top guns of the UK life sciences patent scene with superb international connections.”

IAM 300 Global Leaders (2021)

Martin is a “charming and highly capable lawyer with extensive sector-specific experience… he has great scientific knowledge.”

Chambers and Partners (2021)

Martin MacLean is “accessible, knowledgeable and provides a really outstanding, can-do attitude.”

The Legal 500 (2021)

“Martin MacLean is a real guru in the healthcare and pharmaceutical field, and brings his experience to bear in not only giving very wise legal advice, but also setting things in a commercial context.”

The Legal 500

“Martin is highly responsive and creative, and works very closely with our scientists.”

Chambers and Partners

“Martin is ‘a real guru in the healthcare and pharmaceutical field’, bringing ‘his experience to bear in not only giving very wise legal advice, but also setting things in a commercial context.’ He has been described by a source as ‘very sharp’, with a ‘deep understanding of the law and the procedures at the EPO.”

The Legal 500

“We have a great relationship with Martin, he is very responsive to our needs and we would always go to him for life science matters in Europe. He is technically competent and are excellent at meeting deadlines.”


Described by the market as “a brilliant patent attorney who carries his wisdom very lightly”, Martin MacLean is “right on top of the most pressing IP challenges.”

“He handles mind-boggling technical matters in complex business projects without breaking a sweat.”

IAM Strategy 300