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Clifford Chance

Clifford Chance
Don McCombie

Don McCombie


Don McCombie

Don McCombie has over 15 years' experience of advising clients on transactions and disputes relating to IP and technology.

On transactional work, Don's sector experience allows him to understand clients' key commercial drivers, also drawing on litigation experience to judge what matters and – crucially – what doesn't. In disputes, whilst Don has advised on numerous cases in the English courts, often in parallel with proceedings in the US and the EU, Don commonly employs mediation and negotiation to avoid court, relying on his transactional experience to reach a beneficial outcome.

Global IP Updates

IP topics from around the globe

  • Don has advised on the IP aspects of over 200 corporate deals, valued from £5 million to $29 billion. He has worked on numerous IPOs, share and asset sales, venture capital investments, carve-outs, joint ventures and insolvency sales, relating to companies in the software, electronics, life sciences, renewable energy, Fintech, FMCG, oil & gas, automotive and transport industries.
  • Don has brought and defended several trade secrets claims relating to subject matter including cryptocurrency trading software, chip designs, fire-resistant coatings, collections of ESG data, and oil & gas geological data, often in conjunction with conspiracy and breach of contract claims.
  • Don has negotiated patent, trade mark, copyright and know-how licences for clients in the software, finance, biotech, pharma, medical devices, business information, motor racing, rail, media and FMCG sectors.
  • Don has advised on the infringement and validity of patents for technologies including prenatal genetic tests, automatic speech recognition, intracardiac pumps, the MPEG-2, DVB-T and Bluray standards and quasi standards, mobile telephony, and several biological and small molecule medicines including inhaled antihistamines, opioids, arthritis treatments, pegylated proteins, antipsychotics and asthma drugs.

News and client work

View all news and client work featuring Don McCombie

Contact details

Career and qualifications

  • Edinburgh University (LLB) 2003
  • Nottingham Law School (GDL and LPC) 2003-2005
  • Oxford University (Dipl IP) 2009

Professional bodies

  • European Patent Lawyers Association (EPLAW)
  • Licensing Executive Society

Awards and citations

  • ‘Don McCombie brings an in-depth understanding of IP disputes, which is borne of an obvious personal interest in the subject matter and also, a true combination of expertise in contentious and non-contentious IP.’
    Legal 500 UK 2024 – Intellectual Property: Trade Marks, Copyright and Design
  • "Don McCombie is an excellent operator."
    "Don McCombie is […] supremely intelligent and knowledgeable, great with clients and a pleasure to deal with."
    Legal 500 2022
  • World Trade Review 2022: "Don McCombie is a master of IP exploitation and a smooth negotiator of IP-related deals."
  • IAM Patent 1000 2022: Recommended for patent litigation