Biologist takes up attorney role

By Tanya Hollis
Thursday, 28 March, 2002

A molecular geneticist has joined Freehills Carter Smith Beadle's (FCSB) biotechnology group as a patent attorney.

Tom Gumley, who holds a PhD in molecular immunogenetics from the University of Melbourne, said the new role gave him the chance to broaden his field.

"It allows me a broader range of projects than I had working as a post doc, where I was a specialist in the immune system of mice," Gumley said.

"But I will always be a biologist at heart."

Gumley's role at FCSB, the associated patent and trade mark attorney arm of law firm Freehills, involved preparing and drafting patents, prosecuting them in Australia and overseas, managing IP portfolios and general audits and reviews of IP.

He said he switched from science to law in 1995 when he joined IP Australia.

Before taking a job with Freehills, Gumley worked with Sydney firm Griffith Hack, where he concentrated on universities, research institutes and government organisations.

He said his new position gave him the opportunity to delve more into the commercial aspects of biotechnology.

"My core business is similar to what I was doing previously, but the advantage at Freehills for me is that it broadens the range of clients I can work for," Gumley said.

"I can really get into private enterprise because of the greater commercial focus here."

He said he was looking forward to gaining experience in commercial law and mergers and acquisitions.

Before his transition to patent attorney, Gumley completed a post doctoral fellowship at the Austin Research Institute, publishing work in several international and Australian journals.

He remains involved in the field as a regular lecturer at major universities.

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