The thing that motivates me in my job, is that as a patent attorney you have a real impact on bringing new inventions to market which can change people’s lives and wellbeing.

I’m Charley Renney, I am a European Patent Attorney and I work at Abel and Imray. Our company helps get protection and legal protection for new inventions for companies and inventors. A patent will allow them to get protection for their product and prevent others from making and selling that product for a short period of time.

Salary range and qualifications required 

  • Minimum qualifications for role: undergraduate science degree followed by 4–6 years of on-the-job training and exams before qualifying as a patent attorney.
  • Salary ranges: starting at £35,100 as a trainee patent attorney rising to £58,800 after qualifying.

One day I may be out meeting an inventor to discuss their new inventions. Another day I may be at the European patent office defending a client’s patent or I may be at a networking event or conference.


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My inspiration to get into chemistry kind of stems back to my school days. I had an enthusiastic and passionate chemistry teacher who engaged my interest in chemistry. From this I went on to study chemistry at university and this is what ultimately lead me on to a career as a patent attorney as it was able to provide me with some exposure to research but outside the lab.

One of the things I enjoy most about my job is I enjoy the fact I can have a real impact on bringing new inventions to market and this can be very rewarding particularly when the inventions relate to new drug molecules that can improve people’s health and wellbeing.

Chemistry is at the forefront of all the research into solutions for these problems, be it new solar panels, or compounds for carbon capture in the case of global warming, or developing new medicines in the case of diseases and illnesses. Chemistry is central to all of these.

Many friends of mine who studied chemistry with me at university have moved into fields other than chemistry-related, so from accountancy to law to publishing. The skills that they got from studying chemistry helped them get into these professions.

I’m really proud to be a chemist, I think chemistry is a fascinating subject which gives you an excellent understanding of the world around you but it also equips you with some key transferable skills that help you in everyday life.

Want to know more?

  • Explore your study options and look into gaining work experience with a law firm.
  • Visit IP Careers which provides detailed careers advice, employer directories and everything you need to know about becoming a qualified patent attorney.

First published 2020