Cath Coombes

Cath Coombes

Director, Patents


Cath Coombes is the lead of our Life Sciences team.

Cath also leads our dedicated CRISPR team while also specialising in the fields of animal nutrition, AgBio, sequencing and pharmaceuticals. She has extensive experience in opposition and due diligence work as well as patent prosecution.

Having worked on some of the original CRISPR patents, which focused on manipulating CRISPR as an inane bacterial immune system, Cath has since spent many years conducting complex contentious matters and prosecuting a wide array of patent applications relating to CRISPR’s application across gene-editing, antimicrobials, foods, industrial biotechnology, diagnostics and agriculture.

This, alongside her background working for science companies in process development for food ingredients and the scale-up of pharmaceuticals, gives Cath a unique depth of knowledge with which she provides highly pragmatic, strategic and commercially focused IP advice. Her clients vary from universities and spin outs to large multinational companies, where she excels in managing worldwide patent portfolios.

Cath’s renown in the CRISPR field means that she is regularly called upon to write and provide comment for legal and scientific journals as well as leading media sites, including Nature, Science, The Scientist, IAM, Institute for Protein Innovation, World Intellectual Property Review and Life Sciences Intellectual Property Review.

Aside from CRISPR, Cath has a wealth of experience in protecting other biology-focused innovations, including in the fields of large molecule pharmaceuticals, molecular biology, food ingredients, enzymes, health, gene/protein sequences, diagnostics, immunology, drug delivery, biochemistry and plant biotechnology.

Cath has worked in IP private practice since 2004 and at Director level since 2015. She joined Murgitroyd in 2020.

An active member of IP Inclusive’s senior leaders’ think tank, Cath often hosts Women in IP events in the Yorkshire area and has signed its pledge which aims to empower senior IP professionals to lead diversity and inclusion initiatives within their organisations.

Core Expertise: CRISPR technologies, gene-editing, enzymes, food ingredients, pharmaceuticals, antimicrobials.

  • CRISPR technologies
  • Gene-editing
  • Enzymes
  • Food ingredients
  • Pharmaceuticals
  • Antimicrobials

Leader of our Life Sciences & Healthcare Team awarded Gold by the Financial Times

Financial Times European Leading Patent Law Firms, combined Pharmaceuticals, Biotechnology, Food & Healthcare awards - 2019, 2022, 2023 & 2024

Many thanks for your ongoing highly valuable support!

Chief Scientific Officer, German Biopharmaceutical Company

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