Annsley Merelle Ward is an experienced and strategic intellectual property litigator focusing on complex cross-border patent, SPC, FRAND/SEP and trade secrets litigation, particularly at the interface of competition, contract and regulatory law.   

With her background in chemical engineering, Ms. Ward acts for some of the world’s leading innovative technology companies in high tech IP disputes ranging from wireless technology, radiotherapy/MRI, and algorithmic trading to TNF-inhibitors, respiratory products, and molecular diagnostics. 

Ms. Ward is renowned as an energetic and creative litigator and as someone who can identify game-changing opportunities in national procedural and substantive law. She has acted before every level of Courts of England and Wales, and the Court of Justice of the European Union, and has coordinated litigation strategy in more than 25 countries.  

Prior to joining WilmerHale, Ms. Ward was a senior associate at another international law firm and at a leading London IP litigation boutique.

Professional Activities

For more than 10 years, Ms. Ward has served the global IP community through her writing as a permanent member of the award-winning IPKat blog team, her work in the leadership of the UPC and Trade Secrets Committees of AIPPI and as a Council Member of the AIPPI UK and Programme Committee member of AIPPI. Ms. Ward is a Vice Chair to the Standing International IP Task Force of the American Bar Association Section of Intellectual Property Law (ABA-IPL) for the 2023–2024 bar year and brings her passion for advancing and supporting women in law, technology and policy to her roles in ChIPs Network, in particular as the Chair of the London Chapter and as the Co-Chair for Europe. 



  • Acting for the IP Federation (the leading UK-based industry organization for IP) in its successful UK Supreme Court intervention on the law of inventive step.
  • Acting for an innovative life sciences company to obtain ground-breaking pre-litigation discovery from a generic company, including for potential use outside UK.
  • Representing patent owners and implementers in SEP/FRAND cases, including validity, infringement, essentiality, non-compliance, FRAND rates, licensing negotiations and antitrust issues.
  • Acting for leader in radiotherapy machines in global patent litigation in 22 cases across the world (three in the UK). 
  • Acting for financial service institutions in relation to trade secrets litigation, including establishing rapid response teams for urgent multi-jurisdictional action.
  • Acting for a leading manufacturer in a rare UK patent damages inquiry.  


  • Named among the 50 most influential people in IP in 2023 by Managing IP.
  • Ranked among the leading intellectual property lawyers in Chambers UK 2024 and The Legal 500 2024 with clients referring to Ms. Ward as “excellent," “a font of law/FRAND knowledge and fresh ideas” and “totally committed to client service, flexible and hugely impressive in her ability to find ways to balance the client’s wider business concerns with the requirements of a particular case."
  • Named “Rising Star – Intellectual Property” and “Rising Star – UK” at the Inaugural Euromoney Rising Stars Awards 2019 referring to Ms. Ward as a “creative and talented litigator
  • Recognized in Euromoney's LMG Rising Stars Expert Guide in 2021 and 2022 for patents in the United Kingdom.
  • Listed as Rising Star by Managing IP - IP Stars in 2017–2022, with client feedback calling Ms. Ward “a fount of knowledge” and “very engaging to work with
  • Recognized as a Patent Leader by WIPR Leaders in 2018-2022
  • Selected by WIPR as a Top 20 Trailblazer as part of its WIPR Influential Women in IP 2019 selection, recognizing women who “are already making waves in the industry
  • Named as Inspirational Woman of the Year, Under 35 Lawyer of the Year finalist in First 100 Years Inspirational Women in Law Awards 2019 

Insights & News


  • Education

    • LLM, Specialization in Intellectual Property Law, University College London, 2008

    • LLB, University of Bristol, 2007

      with honors
    • Chemical Engineering, University of New Mexico

  • Admissions

    • England and Wales, Solicitor



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