"Charles Courtenay is dual qualified in the UK and the US and focuses on IT and IP litigation and contract disputes."

Legal 500 2023

"Charles Courtenay is a cross-border IP and technology disputes specialist… a solicitor advocate with substantial experience in patent, trade mark, copyright and trade secrets litigation…[and] an expert in IT disputes, particularly from a cross-border perspective."

Legal 500 2021

I am a Barrister and Partner in the Commercial & Regulatory Disputes team working between London and Exeter.

My practice focuses upon intellectual property and other complex commercial disputes, with particular emphasis on cross border, technology and finance matters. I am well versed in international patent and copyright litigation, particularly involving the US and the UK. As a dual qualified advocate (England and Wales in 1999, California in 2004), I have hands-on experience in courts and arbitrations across both jurisdictions. Previously, I led the European IP disputes team at Latham & Watkins; I also spent eight years in Los Angeles, before relocating to London.

As a barrister, I first practiced as a Chancery junior in Lincoln’s Inn after completing an Art History MA at St. John’s College, Cambridge and the BVC at the Inns of Court. I was called to the Bar by Inner Temple, before practicing from Maitland Chambers, where I remain a door tenant.

I am also the Earl of Devon and, independent of my work at Michelmores, I own and operate the Powderham Estate, near Exeter, focusing upon sustainable heritage and land management.

In 2018, I was elected to the House of Lords as a Crossbench Hereditary Peer, where I champion the interests of Devon, and speak on Technology, Heritage, Agriculture, and the Environment.

Recent experience

Representing an international technology company in electronic payments in bringing patent litigation against a competitor in the UK and the US simultaneously. At the same time and for the same client, we are bringing an international patent licensing dispute before the LCIA

Representing a leading south-west drinks provider with licensing and bottling dispute with suppliers

Assisting in the formation and representation of the UK’s wedding venue industry group during the COVID-19 pandemic, in the face of commercial and regulatory claims arising out of the cancellation and/or postponement of event

Defending a world-leading American consumer electronics and software company in major licensing and trade secrets dispute with its UK graphics technology supplier

Securing a complete defense of a leading international live music promotions and ticketing company in a near-$1-billion-dollar breach of contract arbitration relating to ticketing software, conducted before the ICC in London