Commercial. Responsive. Honest.

Our core values. Commercial- we will provide you with the best advice for your business- not a lengthy legal analysis, but real, practical recommendations with your business aims at the core. Responsive- getting back to you when you need us to, not when it suits us. Full online access to your portfolio when you want it. Honest- a law firm with integrity. No hidden fees, no secret mark-ups. Absolute transparency.



Set up in 2014, Vault is the antidote to traditional law firms. Vault’s core values are based on the needs of our clients, not our business. Our approach is totally flexible- your commercial objectives are our priority, and we promise never to use sleep-inducing boilerplate letters. Every piece of advice is tailored to you.

Our professional fees are much lower than other law firms because of the tools we use- secure cloud computing and a fully paperless office mean that our overheads are rock bottom. This doesn’t mean we compromise on quality (our deadline monitoring systems and client file storage are secure and reliable) it means we’re working smarter.

Use of these tools also gives you access to your portfolio 24/7. You will receive a dedicated, secure client login to enable you to monitor and download your IP portfolio whenever you want. 

We proudly fly the flag for SMEs in the UK- we are in a unique position to understand the challenges of forming and growing a company because that is exactly what we are doing.  Therefore we have a real insight into how small business are run, and the challenges they face.  We are an SME for SMEs.

For example, we understand that bills of unpredictable size and frequency are unhelpful.  Therefore we offer flexible pricing structures. Fed up with the sound of the clock running when you’re on the phone to your attorney? No problem. All fees will be agreed in advance. We also have fixed fees for just about every stage of the patent, design and trade mark process so you can accurately budget and forecast your IP spend.


Attorney Profiles



Michelle Bishton is a Chartered Trade Mark Attorney, qualified to act before the UK and European Intellectual Property Offices. She has an honours degree in Law and a Masters degree in Intellectual Property.  After joining the profession as a graduate she has worked for 3 large UK firms of IP attorneys and has 18 years' experience in the profession.

During her time in the profession, Michelle has worked for a wide range of clients from individuals to multi-national corporations. She has been fortunate to work for clients in a multitude of different industries ranging from mining, lubricants, lighting, agriculture and construction to consumer electronics, toys, hair care, bathroom products, clothing and food.  In addition to searching and filing trade mark applications in the UK and overseas, Michelle also has a great deal of experience in filing and defending oppositions, preparing co-existence agreements and managing worldwide assignment and licence recordal programs.


Phil Sanger is a Chartered and European Patent Attorney, a European Designs Attorney and Patent Attorney Litigator. He has a first class master’s degree in mechanical engineering from the University of Bath and worked as an engineer for nearly 4 years before joining the patent attorney profession.  After joining the profession as a graduate, Phil worked for 9 years for a highly regarded large UK firm of IP attorneys.

Phil has a passion for engineering, and in particular innovation in the engineering sector. As an attorney he has worked for companies ranging from large multinationals to SMEs and sole inventors.  Phil has worked in, and is comfortable with all areas of mechanical engineering due to his academic and professional background including manufacturing engineering, aerospace, automotive, agricultural equipment and medical engineering.  Specific experience includes composite manufacture and testing, civil aircraft structures, aircraft control surface actuation, gas turbines, surgical products, medical pump technology, agricultural equipment and actuators and simulators for a variety of applications.


Amy Bishton is a Chartered and European patent attorney with a first class honours degree in Physics from the University of Reading. Since joining the profession over 10 years ago, and having worked with start-ups, SMEs and multinational businesses, Amy has acquired a wide range of technological expertise across the computing and engineering fields. Her areas of expertise include medical devices and medical imaging, telecoms, encryption and authentication systems, industrial control systems, web-based applications and content delivery, and consumer electronics with particular emphasis on user interfaces, audio and visual technologies, battery technology, gamification and mobile applications. Amy is particularly interested in ‘Digital Health’ technologies and the use of ‘big data’ in the healthcare sector.

Amy’s experience in software and computer-implemented innovation has allowed her to provide opinions on software patentability for the UK and Europe. Her experience encompasses freedom-to-operate projects, validity opinions, portfolio management and prosecution strategy, patent transactions, competitor monitoring and patent enforcement.


Jennifer Unsworth is a Chartered and European Patent Attorney and a European Designs Attorney.  She has an honours degree in medical materials science and a PhD in cartilage tissue engineering, both from the University of Nottingham.  Prior to joining the patent attorney profession, Jennifer worked as a researcher for a multinational medical device company and held technology transfer positions at the Universities of Nottingham and York and Health and Social Care Northern Ireland. In these positions, Jennifer developed an interest in the role of intellectual property rights in the development and commercialisation of technology.

During her 9 years as an attorney, Jennifer has worked for a range of clients, including individual inventors, small & medium size businesses, academic institutions and multinational companies.  As a Fellow of The Institute of Materials, Minerals and Mining, Jennifer applies her knowledge of materials science and engineering to inventions across a broad range of technology sectors, including aerospace, automotive, medical devices and home improvements.


Jane Kennedy is a Trade Mark Attorney with an LLB in Law and a post graduate Diploma in Legal Practice. Jane has worked in the legal profession since graduation, with over 12 years of experience working with trade marks both in house and in private practice. Jane provides commercial and practical advice on all areas of trade mark law and has extensive experience on clearing marks for use and registration and filing and prosecution of Trade Mark applications before the UK IPO, EU IPO, and WIPO.

During her time as a Trade Mark Attorney, Jane has worked with a wide range of clients from start ups and SMEs to large and multi-national corporations, spanning multiple sectors including Building and Materials, Electronic and electrical equipment, Financials, Food Products, Health Care and Investment Companies. Jane uses her knowledge to effectively deal with contentious matters including oppositions, revocation and invalidity matters, advising on Trade Mark Infringement and Passing Off. With a great eye for detail, Jane is also experienced in reviewing, drafting and negotiating agreements such as; co-existence, confidentiality, licensing, and assignment agreements.


Serena graduated with a 2:1 in media and cultural studies, where she explored in great depth the complex relationship and influence between media and society.   

She had a successful career in planning and managing advertising campaigns for a variety of advertising agencies, with her clients ranging from International fashion brands to West End theatre shows and even a Police force. In this role, Serena has been behind campaigns that have been nominated for and received industry awards as well as garnering extensive media attention. 

Moving on from media planning, Serena further expanded her skill set through a selection of project and account management positions.

Serena is one of the latest editions to the Vault IP team. Utilising her sound account, client and office management skills, she has taken on the multi faceted role of PA to both Michelle and Phil. She is very excited to join the stimulating world of IP law and is currently working towards becoming certified by both CIPA and CITMA





We specialise in securing protection for your inventions. We will work with you to identify the inventions in your new products, undertake prior art searches, draft and file patent applications and manage them through to grant in the UK, Europe and overseas. For larger portfolios we offer full management, including regular reviews and detailed cost projections. Your portfolio is accessible online 24/7 for you to review, and export for your internal and external reports.


The caped crusader of IP- designs are an inexpensive and fast way to protect the appearance of your products. The Community Design provides 5 years registered protection across the entire EU, with no examination process. Therefore registered designs can be secured in a matter of weeks with no long-winded prosecution process. What’s not to like?

Trade marks

Every business has a company name, logo etc. which it uses to build goodwill and enable consumers to identify its goods or services. Anything which enables consumers to differentiate goods and services of one company from those of another is known as a trade mark. While unregistered rights can be obtained through use, such rights take a long time to acquire and can be extremely costly to rely on. To protect your company adequately it is recommended that registration is sought. We can conduct searches for prior rights, prepare suitable specifications, file applications and deal with objections or oppositions on your behalf, as well as offering ongoing maintenance services in relation to your trade mark portfolio.


We believe that attorney involvement should not stop when your patents, designs and trade marks are granted or registered.  Active portfolio management is essential to make sure you know what protection you have, where you have it, and what it is costing you.  Active renewal management can save your business significant money.



IP is a complicated field, with many overlapping rights, both registered and unregistered.  The following infographics are designed to provide a quick and easy reference guide to the different types of rights, and the various processes involved in securing them.



Vault IP Limited

5th Floor, Cavendish House, Waterloo Street, Birmingham, B2 5PP

t : +44 (0) 121 296 9164 |  f : +44 (0) 121 296 9080 |  e :

Where to find us

Although we have moved to our new home in Birmingham as of January 2017, we retain strong ties to Leamington Spa. We enjoy the use of some excellent meeting facilities in Leamington if clients prefer.


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