Jane Glover Barrister – Mediator – Adjudicator

on collegiality


If I’m honest, part of the reason I came back to the Bar after nearly six years hearing cases at IPONZ was that I was a bit lonely. I really did like lots of things about that role. I loved running hearings, and I got huge satisfaction from the way patiently untangling each aspect of the law and the facts would usually lead to a clear overall answer. It seemed like magic – the slow and painstaking magic of logic and reason – but magic nonetheless. And I loved crafting decisions. I felt like a proper artisan when the hard work was done and it was just a matter of polishing a decision before it was released into the world. I was never aiming for a Ming vase, just a nicely balanced, functional piece of crockery.

And yet, I needed more. More variety, more challenge, more contact with people beyond one hearing every couple of weeks, more integration with the profession, more learning, just….more. In particular, I really don’t think I appreciated the importance of professional collegiality until my opportunities to experience it were so curtailed.

I thought about this the other day in the Duty Judge list. Sheesh, that was one grumpy judge, but it actually felt great to be back in the fold, waiting my turn to see if I would be hauled over the coals in front of my professional colleagues. Perhaps that is an odd thing to relish, but I loved the feeling of being part of the gang again, in the fray, no different to anyone else there.

And, of course, at Sangro Chambers I get to talk to real live professional colleagues every single day. Not that we spend hours whiling away the time with our witty banter and insightful analyses of recent cases (occasionally we do!), but it still feels like a treat to have colleagues around.

team ip does it better

The other thing I have noticed since coming back to the Bar is the tightness and collegiality of the IP profession in particular. I’m doing a mix of IP and commercial work, and – on the whole (I don’t want to offend anyone here!) – opposing counsel and other practitioners on IP matters seem MUCH more courteous than in other types of cases. I suppose that is the benefit of a small profession where either you know each other already or you know there is a high chance that you will run into each other again.

Coming back to the Bar with fresh eyes, the difference between the IP cases and commercial work is plain. In my IP cases, emails are returned promptly (and are courteous and professional), there is a sensible and pragmatic approach to sorting things out for clients, and even issues that are highly contentious don’t often seem to become personal – it’s just a good old smack-down fight, no hard feelings afterwards. (For someone with mediation-y leanings, I do love a good battle 🙂 )

Maybe in another six months I will look back on this Pollyanna view of the IP profession and shake my head ruefully, but at the moment I feel as though we are doing a lot of things right. To the extent that I ever left it, I’m delighted to be part of your tribe again!

About the author

Jane Glover


  • Great topic Jane! I found the same thing when I moved in-house. I shifted away from 2 big firms with great internal cultures – lots of team support – to being alone. I was still in a large company but noone in the IP trenches to share the details of IP cases with or use as a sounding board. I remember it being a shock I hadn’t really anticipated, and I took action fast – I started an in-house counsel monthly lunch and regular catch ups which was fantastic (and this included in-house counsel for direct competitors a bit like your experiences with opposing counsel), and I made an effort to go to events and keep in touch with private practice ex-colleagues. I’ve learned that it’s really important to have a network within your profession.

By Jane Glover
Jane Glover Barrister – Mediator – Adjudicator

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