Our history


Our history stretches back to the 1860s, when John Clayton Mewburn started his intellectual property firm in London. In the 1890s he was joined by George Beloe Ellis and together they formed Mewburn Ellis & Co.

Our history

We have always been a modern, forward-thinking firm. George Ellis’s daughter, Margaret Dixon, became the first woman to practise as a UK patent agent in 1936. And over the years our hard earned reputation for academic rigour and a straightforward approach to business has not faltered.

A vibrant firm with an impressive history

We are proud of our history – six members of the Ellis family have been partners in the firm and the last Ellis retired from the partnership in 1988 – but we are never burdened by it. Although we are a large firm with many partners, our partnership is one of the youngest and most vibrant in Europe. Through fluctuations in the economy and advances in technology, Mewburn Ellis has thrived.

A global perspective

We have always sought to forge new partnerships across the world and are leaders in promoting IP globally. In the early 1980s, with the boom in business across Asia, we saw the desire amongst Asian attorneys to deepen their understanding of European patent law and practice. Our response was to run a 2-week training course over the Summer for these attorneys. This proved so successful that over 30 years later it is still a thriving part of our programme of seminars and events.

Offices in London, Bristol, Manchester, Cambridge and Munich

Our regional influence has grown over the years as we have expanded our business out of London. We recognise the importance of a local presence. Our first regional office opened in 1921, when we took over a local firm in Bristol. In 1987 our Manchester office opened with a similar take-over. In 1990 we opened our fourth UK office in Cambridge.

In 2017 we officially opened our first office in mainland Europe, in Munich, Germany.  The opening of our Munich office represents an expansion of our IP services, following a period of significant growth for us in the UK. Our new office is fully part of Mewburn Ellis LLP. We have undertaken IP work in Europe for domestic and international clients for many years, but given the increase in the volume of European work we handle, establishing an on-the-ground presence was the natural next step.

All five offices work very closely together and are highly effective in sharing resources.