Gordon Harris Partner Co-head of Intellectual Property

Speaks:  English

Qualified: 1984 - Solicitor of England and Wales

Primary office:  London

Secondary office  Birmingham

Gordon Harris

Gordon Harris helps clients to enforce and protect their valuable intellectual property rights, and particularly patents and designs.

Gordon conducts litigation in all UK and European Courts for clients seeking to protect their IP, or those who have been accused of infringing other people's rights. He is known as a fighter who will explore every avenue to get the right result, including, going to the Supreme Court to change over 100 years of patent law in order to ensure the right outcome for a client.

He has conducted groundbreaking cases on designs and brands in the European Court of Justice, and contested the validity of patents in the European Patent Office.

He has over 25 years' experience in IP and is involved in law reform and development through various committees and organisations. All of which allows him to provide decisive commercial advice to clients and to help them to decide the best avenue to take in any given case. 

As a qualified mediator accredited by CEDR and the World Intellectual Property Organisation, Gordon also pursues alternative dispute resolution both on behalf of clients and as a mediator.

Gordon developed his interest in IP early in his career and has never wanted to do anything else. He finds the business of learning about clients' products and businesses endlessly fascinating and is always keen to visit clients as soon as possible in a new case to get to know them inside out. He enjoys the "teach in" with clients when they tell him about their technology.

While he likes to win, Gordon is realistic that not every case can be won. He likes to establish realistic goals at the outset and to be sure what the commercial objectives are. If the aim is "win at all costs" then he is happy to put everything into driving the case forward and turning over every stone to get the right result.

He conducts work across continents with many US clients, work in Germany and France, and a role leading the firm's China office, which has achieved ground-breaking results in IP enforcement. In his view, everything is connected to everything else in the modern world and you have to think globally to get the best results.

World Trademark Review recognised Gordon in the 2017 edition of its prestigious annual guide, WTR 1000, for enforcement and litigation. 

Gordon was recognised as a 'patent star' in the IP Stars guide 2017.


The highlight of Gordon's working life has undoubtedly been winning the Virgin v Zodiac case in the Supreme Court. Working with an international team of lawyers in actions across three continents, before ultimately winning the case across the board was the most satisfying and fulfilling thing he has done. The client was saved from what would have been a very damaging outcome and achieved the right and just result.

Prior to that, in Cinpres v Melea, Gordon played the long game across over 15 years' of litigation at various levels to get the right result in a high-value patent entitlement case. Working with a great team of people in the office and at a committed client, he had to go to the Court of Appeal twice in the end to get the right outcome.

Early in his career Gordon was involved in ground-breaking cases regarding spare parts and panels in the motor industry. One case, Veng v Volvo, went all the way to the European Court of Justice and is still regularly quoted, 20 years later. It is great to be involved in cases that materially move the law forward and help to create new markets.


Zodiac Aerospace, Dyson Technology, Aston Martin, St Jude Medical, Kohler Mira, Airwave, API, automotive industry clients, aviation industry clients and engineering industry clients.

Outside work

Gordon has completed six half-marathons to raise money for a charity supported by the firm, Make-a-Wish.


Saving Zodiac Aircraft Seats the £49million in damages claimed by Virgin Atlantic, pursuing its case to the Supreme Court to change UK patent law.

Leading over 100 cases for Dyson in China to enforce its rights in the revolutionary bladeless fan product.

Enforcing important design rights for Kohler Mira in the Intellectual Property and Enterprise Court.

Acting as expert witness on European Patent law in Canadian IP proceedings.

Rescuing a motor components company by invalidating a competitor's patents in the Intellectual Property and Enterprise Court.

Clearing the path to market for new products for a household appliance company by defeating patents owned and asserted by a competitor.

Enforcing patent and design rights for a security product company to prevent blatant counterfeit goods from entering the UK market.

Obtaining an excellent settlement for a major building components company in a dispute regarding its most profitable product, ensuring that a competitor was excluded from a vital market.

Working with our Munich office to ensure that the market is kept free for a major US medical instruments company by monitoring competitor patent activity.

Advising a leading UK automotive manufacturer regarding enforcement of its IP rights in China.

Career & Recognition

Filter timeline:
  • 2016

    • Rankings & Awards
      Recognised as an expert, Who's Who Legal: Trademarks 2016
    • Career
      Gowling WLG (UK) LLP, partner
  • 2014

    • Career
      Wragge Lawrence Graham & Co, partner
  • 1990

    • Career
      Wragge & Co, partner
  • 1984

    • Qualifications (Year of Call/Admission, etc.)
      Qualified, Solicitor of England and Wales
    • Career
      Wragge & Co, associate
  • 1982

    • Career
      Wragge & Co, trainee
  • 1981

    • Education
      LLB Hons, University College London