22 July 2019Rory O'Neill

IP industry mourns Mr Justice Henry Carr

Mr Justice Henry Carr, a widely-respected British IP judge, has passed away.

The news was announced by the UK Courts and Tribunals Judiciary on Friday, July 19.

Carr was appointed as a judge at the chancery division of the UK High Court in 2015, following more than 30-years as a barrister, and spells as a deputy chancery master and deputy high court judge.

“On behalf of the entire Judiciary, the Lord Chief Justice wishes to record his admiration for Sir Henry’s outstanding contribution to the administration of justice, which has been so tragically cut short,” the Judiciary said in a statement.

Carr served as chairman of the IP Bar Association from 2012 until 2015.

11 South Square, a London-based set specialising in IP, with whom Carr served, described him as a “much-loved member of chambers”.

“Henry combined a brilliant forensic intelligence with a warm and witty personality,” 11 South Square said in a statement.

“His judicial career was cut tragically short, but he showed huge courage and commitment to his role, continuing to hear cases until very recently despite his serious illness,” it added.

Speaking to WIPR, Kathryn Pickard and Brian Nicholson, barristers at 11 South Square who worked with Carr, said it was “impossible to convey just how much he will be missed”.

“He was always keen to ensure that his team had a proper work-life balance and would take regular breaks during the day and invite others to join him for a stroll around Gray’s Inn, a coffee on Leather Lane or lunch at one of his favourite haunts, Charlick’s, on Gray’s Inn Road,” they said.

Carr was also generous with his knowledge and experience, Pickard and Nicholson added.

“He was always happy to devote time to assisting with a complex point of law, or simply offer a few words of reassurance on a difficult case.”

They said he also brought these characteristics with him to the bench after being appointed as a judge: “It was always a pleasure to appear in front of him, not least because he would always enter the courtroom with a cheerful smile, genuinely pleased to be in court.”

Richard Mair, vice president of the Chartered Institute of Patent Attorneys (CIPA), first got to know Carr early in his career as a barrister 30 years ago.

“As a High Court Judge, he commanded tremendous respect, and that extended internationally as well,” Mair said.

“I remember one event in particular that illustrated this; at the annual ECTA Conference something like 10 years ago he was on a panel of half a dozen judges from different European countries that was asked to decide an (invented) case.”

“All the other judges gave way to Henry to provide the lead (and in fact only) judgement.”

Lee Davies, chief executive of CIPA, said he was “very sad to hear of the death of Mr Justice Henry Carr; a giant in the world of IP and a great friend of CIPA”.

Joshua Rozenberg, a well-known legal commentator, praised Carr as “modest and charming” in a twitter post yesterday, July 21.

Akash Sachdeva, consultant barrister at Keystone Law and former pupil of Carr’s at 11 South Square, said in a tweet that Carr made him “feel like I could do anything”.

Sachdeva said that Carr was his first mentor in law and “did that job superbly”.

Carr was called to the bar in 1982 after earning first-class honours in jurisprudence at Hertford College, University of Oxford.

He represented clients at all levels of the UK judiciary, as well as the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU).

He successfully represented the defendant Zodiac in a dispute with Virgin at the UK Supreme Court in 2013. According to 11 South Square, the Supreme Court “overturned 115 years of authorities in allowing the appeal by the defendants”.

WIPR offers its sincerest condolences to Henry’s family, friends and colleagues.

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