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Kate Legge

Special Counsel, Lawyer

Masters in IP Law
Bachelor of Science (Biochemistry)
Bachelor of Laws

Kate is an experienced life sciences patent lawyer, providing IP leadership for product development and commercialisation across global markets in pharmaceuticals, biopharmaceuticals, medical technology and devices, digital health and diagnostics – from initial scoping through to post-launch. She has developed and implemented global IP strategies over more than 15 years at multi-national pharmaceutical companies. She is an Australian qualified and registered legal practitioner, and has a Master’s degree in IP Law and a BSc in biochemistry.

Her expertise includes freedom-to-operate (FTO) patent assessments, ‘front end’ procurement and licensing agreements, IP strategy design such as patent circumvention/product redesign and alignment with regulatory procedures, Australian and European patent oppositions and US inter partes review proceedings, and managing multi-party patent litigation, primarily Hatch Waxman proceedings in the US.

Where desirable, Kate assists her clients with litigation settlement strategy and licence negotiations. She is a commercially focused adviser and provides digestible recommendations and updates on IP and litigation strategy and competitive risks.

Kate also advises on IP policy in Australia and New Zealand, drafting submissions to government and providing regional input into global patent policy development and international treaty negotiation, with a focus on the pharmaceutical and biopharmaceutical industries.

Kate obtained foundational training in IP licensing and commercialisation (IT and pharma) at Norton Rose (then Deacons Graham & James) and King & Wood Mallesons (then Mallesons Stephen Jaques) and Australia’s Telstra Corporation.

Most recently, Kate was in-house IP Counsel at Pfizer, where she was responsible for all IP issues relating to a portfolio of small molecule and complex/value-added generic products.  She had similar roles at Pfizer-acquired Hospira and at Mayne Pharma, listed in the US and Australia respectively.  At Hospira she was responsible for interfacing with industry organisations and brings a unique approach, being expert at assessing pharmaceutical IP policy from both the innovator and generic/biosimilar perspective. 

Kate thoroughly enjoys collaborating with colleagues from other disciplines and, whilst in-house and at Pearce IP on an “external in-house counsel” basis, works closely with product development teams incorporating an array of diverse and geographically disparate business functions. A diligent and thoughtful advisor, she is not afraid to ask the ‘simple’ questions to ensure projects remain on-track and goal oriented.

My Awards

Chambers and Partners

Intellectual Property: Pearce IP (2024)

Australian Law Awards (Lawyers Weekly)

Finalist – Boutique Diversity Firm of the Year:  Pearce IP (2022)
Finalist – Intellectual Property Team of the Year: Pearce IP (2022)
Winner – Intellectual Property Team of the Year: Pearce IP (2021)

IAM Patent 1000

Firm: Pearce IP ranked bronze for litigation and prosecution (2022)
Firm: Pearce IP ranked bronze for litigation and recommended for prosecution (2021)

Managing IP Stars

Firm: Pearce IP ranked – Tier 3 prosecution (2022)

Women in Business Law Awards – APAC

Shortlisted: Australian Firm of the Year (2022)

Australasian Lawyer 5-Star Awards

5-Star Intellectual Property Law Firm: Pearce IP (2021)

Lexology Legal Influencer

Healthcare and Life Sciences (Australasia): Pearce IP (Q2 2022, Q1 2021, Q4 2020)
Healthcare and Life Sciences (Cross-border): Pearce IP (2021)

Legal 500

Ranked as a market leading Intellectual Property firm (2023)


Latest Articles

"Winner - Intellectual Property Team of the Year 2021"

Australian Law Awards (Lawyers Weekly)

"Finalist - Intellectual Property Team of the Year 2022"

Australian Law Awards (Lawyers Weekly)

"Pearce IP bronze ranking for litigation and recommended for prosecution"

IAM Patent 1000 2021

"Pearce IP ranked bronze for litigation and prosecution"

IAM Patent 1000 2022

"5-Star Intellectual Property Law Firm"

Australasian Lawyer 5-Star Awards 2021

"Pearce IP Ranked Tier 3 - Prosecution"

MIP IP Stars 2022

"Lexology Legal Influencer"

Healthcare and Life Sciences (Australasia): Pearce IP (Q2 2022, Q1 2021, Q4 2020)

Healthcare and Life Sciences (Cross-border): Pearce IP (2021)

"Women in Business Law Awards - APAC"

Shortlisted: Australian Firm of the Year (2022)

The Legal 500, 2023, Intellectual Property, Australia

The Pearce IP team has an in depth understanding of the science and the pharmaceutical regulatory industry driving many of their client’s businesses.  They are passionate about achieving their client’s commercial objectives – and they are extremely hard-working and dedicated lawyers.


By 2027, be the premier life sciences IP practice in
Australia and New Zealand.