Kirsten Toft

0113 2379902 [direct]

07833 328079 [mobile]


Kirsten Toft recently acted for General Electric Oil & Gas in relation to a high value intellectual property acquisition.  The assets to be purchased by us were a portfolio of worldwide patents protecting cutting edge technology. We were particularly impressed with Kirsten’s ability to cut through to the core IP issues in such a short time scale.  Her legal knowledge in this area was impressive but also very commercially-driven.  Kirsten demonstrated her keen negotiation skills when working with the other side’s lawyers and defended our interests at every stage.  We appreciated Kirsten’s work on this matter and the level of service we received. We look forward to working with her again in the future.”

Raymond Millien, Chief IP Counsel of General Electric Oil & Gas

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Kirsten is a Vice Principal at Virtuoso Legal and has over 17 years of experience of advising on Intellectual Property, IT and commercial matters. Kirsten is not only seen as an elite expert in her field but also equally friendly and approachable. Her expertise covers both contentious and non-contentious issues.  She advises clients on the protection, management, enforcement and exploitation of Intellectual Property rights.

She has extensive experience in advising clients on all aspects of the field of Intellectual Property including patents, copyright, design right, trade mark, passing off and confidentiality. She is practiced in resolving disputes through the Courts and through mediation. She also specialises in licensing and other commercial exploitation of Intellectual Property rights including drafting and negotiation of commercial agreements. She regularly advises on the IP, IT and commercial aspects of corporate deals.

Kirsten obtained a BSc (Hons) in Molecular Biology at the University of Manchester in 1996. Upon completing the CPE and LPC, Kirsten joined international law firm Hammonds (now Squire Paton Boggs) and qualified as a solicitor in 1999. Kirsten practised intellectual property law at Hammonds’ London office until she moved to Australia in 2005.  Kirsten also has a Post Graduate Diploma in Intellectual Property Law and Practice from The University of Bristol.

In Australia, Kirsten worked for Spruson & Ferguson lawyers in their Sydney office in the Commercialisation of Intellectual Property Department. She was admitted as a lawyer of the Supreme Court of New South Wales, Australia in April 2006. Kirsten returned to the UK and joined Virtuoso Legal in November 2007.

Kirsten has acted on behalf of both multinationals and SMEs, including: General Electric Oil & Gas, The Royal Free Hospital, Ringtons, Moordale Foods, ARM Limited, Matchmakers International, Leeds College of Music, Harrods Group, Cookson Group PLC, Reckitt Benckiser, United Biscuits (UK) and Black & Decker.

Client Testimonials

“It was a great benefit to me to have Kirsten negotiate a manufacturing license for all my designs. The achievement of very favourable terms were due to her imaginative solutions and exceptional negotiating skills.

I’m so glad I had Kirsten fighting my corner.”

Martin Ryan, Managing Director of Ryan Holdings

“Kirsten Toft has been instrumental in the radical overhaul of our copyright policies for student and staff at Leeds College Of Music. As well as creating a policy that allows much more freedom and protection for student work, she has allowed us to ensure that Leeds College Of Music’s attitude towards Intellectual Property and Copyright is both progressive and fit for purpose. She also delivered bespoke training on these new policies for a wide range of staff and stakeholders, from Student Services, Human Resources,  Registry, Business Support to Academic Staff, to ensure that these polices were all fully understood by those who would have to explain and implement them to staff and students.”

Professor Joe Wilson, Director of Curriculum Leeds College of Music 2014

“The IP audit and recommendations provided by Kirsten were thorough, informative, and above all commercially focused. Working with Kirsten, it very quickly became clear that she understands how businesses work. Kirsten is very responsive to the needs of the client and appreciates the value of practical and commercial advice, at all times providing workable strategies for putting this into effect.. I would highly recommend Kirsten and the team at Virtuoso Legal.”

Cielo Cartwright, Finance Director of Matchmakers International Limited

“Kirsten Toft has done a substantial amount of legal work for our business. Kirsten made sure she understood our business and our individual requirements in a patient manner. The legal documents produced were done efficiently and professionally. I would recommend Kirsten to any business seeking expert intellectual property legal assistance. The fact that she is lovely and personable is an added bonus.”

Suzanne Powell, Marketing Director of Vizbox Enclosures Limited

“Virtuoso Legal have given us tremendous value. I knew there were holes in our IP protection but I didn’t know what or where. Virtuoso Legal helped us identify the holes which we’re now filling. I’m a great believer that finding partners in business is more beneficial than finding suppliers. I consider Virtuoso Legal to be a valued partner. I have no hesitation in recommended them.”

Simon Hartley, founder of Be World Class Limited

“We were recommended to instruct Virtuoso Legal on a recent brand purchase and as a result were referred to Kirsten. This was a major transaction for our business and a substantial investment. Kirsten worked closely with our corporate lawyers and was very impressive in terms of commitment, capability and speed of response. As a result we intend to retain Virtuoso, and consequently Kirsten, to advise on all our Intellectual Property requirements.”

David Vizor, Director of Floors 2 Go

“I have worked with Kirsten over the past year to complete IP audits and exploitation strategies for both Innovate Now and a number of our clients, Her approach has quickly uncovered any risk areas and her advice is concise and commercially focused to both protect and facilitate growth in the companies concerned. She is extremely approachable and conveys complex legal matters in layman’s terms which has been appreciated by all my clients.”

Jane Hurn, Director, Innovate Now Ltd

Published articles recently include:

  • Outfoxed on Appeal – Court of Appeal Affirms That Series Marks Are Compatible With The Trade Marks Directive, Entertainment Law Review [Vol 27, Issue 7, 2016]
  • No Glee For Fox – Court of Appeal Confirms Relevance and Admissibility of “Wrong Way Round Confusion” Evidence, [ Issue 4, 2016]
  • “NOCN (formerly National Open College Network) v Open College Network Credit4Learning – charities and ownership of goodwill in descriptive marks” The Reporter [Issue 108, December 2015]
  • “Trade marks: The EU General Court provides guidance on own name, unfair advantage and late evidence in trade mark proceedings” Journal of Intellectual Property Law & Practice [Vol 10, Issue 8, 2015]
  • “Rights Holders Beware: Using Ebay’s Verified Owners System, Cassie Creations Ltd v Blackmore”, Computer and Telecommunications Law Review [Vol 21, Issue 2, 2015]
  • “Suzy Taylor v Alison Maguire”, Entertainment Law Review [Vol 25, Issue 4, 2014]
  • “The Case of SAS Institute Inc v World Programming Ltd”, CTLR [Vol 20, Issue 2, 2014]
  • “Private copying Levies, Illegal Online Sources and the Private Use Defence: ACI Adam BV v Stichting de Thuiskopie”, Entertainment Law Review [Vol 25, Issue 6, 2014]

Notable cases:

  • Air Parade Limited v Travel Republic Limited and Roger Fenton (Database theft, breach of confidence)
  • Schering Plough Limited v Savant Healthcare Limited (Trade Mark infringement and passing off)
  • ELAS v Simply HR Limited (breach of confidential information and database theft.)
  • Jack Johnson v Derek Landy and Harper Collins Publishers Limited (trade mark infringement and passing off)
  • Starcomm Limited – v – Ross Knapman (1), Deep Blue Networks Limited (2) and others
  • Mars PLC v Wagg Foods Limited (trade mark infringement and passing off)
  • Rockwater v Coflexip, RPC 46, 2003 and 2004, (patent, subsea technology) (Court of Appeal)
  • Yellow and Black trade mark application in name of Black & Decker – appeal from TM Registry, 2004
  • Black & Decker v. ALM Manufacturing – Lawn edge trimmer technology, 2003
  • Baby Dan AS v Brevi SRL [1999] FSR 377 (UK unregistered design right)

To speak to Kirsten, or for more information about how we can help you, call:

01132 379 900