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With a degree in engineering and industrial experience working as an engineer in automotive R&D, Richard specialises in the mechanical and electrical fields. He has knowledge of a wide range of technologies in these fields, but has particular experience in automotive and aerospace. His automotive expertise is in powertrains, engine control and hybrid vehicles, including the design of electrical machines for hybrid applications. His aerospace experience takes in mechanical systems, electrical systems and manufacturing technology, usually in commercial aeroplane applications, but also in spaceflight applications. He is also active in technologies in the Cleantech sector.

Richard’s patent practice includes drafting new applications, prosecuting applications worldwide and managing large portfolios for multinational corporations. European Patent Office opposition work, including representing clients at oral proceedings before the EPO, forms a large part of Richard’s practice, with The Legal 500 noting that he is 'a particular expert in oppositions.'

As well as being a European Patent Attorney and a Chartered UK Patent Attorney, Richard is qualified as a Singapore Patent Agent following a spell practising in that country.

Outside his casework, Richard has been involved in setting and marking the European Qualifying Examination - the exam that leads to qualification as a European Patent Attorney. He is a contributing editor to the Chartered Institute of Patent Attorney's Patents Training Manual and speaks regularly on patents in the US and Europe.

Richard is currently the firm’s Managing Partner. He was elected to this newly-created role in 2015. Since then, he has led delivery of the firm’s strategic plan.

Richard is recommended each year in the world’s leading guides to the Intellectual Property sector.

IAM Patent 1000: Richard is ranked again this year in the IAM Patent 1000 as ‘highly recommended’. The 2022 edition said, 'Richard brings industry experience as a mechanical engineer to his patent practice. He has been defending a major aerospace player at the EPO for almost 15 years and is looked to for his creative solutions in the face of tricky challenges'. The 2020 edition notes, ‘Managing partner Richard Howson’s combination of IP expertise and technological know-how has led to great success in the aerospace and automotive sectors’. The 2019 edition said, ‘With particular expertise across a wide range of mechanical and engineering fields, he is 'loved by clients' with good reason: it is almost impossible to find his blend of technical mastery and client skills anywhere else'. He was also recommended in the 2018 edition, and recognised as a ‘mechanical whizz’ for his expertise in this technical area.

IAM Global Leaders: Richard was ranked in a select group as an ‘IP Global Leader’ in the launch edition of this guide. IAM describes its global leader list as, ‘our most prestigious ranking and identifies the elite among practitioners within the patent industry – those who innovate, inspire and go above and beyond to deliver value for their clients’. Richard was listed again as an IP Global Leader this year.

Legal 500: Richard is ‘recommended’ for patent prosecution in the Legal 500. In particular, Richard was recognised for his work on ‘patent protection strategy’.

MIP IP Stars: Richard is ranked as a ‘Patent Star’ in all recent editions of Managing Intellectual Property’s worldwide guide to the IP profession. It notes that ‘Kilburn & Strode has been growing under the leadership of patent star Richard Howson.’


European Patent Attorney
Chartered UK Patent Attorney
Singapore Patent Agent
IP Litigator - Patent

Representative before the Unified Patent Court (UPC) (2024)
BEng (Hons) Mechanical Engineering - The University of Birmingham (International Gas Turbine Institute prize for final-year project)


​Chartered Institute of Patent Attorneys (CIPA)
The Institute of Professional Representatives before the European Patent Office (EPI) - Member of committee that devises and marks the EQE (2007-2012)
International Federation of Intellectual Property Attorneys (FICPI) - Council member and Secretary of FICPI-UK