Meet The Team: Alex

In the next of our new series of blog posts on key Mathisen & Macara team members, we meet Alex King. This blog focuses on Alex’s career and his role as a partner in the firm.


Alex qualified as a UK Chartered and a European Patent Attorney in 2005 and has a Chemistry degree and a PhD in Surface Science from the University of Southampton.

After three years as a scientist in BP's research laboratories, he worked for several years in the patent departments of petrochemical companies BP and INEOS. He then co-founded Compass Patents, which merged with Mathisen & Macara in 2011.

He specialises in industrial chemical patents, particularly polymer production processes, and various other areas, from fishing equipment to solar energy collection. He has considerable experience in European Patent Office Opposition and Appeal proceedings.

We now find out more about Alex’s career and what he enjoys about it.

The start – from research to patents

Alex describes his career choice as almost one of chance yet it is clear it is one he enjoys. Fascinated by science, he took a Chemistry degree and then a PhD in Surface Science from the University of Southampton.

It was this specialism that led him to work as a research scientist at BP Chemicals from 1997. “It was there that I was first exposed to patents, and from there, I transferred to BP’s patents group.” During his time at BP, Alex trained as a patent attorney.

The buzz

Alex’s scientific and research background still plays a strong role today and drives what he enjoys about his role: “I’ve still got a little bit of research scientist in me, so I like working with clients to understand what they have been working on, and why.” While this is “not solely for personal interest”, he “finds this a useful way to not only identify potential inventions but also whether it makes sense to try and protect them with a patent.”

It's not just the science and research, however, that piques this interest and drives him. It is also about new ideas and their application: “I very much enjoy getting involved with patents in new areas of technology.”

My career purpose

Alex uses this interest in research and science to benefit his clients. As he sees it, he creates “advantages for businesses in the industrial chemical sector, with commercially focussed advice.” His career story comes across as a great example of where personal interest and passion coincide with professional application – definitely a career sweet spot.  

Tell my younger self

For some people, thinking about what advice they would give their younger selves can become introspective and painful. Not for Alex. It’s quite straightforward: “be flexible, don’t be afraid to try new things when you get the chance and make the most of any opportunities you get.” It is advice that he has taken in his career so far, especially with the journey from scientific research to patent law.

The new normal

Alex has found that the pandemic, as for so many other people, has led to “more working from home and more online meetings.” Client relationships still form the bedrock of the firm’s approach: “we do good work for our clients, and they recognise that.”