Reflecting the inclusive, responsive, and client-focused environment cultivated at FB Rice, these promotions demonstrate the firm’s commitment to our team at all levels of their career and stage of life (such as those on parental leave). We commend the following promotees and their dedication to developing their area of expertise, whilst continually providing superior service for their clients.

January 2022 promotions

Congratulations to David Herman, Brittany Howard and Marianne Repacholi who have been promoted to Senior Associate, and Michelle Catto and Rowena Wilson who have been elevated to Associate.

David Herman | Senior Associate | Chemistry | Melbourne

With a background in nanotechnology and materials science, David’s practice reflects a diverse range of chemical technologies including nanoparticles, mineral processing, composites, polymeric coatings, and process chemistry. Having been with the firm since 2015, his experience spans patent drafting, prosecution and strategic advisory services, including considerable work with patent oppositions and revocation actions before IP Australia and IPONZ, and litigation support before the Federal Court of Australia. Along with a PhD in nanomaterials chemistry, David also holds qualifications in medicinal chemistry and molecular pharmacology, allowing him to work across interdisciplinary projects at the interface of both nanotechnology and biotechnology. Since joining the firm, David has invested considerable time in getting to know and understand our clients’ technologies, which allows him to provide clear and pragmatic advice aligning with their commercial goals. David’s working highlights include being involved in over ten patent opposition and revocation actions in Australia and New Zealand, as well as managing the global patent portfolio of a large ASX listed company. One of the most rewarding aspects of David’s role is becoming part of his clients’ wider team and achieving results that enhance the value of their businesses.

“I am delighted to receive this recognition alongside my fellow chemistry colleagues, Marianne and Brittany. I thoroughly enjoy my work and look forward to continuing to support our firm’s clients.” – David Herman.

Brittany Howard | Senior Associate | Chemistry | Melbourne

As a senior associate working in our Melbourne Chemistry team, Brittany handles extensive patent portfolios for local clients, multinational pharmaceutical and chemical companies, and universities. She entered the profession in 2014 after having undertaken a Postdoctoral Fellowship at the National Institute of Health (Bethesda) in the United States. Prior to this, Brittany completed her PhD in Medicinal Chemistry at the Monash Institute of Pharmaceutical Sciences. Joining the firm in 2015, Brittany’s clients value her ability to relay complex strategic advice with clear and concise communication, and her friendly and approachable nature. Brittany was awarded ‘Best IP Specialist’, as part of the Client Choice Awards 2021. Clients value Brittany’s holistic approach in managing their IP portfolios, and importantly, her ability to relay complex strategic advice with clear and concise communication; as evidenced by this incredible recognition.

“Client focus and responsiveness are a priority for me. It’s a privilege to work alongside such talented and innovative clients and I look forward to providing further strategic advice following this elevation. Thank you to the partners for the recognition and continued support.” – Brittany Howard.

Marianne Repacholi | Senior Associate | Chemistry | Melbourne

Beginning her career at FB Rice in 2013, Marianne provides client-focussed and commercially-minded IP services in anticipation of the needs of her clients. Marianne’s work extends across a broad range of chemical technologies such as composites, mineral processing, food and beverage technology, agrochemicals, animal health, pharma and drug delivery technologies. Underpinning her extensive portfolio of practice is her strong background in research including a PhD in inorganic chemistry, and as a Postdoctoral Research Fellow within the ARC Centre of Excellence for Electromaterials Science. Marianne prides herself on her skills in drafting, in particular, her recent work for a leading Australian research organisation who described her drafting as being a ‘beautiful piece of work’ that ‘has captured the invention precisely’ and has given a lot of thought into structuring the specification so that it reads very well, adding that, ‘it certainly was a pleasure to read’.

“Receiving recognition for my efforts is an achievement I am proud of, and a testament to the positive culture of FB Rice in promoting from within and, in particular, supporting women in their career growth and development. I would like to thank my colleagues and partners for their continuing support.” - Marianne Repacholi.

Michelle Catto | Associate | Medical Technology | Sydney

Michelle has established herself as an invaluable member of the medical technology team in Sydney, having started with the firm in 2019. With a background in mechanical engineering, she gained considerable experience across a wide variety of manufacturing methods and technologies. This industry experience provided Michelle with valuable insights into the practical challenges of bringing new technologies to market. Coupled with her genuine enthusiasm for working with clients, she guides them through each stage of the intellectual property protection process with dedication and insight. Michelle has been proud to work with local research institutes researching areas of clinical need, assisting them to protect their latest innovations and develop their IP portfolios.

“I love being part of the team at FB Rice. I look forward to continuing to engage with the vibrant medical technology sector.”– Michelle Catto.

Rowena Wilson | Associate | Computer & Electronics | Brisbane

Joining the firm in 2019, Rowena thoroughly enjoys working closely with her clients to identify and strategically protect their patentable assets. She specialises in drafting and prosecuting patent specifications in a range of ICT technologies including data security, computer systems, image processing and communication technologies. With a background in Australian R&D, Rowena is experienced in undertaking technology landscape searches and developing IP strategies to identify and protect commercially relevant technology. Rowena has been proud to work with an Australian consumer device company to identify key patentable technology and to enact a comprehensive patent protection strategy.

“I appreciate the opportunity that this role provides to engage with my clients and realise their IP needs. I look forward to gaining further insights, and providing the best service to my clients.” – Rowena Wilson.