Back to about us

Our history

Despite being a forward-thinking firm, we’re nevertheless proud of our long history

Founded in 1864

When Queen Victoria was on the throne and Abraham Lincoln was President of the U.S.A., the founder of our firm, John Guy Wilson, opened his office at No. 109 Market Street, Manchester, where he practised as Patent Agent, Practical and Mechanical Engineer, and Draughtsman, under the title of John G. Wilson & Co. John G. Wilson built up the business until his death in the 1890s.

The firm was subsequently taken over by John James Royle, a prolific inventor and the owner of a significant engineering business in Manchester. In fact one of the oldest surviving exhibits of articles patented by our firm is Mr Royle’s self-pouring teapot (Patent no. 6327 of 1886). On the retirement of John J. Royle in 1901 Walter Gunn took over the expanding practice and the firm was subsequently renamed Wilson Gunn.

Expansion to Birmingham and London

Offices in Birmingham and London were added in 1998 and 2001, respectively. However, these offices have histories of their own. Prior to becoming part of Wilson Gunn the Birmingham office had been owned by three generations of the Skerrett family, since being founded by Henry Skerrett in 1884. Our Birmingham office is based in Charles House.

The London office was founded by HTP Gee and dates back to the early 1900’s. His firm, trading under the name Gee & Co, later moved to Chancery House, Chancery Lane, in the heart of the London legal district, and is overlooked by Wilson Gunn’s current London office which is located in the former Patent Office building.

Modern day Wilson Gunn

Whilst we are able to draw on over 150 years of history, Wilson Gunn has always been, and remains today, a progressive forward-thinking firm. We were one of the first firms of patent and trade mark attorneys to establish a presence on the internet in 1995. This approach has ensured that we have always kept pace with our clients’ changing needs.

Although the trading style may have changed over the years, our commitment to the highest professional standards remains the same. We now have over 60 staff across our various offices, linked by the latest technology. As we reflect on our past history, we also look forward, with confidence, to our future.

You can read more about the history of Wilson Gunn on our dedicated site, which was created for the firm’s 150th anniversary.