OxFirst Leadership

Professor Graham Richards


By far the most valuable asset held by an organisation is it’s IP.

Professor Graham Richards CBE is emeritus Professor of Chemistry at the University of Oxford. From 1997 — 2007 he was Chairman of the Department of Chemistry, the largest in the western world. He is the author of some 360 scientific papers and 18 books.

He founded the Oxford Molecular Group Plc which grew from a £350,000 start-up to a £450 million public company. As a result of another deal of his a £65 million laboratory was established and the company IP Group Plc was created. He still is a senior non-executive director of IP Group.

He also helped set up the Technology Transfer Office of the University of Oxford and was one of its directors for 20 years. He holds a number of other non-executive directorships and is the author of Spin-outs: creating businesses from university intellectual property.

Professor Graham Richards​ has thirty years experience advising and leading major firms in financial services, technology and i management. Currently he is leading a non-pro

Professor Roya Ghafele


I’m passionate about unlocking the full potential of intellectual property, so to foster innovation, build global organizations and empower the global economy.

Oxfirst assists clients with valuing and assessing the economic potential of intellectual property and also advises on competition economics. OxFirst’s economic analysis has been instrumental for the determination of licensing rates, sales prices, damage awards and access to finance. OxFirst economic analysis has also been used in support of policy formulation in the area of competition and IP law.

Additionally, Roya Ghafele is a visiting Professor in IP Law with the School of Law of Brunel University. She has a large number of academic papers to her name, has advised the EU on IP valuation and is an expert to INTA’s Brand Valuation Committee (International Trademark Association), CIPA’s IP Management Committee (Chartered Institute of Patent Attorneys) and the UKIPO (UK Intellectual Property Office) Research Excellence Committee. She has been a Senior Member of St Cross College of Oxford University since 2008.

Prior to founding Oxfirst, Dr Ghafele held an Assistant Professorship in IP law with the University of Edinburgh, a Department Lectureship in International Political Economy with Oxford University and a Research Fellowship with the Haas School of Business, University of California at Berkeley. 

In 2002 she was selected as the only Austrian in several years to represent the Republic of Austria within the United Nations. Subsequently she worked as an Economist with the U.N.’s World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), where she moved from Paris based OECD (the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development). In this role she offered strategic advice on Intellectual Property and Competition to Governments in Europe and Asia. In 2000 she started her career with the management consulting firm McKinsey & Company, which she exchanged for a previous career as a ballet dancer.

Her Ph.D. was awarded the Theodor Koerner Research Prize by the President of the Republic of Austria. Dr. Ghafele was trained at Johns Hopkins University, School of Advanced International Studies, the Sorbonne and Vienna University. During the course of her studies she was four times awarded the Vienna University Grant for Excellence in Studies. She is native in German and fluent in English, French and Italian and has some basic understanding of Persian.