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Irwin Mitchell

2 WELLINGTON PLACE, LEEDS, LS1 4BZ, ENGLAND
Tel:
Work 0113 234 3333
Fax:
Fax 0113 234 3322
DX:
706951 LEEDS PARK SQUARE
Email:
Web:
www.irwinmitchell.com

Top-tier Firm rankings

Firm Rankings


Yorkshire and the Humber: Corporate and commercial

Corporate and commercial: Leeds, West Yorkshire, North Yorkshire
Corporate and commercial: Leeds, West Yorkshire, North Yorkshire - ranked: tier 4

Irwin Mitchell (Leeds)

Irwin Mitchell’s national practice is led by Birmingham-based Chris Rawstron, with key contacts in Leeds including head of commercial contracts Joanne Bone, who is a key name for regulatory compliance matters. Recent highlights include advising Business Growth Fund on a £25m investment package provided to Sheffield-based Coppergreen Developments, which included £11m of growth capital provided by the client with the remaining £14m supplied by HSBC; the financing was then used to fund the acquisition of Piperdam Golf and Leisure Resort and 350 acres of adjoining land. Other work included assisting private equity-backed Transformational Capital, which is based in Canada, on its cross-border acquisition of Surrey-based Mighty Deals. Philip Goldsborough and James Foster joined Shoosmiths LLP.

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Corporate and commercial: Sheffield, South Yorkshire
Corporate and commercial: Sheffield, South Yorkshire - ranked: tier 3

Irwin Mitchell (Sheffield)

Irwin Mitchell’s practice is led by Laurence Gavin; his recent work includes advising Westfield Contributory Health Scheme on a joint venture and investment into 3Rings Care, which included a second round of investment. Other highlights include advising currency hedge fund manager, SLJ Macro Partners, on the transfer of a 65% equity holding in the business to Italian investment bank Eurizon Capital, and advising a regional plc client on public company transactional and regulatory matters. Andrea Cropley joined Squire Patton Boggs’ Manchester office, and solicitor Michael Hall and Matt Ainsworth joined HLW Keeble Hawson.

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Yorkshire and the Humber: Crime, fraud and licensing

Crime: fraud
Crime: fraud - ranked: tier 3

Irwin Mitchell (Leeds, Sheffield)

The regulatory and criminal investigations group at Irwin Mitchell is headed by associate director Paul Haycock in Sheffield. Emma Windle splits her time between Sheffield and Leeds and specialises in white-collar crime, whilst John Davies (who splits his time between Sheffield and Manchester) advises on proceeds of crime matters. Recent highlights for the team include defending an individual accused of being involved in an alleged environmental tax avoidance scheme, the successful conclusion of confiscation proceedings in relation to a defendant who was convicted in a large mortgage fraud with a value of around £250m, and assisting a leading steelmaker with fraud investigation being undertaken by the Serious Fraud Office in relation to suspected dishonest practice. It has also been defending clients in connection with carousel frauds, fraudulent VAT evasion and money laundering.

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Crime: general
Crime: general - ranked: tier 2

Irwin Mitchell (Leeds, Sheffield)

Paul Haycock heads the criminal defence team at Irwin Mitchell, which ‘brings the ethos of a big, corporate firm to criminal work resulting in outstanding service’. Haycock is based in Sheffield alongside John Davies and Sarah Smith. The team is instructed on serious general crime and complex regulatory matters with a national scope. Recent highlights include defending a client being investigated for theft of monies, defending a client involved in large-scale drug possession and defending a client allegedly involved in organised crime. The team also defends corporates and has recently defended a client being prosecuted by the Environmental Agency. Emma Windle is also recommended for general crime and regulatory offences.

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Yorkshire and the Humber: Dispute resolution

Commercial litigation: Leeds and West Yorkshire; North Yorkshire
Commercial litigation: Leeds and West Yorkshire; North Yorkshire - ranked: tier 3

Irwin Mitchell (Leeds)

Irwin Mitchell is ‘a strong player nationally’. Alex Newman, who heads the practice, is a key name for IP and IT disputes, and senior associate Richard Payne has strong expertise handling contractual and construction-related disputes and is experienced in acting for clients in alternative dispute resolution forums. Recent highlights include handling a claim against a former managing director and sales director of the UK subsidiary of a chemical plant, which alleged breaches of fiduciary duty and restrictive covenants among other claims; handling a claim against a private bank for breach of contract; and representing a company in a claim against one of its franchisees for breach of its obligations within its franchise agreement.

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Commercial litigation: Sheffield, South Yorkshire
Commercial litigation: Sheffield, South Yorkshire - ranked: tier 1

Irwin Mitchell (Sheffield)

Irwin Mitchell has ‘one of the top commercial litigation teams in Yorkshire’ and its practice is led by property and commercial litigation specialist Steven Beahan. Dorrien Peters specialises in high-value disputes with a particular focus on the manufacturing sector, and senior associate James Berry ‘works stupendously hard and is clever and easy to work with’. The group handled an IT dispute for a healthcare client concerning the development and implementation of a £4m business critical insurance enterprise system, and acted for a financial services client in a high-value commercial dispute concerning a student property development portfolio. Other work includes representing a client in the manufacturing industry in obtaining a freezing injunction against a former employee who had stolen money, and defending NewGreen Services against a breach of contract claim made by a group of social housing associations, which concluded through mediation. Other clients include Westfield Contributory Health Scheme, MGS Technical Plastics, Macalloy, Evenort and Arc Legal Assistance. DAS and esure are new clients.

Leading individuals

Dorrien Peters - Irwin Mitchell

Next generation lawyers

James Berry - Irwin Mitchell

Richard Payne - Irwin Mitchell

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Yorkshire and the Humber: Finance

Banking and finance
Banking and finance - ranked: tier 3

Irwin Mitchell (Leeds, Sheffield)

The ‘solid’ practice at Irwin Mitchell is recommended for matters concerning the financing of acquisitions and buy-outs, and largescale refinancing work. The ‘commercial and supportive’ Patrick Sturman is ‘an experienced and very capable lawyer, he has a good breadth of capability, is quick to respond, offers clear advice’ and provides ‘value for money’; he jointly heads the practice with Dean Gormley, who has expertise in syndicated and club financings, and advising on complex structures, such as senior notes and super senior facilities, conduit and securitised loans. John Flathers focuses on property finance and Martyn Holland is also noted. Recent highlights include advising HSBC and HSBC Invoice Finance on the provision of a funding package to Home Decor for the acquisition, by way of shares, of Optiplan Kitchens and the simultaneous refinancing of the Home Decor Group.

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Insolvency and corporate recovery
Insolvency and corporate recovery - ranked: tier 3

Irwin Mitchell (Leeds, Sheffield)

Irwin Mitchell’s practice is led by national head Andrew Walker, who handles contentious and non-contentious matters. Doug Robertson, who handles property-related insolvencies, and Tom Paton, who focuses on personal insolvencies, are the other key names. The team assisted Begbies Traynor with the administration of William Anelay, which involved selling the company’s book debts, retentions and property and dealing with the assignment of existing supplier contracts. The group also acted for KPMG as the administrators of Williams Brothers and Williams Fasteners, which included the sale of both businesses and assets which had a combined turnover of £7m, and also advised ABN Amro on providing the financing for the acquisition of the business and assets of Kiveton Park Steel in administration.

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Yorkshire and the Humber: Human resources

Employment: Hull and East Yorkshire
Leading individuals (region-wide)

Kirsty Ayre - Irwin Mitchell

Next generation lawyers (region-wide)

Jennifer Walton - Irwin Mitchell

Liesel Whitfield - Irwin Mitchell

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Employment: Leeds and West Yorkshire; North Yorkshire
Employment: Leeds and West Yorkshire; North Yorkshire - ranked: tier 3

Irwin Mitchell (Leeds)

Glenn Hayes leads Irwin Mitchell’s employment team in Leeds, which handles a mixture of day-to-day employment matters for its national employer client base, in addition to acting in complex and high-value tribunal matters. Hayes is ably assisted by seven associates, including business immigration specialist Padma Tadi and Jenny Arrowsmith, who leads the firm’s education offering in the North. Tadi’s highlights included advising Leeds Brewery Company on the employment aspects of the sale of its pubs to Camerons Brewery, which involved advising the owners on information and consultation obligations under the Transfer of Undertakings (Protection of Employment) Regulations 2006 and negotiating employment warranties and indemnities contained within the corporate transaction documents. On the contentious side, Arrowsmith and Hayes are representing Capita Group in a dispute with an existing employee.

Leading individuals (region-wide)

Kirsty Ayre - Irwin Mitchell

Next generation lawyers (region-wide)

Jennifer Walton - Irwin Mitchell

Liesel Whitfield - Irwin Mitchell

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Employment: Sheffield and South Yorkshire
Employment: Sheffield and South Yorkshire - ranked: tier 2

Irwin Mitchell (Sheffield)

Irwin Mitchell’s employment team in Sheffield is headed by Kirsty Ayre, an experienced tribunal advocate that acts for a number of household names, including EasyJet and Henry Boot. She leads a team of three associates in Sheffield and can call on the wider firm’s resources in Leeds as well as nationally. The practice acts for a number of manufacturers, including medical devices and aerospace manufacturer Tecomet, as well as educational institutions and charities. Ayre acted alongside associate Jennifer Walton in a number of Employment Tribunal claims, and defended Capita in an equal pay claim involving local authority pay arrangements. Liesel Whitfield acted for Henry Boot to design and implement an employment law training programme for all managers up to board level.

Leading individuals (region-wide)

Kirsty Ayre - Irwin Mitchell

Next generation lawyers (region-wide)

Jennifer Walton - Irwin Mitchell

Liesel Whitfield - Irwin Mitchell

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Pensions
Pensions - ranked: tier 2

Irwin Mitchell (Leeds)

Irwin Mitchell’s pensions practice in Leeds is headed by Nigel Bolton; his expertise covers de-risking matters such as pension increase exchange and enhanced transfer value exercises, as well as negotiating and drafting pension adviser agreements. Clients include trustees, for which the practice has acted on equalisation issues, and corporates, for which the firm has acted on pension obligations arising from TUPE transfers.

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Yorkshire and the Humber: Insurance

Clinical negligence: claimant
Clinical negligence: claimant - ranked: tier 1

Irwin Mitchell (Leeds, Sheffield)

Irwin Mitchell’s clinical negligence practice is spread across its Leeds and Sheffield offices and is ‘among the best in its field in this region; it consistently meets the highest standards in terms of expertise, experience and client care’. Headed by Julianne Moore in Sheffield and Rachelle Mahapatra (‘a national leader in her field’) in Leeds, the practice handles cases of the utmost severity and complexity, including birth, spinal and brain injury cases; cases involving amputation arising from the development of diabetes; and cases involving sepsis, spinal surgical negligence, wrongful birth and late diagnosis and treatment of cancer. In an illustration of the firm’s ability to handle maternal injury cases, Mahapatra acted in a £1.7m claim in which the claimant suffered a cardiac arrest after giving birth to her daughter due to the negligent management of symptoms, including severe preeclampsia and HELLP syndrome. In another key matter, the ‘very experiencedSarah Coles acted in a claim for delay in diagnosis and treatment of sepsis resulting in lower and upper limb amputations, in which the firm obtained £4.5m in damages for the claimant. Other key figures include Sheffield-based partners Tom Mather (who ‘goes out of his way to take great care of his clients and who always provides useful insight’) and Sarah Rowland, ‘an experienced litigator who impresses with her tactical skills’; and the ‘efficient, caring’ Rachel Roach in Leeds. At associate level, Georgina Houston is ‘patient, thorough and unfazed by the complexities of a case’.

Leading individuals

Julianne Moore - Irwin Mitchell

Rachelle Mahapatra - Irwin Mitchell

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Personal injury: claimant
Personal injury: claimant - ranked: tier 1

Irwin Mitchell (Leeds, Sheffield)

According to some, Irwin Mitchell’s personal injury practice is ‘a clear market leader for its thoroughness, professionalism and knowledge’. The firm attracts particular praise for its ‘great deal of experience in brain and spinal injury cases’; the Sheffield office has dedicated serious injury teams led by Rachel Aram (‘a tenacious lawyer who is able to see obstacles and manoeuvre around them’) and the ‘commanding and experiencedLouise Jenkins, which act for clients who have sustained serious brain and spinal cord injuries, as well as other permanent and life-changing injuries. These teams sit within the wider personal injury practice in Sheffield headed by Adrian Budgen, who is ‘extremely knowledgeable and experienced in asbestos disease claims’. The practice in Leeds is headed by Jane Wright and includes Sion Kingston, who leads on serious injury matters. The firm supplements its personal injury expertise with dedicated Court of Protection, damages management and asset management teams, enabling the firm to provide a holistic service across the life cycle of claims.

Leading individuals

Adrian Budgen - Irwin Mitchell

Jane Wright - Irwin Mitchell

Louise Jenkins - Irwin Mitchell

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Professional negligence: claimant
Professional negligence: claimant - ranked: tier 2

Irwin Mitchell (Leeds, Sheffield)

Steven Beahan leads Irwin Mitchell’s professional negligence practice following the departure of Daniel Brumpton to Manchester-based Berg. The Sheffield team acts for corporates and individuals in claims against a range of professionals, including solicitors, barristers, surveyors, financial advisers and accountants. The team also acts for insolvency practitioners in claims arising from insolvent estates and, working in conjunction with its London office, provides advice on tax-related claims. Clients include insurers such as Aviva Insurance and Aegus Insurance.

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Yorkshire and the Humber: Private client

Charities and not-for-profit
Charities and not-for-profit - ranked: tier 2

Irwin Mitchell (Leeds, Sheffield)

Irwin Mitchell acts for a wide range of charities in the sports and leisure, ecclesiastical and education arenas, on issues related to procurement, real estate, state aid and the winding up of charities. Laurence Gavin leads the practice and regularly advises on governance, funding and trustee duties. He is assisted by Nigel Bolton in Leeds, who has extensive expertise in pensions issues related to the non-profit sector, and Sheffield-based associate Graham Walker, who handles real estate matters for charity and third sector clients. Highlights included advising Wentworth Woodhouse Preservation Trust on the purchase of Wentworth Woodhouse, the largest private residence in the UK, using public money, and assisting Sheffield Futures with the acquisition of another charity and on the funding and contractual aspects of several public programmes.

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Contentious trusts and probate
Contentious trusts and probate - ranked: tier 1

Irwin Mitchell (Leeds, Sheffield)

According to some, Irwin Mitchell’s contentious probate team is ‘head and shoulders above any other firm outside London’, as well as being ‘a colossus in the Yorkshire and Humber region; this is the firm that no other firm in the country wants to see on the other side’. Leeds-based practice head Paula Myers is singled out for her ‘remarkable levels of client loyalty and satisfaction; she is not just tactically astute, with an almost unerring instinct for the opposition’s weakness, but is a rock of confidence to her clients’. The practice carries out work nationally for individuals, banks, executors, trustees and beneficiaries, handling the full range of contentious trust matters, including claims involving issues of validity, testamentary capacity and undue influence; claims where rectification of wills or trusts is required; and family provision claims for spouses, cohabitees, dependants and children. Recent work includes advising Viscount Rochdale and other family members in an undue influence claim, a will forgery claim and several Inheritance Act claims.

Leading individuals

Paula Myers - Irwin Mitchell

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Family: Elsewhere in Yorkshire
Family: Elsewhere in Yorkshire - ranked: tier 1

Irwin Mitchell (Sheffield)

According to some, Irwin Mitchell’s Sheffield office has a family law practice that is ‘the strongest in the area’. Key figures include the ‘very experience and pragmaticMartin Loxley, who heads the national family team from the Sheffield office; Alison Fernandes, who regularly handles financial cases involving complex assets, often with a cross-border element; and Zoe Round, who is ‘straight-talking, efficient and pragmatic’. Loxley is noted for his track record in high-value financial provision cases involving substantial assets; his recent work includes acting in a case involving five properties, one in Italy, and a circa £2m pension provision.

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Family: Leeds and West Yorkshire; North Yorkshire
Family: Leeds and West Yorkshire; North Yorkshire - ranked: tier 1

Irwin Mitchell (Leeds)

Irwin Mitchell’s family practice is now headed by Teresa Davidson following Peter Morris’ departure to Shoosmiths LLP. Davidson is singled out for her ‘experience and knowledge, which gives clients confidence that she will be providing the best advice, tailored to the individual circumstances’. She leads a practice that is praised for its ‘no-nonsense approach and ability to distil complex legal language into relatable terms’. Its expertise covers issues relating to high-net-worth matrimonial finance, including tracing hidden assets within the UK and abroad; private law children cases involving international relocation, abduction and schooling arrangements; advising spouses and pension trustees on pension-sharing orders; and all aspects of pre- and post-marriage financial planning and asset protection. Other key figures include Katy Moody, who is noted for her knowledge of financial remedy and cohabitation disputes, and David Lister, who focuses on financial and children matters.

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Personal tax, trusts and probate
Personal tax, trusts and probate - ranked: tier 2

Irwin Mitchell (Sheffield)

Irwin Mitchell provides an ‘excellent client experience’ and ‘gets the best outcomes possible’ thanks, in part, to the leadership of Gillian Coverley, who is ‘incredibly approachable’ and heads up a team that is ‘passionate about delivering an excellent service that serves the client’s best interests’. The department is recognised for its expertise advising financial services and charity clients; Age UK, Barclays Bank and Leeds Building Society are noteworthy examples. Recent highlights include assisting Capita Trust Company with providing estate administration and will-writing services to its clients, acting for Macmillan Cancer Care’s clients on will-writing issues, and handling estate planning services for Nationwide Building Society’s clients. Associate Emma McCann is also recommended and focuses on estate administration and post-death restructurings.

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Yorkshire and the Humber: Public sector

Education
Education - ranked: tier 2

Irwin Mitchell (Sheffield, Leeds)

The Sheffield-based Laurence Gavin heads the cross-departmental team at Irwin Mitchell, which advises the full range of education clients on transactional, governance, student and employment matters. Associate Mark Evans specialises in commercial and charities law and regularly advises academy trusts on conversions, mergers, re-brokering and dissolutions. Evans led the team advising Sandhill Multi-Academy Trust on a re-brokering of the client’s academies to two separate trusts, as well as on matters for other academy clients in connection with management and governance issues, and for one client, the potential re-brokering of a PFI academy. The team has also been advising a further education college with a merger, and a public funded charity on commercial matters and partnering with a local college.

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Yorkshire and the Humber: Real estate

Commercial property: Leeds and West Yorkshire; North Yorkshire
Commercial property: Leeds and West Yorkshire; North Yorkshire - ranked: tier 3

Irwin Mitchell (Leeds)

Irwin Mitchell’s team is ‘among the best’. John Flathers, who ‘understands client needs’, typically advises on development work, property finance and matters concerning corporate occupiers. He recently handled several matters for Henry Boot Developments, including advising on the £7.5m sale of Beeston shopping centre to Broxtowe Borough Council, and assisting with the £18.2m development and sale of a distribution warehouse to worldwide automotive car parts distributor Ferdinand Bilstein UK. Other highlights include advising Jones Lang LaSalle on its relocation in London, which included handling lease negotiations, and advising Gravity Fitness on purchasing new leases in Hull and Edinburgh. James Knowles, who focuses on development projects, made partner in 2016.

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Commercial property: Sheffield, South Yorkshire
Commercial property: Sheffield, South Yorkshire - ranked: tier 2

Irwin Mitchell (Sheffield)

Irwin Mitchell’s team is ‘excellent for development matters’, and is also known for its strengths in mineral extraction work and acting for major property companies from the public and private sectors. National head of real estate Paul Firth acts for clients including Lafarge, Sibelco, Manchester Airports Group and the University of Sheffield on property portfolio issue and Andrew Wallis specialises in development projects from site acquisition through to exit strategies, particularly joint ventures and forward funding agreements. The duo advised a student accommodation fund on the disposal of a 25-unit portfolio to an Asian company, and are also advising Carillion on a £100m regeneration scheme in Durham, which comprises housing, commercial and retail developments. Thomas Hall joined Shoosmiths LLP’s Manchester office.

Leading individuals

Paul Firth - Irwin Mitchell

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Construction
Construction - ranked: tier 3

Irwin Mitchell (Sheffield)

Irwin Mitchell’s team has expertise in advising on EPC contracts, building contracts, collateral warranties, bonds and guarantees, development agreements, and engineering, construction and energy matters. Recent highlights include assisting Hardy Mills with preparing construction documents for the conversion of an existing property in to nine apartments and the construction of three new build mews houses. The team is also advising Sheffield Hallam University on the construction of a research centre as part of Sheffield’s Olympic Legacy Park, which is being supported by a £14m grant from the Department of Health. Consultant Steven Bate handles contentious matters. Julie Morrissy joined Keystone Law.

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Property litigation
Property litigation - ranked: tier 2

Irwin Mitchell (Sheffield)

Irwin Mitchell’s team ‘impresses with the level of service, speed of response and commercial advice offered’. ‘Approachable and straightforward’ team head Danny Revitt is ‘always on hand to give technical and practical advice’ and senior associate Lisa Stratford has ‘a no nonsense approach and gives solid advice’. The team has expertise in landlord and tenant litigation, lease renewal and termination proceedings, dilapidations claims and rent and service charge recovery. It acts for investors, developers, retailers and corporate occupiers with national property portfolios. Recent highlights include acting for a real estate fund in court proceedings against a corporate office tenant regarding its contribution to lift refurbishment works, and acting for a national property investor in securing vacant possession of an adopted road providing access to a large industrial estate.

Next generation lawyers

Lisa Stratford - Irwin Mitchell

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Yorkshire and the Humber: TMT (technology, media and telecoms)

IT and telecoms
IT and telecoms - ranked: tier 3

Irwin Mitchell (Leedsv

The IT team at Irwin Mitchell is ‘very commercial with excellent industry knowledge’ and is led by Joanne Bone in Leeds. Bone specialises in IT contract advice and acts on complex outsourcing arrangements, master service agreements and cloud arrangements, as well as sets up suites of standard contractual documents. Recent highlights include advising key client Interchange and Consort Hotels Limited on IT agreements, including booking terms, licence terms and a website agreement, and advising Lhasa Limited on standard documentation and the drafting and negotiation of complex international licensing terms with pharmaceutical companies.

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Intellectual property
Intellectual property - ranked: tier 3

Irwin Mitchell (Leeds)

Alex Newman heads the IP practice at Irwin Mitchell in Leeds, as well as heading the anti-counterfeiting and piracy group. Representative work for the team included defending R N Ventures in patent and registered design right infringement proceedings issued in the High Court by L’Oreal relating to the client’s Magnitone face brush range. It has also been advising SKA Organisation in relation to the IP strategy of its radio telescope project. The practice overlaps with the IT team, headed by Joanne Bone, and is advising independent games company Team17 on its international branding strategy.

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