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Shakespeare Martineau LLP

Work 0116 254 5454
Fax 0116 255 4559

Martin Noble

Work 0116 257 4472
Shakespeare Martineau LLP

Work Department

Commercial & IP




Martin advises on a wide range of commercial issues, specialising in all aspects of intellectual property with a particular emphasis on dispute resolution. He takes a no nonsense approach to finding workable solutions for clients.

He advises across all areas of IP, with significant experience of policing online infringements. This includes dealing with cases in the High Court and Intellectual Property Enterprise Court and also using various methods of ADR such as mediation.

Martin recognises the significant value of IP rights and takes a very practical view to resolving issues that arise on a day-to-day basis. This can involve policing infringers to advising on the IP aspects of commercial deals and joint ventures.

Martin’s expertise also covers dealing with media and creative agency businesses, looking after IP, advertising and defamation issues. His experience covers advising on the BCAP code for clearance purposes and creative agreements for short films.

He also advises on privacy issues, including the misuse of confidential and sensitive information and personal data.



East Midlands: Corporate and commercial

Corporate and commercial: elsewhere in the East Midlands

Within: Corporate and commercial: elsewhere in the East Midlands

In addition to handling acquisitions, disposals, complex demergers and reorganisations, Shakespeare Martineau LLP has experienced an increase in joint venture work following the arrival of healthcare specialist Lisa Botterill from Nelsons Solicitors Limited. Practice head Roy Botterill is especially active in the manufacturing sector and regularly acts for US-based and French clients. Other key figures include Martin Noble , who heads the commercial department in Leicester and has particular strength in contentious intellectual property work, especially in acting against online infringements. In a recent reorganisation highlight, the group assisted British engineering player Shield Group with its multimillion-pound reorganisation, involving the split of two companies into twelve new and separate entities. Other clients include Darlington Building Society, Crick-Smith and Bostik.

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East Midlands: Dispute resolution

Commercial litigation: Nottingham and Derby

Within: Commercial litigation: Nottingham and Derby

The ‘impressive’ team at Shakespeare Martineau LLP delivers ‘clear and practical advice’ and focuses on litigation in sectors including energy, education and banking and finance. Particular strengths include equine law and litigation arising either from the theft of confidential or commercially sensitive data or from the setting up of competing companies. ‘Standout lawyer’ and associate partner Tim Speed, who recently moved from the Birmingham to the Nottingham office, represented West Bromwich Commercial in its long-running dispute with a guarantor regarding the non-payment of liabilities and allegations of misrepresentation. Legal director Steven Skiba took the lead acting for two defendants in a disputed share purchase agreement, a matter involving new law regarding cashflow insolvency, which eventually settled before the end of the trial. Martin Noble  in Leicester heads the East Midlands dispute resolution team. Professional negligence expert and legal director Kendal Litherland is also recommended. Michelle O’Brien left the firm.

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Commercial litigation: elsewhere in the East Midlands

Within: Commercial litigation: elsewhere in the East Midlands

Shakespeare Martineau LLP fields a ‘very good’ team that provides ‘a fantastic service’. Professional negligence litigation and contentious trusts and probate work are key areas of activity for the practice, as is the education sector, where it acts for clients in contractual disputes, judicial review proceedings, discrimination and defamation claims as well as in regard to data protection claims. IT and intellectual property expert Martin Noble leads the team, which includes  ‘clever, calm and very well-organised’ legacy and trust specialist Andrew Wilkinson, ‘whose considerable experience allows him to tackle even the most complex disputes with ease’ and who stands out for his ‘excellent client-handling skills and maturity beyond his years’. Recent work includes acting for Willow Automotive and Van Extras in trade mark and passing off proceedings in the Intellectual Property Enterprise Court in relation to a spray-on polymer coating, which involved brand splitting issues in addition to the permissible use of a sign for descriptive purposes. The practice also acts for Crick-Smith (a new client), Darlington Building Society, Cambridge Weight Plan and Bostik.

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East Midlands: Insurance

Professional negligence

Within: Professional negligence

Shakespeare Martineau LLP ‘provides an excellent service’ and is known for ‘taking on a wide range of claims’, with claims against solicitors, accountants and barristers, independent financial advisers, pension trustees and self-invested personal pension (SIPP) operators making up the largest portion of the caseload. The professional negligence team forms part of Martin Noble’s wider dispute resolution practice and includes legal director and ‘absolute starKendal Litherland, ‘who is amazingly tenacious and determined’ and ‘well-known for his intellectual power, superlative client skills, bravery against corporate opponents and obtaining excellent results in difficult circumstances’. Litherland recently acted for Paul Denning in a widely reported High Court case involving a claim against an independent financial adviser regarding the extent of the duty to advise in connection with potential claims against former advisers. In a recent SIPP matter, Litherland obtained a landmark decision from the Financial Ombudsman regarding the extent of a SIPP operator’s duty to carry out due diligence checks on unregulated and high-risk investments before allowing them to be held in a SIPP.

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East Midlands: TMT (technology, media and telecoms)

IT and telecoms

Within: IT and telecoms

Active in both contentious and non-contentious work, Shakespeare Martineau LLP ’s ‘excellent’ department demonstrates strong sector expertise in the education, technology and telecoms sectors. The group’s spectrum of expertise ranges from the IT aspects of corporate transactions to licensing, outsourcing and escrow agreements. On the regulatory side, the team shows strength in data protection, procurement and freedom of information mandates. Ed Wright, whose specialisms include information and communications technology, heads the practice. Dispute resolution expert Martin Noble has particular experience in procurement-related litigation. In a recent major highlight, Wright led in advising CareRooms on contractual and commercial issues surrounding its online scheme offering private accommodation for patients following minor surgery. In other work, Wright guided Parcelhub on the terms of a strategic partnering template agreement, including a reseller agreement regarding the client’s software-predicated logistics system. Kagool joined Datalink Electronics, Skeleton Productions and Cognito iQ on the client list.

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Intellectual property

Within: Intellectual property

Excellent’, ‘efficient, responsive and supportive’, Shakespeare Martineau LLP, is lauded for its ‘commercial understanding of the business consequences’ in infringement actions. The team regularly assists universities with intellectual property prosecution work and the drafting of IP policies. Another key area of strength are IP disputes involving online content, including domain name disputes and disputes regarding Google AdWords. With Leicester-based practice head Martin Noble the team excels especially in litigation work, offering clients ‘strategically bright options’, though Ed Wright in Nottingham, who delivers ‘top quality’, demonstrates strength in non-contentious instructions, especially in the biotechnology, healthcare and life sciences sectors. A recent example of the practice’s prowess in the Intellectual Property Enterprise Court was representing defendant Willow Automotive and Van Extra in a case involving trade mark, passing off and copyright infringement claims regarding the brand for a spray-on polymer coating product, assisting among other things with the brand splitting issues of the case. Crick-Smith joined Commonwealth Games England, the University of Nottingham and Cenex on the client list.

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Within: Sport

The ‘very efficient, responsive and supportive’ team at Shakespeare Martineau LLP impresses with an ‘excellent’ service level. The practice’s gamut of expertise includes corporate and commercial work, employment matters, private client instructions and dispute resolution mandates. The group has a clear focus on clients from the football and rugby sectors, with sports governing bodies as particularly frequent clients. A testament to the group’s strong commercial expertise, the duo leading the practice consists of Nottingham’s Ed Wright, who specialises in non-contentious intellectual property and IT law, and of Leicester’s Martin Noble, an expert in contentious intellectual property work. Wright led in assisting Milltek Sport with the creation of a selective distribution model to safeguard the reputation of the brand. Long-standing client Dame Kelly Holmes Trust instructed the team for a wide range of employment matters as well as for contractual arrangements with a third party regarding a programme roll-out in Northern Ireland. Sport England and  Ultra Sport Europe also feature on the client list.

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