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Intellectual property

Index of tables

  1. Intellectual property
  2. Leading individuals
  3. Next generation lawyers

Leading individuals

  1. 1

Next generation lawyers

  1. 1

Who Represents Who

Find out which law firms are representing which Intellectual property clients in East Midlands using The Legal 500's new comprehensive database of law firm/client relationships. Instantly search over 925,000 relationships, including over 83,000 Fortune 500, 46,000 FTSE350 and 13,000 DAX 30 relationships globally. Access is free for in-house lawyers, and by subscription for law firms. For more information, contact


The ‘pragmatic’ and ‘responsive’ team at Browne Jacobson LLP  excels in both transactional and advisory work, assisting not only with the development of portfolio protection strategies and rights enforcement through litigation, but also with agreements aimed at developing new technologies and the monetisation of intellectual property rights. The group’s expertise comprises trade mark, patents, design and copyright matters, with clients coming mainly from the retail and technology sectors. The Nottingham-based Selina Hinchliffe heads the practice together with London-based practitioner Declan Cushley. Other key figures in Nottingham include Paula Dumbill  and ‘incredibly personable’ solicitor Sam Lloyd . Recent highlights include advising Albumedix on several supply, licensing, and research and development agreements in relation to Albumedix’ patent rights. Additionally, the team advised the Institute of Gas Engineers and Managers on the terms and conditions for the development of new intellectual property rights and the licensing of copyright material within its standards. Other clients include The Bollin Group, Lloyds and Boots. Mark Snelgrove joined Potter Clarkson LLP  .

Eversheds Sutherland (International) LLP offers contentious and non-contentious trade mark, patent and design expertise, with research and development agreements and the transfer of intellectual property rights in the context of corporate transactions being particular areas of strength. The team demonstrates broad sector expertise across the retail, life sciences, industrials, utilities and energy, public and sports sectors, but is particularly adept at advising clients from the education sector. Rupert Bent, who recently joined from Walker Morris LLP and splits his time between the Birmingham and Nottingham offices, has taken over the lead of the practice from James Fry, who joined Mills & Reeve LLP. Another key contact in the Nottingham office is senior associate Lisa Highet. In a recent highlight from the higher education sector, the team assisted the University of Derby on various collaboration agreements and intellectual property disputes in addition to advising on the update of the university’s commercial template agreements. National Grid, Kidney Research UK and the London Borough of Harrow are also clients.

Based in Leicester, the team at Howes Percival LLP impresses clients with ‘excellent response times’ and ‘a deep bench’. The group has a strong focus on software protection and trade mark instructions. Manufacturers in the retail and food and drinks sector also make up a large portion of the client list. Showing ‘excellent business acumen’, practice head Matthew Talbot has ‘a quick understanding of the underlying issues of a case’. ‘Tenacious’ senior associate Jenna Bruce is also recommended. A major recent highlight on the contentious side was acting for the Business Software Alliance and its members, such as Microsoft, in a large volume of infringement actions against UK businesses which use unlicenced software. On the non-contentious side, the group assisted Just Hype with the management of its intellectual property portfolio, advising both on the drafting of its licence agreements and trade mark prosecution work, liaising closely with international partners in regard to international trade mark applications. Start-rite Shoes, Sequin Art and Shoe Zone Retail are also on the client roster.

Nelsons Solicitors Limited's ‘focused and talented’ team provides ‘excellent and prompt service’, specialising in contentious and non-contentious trade mark, copyright and design right work, but the group’s portfolio of experience also includes patent and passing off instructions. ‘Powerhouse’ Emma Ward, ‘an exceptional lawyer’ who is ‘frighteningly efficient with laser-like focus on both the big picture and the minute details of a case’, co-directs the practice with Harpreet Sandhu whose core expertise lies in non-contentious work. Both Ward and Sandhu made partner. The recent caseload includes design right, copyright and trade mark infringement instructions alongside a passing off mandate and assistance with the drafting of an IP and know-how licence agreement. Jim Carter retired and Stewart Vandermark  is now CEO at the firm.

‘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.

The ‘impeccable’ practice at Spearing Waite LLP combines ‘timely responses and attention to detail’ with ‘practical advice in line with the bigger commercial picture’. The practice has a marked litigation focus, with trade mark instructions a key area of expertise, in particular for clients from the creative industries and media sectors in the East Midlands. Practice head and ‘tenacious litigator’ John Buckby, who is also a Chartered Trade Mark Attorney, is ‘prompt’ and ‘thorough’ and ‘goes above and beyond to get the best results’. In addition to successfully assisting Happy Pet Products with a trade mark opposition at the European Intellectual Property Office, the department also advised Bluespur on several trade mark applications as well as on negotiations with a competing US business looking to expand into the UK with a mark similar to one of Bluespur’s marks. Other clients include Californian Stitch, Fakro Group and Jon Burgerman.

IT and telecoms

Index of tables

  1. IT and telecoms
  2. Hall of Fame
  3. Leading individuals

Leading individuals

  1. 1
    • Mark Snelgrove - Potter Clarkson LLP

Who Represents Who

Find out which law firms are representing which IT and telecoms clients in East Midlands using The Legal 500's new comprehensive database of law firm/client relationships. Instantly search over 925,000 relationships, including over 83,000 Fortune 500, 46,000 FTSE350 and 13,000 DAX 30 relationships globally. Access is free for in-house lawyers, and by subscription for law firms. For more information, contact


Browne Jacobson LLP  acts for both private and public sector clients on a broad gamut of mandates, from complex IT transactions such as hardware and software procurement to outsourcing arrangements, cloud computing matters, data protection advice and crypto technologies. The group is particularly active for clients specialising in fintech and disruptive technologies, but also assists clients from the firm’s key sectors in education, health, financial services, insurance, retail, construction and energy. Paula Dumbill   is the main practitioner in the Nottingham office, with key data protection support coming from Helena Wootton  and Selina Hinchliffe  adding expertise in licensing and outsourcing agreements. Dumbill recently acted alongside the London-based Anthony Nagle  for the Crown Prosecution Service on the procurement of applications support and hosting services as well as the integration, aligment and management of such services with the Crown Prosecution Service’s internal systems. The National Trust, Thorntons and Hiscox are also clients. Mark Snelgrove joined Potter Clarkson LLP.

The ‘excellent’, ‘responsive’ and ‘pragmatic’ team at Eversheds Sutherland (International) LLP is recommended for ‘the depth and extensive breadth of its knowledge’. The group has particular experience in public sector IT outsourcing projects, but also acts for private sector clients. Both department head Nick Blane and newly promoted partner Ash Woodcock   regularly advise central government departments and their agencies, local government bodies, clients from the education sector and policing institutions. On the outsourcing front, the practice acted for Sellafield on a complex IT outsourcing agreement involving two procurement packages, comprising one package for day-to-day IT requirements and one package for the IT requirements of one-off projects. In other work, Blane advised Highways England on the procurement and agreement drafting aspects of its National Roadside Telecommunications Service 2 project regarding the telecommunications systems used to connect motorway electronic signage, cameras, speed sensors and smart motorway systems to traffic control centres. Other clients include Experian, the Department of Health and The Insolvency Service.

Outsourcing and IT projects are key areas of expertise at Nelsons Solicitors Limited , particularly in the technology sector, but the group is also adept at advising on software development agreements, licencing and maintenance agreements, and instructions from the e-commerce sector. Data protection law is another string to the team’s bow, with advice on General Data Protection Regulation compliance in especially high demand. Newly promoted partner Harpreet Sandhu took over the lead of the practice from the now retired Jim Carter, while Emma Ward, who also recently made partner, took over the lead on the contentious side from Steward Vandermark, who now acts as the firm’s CEO.

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.

BHW Solicitors specialises in advising on software infrastructure projects and IT contracts, but also assists clients with the IT aspects of mergers, acquisitions and restructurings. Data centre leases are another core area of expertise. Practice head Matt Worsnop, who is dual-qualified as a solicitor and electronic systems engineer, is especially adept at assisting with licencing agreements, website and App development agreements and IT project tenders. With support from corporate and commercial expert Ed Nurse, Worsnop advised DealTrak on updating its subscription agreements with the car brokers and dealers using DealTrak’s software platform in order to reflect the client’s updated pricing model. In another highlight the team assisted Performance Networks with the drafting of consolidated terms and conditions for its internet services, network and wifi infrastructure, telephony and ‘captive portal’ wifi services. Lavendon Group, Nationwide Platforms and Eclipse Group Solutions are also on the client list.

Howes Percival LLP ’s contentious practice handles IT contract disputes and infringement actions in relation to intellectual property rights in IT products, while on the non-contentious front the firm's expertise spans software development, licence and support agreements, agreements in relation to the procurement, and installation and maintenance of hardware, including agreements for turnkey solutions. Practice head Matthew Talbot and associate Jenna Bruce are the main practitioners in the region, with director Hannah Steggles providing key support in data protection and domain name instructions. In addition to assisting the Business Software Alliance with a large number of software infringement actions, the practice also advised Retail Assist on a number of IT transactions. Getronics Services UK mandated the group to assist with the terms of IT service agreements in the course of proposed corporate acquisitions. Other clients include Global Reach Technology, FibreFab and the Crown Commercial Service.


Index of tables

  1. Sport
  2. Next generation lawyers

Next generation lawyers

  1. 1

Who Represents Who

Find out which law firms are representing which Sport clients in East Midlands using The Legal 500's new comprehensive database of law firm/client relationships. Instantly search over 925,000 relationships, including over 83,000 Fortune 500, 46,000 FTSE350 and 13,000 DAX 30 relationships globally. Access is free for in-house lawyers, and by subscription for law firms. For more information, contact


Browne Jacobson LLP assists clients with a broad range of corporate, commercial, employment, real estate and insurance work. Key figures in Nottingham include joint practice heads Nigel Blackwell and Peter Jones as well as commercial property practitioner Sarah Parkinson. In a major highlight, Parkinson recently led on the multimillion-pound sale of Donington Race Track by Wheatcroft Properties to Motorsport Vision, successfully obtaining the necessary competition clearance and putting in place various leases, options and underletting grants while also ensuring the transfer of various trade marks, corporate assets and commercial and event contracts. Leicester Tigers Rugby Club is also on the client roster.

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.

Since the arrival of Jamie Goldberg as new department head from Onside Law Limited, Geldards LLP has significantly boosted its sports practice and assists sports clients with high-profile corporate and commercial transactions. Advice on M&A transactions, sports governance and regulation is as much part of the team’s portfolio as sponsorship, partnership, and licensing and media rights agreements. Endorsements and representation agreements for athletes and defamation and sports injury assistance are other core strengths.

Nelsons Solicitors Limited is ‘excellent in every way’ and assists regional companies in the sports sector with corporate, commercial, employment and commercial property matters. With the promotion of Leicester’s Harpreet Sandhu to partner, the team around Nottingham-based practice head Duncan Taylor has bolstered its commercial, intellectual property and IT expertise. Other key advisers are the ‘knowledgeable’ and ‘methodical’ Martin Jinks in Derby and Andy Jamieson in Nottingham. Chesterfield Panthers Rugby Union Football Club mandated the firm to advise on the lease of a piece of land adjacent to the Club’s rugby pitch.

Smith Partnership acts for sports clubs, sport governing bodies and athletes, with core sports expertise in commercial work, ranging from sponsorship and endorsement agreements to partnership agreements, intellectual property and IT work, employment and insurance work as well as regulatory work. James Johnson leads the team from the Derby office. In addition to advising a newly promoted Championship team on employment contracts for managing and coaching staff, Johnson also assisted Burton Albion Football Club on relation to the departure of First Team Manager to Queens Park Rangers and the appointment of Nigel Clough and new coaching staff. Fraser Cunningham, also in Derby, recently advised Derby County Football Club on a partnership agreement with the University of Derby, aimed at facilitating a Sporting degree. Other clients include Burton Hockey Club and Mickleover Football Club.

Spearing Waite LLP’s sports practice acts for a large spectrum of clients, from major clubs to national sports governing bodies all the way to community-based sports teams. With Andrew Rowell at the helm, the caseload has a strong employment imprint, but the practice also assists with the protection and management of intellectual property portfolios and the drafting and enforcement of commercial contracts. Recent highlights include supporting Leicester City Football Club with day-to-day employment advice on top of assisting Leicestershire County Cricket Club with employment law issues and changes to the club’s corporate governance structure. The practice also acted for The Leicester Tigers on the club’s trade mark portfolio. Rothley Park Cricket Club is also a client.

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