Intellectual property in North


An enviable roster of clients - including national household names - instructs the IP team at DWF. The practice has particular expertise in assisting with the commercialisation and protection of brands, including advising on sponsorship and naming rights, comparative advertising and ambush marketing, as well as trade mark clearance searching and brand protection. On the contentious side, the team also handles design, trade mark, and patent infringement work. Former practice head Ed Meikle, who is known for his sector expertise in retail, food, hospitality, sports, and consumer, has left the firm to join Gateley Plc.

Key clients

Village Hotels


Newcastle United




MySale Group plc

Swizzels Matlow


Tangle Teezer

Work highlights

  • Advising Newcastle United on all its intellectual property, brand protection and brand management issues.
  • Providing strategic brand protection advice to Morrison Supermarkets, as well as defending the company against any claims of infringement and passing off.
  • Providing strategic brand protection advice to Panasonic.  

McDaniels Law

Boutique firm McDaniels Law is frequently instructed by businesses which have intellectual property as their core asset, particularly those in the furniture, textile, fashion and greetings cards industries. The team assists clients with the full spectrum of matters relating to the creation and ownership of their IP rights; the firm regularly secures patents, trade marks and registered designs, as well as fielding a significant portfolio service offering, and representing clients in disputes. Practice head Niall Head-Rapson is supported by Kelly Hudson, who manages the non-contentious work handled by the firm, and whose expertise spans portfolio management and licensing.

Practice head(s):

Niall Head-Rapson

Other key lawyers:

Kelly Hudson


Kelly Hudson is intellectually agile and works to deliver an efficient, client-focused service.

A focused litigation team delivering a quality service.

Key clients

Personal Group PLC

Really Simple Ideas Limited

J Barbour & Sons Limited

Equipment Supplies Limited

Cormeton Fire Protection Limited

Pink Boutique Limited

Fiesta Studios Limited

Fairfax & Favor Limited

Willow & Hall Limited

Work highlights

  • Representing Personal Group in two High Court claims against Gee 7 Group, an inquiry as to damages for misuse of confidential information and copyright infringement.
  • Representing Fairfax & Favor in an IPEC claim against national retailer, The House of Bruar, and its directors, for infringement of community registered design and design right, and reverse passing off.
  • Representing Equipment Supplies in its potential claim against its former solicitors.

Muckle LLP

The team at Muckle LLP handles the full breadth of IP matters, both contentious and non-contentious, with an increasing focus on trade mark portfolio management. For non-contentious work, practice head Alex Craig is the key contact. George Festing oversees the contentious offering at the firm, and has particular experience advising tech sector clients. Also notable is John Devine, who acts exclusively for sporting clients - an area of particular expertise for the firm. He deal with commercial IP issues for national clients, including sponsorship, advertising and image rights, and other related issues encountered by professional sports clubs.

Practice head(s):

Alex Craig

Other key lawyers:

George Festing; John Devine


All of the answers and expertise we needed are under one roof.

They are commercially minded and happy to offer advice tailored to our values and goals.

The team have experts in many different fields.

George Festing is a delight to deal with. He is smart, pragmatic and cuts out the noise very quickly.

Alex Craig represented us very strongly in conference calls with our customer and their in-house legal teams, putting forward a strong argument for various changes.

Key clients

Meiyume (UK) Limited

Parkrun Global

England Athletics

Caribbean Premier League

Chelsea FC Foundation

James Lavelle

Hadrian Healthcare Holdings Limited

Elysian Clothing Partnership

Horton Commercials Limited

Simpsons Malt Limited

Work highlights

  • Assisting Simpsons Malt with its international IP portfolio, including monitoring and reviewing new applications.
  • Advising England Athletics on event sponsorship and commercial rights, as well as providing intellectual property assistance in relation to its branded programmes, including trade mark registration.
  • Representing a heritage American vocal group in a trade mark and passing off claim against copycat performers in the UK.

Mincoffs Solicitors LLP

The gaming and entertainment sector is a key focus for the IP team at Mincoffs Solicitors LLP. The practice has particular expertise in licensing, including brand licensing for merchandising, business format franchising, and trademark portfolio management. Commercial head Antony Hall frequently advises software businesses on innovative ownership models and brand protection strategies. Also recommended at the practice is David Cox, who assists clients with IP property rights within the context of managed services agreements. For dispute resolution work, MJ Rippon is the key name to note.

Practice head(s):

Antony Hall

Other key lawyers:

David Cox; MJ Rippon


‘Mincoffs offer a good all-round commercial service that represents good value. The commercial team are good to work with and approachable for advice when it is needed.’

‘Antony Hall is very helpful with both specialist franchising and general commercial advice.’

‘In the past I have dealt with national legal firms, and find Mincoffs much better value.’

Key clients

Steamforged Games Limited

Lingotot Limited

Lixir Limited

Northumbria University

Northern Film + Media

Fighters Only Limited

LB Foster Rail Technologies (UK) Limited

Beacon Creative

Cooper & Turner Limited/Andaray Holdings Limited

Modern Milkman

Work highlights

  • Advising Steamforged Games on various licenses and video game entertainment property.
  • Assisted Lingotot with its international expansion, including creating a master franchise agreement.
  • Advised Lixir Drinks on various international distribution and agency arrangements to expand the business into new territories.

Ward Hadaway

Key areas of focus for the team at Ward Hadaway include working with clients on on matters relating to research and development, international technology licensing, and collaboration deals involving IP exploitation. The team also works with bluechip brand owners, advising them on the full range of trade mark registration and portfolio management matters. The practice is led by IP and IT head Alex Shiel; he works with Bill Goodwin, who handles both contentious and advisory work, and data protection specialist Judy Baker.

Practice head(s):

Alex Shiel; Bill Goodwin; Judy Baker

Key clients

University of Newcastle upon Tyne

Newcastle International Airport


The Scout Association

Newcastle Building Society

TRB Chemedica

Blade Offshore Services

Tech Nation (previously Tech City UK)

Unika Innovations Limited

Catapult Venture Managers

Work highlights

  • Advising an initiative which promotes businesses in the digital and technology sectors on trade mark registrations, sponsorship agreements, publishing agreements, and contracts.
  • Assisted a Newcastle University spin-out company with the licence of the technology that the client will use.
  • Successfully completed a number of trade mark registrations on behalf of Newcastle International Airport.

Baines Wilson LLP

The IP team at Baines Wilson LLP is instructed by clients ranging from large technology companies and owners of global brands, to design companies, small digital media companies and internet businesses. The firm provides a service across the full spectrum of non-contentious and litigious matters. As well as assisting with the registration of rights both in the UK and abroad, practice head Adam Turley also has substantial experience of trade mark proceedings before the UK and EU Intellectual Property Office.

Practice head(s):

Adam Turley


Commercial, practical and pragmatic.

Adam Turley has a thorough understanding of his field, and is able to explain a complicated area in simple terms and give practical advice.

Hay & Kilner

Hay & Kilner's team handles both contentious and non-contentious work for IP clients - providing 'solid expertise in a straightforward, pragmatic manner'. As well as maintaining specialist expertise in the fashion, automotive, software, and food industries, the practice is expanding its client base to include companies whose main business is the development and exploitation of IP. Firm lead Lucy Gray frequently prepares IP licences and assignments, as well as acting for clients in relation to patent disputes, copyright infringements, and actions for passing off.

Practice head(s):

Lucy Gray


Hay & Kilner have provided solid expertise, delivered in a straightforward, pragmatic manner, which is important to me, not being a legal person myself.

Everybody I’ve worked with at Hay & Kilner has demonstrated the utmost professionalism, willingness to listen and understand fully my issues and concerns, and worked in a very down-to-earth and pragmatic manner.

Work highlights

  • Advised a provider of software and online services to the construction industry on the protection of its IP in an innovative system used for product selection.
  • Assisted a supplier of branded fashion accessories with an intimated claim for trade mark infringement.
  • Advised a client opening a restaurant on an intimated claim from a trade mark holder operating in the local area.