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Intellectual property

Index of tables

  1. Intellectual property
  2. Leading individuals

Who Represents Who

Find out which law firms are representing which Intellectual property clients in Northern Ireland 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


A&L Goodbody has a solid track record in assisting technology companies, corporate clients and research institutions with branding, patents and enforcement issues. In a high-profile mandate, the team has been advising med-tech company Neurovalens on entering into a brand ambassador agreement with a retired Irish rugby player, which included protecting its IP rights and crafting a licensing agreement to allow the product to be featured in the ambassador’s social media. Other key clients include the Irish Football Association, which the team has been advising on trade mark matters, and the Old Bushmills Distillery, which the team is assisting with commercialisation of its IP rights pertaining to its promotional campaigns on social media. Mark Thompson and Brendan Fox co-lead the team.

Arthur Cox Belfast handles the gamut of contentious and non-contentious IP matters, from patents and trade secrets to copyright and trade mark issues. The team’s clients include universities, pharmaceutical companies, food producers, and technology manufacturers. The firm acts as Northern Ireland counsel to Getty Images UK and assists the client with copyright protection issues and policing unauthorised image use. Other clients include Probiotec Pharma, which the firm advises on all its UK brand and celebrity endorsement agreements, and Coca-Cola, which the firm assists with IP provisions pertaining to trading agreements. Corporate partner Alan Taylor leads the team, in which Lynsey Mallon is also a key name. Paul McBride joined from Pinsent Masons Belfast LLP in 2017.

Carson McDowell’s IP expertise ranges from M&A-related IP work to patent agreements, infringements, licensing rights, software protection and ownership management. The group’s client base includes IT and technology companies, healthcare entities, educational bodies, energy companies, infrastructure providers and retailers. The team is advising Independent News and Media on expanding its trade mark portfolio by registering new marks to protect its existing brands as part of its IP activities in Northern Ireland. Other highlights included assisting biopharmaceutical company SiSaf with entering into a patent and know-how licence agreement with another biopharmaceutical entity for developing plaque psoriasis treatment drugs through using SiSaf’s IPR. The firm also acts for US technology company Xilinx, the University of Ulster, and Firmus Energy. Dawn McKnight  leads the team, which also includes Declan Magee and Peter Guzhar, who are well known for acting on contentious IP mandates. Consultant Eileen Moughan left the firm in December 2017.

Millar McCall Wylie LLP’s IP practice is well versed in advising film and media companies on distribution arrangements, copyright ownership, rights licensing and content exploitation, as well as acting for corporates on trade mark matters, patent licensing and IP-related investments. Highlights included assisting Northern Ireland Screen with funding awards granted to local and international producers pertaining to media production and development projects, including HBO’s Game of Thrones. In another matter, the team is acting for industrial equipment supplier E McIntyre & Sons on the trade mark assignment of Kilrea-based butterfly valve supplier Frenstar. Other clients include Fine Point Films, semiconductor IP company Amphion Semiconductor, and software and imaging company Cirdan. Scott Kennedy, who joined the firm in June 2017 from Cleaver Fulton Rankin, leads the group, which also includes Damian McParland, who is highly regarded for his expertise in advising investors on IP-related mandates, Abbie Long  and solicitor Louise Cavanagh.

Tughans has a solid track record in assisting technology and biotechnology companies across a spectrum of IP matters, including patent protection, technology development agreements, M&A-related IP matters, and licensing agreements pertaining to investments. In a key mandate, the group assisted e-commerce company Export Technologies with the development, ownership and exploitation of its IRP e-commerce platform. Other clients include OCO Global, Fusion Antibodies and Titan IC. Adrian O'Connell, who is highly regarded for his technology expertise, heads the team.

Recent work for Cleaver Fulton Rankin’s IP practice includes advising tech start-up companies on licensing and due diligence pertaining to investments, as well as assisting with contentious IP instructions. Highlights included assisting CIGA Healthcare with IPR aspects pertaining to the follow-on investment received from equity fund Co-Fund NI for expanding its diagnostic technology into foreign markets, and acting for Linen Hall Library on copyright and licensing matters following the digitalisation of its 'Divided Society' project. Corporate partner Hilary Griffith heads the team, which also includes senior solicitor Kathryn Laverty; Michael King leads on the contentious matters. Scott Kennedy moved to Millar McCall Wylie LLP  in June 2017.

Specialist IP, technology and media firm Forde Campbell LLC  provides ‘very clear and easy-to-understand advice’ on trade mark registration, copyright licensing and the protection and commercialisation of designs and brands, alongside handling a range of IP disputes. Highlights included advising retail technology company Velocity Worldwide on intra-group licensing and protection of its intellectual property in global jurisdictions, including the US, Australia, Japan and South Africa. The group is assisting toy and game manufacturer The Creativity Hub on the registration of trade marks related to game development across global jurisdictions. Other clients include textile manufacturer Luke Irwin. IP specialist Mathew Forde leads the team with Rory Campbell ; Campbell and Katey Dixon attract praise for their ‘sound advice and amazing support’.

Licensing agreements and trademark matters have been prominent in Mills Selig’s IP team’s recent workload. Highlights included acting for civil engineering company Stormharvester on the licensing of its software for flood prevention. Other clients include app development company Concept Apps; Newry-based technology firm, First Derivatives; and Belfast-based technology firm, MTS Sulby. IT expert Kathryn Walls leads the team. Paul Spring retired in 2017.

Pinsent Masons Belfast LLP’s IP practice assists academic institutes and corporates with M&A-related IP mandates. On the education side, the team advises key client Queen’s University Belfast on technology licensing matters and is currently assisting the university with revising its intellectual property policies. In another highlight, the firm acted for plastics company Brett Martin in a copyright infringement dispute over the use of photographs of its products on a competitor's website without permission. Leeds-based director Louise Fullwood and senior associate James Griffiths  jointly head the team.

IT and telecoms

Index of tables

  1. IT and telecoms
  2. Leading individuals
  3. Next generation lawyers

Next generation lawyers

  1. 1

Who Represents Who

Find out which law firms are representing which IT and telecoms clients in Northern Ireland 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


Arthur Cox Belfast’s team is singled out for its ‘responsiveness and attention to detail’; the group advises private and public sector clients on IT transactions and compliance matters. A key strength of the practice is assisting clients with high-profile public-sector IT procurement mandates. The team is assisting the Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs with implementing its £8.7m IT system to track the health of food animals in the country after representing the client in the successful procurement of the contract, and advising Land and Property Services on its LPS Nova Programme, involving a number of procurement projects in order to digitally transform the functions and services of LPS. Other key clients include the Northern Ireland Housing Executive. William Curry leads the team, in which Paul McBride is also a key name.

Carson McDowell has a solid track record assisting technology companies, public sector bodies, retail companies and telecoms providers with regulatory matters, transactions and disputes, and has seen an uptick in instructions from start-ups. The group is advising Innovation Ulster, the technology company owned by Ulster University, on its investment in NeuroCONCISE Medical’s brain computer interface invention, a wearable neurotechnology that interprets brainwaves and translates them into control signals so the wearer can interact with computers without moving; the invention is aimed at helping people with brain injuries. Other clients include Go Testify and AMMI Systems. The ‘approachable and knowledgeable’ Dawn McKnight leads the team and is well known for her expertise in tech-related mandates. Peter Guzhar made partner in May 2017.

A&L Goodbody’s team handles funding rounds, investment matters and regulatory issues for a broad range of clients, including large technology companies. Biotechnology, including medical technology, continues to be a key area of instruction for the group; highlights included assisting BrainWaveBank with obtaining investment funding for the development of a neuroscience platform to monitor brainwave activity; the platform’s findings contribute to a data bank to aid medical research. In another matter, the team acted for Neurovalens on obtaining private equity funding worth €1.3m for developing a weight-loss technology device. Other clients include Axial 3D and George Best Belfast City Airport. Mark Thompson and Brendan Fox jointly lead the team, which also includes associates Mark Stockdale  and Jonathan Hacking.

Forde Campbell LLC is a boutique firm with a solid track record in assisting clients across the spectrum of commercial, IT, IP and media law matters. Recent work for the team includes data protection advice, cross-border licensing transactions and software development matters. Start-up companies are key clients for the group, which has a reputation for representing app developers and cloud integration service providers. Highlights included advising data intelligence and risk management company C6 on sourcing information placed on the dark web. Other clients include In Your Element and DocTap. Rory Campbell and Katey Dixon jointly head the group.

Mills Selig’s IT team handles transactional mandates, M&A matters and investment work for investment funds and technology companies. The group is advising technology company SUSSD on the development of a social media app to encourage young people’s direct involvement in local politics and is assisting cloud discovery software company Ampliphae with creating bespoke user and licence agreements for its security and compliance platform. Other clients include First Derivatives, Locum Match and software company My Nursery Pal. Kathryn Walls leads the team and is well known for her expertise in technology-related mandates.

Pinsent Masons Belfast LLP’s IT practice is well known for assisting public bodies and technology companies. Representative work includes representing clients in e-commerce and delivery service agreements in relation to major M&A matters and advising medical technology companies on licensing and exploitation of software. Adrian Eakin is the key name.

Tughans assists investment funds with technology-related investments and also handles transactional matters for technology companies. Highlights included acting for software company AuditComply - which provides enterprise risk management software across the engineering, manufacturing, food and logistics industries - on an inward investment made by Business Growth Fund, First Derivatives and Invest Northern Ireland. Global search engines are included in the firm’s client base. Adrian O'Connell leads the team and is known for handling non-contentious mandates; corporate partners Ciara Lagan, John McGuckian and James Donnelly often act on transactions in this area.

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