Intellectual property in Scotland

Brodies LLP

Brodies LLP is routinely engaged by a stellar roster of high-profile domestic and international corporate clients spanning the worlds of life sciences, energy, electronics, and other consumer goods. Grant Campbell spearheads the firm’s intellectual property, technology, and outsourcing practice, handling a wealth of transactions and advisory mandates, most recently in the agritech sector. IT and IP disputes chair Iain Rutherford is a prolific litigator who routinely works on cross-jurisdictional cases across a number of industries, ranging from energy to food and beverages. Martin Sloan is an experienced advisor regarding open source and cloud-based software development matters, while in Glasgow, David Gallagher works primarily with fast-growth companies in the life sciences and biotechnology sectors. Senior Associate Monica Connolly frequently represents various corporate entities in the commercial court and Court of Session, while Jennifer Murphy’s experience is concentrated in brand rights and IP strategy. Cara McGlynn has since left the practice for CMS. All named lawyers are based in Edinburgh unless stated otherwise.

Practice head(s):

Grant Campbell; Iain Rutherford

Other key lawyers:

Martin Sloan; David Gallagher; Monica Connolly; Jennifer Murphy


‘Iain Rutherford is very responsive and always comes up with practical and commercial advice.’

‘We appreciate their breadth of experience, scope, and expertise.’

Key clients

Wild & Wolf (a D.C. Thomson & Co subsidiary)

Tomatin Distillery

DC Thomson

University of Edinburgh/ Edinburgh Innovations Limited

Scotcomms Technology Group Limited

Scottish Qualifications Authority

ACS Clothing

Performing Rights Society (PRS) and PPL PRS

Sonos, Inc.

Age Scotland

Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh

Leucid Bio Limited

SOLASTA Bio Limited

Work highlights

  • Advising a world famous Scotch whisky brand on global, UK and European Union trade marks matters.
  • Providing strategic advice on product commercialisation to a number of clients in the life sciences sector, on a broad range of research and development related matters.
  • Advising clients in the renewable power sector regarding the development of patentable technology.

Burness Paull LLP

Burness Paull LLP’s IP team is widely regarded for the strength and depth of its contentious offering, as well as its sizeable roster of blue-chip companies. Leveraging his deep expertise in IT and telecoms law, the ‘remarkable’ contentious practice chair Colin Hulme is a key port of call for many of the firm’s most high-profile corporate clients, handling litigation on behalf of world-leading pharmaceutical companies, game developers, and music rights organisations. Non-contentious lead Colin Miller concentrates on IP licensing, research and development, and collaboration agreements for various life sciences and manufacturing companies, while in Edinburgh, David Goodbrand helms both the data privacy and the fintech teams, advising widely on commercialisation strategies, data transfers, and media rights. Senior associate Megan Briggs is recommended for her broad capabilities in trademark and copyright proceedings, traversing the worlds of consumer goods, textiles, image licensing, and music royalties. Rebecca Ablett’s diverse focus encompasses broadcasting rights and food and beverages. All named lawyers are based in Glasgow unless stated otherwise.

Practice head(s):

Colin Hulme; Colin Miller; David Goodbrand; Callum Sinclair

Other key lawyers:

Megan Briggs; Rebecca Ablett


‘Burness Paul protects my IP with the same level of care and attention that their far larger clients receive, and that means everything to a smaller business.’

‘Colin Hulme has the complete trust of all my staff and shareholders for the quality of his work in protection of our IP interests. Colin Hulme is a remarkable individual and a credit to Burness Paul to the extent that we would not seek legal service elsewhere.’

‘The team were quickly able to understand our structure and complex intra-group IP licensing needs. Drafts were produced and turned around quickly and they worked well under pressure and made themselves available for update calls.’

‘Highly competent in intellectual property matters. Easy to get hold. Provides strategic and commercially savvy advise for complex legal issues.’

‘Megan Briggs and Colin Hulme: Smart and always available to help. Both take a holistic approach to advising on matters while taking into account the clients commercial outcomes. I highly recommend both!’

‘Technically very strong on IP matters, with a clear commercial focus and a deft touch for managing client relationships. Experts in their field and easy to work with.’

‘Colin Hulme and Megan Briggs provide valuable insight on copyright infringement matters which is both creative and commercially sound, with an eye on how to challenge or reinvigorate established thinking in order to get the best outcome for their clients.’

‘Unrivalled knowledge of Scottish IP law blended with a keen understanding of clients commercial objectives.’

Key clients

Harris Tweed Authority

Sky UK Limited

PPL PRS Limited







RUA Lifesciences

Work highlights

  • Performing a general counsel role for the Harris Tweed Authority, advising on the strategic direction of the development of the Harris Tweed® portfolio of registered marks as well as enforcement of those marks.
  • Advised RUA Lifesciences PLC on proposed patent licensing arrangements for its technology for coating heart valves and other vascular devices with revolutionary polymer material which improves biostability, durability and avoiding invasive surgery.
  • Advised Hymans Robertson LLP on its joint venture with Canadian actuarial and consulting firm Eckler Ltd.


Leveraging its considerable global footprint and reputation in IP-rich fields such as life sciences and education, CMS‘ sizeable Scottish practice acts for an array of industry-leading clients on a broad spectrum of mandates. Carina Healy is highly experienced in the full gamut of licensing, commercialisation, and IP rights enforcement matters, working with a strong roster of life sciences entities and academic institutions. The ‘tenacious and talented’ Neeraj Thomas spearheads the team’s contentious practice, acting for high-profile studios and tech companies in business-critical proceedings before the Court of Session. Alan Nelson specialises in software licensing and outsourcing projects, while Edinburgh-based Duncan Turner’s recent highlights include the negotiation of multi-jurisdictional sponsorship agreements for market-leading consumer goods conglomerates. Contentious specialist Cara McGlynn joined the practice from Brodies in November 2021. Cynthia Johnson and David Dennis are also recommended. All named lawyers are based in Glasgow unless stated otherwise.

Practice head(s):

Carina Healy

Other key lawyers:

Neeraj Thomas; Cara McGlynn; Cynthia Johnson; David Dennis


‘Neeraj Thomas is a tenacious and talented IP litigator. He is user friendly, and clients appreciate that he will suit up and go into battle for them.’

‘This is a highly experienced team who were on the ball and moved the process quickly from start to finish. I have used other firms for other issues and never been so impressed with the speed of delivery and the sensible advice given as I was in this instance.’

‘Neeraj Thomas’ knowledge and understanding of the market was very impressive. He was able to succinctly explain what were the various options available and followed through with letters to the other side promptly . I had been recommended to go to Neeraj by another company who also rated his work very highly and I am grateful for their introduction. When a business is suddenly faced with a competitor utilising your brand the speed and strength of response is business critical so we are delighted that we had a team of experts to reduce the damage and stress.’

‘Neearaj Thomas and Cara McGlynn were exceptional to deal with. The out of hours meetings to suit our work schedule was invaluable to us in the preparation of the case. Their attention to detail and always having a well thought out procedure plan of action was greatly appreciated.’

‘We found the company excellent to deal with. In particular, their geographical footprint, with offices in numerous countries, was useful as they could readily explore the legal systems in different countries from within the firm. The broad base of specialties in CMS was also very useful while investigating points of contract law as part of the overall IP case.’

Key clients

University College London

University of Glasgow


Warner Bros

Facebook Reality Labs (part of Meta)

Thermo Fisher Scientific, Inc

National Museums Scotland

ITV plc

Scottish Event Campus (“SEC”)

Edinburgh St James (GP) Limited

Re-Gen Robotics Limited


University of Sheffield

SPEX Group

Queen Mary Innovations Limited

Consilient Health Limited

MacRebur Limited

Malcolm Pitman/Well Performance

Work highlights

  • Successfully raising interim interdict proceedings against an England-based online seller of products which infringed ITV’s LOVE ISLAND brand to prevent the sale of the infringing products as well as the take down of the defender’s website in Scotland.
  • Advising Enterobiotix on its IP related commercial contracts including CRO contracts, strategic manufacturing development agreements, and academic collaborations.
  • Advising Unilever on a number of high-profile sponsorship agreements with Manchester City Football Club, Chelsea Football Club, and Commebol and on ambassador agreements with La Liga based football players.

Pinsent Masons LLP

Fielding a large team working across Edinburgh and Glasgow, Pinsent Masons LLP draws on a multinational network of offices, handling contentious and non-contentious matters for a formidable mix of high-profile Scottish and foreign clients. Practice co-chair Jim Cormack KC heads up the global litigation, regulatory, and tax practice, regularly appearing before various UK and EU courts, as well as in various IP and tech-related arbitrations at the UK Intellectual Property Office. Chris Martin is noted for his expertise in the education and energy sectors, most recently on matters related to electric vehicle infrastructure developments and blockchain applications, while non-contentious IP chair George Campbell’s recent engagements include IP portfolio reviews for a diverse range of clients engaged on big-ticket transactions. In Glasgow, disputes specialist David Woods works with high profile entities from the worlds of financial services, insurance, and higher education on a myriad of cases at the Court of Session, as well as the Court of Appeal in London and the CJEU. Dual-qualified (Scottish and English) senior associate Gillian Anderson is recommended for her expertise in online IP disputes across a diverse range of sectors. Blair Carlton has left for an in-house position at Element Materials Technologies. All named lawyers are based in Edinburgh unless stated otherwise.

Practice head(s):

Jim Cormack; George Campbell


Other key lawyers:

David Woods; Gillian Anderson; Graham Horsman


‘The team has a deep knowledge of intellectual property law and the ability to apply that to novel and contentious matters.’

‘David Woods has provided excellent and proactive support in relation to a number of matters.’

Key clients

Lady of Leisure Investco Limited (Sweaty Betty)

Fortescue Future Industries Pty Limited

Sage Global Services Limited

iiiTec Limited

Thomas Tunnock Limited

Celtic plc

University of Edinburgh


Work highlights

  • Providing vendor due diligence service to Lady of Leisure Investco Limited in respect of the intellectual property aspects of the £410m sale of Sweaty Betty to Wolverine Worldwide Inc.
  • Acting for iiiTec in three connected actions in Aberdeen Sheriff Court, against entities in the Weatherford Group, in connection with a complex network of oil and gas technology and IP agreements and patents flowing from those agreements.
  • Advising Universities of Edinburgh, Dundee, Birmingham and Nottingham on a five-year collaboration agreement with Bristol-Myers Squibb and Evotec International GmbH for the beLAB1407 project.


Helmed by the ‘excellent’ Alison BryceDentons is widely regarded by a host of coporate clients for its capabilites in high-value transactional and advisory IP mandates, working across the worlds of retail, consumer goods, energy, life sciences, fintech, and media. Bryce attracts broad market acclaim on account of her fluency in IP, IT and commercial contract matters, ranging from data protection to e-commerce and outsourcing. Ross Nicol‘s non-contentious focus encompasses various commercial arrangements related to technology creation and commercialisation, with recent engagements including big-ticket sales in the automotive and med-tech sectors. Senior associate John McGonagle is noted for his expertise in procurement. All named lawyers are based in Glasgow.

Practice head(s):

Alison Bryce

Other key lawyers:

Ross Nicol; John McGonagle


‘Excellent knowledge in partner Ross Nicol. A safe pair of hands.’

‘The Dentons team has fantastic strength in depth. The Dentons legacy firm Maclay Murray & Spens was the first in Scotland to set up a dedicated IP practice. Dentons’ key IP Scottish partners Alison Bryce and Ross Nicol have been with the firm for many years and have built up an unrivalled expertise. They work on complex and high profile IP matters and provide a fantastic service. They are extremely commercial and practical.’

‘Alison Bryce has excellent IP knowledge and experience across all IP rights and a broad spectrum of clients across many sectors. Her commerciality and practical advice is second to none. Ross Nicol has built up great expertise in R&D/ life sciences matters. He knows the sector really well and provides excellent advice.’

‘We have worked with the IP practice at Dentons for many years on a number of different projects. Each time the advice received is top quality, cost effective and commercial.’

‘Alison Bryce and Ross Nicol are recognised leaders in their field providing excellent, partner-led solutions to any problems we encounter.’

Key clients

The Edrington Group Limited


The Restaurant Group plc

Finsbury Foods Limited


Nairn’s Oatcakes Limited

STV Group plc

National Theatre of Scotland


Marks and Spencer

Work highlights

  • Acted for National Grid n the negotiation of a complexcollaboration agreement relating to a ground-breaking research and development project with X, an arm of theGoogle group (Google X).
  • Acted for Bute Island Foods on the sale of its products and licensing of its brands (including its key “Sheese” brand) to international dairyproducer Saputo.
  • Advised Roslin Cell Therapies Limited on an extensive due diligence and disclosure process, pursuant to which it received investment from Global Healthcare Opportunities.

Harper Macleod LLP

Harper Macleod LLP‘s wide-ranging IP practice works with a strong mix of domestic and foreign clients on trademarks, patents, and infringement-related proceedings, including matters before the Court of Session and the UK Intellectual Property Office. In recent months, the team has been especially active on music and publishing disputes, as well as broadcasting rights issues for major international sports groups. Jamie Watt chairs the IP department, in addition to the firm’s life sciences and entertainment practices. Glasgow-based Tom Thomas concentrates on technology sector contract procurement, cyber security, and sports IP, most notably in relation to broadcasting rights. Also in Glasgow, commercial litigator E-Ming Fong is a seasoned advocate before the Court of Session, whose recent engagements include high-value trademark infringement proceedings on behalf of a major international retailer. All named lawyers are based in Edinburgh unless stated otherwise.

Practice head(s):

Jamie Watt

Other key lawyers:

Tom Thomas; E-Ming Fong


‘Jamie Watt goes above and beyond to provide regular updates and keeps you fully abreast of the matter in hand, unprompted and without me having to ask for the current status. He is extremely responsive and a pleasure to work with, with an excellent grasp of complicated trade mark matters and the relevant procedures.’

‘Extensive knowledge and understands our market.’

Key clients

The Musicians Union

Aqua Pharma Group


The Forestry Commission


The Institute of Chartered Accountants of Scotland

Celtic Football Club

Drew Marine Group



Work highlights

  • Assisted the UK Musicians Union in relation to the progression of an act to change copyright laws in the UK, in relation to the equitable remuneration of musicians.
  • Assisted UEFA with brand protection matters for Euro 2020/2021.
  • Assisted Reactec with successful patent infringement and invalidity counterclaim proceedings in the Scottish Courts.

MacRoberts LLP

With offices Edinburgh and Glasgow, MacRoberts LLP's Scottish SME-focused practice is well positioned to advise a host of clients active across the public and private domains, ranging from banks to governmental bodies. Glasgow-based IP chair Euan Duncan is a seasoned contentious and non-contentious advisor, with niche expertise in the area of food and beverages, while Val Armstrong-Surgenor is recommended for her expertise in health tech as well as her reputation for resolving commercial contract issues facing not-for-profit entities. In Edinburgh, David Gourlay  concentrates on trademark protection, copyright, and software-related work, with recent engagements including infringement disputes and contract reviews for online retailers and local government offices. All named lawyers are based in Glasgow unless stated otherwise.

Practice head(s):

Valerie Armstrong-Surgenor; David Gourlay; Euan Duncan

Key clients

Tomatin Trading Company

AT Innovations (Scotland) LLP and C.R.C Innovations (Scotland) Limited

Barrie Dear Limited t/a Dears Pharmacy

Together Energy Limited

Drummond Developments Ltd

James Klinge Art

Edinburgh Provision Limited

Rocep-Lusol Holdings Limited

Coolicon Lighting Limited

Forth View Designs

Work highlights

  • Assisting Tomatin Trading Company with an ongoing brand/trade mark dispute with Tomatin Distillery Company Limited.
  • Supporting CRC in the drafting and negotiation of licences with several high-profile brands.

Shepherd and Wedderburn

Fielding a well-regarded, cross-disciplinary team, the ‘excellent and responsive’  Shepherd and Wedderburn works with a number of blue-chip clients from the worlds of tech and gaming on IP-rich transactions, as well as various sports governing bodies, financial institutions, and universities. Media and technology chair Paul Carlyle is noted for his expertise in branding and advertising-related matters, heading up the firm’s trademark and design prosecution practice. The highly experienced Glasgow-based Joanna Boag-Thomson advises on patent and technology licensing, working with various entities active in the food and drink, pharmaceuticals, life sciences and television sectors. John MacKenzie's work as a commercial litigator sees him regularly representing clients before the various Scottish courts, most recently on behalf of hotels and telecoms companies. All named lawyers are based in Edinburgh unless stated otherwise. 

Practice head(s):

Paul Carlyle

Other key lawyers:

Joanna Boag-Thomson; John Mackenzie


‘The team have a strong skill-set in understanding and advising on complex IP matters, whilst considering the commercial context. They give excellent and responsive support.’

‘Joanna Boag-Thompson stands out for her pragmatic and solution-driven approach to providing legal advice.’

Key clients

The R&A

Epic Games

We Are Luxe Limited

Offshore Renewable Energy Catapult

Bordeaux Index Limited

Collagen Solutions plc

University of Aberdeen

Crerar Hotel Group Limited

Incentive Games Limited

Testcard Limited

Irish Distillers Limited

William Grant & Sons Limited

People Can Fly

Scottish National Investment Bank

Work highlights

  • Acted for Epic Games on the acquisition of UK-based Tonic Games Limited.
  • Acting for Crerar Hotel Group in pursuing a claim for passing off in relation to one of its prestige hotels, The Oban Bay Hotel.
  • Advising the University of Aberdeen on numerous IP-related matters, including spin-outs, IP licences and IP-based revenue sharing agreements in fields such as neurodegenerative diseases, sustainable nutrition and monoclonal and polyclonal antibodies.

Thorntons Law LLP

Thorntons Law LLP‘s sizeable IP team works across a diverse array of sectors, offering corporate and commercial support to a number of high-profile Scottish education institutes, media companies, sports clubs, and research centres. The firm notably fields an in-house international trade mark agency, regularly securing cross-border trade mark registrations, managing portfolios, and persuing enforcement at the Court of Session. Practice chair Liam McMonagle – who splits his time between Edinburgh and Glasgow – maintains a wide-ranging practice, ranging from cybersecurity to technology transfer and licensing. Alistair Lang, based between St Andrews and Edinburgh, concentrates on tech and SME transactions, advising a litany of companies on the full gamut of commercial strategies. Managing partner Lesley Larg handles a broad spectrum of IP protection and commercialisation engagements, including global branding strategy and work-for-hire agreements. Loretta Maxfield and Kirsty Stewart are also recommended.  All named lawyers are based in Dundee unless stated otherwise.

Practice head(s):

Liam McMonagle

Other key lawyers:

Alistair Lang; Lesley Larg; Loretta Maxfield; Kirsty Stewart


‘They provide a good balance of legal and risk-based insight, helping us identify what areas are important and what areas we might compromise on, in order to reach arrangements that protect and enhance our legal and commercial position.’

‘Good, practical advice about protection of intellectual property, including litigaiton where necessary.’

‘Liam McMonagle has excellent intellectual property knowledge, blended with commercial expertise.’

Key clients

The James Hutton Institute

University of Stirling

Glasgow Caledonian University

Whiskey Auctioneer

Ged Grimes (of Simple Minds)

Don’t Forget the Bubbled

St Andrews Links

Postcode Lottery


Snag Group

Work highlights

  • Advised James Hutton Ltd on the ownership and licensing of intellectual property in relation to the spin out of a company focused on the mass propagation of plants with potential medicinal properties.
  • Advising Carnoustie Golf Links Management Company Limited in respect of all of its IP matters, including in particular its worldwide branding and trade mark strategy.
  • Advising the University of Stirling on its Lecture Capture Policy to enable the University to use audio-visual course content as a primary teaching method whilst protecting the performance rights of its lecturers.

Anderson Strathern

Notably strong in further education, the public sector, and media work, Anderson Strathern is praised by clients for its capabilities in various IP-intensive commercial matters, including collaboration agreements, porcurements, and licensing issues. The cross-departmental practice is jointly headed up by the highly experienced corporate partner Simon Brown, seasoned cross-border IP litigator Katrina Lumsdaine, and the Glasgow-based data and technology desk head Douglas McLachlan, who specialises in public procurement and cybersecurity. Victoria Simpson is recommended for her expertise in third sector matters. All named lawyers are based in Edinburgh unless stated otherwise.

Practice head(s):

Simon Brown; Douglas McLachlan; Katrina Lumsdaine

Other key lawyers:

Victoria Simpson


‘They think outside the box, and come up with great solutions to any challenges and always deliver. Practical, trusting advice from experts.’

‘The IP team has a depth of knowledge and expertise but support and the ability to feel part of my team in handling any such issues. The team takes the time to build the relationship and ensure that what you get in advice in not only right but what you need.’

‘Douglas always has been and remains my “go-to” person for the hot button issues of IP, Data & Technology. Douglas’ expertise is a given, but his skill and pragmatism demonstrate a commercialism that marks him out amongst his peers. He is approachable and understands the needs of his clients and supports them as one of the team. Douglas is always in demand but never lets you down regardless of how busy he is. Always my first port of call for anything IP, data, or technology related.’

Key clients

Circular 1 Health Limited

University of Strathclyde

Glasgow Caledonian University

The Skills Development Scotland Co Limited

Sudarshan Chemical Industries Limited

The Scottish Parliamentary Corporate Body

Edinburgh Napier University

The Scottish Midland Cooperative Society (“Scotmid”)

The Royal Zoological Society of Scotland (“RZSS”)

The Rangers Football Club Limited


Bonaccord‘s boutique IP practice is regularly engaged by a litany of life sciences and healthcare SMEs and fast-growth companies, and increasingly by entities active in the aerospace sector. The ‘outstanding’ founding partner Patricia Barclay is one of the most widely acclaimed figures in the Scottish market, advising on a host of matters at the intersection of life sciences and intellectual property, with recent highlights including multi-jurisdictional product developments, and contractual and strategic reviews.

Practice head(s):

Patricia Barclay


‘The company brings a wealth of experience form the pharma and biotech industries. This ranges from truly global companies to very small SMEs. For me, this was unique and very reassuring and at affordable prices. The company also has links with companies that can provide additional expertise when and if required. This really does reduce risk when selecting and using vendors/partners.’

‘Patricia is probably unique in the depth of experience that she brings to problems. This includes CDAs, patent issues, marketing rights and partnering agreements, among other areas. Her main aim is to problem solve in the quickest and most effective manner, which is especially critical for SMEs who have limited funds and time to develop their products.’

‘Bonaccord is a small legal firm that delivers excellent legal services greater than its size.’

‘Patricia Barclay from Bonaccord has a long career in pharma, biotech, and supporting life science start-ups. The firm has a can-do attitude and nothing is too small from patents, contracts etc. Patricia is very approachable and always delivers a well-thought-out legal solution. I have recommended Patricia to many colleagues and all are very positive about the service they had.’

‘This is a boutique company that combines the personal touch one would expect from a small company, with a depth of knowledge in IP matters usually only found in the larger corporates. The founder, Patricia Barclay, has long experience of executing IP matters in pharmaceutical companies and brings insider knowledge of what is important for the pharma industry. This is vital for smaller biotechs when they are considering their own IP and how to be as attractive as possible to potential pharma partners when considering their IP estate.’

‘Patricia Barclay is simply outstanding, passionate and extremely helpful, from start to the finish, Patricia stays with the project until the job is done. My companies have also enjoyed the cost effective solutions that Patricia has come up with.’

‘Patricia Barclay is a highly experienced lawyer who has excellent experience of both the needs of life science companies and the needs of small early stage technology companies generally.’

DLA Piper

Helmed by the widely regarded John McKinlay, DLA Piper works with a multitude of well-known domestic and multinational companies on a sweep of commercial IP, branding and contract issues. Senior associate Catriona Melton is a specialist in tech and commercial contract matters, and offers in-house experience of offshore energy and financial services firms. Senior associate Linzi Penman‘s recent highlights include outsourcing and tech-sector transactions, while Jamie O’Neill primarily handles IP and outsourcing agreements for some of the firm’s major entertainment clients. All named lawyers are based in Edinburgh.

Practice head(s):

John McKinlay

Other key lawyers:

Catriona Melton; Linzi Penman; Jamie O’Neill


‘Strong team, with fantastic attention to detail. Great service.’

‘Linzi Penman takes time to understand needs of the client.’

Key clients


ExCel London

Heineken UK

Hyve Group plc

Innovation Group

Merlin Entertainments


B/E Aerospace

Jamella Limited

Scottish Water

Work highlights

  • Advised Merlin Entertainments on various promotion, marketing and branding contracts, and IP issues.
  • Advised Pfizer throughout 2021 on negotiations with the UK Government and European Commission for (i) the Covid-19 Vaccine and (ii) Pfizer’s anti-viral Paxlovid.
  • Advised Scottish Water on the appointment of McKinsey and E&Y as strategic consultants.

Morton Fraser

Helmed by corporate and commercial partner Austin Flynn, Morton Fraser‘s IP practice works with a wide variety of market players, ranging from early-to-mid stage companies and their investors to high-profile Scottish public bodies and not-for-profit organisations. Senior associate Julie Nixon is well regarded by clients for her life sciences expertise – most notably in the realm of molecular biology and genetics – advising variously on data protection, investments, and contractual issues. Senior associate Melanie Schwindt works with various angel syndicates and young companies on corporate and IP matters, while IT and telecoms specialist Stephen Clark focuses on investments into fast growing companies. All named lawyers are based in Edinburgh.

Practice head(s):

Austin Flynn

Other key lawyers:

Julie Nixon; Melanie Schwindt; Stephen Clark


‘The Morton Fraser team has a good knowledge of IP matters and is able to provide clear and practical advice and solutions. Their contract drafting skills are excellent.’

‘Julie Nixon has a good knowledge of IP as it pertains to R&D matters – her background in science is of benefit in aiding her understanding of these matters and in providing clear advice.’

‘Melanie Schwindt is an excellent senior associate with a great working knowledge of IP law.’ 

‘Julie Nixon is very accessible and we entirely trust the advice she provides to our founders on matters of IP licensing.’

Key clients

NeemCo Limited

Quality Meat Scotland


Dxcover Limited

Archangel Investors Limited

Historic Environment Scotland

Softcell Medical Limited

Schuh Limited

Roslin Cell Therapies Limited

Blackhouse Media (BHM) Ltd

Work highlights

  • Advised Dxcover Limited on its £3.5minvestment from investors including Scottish Enterprise and Norcliffe Capital.
  • Securing a UK trade mark “QOMMS”for Blackhouse Media (BHM) Ltd. Nigerian PR agency BlackHouse Media launches in the UK | PR Week
  • Advising Tentamus UK Limited on its acquisition of Blutest Laboratories, which included advice relating to IP BluTest Laboratories LTD joins the Tentamus Network! | BluTest

BTO Solicitors LLP

BTO Solicitors LLP is noted for its strength in both contractual and contentious IP matters, working with a number of clients from the worlds of food and drink, marketing, and education. IP and technology chair Paul Motion frequently represents clients before the Court of Session, with recent engagements including high-value data protection and patent infringement procedures. Cyber security specialist Lynn Richmond handles both contentious and non-contentious instructions, ranging from trademark tribunals to licensing arrangements. Dual-qualified (England and Wales, and Scotland) senior solicitor Lauren McFarlane is noted for her expertise in magazine and trade publishing. All named lawyers are based in Edinburgh.

Practice head(s):

Paul Motion

Other key lawyers:

Lynn Richmond; Lauren McFarlane


‘Lynn Richmond provides clear and considered advice.’

Key clients

Terry Healy Group

Harper James Solicitors

Julian Wagstaff

Mallorca Lee

John Paterson

Omar Arfan t/a DLYT

BlokShok Productions

Work highlights

  • Working with Exchange Communications Installations Limited to set up “Anton Piller” type raids to recover a database belonging to a telecoms company.
  • Working with Terry Healy Group Limited to secure interdict orders to prevent misuse, by a former director, of confidential information as well as trade mark infringement.
  • Working with Harper James Solicitors, who had been served with a £2m patent infringement case and a motion for interim interdict to prevent the use of industrial robots.

MBM Commercial

Well-regarded by a diverse roster of tech and life sciences clients, MBM Commercial regularly handles IP audits, contractual reviews, and counter-infringement actions for various domestic companies. Practice chair Andy Harris is an experienced advisor on IP, IT, and e-commerce matters, working across the worlds of life sciences, retail, energy, and software. Legal director Ian McDougall concentrates on IP-centric commercial litigation before the Court of Session. All named lawyers are based in Edinburgh.

Practice head(s):

Andy Harris

Other key lawyers:

Ian McDougall


‘Exceptional service to clients. A growing presence within the IP sector.’

‘Small but highly responsive and intelligent team with a keen eye to new developments in the law and international aspects of intellectual property.’

‘Iain McDougall is incredibly approachable, intelligent and with a real eye for interesting issues as well as an appreciation of innovation in legal practice.’

‘They are a wonderful balance of skilled, knowledgeable, hard working and easy to work with.’

Key clients

Ten Bio Limited

Five Areas

Roslin Technologies

Work highlights

  • Advised Five Areas limited on negotiation of IP exploitation licence with major North American charity licensee.