Next Generation Partners

Intellectual property in Scotland

Brodies LLP

Having established an ‘enviable reputation in Scotland’ for its intellectual property expertise, Brodies LLP continues to handle a broad range of transactional and dispute resolution work, covering all aspects of IP protection, commercialisation and enforcement. The team is also noted for its regulatory capabilities, advising major clients in heavily regulated industries including pharmaceuticals, biotech, food and consumer products. Leading on the non-contentious side is Grant Campbell, who regularly handles transactions for major clients in the finance, technology, aviation and utilities sectors. Iain Rutherford heads the contentious offering and is highly adept when advising on IP-related disputes including outsourcing, domain name matters, online defamation and IT supplier issues. David Gallagher brings extensive knowledge of the life sciences and biotechnology sectors, while transactional specialist Martin Sloan is particularly strong in the PE, media and food and drink sectors. Senior associate Monica Connolly is well versed in representing global IT companies in IP disputes, while associate Jennifer Murphy is highly regarded for her trade mark expertise. Alison Bryce joined from Dentons in August 2023,

Practice head(s):

Grant Campbell; Iain Rutherford

Other key lawyers:

David Gallagher; Martin Sloan; Monica Connolly; Jennifer Murphy; Alison Bryce


‘The team at Brodies is very broad, and they carry an enviable reputation in Scotland for legal advice, especially in IP.’

‘Working with Iain Rutherford is always a pleasure. He has a wide knowledge of legal IP matters, is a very safe pair of hands and speaks with authority on his subject.’

‘A strong team that are easy to work with.’

‘David Gallagher of the Brodie’s team has first-hand experience of working in a biotech company and knows the commercial challenges and advice required.’

‘Personality and individuality.’

‘I thought that the team provided an excellent service, responding very quickly to the issue.’

‘The solution was concise and worked! Would definitely recommend.’

‘Monica Connolly was exceptional. I was very impressed by her advice, which was practical and achieved the result I wanted. She was not daunted by the size of the opposition; instead focusing on the relevant case law and finding a way to communicate that successfully.’

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

University of Swansea

University of St Andrews

Abellio Scotrail/Scotrail Trains Limited

Work highlights

  • Advising a world-famous Scotch whisky brand on global, UK and European Union trade marks matters.
  • Advising clients in the renewable power sector regarding the development of patentable technology.
  • 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.

Burness Paull LLP

Burness Paull LLP is renowned in the Scottish market for its ‘dedicated contentious IP practice with unmatched depth of knowledge’, as well as a formidable transactional offering which excels in key sectors from technology and financial services to life sciences and food and drink. Colin Hulme leads the contentious offering, overseeing a particularly broad span of work including patent, trade mark, copyright, confidential information and trade secret disputes. On the transactional side Colin Miller leads the team, his practice continuing to focus on IP licensing, collaboration and due diligence, supported by the vastly experienced David Goodbrand, who offers considerable expertise in the fintech space. Below partner level, senior associate Megan Briggs and associate Rebecca Ablett bolster the contentious offering, both regularly acting for clients in the Court of Session on patent, software and copyright disputes.

Practice head(s):

Colin Hulme; Colin Miller

Other key lawyers:

David Goodbrand; Megan Briggs; Rebecca Ablett


‘The team always provides full and timely instructions.’

‘Colin Hulme has significant experience in trade mark matters and has a pragmatic attitude.’

‘Colin Miller provides excellent advice on intellectual property matters in a variety of research contracts.’

‘Responsive, helpful, and knowledgeable.’

‘Burness Paull LLP has gained a well-deserved reputation as one of the leading dispute teams in Scotland. Their ability to reach suitable resolutions in some very difficult IP and copyright disputes which my company were victims of is a clear indication of their qualities.’

‘Burness Paull’s ability to enforce IP rights in a way which deters others either through their innovative approach or media publicity is hugely valuable.’ 

‘Colin Hulme has a depth of knowledge, experience and skill in IP work which proves valuable beyond measure in protecting copyright and IP interests.’

‘Rebecca Ablett is a credit to Burness Paull, displaying the same stellar qualities which Colin Hulme possesses.’

Key clients

Harris Tweed Authority

Sky UK Limited

PPL PRS Limited


Exact Sciences Corporation


Two Rivers Media



RUA Lifesciences

Work highlights

  • Continuing to perform a general counsel role for the Harris Tweed Authority, involving advising on the strategic direction of the development of the Harris Tweed portfolio of registered marks as well as enforcement of those marks.
  • Acting for Two Rivers Media on their commissioning agreements, carrying out a review of contracts and flagging the key risks to the client. Productions advised on include the new channel four series “Escape to the Chateau”. This included advice on ownership and licensing of copyright in the production materials and film rights.
  • Advising Norcliffe on its multi-million pound investment in Aureum Diagnostics, a spin-out company from the University of Strathclyde which has been developing rapid cost-effective electrochemical sensors for the diagnosis of Covid and other life-threatening conditions such as sepsis, heart disease and certain cancers.


An expert team with genuine strength in depth’, the intellectual property group at CMS is composed of specialists who focus on a broad range of key sectors, spanning life sciences, healthcare, academic technology transfer, energy, and entertainment and sponsorship. Carina Healy leads the team from Glasgow and brings over two decades of experience of IP licensing, development and commercialisation, as well as the defence and enforcement of IP rights for both public and private sector clients. IT specialist Alan Nelson is a key contact, regularly handling a variety of software licensing, IT development projects and outsourcing deals. Neeraj Thomas is a ‘a very talented and experienced IP litigator’ and regularly appears before the Court of Session, while in Edinburgh Duncan Turner focuses on transactional matters including acquisition, disposal and exploitation of IP rights. Senior associate David Dennis is particularly strong in the life sciences sector, while associate Cara McGlynn is active across a wide range of contentious issues, including trade marks, patents and copyright.

Practice head(s):

Carina Healy

Other key lawyers:

Alan Nelson; Neeraj Thomas; Duncan Turner; David Dennis; Cara McGlynn


‘An expert team with genuine strength in depth.’

‘Neeraj Thomas is a very talented and experienced IP litigator, always putting client interests first. A daunting opponent.’

‘CMS’ IP team in Scotland has an excellent knowledge of IP and gives commercially sound and pragmatic advice. Their ability to obtain an interdict through the Scottish courts is a particularly valuable tool, which is not available through teams that don’t have a presence in Scotland.’

Key clients

University College London

University of Glasgow

ITV plc

Scottish Event Campus (“SEC”)

Edinburgh St James (GP) Limited

Re-Gen Robotics Limited


University of Sheffield

SPEX Group

The Carbon Trust


Moonbug Entertainment

Trip Air Ticketing (UK)


BT Sport

ISIO Services


Thermo Fisher Scientific

BioAscent Drug Discovery

Work highlights

  • Acting for ITV in respect of all brand protection matters relating to the latest series of Love Island including raising proceedings in the Scottish IP Court in the Court of Session against a specific infringer and obtaining interim orders against that infringer.
  • Advising University of Sheffield on the high-value sale of certain patent rights relating to semiconductor technology to a US-based global social media company. This involved careful consideration of the heads of terms, draft licence, and transfer agreement provided by the purchaser.
  • Continued to advise University of Glasgow on a number of IP-related transactions. This has included advising on: (i) the establishment of various new spin-out companies, including Nami Surgical; (ii) a patent assignation for Chemify Ltd; (iii) the funding and IP arrangements for Precision Medicine Scotland IC; (iv) the licensing of cell-lines for research purposes; and (v) CENSIS which includes the arrangements for spin-out company CENSIS Technology Solutions Ltd.

Pinsent Masons LLP

Leveraging a comprehensive national and international presence, Pinsent Masons LLP offers a full-service contentious and non-contentious offering, particularly well regarded for its cross-border capabilities. Co-head Jim Cormack KC has vast contentious IP experience, which covers the gamut of areas from patents, copyright and trade marks to design rights and breach of confidence. Leading on the non-contentious side is George Campbell, who has a particularly strong track record advising on all aspects of IP transactions including sale and purchase, licensing, due diligence and commercial agreements. Technology specialist Chris Martin is especially renowned in the energy and education sectors, having recently seen an increase in the amount of IP mandates related to EV infrastructure, while David Woods regularly appears before the Court of Session in high-profile disputes. Contentious specialist Gillian Anderson has extensive experience in the financial services, food and drink, retail, and energy sectors.

Practice head(s):

Jim Cormack KC; George Campbell

Other key lawyers:

Chris Martin; David Woods; Gillian Anderson

Key clients

Celtic plc

Thomas Tunnock Limited

Edrington Distribution Limited

Sage Global Services Limited

Coventry University

Briggs Equipment UK Limited

iiiTEC Limited

University of Edinburgh


Smart Data Foundry

Work highlights

  • Continuing to advise Celtic FC on brand licensing, sponsorship generally including its most significant IP sponsorship deal and related commercial matters.
  • Advised Edrington UK Distribution on its high-profile sponsorship of Premiership Rugby in England and more recently on Famous Grouse branding on the ITV coverage of Premiership Rugby.
  • Acting for iiiTec in relation to ongoing multi-jurisdictional court proceedings 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.


Dentons utilises an extensive network of intellectual property specialists located in Scotland, the UK and across the globe to advise large companies across a broad range of sectors, spanning life sciences, retail, financial services, media, technology and manufacturing. Ross Nicol departed the firm in March 2023 to join Addleshaw Goddard, while former practice head Alison Bryce left to join Brodies in August 2023. Steph Innes joined in September 2023 as partner in Glasgow to lead the practice following a period as head of group legal at Aggreko.

Practice head(s):

Steph Innes

Key clients

National Grid

The Restaurant Group plc


Optos (part of the Nikon Group)

Sainsbury’s Supermarkets

Marks and Spencer plc

STV Group plc

Nairn’s Oatcakes

The Edrington Group Limited


Work highlights

  • Advising Sainsbury’s Supermarkets Limited on a new, high-profile concession arrangement which will eventually see 200 of its in-store cafés and restaurants across the UK replaced by well-known brands operated by the Boparan Restaurant Group (BRG), including the likes of Caffe Carluccio’s, Harry Ramsden’s, Gourmet Burger Kitchen and Slim Chickens.
  • Advising upon Premier Foods Group Limited’s acquisition of The Spice Tailor company and brand, a company which develops and sells authentic Indian and South East Asian meal-kits, founded by celebrity chef and author, Anjum Anand.
  • Advising on all innovation and collaborative work for the National Grid entities as it accelerates the path to net-zero.

Harper Macleod LLP

Harper Macleod LLP caters to major domestic and international clients across a wide array of key economic sectors, spanning music, sport, and government authorities, with a particularly strong reputation for trade marks, patents and legislative implementation. Jamie Watt leads the offering and brings considerable strength in the life sciences, music and entertainment industries. Commercial litigator E-Ming Fong regularly handles high-profile IP disputes before the Court of Session, while Tom Thomas specialises in high-value technology contract work, servicing major software developers and Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) service providers in the private sector, as well as having a strong niche in relation to broadcasting in the sports sector.

Practice head(s):

Jamie Watt

Other key lawyers:

E-Ming Fong; Tom Thomas


‘Always attentive to customers’ needs.’

‘Jamie Watt is instrumental in navigating complex issues for his client’s business.’

‘Collaborative team and easy to work with.’

‘Jamie Watt and Tom Thomas are very approachable, which makes it easy to work with them.’

‘Jamie Watt is an excellent commercial lawyer offering sound, sensible and pragmatic advice that goes to the heart of the issue at hand.’

‘Jamie Watt’s communication style is efficient and to the point, which makes it clear and easy to understand.’

‘Jamie Watt is an excellent professional, smart, responsive and pragmatic.’

‘Great, efficient and clear service supporting a consolidated global intellectual property portfolio.’

Key clients

Forest Research

Scotch Malt Whisky Society

Celtic Football Club

Aqua Pharma Group

The Musicians Union

Publishing Scotland

The Society of Authors

Scottish Mountaineering Trust

Timorous Beasties

Barrhead Travel

Work highlights

  • Acted for the Musicians Union in relation to the proposed reform of UK copyright law.
  • Act for Aqua Pharma Group in relation to its worldwide IP and commercial requirements.
  • Acting for Celtic Football Club in relation to its  brand protection requirements.

Morton Fraser MacRoberts

Morton Fraser MacRoberts is an independent Scottish firm with an ‘excellent’ intellectual property offering, working with some of the largest public and private sector organisations in the region and adept across core areas such as trade marks, copyright and other general IP strategy. One of those leading the team from Glasgow is Euan Duncan, vastly experienced in both contentious and transactional matters and particularly strong across the food and drink, manufacturing, life sciences and software sectors. David Gourlay is also a leading figure and has particular expertise in relation to the protection and commercialisation of IP rights, while co-head Valerie Armstrong-Surgenor is also highly regarded for her capabilities navigating complex brand protection, copyright and software-related matters.

Practice head(s):

Euan Duncan; Valerie Armstrong-Surgenor; David Gourlay


‘The firm offers a diverse team of professional solicitors who can cover all the bases.’

‘Euan Duncan being super-friendly, witty and charming certainly helps make those long sessions pass-by easier. It is simply a pleasure to work with Euan.’

‘Euan Duncan is an attention-to-detail guru. He ensures every discussion is covered from the ground up and the wider team are all on the same page – he is expert at simplifying complex language and debunking jargon.’

Key clients

Tomatin Trading Company Limited

Hydrogen Vehicle Systems Limited

C.R.C Innovations (Scotland) Ltd (“CRC)

Drumond Developments Limited

Agora Greek Delicacies Ltd

Social Enterprise Academy International

The Kilmarnock Football Club Limited (“Kilmarnock FC”).

Cello 123 Limited t/a The Leith Agency

The Knot Dr Limited

Chisholm Hunter Limited

Work highlights

  • Assisted Tomatin Trading Company Limited with a critical and high-profile brand/trade mark dispute with Tomatin Distillery Company Limited, involving advising Tomatin Trading Company in the defence of an Intellectual Property action in the Court of Session.
  • Providing Hydrogen Vehicle Systems Limited with various IP related advice including: negotiation and drafting of IP provisions within contract with service providers who will design and manufacture prototype of vehicle and related software; preparation of template contracts with robust IP provisions in favour of our client (including sub-contractor and consultancy arrangements).
  • Supported Cello 123 Limited in relation to their Macallan – Spirit of 1926 campaign for The MacAllan Distillers Limited, which involved the production of their Global Macallan film. This meant assisting with the drafting and negotiation of a variety of key integral commercial contracts between the client, directorial and production staff, costume designer, scriptwriter and the main actors/actresses.

Thorntons Law LLP

Combining ‘a local feel with the benefit of world-class experience’, the intellectual property group at Thorntons Law LLP is active across a broad range of sectors including higher education, research, life sciences, sport and technology. Practice head Liam McMonagle has two decades of experience advising on all aspects of IP protection and commercialisation, with a particular strength in gambling, cybersecurity and entertainment. Alistair Lang, whose practice focuses heavily on the technology and SME sectors, is adept when it comes to international trade mark actions and related negotiations. The firm’s managing partner Lesley Larg handles a steady stream of advisory work, covering cross-border licensing arrangements, brand protection and funding negotiations. Loretta Maxfield has experience of advising a variety of clients from small start-ups to large multinational companies, while legal director Kirsty Stewart heads the in-house trade marks agency.

Practice head(s):

Liam McMonagle

Other key lawyers:

Alistair Lang; Lesley Larg; Loretta Maxfield; Kirsty Stewart


‘The Thorntons team brings a local feel to the relationship, with the benefit of world-class experience and capability.’

‘They provide specialist advice relating to the golf industry.’

‘Alistair Lang’s professionalism installs a great sense of comfort.’

Key clients

The James Hutton Institute

University of Stirling

Glasgow Caledonian University

Dormant Distillery Company

Ged Grimes (Simple Minds)

Don’t Forget the Bubbles Ltd

St Andrews Links Limited

Postcode Lottery Limited

ThinkAnalytics Limited

Snag Group Limited

SecuriGroup Limited

David Austin Roses Limited

University of St Andrews

Work highlights

  • Advising St Andrews Links Limited in respect of its worldwide branding and trade mark licensing strategy.
  • Advising David Austin Roses in relation to the enforcement of a portfolio of intellectual property rights, including registered and unregistered trade marks, and registered plant variety rights.
  • Advising Snag Group Limited in respect of the defence of a registered and unregistered design infringement claim.

Anderson Strathern

The intellectual property team at Anderson Strathern has a strong reputation for its skill in the Scottish public, education, and media sectors, as well as offering significant expertise in IP litigation. Katrina Lumsdaine leads the contentious offering, who as well as regularly appearing before the Court of Session and Sheriff Courts, has appeared in trade mark litigations as far afield as China. Douglas McLachlan also leads the team and has both contentious and transactional experience, representing a diverse selection of clients from large institutions to SME technology and data companies. Head of corporate Simon Brown is also a key contact, with significant procurement experience.

Practice head(s):

Simon Brown; Douglas McLachlan; Katrina Lumsdaine


‘The range of clients and experience that AS are able to bring is considerable and assists clients who need expert advice, with the knowledge that it is borne of experience and expert knowledge.’

‘Douglas McLachlan has a unique breadth of IP knowledge and experience, bringing with it expertise in competition law that underpins the advice that he is able to provide.’

‘The firm offers attention to detail and creative solutions.’

Key clients

Circular 1 Health Limited

University of Strathclyde

Glasgow Caledonian University

The Skills Development Scotland Co Limited

Monarch Transport Limited

The Scottish Parliamentary Corporate Body

Edinburgh Napier University

The Scottish Midland Co-operative Society (“Scotmid”)

Caledonia Gladiators Basketball Holdings Ltd

The Rangers Football Club Limited

Work highlights

  • Advised Caledonia Gladiator Holdings Ltd on the acquisition of the Caledonia Gladiators professional basketball team.
  • Advised The Scottish Parliamentary Corporate Body on a range of IP/IT, Technology, procurement, and construction matters including complex international data sharing arrangements.
  • Advised The University of Strathclyde on a wide range of technology issues, IP spin-outs, and complex international data sharing arrangements.


Specialists in the field of life sciences’, Bonaccord is a boutique firm which offers a ‘great deal of experience in pharmaceuticals, medical devices, animal health, innovative food products and cosmetics.’ Founding partner and practice head Patricia Barclay is ‘abundantly well-versed in IP’, regularly handling an abundance of issues, including negotiating complex licensing and cooperation agreements and intellectual property management matters.

Practice head(s):

Patricia Barclay


‘Strong grasp of practical advice to start-up companies in the life sciences and technology field.’

‘Patricia Barclay is abundantly well-versed in IP and she provides pragmatic and proportionate advice in both contentious and non-contentious matters, including trade marks and domain names.’

‘Patricia Barclay and Bonaccord have a great deal of experience in pharmaceuticals, medical devices, animal health, innovative food products and cosmetics.’

Work highlights

DLA Piper

DLA Piper’s intellectual property group continues to see significant growth in a number of key sectors, from food and retail and consumer goods to life sciences and financial services. John McKinlay heads the UK IP offering, he advises domestic and international private and public sector clients on non-contentious matters, with particular strength in the pharmaceutical sector. Below partner level, senior associate Catriona Melton has considerable expertise in outsourcing and regulatory compliance, while Jamie O’Neill handles cross-border mandates for major technology and hospitality clients.

Practice head(s):

John McKinlay

Other key lawyers:

Catriona Melton; Jamie O’Neill

Key clients


Tate and Lyle


ExCel London

Merlin Entertainments

Innovation Group

Work highlights

  • Handling all promotion, branding and sponsorship contracts for Merlin Entertainments.
  • Advising Pfizer on the negotiation of contracts in relation to the supply of Comirnity and Paxlovid across Europe.
  • Advising Seatfrog on the roll-out of its app based product to enable customers to swap seats on trains in real-time.

BTO Solicitors LLP

As well as advising on significant contractual and compliance matters, BTO Solicitors LLP is well known for its contentious IP offering, regularly handling complex trade mark prosecution and opposition, copyright and database infringement, and restrictive covenant abuses. Practice head and solicitor advocate Paul Motion has an abundance of apperances in the Court of Session regarding IP disputes, overseeing a team with broad sector specialisms spanning media, retail, technology and food and drink. Lynn Richmond is adept when it comes to both contentious and advisory matters, acting for major clients on development, protection and licensing.

Practice head(s):

Paul Motion

Other key lawyers:

Lynn Richmond


‘BTO Solicitors LLP make clients feel part of the process and explains technical aspects in a manner they can understand, they are not bombarded with legal jargon that often makes them feel alienated.’

‘Everyone at BTO Solicitors LLP makes time for a client’s case.’

‘Paul Motion is calm, thoughtful and very helpful from start to finish, he understands the nature of a client’s business and is able to get the results.’

‘Good combination of specialisms in the team.’

‘Great support from Lynn Richmond. She cut to the chase for our project and provided clear guidance on protecting our client’s IP.’

‘From the very start, I was listened to and advised in a calm and professional manner by BTO Solicitors LLP. ‘

‘We spoke about my budget, fees and what could be done, BTO delivered and really worked hard to keep it all on budget.’

‘I understood and knew what was going on at all times. I can’t thank Paul Motion and his team at BTO Solicitors LLP enough for what they have done for me, it’s life changing.’

Key clients

Mactaggart & Mickel Homes Ltd

QueryClick Ltd

Gleann Mor Spirits Company Ltd

Clarus Networks Ltd

Allied Vehicles Ltd

Mabbett & Associates Ltd

Wilsons Auctions Ltd

Feilden Clegg Bradley Studios LLP

Work highlights

  • Advised Mactaggart & Mickel Homes Ltd on all IP matters in respect of the £46m sale of business.
  • Successfully defending appeal by multinational drinks company Gleann Mor Spirits Company Ltd, allowing registration of our client’s trade mark.

MBM Commercial

Despite a widely recognised strength in technology, the intellectual property group at MBM Commercial caters to a diverse range of key sectors, spanning media, financial services, retail, sport and health. Andy Harris leads the team from Edinburgh, overseeing a steady stream of mandates which includes advising clients on registered IP portfolio expansion and assisting with protection and enforcement, with particular expertise in the protection of IP rights related to infringement and misuse on social media platforms. Legal director Ian McDougall is a contentious specialist and regularly handles copyright, trade mark and design rights litigation.

Practice head(s):

Andy Harris

Other key lawyers:

Iain McDougall


‘A firm which clearly demonstrates a willingness to engage with clients right through from early advisory stages of a business to the harder aspects of litigation, which demonstrates a joined-up, international approach to intellectual property.’

‘Iain McDougall received a recent, well-deserved promotion. He is a very smart and very approachable lawyer with considerable experience of intellectual property and dispute resolution more generally.’

‘MBM appreciates the need to manage my expectations and always provides timeframes for responses.’

Key clients

Pogo Studio Limited

Bright Ascension Limited

MRM Global Limited

Fixed Phage Limited

IMV Imaging (UK) Ltd

Inflex Limited

Work highlights

  • Advised Pogo Studio Limited on commercial SaaS/cloud services agreements and resolution of IP property ownership.
  • Advised Bright Ascension Limited in relation to an IP Audit.
  • Advised MRM Global Limited in relation to intercompany IP licence agreements following its expansion in the US.