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Shepherd and Wedderburn

Work 0141 566 9900
Fax 0141 565 1222

Joanna Boag-Thomson

Work 0141 566 8570
Shepherd and Wedderburn

Work Department

Media and Technology


Joanna is a partner in the media and technology practice whose key areas of expertise are technology transfer, IT/IS outsourcing transactions, collaborations and brand exploitation and she advises clients on a range of matters from multi-partner industry/academic collaborations to major sponsored events. Joanna has been a Law Society of Scotland accredited specialist in intellectual property law since 1998 and teaches this at postgraduate level. She has had particular success in attracting high-value and challenging deals, thanks to her pragmatic and knowledgeable advice. Joanna has an impressive client base which includes Scottish Enterprise, Skills Development Scotland, Pernod Ricard Group, Artemis Investment  Management and Genius Gluten-Free Foods.


Trained Wright Johnston & Mackenzie 1988-90; qualified 1990; assistant Wright Johnston & Mackenzie 1990-91; assistant Bird Semple Fyfe Ireland 1991-93; assistant, associate, then partner MacRoberts 1993-2000; partner Shepherd and Wedderburn 2000. Accredited by Law Society as intellectual property specialist.


French, German.


Licensing Executives Society.


Craigholme School; Edinburgh University (1987 LLB; 1988 Diploma in Legal Practice).

London: Projects, energy and natural resources


Within: Water

Shepherd and Wedderburn 'is without peer in its understanding of the water industry, its governance and competition framework', according to one client. Clients are especially impressed by Edinburgh's 'remarkably responsive and outstanding competition lawyer' Gordon Downie who is known as 'the thinking man or woman's lawyer', and Glasgow-based Liz McRobb who 'is supportive beyond any expectation, ploughs through the most detailed documents and produces succinct informative analyses'. Water Plus, a new commercial water retailer created by Severn Trent and United Utilities, appointed the team to draft and negotiate its ITaaS outsourcing arrangements with Crimson, and infrastructure partner Gareth Parry continues to advise a water company on the contractual changes to the operation of a waste water treatment facility. Other highlights include providing regulatory advice to clients such as the Water Industry Commission for Scotland with regards to the retail market framework. Technology and media expert Joanna Boag-Thomson and regulation and competition partner John Grady are also key names to note.

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London: TMT (technology, media and telecoms)

IT and telecoms

Within: IT and telecoms

Shepherd and Wedderburn is highlighted for its 'actionable advice, balanced with business acumen and industry knowledge'. Head of telecommunications, Gordon Moir, is leading a team representing BT Global Services in high value follow-on damages claim against Orange in France. In another highlight Joanna Boag-Thomson  advised Satellite Solutions Worldwide on the negotiations of its distributor arrangements with Euro Broadband Retail to expand its operations in the retail market for residential broadband across Europe. Paul Carlyle heads the group's media and technology team which regularly assists financial services sector on ICT procurement projects. Vodafone, Expereo and Sainsbury's Bank are all clients.

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Scotland: Corporate and commercial

Corporate and commercial: Edinburgh and Glasgow

Within: Corporate and commercial: Edinburgh and Glasgow

Shepherd and Wedderburn‘s team, which ‘understands the bigger picture in terms of business consequences‘, includes a number of first-rate practitioners, such as food and drink group head George Frier and Joanna Boag-Thomson, who are ‘commercial, innovative and provide great client service‘. In addition, Danny Lee and John Morrison ‘understand points easily and their drafting is high quality‘ and senior associate Tom Swan is lauded for his ‘attention to detail‘. Stephen Trombala leads the group, which is adept in transactions spanning a wide range of industries, including food and drink, renewable energy, corporate real estate, oil and gas (upstream and services sectors), technology and life sciences. It consistently excels in headline deals; in 2017, highlights included Frier and others acting as the lead legal adviser to Chivas Brothers (part of the Pernot Ricard Group) in the sale to the Glenallachie consortium of its Glenallachie distillery, and certain whisky stock and whisky brands. Frier also led a team in the advice to Collagen Solutions on its £8m placing and open offer, and also on a £4m bond issue. Morrison assisted TVSquared (one of Scotland’s most successful recent start-up companies) with its $6.5m series A equity financing. Also recommended are George Boyle, Andrew Blain, Paul Hally, Keir Willox, Joanna Monaghan  and Ian Mitchell.

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Scotland: TMT (technology, media and telecoms)

IT and telecoms

Within: IT and telecoms

Shepherd and Wedderburn ‘compares favourably with City firms’ and is noted for its ‘strong commercial acumen’ in relation to IT and outsourcing mandates. The practice is co-led by Gordon Moir, who specialises in regulatory support in the TMT sector, and Paul Carlyle, whose focus is IT investment in the financial service industry. Moir is acting for European Competitive Telecoms Association (on behalf of the European Commission) in relation to an appeal brought by Orange Polska against the Commission’s decision to fine the company for abuse of its dominant position. Joanna Boag-Thomson advised Water Plus on a major IT infrastructure procurement project. She is also advising Satellite Solutions Worldwide on the negotiation of its distributor arrangements with Euro Broadband Retail in relation to its expansion into markets in Sweden, Norway, Poland, France, Ireland and the UK. John MacKenzie represented Calsoft in relation to a claim raised by Bayonette in the Technology and Construction Court in London concerning alleged breaches of a contract to provide residential virtual consumer premise equipment and router software to the claimant; an action that was settled by negotiation. Associates Alison Rochester and Ashley McLean are noted for their ‘clear communication skills’.

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Intellectual property

Within: Leading individuals

Joanna Boag-Thomson - Shepherd and Wedderburn

Within: Intellectual property

Shepherd and Wedderburn is noted for ‘sensible, efficient advice’, which is provided by individuals who demonstrate that they ‘know the practical realities of business as well as the legal necessities’. Joanna Boag-Thomson, who leads on patent and technology licensing, media and brand activation, is advising the Pernod Ricard group subsidiary, Chivas Brothers, on a number of matters, including the development of the La Distillerie Generale brand in France, which required distribution and co-branding agreements. She is also assisting Winduna on licensing agreements with Oxford University Press in relation to its production of an animated series based on the Winnie the Witch books. Paul Carlyle leads the media and technology team and assists the National Trust for Scotland with the protection of its trade mark portfolio. John MacKenzie is representing RSVP Design in trade mark infringement proceedings that the client raised against Future Factory, in the Court of Session, relating to its colourblind trade mark. ‘Extremely professional’ associate Ashley McLean is also recommended.

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