find the latest legal job
Corporate/Commercial Lawyers (2-5 years PAE)
Category: Corporate and Commercial Law | Location: Adelaide SA 5000
· Specialist commercial law firm · Long-term career progression
View details
Graduate Lawyer / Up to 1.5 yr PAE Lawyer
Category: Personal Injury Law | Location: Brisbane CBD & Inner Suburbs Brisbane QLD
· Mentoring Opportunity in Regional QLD · Personal Injury Law
View details
Corporate and Commercial Partner
Category: Corporate and Commercial Law | Location: Adelaide SA 5000
· Full time · Join a leading Adelaide commercial law firm
View details
In-house Legal Counsel & Commercial Lawyers
Category: Corporate and Commercial Law | Location: All Sydney NSW
· Providing lawyers with flexibility and control over when they work, how they work and who they work for.
View details
In-house Legal Counsel & Commercial Lawyers
Category: Corporate and Commercial Law | Location: All Melbourne VIC
· Providing lawyers with flexibility and control over when they work, how they work and who they work for.
View details
Firms boost IP as clients tidy up acts

Firms boost IP as clients tidy up acts

In the face of takeovers, business restructures and new management in the economic downturn, law firms' intellectual property practices are finding an increase of work as clients rush to tidy up their businesses.

IN the face of takeovers, business restructures and new management in the economic downturn, law firms' intellectual property practices are finding an increase of work as clients rush to tidy up their businesses. 

Intellectual property firm Griffith Hack is forging ahead with growth despite the economic climate as clients make efforts to streamline their various IP issues in the global financial crisis. 

The firm has hired former Corrs Chambers Westgarth IP litigator, Sally Nicolson, in the role of special counsel and is looking to boost its junior ranks in the same area.

Chairman of Griffith Hack, Tony Ward, said this was a wise move by the firm as each new partner brings with them new business, which has contributed to the IP divisions’ growth. 

“Our view is that there is a growing need for boutique law practices specialising in IP law,” he said. 

“I think that a lot of small to medium sized enterprises are realising that their trademarks and names are valuable, especially if they are planning to sell the business.” 

Ward claims that in tough times such as now, IP is even more important as people are keener to protect and enforce their rights and their property. 

“The average man on the street is a lot more IP savvy than they used to be,” he added. 

According to intellectual property partner at Middletons, Jane Owen, there has been a recent spread of recognition in the importance of IP. "We've moved from IP being a business driver only in brand intense type industries and technology driven industries to it becoming important for all companies who want to be seen as surviving companies," she said.

"Obviously innovation and renewal are key to survival, and innovation and renewal are key drivers to IP."

While Owen denies she has seen any increase in filing activity during the global financial downturn, she has noticed an increase of work in an invigoration of management refreshing policy and internal approach to the management of IP. 

"The change is driven by change of focus, and people may be taking the opportunity to get their house in order. The outcome of that may be where things seem to have been overlooked ... and a bit of patch up going on," the Middletons partner said. 

Increased takeovers also result in a heightening of IP work, said Owen. "People will generally tidy up their IP in preparation for a takeover because obviously IP is going to be part of the audit process that goes on."

Owen gives the example of the NSW Lotteries, a client of the IP practice at Middletons. "Given that the Government has been trying to sell that off, we've noticed some tidying up of issues. When it's a big enterprise, everyone wants their own department in order," she said. 

Nicolson, meanwhile, who spent nine years at Corrs Chambers Westgarth and was a partner in its IP, competition and technology practice group, has been spearheaded to boost Griffith Hack's practice. Ward said Nicolson’s expertise would make a great addition to the firm, which had experienced significant growth in the last 12 to 18 months. 

“Before we had this global meltdown we decided we would bring on board some high profile IP specialists, including Russell Berry and Wayne Condon. Nicolson’s appointment is a continuation of that decision.”


 

Like this story? Read more:

QLS condemns actions of disgraced lawyer as ‘stain on the profession’

NSW proposes big justice reforms to target risk of reoffending

The legal budget breakdown 2017

Firms boost IP as clients tidy up acts
lawyersweekly logo
Promoted content
Recommended by Spike Native Network
more from lawyers weekly
Jackie Rhodes
06:04
Report sheds light on LGBTQI inclusion in law firms
A recent report has revealed the varying perceptions on LGBTQI diversity and inclusion in the Austra...
Women in business
06:00
Annabel Crabb headlines Women in Business Forum
Political journalist Annabel Crabb has appeared at the Coleman Greig Lawyers Women in Business Forum...
Dec 11 2017
Warm welcome for new district court judges
Three practitioners who were appointed as district court judges in WA have been congratulated by ...
APPOINTMENTS
Allens managing partner Richard Spurio, image courtesy Allens' website
Jun 21 2017
Promo season at Allens
A group of lawyers at Allens have received promotions across its PNG and Australian offices. ...
May 11 2017
Partner exits for in-house role
A Victorian lawyer has left the partnership of a national firm to start a new gig with state governm...
Esteban Gomez
May 11 2017
National firm recruits ‘major asset’
A national law firm has announced it has appointed a new corporate partner who brings over 15 years'...
opinion
Nicole Rich
May 16 2017
Access to justice for young transgender Australians
Reform is looming for the process that young transgender Australians and their families must current...
Geoff Roberson
May 11 2017
The lighter side of the law: when law and comedy collide
On the face of it, there doesn’t seem to be much that is amusing about the law, writes Geoff Rober...
Help
May 10 2017
Advocate’s immunity – without fear or without favour but not both
On 29 March 2017, the High Court handed down its decision in David Kendirjian v Eugene Lepore & ...