Colin Hulme

Burness Paull sees an increase in IP instructions leading to growth

Commercial law firm, Burness Paull, has seen a 48% increase in contentious intellectual property (IP) work over the last two years.

The firm, which in recent years has been involved in over 70% of all IP actions commenced in the Intellectual Property Court of the Court of Session, represents a number of prominent organisations including, Google; Sky; Harris Tweed Authority; Phonographic Performance Limited (PPL); Scottish Power; Weir Group; Stork and Arnold Clark.

Burness Paull’s IP/IT practice has witnessed a significant increase in instructions outwith the domestic market and from oil and gas sector clients, citing a reaction to challenging market conditions as the catalyst. In line with a growing number of instructions, the practice has become one of the largest in Scotland, with new appointments and promotions bringing the team to 16.

Colin Hulme, partner at Burness Paull said: “We are experiencing strong growth in the oil and gas sector out of Aberdeen. In particular we have seen an increase in IP and commercial disputes involving misappropriation of confidential information and instances of patent infringement. In some cases this may be the industry adapting to commercial pressures, in others it is more blatant opportunism.

“The value and importance of protecting IP is increasingly acknowledged at senior board level across our client base. It is no longer just the preserve of those in the media or tech sectors.”

With the practice spanning the firm’s key locations of Aberdeen, Edinburgh and Glasgow, promotions in the contentious team include Neeraj Thomas to senior associate and Megan Briggs to senior solicitor. They have also been joined by recently qualified lawyer Rebecca Ablett in Glasgow. In the non-contentious practice, Jen Kantharia joins as solicitor in Glasgow with Joanne Snedden promoted to senior solicitor in Edinburgh, while in Aberdeen Ross McKenzie is promoted to senior associate and newly qualified lawyer Grant McGregor joins the firm.

In addition to its work in the domestic market, the Firm’s contentious practice has substantial experience acting for clients managing IP disputes in foreign jurisdictions. The team is currently managing patent disputes in Sweden, New Zealand, Finland and Germany, as well as other IP disputes in the Republic of Ireland, China, Japan and the USA.

“We have a well balanced and strong practice, in both contentious and non-contentious work,” continues Colin. “This matched with our ambitious Technology sector strategy, led by Callum Sinclair, presents a very exciting proposition for our clients.”