Increase in IP instructions prompts growth for Burness Paull



Colin Hulme

Burness Paull has seen a 48 per cent increase in contentious intellectual property (IP) work over the last two years.

The firm, which in recent years has been involved in over 70 per cent 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 has joined as a solicitor in Glasgow with Joanne Snedden promoted to senior solicitor in Edinburgh. In Aberdeen Ross McKenzie has been promoted to senior associate and newly qualified lawyer Grant McGregor has also joined the firm.