Find out more about the people behind the advice in this series of interviews with our solicitors. Our intellectual property partner Lindsay Gledhill shares her life in law with us.
How long have you worked at Harper James?
I joined in 2016. Toby (Harper) had recognised that many of his clients were IP-focused businesses and wanted to drive forward that part of the firm.
What inspired you to practise law in the first place?
I was specifically drawn to intellectual property, as I wanted a career where I could see interesting things being created.
Define intellectual property law in a sentence
The rights to control what other people can do with materials and ideas.
What’s the best piece of IP advice you’d could give a business?
When negotiating a deal, try to avoid using the legal terminology that surrounds IP. The best IP deals are done when people focus on what I think of as the four questions:
- What do we need to be free to do?
- What do we need to restrict the other party from doing?
- What does the other party need to be free to do?
- What does the other party need to be able to restrict us from doing?
And then, the really difficult question: how do we think these needs are going to change over time?
What has been the proudest moment at Harper James/of your career so far?
Winning for clients! But winning sustainably so that their businesses are in a healthy state going forward. It was drilled into me by my first mentors in Cambridge that it’s not winning if the money’s all been spent on lawyers.
What do you do to unwind?
I enjoy reflecting on how the Harper James IP practice has matured and grown in stature.
Tell us a prediction for your practice area in 2020 or beyond
The old barriers to entry are falling and the pace of change is accelerating. This is particularly true in the patent space where expertise, rather than a big office in London, is what matters to clients now.
What advice would you give regarding the challenges businesses will be facing from the COVID-19 outbreak?
There is real potential for greater productivity. I’m observing the strategies of many different businesses in different sectors. If you can overcome the challenge of re-angling your business proposition towards a market that’s sustainable in the Covid and post-Covid era, you will find that the customers are there and are more available to drive deals along than in the past.