Tell us where you live and who’s at home.
In Cheltenham with my wife, our nine-year-old daughter, an ancient cat and a Cavapoo puppy!
How long have you been a lawyer?
For too long – 17 years!
What type of legal advice do you provide and to what sort of clients?
I help businesses (big corporates to SMEs) and individuals find solutions to their problems. These predominantly relate to intellectual property rights (copyright, trade marks, designs or patents) being infringed.
More recently, this has sometimes involved finding a way to recover digital assets that were diverted as a result of online fraud. This was the focus of one of the sessions during HCR’s recent Cyber Conference (over three days, 24 hours of streamed content was broadcast to over 400 delegates with the help of 47 speakers – you can access that content here).
I also manage reputations both on and offline and help resolve internal disputes between shareholders and directors. There are always two sides to a story, so finding a way for each party to at least understand the other’s point of view is the key to unlocking a dispute.
What’s your most memorable outcome for a client and why?
Every time a client leaves in a better position than when they first called you is memorable, whether that’s because they have recovered a substantial amount in damages, avoided paying huge amounts, or secured a new commercial relationship with someone they were previously in dispute with.
However, I think the one which gave me the most joy was securing access to the iPad of the client’s deceased partner so he could see the photos she’d taken on it during the last few months of their lives together. Here was a case where digital security protocols did not align with real life probate. Without her passwords, the client couldn’t access the device, but after a lot of phone calls and pleading, common sense prevailed.
I still have his thank you note and the picture of her he was keen to see again, as it reminds me how important the human element is to what we do.
What is your number one tip for clients?
Know your weaknesses.
Too many times otherwise strong businesses have been undermined by unknown weaknesses, whether through disenchanted employees, processes that were not followed or rights that were not protected. It’s rare that any situation is ‘bullet proof’, and until you have identified the weak spots, how can you address them?
It is almost impossible to fully comprehend the risks that could affect your own business when you’re working within it, day-in, day-out which is which is where I can help; pick up the phone and talk to me to find out where your weaknesses lie.
How do you like spending your spare time?
What little spare time there is I enjoy with my family, whether that is cooking meals together, walking the puppy or playing board games. On the rare occasions it’s just me, I enjoy building Lego vehicles (Boba Fett’s Slave 1 to Ecto 1).