Working with entrepreneurial and innovative people, especially in advanced manufacturing and technology businesses, is a pleasure, and I focus on working closely with clients to solve their problems and really understand how their businesses work. That understanding enables me to give succinct and pragmatic advice.
I have worked on secondment to the Royal Mint, focusing on new business and intellectual property, but also for clients in a range of sectors on software outsourcing agreements, blockchain solutions and EMI schemes. Giving businesses the right legal infrastructure to enable them to develop and grow is important to me.
Outside work, I love the arts, travelling, rugby and spending time with my young son.
Talk to me early and often. Your lawyer should be an important part of your business and consulted regularly. If we know what you want to do and when, we can help you strategically achieve your goals without tripping up in the process. I always strive to be an enabler to help make things happen, and to remove obstacles in your way, wherever possible.
Bounce ideas off me. Having an objective, external view can be invaluable.
Involve your lawyer in your forecasting and business planning journey. The better we understand you and your plans, the better placed we are to provide you with the right advice at the right times.
Why do I need to protect my IP rights?
IP rights are intangible assets which can be incredibly valuable. If you protect them in the right way, they can not only improve your asset base but they can also be a tradable asset and also a protection for your business from competitors and imitators.
If you ever need to enforce them, at least you have the option available to you and sometimes you may be able to obtain litigation funding to fund your claim.
When will the adoption of blockchain technology become mainstream and what are the hurdles?
The market is emerging quickly and there are not many real-world examples of blockchain for enterprise being developed and implemented already.
It will take time for the market to normalise (as is always the case with adoption of any new technology) but one of the biggest hurdles to mass adoption is interoperability of blockchains. Without this, it is very difficult to create one consensus view across an entire market or industry.
The other big hurdle is legal and regulatory compliance. The regulators (including the FCA in the UK and the SEC in the US) are making positive steps to provide accurate guidance and advice to businesses so we have a framework within which businesses can now safely operate.
How long will it take to provide your advice and finalise the contracts/agreements?
Every commercial contract is different as every commercial situation is different. So long as we fully understand what you are doing, the contracts can be finalised quickly, but often the discussion process raises questions, opportunities and challenges, and the parties to the contract need to finalise the commercial terms too. But we will do whatever we can to work with your timelines.
Successful collaboration between a university and a large corporation to establish new commercial income streams was supported by Nicola McNeely’s expertise.view full case study