Double wins for Burness Paull and Brodies at IP awards

Burness Paull LLP and Brodies LLP have scored double wins for their intellectual property teams at an international awards ceremony.

The Managing IP Awards saw Burness Paull named winners of the Scottish Patent Contentious Firm of the Year and also Scottish Copyright Firm of the Year awards at the event which took place in the Royal Lancaster Hotel in London last week.

Brodies was recognised for the seventh consecutive year, picking up the awards for Scotland’s Trade Mark Contentious Firm of the Year and IP Transactions and Advisory Firm of the Year.

Brodies’ IP team received the awards in recognition of excellence in innovation and specialist intellectual property work over the past 12 months.

Burness Paull’s IP practice is led by Colin Hulme, the only Scottish IP litigator ranked as band 1 in Chambers UK and as a “leading individual” in Legal 500.

He said: “The patents award is reflective of the ongoing work we are doing with AstraZeneca in the Court of Session and acting for both operators and major service companies on patent disputes in Scotland and internationally in the oil and gas sector.

“The breadth of our practice is underlined by the copyright award in recognition of our work for significant rights-holder clients such as the Harris Tweed Authority, Sky, PPL, PRS for Music and the enforcement of their rights across Scotland ensures we are the heaviest user of the Scottish IP Court by some margin.”

Robert Buchan, partner and head of Brodies’ contentious IP team, said: “IP continues to be critical in safeguarding the future of many businesses, encouraging innovation and improving the bottom line. This year we have worked on international patent and trade mark disputes and high value IP transactions, as well as using the local Scottish courts to successfully protect valuable IP rights.

“Receiving these awards from Managing IP for the seventh consecutive year is a great honour, and is testament to the hard work of the team at Brodies, not to mention our clients, who we thank for continuing to trust us with challenging and interesting mandates.”

About Burness Paull LLP:

Lawyers like data. So here are the numbers:

We have over 530 people.

We operate from three offices.

This year we have worked on over £42.8bn of deals in more than 60 jurisdictions.

And we have one goal. To be the Best Scottish Law Firm in the World.

But it’s not the numbers that make us special.

Don’t take it from us. Take it from our clients.


Berry Appleman & Leiden LLP recognised by Best Lawyers®

Berry Appleman & Leiden (BAL) LLP, one of the world’s largest immigration law firms, has been named “Immigration Law Firm of the Year” by US News – Best Lawyers®. Only one law firm per legal practice area receives this recognition, making the award a significant achievement. BAL has also received a First Tier ranking in Houston, San Francisco and Washington, DC by Best Lawyers®.

The award caps a tremendous milestone year for the firm:

  • Opening of a 60-person office in mid-town Manhattan.
  • Establishing an unprecedented strategic alliance with Deloitte UK that combines the best of Deloitte’s scale, expertise and breadth outside of the US with BAL’s unparalleled legal expertise and high quality immigration services in the US.
  • Launching a large-scale Center of Excellence in Richardson, Texas to support over 600 cross-functional professionals including attorneys, legal and operational staff, as well as expansions of offices in Boston, Houston, McLean, Va. and Walnut Creek, Ca.
  • Unveiling of the industry’s first mobile immigration app, enabling anytime, anywhere case management across Android and iOS devices. The app is a component of Cobalt® the firm’s innovative digital immigration platform.

Commenting on the award, Managing Partner Jeremy Fudge stated, “This has been another extraordinary year for BAL. We have been quietly leading the industry for several years now and are honoured to receive the US News – Best Lawyers® ”Law Firm of the Year’ in immigration.”

About Best Lawyers®

Best Lawyers® “Law Firm of the Year” awards are country and practice area specific. They are determined based on a handful of factors, including: feedback from lawyers recognized by Best Lawyers® on individual lawyer and firm-wide work, the size and coverage of the firm in a specific practice area, historical analysis of the firm’s “Lawyer of the Year” awards in this area, and research surrounding the firm’s overall scope and areas of expertise.

About Berry Appleman & Leiden LLP

BAL is singularly focused on meeting the immigration challenges of corporate clients around the world in ways that make immigration more strategic and enable clients to be more successful. Established in 1980, the firm provides immigration expertise, top-notch information security and leading technology innovation like its Cobalt® digital immigration services platform. In 2018, the firm formed a strategic alliance with Deloitte UK to create the world’s first global immigration service delivery model. BAL and its leaders are highly ranked in every major legal publication, including Best Lawyers, Chambers, The Legal 500, and Who’s Who Legal. For more information about Berry Appleman & Leiden LLP, please visit:

Dechert PHOTO

Effects Of Brexit On Business | Consult With Dechert

Dechert is ‘the go-to firm’ in this space offering ‘cutting-edge and innovative advice’ on Brexit issues – Ranked Tier 1 Risk Advisory: Brexit, The Legal 500 UK 2017.

Lawyers in Dechert’s International Trade and EU Law practice bring a unique perspective to the legal and commercial analysis surrounding Brexit, having significant background and knowledge of the EU and the UK’s engagement with it. Our team members’ experience includes working on legal and policy issues for the European Commission, negotiating on behalf of Member States in the Council, and serving in various roles within the UK Government, including HM Treasury and the Prime Minister’s Office.

We are working with a range of industry bodies and businesses to develop their positions, to translate their priorities into an advocacy strategy and to plan ahead for the different potential outcomes to be faced on 29 March 2019.

Exactly what effects could Brexit have?

Dechert’s sectoral experts work closely alongside our International Trade, EU Law and Government Regulation team to map out the impact the Brexit may have on any given sector and business and advise on the trade and regulatory consequences.

Our lawyers have also authored updates on:

– Asset Management
– Competition Law
– Data Protection
– Employment Law
– Financial Services
– Imports and Exports
– Intellectual Property
– International Arbitration and Litigation
– Legal Framework
– Trade Agreements

What should I be doing now?

The majority of businesses operating with or in the UK should have already begun:

Reviewing and identifying aspects of the business that rely on, or assume the applicability of, pan-EU arrangements such as EU rules of origin and customs procedures, passporting for financial services, EU-wide medicine licenses, etc.

Understanding the actual (or likely) position of the UK, the EU Governments and EU institutions on the contents of the exit agreement, as well as the ambitions for the future UK-EU trading relationship.

Establishing what the UK’s baseline obligations in the WTO and other international bodies means for your business.

Identifying EU laws which currently impact both your operations and that of your wider industry.

Identifying the nature and extent of interaction with pan-EU agencies.

Considering a government relations strategy (whether directly or through an industry group). Identify key proposals or considerations. Make these reasoned, evidence-based, granular and ambitious, while taking account of political realities. Respond to government consultations.

Considering the impact on your supply chains and customer base.

Looking at the nuts and bolts of your business including your data protection obligations; contractual terms; employment rights; intellectual property plans; and ongoing litigation.

How Dechert can help

We have already helped industry bodies, companies and governments to develop their positions; to define clear priorities, red lines and concrete bespoke proposals; to translate this into an advocacy strategy that best fits their needs; and to plan for the different potential outcomes to be faced on 30 March 2019.

Our team’s previous experience, not only in the UK government and European institutions, but in the products and advocacy we have undertaken since the Brexit vote, offers clear benefits for Dechert’s clients and has ensured that many are now in a strong position whatever shape the Brexit negotiations will take in the future. When necessary the team can also call upon both local and internationally-based sectoral experts across Dechert to identify potential steps during the forthcoming negotiations that may help to minimize any risks associated with Brexit while also maximizing opportunities for clients. Three particular areas we recommend:

Conduct rigorous gap-analysis: based on an understanding of the likely Brexit options, identifying in detail the issues that businesses will face, where further research is required and where the key risks and opportunities lie.

Define priorities and red lines: the objectives should be ambitious while taking account of political realities, based on rigorous analysis and hard data that will stand up to scrutiny.

Design and implement an effective engagement strategy: development policy papers and detailed draft treaty language for use with decision-makers in the UK and EU governments and institutions.

Dechert has a team ideally placed to help, with offices in London, Brussels, Dublin, Frankfurt, Munich, Luxembourg and Paris. In addition to deep UK and EU legal expertise, our team has practical and policy experience – including of trade negotiations – developed at the European Commission, the Council and a range of UK bodies including the Prime Minister’s Office, the Cabinet Office, the Bank of England, HM Treasury, the Foreign Office, and the Attorney-General’s Office.

In addition to the deep expertise offered by our lawyers, Dechert also collaborates closely with leading firms of accountants, providing you with an evaluation not only of the legal implications for you and your sector, but also the economic implications. This combined approach can often assist with understanding the relative importance of risks identified. We would be pleased to arrange such a collaborative approach for you, and to recommend accountancy firms who with whom we have successfully collaborated previously.


Exclusive Insight: Making the most of Brexit transition time

A major trading company seeking a “Brexit-safe” solution; an automotive supplier concerned about financial complexity; a big FMCG player with questions about its logistics and supply chain.

These are among the corporate clients in close discussion with HSBC as they seek out post-Brexit opportunities and strive to mitigate any impacts of the UK’s withdrawal from the EU.

Chairing the webcast conversation, Andrew Betts, Regional Head of Global Trade & Receivables Finance, Europe, said clients were currently preoccupied with two main themes: digital disruption and regulatory changes, Brexit being one of the latter.

The forthcoming Brexit changes have triggered open and wide-ranging discussions between businesses and banks, according to Ian Tandy, Head of HSBC Global Trade & Receivables Finance, UK.

While much uncertainty remains, the potential transition period is widely seen as good news by businesses, he noted. They welcome the prospect of limited immediate impact for a period after March 2019.

However, Tandy urged corporates to make good use of that period: “It gives a little extra time for companies to prepare. The winners from Brexit will be those who plan most effectively.”

Braced for tariff changes

The panel emphasised that the importance of planning applies equally to EU-based as to UK-based corporates. Beatrice Collot, Head of HSBC Global Trade and Receivables Finance in France, said some France-based businesses were wrongly considering Brexit’s impact as falling purely on the UK.

This point was underlined by a recent report cited by Tandy, that calculates the costs of red tape if the UK is forced to fall back on World Trade Organisation rules after Brexit. This report predicts that this scenario would cost the UK economy £27bn, while its EU trading partners would lose £31bn.

Tandy pointed to the huge variations in tariffs that different sectors would be subject to: “A UK grocer importing vegetables from France would see the costs rise by 7.3%; UK fishing businesses exporting to Germany would see extra costs of 10.8%, affecting both partners,” he added.

Collot saw sectors responding in different ways. “In luxury goods, where margins are high, businesses are more able to increase prices to offset the cost of the customs tariff,” she said. “In the automotive industry and other sectors where margins are thinner, it’s more complex to absorb the additional cost.”

Facing up to complexity

Besides potential extra costs of border controls and warehousing, businesses are considering whether they need to source suppliers in new countries, or to seek business in new markets. Talent flow is a concern for some UK-based businesses, while licensing arrangements are an issue in sectors such as pharmaceuticals.

As part of their preparation, clients need to examine their entire supply chain with “intellectual curiosity”, Tandy said. He pointed to one major FMCG (Fast-moving consumer goods) business which had outsourced some elements of manufacturing. It is now working to track and understand every player involved, to ensure future compliance.

Alex Mutter, Head of HSBC Global Trade and Receivables Finance in Germany, said one automotive supplier with a huge European operation asked HSBC to help it reduce complexity, in readiness for any impact on areas such as foreign exchange and financing.

Another client, a major trader operating from the UK and Germany, was working to secure a “Brexit-safe” solution, Mutter said: “We have been able to help them achieve their objectives on balance sheet optimisation and risk mitigation as well as funding sources.”

Finance: the future is flexible

Clients will require flexible finance options in the post-Brexit era, the panel noted. Solutions will need to alleviate the impact of border controls on cost and working capital cycles, and to mitigate payment risk where businesses decide to seek out new markets beyond Europe, for example.

The panel’s trio of trade finance experts from across Europe underlined HSBC’s capabilities here, said Andrew Betts.

“With an established European network on both sides of the channel, and working with over 6,500 multinationals across Europe, we’re confident that we’re in a strong position to support customers regardless of the Brexit outcome,” he said.

Trade and technology

Brexit is far from the only issue on corporates’ agendas, Betts acknowledged, with regulatory changes and digital disruption also prominent. The webcast took place shortly after HSBC completed its first-ever distributed ledger trade transaction.

Collot, who leads a Paris-based innovation hub in trade finance, sees potential for big efficiency gains: “At present, financial and physical supply chains don’t talk to each other much. Convergence is an opportunity to gain full transparency and suppress the current inefficiencies of trade finance.

“It’s difficult to know where we will be in 10 or 15 years – but there’s a huge opportunity to change a paper-based business that has not evolved much in the past 30 years.”