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The commercial seat in Nottingham - attending the Patents Court...

7 December 2012

Louise Taylor

The IP and Commercial team deals with a range of matters including IP disputes, non-contentious IP agreements and commercial contracts.

The team advises on the protection of and disputes relating to all of the intellectual property rights including both registered and non-registered rights. The litigation aspect of the work may also involve other torts such as defamation and interference with contractual relationships.

Under the “commercial” arm the team boasts specialist lawyers advising on areas of data protection, commercial regulation and IT agreements.

Team members often work together on matters; this involves working alongside different members of the team spread across both the Nottingham and Birmingham offices.

What type of work does a trainee do?

A trainee in this seat will gain exposure to the varied workload described above. Trainee tasks include: preparing cases for trial; undertaking research on both legal and factual issues; and drafting contracts and applications.

This is a busy seat with lots of opportunities to attend client meetings, Court hearings and contract negotiations. The seat offers a great insight into the way commercial organisations work and conduct business.

What level of responsibility/hands on experience (i.e. manage your own files etc) does a trainee receive?

The level of responsibility given to a trainee will depend on the task set. A trainee in this seat will generally receive tasks to complete or oversee and will not have a caseload of their own. However, this does not mean that hands-on experience is reduced. Once you are given a task you will see this through to completion and will be involved in all meetings regarding that work. There is also opportunity to draft correspondence and liaise with the client and other side.

All of the trainee’s work is closely supervised. A great aspect of being in a varied team is that there is always somebody to turn to for guidance.

What has been the highlight for you in this seat?

I have gained lots of great experience. However my personal highlights have been the opportunity to attend a trial in the Patents Court and also attending a series of contract negotiations.

The Patents Court hearing was very different to the Court hearings I have previously attended. Patents disputes are technical in matter and this really came across in the expert evidence. The whole process was really interesting.

I particularly enjoyed getting involved with contract negotiations as it gave me great insight into the way commercial organisations work. The different interests between the parties have to be balanced to create a workable relationship.

Overall I have found the seat a very varied and enjoyable challenge.