Supporting Yorkshire Business

Huddersfield Media Centre, Source The Media Centre

Jane Lambert

Since 2004 I have supported Yorkshire businesses and their professional advisers by offering specialist advice on intellectual property and technology law and representation before the Patents and Patents County Courts, Chancery Division and Intellectual Property Office tribunals as the only full time specialist intellectual barrister outside London. I have provided those services from Huddersfield Media Centre. Although my practice is now managed by Stephen Broom and George Scanlan I am still there. You can still get through to me on 01484 590090 or 0113 320 3232 or by filling in my contact form.

The big difference is that I am no longer on my own. I can now call upon support from my excellent colleagues in our IP and Technology Law Group as well as those from other departments such as Atlas Tax Chambers whose members include Anne Fairpo, an authority on IP and tax.

One of the reasons I joined 4-5, Gray's Inn Square was to provide a better service to my Northern clients. Until 30 Sept 2010 the Leeds District Registry and County Court were the most convenient forums for those in Yorkshire. Amendments to Part 63 of the Civil Procedure Rules which came into effect on 1 Oct 2010 made the Patent County Court in London a more suitable venue for most intellectual property disputes wherever they came from for the reasons I gave in my article "New Patents County Court Rules" 31 Oct 2010, NIPC Law. That advantage has been reinforced by the introduction of the small claims track. In order to provide effective representation before that court a London base is essential.

However, it is not necessary to go to London for everything. As I pointed out in "Maybe we need to think again about the Chancery District Registries and County Courts" 5 May 2013 the Patents County Court is not suitable for every intellectual property case. Now that the Patents County Court has become busy and costs are managed in all courts by virtue of Section II of the Part 3 of the Civil Procedure Rules and the Costs Management Practice Direction litigating in Leeds has advantages. The Leeds District Registry and County Court retain their jurisdiction to hear intellectual property claims that do not relate to patents, registered and registered Community designs, chip topographies and plant breeders' rights. If you are litigating in Leeds it is obviously better to have counsel who understands the local practice, knows the local judges and has chambers in Yorkshire.

We believe that we also enjoy a enjoy a logistical advantage in proceedings in the Intellectual Property Office. Hearing officers tend to sit in Newport but most barristers and other advocates attend them by video link from the IPO's London premises at 4 Abbey Orchard Street. We believe that it is better for an advocate to be in the same room as the hearing officer as it enables the advocate to monitor the tribunal's reactions and tailor his or her submissions accordingly.  Newport is no further than London and much less expensive. It is also more convenient as advocates can park just outside the entrance to Concept House where the hearings take place. We are developing a presence in Newport. My colleague David Hughes lives in South Wales. Our telephone number in Newport is 01633 530005.

I continue to chair the Sheffield and Leeds Inventors Groups which meet at 18:00 in Sheffield and Leeds Central Libraries on the first Monday and second Wednesday of every month. Both groups have had some excellent meetings recently such as Dan Brookes's presentation to Leeds (see "Patent Box and R & D Credits: Dan Brookes's Slides" 15 May 2013, IP Yorkshire) and Sheffield's workshop on the Patents County Court small claims track ("How Small Businesses in Yorkshire can protect their Intellectual Property" 14 Oct 2012 IP Yorkshire). I hold IP clinics at the Barnsley Business and Innovation Centre between 10:00 and 12:00 every second Tuesday where you can book a free 30 minute consultation by filling in this booking form. Incidentally, if you cannot easily get to Barnsley I will give you up to 30 minutes free advice by phone or put you in touch with a colleague from chambers or some other profession. Just fill in this internet enquiry form.

Through those activities I have got to know angel investors, business advisers, branding consultants, chartered accountants, community development finance institutions, equity fund managers, local enterprise partnership board members and officials, nominated advisers, product designers, marketers, university researchers and, of course, solicitors, patent and trade mark attorneys. I write about some of them in my IP Yorkshire blog,  Now that I am part of a bigger set of chambers it is likely that I shall get to know many more. . 

If you want to discuss this article or learn more about any of our services we can be contacted on 01484 590090 or through our contact form.


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