We are often asked where our company name comes from. It is based on the Latin transitive verb “Secern” meaning to separate or distinguish. We spend a lot of our time trying to distinguish what has and hasn’t been invented or created and how that is different from what the world has known before. We stuck an “a” on the end to make the word sound like the name of a business!

Our origins

Around 2010, the founding partners had the idea of setting up a boutique firm to provide an alternative to the big firms. We defined a forward-thinking approach to IP protection and enforcement, whilst maintaining a high-quality, client focused outlook. We also wanted to create a working environment where all staff enjoyed being at work and felt supported and valued.

We knew we could reproduce the professionalism of the big firms without the large running costs. We discussed brand, image and key objectives. Colours and images were agreed. We wanted to use the three instantly recognisable colours red, white and blue associated with the tradition and reputation of Great Britain and our respective professional bodies. We gave the colours a twist to acknowledge the modern approach we would be taking.

We also felt it was important to create a visual brand, hence the swords (swordsmiths were the first to mark their work to be able to identify the creator). The swords also capture the essence of protecting and enforcing the rights of our clients. The crossed swords look a little like a star, indicating our desire to be a guiding light through the complexities of the IP landscape.

Our mission

We developed the vision and values of the firm and these centre on a commitment to Excellence, and to being Trusted, Professional and Flexible in our dealings with both our clients and our staff.

We aim to recruit and retain high-quality attorneys and nurture a culture of professionalism and pride in every aspect of our work. We also aspire to be renowned for producing high quality work for world leading clients who appreciate the efforts we make on their behalf.

Our attorneys combine robust legal experience with technical expertise and commercial insight to deliver trusted advice, to differentiate us from our competition.


  1. 2011

    Established the firm based in York in the UK. The new office opened with just a few attorneys and a legal secretary.

  2. 2014

    Due to the expansion of our client base we opened an office in Newcastle, in the north of England.

  3. 2016

    Expanded team further, with the appointment of new attorneys and support staff.

  4. 2019

    Secerna featured in an independent Financial Times (FT) ranking as a leading European patent law firm.

  5. 2020

    Due to expansion plans and needs the firm moved to a purpose built city centre headquarters in York, UK.

  6. 2021

    Continued growth resulted in our first European office in Dublin. Celebrated our 10th Year in May and listed in the IAM Patent 1000 listing.

  7. 2025

    We aspire to broaden our partner base and add more qualified attorneys and trainees to the team. We aim to continue to attract high quality people whose values match ours and who are looking for opportunities to grow with the firm.