A Fresh Approach

June 2020

A Fresh Approach

What led you into a career in IP?

I studied Engineering Manufacture and Management at university in Manchester and have always been interested in law. There was an intellectual property module on my course, and from there I became more and more interested in IP and the opportunities it gave me to combine engineering and law.

As a postgraduate, I put myself through the training course to give myself more options and moved to Croydon for my first training position. From there, I moved to a firm in St Albans, where I qualified. My next move was to an in-house role at Delphi Diesel Systems. I wanted to see the IP world from the client’s perspective, understand more about the commercial side of patents and deal more directly with engineers. The experience was intense, which I knew it would be, and I found it extremely interesting and helpful.

What is the best thing about your job?

I imagine I’m not the only person in the team to say this, but it’s the variety of technologies we work with. Even if I am drafting patent applications, every single one is so different. We have opportunities all the time to see and learn about up and coming tech, which is very exciting. Life is never dull!

What brought you to Secerna?

My husband and I decided to relocate to the North East before our daughter was born. When it came to my return to work, I was looking for an IP firm in or around Newcastle. Secerna stood out as a friendly firm with a great reputation.

The fact that the firm works with high profile clients around the world from a base in the north of England had huge appeal for me. From my base in Newcastle, it is very easy to get to the headquarters in York to spend time with the team there. I was also attracted by the young, fresh energy within the firm and the team, and their forward thinking and flexible approach.

The firm illustrates perfectly that you don’t have to be based in London to work with the best people, exciting clients across the world and the most innovative new technologies.

What does a typical day look like?

Under ordinary circumstances I work a four-day week, spending three days based at our Newcastle office and one day working at home. Currently, because of Covid-19, I am working remotely along with the rest of the team.

When I’m in the office, my morning consists of a Metro journey and a short walk to the office followed by a coffee while I check my emails, talk to our support team and attorneys in York and prioritise my workload for the day.

My time in the office is mostly spent drafting patent applications, preparing responses to official Patent Office communications, and speaking with clients and others in our team. Sometimes I can choose what I work on but more often it is deadline-driven, either by project timescales or the overseas schedules we are working within.

Every month we get together as a team at our York HQ, and it’s good to know I can just jump on the train and be there in no time. The firm’s partners, Charlotte and Jason, spend a lot of time in the North East, too, which gives us plenty of opportunities to discuss clients and cases.

What advice would you give someone considering a career in IP?

Do plenty of research into different firms to understand their ethos and culture and make sure they are a good fit for you. What size firm are they, what training opportunities do they offer, what kind of technologies are they working with and what are the values and culture of the organisation? All these things are important.

Also, keep up to date on IP issues that interest you, as it will give you a good starting point to develop your interest.

What interests you outside work?

Pre-Covid, I spent my time outside work travelling, walking, gardening, and playing with my daughter. Only one of those has been curtailed temporarily; I am still enjoying time with my daughter, walks, and our garden.

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