Category Archives: &Law Updates

New partner for Anderson Law

&Law logoWe are delighted to announce that Lisa Allebone has accepted an invitation to become a partner (member) of Anderson Law LLP, with effect from April 2014.

Lisa joined the firm’s predecessor, Anderson & Company, in January 2008 and she has worked with us since that date. She had previously worked for two years in a contracts role at Imperial Innovations Limited, the technology transfer company of Imperial College. Before that she had earned a PhD in Physics from Imperial College, which included time spent working at CERN in Switzerland.

Lisa’s clients include leading UK universities and technology-based companies, including companies in the life sciences sector. She is the author of the chapter on pharmaceutical regulation in our publication, Drafting Agreements in the Biotechnology and Pharmaceutical Industries (Oxford University Press, loose-leaf, 2008 onwards).

Lisa joins Mark Anderson and Paul Maclennan as the third partner in Anderson Law.

Leave a comment

Filed under &Law Updates

Final call for applications for our IP lawyer vacancy

white rabbit 2As we mentioned in an earlier blog article, Anderson Law is looking to recruit an excellent IP lawyer, possibly around 2-3 years qualified.  If you are thinking of making an application, please don’t delay, as the deadline for applications is next Monday. Details of the vacancy can be found at a link on our earlier posting here.

Leave a comment

Filed under &Law Updates

IP Draughts’ third anniversary

3This week, our blog has its third birthday. We hope you will indulge IP Draughts in a little navel-gazing.

We have kept to a fairly strict brief, concentrating on the overlap between IP and contracts. This probably limits our readership: our growth has been steady rather than spectacular. We now have 745 subscribers. Since the beginning of this year, weekly viewings on the site have been running at about 2,000. In total, there have been about 165,000 viewings. Many of our contacts tell us that they read the blog regularly and enjoy it.

IP Draughts is interested in the location of our readers.  As might be expected for a UK-based blog, the UK provides the largest number.  They are closely followed by readers in the US.  Following a little way behind is a group of countries that are bunched together in numbers: Canada, Australia, India, Germany, Singapore, Netherlands and France.  This is a mixture of major common law jurisdictions and major EU economies.  We should have a name for them, like BRIC – suggestions, anyone? Perhaps FACINGS?

The most popular posts on the blog over the 3 years of its life (ignoring the home page and an aberration) have been the following:

  • Assignment and change of control: vital boilerplate clauses in IP agreements?
  • Inappropriate use of indemnities
  • Damages are not an adequate remedy: go directly to injunction
  • Shall or will in contracts?
  • 10 words and phrases you should never use in IP contracts
  • Hold harmless revisited
  • 10 tips for successful contract negotiations
  • Top 10 howlers when preparing contracts for signature
  • When is a licence not a licence? When it’s a covenant not to sue?
  • Standard royalty rates? Ain’t no such thing.

riskSome of these topics are relevant to all types of contracts, and not just IP contracts, though the approach we take may be more relevant to trading contracts and those involving a long-term relationship, and less relevant to one-off corporate and financial transactions, such as company acquisitions.  In the latter case, market practice seems to dictate a more hard-edged, risk-averse attitude to drafting and negotiation than this blog advocates.

We are interested to hear what readers think.  Are there topics that you would like us to cover?

Leave a comment

Filed under &Law Updates

We’re recruiting: excellent associate needed

wordle2One of the challenges of practising law in a small firm is getting the heavyweight clients to trust you with their most important projects.  Over the years, IP Draughts has advised many clients who also have used major firms – Slaughter and May, Morrison & Foerster, CMS Cameron McKenna, and others – for “bet the company” transactions such as major financings, Stock Market flotations, and business sales.  For example, our significant biotech client Piramed Limited was sold to Roche in 2008 for about $170M – we didn’t get that project and didn’t expect to!

A more realistic ambition is to develop client trust to such an extent that they use you, rather than one of the big boys, for second and third tier work.  For example, back in the 1990s, one of IP Draughts’ clients – a technology company that was listed on the LSE and NASDAQ – used Slaughter and May for a “strategic” R&D collaboration agreement, then used us for similar agreements that the client made with other companies.  Our fees were certainly much lower than Slaughters’ (whose aren’t?) and we like to think we were better on IP terms and indemnities than the banking partner at Slaughters who had previously advised.  Slaughters have expanded their IP offering since those days and they now have four IP partners.

long term 2To make this strategy work, you need to be close to clients and work with them over the longer term. We are delighted that two technology clients who first instructed us about 10 years ago have both expanded their international commercial activities in the last couple of years, and are involving us in related transactions.

We have the impression that we are not alone in seeing this upturn in work.  Several of the speakers on the course that IP Draughts ran last month at UCL (see recent blog postings) expressed concerns about their workloads and the number of lawyers available to deal with them.

Unlike some firms, we have continued to take on trainees through the recession and to employ them once their training contracts came to an end.  Five of our nine lawyers trained or are currently training with the firm. But we are still short of staff, hence our current recruitment campaign.

If you know of any excellent IP associates who have experience of transactional work and want to make a long-term career move to a small firm doing high-quality work, please let Mark know or forward this article using the buttons below.  A detailed job advertisement is here: jobad 140301.

We would also be interested to know of any paralegals who have experience of drafting and negotiating university contracts, and who would like to join our firm. Please contact Mark at


Filed under &Law Updates