The biggest highlight (leaving aside starting IP Draughts!) was converting Anderson & Company to Anderson Law LLP and admitting Paul as a partner, after 17 years of unincorporated sole practice.
January – AnnMarie Humphries joins us as our 5th trainee. She is an engineering graduate, and previously spent 9 years as a manager at Unilever.
February – Stephen Brett joins us as a full-time consultant. He spent 5 years as the senior, in-house lawyer at Isis Innovation, the technology transfer company of Oxford University. Stephen has law degrees from Oxford University and Queen Mary, University of London, and qualified as a solicitor in 1997.
March – IP Draughts is born!
April – Plenty of behind-the-scenes work this month, preparing for conversion to an LLP, choosing a new document management system, and devising training courses. On the client front, we are involved in a business transaction involving parties in Switzerland, Kenya and other countries. We are shortlisted for Finance Monthly’s award, Life Sciences Law Firm of the Year – England, and in May we are crowned with this title.
May – Mark Anderson attends the WIPO Mediation Course in Geneva. Next year’s course details can be found here. Mark thoroughly recommends both this course and the companion WIPO course on arbitration of IP-related disputes, which he attended a couple of years ago.
July – Mark, Paul, Stephen and Lisa provide training on a 3-day course on business law for entrepreneurs. The course is designed by us and run by University College London.
September – Our new, document management system, MatterCentre, is installed. This provides a sophisticated electronic system for organising our files, including incoming and outgoing emails, contracts and other documents, appointments and tasks. We all have to learn a new way of working! Paul and AnnMarie reviewed over 50 alternative systems before we shortlisted three and finally chose MatterCentre as best suited to our practice.
October – Mark is invited to speak at the Chartered Institute of Patent Attorneys’ annual Congress, on the subject of advising SMEs on IP. Tibor Gold’s review of the event in the CIPA Journal (November 2011) describes Mark’s talk thus: “Mark Anderson of Anderson Law set out his views of what SMEs want: education, insights into conventional practice and wise counsel. He took a bit of a dig at our profession, first by stroking: we are said to have incredibly high technical standards where making a technical mistake is considered a greater sin than giving un-commercial advice; and then striking: we have too limited exposure to commercial activity. If the cap fits…”
November – A client is so impressed with Paul’s work, and dedication beyond the call of duty, that he instructs him to charge double the usual rate for time spent in some late night telephone calls. As far as we can recall, this instruction is a first for our firm – other clients please note!
December – Mark successfully concludes some negotiations that he has been leading for several months – the renegotiation of a significant IP licence agreement between a UK university and a US technology-based company. Several new projects come in, just before Christmas.