Category Archives: courses and training

UCL course on IP transactions 2017

brochure coverFive-and-a-half years ago, this blog proposed the development of an in-depth course on IP transactions. IP Draughts was delighted when Professor Sir Robin Jacob agreed to host it at University College London’s Faculty of Laws.

The first outing was in February 2013. It was a week-long course, providing 29 continuing education hours. It was designed for, and mainly attended by, newly-qualified IP lawyers, though we also had a number of patent attorneys, commercial managers (including university TT managers) and overseas lawyers. We had about 30 volunteer speakers, and about 35 students. This blog reflected on the first year’s outing here.

Within 12 months, the course won both a UCL Provost’s Teaching Award, and a Law Society Excellence Award (Highly Commended).

The fifth outing of this annual event will take place at UCL from 3rd to 7th April 2017. Bookings so far are in the mid-20s, so we still have some vacancies. Please get your booking application in as soon as possible, if you have not already done so!

Student feedback from the 2016 course:

“Brilliant course – really helped to tie together
what were, in my head, lots of “loose strands””

“Overall I thought the course was really practical
and relevant.”

“…the course was very good…”

“…a highly impressive and informative course
which I will recommend highly.”

“Excellent delivery, good overview of issues.”

“…I would recommend the course.”

“Very useful and practical, very clear and easy to

“Very well structured…very good, interactive
and clear.”

“…the talks were excellent and very helpful.”

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Dysfunction in contract drafting: expert views

perrinThis is your final reminder about a free panel discussion by experts in contract drafting. The title of the discussion is: Dysfunction in Contract Drafting: Are the Courts, Law Firms and In-House Legal Departments Stuck in a Rut?

The discussion will be held next Tuesday, 8 November, from 6 pm to 7.30 pm in the Great Hall, BMA House, Tavistock Square, London. It will be followed by a drinks reception, courtesy of Thomson Reuters.

IP Draughts will be moderating the discussion. The panel members are:

adams4Ken Adams, known to many readers of this blog as the author of A Manual of Style for Contract Drafting (3rd edn, American Bar Association), and a teacher of contract drafting. He will already be in London to give his Drafting Clearer Contracts course on 7 November.


Sir Julian Flaux, a former judge-in-charge of the Commercial Court in London. It was recentlyflaux1 announced that he has been promoted to the Court of Appeal. Before becoming a judge, he was a barrister who practised at the Commercial Bar, specialising in disputes involving insurance and reinsurance, shipping, and international trade.


gibbonsKate Gibbons, a longstanding partner at the leading UK law firm, Clifford Chance, a specialist in banking and capital markets, and the firm’s Global Knowledge partner, where she has responsibilities in the fields of contract drafting and training. She also has management responsibilities as a member of the firm’s Executive Operations Group.


mcfetridgeKristin McFetridge, Chief Counsel at British Telecom, who manages a team that drafts and advises on standard commercial contracts for BT’s global, wholesale, and small-to-medium-enterprises business divisions. Kristin is a dual-qualified New York attorney and English solicitor. She is currently in charge of a programme to redraft all standard contacts of these divisions so they’re clearer, better address customer needs, and reflect a balanced approach to risk.


Known Unknowns, etc

If you have registered for the event and will be attending, IP Draughts looks forward to seeing you there.

If you have registered and will not be attending, please un-register as we have a waiting list of people who would like to come. UCL’s experience is that perhaps 25% of people who register don’t turn up, hence the above request for un-registering if you know you can’t make it.

If you have not registered and would like to attend, it may still be possible to attend, please sign up for the waiting list. Book here.

If you have not registered and cannot attend, but would like to see the event, it will be live-streamed on the internet at the following address:

If you have any questions that you would like to put to the panel, or would like IP Draughts to put to the panel, please let him know via

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A shrewdness of courses later this year

apesThe collective names for animals throw up some oddities. Actually, park that thought. Did you know that the origin of the name Grosvenor (the family name of the Dukes of Westminster, who have vast wealth from owning expensive bits of London) is gros venor, also rendered as grand veneur, which is Norman French for head huntsman? Apparently an early member of the family was a loyal servant of William the Conqueror and received this honorary title. A thousand years later, his descendant the 7th Duke has inherited a £9 billion fortune, and is a friend of the Royal Family. Who said that we lived in a meritocracy with equality of opportunity?

The link above is for a Wikipedia page for “terms of venery” or hunting. Which reminded IP Draughts of the Grosvenor name.

Are you familiar with a shrewdness of apes, or a kettle of hawks? A congregation of magpies, or a lamentation of swans? No matter, unless you participate in pub quizzes.

All of this is displacement activity, to avoid the mercantile business of today, which is to advertise some courses that are being run at UCL Faculty of Laws this Autumn, most of them involving IP Draughts. Details of them can be found on the UCL Laws website here. Or you can go directly to the booking pages on the Eventbrite website, which are linked here.

235The one highlighted below in red is a free evening panel discussion, lasting an hour and a half, and followed by a drinks reception. Panel members include Mr Justice Flaux, former judge in charge of the Commercial Court (the main venue for major contract disputes in London). We have 235 bookings so far; don’t leave it too late to book, as a suitable room will be selected soon based on bookings at that time.

The others are all-day commercial courses, for which a fee is charged. The one in green below is Ken Adams’ course; the others are being given by IP Draughts.

  1. Tue, 4 Oct 09:00 Drafting, Understanding and Working with Contracts: An Advanced-Level Workshop
  2. Tue, 18 Oct 09:00 Drafting and Negotiating Intellectual Property Terms in Research Contracts
  3. Tue, 1 Nov 09:00 Drafting ‘Legal’ Clauses in Commercial Contracts
  4. Mon, 7 Nov 09:00 Drafting Clearer Contracts Course 2016
  5. Tue, 8 Nov 18:00 Dysfunction in Contract Drafting: Are the Courts, Law Firms, and Company Law Departments Stuck in a Rut?
  6. Tue, 15 Nov 09:00 IP Licensing: An Advanced-Level Drafting Workshop
  7. Tue, 29 Nov 09:00 Drafting and Negotiating Contracts with Universities


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Learning transactional skills

middleIt has been a busy week. IP Draughts’ client work on Monday and Friday seemed like light relief compared with the three middle days, which were spent running a new training course. Three days in a row “on stage”, using untested material, is rather demanding!

The course was for LLM (Master of Laws) students at University College London. The subject was transactional skills. The course tutors (mainly Jelena Madir and IP Draughts, but with support from a new Anderson Law associate, Francis Davey, on day 3) introduced students to some of the issues that they would face when they started work in a law firm.

45 students signed up for the course. They were mostly from outside the UK. Colombia, Cyprus, Germany, India, Russia and Ukraine were some of the countries that were mentioned by students.

The topics that were covered on days 1 and 2 included the role of the lawyer in commercial transactions, the typical sequence of events in a large commercial deal, the structure of a contract, contract drafting techniques and techniques for clear legal writing generally. On day 3, students elected to work on an international financing deal with Jelena, or on an international technology collaboration with IP Draughts, and this day included sessions when the students were divided up into teams to negotiate the deal.

new york barFor IP Draughts, the most interesting aspect of the course was meeting the students and hearing their views on various topics. In the previous week he had participated in a discussion of the English Law Society’s strategy, in which it had been suggested that the UK was losing out in a race with the USA to attract overseas law students and to get overseas lawyers to become dual-qualified. It was good to hear the students explain this subject. It seems that US universities are even more expensive than those in the UK (it apparently costs £19,000 for an overseas student to take an LLM course at UCL) but it is easier to obtain the New York Bar qualification while doing a postgraduate US law degree than it is to qualify as a UK solicitor. The immigration rules are currently stricter in the UK than they are in the USA.

Note: IP Draughts does not wear a bow tie when lecturing.

Note: IP Draughts does not wear a bow tie when lecturing.

IP Draughts’ previous experience of teaching on an LLM course had been that many of the overseas students sat passively in the audience. In the absence of a well-established ‘Socratic method’ in UK law schools (we tend not to pick on students and demand answers to questions, in the way that is apparently done in the USA – think Professor Kingsfield in the Paper Chaseit is too easy for students to keep their heads down and say nothing. In the announcements for this course we had emphasised that students would be expected to contribute to the discussions, and thankfully most of them did.

IP Draughts was impressed by the quality of the students in last week’s course, and their willingness to engage with the topics that were being taught. We should encourage people like them to contribute to life in the UK, and not make it difficult for them to do so through the blunt instrument of immigration policy.

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