Appleyard Lees partners with NorthInvest and appoints COO

Appleyard Lees has struck a partnership with Leeds-based investment non-profit NorthInvest and appointed a chief operating officer. 

The intellectual property law firm is partnering with NorthInvest to offer specialist intellectual property support to technology and digital startups.

John Kushnick, meanwhile, will serve as the law firm’s chief operating officer, based in Manchester.

Appleyard Lees, a Leeds-, Halifax-, Manchester- and Cheshire-based law firm with more than 50 patent and trade mark attorneys and litigators, will take part in NorthInvest events throughout the year to connect with the entrepreneurial community and offer them expert advice on how to effectively protect and monetise their intellectual property.

Founded in 2016 by serial entrepreneur Professor Adam Beaumont, NorthInvest is a non-profit investment organisation dedicated to building a stronger and more connected tech investor and startup community across the North of England.

In 2020, NorthInvest increased its impact significantly to facilitate 19 rounds of funding worth more than £9 million and deliver 294 free coaching and mentoring sessions to entrepreneurs.

Helen Oldham, founding board director of NorthInvest, said: “We’re very proud to partner with Appleyard Lees, who can help our network of entrepreneurs and startups to understand how best to protect their intellectual property. This partnership marks an exciting step for NorthInvest as we help northern start-ups reach their full potential.”

Paul Beynon, senior associate of Appleyard Lees, commented: “As a firm with a strong presence in the North ourselves, we recognise the importance of bolstering the tech start-up community across the region. We look forward to working closely with NorthInvest to support this community through our range of services and expertise.”

‘This is a dynamic and exciting firm’

New Appleyard Lees chief operating officer John Kushnick, who is also a qualified solicitor, joined the law firm on 1 February.

He will work to advance a firm strategy that fuels further growth, having spent many years at successful law firms and amassing a wealth of operational management experience.

Kushnick said: “This is a dynamic and exciting firm which, vitally, remains friendly and welcoming. It is with this understanding that they can remain human and personal whilst demanding the highest standards, that appealed to me.”

“They are the ideal mix of a firm with a long-established history and the desire and ability to adapt to the ever-changing demands of modern business and litigation.”