In the run-up to the 20th Yorkshire Legal Awards on 10 October, Yorkshire Legal News is profiling a number of finalists to find out why they entered, what they’ve achieved, and what it would mean to win
Appleyard Lees partner Rob Cumming and senior associate Chris Hoole explain why the boutique firm is up for the Intellectual Property and Litigation and Dispute Resolution Awards.
YLN: Why did you enter the Yorkshire Legal Awards?
Cumming: As intellectual property law specialists, we love what we do. Yorkshire is also at the heart of our business. We have combined those passions and created an incredibly strong culture within the firm—people are encouraged to be the best version of themselves both inside and outside the office and that is something I am especially proud of. It seems only natural that we want to shout about it!
Hoole: We want to celebrate our connection with Yorkshire. Our litigation team has quickly become recognised as one of the most capable intellectual property disputes practices in the North, and in Yorkshire particularly. Over the last four years, our Leeds-based team has been engaged by industry leaders, super-brands, household names and high-growth small companies, many of which started or are based in Yorkshire.
YLN: Why do you think you were selected as a finalist?
Cumming: With over 50 specialist intellectual property lawyers working with a range of pioneering technology, our technical expertise weaves into myriad businesses across the region and the world. Being able to offer a high level of service in almost every sector and achieve a work/life balance for our people is a goal of many firms, but one that is difficult to achieve. It is satisfying to think that is being acknowledged.
Hoole: Intellectual property litigation is very specialist and complex. Whatever the central issue is driving the dispute, the outcome is nearly always commercially critical to the party we represent. We believe we were selected based on the specialist character of our practice, the high-stakes nature of our work, and the credentials we’ve earned by representing fantastic companies.
YLN: How good have the last 12 months been?
Cumming: In the last year we have handled some of our biggest litigation, for instance, advising in a major dispute with US President Donald Trump’s trade mark holding company. We have presented to leading businesses in South Korea, hosted a drinks event in Boston in the US, and organised bike rides with international associates in Croatia. We have also been fortunate to receive tours of two new clients’ headquarters: one is a German sports and fashion apparel client and one is a luxury clothing client based in Milan.
The cherry on the cake has been hosting a ‘business by bike’ networking event and raising £2,000 for charity. A lot of hard work goes into that and it really is a team effort.
Hoole: Over the last year we’ve represented clients before the Intellectual Property Enterprise Court, the High Court (appeals), the UK Intellectual Property Office (appeals) and in the domain dispute registries. We continue to grow our practice, with many of our solicitors including Bill Lister, Chris Hoole and Robert Cumming, being recognised and ranked by industry analysts.
YLN: What would winning mean to you?
Cumming: It would prove that Yorkshire really is the centre of the universe.
Hoole: Flippin ’eck, we’d be chuffed!