Intensity, Sharpness and Quality
Brandsmiths is a brand-focused boutique firm, specialising in intellectual property, sport and commercial litigation. After the firm’s success in achieving the Ones to Watch 2017: The Most Outstanding Boutique Law Firm award, we spoke to Senior Associate, Andy Lee to find out more.
With an agile set-up and downto-earth approach, Brandsmiths is dedicated to winning exceptional results for ambitious brands. Senior Associate, Andy Lee provides some useful background to the firm, outlining the areas they specialise in and what they can offer to potential clients.
“We help our clients’ businesses grow, succeed and stay ahead of their competitors, by solving their problems and closing deals. We assist by using our legal skills and specialised knowledge of the industry the client is a part of. We see ourselves as innovative and different to the traditional law firm, in terms of our structure, treatment of staff and most importantly, how we approach clients.
“The firm opened two and a half years ago, and now has offices in both London (HQ) and Manchester. Brandsmiths started with 3 permanent staff and has grown to a force of 15. We specialise in litigation, predominantly in intellectual property; media/privacy and sport. We also specialise in commercial law, focused on IP, technology and sport.”
“Every business has intellectual property rights, to one degree or another, at its core. Protecting, exploiting and developing those rights are critical in the continued success of a business. Examples include brand names, under which services are provided and/or goods sold and design of the clever ideas and technology behind a product.
“The earlier a business takes proper advice, on both understanding its intellectual property and adopting the correct measures to take in respect of it, the better. Failure to do so is often costlier down the line, if that involves a third-party clash and litigation. Brandsmiths offers straight forward advice focused on what is valuable.”
Andy reveals his thoughts on receiving the Ones to Watch 2017: The Most Outstanding Law Firm award and explains what his own role in the firm is.
“It’s a great honour to be the winners of this title. We see it as independent recognition of both our principles and development.”
“I am a Senior Associate and joined the firm in its early days. I specialise in IP litigation, defamation and misuse of private information. I also take on a training role within the firm, helping the other lawyers to understand the law behind the issues they deal with and hold interactive sessions to drill down into those principles and apply them.”
Andy proceeds to highlight the nature of the firm’s client base and the crucial role of the staff in serving them.
“We work with brands, helping them protect their intellectual property rights, which are core to their business. We act for big brands such as BMW, Microsoft and Lucozade. We also help entry level brands and fast growth businesses, such as Pavegen, Missguided, Puregym, Feel Unique and Wiggle. Brandsmiths treat every client as a partner. Where it fits, we look to have our clients collaborate. We aim to add value and help their businesses grow.
“We recently expanded that offering, by taking on a corporate team, as we found a lot of our clients wanted us to advise on this type of work in addition to their core IP work.”
“I believe that the staff at Brandsmiths are critical to its success. When teams, whether in business, sport or life, work together for one another then great things happen. At Brandsmiths we foster that culture and it certainly works. Many law firms are structured in a way where people work alone, which promotes both selfishness and unhealthy competition.
“At Brandsmiths, all members of staff share in a proportion of the firm profits equally, whatever their level of qualification. Staff are also rewarded for introducing new clients to the firm. We try and avoid the typical law firm ‘hierarchy’, where more junior members’ views are not important. A lot of key decisions at Brandsmiths are taken after everyone has been consulted. This really encourages a collaborative atmosphere, so that everyone works and fights for each other.”
Finally, Andy offers his thoughts on innovative ways of billing customers and what the future holds for this modern and forward looking firm.
“The legal profession is changing and the old-school way of running law firms and billing clients are failing. Many firms are feeling the financial pressure leading to firms going under, or having to merge. Clients are savvy and really question value these days. There is such a wide resource of information readily available to everyone now and smart individuals can access the court easily.
“We encourage clients to reduce costs and use us only when necessary. We see ourselves as disrupting the outdated model and offering clients both outstanding legal advice to support their business, but at a sensible cost, often with flexible billing structures, such as being paid by reference to a percentage of a client’s turnover. This way, if we add the value, then everyone benefits.
“In the future, we are looking at how we can change and diversify to keep our intensity, sharpness and quality of service.”
Name: Andy Lee
Web Address: www.brandsmiths.co.uk
Address: 11 Gough Square, London, EC4A 3DE UK
Telephone: +44 (0)203 709 8957