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Team

We are really proud of our team.

We have brought together individuals with a wide variety of backgrounds, who all believe in our firm's approach to work and have a strong desire to help our clients achieve their goals. Our lawyers are commercially focussed with an in depth understanding of the industries in which they operate including IP law, IT and technology, commercial law and employment law.

Read our team profiles below or visit the contact us page for further contact information.

Intellectual Property

Piers Strickland

Joint Head of Intellectual Property and Dispute Resolution

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Piers Strickland

Joint Head of Intellectual Property and Dispute Resolution

  • Ex-Bristows, Charles Russell and Dewey & LeBoeuf
  • Solicitor-Advocate

 

Piers specialises in advising clients on disputes involving all forms of intellectual property law including trade marks, copyright, patents, passing off and designs.  Piers also has extensive experience in the areas of confidential information and data protection.  In addition, he regularly advises clients on more general IT disputes, often relating to computer software.

Piers also has experience in competition law cases, particularly those that interface with intellectual property law.  

Piers services both international and UK-based clients with a broad ranging industry focus. 

He has substantial experience of litigating in the High Court, including the Intellectual Property Enterprise Court.

He is now routinely recommended by the leading global directories, Legal 500, Chambers and IP Stars:

  •  “a trade mark star” (IP Stars, 2016)
  • Chambers (2016) described him as a “solicitor advocate with a strong track record in actions before the High Court and IPEC. Sources say: "He offered clear, reassuring and pragmatic advice and delivered the outcome we had hoped for."”
  • "first-class litigator" (Legal 500, 2015).
  •  "unflappable" and has "excellent commercial judgement” (Chambers, 2015)
  • “recommended” (Legal 500, 2014)
  • “tenacious yet pragmatic” (Legal 500, 2013)
  • as providing both “a pragmatic approach” and “valuable advice succinctly and efficiently” (Legal 500, 2012).

Why did you choose to specialise in IP law?

IP instantly appealed to me as being the most fascinating and varied areas of law.  As a businessman myself, I love to analyse how my clients can get an edge over their competitors by using IP law to their advantage.  In my day-to-day practice, this usually involves providing strategic business advice in a dispute / litigation context. 

What’s the most rewarding aspect of your job?

Dispute and litigation work is not for the faint-hearted and this maxim applies equally to lawyers and clients alike.  The most rewarding aspect of my job is guiding and supporting a client through a stressful dispute resolution process to a successful conclusion.  Stress is inevitable in high-stakes litigation, but I believe that it is a vital part of my role to provide digestible commercial advice throughout, so that my clients sufficiently understand the issues at stake and  make the correct decisions according to their business objectives.

What do you like about being part of a team?

As a keen sportsman, the feeling of all pulling in the same direction towards a shared objective resonates.  Oh, and the victory celebrations…

What would you say has been your career highlight to date?

The most important decision in my career to date was to leave” Big Law” and set up my own law firm specialising in IP.  I subsequently merged my practice with Waterfront in 2010. (This was the second best career decision to date!)  Being an entrepreneur is genuinely liberating and in many ways was the making of me as a lawyer.  An additional benefit of this experience was being able to identify more closely with my owner-manager clients.

What’s your favourite piece of tech?

I seem to have acquired virtually every piece of Apple hardware available, so I will have to say anything with an Apple operating system.  As far as I am concerned, they simply produce the most intuitive and effective devices around.

What do clients say about you?

Tenacious, but commercially pragmatic.

Network with Piers Strickland here

Matthew Harris

Joint Head of Intellectual Property and Dispute Resolution

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Matthew Harris

Joint Head of Intellectual Property and Dispute Resolution

  • Ex-Herbert Smith and Norton Rose


Matthew trained at Herbert Smith and became a partner in its IP and IT department in 2000.  He joined Norton Rose in 2003 where he subsequently became the head of Intellectual Property and Information Technology dispute resolution. He joined Waterfront Solicitors in December 2008.

Matthew undertakes a wide range of intellectual property and information technology work but specialises in IP and IT litigation, advising and acting for clients that range from SME’s, to large multi-national companies. 

He currently sits on the Law Society’s Intellectual Property Law Committee, where for example he led the Law Society’s discussions with the Law Commission and gave evidence to the House of Lords in respect of what became the IP (Unjustified Threats) Act 2017.

For over 10 years Matthew was a visiting lecturer in Intellectual Property Law at the Eidgenössische Technische Hochschule Zürich.  Until recently he was a general editor of, the International Trademark Association's (INTA) Annual International Review of Trademark Jurisprudence and the chair of the INTA Amicus Sub-Committee. He appeared for the association  before the European Court of Justice in the high profile Nokia counterfeit goods case.

Matthew is an internationally recognised expert in domain name law and practice.  He has been appointed by WIPO, Nominet and the Czech Arbitration Court to decide domain name disputes, having decided over 370 cases to date.  

Matthew has for many years been recognised as a “Leading Individual” in the field of Intellectual Property law in the Chambers & Partners Guide. In that guide he has been described as an "accomplished lawyer" and one peer is recorded as saying "For domain names and counterfeiting, he's got the best working knowledge of any solicitor that I know."  A client added: "He exhibits a strong sense of business knowledge that complements his industry-leading experience."   

Matthew’s patent expertise was recognised in the Legal 500 as long ago as 2006.  In the 2012 edition he is described as “Friendly, brilliant, direct, and able to think outside the box" and as someone who “provides the right advice on every occasion”. In 2013 the Legal 500 added that Matthew is “very bright, and exhibits a strong sense of business knowledge”. While in 2015 he is noted for being "extremely personable and engaging".

Network with Matthew Harris here

Lucy Marlow

Specialises in Intellectual Property

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Lucy Marlow

Specialises in Intellectual Property

  • Ex- Shakespeare Martineau and Thomas Eggar

Lucy joined Waterfront in January 2016. Prior to joining Waterfront, Lucy trained at Shakespeare Martineau and subsequently qualified in 2009 into their Intellectual Property Team.

Lucy specialises in advising clients on disputes involving all forms of intellectual property law including trade marks, copyright, passing off, patents and designs. Lucy also has extensive experience in  IT disputes, confidential information, data protection, advertising law and reputation management. She acts for a range of clients from start-ups through to multi-nationals, across a range of sectors. Lucy also advises on non-contentious IP work, such as the securing and exploitation of rights.

Lucy has experience of litigating in the High Court, including the Intellectual Property Enterprise Court.

Lucy is a member of the Society for Junior IP Practitioners (IPSOC) and the Society for Computers and Law.

Lucy is a graduate of Oxford University. She completed the Graduate Diploma in Law at Oxford Brookes University and the Legal Practice Course at the College of Law.

 

Network with Lucy Marlow here

Anna Ward

Specialises in intellectual property, contract law and disputes.

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Anna Ward

Specialises in intellectual property, contract law and disputes.

 

Since qualifying as a solicitor in 2013, Anna has built up considerable experience in IP litigation, with a particular focus on trade mark, copyright and design rights. She is also regularly involved in contractual disputes.

Anna also has strong expertise in brand protection, trade mark prosecution and trade mark oppositions before the UK Intellectual Property Office and the EU Intellectual Property Office.

She has a Postgraduate Diploma in Intellectual Property Law and Practice from Oxford University and is a member of the Society for Junior Intellectual Property Practitioners (IPSOC) as well as Women in IP.

Anna is recommended by the Legal 500, described as a “rising star” in the field of intellectual property.

Why do you like working for Waterfront?

Waterfront has a friendly and supportive atmposphere. We also have lots of good clients, in interesting sectors, which means we’re involved in lots of high quality work.

Being next to Borough Market is also great!

Why did you choose to specialise in IP?

Intellectual property is a fascinating subject. Working in this field requires an understanding of a range of interesting and innovative products, industries and sectors. IP is often the subject of high-profile news stories involving anything from quirky gadgets to chocolate bars, evidence that it is a fast-paced area of law. It is key to so many organisations, from start-ups to large corporations, and it’s great to be involved in that.

What’s the most rewarding aspect of your job?

The most rewarding aspect of my job is helping clients to achieve the successful resolution of a dispute. Litigation is a stressful game which involves a lot of hard work both from clients and lawyers, and supporting clients through the process can be extremely satisfying.

Network with Anna Ward here

Matthew Siddaway

Specialises in intellectual property

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Matthew Siddaway

Specialises in intellectual property

Matthew joined Waterfront as an Associate in August 2017. Matthew qualified as a solicitor in May 2016 having trained at boutique intellectual property firm, Palmer Biggs IP Solicitors.

Matthew has experience in a variety of trade mark, passing off, copyright and design right matters from advisory to enforcement of client's IP rights. He has also worked on disputes concerning domain names and has experience acting for leading brands in brand protection and anti-counterfeiting matters. Matthew has acted for clients in litigation in both the Intellectual Property Enterprise Court and the High Court.

Matthew is a graduate of the University of Southampton and completed the Legal Practice Course at the University of Law. In September 2017 Matthew will begin studying for a Postgraduate Diploma in Intellectual Property Law and Practice at Oxford University.

Matthew has written articles for a number of legal publications including Leading Internet Case Law and Digital Business Lawyer.

Why did you decide to join Waterfront?

Having trained at a niche IP firm I was keen to ensure that my next firm were also specialists within this area. It was immediately clear that this could be said for Waterfront! I was particularly encouraged by the firm’s focus on technology and the exciting work on offer. The staff at Waterfront also came across as friendly and the culture of the firm struck me as refreshing, especially for London.

Why did you choose to specialise in IP?

During my studies intellectual property immediately stood out as an interesting and fast developing area of law. IP is important to all businesses regardless of industry or sector which means that day-to-day work can be incredibly varied and challenging.

What’s the most rewarding aspect of your job?

No one wants to be involved in litigation so the most rewarding aspect of my job has to be helping resolve disputes. It is a great feeling when you achieve a successful result for a client which allows them to return their focus to the day-to-day running of their business.

Network with Matthew Siddaway here

Matthew Akehurst

Associate

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Matthew Akehurst

Associate

 

Matthew joined Waterfront in 2016 as a Trainee Solicitor, and qualified in 2018 - specialising in corporate law and intellectual law.

Matthew has worked primarily on an ad-hoc basis for our Corporate team dealing with the various investments and other matters. Matthew also works with the Commercial, Employment and Intellectual Property teams and has gained experience working on a broad range of matters.

Why did you decide to join Waterfront?

I wanted to work in a niche environment where I could combine my passion for technology and my passion for law. Straight away, Waterfront stood out to me; not least because Waterfront were one of the first niche IP/IT law firms to be established, but because of the firm’s genuine belief to interact closely with clients and always surpass their expectations. Waterfront was always the obvious choice.

What do you like about working for Waterfront?

The team here are so knowledgeable and affable that I learn something new and valuable every day that I work for Waterfront – an easy winner on why working here is so enjoyable.

If you hadn’t become a solicitor what career would you have liked to pursue?

I would like to think that if I hadn’t had pursued a career in law, I would have gone on to become a young successful entrepreneur…more realistically, I think I would have pursued a career in Science.

Whom do you most admire in the world of tech?

Elon Musk, the chief executive of Tesla. Always striving to achieve more - and with every achievement, comes the start of a bigger and braver task.

Network with Matthew Akehurst here

Thalya Merican

Trainee Solicitor

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Thalya Merican

Trainee Solicitor

 

Thalya joined Waterfront in February 2018 as a Trainee Solicitor and works across all departments.

Thalya is a graduate of King’s College London and completed the Legal Practice Course at the University of Law. Prior to joining Waterfront, she spent two years in-house at an international video games publishing company.

What do you like about working for Waterfront?

The partners and teams are incredibly knowledgeable and passionate about their clients and areas of practice which is inspiring. It is also a close-knit firm with a great sense of humour. A supportive environment with interesting clients makes working at Waterfront very enjoyable.

What do you like about being part of a team?

I like the collaboration and contribution between people of different experiences and knowledge in pursuit of a common goal. At Waterfront this is a core value that translates into ensuring that clients always feel that we are part of their team on any given project, and that as a firm, departments work together so that we can offer a full range of tailored services to our clients.

If you hadn’t become a solicitor what career would you have liked to pursue?

Something in the arts, I think…a graphic designer perhaps?

Network with Thalya Merican here

Charlotte Lang

Paralegal

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Charlotte Lang

Paralegal

Charlotte is a graduate of Sussex University and completed the Legal Practice Course at the University of Law. Prior to joining Waterfront, she spent over two years in-house at a start-up tech company.

Why did you decide to join Waterfront?

I was interested in working at Waterfront as I am very passionate about the areas of law that Waterfront specialise in, especially commercial and IP. After meeting the partners during the interview process I knew I wanted to work at Waterfront as part of a friendly, supportive and knowledgeable team.

What do you like about being part of a team?

Being part of a team is great as you can learn from others and also share your own knowledge. If you have any problems then you have a support network to help you and when you complete a successful piece of work you can celebrate with your team, which is more fun than celebrating on your own!

If you hadn’t become a solicitor what career would you have like to pursue?

I loved studying History at school, so much that I nearly did a History degree. If I had I may have become a History teacher.

Network with Charlotte Lang here

Employment & HR

Anthony Purvis

Head of Employment Law

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Anthony Purvis

Head of Employment Law

  • Ex-Dundas & Wilson (now part of CMS Cameron McKenna Nabarro Olswang)

Anthony joined Waterfront Solicitors in March 2012 and specialises in all aspects of contentious and non-contentious employment law. He was promoted to partner in April 2017.

He offers succinct and practical advice to both businesses and individuals on various issues including redundancies, unfair and wrongful dismissals claims, unlawful discrimination, grievance and disciplinary procedures, TUPE, staff handbooks, contracts of employment, restrictive covenants and their enforcement, settlement agreements and the employment aspects of corporate reorganisations or sales.  His recent work includes:

  • Advising the high street retailer, H&M, on HR issues and litigation.
  • Defending a claim for injunctive relief and breach of contract in the High Court.
  • Advising a US company on the restructure of its UK workforce.
  • Conducting the defence of a race discrimination claim.
  • Representing the CEO of a restaurant chain in their claim of unfair dismissal.

His clients include both employees and employers across a wide range of business sectors.  In his spare time, he enjoys playing Scrabble.

After completing the Bar Vocational Course, Anthony trained as a solicitor at Dundas & Wilson (now part of CMS Cameron McKenna Nabarro Olswang) and qualified in 2008.  He joined Waterfront Solicitors in 2012 and was promoted to Head of Employment in 2015.

Anthony is a member of the Employment Lawyers Association.

Why did you decide to join Waterfront?

The atmosphere and way of doing things here is very refreshing when compared to some of the larger firms.

Why did you choose to specialise in employment law?

It’s all about balancing the commercial interests of a business with the rights and feelings of an individual, which makes it really interesting.

What’s the most common legal mistake businesses make?

Not taking advice first.  A five minute call with a lawyer can prevent a very costly mistake.

What’s the most rewarding aspect of your job?

When the result exceeds the client’s expectations.

 

 

 

Network with Anthony Purvis here

Matthew Hodson

Specialises in Employment & HR Law

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Matthew Hodson

Specialises in Employment & HR Law

 

Matthew is an experienced litigator specialising in employment law. He advises organisations and individuals on all aspects of employment law and human resources strategy. He deals with various issues including redundancies, unfair and wrongful dismissals claims, discrimination, whistleblowing TUPE, restrictive covenants and settlement agreements.  His recent work includes:

  • Successfully representing a senior manager in a discrimination and sexual harassment claim;
  • Successfully defending two senior hotel managers against allegations they had set up competing businesses and breached their fiduciary duties;
  • Successfully representing a senior hospital manager in his claim for unfair dismissal and disability discrimination against a NHS trust;
  • Successfully representing an investment banker in claims for unfair dismissal and whistleblowing.

Matthew represent clients across a wide range of business sectors as well as dealing with matters concerning public bodies (NHS, police and teachers).  In his spare time, he enjoys playing football and tennis.

Matthew has been working in employment law since 2011. He commenced his career at a boutique law firm advising large employers on everyday HR issues. He then moved to a local high street firm representing individuals and businesses in all areas of employment law and civil litigation. Matthew trained in the City with Levenes Employment gaining further experience representing both employers and employees on all aspects of employment law. He qualified as a solicitor in 2015 and joined Waterfront Solicitors as an associate in April 2016. 

Matthew is a member of the Employment Lawyers Association and Lawyers' Christian Fellowship.

What would you say has been your career highlight to date?

I represented a group of care workers in a claim for breach of contact against their employer. The claim involved complex legal arguments and by the time the employees came to us, they had already received advice from two law firms that their claims had very little chance of winning.  It did take a lot of hard work, research and late nights but we got the result we were after”.  

What’s the most common legal mistake businesses make?

There are quite a few.  The most common one I experience is miscalculating an employee’s notice and statutory redundancy pay which can lead to unnecessary disputes

What’s the best piece of legal advice you’ve ever heard?

Never write down anything you wouldn’t want read in court.

What inspired you to become a solicitor?

I wanted a job which is stimulating, diverse and one where I could help people.  Being a solicitor ticked all the boxes. 

What piece of tech could you not live without?

In a literal sense, my bike lights. 

 

Network with Matthew Hodson here

Matthew Akehurst

Associate

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Matthew Akehurst

Associate

 

Matthew joined Waterfront in 2016 as a Trainee Solicitor, and qualified in 2018 - specialising in corporate law and intellectual law.

Matthew has worked primarily on an ad-hoc basis for our Corporate team dealing with the various investments and other matters. Matthew also works with the Commercial, Employment and Intellectual Property teams and has gained experience working on a broad range of matters.

Why did you decide to join Waterfront?

I wanted to work in a niche environment where I could combine my passion for technology and my passion for law. Straight away, Waterfront stood out to me; not least because Waterfront were one of the first niche IP/IT law firms to be established, but because of the firm’s genuine belief to interact closely with clients and always surpass their expectations. Waterfront was always the obvious choice.

What do you like about working for Waterfront?

The team here are so knowledgeable and affable that I learn something new and valuable every day that I work for Waterfront – an easy winner on why working here is so enjoyable.

If you hadn’t become a solicitor what career would you have liked to pursue?

I would like to think that if I hadn’t had pursued a career in law, I would have gone on to become a young successful entrepreneur…more realistically, I think I would have pursued a career in Science.

Whom do you most admire in the world of tech?

Elon Musk, the chief executive of Tesla. Always striving to achieve more - and with every achievement, comes the start of a bigger and braver task.

Network with Matthew Akehurst here

Thalya Merican

Trainee Solicitor

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Thalya Merican

Trainee Solicitor

 

Thalya joined Waterfront in February 2018 as a Trainee Solicitor and works across all departments.

Thalya is a graduate of King’s College London and completed the Legal Practice Course at the University of Law. Prior to joining Waterfront, she spent two years in-house at an international video games publishing company.

What do you like about working for Waterfront?

The partners and teams are incredibly knowledgeable and passionate about their clients and areas of practice which is inspiring. It is also a close-knit firm with a great sense of humour. A supportive environment with interesting clients makes working at Waterfront very enjoyable.

What do you like about being part of a team?

I like the collaboration and contribution between people of different experiences and knowledge in pursuit of a common goal. At Waterfront this is a core value that translates into ensuring that clients always feel that we are part of their team on any given project, and that as a firm, departments work together so that we can offer a full range of tailored services to our clients.

If you hadn’t become a solicitor what career would you have liked to pursue?

Something in the arts, I think…a graphic designer perhaps?

Network with Thalya Merican here

Charlotte Lang

Paralegal

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Charlotte Lang

Paralegal

Charlotte is a graduate of Sussex University and completed the Legal Practice Course at the University of Law. Prior to joining Waterfront, she spent over two years in-house at a start-up tech company.

Why did you decide to join Waterfront?

I was interested in working at Waterfront as I am very passionate about the areas of law that Waterfront specialise in, especially commercial and IP. After meeting the partners during the interview process I knew I wanted to work at Waterfront as part of a friendly, supportive and knowledgeable team.

What do you like about being part of a team?

Being part of a team is great as you can learn from others and also share your own knowledge. If you have any problems then you have a support network to help you and when you complete a successful piece of work you can celebrate with your team, which is more fun than celebrating on your own!

If you hadn’t become a solicitor what career would you have like to pursue?

I loved studying History at school, so much that I nearly did a History degree. If I had I may have become a History teacher.

Network with Charlotte Lang here

Commercial & IT

Alison Berryman

Partner & Head of Technology and Commercial Law

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Alison Berryman

Partner & Head of Technology and Commercial Law

  • Specialises in Commercial Contracts and IT/Technology
  • Ex-Universal Music Publishing and Macrovision


Prior to joining Waterfront Solicitors as a trainee, Alison had accumulated nearly 4 years of contracts experience, first at Universal Music Publishing and later at Macrovision (a NASDAQ listed, silicon valley technology company).  Since qualification she has worked with clients of all sizes - from individual iPhone App developers, to medium sized businesses requiring software licences, to overseas national governments requiring advice on European Data Protection Legislation.  Alison was promoted to partner in December 2008.

Alison is Waterfront’s resident Data Protection and Privacy expert, advising clients on all aspects of data protection and privacy law as well as carrying out data protection audits and providing staff training on this complex area.

Alison also specialises in drafting and negotiating a very broad variety of commercial contracts, particularly for clients in the digital media, technology, software and e-commerce and entertainment sectors. 

Alison has undertaken two secondments as part of Waterfront’s "Virtual In-House Lawyer" scheme.  The experience gained during these secondments, together with her work in-house prior to Waterfront, has led Alison to take a very pragmatic and commercial approach to most legal problems.  Many clients have commented on how useful this approach is in enabling them to make informed decisions quickly, so they can get back to the ‘real work’.

The 2013 Legal 500 observed that Alison and founding partner, Carole Hailey, “always understand that clients are a business first and foremost, in order to give relevant weighting to the commercial needs versus the legal obligations”.

In 2015 Alison was promoted to Head of Technology and Commercial Law.

Why did you decide to join Waterfront?

The moment I met Carole and Rachel (the two partners at that time) I knew that I wanted to work for the firm.  Back in 2004, the business was still in its infancy and I felt as if, in addition to training as a solicitor, I could really make a difference in helping to shape the way the business grew and developed. 

What do you like about working for Waterfront?

The number one reason has to be the people…  the team at Waterfront includes some of the brightest, best natured and most down-to-earth people I’ve come across and my clients, whilst often (quite rightly) demanding, are much the same. 

Close second is the work.  I’m lucky enough to work with many business owners, which means that my clients are passionate about the products and services they provide and I feel a huge sense of personal achievement when I help them reach their goals.

If you hadn’t become a solicitor what career would you have liked to pursue?

When I chose my first degree it was a toss up between Law and Mathematics.  Had I gone down the maths route I reckon I’d have become a software developer - I’d like to think I’d be developing something super-cool like an augmented reality app, but I’d probably have ended up doing something totally unsexy!!

What do clients say about you?

That I’m very quick to understand their problem and my solutions are sensible and pragmatic, always with an eye on the big picture as well as focusing on the detail.

Network with Alison Berryman here

Jean-Marc Pettigrew

Partner

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Jean-Marc Pettigrew

Partner

  • Ex-Peacock & Co, Cannings Connolly and Colemans ctts Solicitors


Jean-Marc qualified as a solicitor in May 2008, after a very varied training split between city firm Cannings Connolly  and regional firm Peacock & Co.  Prior to joining Waterfront he had also acted as a consultant for Colemans ctts Solicitors.

Jean-Marc has extensive experience drafting, advising and negotiating on a range of commercial contracts, with particular experience across the IT sector and working on both customer and supplier side. Jean-Marc’s clients span global professional service firms, SME’s and start-ups, including software developers and vendors, IT service providers and app/website providers operating across a variety of industries such as financial, legal, education and retail. He was promoted to partner in 2015.

Jean-Marc is fluent in French.

Why did you decide to join Waterfront?

I love technology and gadgets and it’s great when you get to meet the people behind the tech. Learning about how the idea came about and the process of developing can be fascinating; it doesn’t even have to be about technology I will necessarily use myself. The opportunity to combine my enthusiasm for tech with the law was (and is) for me, the perfect job. Even when I joined back in August 2010, Waterfront was still one the few genuinely tech focused law firms around, and technology law continues to be a main focal point for the firm.

And we get to wear jeans to work.

Why do you like about working for Waterfront?

Someone once told me that in any workplace, you either have to like the people you work with or like the work you do. If you don’t have either, you won’t last long. Thankfully, Waterfront provides both.

Oh, and the jeans thing.

What inspired you to become a solicitor?

“A Few Good Men”. Tom Cruise, “So please, don't tell me what I know, or don't know; [shouting for emphasis] Iknow the LAW !”.

I still haven’t managed to work that into any contract negotiations though.

Why did you choose to specialise in commercial contracts?

I think we’re all aspiring authors at heart. You can’t not enjoy writing when you spend 70% of your day drafting or reading contracts. I’m convinced everyone in the team has one great novel in them, the only problem being we’d spend too much time making sure all definitions are properly defined and not enough time on creating a compelling narrative.

What’s the most common legal mistake businesses make?

Contacting us after the contract has been signed!

If you hadn’t become a solicitor what career would you have liked to pursue?

All I can say is that Roger Federer definitely wouldn’t have 17 grand slam titles to his name if I’d pursued my alternative career.

Whom do you most admire in the world(s) of tech / legal / business?

Gabe Newell co-founded and heads up “Valve”, which is not only one of the most successful and celebrated game developer/publishers in the world, but also revolutionised the flagging PC gaming market through the launch of the “Steam” platform.

Network with Jean-Marc Pettigrew here

David Newton

Consultant

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David Newton

Consultant

  • Ex - Berwin Leighton Paisner LLP

David is a commercial lawyer with over 20 years City experience who specialises in advising clients in the media, technology and IT sectors on contractual and regulatory legal issues arising from major client projects as well as in relation to their day-to-day business requirements.  The clients for whom David has worked include major IT companies, FTSE 100 companies, broadcast and major publishing businesses (newspapers, magazines and books).

In addition to his digital media and technology work David advises companies on all aspects of television development, production and distribution. He has acted for super indies and smaller independent production companies both in the UK and Europe as well as UK broadcasters.

David has completed secondments with the satellite sports broadcaster Racing UK and with Cisco Systems so he understands the commercial and business pressures faced by clients and in house counsel. In 2015 David completed a long term secondment at Time Inc (UK) Ltd advising on strategic projects as well as business and usual projects across its portfolio of brands and its distribution business. 

Network with David Newton here

Richard Chapman

Consultant

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Richard Chapman

Consultant

  • Ex Clifford Chance and Berwin Leighton Paisner

 

Richard has spent 20 years as a commercial lawyer in international law firms, the last 10 years as a partner in one of the City’s top-rated IT and commercial teams.

Richard advises on a wide range of technology and commercial transactions, including outsourcing (ITO and BPO), managed services, managed global networks, system development and software licensing. He also advises on the IT and technology aspects of business sales. He has advised a huge range of businesses from start-ups to FTSE-100 and multi-national corporations.

Richard has been recognised for many years as a leading lawyer in the IT sector by the legal directories:

  •  “an unfussy low-key style and deep knowledge of complex technical issues”, Legal 500, 2011
  • “noted for his knowledge and experience of the IT industry. He is very thorough and hard-working say clients”, Chambers, 2011
  • “a fantastically reliable common-sense lawyer, with a sophisticated knowledge of both legal issues and technical issues”, Chambers, 2012
  •  “well-liked by clients, a good negotiator for hammering out complex commercial arrangements”, “particularly useful at countering the arguments of the other party’s lawyers” – Chambers, 2014

Richard’s work leading on National Grid’s £1 billion IS Transformation Programme, a series of six major outsourcing deals, won the TMT award at the British Legal Awards 2011.

Prior to becoming a lawyer, Richard was a software engineer for a leading software house, designing and building software systems in the defence sector.

Network with Richard Chapman here

Francesca Badowska

Consultant (not currently practising solicitor)

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Francesca Badowska

Consultant (not currently practising solicitor)

  • Specialises in commercial, music, media and entertainment law (not currently practising solicitor)
  • Ex-Russells and Clifford Chance

Francesca completed her training contract at Waterfront after working for us as a Practice Manager and Paralegal. Following a spell at Clifford Chance she joined Russells Solicitors where she specialised in media and entertainment industry commercial contracts, representing a wide range of clients in the music, television, film and wider media and entertainment sectors, and she continues to work with clients across the entertainment industry.

Francesca’s experience also includes work with bands, in-house for record labels and as deputy company secretary for a housing management organisation, with responsibility for advising on commercial, corporate governance and public sector issues as well as compliance with corporate matters.

Francesca’s work at Waterfront covers commercial contracts in the IP, technology and media and entertainment spheres, as well as assisting with corporate matters from time to time.

Network with Francesca Badowska here

Louisa Duffield-Harding

Senior Associate

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Louisa Duffield-Harding

Senior Associate

Louisa trained at Berwin Leighton Paisner, qualifying into their Commercial TMT team in 2006 where she also went on a number of in-house secondments, including to the EMEA Commercial, Technology & IP team at JP Morgan Chase Bank. Having had a taste of life as an in-house lawyer, Louisa later joined BBC Digital as a lawyer in the Business Development team, where she gained invaluable experience in online, technology and content issues. She returned to private practice at Waterfront in February 2016.

Louisa has a wide range of experience in commercial deals, such as supply of goods and services, with a focus on technology clients. She advises on online and technology services and licensing; from IT outsourcing and software development to APP terms of use and related IP and data protection issues. Her clients include businesses in a number of sectors, such as TMT, retail, healthcare and financial services.

Network with Louisa Duffield-Harding here

Matthew Akehurst

Associate

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Matthew Akehurst

Associate

 

Matthew joined Waterfront in 2016 as a Trainee Solicitor, and qualified in 2018 - specialising in corporate law and intellectual law.

Matthew has worked primarily on an ad-hoc basis for our Corporate team dealing with the various investments and other matters. Matthew also works with the Commercial, Employment and Intellectual Property teams and has gained experience working on a broad range of matters.

Why did you decide to join Waterfront?

I wanted to work in a niche environment where I could combine my passion for technology and my passion for law. Straight away, Waterfront stood out to me; not least because Waterfront were one of the first niche IP/IT law firms to be established, but because of the firm’s genuine belief to interact closely with clients and always surpass their expectations. Waterfront was always the obvious choice.

What do you like about working for Waterfront?

The team here are so knowledgeable and affable that I learn something new and valuable every day that I work for Waterfront – an easy winner on why working here is so enjoyable.

If you hadn’t become a solicitor what career would you have liked to pursue?

I would like to think that if I hadn’t had pursued a career in law, I would have gone on to become a young successful entrepreneur…more realistically, I think I would have pursued a career in Science.

Whom do you most admire in the world of tech?

Elon Musk, the chief executive of Tesla. Always striving to achieve more - and with every achievement, comes the start of a bigger and braver task.

Network with Matthew Akehurst here

Thalya Merican

Trainee Solicitor

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Thalya Merican

Trainee Solicitor

 

Thalya joined Waterfront in February 2018 as a Trainee Solicitor and works across all departments.

Thalya is a graduate of King’s College London and completed the Legal Practice Course at the University of Law. Prior to joining Waterfront, she spent two years in-house at an international video games publishing company.

What do you like about working for Waterfront?

The partners and teams are incredibly knowledgeable and passionate about their clients and areas of practice which is inspiring. It is also a close-knit firm with a great sense of humour. A supportive environment with interesting clients makes working at Waterfront very enjoyable.

What do you like about being part of a team?

I like the collaboration and contribution between people of different experiences and knowledge in pursuit of a common goal. At Waterfront this is a core value that translates into ensuring that clients always feel that we are part of their team on any given project, and that as a firm, departments work together so that we can offer a full range of tailored services to our clients.

If you hadn’t become a solicitor what career would you have liked to pursue?

Something in the arts, I think…a graphic designer perhaps?

Network with Thalya Merican here

Charlotte Lang

Paralegal

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Charlotte Lang

Paralegal

Charlotte is a graduate of Sussex University and completed the Legal Practice Course at the University of Law. Prior to joining Waterfront, she spent over two years in-house at a start-up tech company.

Why did you decide to join Waterfront?

I was interested in working at Waterfront as I am very passionate about the areas of law that Waterfront specialise in, especially commercial and IP. After meeting the partners during the interview process I knew I wanted to work at Waterfront as part of a friendly, supportive and knowledgeable team.

What do you like about being part of a team?

Being part of a team is great as you can learn from others and also share your own knowledge. If you have any problems then you have a support network to help you and when you complete a successful piece of work you can celebrate with your team, which is more fun than celebrating on your own!

If you hadn’t become a solicitor what career would you have like to pursue?

I loved studying History at school, so much that I nearly did a History degree. If I had I may have become a History teacher.

Network with Charlotte Lang here

Corporate law

Matt Cunningham

Partner and Head of CorporateĀ 

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Matt Cunningham

Partner and Head of CorporateĀ 

  • Ex-Hextalls and Telehouse Europe
  • Recognised in Chambers UK 2016 as a leading individual for venture capital


Matt joined Waterfront’s IT team in 2007. In 2009 he established the corporate team and, following the success of that team in 2010 and 2011, was promoted to partner in early 2012.

Matt advises clients on a wide range of corporate matters, including setting up businesses, venture capital, joint ventures, and mergers and acquisitions. He has particular expertise in advising entrepreneurs and investors in the IT, technology and digital media sectors. His experience working in-house at Telehouse Europe, a leading provider of co-location services to the IT and telecoms industries, and as part of the IT team at Waterfront (2007- 2009), has given him a good understanding of the legal issues facing technology businesses.

Matt has advised in relation to numerous venture capital investments in tech start-ups and early stage businesses. He is equally able to advise entrepreneurs and investors on the challenges they face and he is valued by his clients for his practical, commercial approach.

Why did you decide to join Waterfront?

I joined Waterfront in 2007 because I wanted to be part of something new: to help build a different kind of law firm. Waterfront was only five years old at the time and the prospect of joining a start-up tech law firm was exciting. All the law firms I had previously worked at had been very traditional (read: stuffy). Waterfront was different. It was young, it was friendly, it was vibrant and perhaps most importantly everyone I spoke to was enthusiastic about the firm (clients and employees alike). The firm has grown and matured considerably since I joined, but it has managed to retain many of the aspects that attracted me to it in the first place. In recent years there has been a proliferation of tech-focussed start-up law firms, but Waterfront is still the original and the best.

Why did you choose to specialise in corporate?

I had spent some time doing corporate work while I was training. I had also drafted a number of shareholders agreements and advised on a couple of small company sales while working in the IT/commercial contracts team at Waterfront, but my first real taste of corporate work was advising the founders of Globrix, a property search website, on their management buyout from News International in 2009 and subsequent sale of the company to DMGT. Although it was exhausting (by the end of the deal we were working flat out day and night) I thoroughly enjoy the experience and it prompted me to set up Waterfront’s corporate team at the end of 2009, the success of which resulted my promotion to partner in 2011. I haven’t looked back since.

What’s the most common misapprehension about the legal profession?

That all lawyers are the same: expensive, dogmatic and aloof. At Waterfront we pride ourselves on being affordable, pragmatic and approachable.

Network with Matt Cunningham here

Angus Young

Partner

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Angus Young

Partner

Specialises in Corporate Law

Ex-Linklaters (London), Morgan Lewis (London) and Clayton Utz (Sydney, Australia)

Angus joined Waterfront as a partner in 2018.

Angus has a broad range of corporate and commercial experience, including in mergers and acquisitions, venture capital, cross border transactions, joint ventures, long-term/complex commercial arrangements, restructuring & insolvency and industry/business restructures. He also advises clients on general corporate and commercial matters.

Angus has worked across a wide range of sectors, including IT, fintech, venture capital, life sciences, telecommunications, retail and energy & resources, including for both domestic and international clients.

Why did you decide to join Waterfront?

I worked closely with Waterfront at my previous firm on a number of matters and was instantly drawn to their sensible, pragmatic and commercial approach.

What do you like about working for Waterfront?

The Waterfront team is fantastic to work with and, of course, our clients are equally the same.

Why did you choose to specialise in corporate law?

I particularly enjoy transactional work. Although this often involves late nights and lack of sleep, I get a real sense of achievement once the deal is done. As they say, there’s nothing more satisfying than a happy client!

What’s the best piece of legal or business advice you’ve ever heard?

Get your lawyer involved sooner rather than later. “Business” issues often contain or become “legal” issues and so having a legal steer from the outset can save a lot of time and money.

What’s the most common misapprehension about the legal profession?

That lawyers find/create problems rather than solving them. At Waterfront, we are in the business of problem-solving and do so in a sensible, pragmatic and commercial way.

What’s your favourite piece of tech?

I include apps as “tech” and so my favourite one at the moment is the app that my son’s nursey uses – I get hourly updates and photos of what he’s up to while I’m at work!

If you hadn’t become a solicitor what career would you have liked to pursue?

Before becoming a lawyer, I was working as a sound engineer and, in my spare time, pursuing rock stardom. Thankfully, though, the law came to my rescue.

 

Network with Angus Young here

Peter Martin

Consultant

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Peter Martin

Consultant

  • Specialises in Corporate Law
  • Ex-Berwin Leighton Paisner

Peter has extensive experience in handling corporate matters, having previously been a partner for 14 years in the corporate finance  team of Berwin Leighton Paisner LLP.

Peter has a great depth of experience in private company transactions comprising mergers and acquisitions, joint ventures, fund raising and equity matters and, in particular, has great experience in private equity/development capital transactions whether acting for the investor, the management or the Company raising the funding.

Network with Peter Martin here

Graham Halliday

Specialises in Corporate Law

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Graham Halliday

Specialises in Corporate Law

  • Ex Paris Smith LLP and DMGT

Graham joined Waterfront as a solicitor in April 2015. Prior to joining Waterfront, Graham trained at Paris Smith and qualified as a Corporate Solicitor in October 2014. 

Graham has experience in advising clients on Corporate Law matters, mainly split between M&A transactions and venture capital investments. These transactions are mainly focussed around businesses in the IT, technology and digital media sector. Graham also has experience in setting up EMI options schemes. His experience of working with a start-up prior to entering the law has given him an in-depth understanding of the issues which entrepreneurs and start-ups face. 

Graham is a graduate of Southampton University and completed the Graduate Diploma in Law and the Legal Practice Course at the College of Law.

Why did you choose to specialise in corporate law?

The fast-paced environment and the challenge of quickly and effectively completing corporate transactions whilst providing high level advice. I particularly enjoy the drafting and negotiating aspects of the work and trying to accurately reflect my client’s instructions in the transaction documentation. There is also a huge amount of corporate and company law to understand and learn. This challenge keeps the job very interesting.  

Describe your working style in three words.

  • Thorough
  • Inquisitive
  • Pragmatic 

Network with Graham Halliday here

Okachi Kejeh

Specialises in Corporate Law

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Okachi Kejeh

Specialises in Corporate Law

  • Ex Rawlison Butler LLP and Pirola Pennuto Zei UK LLP

Okachi joined Waterfront Solicitors as an Associate in August 2016. Okachi qualified as a solicitor in April 2014 having trained at the London office of leading Italian law firm, Pirola Pennuto Zei UK LLP, before moving to the regional firm Rawlison Butler LLP.

Okachi has experience in advising business owners and business managers on non- contentious corporate matters with special attention on Mergers and Acquisitions, Shareholders’ matters, joint venture agreement and partnerships, with and without limited liability.  

Okachi obtained a Diploma in Law from Birkbeck College, London and went on to study for her bachelors of law at School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London. She completed the Legal Practice Course at BPP University in London.

Okachi is a committee member of the Law Society’s Ethnic Minorities Divisions and the Black Solicitors Network. 

Why did you choose to specialise in corporate law?

Corporate law makes sense to me; it is logical and progressive. I spend most of my time reading about companies, their commercial progress and motives on news sites so it was instinctive for me to work with companies, their directors and their shareholders.

What’s the most rewarding aspect of your job?

When a client thanks you for the work you have done. It allows them to get on with their job of running the business whilst they can rest assured that they have the solid legal structure upon which to proceed.

What has been the most impactful piece of legislation on the business world in the past fifty years?

The Companies Act 2006. It simplified the law as applicable to companies and has streamlined the level of compliance required by company directors especially for SME companies. This means that there is less red tape and the directors have more time to build the business.

If you hadn’t become a solicitor what career would you have liked to pursue?

I like to think that I was a choreographer in a past life. I love to dance!

Network with Okachi Kejeh here

Matthew Akehurst

Associate

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Matthew Akehurst

Associate

 

Matthew joined Waterfront in 2016 as a Trainee Solicitor, and qualified in 2018 - specialising in corporate law and intellectual law.

Matthew has worked primarily on an ad-hoc basis for our Corporate team dealing with the various investments and other matters. Matthew also works with the Commercial, Employment and Intellectual Property teams and has gained experience working on a broad range of matters.

Why did you decide to join Waterfront?

I wanted to work in a niche environment where I could combine my passion for technology and my passion for law. Straight away, Waterfront stood out to me; not least because Waterfront were one of the first niche IP/IT law firms to be established, but because of the firm’s genuine belief to interact closely with clients and always surpass their expectations. Waterfront was always the obvious choice.

What do you like about working for Waterfront?

The team here are so knowledgeable and affable that I learn something new and valuable every day that I work for Waterfront – an easy winner on why working here is so enjoyable.

If you hadn’t become a solicitor what career would you have liked to pursue?

I would like to think that if I hadn’t had pursued a career in law, I would have gone on to become a young successful entrepreneur…more realistically, I think I would have pursued a career in Science.

Whom do you most admire in the world of tech?

Elon Musk, the chief executive of Tesla. Always striving to achieve more - and with every achievement, comes the start of a bigger and braver task.

Network with Matthew Akehurst here

Thalya Merican

Trainee Solicitor

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Thalya Merican

Trainee Solicitor

 

Thalya joined Waterfront in February 2018 as a Trainee Solicitor and works across all departments.

Thalya is a graduate of King’s College London and completed the Legal Practice Course at the University of Law. Prior to joining Waterfront, she spent two years in-house at an international video games publishing company.

What do you like about working for Waterfront?

The partners and teams are incredibly knowledgeable and passionate about their clients and areas of practice which is inspiring. It is also a close-knit firm with a great sense of humour. A supportive environment with interesting clients makes working at Waterfront very enjoyable.

What do you like about being part of a team?

I like the collaboration and contribution between people of different experiences and knowledge in pursuit of a common goal. At Waterfront this is a core value that translates into ensuring that clients always feel that we are part of their team on any given project, and that as a firm, departments work together so that we can offer a full range of tailored services to our clients.

If you hadn’t become a solicitor what career would you have liked to pursue?

Something in the arts, I think…a graphic designer perhaps?

Network with Thalya Merican here

Charlotte Lang

Paralegal

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Charlotte Lang

Paralegal

Charlotte is a graduate of Sussex University and completed the Legal Practice Course at the University of Law. Prior to joining Waterfront, she spent over two years in-house at a start-up tech company.

Why did you decide to join Waterfront?

I was interested in working at Waterfront as I am very passionate about the areas of law that Waterfront specialise in, especially commercial and IP. After meeting the partners during the interview process I knew I wanted to work at Waterfront as part of a friendly, supportive and knowledgeable team.

What do you like about being part of a team?

Being part of a team is great as you can learn from others and also share your own knowledge. If you have any problems then you have a support network to help you and when you complete a successful piece of work you can celebrate with your team, which is more fun than celebrating on your own!

If you hadn’t become a solicitor what career would you have like to pursue?

I loved studying History at school, so much that I nearly did a History degree. If I had I may have become a History teacher.

Network with Charlotte Lang here

Support staff

Donna

Practice Manager

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Donna

Practice Manager

Donna joined Waterfront in March 2017 and has worked in the legal industry for a number of years. Working closely with the firm’s partners, Donna is responsible for the day to day running of the Waterfront headquarters. In this busy and varied role, she looks after everything from supplier contracts to human resources and compliance.

Why did you decide to join Waterfront?

I have worked in various roles within the legal industry ( Crown Court Clerk, Magistrates Court Officer, Law firm Office Manager) and I wanted to work in a legal firm where I can make a difference using the experience that I already have but at the same time be encouraged to learn and gain further skills too; the description of the role of Practice Manager at Waterfront ticked every box. There is a great and knowledgeable team of people behind Waterfront, it’s a busy but friendly place to work and I enjoy being part of it!

 

Network with Donna here

Chloe

Marketing Manager

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Chloe

Marketing Manager

 

Chloe joined Waterfront in July 2016 as Marketing Manager. She worked for 3 years as an executive at a mid-sized firm handling everything from business development, large scale social events, content writing, liaising with publications, designing collateral, developing advertising campaigns – one of which was on the underground. Other responsibilities included legal directory handling, representing the firm abroad at conferences and website maintenance. At her time at Clyde & Co she looked after the Intellectual Property team, Corporate & Corporate Insurance, while also working with Data Protection & IT.

Why did you decide to join Waterfront?

I knew I wanted to work closely with an intellectual property team again as IP is fast paced and so varied. My other desire was to work with a small firm where I could make my mark and make tangible contributions to their growth. When the position came up I could not believe how well it fitted the bill! It was evident from our first meeting that everyone here is really switched on, engaged and sincerely welcome new ideas – I couldn’t be happier to have joined.

What’s the most rewarding aspect of your job?

My most rewarding achievements are made when I leave my comfort zone. Finding that you are capable of taking on more than you thought, or reaching a level of success with a project you were previously inexperienced with, is what keeps me engaged with my work. So I would have to say -throwing myself in the deep end, learning from the experience and being able to approach the next challenge with confidence is what I find the most rewarding.

If you hadn’t become a marketing manager what career would you have liked to pursue?

I studied Psychology with a view to becoming a research assistant straight from university. After a fashion event I started running during university really took off, I realised I wanted to pursue other career paths and gain some valuable life experience before endeavouring to study human behaviour. Post degree, I worked for the largest Mental Health law firm in the UK which was certainly eye opening! It is still my long term goal to work in research but for the foreseeable future I really enjoy working in business.

 

 

Network with Chloe here

Kimberly

Office Assistant

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Kimberly

Office Assistant

Kimberly Ama Gyambibi joined Waterfront in early 2017 to assist with the smooth day to day running of the office, and to provide admin support to the legal staff on an ad hoc basis. She works closely with the Practice Manager and also works provides support for the Marketing Manager.

What do you like about working for Waterfront?

The Biscuits! Just joking – it’s the people. It’s such a chilled and lovely environment, I have never worked somewhere where everyone is so friendly and helpful, so it really is a breath of fresh air.

What’s the most rewarding aspect of your job?

The gratitude.

What do you like about being part of a team?

That you don’t have to do things alone, there’s always someone there to help when you get lost or confused.

Network with Kimberly here

Chloe

Office Assistant

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Chloe

Office Assistant

 

Chloe is a student at the University of Law studying a Masters and Legal Practice Course. Her aim is to qualify into IP or Media and Technology Law.

She graduated from the University of Winchester in October 2017 and has been working at Waterfront since.

What do you like about working for Waterfront?

Everyone is so friendly and welcoming! The atmosphere at work is always positive and there’s a lot of help and encouragement when you need it.

What’s the most rewarding aspect of your job?

Helping the lawyers and making a real contribution to the firm, and getting to see the busy working life of a law firm.

Whom do you most admire in the world of tech?

There are so many fantastic people in the tech world who deserve admiration, but I have to say Elon Musk. Tesla, the Space X project and Hyperloop are just examples of his incredible ambitions for technology, and the Falcon Heavy Launch this February 2018 was a historic moment for space flight!

Network with Chloe here