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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 he has for example led the Law Society’s discussions with the Law Commission on the proposed IP Threats Bill.

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 300 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

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Anna Ward

Specialises in Intellectual Property

  • Ex-Bond Dickinson

Anna studied French and Politics at university before completing a law conversion course and joining Bond Dickinson as a trainee in 2011. She subsequently joined their Intellectual Property team and, after two years, moved to Waterfront in 2015.

Anna specialises in advising on disputes involving all forms of intellectual property including trade marks, passing off, copyright, patents and designs. She works with all manner of clients, from start-ups to multi-nationals, across a range of sectors. She also deals with all manner of non-contentious IP work including matters such as brand protection, IP strategy and licensing. 

She has experience of litigating both in the High Court and in the Intellectual Property Enterprise Court (IPEC). In addition, in July 2014 she spent several days marshalling Judge Hacon in IPEC. 

Anna 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).

Why do you like working for Waterfront?

Everyone at Waterfront is really friendly and supportive. We also have lots of good clients, in interesting sectors, which means we’re always involved in high quality work.

The fact that the office is next to Borough Market is also great!

Why did you choose to specialise in IP?

Intellectual property is a fascinating subject. Working in the field requires an understanding of a whole 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?

It sounds cheesy, but helping clients to achieve a good result: whether that is settling a dispute, obtaining protection for their brand or helping them to resolve IP issues that are preventing them from growing their business.

What piece of tech could you not live without?

It has to be my iphone. Like most people I use it for everything, not just texts and calls: music, photos, podcasts, Netflix…and Citymapper!

Network with Anna Ward here

Fifi Conroy

Specialises in Intellectual Property

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Fifi Conroy

Specialises in Intellectual Property

  • Ex-Bruin Financial

Fifi joined Waterfront in September 2012 as Practice Manager and Paralegal. She commenced her training contract with the firm in February 2014 and qualified into the Intellectual Property team at Waterfront in September 2015.

Fifi has worked primarily on contentious matters with a focus on intellectual property disputes, dealing with trade marks, patents and copyright issues. She has gained experience acting on Intellectual Property cases in both the High Court and the Intellectual Property Enterprise Court.

Fifi is a member of the society for junior IP practitioners (IPSOC) and is currently studying a Post Graduate Diploma in Intellectual Property Law and Practice at the University of Oxford.

Why do you like working for Waterfront?

I joined Waterfront in September 2012 as Practice Manager and a year later I was offered a training contract with the firm. The best thing about working for Waterfront is the supportive environment where I have been given the opportunity to take on a great variety of work. I enjoy working with individuals who are not only legal specialists, but who really understand how to run a business.  As a newly qualified solicitor, it has helped me to develop a more pragmatic and commercial approach to my work.

What’s the most rewarding aspect of your job?

Being challenged and continuing to learn new things.

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

A food critic. Waterfront’s office is based just down the road from Borough Market so I still get to be one on my lunch break.

What’s your favourite piece of tech?

I am really excited about the developments in technology relating to fitness, such as the Fuel Band or the iWatch. I have not yet found my favourite piece, but as soon as I do rest assured I will be blogging about it! Watch this space…  

Network with Fifi Conroy here

Matthew Akehurst

Trainee Solicitor

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Matthew Akehurst

Trainee Solicitor

 

Matthew joined Waterfront in 2016 as a Trainee Solicitor. Matthew commenced his training contract with the firm in April and will qualify in 2018 with a view to specialising in corporate law or commercial 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.

What piece of tech could you not live without?

Shamefully, my smart phone. Who or what else is going to wake me up in the morning?!?!

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

Annika Chauhan

Trainee Solicitor

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Annika Chauhan

Trainee Solicitor

 

Annika joined Waterfront in 2016 as a Trainee Solicitor. She commenced her training contract with the firm in May and will qualify in 2018 with a view to specialise in commercial law.

Annika has worked primarily on an ad hoc basis for our Corporate team assisting with M&A work, and also the Commercial team – assisting with drafting software licences. She also works with the IP and Employment teams and has gained experience working on a broad range of matters.

Annika is a graduate of University of the West of England and completed the Legal Practice Course at the University of Law.

Why did you decide to join Waterfront?

When I first met the partners of Waterfront it was clear that I’d be working in a supportive environment alongside people who were equally as passionate about tech and law as much as I was. I knew then that this was the firm for me!

What’s your favourite piece of tech?

Currently - the Samsung Gear IconX. Although, I must admit my favourite piece of tech is always changing, unsurprisingly, given the constant creation of newer technologies! But, that is the beauty of this industry!

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

If I hadn’t chosen to pursue law, I’d like to think you’d probably see my name in flashing lights on London’s West End …. (besides my lack of acting and dancing skills!!)

Network with Annika Chauhan here