Alison BerrymanPartner & 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.