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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 the profiles of our commercial, internet and online solicitors below or visit the contact us page for further contact information.

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

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.

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

Jessica Vautier

Associate

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Jessica Vautier

Associate

Specialises in IT & commercial law, including data protection

Jessica joined Waterfront as a solicitor in November 2018. Prior to joining Waterfront, Jessica spent 2 years at boutique Jersey law firm Pinel Advocates. She trained in the in-house legal team at Arup (an international professional services firm), where she qualified as a solicitor in August 2016. She practised IP/IT, corporate and construction law there post-qualification, before spending over a year as a commercial lawyer in-house at EDF Energy.

Jessica specialises in data protection and privacy law, including GDPR compliance. Her experience includes drafting policies, privacy notices and standard data protection clauses, and advising on data privacy impact assessments (DPIAs) and legitimate interest assessments (LIAs), as well as negotiation of data processing and data sharing agreements. Jessica is also able to carry out data protection audits.

Jessica’s previous in-house roles have given her a deep understanding of client organisations and the requirements of in-house counsel. She has experience of a broad range of commercial matters, including drafting standard terms and website T&Cs, and negotiation of software development, licence and support agreements, professional services agreements, supply of goods and services (both supplier and client-side), and research and collaboration agreements.

Jessica has a law degree from the University of Southampton. She completed the Legal Practice Course at the College of Law in Guildford. Jessica is a member of the Society for Computers and Law.

Why did you decide to join Waterfront?

As a self-confessed geek, a tech boutique law firm is the ideal place for me. Add in a bunch of friendly, inspiring colleagues, and clients passionate about their businesses, and how could I say no? In addition, the importance Waterfront puts on commerciality and being part of your team is a perfect fit for my in-house experience.

Why did you choose to specialise in IT & commercial law?

There is always something new happening, both in the technology world and the law surrounding it, which means I get to learn new things all the time. In particular, the uses and abuses of data are only going to get more complex and important to society, and I seem to be rare in enjoying the intricacies of data protection law!

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

That we’re here to put up unnecessary roadblocks for your business. A good lawyer knows when to say no, but will also find a way to help you achieve your goals wherever possible. I spend far more of my time doing the latter.

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

At age 16, my choice was between law and musical theatre – I decided theatre was the easier of the two to pursue in my spare time! If I had to choose an alternative career now, I would probably be a software developer.

Network with Jessica Vautier 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

Trainee Solicitor

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Charlotte Lang

Trainee Solicitor

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