Irwin Mitchell appoints new brands expert as further boost to its expanding IP practice

National law firm Irwin Mitchell has appointed leading IP industry expert Katrina Burchell to its IP team.  Katrina is a leading brands specialist and European Trade Mark Attorney and her hire is part of a strategic drive to build and expand its IP and brands focussed practice. Katrina will be based in the firm’s London office and is the 22nd high profile appointment to be announced by Irwin Mitchell’s commercial practice since the start of 2012.

Katrina is a well known name in the IP world, both in the UK and internationally. She qualified as a European trade mark attorney over 25 years ago and has significant and broad based brands experience from corporate transactions through to IP litigation. She was the IP Director of Kerring, which is the owner of high profile brands such as Gucci, Bottega Veneta, Yves Saint Laurent, Alexander McQueen and Stella McCartney, among others.  Prior to this she was Unilever’s Head of Trade Marks, leading a team of eighteen, which involved the management of over 160,000 trade marks worldwide. She received acclaim for outsourcing aspects of Unilever’s worldwide trade mark portfolio to Manila to save costs, while improving turnaround time and quality, a format now adopted by other multi-nationals.

Katrina is also a Non-Executive Director of Dot London Domains Limited, was Board Member of the International Trade Mark Association and Vice Chair of the In-house Practitioners Committee of INTA and was Director and former Chair of ACG (UK Anti-Counterfeiting Group). Katrina joins Intellectual property specialist and partner Georgie Collins who was recruited to Irwin Mitchell in September 2013 to spearhead the firm’s London IP Practice. Georgie brought all of her clients with her and has developed the practice further already, recruiting European Trade Mark Attorney Kirsten Doherty in October 2013. The team has also grown with two further senior members which include Head of National Litigation, Nigel Kissack who has a wealth of IP experience and  Alex Newman, an intellectual property specialist and partner who leads the firm’s IP Practice in the North of England. Commenting on her new role at Irwin Mitchell, Katrina said, ‘I’m absolutely delighted to be joining the IP team of one of the UK’s most exciting, successful and respected law firms. I’m excited not only by the opportunity to work with the firm’s significant existing clients but to build a brands-driven practice.’

Irwin Mitchell’s IP team has extensive experience in providing advice across the complete range of contentious and non-contentious IP matters and offers  a one stop shop service in relation to trade marks, encompassing trade mark filing, domain name management, and online brand monitoring, through to enforcement both in the UK and overseas. The team are highly regarded for their deep knowledge of the fashion, sport, media, luxury goods and technology and engineering industries, in particular.

Commenting on the appointment, IP Partner Georgie Collins said, “Recruiting Katrina is a real coup for Irwin Mitchell in terms of her profile, extensive in-house experience and knowledge of all things brand.  Katrina understands how to price and market brands-led IP products and services effectively and efficiently without compromising quality. As a result of her role at Unilever she also understands that there are some aspects of trade mark filing/prosecution work that are process driven and can be systemised and managed more efficiently. She fits well with Irwin Mitchell’s general philosophy.”

Niall Baker, partner and chief executive of Irwin Mitchell’s Business Legal Services Division added, “I am delighted that such a senior and well known IP practitioner as Katrina has agreed to join us. Irwin Mitchell is now at the forefront of law firms offering IP services to clients of all sizes and with both big and small budgets, both in the UK and overseas.”

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