Scottish IP specialist expansion continues with office move

Donald Lawrie
Donald Lawrie

Independent Scottish firm of patent and trade mark attorneys, Lawrie IP, is moving to a new head office in Glasgow as it accelerates its growth plans.

The award-winning firm founded by patent and trade mark specialist, Donald Lawrie, has relocated from Pacific Quay to larger, newly refurbished offices at 310 St. Vincent Street – formerly Whyte & MacKay’s global headquarters. The move is to accommodate team expansion following several new client wins.

Lawrie IP’s ambitious growth plans to boost turnover from around £2million to £5m are well underway, coupled with doubling the team size to more than 30 by 2023.

Donald Lawrie said: “The firm has grown steadily and we are optimistic that this will accelerate as we implement our growth strategy. On the back of our success and to accommodate future expansion, we decided that the time was right to move to new, larger offices.

“We’re delighted to have secured space in Glasgow city centre in the newly refurbished 310 St. Vincent Street development. It’s an excellent working environment and we look forward to welcoming clients to our new home.”

Whilst Dr Lawrie is confident about the firm’s growth prospects, he has warned that the ongoing debate around Brexit is causing a great deal of uncertainty for UK business when it comes to securing their intellectual property (IP), especially trade marks.

He said the cost implications of obtaining trade mark protection in both the EU and the UK will be different depending on the outcome of a Brexit deal or, as could still happen, no deal. He explained:  “In the case of a no deal Brexit – which could still happen after all the current negotiations and votes in Westminster – the action that may need to be taken to ensure businesses continue to have UK coverage for their EU trademarks could cost more than £500 million – about £50 million for UK businesses.

“That’s because pending EU trademarks – of which there are almost 340,000 – won’t have legal effect in the UK, and trade mark applicants will have to reapply, which is expected to cost in excess of £350 million – and more than £35 million for UK businesses.

“A Brexit deal, on the other hand, would have no impact on UK or EU trade marks for two years to allow for a transition period. But it remains unclear what will happen at the end of that transition period.”

In addition to leading the company’s growth plans, Dr Lawrie was recently recognised for his commitment to developing the next generation of entrepreneurs through membership of Strathclyde Entrepreneurial Network, being named University of Strathclyde’s Newcomer of the Year 2018 for its prestigious Enterprise Partners programme.

He has volunteered over 35 hours to supporting Strathclyde innovation through enterprise, entrepreneurship, commercialisation and investment and also sits on a virtual advisory board to provide further guidance for entrepreneurs through an ‘Ask the Expert’ series, as well as delivering IP workshops as part of Strathclyde’s Rising Star programme.

Finding the right people has been key to Dr Lawrie’s success in growing the business, but he said this can be challenging. Dr Lawrie said: “There are only around 100 qualified patent attorneys and fewer than 30 qualified trade mark attorneys in Scotland, which presents a significant challenge when it comes to recruitment.”

“Obviously it makes finding the right people more difficult.  However, we have an incredibly experienced team, which has been at the heart of the company’s growth since it started, and we are continuing to invest in our people at all levels to keep a consistently high level of service.”

Lawrie IP also plans to expand internationally, as a result of the number of European patents being filed growing year on year in the last decade.

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