• Name: Charlotte Ginnaw
  • Job Title: Part Qualified Trade Mark Attorney
  • Location: London
  • University: Birmingham
  • Degree: Geography

Why did you decide to pursue a career in trademarks?

I chose Law as my widening horizons module at university, and found the Intellectual Property module particularly interesting. I have always had a fascination for understanding things around me, and trade marks are virtually everywhere you look. The more complex I realised the law and interactions surrounding it were, the more I was excited to learn about it, and to hopefully get the opportunity to apply it to real-world situations. Trade marks are at the heart of every business, and integral to business success, so I knew that a career in trade marks would not only be fascinating, but also challenging and rewarding.

What attracted you to Dehns?

Dehns has grown considerably in the last few years and has a great reputation, particularly when it comes to training. I was keen to work for a firm with excellent opportunities for career development, and extensive on-the-job training, as well as the opportunity to work for such a wide range of clients. It was also incredibly important to me to find a firm that promoted an inclusive working environment, which is demonstrated by the fact that 40% of the partners, and 50% of all employees at Dehns are women.

What type of clients do you work for?

I work with a wide range of clients from individuals to multinational corporations, across a number of different commercial sectors including food/drink, hospitality, healthcare/fitness, cosmetics, finance/investment and software development.

What opportunities are there at Dehns?

From the offset, we receive hands-on training and get to work directly with clients. After completing a year of on-the-job training, we embark on working towards our professional qualifications, throughout which we are supported by the Partners and other members of the team. We regularly hold case sessions, which gives trainees the opportunity to research, present and discuss recent cases and developments in trade mark law. It’s a great way to stay on top of developments, and helps trainees build confidence in researching and understanding case law, as well as presenting to a group. We also have meetings as a trade mark team, and are encouraged to actively participate, including to contribute to the meeting agenda.

What does your typical day look like?

I generally try and get some exercise in before work, so I tend to take advantage of our flexi-time policy and log in shortly before 10am. The first thing I do is check through my emails, sort through my due date report, and get my to-do list organised. I tend to make a note of the things that are higher priority, and then will start on trying to tackle those first. In terms of the work that I do each day, no two days are the same (which is one of the great things about the job!). I am involved in conducting clearance searches and advising on the availability/registrability of proposed trade marks, filing trade mark applications, advising on, filing and defending oppositions, preparing settlement agreements/undertakings, advising on infringement matters, and advising on domain disputes, including preparing and filing UDRP complaints. The nature of the job means some days are busier than others, but the flexi-time policy means you can balance this out, and ensure you always have a healthy work-life balance.

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