• Name: Xiao Shi Hou
  • Job Title: Trainee Trade Mark Attorney
  • Location: London
  • University: Southampton
  • Degree: Law LLB
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What is your background and why did you choose IP?

After securing a training contract in my third year of university, I opted to take a paralegal position for the same firm in their London office while waiting to do my SQE course. Soon after, I realised that the solicitor route was not for me and found myself unsure of my career path. During this time, I was doing content creation for various brands and really enjoyed the marketing and branding aspect which led me to discover the role of a trade mark attorney (I find a lot of trade mark attorneys ‘accidentally’ discover the role, and I was no exception!). What appealed to me about this path was the chance to collaborate closely with a variety of companies to achieve their branding goals, while still utilising the negotiation, problem-solving, and analytical skills intrinsic to the legal field.

What skills are useful for a trade mark attorney?

Besides the basic core skills like attention to detail and effective communication, my experience as a paralegal in property law provided me with a valuable asset for my current role in Intellectual Property law: the ability to manage numerous matters seamlessly. As a trainee I work on over 30 different matters in a week with a range of clients, involving trademarks across multiple countries.

As such, being organised and diligent in managing deadlines, prioritising to-do lists, and swiftly transitioning between matters is essential. I really enjoy the variety the job provides; assessing the different considerations for each matter keeps me engaged. The ‘no two days are the same’ cliche is true – this role is not a work-on-one-project-for-months-at-a-time scenario!

Why did you choose HGF?

As someone early in my career, finding a training environment with some of the best attorneys working on some really interesting trade mark portfolios and doing award-winning work was important for me. HGF fulfilled these criteria, but what truly drew me to this role was the personalized and tailored training they provide, given their selective intake of new trainees.

I work very closely with two Trade Mark Directors who provide me with individualised feedback on every piece of work I do, guide me through my career, and respond to my feedback. As the sole trainee, this mentorship is intensive and finely tuned to my needs. Further, I have been client-facing from day one and actively involved in all fee-earner seminars and external meetings and events. These experiences have not only enriched my professional growth but have also made me feel deeply involved and respected within the firm.

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