a full service law firm
which means business!
a full service law firm
which means business!
Created in 2010, NewLawsLegal is a full service law firm providing forward thinking, hands-on and commercial legal advice. The practice is authorised and regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority, comprising a talented team of commercially-minded people with ‘City minds’ and impressive technical and legal expertise. We like business and the business of law and we provide solid advice to clients, standing alongside them to guide them in a way that ensures the legal advice they receive is unequivocal, takes them forward and progresses their business or commercial interests.
Newlawslegal advises on all aspects of property and real estate law. Our aim is to deliver a first class, efficient and stress free service to all our clients, whoever they are and wherever they are.
Our Property team deals with all aspects of commercial and residential property transactions, including:
We offer an outstanding service to those in the media industries – publishing; digital; advertising; public relations; e-commerce and television. We can advise on all aspects of any media deal – including distribution and licensing agreements, data protection and publishing work, IP protection in the UK and elsewhere. On the corporate side we are both buy-side and sell-side and enjoy working with our clients to ensure they get the best commercial deal.
We pride ourselves on our knowledge and passion in providing a full service in the sector to funds and companies in the solar, anaerobic digestion, water and LED lighting sectors, as well as to on and off grid developers, EPC providers, battery storage providers and individual investors. Our advice covers project finance, commercial and regulatory compliance, engineering procurement and construction and power purchase agreements.
We work with individuals, private and public companies both in the UK and internationally, providing a broad range of advice and service (buy side and sell side) on corporate transactions within; private equity; venture capital; mergers & acquisitions; takeovers; investments; reorganisations and co-venturing. Our commercial advice includes; service agreements; sale of goods; licensing; staff policies and employee terms. Guiding our clients on the best commercial results for them we effortlessly represent them and are proud of them and to have been reported in the Legal 500 as providing ‘thoughtful negotiation and fantastic advice’.
Very recent deals include the sale of Rain Communications to Four; the acquisition by NPD Group in the US of Counter Intelligence Retail in the UK – we have also closed the acquisition of Vertical Leap by Sideshow; advised on the acquisition of the development site at Derrys department store; refinanced a £6m property portfolio; issued a fixed interest bond for the retail market; worked for the recipients on various fundings into TV production companies by Greenbird Media and BBC Worldwide
After starting his career as an in-house, cross border and commercial lawyer at the multi-national company GKN, Michael joined the London office of US firm Dorsey and Whitney. There he created and led the venture capital team, becoming recognised as a leading UK VC lawyer by Chambers. His practice evolved into acting for many of the technology-focussed portfolio companies and he joined the Chicago firm McDermott Will and Emery, again as a London partner, expanding that practice to include corporate venture and hedge fund transactions. He is an excellent investment and commercial lawyer, specialising in tech-related businesses, from IT and infrastructure to SaaS-based companies to digital marketing and creative agencies to positioning and AI technologies. Michael travels frequently to clients in the US and Europe.
Saverio specialises in various aspects of corporate law and capital markets such as MBO, MBI, leverage finance, EIS-SEIS fund, capital raising, joint ventures, restructurings, venture capital, structured finance and IPO. He has assisted a wide range of corporate clients, investors and managers in a large variety of transactions.
Saverio has broad international experience in M&A and private equity investments in Asia, USA and Europe across different industries including distribution and retail, software, real estate, aerospace & transportation, media, leisure and alternative and renewable energy.
Saverio is fluent in English, Greek and Italian and intermediate in Spanish and Chinese.
Victoria is our lovely trainee – not only is she super clever she is also super smiley and a champion rower – often first at the office having already rowed a few nautical miles.
James is a corporate and commercial lawyer with twenty years’ experience. Having spent ten years at Freshfields, he went on to partnership roles at mid-City and West End firms before joining Newlawslegal. He has also worked at a major firm in New York. James specialises in corporate and corporate finance work, acting for both companies and brokers. He advises on AIM and full listings, public company takeovers and mergers, private acquisitions and disposals, corporate restructuring and general corporate matters. James has acted for clients in a wide range of sectors, including media and entertainment, renewable energy, property investment funds, venture capital trusts, retail, industrial and financial services.
Milena Sena is a skilled corporate lawyer whose practice focuses on the world of business, construction, reconstruction and insolvency law. Milena is bilingual English Portugese.
Joy qualified at RPC in the 1990s and is a contentious solicitor specialising in commercial and property litigation. Joy identifies and works to clients’ commercial objectives to secure a positive outcome. Well versed in conducting highly complex high value litigation her approach and commercial acumen have widened her practice to providing risk management advice and driving business strategy. Admired for her clarity of advice and direct approach while navigating difficult and often emotive waters Joy is well respected for her legal skills. Joy practices from offices in Manchester and London but travels outside of the UK regularly for business and pleasure.
Tessa Laws is a qualified lawyer with almost twenty years’ City legal experience working on flotations, investments and mergers in London, the UK and abroad. She provides hands-on commercial advice and guidance to a wide range of clients; from individuals to institutions. Recent indentures have been focused on areas of renewable energy and media; advising management teams on share sales and acquisitions, public companies on their mergers, investment vehicles on their investments and individuals on their business structures.
A longstanding proponent of renewable energy, Tessa has assisted companies in the wind energy, solar and waste and she helped in creating the New Energy Awards in 2007.
In media, Tessa owns Franklin Rae PR Limited, the TV public relations provider, and she has advised on numerous independent TV production company disposals and acquisitions together with substantial disposals of marketing services, studio and advertising interests and investments in on and offline print.
Tess is also the non executive chairman of Bagir – an Israeli clothing manufacturer listed on the AIM Market in London.
Tessa also provides management consultancy services via an unregulated entity which assists in fundraising for companies and individuals.
Verbs became nouns when hashtags took on a life of their own.
The verb was the “doing word” – the link allowing a user to search for a topic or thread relevant to the discussion he or she may be viewing or taking part in, whether on Twitter or elsewhere.
A useful link too, if one wanted to see what other information and thoughts were out there on the topic in hand.
Stylistically it was a winner too – the simple application of the # prefix to a word or phrase. And that simple format quickly led to its use multiplying to an extraordinary degree. Using social media now, as a tool for disseminating or seeking information or views, almost always involves the hashtag link.
And that link has become an item in its own right – one that we can all create.
If the words haven’t been used before in a particular sequence, go for it – precede them with # and you have your own hashtag.
Easy – but what have you created?
Let’s think about brands and businesses. They want to create a marketable asset – a searchable link to a brand topic or marketing campaign. A succinct and relevant way of selling.
And by using hashtags in that manner the question arises as to how that business can protect and/or ring-fence its newly created asset for the better exploitation of the brand in question.
Is it really IP in the first place?
The increasing use of hashtags by businesses is another way of using a recognisable word or expression to identify that business’ products or services – in other words it’s a trade mark.
Sell a car, promote your perfume, make that fizzy drink relevant to a defined audience – combine trends with products – engage with a communication form that inserts your company into the medium where the buyers are looking, thinking, discussing.
Businesses are not the only recognisers of this benefit – so too governments and global organisations.
The United Nations recently published a report on “Hashtag Standards for Emergencies” – a rallying cry to embrace the hashtag to help focus relief aid in emergency situations. It went further though – suggesting that such hashtags be standardised, becoming recognisable and therefore better usuable in an emergency.
So – a disaster gets its own hashtag – here’s the link to the imminent earthquake, the volcanic eruption, the tsunami; so too the platform for the public to add their local and up-to-date knowledge of the unfolding crisis – where’s safe for now, who’s providing shelter, who’s in trouble; and, perhaps most critically, a hashtag linking to the emergency response needs.
A social media triage.
Limited of course by the very nature of the medium – it needs access by enough people to a reliable internet source, it needs decent GPS, it needs power – but a potentially crucial and real-time aid in an emergency.
And all the better for that access being via a standardised recognisable hashtag – the trademark.
So, whether you’re trying to sell fruit juice or provide water to a starving population, you’ll want to consider whether that trade mark is worth protecting. And to protect a trade mark one should try to register it.
Trade marks and hashtags
More cheese anyone?
If a business already has a registered trademark then it seems entirely consistent that the adding of a hash symbol to that trademark would likewise be protected. In other words the hashtag equivalent would not lose that protection – and why should it? It is not a newly distinctive element that changes the trademark – in the same way that the suffix approach – adding a “.com” for example – is considered protected to the same extent as its trademark phrase.
So, should a company bother with the costs and expense of attempting to register the hashtag as a separate trademark?
Last year, a UK cheese business – Wyke Farms – successfully registered as a trademark its hashtag “#freecheesefriday”. Its campaign (a weekly cheese competition) had become so popular that the phrase lent recognisability to the product.
Its Managing Director was quoted as saying that, “We have seen numerous benefits – increased brand recognition, improved brand loyalty, improved sales and smarter customer insight. This is why we decided it was time to protect our brand by trade marking our competition.”
He took the view that the creation of a recognisable and valuable brand not only justified protection, it warranted registration – and thus extend its control over the manner in which the trademark was used and distributed on social media.
Will other businesses now more readily follow suit? We have seen some do so – and in so doing we’re reminded of the process itself.
In making a trademark application for a hashtag the criteria are the same as for a non-hashtag version of that mark – in other words, the Intellectual Property Office will disregard the prefix and assess in the normal way whether the mark is sufficiently distinctive for the applicant’s products or services. And, as in the Wyke Farms case, it may that that mark’s use in social media campaigns lends weight to that distinctiveness.
Will it be worth it?
A registered trademark still needs to be protected – effectively by the owner in actively enforcing its rights.
With the use of a registered hashtag trademark the question is widened to accommodate the very nature of that hashtag – it’s still really a verb after all – it still has a usefulness in linking communication threads, a usefulness that the owner presumably wants to promote. So, its use per se is not the issue – assuming of course that its use complies with the social media sites’ own trademark policies!
The issue is when a third party uses that hashtag to attempt to promote their own products or services. At which point the owner needs to assert its rights and control the misuse; except of course that the very nature of social media, and the creative nature of marketing within that forum, makes that control less easy by the need to be extra vigilant.
Essentially the costs and expense, both of registration and of continued protection, will be a decision taken on balance by each business, perhaps weighing up the attraction of a registered right against the often ephemeral nature of any social media campaign.
Great is the sun, and wide he goes
Through empty heaven with repose;
And in the blue and glowing days
More thick than rain he showers his rays.
Though closer still the blinds we pull
To keep the shady parlour cool,
Yet he will find a chink or two
To slip his golden fingers through.
The dusty attic spider-clad
He, through the keyhole, maketh glad;
And through the broken edge of tiles
Into the laddered hay-loft smiles.
Meantime his golden face around
He bares to all the garden ground,
And sheds a warm and glittering look
Among the ivy’s inmost nook.
Above the hills, along the blue,
Round the bright air with footing true,
To please the child, to paint the rose,
The gardener of the World, he goes.
(by Robert Louis Stevenson)
We have been busy working on a veritable cornucopia of deals:
Set out below is a group of companies and individuals with whom we work on a regular basis and who complement our services.
LawsConsulting provides strategic advice predominantly to media and renewable energy businesses. The consultancy aims to help businesses grow by introducing a full back and front office service including administration, strategic growth, branding, access to funding and management.
LawsConsulting draws on specialist expertise for business planning; preparing forecasts; helping with key recruitment; brand building and strategy and ultimately, introducing potential funders.
Tessa Laws is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. Endeavour Ventures Limited, 41 Devonshire Street, W1G 7AJ. Registered in England and Wales 05244123. Registered office 9-13 St Andrew Street, London EC4A 3AF.