It is not easy for start-ups and other small businesses to obtain affordable specialist advice on intellectual property. Small businesses actually tend to pay more than big companies do for specialist advice because they rarely employ their own in-house lawyers or patent attorneys, they lack the bargaining power of big companies to negotiate favourable rates for specialist advice and many of the professional advisors who assist them in other matters are on a learning curve in respect of intellectual property.

We try to help by identifying specialists who share our mission of bringing specialist professional services within reach of those who need them most but can often afford them least. These include patent and trade mark attorneys, specialist litigators and counsel but also non-lawyers such as brand consultants, product design consultants and marketeers. We group them in panels, some of which are occupational such as panels of patent attorneys and barristers, others functional such as supervising solicitors and domain name specialists and others regional such as “IP Yorkshire” and “IP Northwest”.

All our panellists subscribe to our Panel Listing Rules which require them to share our mission of bringing high quality specialist services within reach of those who usually need them most and can often afford them least.  Each panellist must

(1)        be in good standing with his or her profession;

(2)        be able to show above average professional competence, knowledge and experience in his or her area of practice;

(3)        have, or have access to, all necessary offline and online reference materials

(4)        have, or have access to, all the equipment, software and other resources needed to deliver his or her professional services efficiently;

(5)        maintain sufficient professional negligence insurance to cover any reasonably foreseeable claims for negligence; and

(6)        be personally committed to our mission.

In addition, we expect panellists to:

(7)        deliver professional services to clients who are referred to him or her by NIPC on his or her best terms;

(8)        develop his or her skills and extend his or her knowledge and experience through continuing professional development training or otherwise;

(9)        investigate and if necessary redress any complaint or grievance that NIPC may refer to him or her.

Every panellist’s membership will be reviewed at least once a year and he or she may be listed for non-compliance with the rules.

Links to our panels appear in our side bar.   Members of the public can approach a panellist direct or instruct us to negotiate a package of services tailored to the client’s needs at the best possible rate with one or more of the panellists.   If you wish to instruct us to do that, please call or email Jill Hayfield on 0800 862 0055.