In the first of our new series of MHC Life interviews, to find out more about our team, we chat with Gerard Kelly, Head of Intellectual Property. Gerry gives us an insight into why he picked law and amongst other things his growing whiskey collection.
1) What inspired you to venture on this career path?
I studied Law and Accounting in university and whilst I was quite good on the accountancy side, I always had a preference for the law. I started my legal training in Landwell, which was the correspondent law firm for PWC so the fit was right and I also qualified in tax. However, it was the area of IP law that always had my interest in both studying and work; I just find how the area interacts with so much of what we do really interesting whether it is a branding issue around a retailer's name to who is liable for copyright issues on the Internet.
2) Three things you have learned during your time in MHC?
1, 2, and 3 - Not all law firms are the same and how important it is to be in a firm with a great culture and attitude in putting the client first in everything we do!
3) Favourite thing about your role?
I like the strategy behind the practice of law and trying to anticipate what the other side will do and coming up for solutions around that. It drives the advice my team provides and we all like what we do. That's pretty important for litigators in particular and clients appreciate advice that seeks to guide the process. It's also pretty satisfying in being able to call it right in advance most of the time!
4) What sports/hobbies/pastimes do you enjoy?
I play badminton at a competitive level in the Dublin league and cups and have more recently taken up cycling – I think cycling is the new golf; it's quite social and I'll be cycling with some friends and colleagues at an upcoming IP conference in Boston in May. It's a great way to catch up in an informal way and actually see a conference city in a bit of depth. The exercise isn't too bad either.
5) One thing most people don't know about you?
I collect whiskey particularly bourbon. I did the Kentucky Bourbon trail in 2018 and visited quite a lot of bourbon distilleries. A great part of the US and I have the T-shirt to prove it! Needless to say I always have a keen interest in representing food and beverage clients in their trade mark protection and enforcement strategies.
Managing IP Awards Win & Upcoming INTA Conference
Earlier in March, the team won two awards at the prestigious Managing IP Awards for Ireland in trade mark litigation and copyright respectively. We were recently in London for the awards ceremony which was a great occasion to catch up with IP lawyers from across Europe that we work with regularly. The awards which are based on peer and client review are a great acknowledgement for the complex work we are doing for clients and the client satisfaction on outcomes. As far as conferences are concerned I will be in Boston in May for the INTA conference which is a staple in the annual diary for IP lawyers around the world. Over 10,000 lawyers attend so it's speed dating for the IP profession.