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Commercial law: How to advise innovative and evolving clients in Scotland

Date: 6th June 2018

Time: 09:00 - 13:30

Law Society of Scotland
Atria One
144 Morrison Street

This seminar will highlight the current legal developments and consider commercial issues vital to supporting and working with innovative industries and early stage technology companies as a Scottish lawyer in 2018.

Register by Monday 4 June to secure your place

3.5 hours verifiable CPD

Information, innovation, investment

Interested in clients who look to disrupt and shake up established business practices?

Revolutionary tech and start-up businesses face the common issues affecting the growth of a developing SME, combined with significant additional hurdles. From complex issues in cross border regulatory landscapes, competition, company structures and intellectual property including the data that drives their business, there are many challenges to navigate.


What are the evolving regulatory issues that matter to new data-enabled companies?

We will explore the new era of legal and commercial issues vital to supporting and working with innovative industries and early stage technology companies as a Scottish lawyer in 2018.

Join ground-breaking companies, such as astronautics and earth observation company – Astrosat to gain practical perspectives and hear expert legal speakers on their technical experiences.

  • Identify how to better support existing and potential forward-thinking clients
  • Distinguish core risks and opportunities to businesses at each stage of growth
  • Explore the impact new companies and their technologies have on contractual commercial matters, corporate, IP, and aspects of competition law
  • Ensure you are equipped with valuable knowledge on the latest legislative initiatives in trade secrets, open banking and intellectual property


This client focused seminar will suit all types of corporate and commercial lawyers, both in-house and in private practice, and competitive non-specialists with a keen interest in advising the new generation of emerging companies and clients in Scotland.

  • 09:00 - 09:40

    Registration and breakfast
  • Chair: Lesley Larg, Partner - Intellectual Property, Thorntons Law LLP

  • 09:50 - 10:10

    How many lawyers does it take to launch a rocket?

    •    First stage: Bringing lawyers in early
    •    Second stage: Mission planning for the day-to-day
    •    Upper stage: The future of the space industry for lawyers

    Steve Lee, CEO, Astrosat

    10:10 - 10:50

    Information: Data driven growth

    •    Working with evolving business, new clients, new business partners
    •    Company perspectives: What are the risks, frustrations or opportunities?
    •    Does the law manage to react and keep the pace with a company’s use of data or does technology move faster? •    Does over regulation risk stifling innovation?


    Natalia Sarnowska, Codebase
    Callum Murray, Founder and CEO, Amiqus
    Steve Lee, CEO, Astrosat

  • 10:50 - 11:30

    Innovation: Protecting creation and innovation: Recent developments in intellectual property          

    •    Intellectual Property – an overview and common funding pitfalls
    •    The Trade Secrets Directive
    •    Top 5 tips to protect your intellectual property

    Suzanne Wright, IP Manager, RBS

  • 11:30 - 11:50

    Refreshments and networking
  • 11:50 - 12:20

    Investment: Foundations in funding

    •   The Business Lifecycle

    •   Funding through the Lifecycle

    •   Funding Trends


    David Horne, Partner, Addleshaw Goddard

  • 12:20 - 13:00

    Horizon scanning: Access and use - a regulatory framework for data driven business

    •    Whose responsibility is it anyway? The big data, data-protection and hipster anti-trust stand-off explained
    •    Platform access issues and the net neutrality debate
    •    Open data and future connected cities in Scotland
    •    Open banking: Legal issues and the Scottish FinTech sector


    Siobhan Kahmann, Senior Associate, Covington, Brussels
    Jim Tonner, Stirling Council, Open Data project & 8th City Data Cluster programme
    Neil Campbell, Managing Legal Counsel, RBS Legal Services

    13:00 - 13:15

    Closing remarks: Emerging commercial practice and the future


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