Scottish solicitor Fiona Nicolson is to become president of the global intellectual property organisation Licensing Executives Society International (LESI).

Ms Nicolson, a partner with law firm Bristows LLP, London, will be the first European woman and first Scot to head the international organisation, created in 1974 and now comprising over 9,000 members in 90 countries. Her term of office begins on 26 May during LESI’s annual international conference in Yokohama, Japan. She will remain president until the conference in May 2020 in Berlin.

Headquartered in Washington DC, LESI works in the Americas, Asia, Africa, and Europe to educate businesses and professionals about intellectual property, assessing its value and working towards setting agreed standards for the management of intellectual property rights.

Ms Nicolson commented: "I’m delighted to become president of an organisation which I have been actively involved with for over 20 years. The increasing importance of intellectual property can be seen every day as businesses seek to retain the inherent value in their companies.

"During my tenure, LESI will be working to ensure that all sizes of companies, from the major corporates through to the emerging startups, are able to push forward with their strategies for IP and commercialisation.

"We are all about educating business about the importance of IP, creating international networks for our members, and we are working toward the standardisation of IP management across the globe."

She is also keen to involve more women in licensing and IP: "Only a third of our members around the globe are women and I see it as my role to encourage more women to become involved with licensing and commercialisation. In Yokohama we will be launching our Women in Licensing Alliance, to bring more women to the fore in this constantly fascinating and burgeoning professional sphere and to increase diversity generally in our organisation."