One of the North of England’s leading specialists in IT law has received national recognition for his expertise in the field and acclaim for his work to help SMEs in the technology sector negotiate with major corporates and financial institutions.
Paul Berwin, who is listed by Chambers UK as one of the North of England’s leading IT lawyers and a prominent expert in intellectual property law, is one of the first solicitors in the country to have gained top level accreditation from the Society of Computers and Law.
Mr Berwin, managing director of Harrogate law firm Berwins, has been working with businesses at the cutting edge of technology and software development for 15 years and his firm has developed a national reputation for its expertise in this niche area of law, dealing with clients across the UK and in America, Australia, Far East, Australia, Israel and Finland.
“Our client base has grown significantly since 2009 and IT related work is now a major part of our business,” he said.
“Berwins specialises in working with SMEs in the software development, licensing and website sectors and we negotiate on their behalf with the major corporates and financial institutions they do business with,” he explained.
“We help them punch above their weight and hold their own in what are often aggressive discussions with top level international lawyers.”
Mr Berwin and his colleague Claire Armer, a fellow member of the Society of Computer Law, work closely with IT clients and are involved with a number of specialist regional industry groups including Harrogate Digital, Agile Yorkshire and Think Yorkshire Software Development.
“Our work involves getting to know the businesses we work with very well,” explained Mr Berwin.
“Every software product is unique and is delivered differently so we need to understand how it operates and its applications.
“Being part of such a fast moving industry is exciting and intellectually challenging because of the necessity to understand the technology as well as the legal issues surrounding it.”
Mr Berwin said keeping up to date with the latest software developments was key to maintaining his firm’s position as a leader in its field and he recently attended a conference in London on Agile development, a new method of software design.
“It’s something I’m particularly interested in,” he explained. “Historically IT projects have a 70 per cent failure rate and part of this can be put down to traditional methods of developing software. All too often a business tells the developer what it wants, the software company goes away and designs something and the finished product doesn’t do the job the business intended it to do.”
He monitors developments in Agile methodology and feeds back to fellow members of the digital communities he’s linked with in the North of England.
“Information technology is a significant growth area for Berwins that will involve our employment and dispute resolution lawyers as well as our commercial team as we continue to expand our client base nationally and internationally,” he said.
Photography by www.gilesrocholl.com