What I’ve Learnt: Jill Dovey

April 3, 2019

Jill Dovey is a commercial lawyer at Muckle LLP and leads the law firm’s digital and technology legal advice. Jill is an expert in subscription terms and conditions and data protection and has shared a stage with the ICO to discuss GDPR at national events. Before joining Muckle, she was an in-house lawyer at global software giant Sage PLC

Build a network. There’s lots of help and support available out there, so use it! Don’t be afraid to ask people for their advice or opinions so you can learn from their mistakes and benefit from their experiences. Professional advisors, such as lawyers and accountants, have fabulous networks you can tap into.

You can’t do everything yourself so get the right team around you. Hire the right people, at the right time, then make sure you use their skills and delegate appropriately to ensure they add value. These could be employees, independent advisors, contractors, non-execs etc.

Take time to reflect on what you’ve achieved and plan what’s next. It’s too easy to get bogged down in delivering the daily tasks and bypass the long-term strategy.

Don’t undervalue the importance of the terms and conditions of your business. You might think you can’t afford or don’t need lawyers to draft them. You might try doing it yourself or ‘borrow’ from a competitor or another set of terms found online. In fact t’s and c’s are often the most important document in a business. They set out your payment terms, limit your liability/exposure and apportion risk versus reward. Getting these right is crucial and needs expert input.

Consider your intellectual property rights. Businesses often don’t own all the intellectual property rights in their websites, mobile apps or other tech solutions. This can be a major problem when the core value of a business is wrapped up in these assets. Copyright automatically vests in the creator, so in the case of source code that’s the developer who created it. There is a specific legal process to transfer intellectual property rights including copyright – involving lawyers in this process is essential. Before investing lots of time, money and effort into creating and promoting a new brand, always do your research to reduce the risk that it might be challenged later on. A simple internet search to ensure no one in your industry is using the same or a similar name is a great starting point, as well as looking on Companies House and the UK Intellectual Property Office.

Establish a common vision, strategy and principles for your business so that everyone is driving towards the same destination in the manner you expect. Make sure that vision is constantly evolving to remain relevant, innovative and ahead of the competition. Our firm has just launched the Muckle Way, which is all about setting the compass for our business and articulates our core values of: trust; teamwork; responsibility; and care.

Muckle LLP
0191 211 7972/07515577534

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