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Exclusive: Keltie loses first partner to ‘transformative’ IP firm

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Azhar Sadique (left) and Kane Ridley will head up the UK office

Azhar Sadique will join the London office of IP consultancy Brandit, which will use a new tech platform and encourage an enhanced role for paralegals

Intellectual property firm Brandit will this week set up a UK office that is founded by senior lawyers from Keltie, including the first partner ever to leave the firm, Managing IP can reveal.

Brandit will also unveil a new technology platform, which will be rolled out across its European offices and which the firm hopes will transform client management.

Based in the St Katharine Docks area of London, the UK office will be headed by Azhar Sadique and Kane Ridley, Keltie’s trademarks lead. Sadique is the first partner ever to leave Keltie.

Sadique will join as a director of brand innovation, while Ridley will be a partner-paralegal and director of brand operations.

Brandit says it aims to make further hires, including technology-focused executives and developers, and will challenge the traditional law firm model that is built around achieving equity partner and where partners are the primary decision makers.

Sadique told Managing IP: “Our vision is to launch solutions that will completely change the way we engage with our clients, providing a continuously adaptive IP platform that removes the need for outsourcing of legal coverage and empowers clients to drive their businesses forward without the burden of unnecessarily heavy legal spend.

"What we have planned will transform the way IP owners and legal professionals navigate and engage with the IP market and will provide the freedom brand owners want in supercharging their portfolios.”

The platform is the result of five mergers and planned future acquisitions.

Paralegal expansion

Ridley said his partner-paralegal role should kick-start a new approach to traditional partnerships.

“Paralegals and support staff are the engines of any business. They are super-talented individuals that cover a wide range of roles,” he said.

“We plan to do this on an entirely different level combining these amazing people with best-in-class tech to serve the client in a new way.”

Jesper Knudsen, CEO and founder of Brandit, said of the deal: “To be able to make a change and to challenge the industry it’s all about having the right people onboard. With Azhar and Kane, we not only get two of the most talented people in the industry, but we also get people that know what it takes to fulfil the very ambitious goals we have.

“They are a perfect fit, and we are looking forward to continuing to attract high-level people with the same profile.”

It’s been a busy period for Brandit. In February, the firm announced its merger with Swedish brand protection company Ports Group. The combined outfit has 12 offices in Europe, Turkey, and now the UK.

Keltie was founded more than 30 years ago by IP lawyer David Keltie. It has 17 partners and offices in the UK and Ireland. The firm also has a sister firm called K2, a virtual outfit.

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