Glasgow IP firm Murgitroyd seals takeover of 100-year-old UK peer

Murgitroyd, the Glasgow-headquartered intellectual property business, has further bolstered its UK presence with the acquisition of a Leeds-based peer founded more than a century ago.

The addition of UDL Intellectual Property follows the Scots group’s recent acquisition of Irish IP practice, Hanna Moore + Curley.

UDL is headquartered in Leeds, with offices in Bristol, Cardiff, London, Milton Keynes, and Newcastle, and specialises in the preparation, filing and prosecution of patents and trade marks, representing clients before the UK, European and international intellectual property offices.

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The firm has a total of 80 staff, including 12 partners, and all staff will remain with the enlarged business.

Chief executive Gordon Stark: 'This is a significant step forward in enhancing the scale and reach of Murgitroyd in the UK and strengthens our overall presence in Europe.' Picture: Peter Devlin

The deal - terms of which have not been disclosed - creates one of the largest IP practices in the UK and Europe, increasing Murgitroyd’s headcount to 440 and reinforcing its position as a major consolidator in the international IP sector.

Chief executive Gordon Stark said: “This is a significant step forward in enhancing the scale and reach of Murgitroyd in the UK and strengthens our overall presence in Europe.

“UDL has an excellent reputation for advising innovative companies and its focus on legal excellence, deep sector knowledge and strategically focused, pragmatic advice will complement Murgitroyd’s client-centred approach.

“Like Murgitroyd, UDL’s people are at the heart of its business and our strong cultural alignment will ensure that the teams are stronger together, creating a more compelling and attractive client offering.”

He added: “This advances our strategic ambitions, as we continue to grow Murgitroyd through a blend of organic development and carefully selected additions, to create the European leader in IP professional and support services.

“This growth will enhance our client capabilities and the associated scale enables us to support the IP needs of even the largest of businesses.”

Neil Pawlyn and Alison Simpson, managing partners from UDL said: “UDL can trace its roots back over 100 years, but innovation and development is key to our future, just like our clients. Joining Murgitroyd is an exciting step to the future.

“We have prided ourselves on the quality and depth of expertise we can share. Our strong personal client relationships have been a key differentiator.

“Joining forces with a company as passionate as we are about innovation and client success is what takes UDL Intellectual Property into the next chapter of our story, within Murgitroyd.”

Murgitroyd's intellectual property business was established in Glasgow in 1975. It now has 20 offices across the UK and European Union, two client liaison offices in the US and one in China, and also an office handling patent searching and docketing in Nicaragua.

The firm was previously listed on the stock market.

In September, bosses unveiled the takeover of Dublin-based Hanna Moore + Curley, which specialises in obtaining IP protection for sectors including life sciences, electronic and technology-led companies, while it also has a presence in China, which expands Murgitroyd’s global reach in the Far East.

Terms of the deal were not disclosed – and it was confirmed that the businesses’ Dublin offices will be consolidated with no loss of jobs, and receive investment to expand.

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