Renowned Scots IP lawyer to lead global body

A lawyer described as one of the leading intellectual property (IP) legal advisers in the UK has been selected as the first-ever Scot to lead an influential global body on IP and commercialisation.

Nicolson previously led Maclay Murray & Spens' IP team in Glasgow. Picture: contributed.

Fiona Nicolson is a partner with City-based technology and life sciences law firm Bristows LLP whose clients include Google, AstraZeneca and Diageo.

She is taking over as president of Licensing Executives Society International (Lesi), which has more than 9,000 members in 90 countries.

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The organisation, based in Washington DC, works globally to educate businesses and professionals about intellectual property.

Nicolson is the first European woman to become its president, and said: “During my tenure, Lesi will be working to ensure that all sizes of companies, from the major corporates through to the emerging start-ups, 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.”

Her presidential tenure begins on 26 May during Lesi’s annual international conference in Yokohama in Japan, and will end in 2020.

Nicolson is described as being “instrumental” in developing the IP sector in Scotland. She worked on the predecessor of Dolly the Sheep at the Roslin Institute, for example, and before joining Bristows, was head of intellectual property practice at Maclay Murray & Spens, in Glasgow, a practice she was key in building, between 1993 and 2009.