Lawyer Profile

Panel Lawyer

Alex Shiel

Ward Hadaway
Partner- Head of IP/IT
IP, Contracts, Start-ups, Media Law


Lawyer Biography


Alex is head of the Intellectual Property and Information Technology (IP/IT) team at Ward Hadaway and helps clients to protect, develop, exploit and enforce their ideas and new technology using intellectual property rights, commercial agreements such as research and development contracts, technology licences and collaboration agreements and, in the case of disputes, through taking or defending court action.

Alex also works with clients who supply or purchase IT systems, develop or license software, do business over the internet and work in the creative industries, such as creating Apps, games, multimedia content and websites.

He is responsible for the supervision and management of the dedicated trademark and design registration and management service, which is run by the unit.

An increasing area of Alex’s work involves acting for creative industries businesses, in particular in the fashion, digital media, film and publishing industries.

Alex has over 15 years’ experience of advising clients of all sizes in all aspects of intellectual property and information technology.

He advises a number of multi-national companies, plcs and public sector bodies and has a wide expertise in handling complex transactions, including research and development contracts, IT systems and telecoms agreements, technology licensing contracts and international collaboration agreements.

He acts for start-ups and spin-out businesses. He has recently acted for the University of Newcastle upon Tyne in connection with the spinning out of a number of new companies.

Alex provides business support and mentoring advice to start up companies which are supported through programs run by organisations such as Teesside University, Digital Union and Newcastle Science City.

He has a particular specialism in dealing with trade mark and branding issues and acts for several well known brands. His work includes advising on strategic brand management, international protection of brands and trade mark opposition and infringement proceedings.

Alex was recently involved in a reported High Court case which involved an appeal from a Trade Mark Registry decision.


Clients include Wilkinson Sword, SCS Sofas, Imperial Pharmaceuticals, Newcastle Science City, the University of Newcastle, the writers of Viz Comic and Emtelle Group.

“We chose Ward Hadaway because we needed proper advice from people who are used to innovation and new ideas. I was keen to talk to Alex [Shiel] and his team because I know they are genuine specialists in dealing with innovation and new concepts and their help has proved invaluable.”

Graham Rankin, Founder, Madeinnations

“It is absolutely right what they say, ‘you get what you pay for’ and ‘surround yourself with the best people’ because Alex is definitely up there with the best.” –

Darren Williams, Company Director, Harland Corporation Ltd; North East Young Business Person of the Year 2010, David Goldman Young Entrepreneur of the Year 2010, National Award Winner – Technology Category 2010 – British Chambers of Commerce.

Market/ press/Legal 500 coverage:

“Alex Shiel is ‘very professional, knowledgeable, approachable and efficient’.” – Legal 500

“The volume and range of work handled… by Alex Shiel stands out.” – Legal 500

“Sources are quick to applaud Alex Shiel for the pragmatism of his advice as well as for his depth of knowledge.” – Chambers & Partners

“One source says Alex Shiel is ‘very approachable and friendly,’ adding: ‘He made me feel at ease.’ He is routinely engaged on contractual agreements for collaborations and joint ventures, licensing and branding.” – Chambers & Partners

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