5 top tips for vetting your legal adviser

Not a popular topic to tackle.

1. Check for references.

There are many things one could do when looking for a legal adviser. Whether you have invented a new thing and are considering filing a patent application, or you simply need to get an opinion on whether to start legal proceedings, there’s a lot you can do. However, one of the simplest is to check for references. Just pick up the phone and call people who have had work done by the adviser or firm(s) you are considering. Like employee vetting, what the company, solicitor or attorney has done in the past will be a credible indicator of what future work will look like. It helps asking for at least two references. In any case, if you are going to be paying hundreds or a couple of thousand pounds for the work, it makes sense to know a little bit about them. The lawyer should have a track record and experience in undertaking whatever legal issue that you require doing. You should ask questions, although many firms use time billing, so keep these short and to a minimum so that attending to your questions does not take up too much of the lawyer’s time.


AI & IP: the problematic junctions


Unless you have been living in some remote cave the last few years, you must have noticed that there’s been a lot of talk about Artificial Intelligence (AI) lately. That’s not to say that you can’t find a Wi-Fi connection in a cave (It turns out you can), but amongst the hot topics last year, AI surely was up there with the likes of global warming, North Korea and the happenings of the Trump White House.

AI Talent attracts top dollar

2017 happened to be the year in which we learned that Tech companies across Silicon Valley and elsewhere were doling out upwards of US$300,000+ a year for top AI talent and machine learning “experts”, and that the pool of knowledge included University professors who seemingly abandoned their teaching roles for a piece of Silicon Valley.