Former life scientist Dr Julie Nixon PhD joins firm as senior intellectual property solicitor
Law firm Morton Fraser has enhanced its intellectual property (IP) expertise with the appointment of Dr Julie Nixon as a senior solicitor in its corporate team.
Nixon’s appointment sees Morton Fraser become Scotland’s only law firm to boast two IP lawyers with PhDs. She joins Dr Peter Galloway as Morton Fraser’s second IP specialist with a scientific background.
According to the firm, her appointment comes as demand for Morton Fraser’s IP advice from the life sciences and engineering sectors continues to increase. In her new role she will be responsible for advising clients on IP and commercial contracts, including IP protection and commercialisation, e-commerce and IT agreements, as well as on corporate matters.
Austin Flynn, partner and head of Morton Fraser’s Corporate Division, said: “Attracting someone with Julie’s scientific expertise and experience is a huge boost to our corporate team. Having two IP lawyers with scientific backgrounds gives us the ability to offer clients a unique and multifaceted service.
“Building a team of experienced and commercially minded lawyers such as Julie and Peter is invaluable to us and, in turn, our clients. When talking to academics it’s important to be able to speak their language. We’re confident Julie will prove to be an exceptional addition to the team.”
Nixon holds a PhD in Molecular Biology and Genetics from the University of Edinburgh. She joins Morton Fraser from MBM Commercial in Edinburgh, where she completed her traineeship in 2014. Prior to joining MBM, she was a post-doctoral research assistant at Harvard University, while colleague Peter Galloway has a PhD in Physics from Oxford University and worked as a research scientist before switching to law.
Nixon said: “I am thrilled to be joining Morton Fraser, a law firm that understands that clients, particularly those in science and engineering sectors, want more from their lawyers than just legal advice.
“My background in scientific research is particularly helpful when it comes to drafting contracts and understanding the wider commercial context of IP exploitation. I hope to enhance further Morton Fraser’s reputation and offering in this area and I can’t wait to get started.”
Morton Fraser says its Corporate Division has also been strengthened by the recent appointment of Callum Murray as a senior associate.
A former trainee and solicitor with the firm, Murray has more than 10 years’ experience advising clients on a full spectrum of corporate and commercial matters, and re-joins the firm after periods spent working in private practice in Dubai and in Aberdeen.
Murray has particular expertise in early and mid-stage investment transactions, having built up considerable experience acting for investors, investees, founders and management teams on leveraged and non-leveraged investment transactions. As well as his corporate work, Murray advises on IP and commercial contracts.
In the law industry’s influential Legal 500 rankings announcement recently, Morton Fraser’s Corporate Division was ranked in tier two, rising from tier four in 2015. The team is made up of five partners, three senior associates, four senior solicitors, a company secretary, a professional support lawyer and two trainees across Morton Fraser’s Edinburgh and Glasgow offices.
The firm advises predominantly owner-managed SME businesses on corporate acquisitions, disposals, funding and restructurings. It also helps entrepreneurs with forming businesses (start-ups and spin-outs), and has expertise in crowdfunding and establishing investment funds.