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Brexit: IP and employment law ramifications

We asked experts in the field of design law and HR to explore the potential ramifications of the EU Brexit referendum result on intellectual property rights and employment law.

Darrell Stuart-Smith of Humphries Kirk LLP says, “Since the Brexit vote we have continued to work directly with a number of design/creative studio clients and also to take calls from DBA members under the free consultancy service. Whilst it feels like business as usual in that clients and members are calling us with the usual problems concerning contracts, intellectual property, staff etc, when you scratch the surface things are not quite as serene. My colleagues are already taking a range of calls, which although seem to be precautionary, indicate there is an expectation that there may be far reaching consequences to the EU Referendum result.”

If you are in need of legal advice, don’t forget the DBA’s legal support helpline is free to use for DBA members. It puts you directly in touch with Humphries Kirk Solicitors who understand the design industry and the complexity of client relations.

You can benefit from half an hour of advice on a particular topic and this service is available on an unlimited basis, so long as you query a different subject each time. Give Darrell Stuart-Smith a call on 01305 251 007 or email him at

What does Brexit mean for business?

In regards to intellectual property rights, Richard Burton, Senior Associate, Trade Mark Attorney, at D Young & Co LLP outlines that, “There is no immediate or imminent change to the scope, effectiveness and enforceability in the UK of EU intellectual property rights which cover designs, brands and patents.

However, following the UK’s departure from the EU, it is likely these rights will no longer be effective in the UK. It is anticipated that transitional provisions will be introduced, enabling businesses to re-register national UK rights to co-exist alongside EU rights.

During this transitional period, we are recommending that clients review their current protection and consider filing separate UK national applications alongside any existing EU rights in order to provide greater long term certainty.”

Since the UK electorate voted to leave the EU, the DBA’s business support partner Croner has been receiving calls from clients concerned about the short and long term impact on their business. What will happen to those who employ foreign workers? Will red tape and legislation be simpler? In this briefing paper Croner considers the impact on employment and health & safety law and offers advice to those businesses which currently employ foreign workers.

Download the briefing paper here.


DBA members have unlimited access to a helpline providing free HR, employment and general business telephone advice, information and guidance.

The service is operated by Croner Consulting and gives you immediate access to a team of highly experienced, professional consultants who can provide practical, reliable telephone advice. The consultants can provide help and guidance on a wide range of business issues.

Login to the Members’ area for full information and contact details.

For more information on DBA membership click here or contact Head of Services

Image credits: © Dimitry Kuznetsor


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