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Team

We are really proud of our team.

We have brought together individuals with a wide variety of backgrounds, who all believe in our firm's approach to work and have a strong desire to help our clients achieve their goals. Our lawyers are commercially focussed with an in depth understanding of the industries in which they operate including IP law, IT and technology, commercial law and employment law.

Read the profiles of our solicitors below or visit the contact us page for further contact information.

Intellectual Property

Piers Strickland

Joint Head of Intellectual Property and Dispute Resolution

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Piers Strickland

Joint Head of Intellectual Property and Dispute Resolution

Piers has 20 years of experience in advising clients on all forms of intellectual property law including trade marks, copyright, patents, passing off and designs.  Piers also has extensive experience in the areas of confidential information and data protection.  In addition, he regularly advises clients on more general IT disputes, often relating to computer software.

Piers also has experience in competition law cases, particularly those that interface with intellectual property law. 

Piers services both international and UK-based clients with a broad ranging industry focus.

He has substantial experience of litigating in the High Court, including the Intellectual Property Enterprise Court.

He is routinely recommended by the leading global directories, Legal 500, Chambers, IP Stars, World Trade Mark Review, as follows:

  • an excellent IP solicitor with the ability to undertake demanding pieces of litigation” (World Trade Mark Review 2020)
  • “He is very responsive, always accessible, very focused on clients’ commercial imperatives and very tactically aware. He is simply a pleasure to work with, as are his colleagues” (World Trade Mark Review 2020).
  • 'strong across all areas including negotiation, strategic thinking and commercial awareness' (Chambers 2019).
  • 'very responsive' (Legal 500 2019).
  •  ‘first-rate litigator’ who is ‘robust and tough when necessary’ (Legal 500 2018).

Network with Piers Strickland here

Matthew Harris

Joint Head of Intellectual Property and Dispute Resolution

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Matthew Harris

Joint Head of Intellectual Property and Dispute Resolution

  • Ex-Herbert Smith and Norton Rose


Matthew trained at Herbert Smith and became a partner in its IP and IT department in 2000.  He joined Norton Rose in 2003 where he subsequently became the head of Intellectual Property and Information Technology dispute resolution. He joined Waterfront Solicitors in December 2008.

Matthew undertakes a wide range of intellectual property and information technology work but specialises in IP and IT litigation, advising and acting for clients that range from SME’s, to large multi-national companies. 

He currently sits on the Law Society’s Intellectual Property Law Committee, where for example he led the Law Society’s discussions with the Law Commission and gave evidence to the House of Lords in respect of what became the IP (Unjustified Threats) Act 2017.

For over 10 years Matthew was a visiting lecturer in Intellectual Property Law at the Eidgenössische Technische Hochschule Zürich.  Until recently he was a general editor of, the International Trademark Association's (INTA) Annual International Review of Trademark Jurisprudence and the chair of the INTA Amicus Sub-Committee. He appeared for the association  before the European Court of Justice in the high profile Nokia counterfeit goods case.

Matthew is an internationally recognised expert in domain name law and practice.  He has been appointed by WIPO, Nominet and the Czech Arbitration Court to decide domain name disputes, having decided over 400 cases to date.  

Matthew is on the London Solicitors Litigation Association list of Supervising Solicitors. 

Matthew has for many years been recognised as a “Leading Individual” in the field of Intellectual Property law in the Chambers & Partners Guide. In that guide he has been described as an "accomplished lawyer" and one peer is recorded as saying "For domain names and counterfeiting, he's got the best working knowledge of any solicitor that I know."  A client added: "He exhibits a strong sense of business knowledge that complements his industry-leading experience."   

Matthew’s patent expertise was recognised in the Legal 500 as long ago as 2006.  In the 2012 edition he is described as “Friendly, brilliant, direct, and able to think outside the box" and as someone who “provides the right advice on every occasion”. In 2013 the Legal 500 added that Matthew is “very bright, and exhibits a strong sense of business knowledge”. While in 2015 he is noted for being "extremely personable and engaging".

Network with Matthew Harris here

Phil Leonard

Specialises in intellectual property

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Phil Leonard

Specialises in intellectual property

 

Ex-Oury Clark

Phil moved to Waterfront in 2020 after training at a niche London practice, Oury Clark, where he worked closely with founders, entrepreneurs and SMEs in the technology and software sectors. Prior to his training contract Phil lived in Argentina as well as his native Manchester where he worked across the private, public and third sectors.

Phil is an Associate in the Intellectual Property and Disputes teams, assisting with litigation over intellectual property rights, and advising clients on a variety of other contentious and non-contentious matters including trademark and copyright infringement, keyword disputes and breach of contract.

With a keen interest in developing technologies, particularly blockchain/DLT, Phil is a member of the Society for Computers & Law, Tech London Advocates and IPSoc.

Network with Phil Leonard here

Maria-Elena Cacace

Associate

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Maria-Elena Cacace

Associate

Maria-Elena joined Waterfront in April 2021 and is an Associate in the Intellectual Property and Disputes teams where she assists with various contentious and non-contentious matters including design right, trademark and copyright infringement as well as commercial and patent disputes.

Prior to her training contract, Maria-Elena lived in her native South Africa and travelled globally, working in diverse sectors from industrial manufacturing to haute couture, assisting entrepreneurs with business development and brand management. She maintains her interest in fashion and luxury brands after studying art and design at Wimbledon School of Art, London College of Fashion and subsequently, luxury brand management. 

Maria-Elena is a member of the Society for Junior IP Practitioners (IPSOC) and A-Law, the UK Centre for Animal Law to further a better legal framework for animals.

Network with Maria-Elena Cacace here

Deeva Shah

Trainee Solicitor

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Deeva Shah

Trainee Solicitor

Deeva is a Trainee Solicitor and joined the Waterfront team in February 2020.

As a trainee, she has the opportunity to work in all the firm’s areas of practice simultaneously. She enjoys being able to be involved from the onset and finds it intellectually stimulating.

Prior to joining Waterfront, she was a paralegal in a boutique commercial law firm and later joined the in-house legal team at Jellycat, a soft toys company where she worked in brand protection and intellectual property.

Deeva completed her undergraduate degree at Keele University. She then moved to London to complete the LPC LLM at the University of Law.

Outside of work, she enjoys travelling and the outdoors. She is also passionate about learning languages and can speak Gujarati, Kiswahili and conversational German.

Network with Deeva Shah here

Chloe Vertigen

Trainee Solicitor

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Chloe Vertigen

Trainee Solicitor

Trainee Solicitor

Chloe studied law at the University of Winchester and graduated in October 2017. Following graduation she started as a part-time Office Assistant at Waterfront, supporting fee earners across the departments with administration tasks. She started full-time in March 2019.

Alongside working at Waterfront, Chloe undertook her LLM Legal Practice Course at the University of Law, Bloomsbury, graduating in November 2019 with a Commendation. She gained legal experience whilst assisting fee earners at Waterfront with paralegal tasks.  

Chloe started her training contract in February 2020 and helps fee earners across our four departments.

Network with Chloe Vertigen here