Founding Director and IP Solicitor
Elizabeth Ward is the Founder and Principal of Virtuoso Legal, having established the firm in 2007. Elizabeth has operated as a leading international intellectual property solicitor for over 30 years.
Elizabeth has an academic background in science and prior to founding Virtuoso Legal worked for a number of international law firms where she specialised exclusively in IP.
Elizabeth did note, however, that intellectual property was neglected within larger firms and that there was an opportunity for a commercially-focused and technical IP specialist practise to enter the market.
Elizabeth now leads a team of uniquely talented specialists who offer some of the most straight-forward, transparent and impactful intellectual property strategy available today. Elizabeth has been sought after for comment on intellectual property issues from the BBC, Forbes and MSNBC.
- Consecutively ranked as “Leader in their Field” by Chambers and Partners for over a decade
- Recognised by media outlets such as the BBC and Forbes as a “go-to” IP expert
- Owner of Ted, the office dog and Virtuoso Legal official mascot
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Kirsten is Vice Principal and head of the commercial department at Virtuoso Legal. She joined Virtuoso Legal in October 2007 and has over 20 years experience advising on Intellectual Property, IT and commercial matters. She is recognised as an elite expert in her field and is widely sought after for being “highly commercial”.
Kirsten advises clients on the protection, management and enforcement of IP rights as well as licensing and other commercial exploitation. This includes drafting and negotiation of commercial agreements.
Kirsten is particularly valued by clients for her ability to work in partnership with key stakeholders, developing impactful legal strategy, enabling rapid and safe business growth.
- BSc (Hons) in Molecular Biology at the University of Manchester
- Dual qualified to practice law in the UK and Australia
- Balances a busy life as a solicitor with two young children and a sausage dog!
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Razvan Popa LLM
Razvan joined Virtuoso Legal in September 2018 after two successful work experience stints in 2016 and 2018. Razvan graduated from Coventry University with a 1st class degree in Law and completed a Masters in European Law (Merit) – writing his dissertation on the likely changes to UK Copyright Law following Brexit.
- Collaborated with the European Commission and the University of Nottingham in research assistance on the implementation of EU Design law in Romania
- Assisted the European Commission in collaboration with a company based in Austria in relation to the protection of databases in Romania
- Razvan has also been a member of the European Youth Parliament – where he fine-tuned his political aspirations. Razvan loves to travel, experience new places and meeting new people.
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Trainee Trade Mark Attorney
Rahema Hussain is a trainee trade mark attorney, having joined the firm in February 2021. Rahema completed her law degree and LPC at the University of Huddersfield, moving on to train as a trade mark attorney in York and Oxford. Rahema will begin her course to fully in October 2021.
- Part qualified trade mark attorney with experience working with a range of different clients
- Prior experience specialising in IP at a multi-channel retailer.
- A life-long learner, Rahema is always looking for new things to learn and is also a budding painting enthusiast
Catherine Wynn is an associate solicitor at Virtuoso Legal. Catherine joined Virtuoso Legal in January 2021. Catherine received her LLB at the University of Law in Manchester via an accelerated 2-year course, following this with LPC LLM specialising in Intellectual Property and receiving a commendation.
- Has a key interest in trade mark applications and disputes, along with copyright matters.
- Received an MA in English Literatures from Keele University, with a focus on mental health in fiction.
- Catherine is also an amateur fiction writer and ardent cinema-goer in her spare time.
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Ellie Wilson LLM
Ellie combines in-depth legal knowledge of intellectual property law with extensive experience and a personal approach. She read law at the University of Oxford and holds an LLM from the University of Edinburgh.
- Experience in providing legal and consultancy services and in relation to IP
- Background in policy relating to IP and technology [at the Law Commission], and university-level teaching at the University of Edinburgh and Kings College London
- “It don’t mean a thing if it ain’t got that swing” – in her spare time, Ellie dances the lindy hop!
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Hallam Whitehead LLM
Hallam joined Virtuoso Legal in September 2019, having previously enjoyed two successful work experience placements at the firm. Hallam gained a degree in Law prior to specialising in intellectual property on his Masters, focusing on the regulation of big data in his dissertation.
- Awarded a distinction on Intellectual Property LLM, studying areas such as Cyberlaw and IP management
- Began his training contract along with the Legal Practice Course (LPC) in February 2020
- Is an avid sports fan and long-suffering supporter of Leeds United
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Brand Protection Specialist
Kostas joined Virtuoso Legal in 2020 as IP and Brand Protection specialist. Kostas offers a broad range of competencies, with a background in trade mark watching, as well as online brand protection with some of the largest entities within the space. Kostas assists the legal team in offering a broader commercial view in relation to IP and Brand Protection as well as helping the Virtuoso Legal team continue to innovate and improve its Brand Protection services.
- Background in Linguistics and an MA in Translation from Surrey University, which got him his first job as a multilingual Trademark watcher and his consecutive career in IP.
- Has had the opportunity to work for top Brand Protection & IP services providers and as an in-house Brand Protection Manager for a global Law Firm.
- A Mental Health First Aider in the past which led to his involvement with mental health and his current training in counselling and psychotherapy.
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Melissa is Virtuoso Legal's cheerful receptionist. She looks after our phone calls and is the first point of contact for anyone giving our office a ring. Melissa loves connecting with our clients and makes sure our callers get through to the right member of staff.
- Melissa has over 10 years customer service and receptionist experience
- She's previously supported both small and large businesses (like Bank of America and easyJet)
- Outside of work, Melissa enjoys spending time with her two young children
Chris Thompson joined Virtuoso Legal in 2018 as the firm’s Finance Manager. Chris also assists the team in a range of other ways, in a broader general problem-solving capacity. Chris is beloved by the team for his “can do” attitude and positive outlook.
- Experienced background in printing for the legal sector, handling a range of confidential documents and collateral for law firms with a keen eye for detail.
- Currently undergoing an online degree in Computer Science at the OU.
- Over 6ft tall and currently training in Jiu Jitsu (a gentle giant, not to be messed with!)
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Martin Douglas Hendry
Digital Marketing Manager
Martin devises innovative communication and business development strategies to help businesses in need of IP expertise connect with Virtuoso Legal. He has an academic background in design, media production and psychology. Martin is also a qualified wine expert and tasting enthusiast.
- PhD from University of Leeds (2016), researching how smartphones have changed how people use photography
- Within 3 years at Virtuoso Legal rose to a management role within the firm
- Hobbyist conceptual photographer and long-distance runner
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Client Relationship Manager
Maria is Virtuoso Legal's client relationship manager, engaging with our clients on a day to day basis to make sure that they are looked after to the highest standard. Maria has worked in the legal profession for 39 years and is an associate member of The Institute of Trade Mark Attorney, with a raft of experience in trade mark formalities and maintenance working for large IP firms.
- In her spare time Maria is passionate about charity fund raising, supporting her local community and caring for her family.
- Strong track record in going above and beyond expectations for her clients.
- Powerful communicator with a host of experience working for small and large clients worldwide.
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