This week, we sit down with Alan Ritchie, our UK Marketing Manager, to learn what it's like to manage a team of busy marketers and BD professionals across the country.
What is your role at Marks & Clerk?
I report to the Marketing and BD Director and manage a team of marketers across Marks & Clerk’s UK offices. I’m involved in national initiatives relating to all areas of the marketing and BD mix for our sector groups and for firm-wide projects.
What might people be surprised to learn about the world of IP?
For many companies, their IP is their most valuable asset and the variety of organisations investing in its protection is huge: from start-ups to SMEs; from universities to global corporations.
When I first started here, I was surprised by the leverage IP can give to start-ups to defend their competitive position - and improving their chances of securing and maximising investment. Also, I hadn’t appreciated that IP is about generating revenue as well as investing in protection.
You’ve been with the firm for over fifteen years, what are your most memorable M&C moments from this time?
Although I’ve been here over 15 years, the firm’s been around a lot longer than that! In 2012 we celebrated the 125th anniversary of its founding. It was a chance to pause and celebrate with lots of events where we could get together with people from all over the UK business.
Seeing how the firm has evolved nationally and internationally over the years has been amazing. One of my first tasks when I joined was helping to rebrand the firm’s Scottish offices from Cruickshank & Fairweather to Marks & Clerk, bringing consistency across the UK practices. From then I’ve seen the firm grow in Asia and consolidate its place as a global leader in IP.
More recently, the way that the firm responded to the pandemic was amazing – the complete transition from office working to home working was fast and seamless and, now, the transition to hybrid working is taking the best elements of both. I think that shows that Marks & Clerk is solid and secure but also agile and innovative.
I won the office Movember contest in 2011.
What does a typical day look like for you?
Most days I will catch-up with members of the team to see what they're working on and what support they might need. The sheer variety of subject matter means that, in any given day, I can be progressing projects such as producing an automotive 3D printing report, planning an agritech webinar series, managing our client listening project, or doing deep-dive research into opportunities in the UK and abroad.
Best thing about working for M&C?
I’ve always really enjoyed working with the patent and trade mark attorneys: ordinary people with extraordinary expertise. Although the firm deals with cutting-edge, sometimes exotic, technologies and household brands, it is really a business built on great relationships. M&C is a big IP firm but it retains a really friendly culture - from the most senior professional to the newest recruit.
And finally, if you had to sum up your role in 3 words, what would they be?
Helping build relationships.
Do you have what it takes to join Alan in our Marketing & Business Development team? The good news is that we are on the look out for bright, enthusiastic team players who are looking to embrace a challenge, just like Alan, in Birmingham, Manchester, Oxford, Scotland, and London. To find out more, visit our careers page.