Carly Sutherland

CPA Global offers a fantastic environment for collaboration, and I really enjoy being part of a global organisation. I work with customers to provide guidance and support in relation to their trade mark portfolios, while helping to manage CPA Global’s in-house trade mark and domain name portfolio. I also provide support and training to colleagues on the topic of trade mark law. Through working closely with our Qualified Trade Mark Attorney and Head of IP Legal, I am able to get involved in more complex issues. This has been valuable for my training as it gives me exposure to in-depth legal matters. I also get involved in the many social committee events and CSR initiatives organised by CPA Global.

What do you think are the three most important skills to succeed in your career area?
CPA Global is a fast-moving and highly reputable company, so the three most important skills I need to succeed in my role are: time management, a good eye for detail, and great communication skills. It’s a very professional atmosphere with talented people, so the ability to collaborate well with colleagues is also vital. I have great mentors here at CPA Global and I aim to use what I learn from them to mentor others in the future.

Was this something you planned to do or did you change direction at any point in the past? If so, what was that and was it easy to do?
While studying for my degree in Zoology, I worked for CPA Global in- between semesters. It was during this time that I became really interested in trade marks. I was then offered a permanent position at CPA Global after graduating and my career in trademarks took off from there. After two years, and to gain additional experience, I moved to London where I worked for a top law firm for three years. I then moved back to Jersey and rejoined CPA Global where I started studying for my professional qualifications to become a trade mark attorney. I have only ever worked in this industry, but I knew early on that this was the career path for me.

What do you love most about working in your career area?
Trade marks is a very niche industry – I love the specialisation aspect of it. I enjoy working within a small circle of colleagues but in a global setting. In particular, I enjoy attending conferences and online webinars as this gives me the chance to keep up to date with the trademark and wider intellectual property industry.

Are there any negative aspects of working in your career area that people considering it should be aware of?
As with any legal work, you are not only working to tight deadlines but you also need instructions and documentation from your customers before you can proceed. It can also be frustrating at times to provide professional advice and then receive instructions from clients that are not in line with your recommendations. So, I’d say patience is key!

What training / qualifications did you undertake for your current role or are you currently undertaking?
My Zoology degree provided a foundation allowing me to complete a Post-Graduate Certificate in Trade Mark Law and Practice at the Queen Mary University of London. This certificate was the first step to becoming a trade mark attorney. In October this year, I start my last year of studies at Nottingham Trent University to complete a Professional Certificate in Trade Mark Practice, so I will become a fully-qualified Trade Mark Attorney by September 2018.

Is there any other information that would be of interest to someone thinking of this career?
Work experience in the field is vital as there is so much you need to learn. It also helps
you get used to the basics of a professional environment which is important. I have been working in the industry for almost 10 years now and I am still learning new things every day. Intellectual Property is fast becoming the most fashionable legal service; the industry has a huge presence online and across social media, so it’s easy to get hold of up-to-date information on industry issues and topics. One thing is for certain – intellectual property and brand management are more important than ever before, so it really is a great time to consider a career in the industry.

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