14 May 2021

Secerna taps former Accenture in-house counsel for new Dublin office

Dermot Roche to lead IP specialist's first office outside the UK, intended to support international growth post Brexit


Intellectual property specialist Secerna has tapped former Accenture in-house counsel Dermot Roche to lead a new European office in Dublin, becoming the latest UK firm to open in the Irish capital post Brexit. 

Secerna, which has offices in York and Newcastle and marks its tenth year of business this month, is expanding into Dublin to support its growth across Europe, the US and Asia, the firm said in a statement. 

Roche joins the firm of patent and trademark attorneys after six years as in-house patent counsel at Dublin-based professional services provider Accenture, where he specialised in computer-implemented inventions and medical technology. Prior to joining Accenture, he held private practice roles in the UK and Ireland for 14 years and had a two-year stint as in-house patent counsel for US audio and video company Dolby in The Netherlands. 

Secerna chairman Jason Boakes said he anticipates Roche’s addition to the firm will help it attract new corporate and SME clients as it continues to build its presence in Ireland and the UK. The firm currently serves multinational corporations, FTSE and NYSE listed companies, universities, spin-out companies and small businesses from its UK base. 

Boakes also pointed to the unknowns associated with the UK’s departure from the EU as a key reason for the expansion into Dublin, adding that securing a foothold in the European market will “future-proof” the business. 

“We are thrilled to welcome Dermot to the team to help us take the next step in Secerna’s continued evolution and build on our track record of international work,” Boakes said. 

“Clients will undoubtedly benefit from the insights he brings from his work both in-house and in private practice. In addition, Dermot’s extensive knowledge and experience across the artificial intelligence, software, biomaterials and medical technology sectors will both complement and expand the expertise within the firm.”  

UK law firms have flocked to Dublin recently in response to Brexit after The Law Society of England and Wales ruled that English and Welsh-qualified solicitors who had gained admission to the Irish roll prior to Brexit as a means of maintaining EU access were required to have a physical base in Ireland to exercise those rights.

The growing list includes Ashurst, Hogan Lovells, Kennedys, DLA Piper, Pinsent Masons, Simmons & Simmons and Fieldfisher

The inaugural, virtual Anti-Counterfeiting World Law Summit takes place on 22 June, bringing together heads of IP and brand protection, policymakers, government agencies, technology innovators and law firms. 

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