Month: July 2021

Liz Burley

Liz Burley

Liz is a highly experienced employment lawyer who can advise on the whole range of HR and employment law issues.

Liz qualified in 1996 when the world of employment law and HR looked and felt very different!  She trained at a regional firm in Wolverhampton where she developed a keen interest in employment cases.  Once qualified, she went on to work for national firm Weightmans where she became very experienced in defending Tribunal claims for employers in the hospitality and retail sector.  These included one of the largest UK national pub and hotel chains, a national off licence chain, and several big restaurant chains.  Liz also handled road traffic litigation for a number of large insurers.

From Weightmans she joined Eversheds in Birmingham and broadened her experience of non-contentious employment law and became a regular speaker and trainer.

After a 10-year career break to focus on family life, Liz returned to practice in 2015 and has relished getting back up to speed and fighting fit as an employment lawyer!  Her time away from legal practice has enabled her to bring valuable life experience to the advice she gives.

Liz advises both employers and employees on contentious and non-contentious matters and believes that seeing things from both sides of the same coin makes her a better advisor for all her clients.  She is particularly skilled at advising on disability and mental health issues in the workplace, and employee data and privacy.

Liz prides herself on being an excellent communicator, and on her personable approach and her ability to cut through the issues to provide clear advice and solutions.  She is known for being at her client’s side throughout as well as a fearsome negotiator and advocate when required.

Des Burley

Des Burley

Des founded Burley Law in 2014 to provide personal and pragmatic, expert IP and technology law advice. He qualified as a solicitor in England and Wales before the Y2K bug, the dotcom boom or the Blackberry, in the same year that the first MP3 player was launched. Over twenty years on in a world that is now shaped and driven by technology, his legal practice now focuses on intellectual property protection, IT and technology contracts, international trade mark advice, data protection law and commercialisation of university-generated intellectual property.

Clients generally have technology, innovation or a strong brand identity at their core. They are often owner-managed and fast-growing and range from start-ups and spin-outs, to universities, providers of online services and fashion brands. Des has extensive experience of advising online training providers, and universities on IP commercialisation and technology – and on a broad range of IP and data protection issues in corporate transactions.

Des studied chemistry at The Queen’s College, Oxford before training as a solicitor. He went on to work at national and international law firms advising on intellectual property, technology law and information law. He was a partner at a national law firm for a number of years and then head of trade marks at a national patent attorney practice before he founded Burley Law.

Des has been a visiting university lecturer on IP on MBA courses, is actively involved in providing support to start-up incubator programmes and provides online training through a trust that supports organisations looking to use digital technologies to scale-up numbers of adult learners gaining vocational skills. He has worked on secondment with an e-commerce start-up and also with research-intensive universities.

Des is appreciated by his clients for his depth of expertise coupled with his straightforward approach to resolving commercial legal problems.

In his spare time, Des is a keen competitive swimmer and enjoys watching cricket.

Liz with goggles

Influencing Influencers: Brand Protection and Risk Management

Influencer marketing has grown exponentially, revolutionising the way brands advertise products.  This social media marketing involves endorsement and product placement by those with social influence such as celebrities (think Kim Kardashian) and reality TV stars (think Love Island).  Influencers’ social media channels via Instagram, youtube, Twitter, Facebook, tiktok and the like are leveraged by brands to reach their followers and to encourage them to buy their products .

Getting influencer marketing right means that brands can successfully connect and interact globally with consumers by influencing their buying habits.  Whilst the potential benefits can be huge, brands can also be tainted or destroyed in a heartbeat as a result of careless social media posts or negative influencer publicity.  Businesses can no longer rely on the old adage of ‘no such thing as bad publicity’.

1. Do your due diligence

  • Is the influencer right for you?
  • What are their values, and do they align with you?
  • Check out their social media posts?  Does their style fit yours?
  • Look into their history – are there any skeletons in the closet that could come back to bite your brand?
  • Does the influencer act for any competing brands?  This can water down their endorsement of your product

2. Put an agreement in place

  • This is the commercial and legal basis for the campaign.  Detail exactly what is expected.  How many posts?  When?  What support and marketing materials will you provide?
  • Termination clauses will be essential if you need to distance yourself from them.
  • Remember confidentiality to protect commercially sensitive information.  Don’t give away your secrets! 
  • Be crystal clear on how your brand can be used.  Make sure they are on message.

3. Follow the regulations and guidance in place

  • Don’t expect the influencer to be an expert.  Any blowback will hit your brand.  Educate them if necessary.
  • Share with them ‘An Influencer’s Guide to making clear that ads are ads’
  • Paid for posts should be clearly marked as adverts.  Using #paidpartnership or #ad/#advert is good practice, but ‘sponsored’, ‘in association with’ or ‘thanks to [brand] for making this happen’ are not recommended. 
  • ‘Paid for’ doesn’t just mean money.  It can also cover product loans, hotel stays or trips.
  • The UK advertising codes have specific rules on adverts directed at children, greater scrutiny for medicines, medical devices, health-related products and beauty products, slimming products, food supplements, alcohol, homework and business opportunities. 
  • There is specific legislation for certain products which cannot be short-circuited through use of influencers.  Examples may be financial services, gambling, and age-restricted products.  You should already be aware of them, but have you told your influencer?

University IP Commercialisation Virtual Round Table Event

Burley Law hosted another University IP Commercialisation Virtual Round Table on Wednesday 30 June 2021.  Once again, we were joined by a fantastic turnout of university representatives who collaborated in sharing their different perspectives on 3 topical issues, namely:

  • The Changing Landscape for Knowledge and Innovation – post COVID and BREXIT.
  • International Contracts – Law and Jurisdiction.
  • GDPR and Data Continued – Changes and Challenges.

As usual there were excellent contributions from the attendees – with the Burley Law team on hand to offer their experiences, insight, and advice.  There are many challenges to universities at the moment and it was helpful for institutions to share with one another how they are grappling with them.  The evergreen hurdles around contracting internationally remain and more contemporary issues associated with laws around data were also covered.

The next event is planned for early next term where the group will reconvene for a session focused on spin-out related issues.

Get in touch


Des for IP and Tech

Company Details

England and Wales registered company number 09121446

Registered Address

Burley Law Limited
Universities Centre
Faraday Wharf
Holt Street
B7 4BB


Authorised and regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority number 617865

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