Digital Her Real Role Model Babs Jamieson, a solicitor specialising in business law and brand protection, has provided this guest blog on the often forgotten legal side of digital and tech.
When you think of the Digital and Tech world, legal probably isn’t the first word that springs into mind. In fact, it’s often forgotten about! It’s one of those lesser spoken about areas, and yet it is potentially one of the most important factors to consider.
The legal side of things is a bit different, both as a route into a career in technology and also in comparison to other industry specialists. It’s all about supporting and protecting the hard work of those in the industry. Let’s chat a bit more in-depth about this today, it may even give you some inspiration regarding your own career path, but first I’ll quickly introduce myself.
Hi there! I’m Babs, the CEO and Solicitor of Jamieson Law. Jamieson Law is a small (but mighty) law firm, specialising in business law and brand protection (think the likes of contracts, trademarks, data protection – important legal topics for every business). I’m super passionate about making a difference within the sphere of legal with crystal clear legal advice and about helping tech SMEs and entrepreneurs grow thriving, flourishing businesses in the safest, best way possible.
Although I don’t work ‘directly’ in the tech industry per se, this does make up a huge part of our clients here, which I love. The tech environment is fast paced, containing the most cool and innovative businesses.
Being a solicitor that works closely within the legal side of digital and tech has allowed my firm to do some pretty interesting things. We have one software as a service client, ZigZag Global, who run a returns platform for retailers across the UK, Europe and beyond. We’ve helped them enter into contract for new business with big names like SuperDry, Boohoo and Selfridges!.
So why does legal matter when it comes to this industry? Well, there are a lot of reasons. Just like any business, tech companies have to be legally compliant, i.e., they have to abide by the relevant laws that apply to them (otherwise they could end up with big, big issues).
The other side is that they need to protect themselves – app developers and software developers want to protect what they’ve created, brands want to be paid the stuff they’re doing. When you have a passion for something, you often throw the legal stuff to the side – I get it, this can be pretty uninteresting stuff to those who want to fully focus on their goals and plans. Most importantly, it can feel intimidating and scary. That’s where we come in.
Solicitors within the tech and digital industry are there to take away the stress whilst fully protecting those in these careers and this industry. Personally, I’m all about protecting the businesses that those in these job roles create, so the time, money and energy is all worthwhile. Here are a few examples of how tech and legal intertwine / how we help:
Client contracts – this isn’t exclusive to tech, but it is important. These cover everything from getting paid, to protecting your intellectual property (the things you create), to making sure you can’t get sued loads of money (aka, liability). Say you’re a website or UX designer or you’re providing IT services and you’re bringing on a new client, you want to make sure you protect yourself legally.
Website compliance – a biggie here. There are certain legal requirements for websites, like privacy policies, cookies policies, terms and conditions etc. So the tech companies build it, we protect it.
App terms and conditions – of course, super relevant for app designers or developers. Just like websites, an app should contain terms and conditions that covers how it can be used, what it’s for etc.
GDPR and Data Protection – data protection is a HUGE one for digital and tech companies. Data is used left, right and centre here, so it’s important that these companies know what they need to comply with, have the processes and procedures in place to comply, how to house data and how to generally deal with data.
Intellectual property protection – we call this ‘brand protection’, covering things like copyright and trademarks. This is HUGE in the tech world, for example a lot of app developers / software developers will want to ensure that they still own the source code (aka, their intellectual property) of what they’re producing, which means their legal documentation needs to cover this in an airtight way.
Trademarks is another big one. Tech companies, particularly software or app developers, always have a big vested interest in protecting their trademarks (i.e., their business names, logos etc). A lot of these companies will be looking to attract investment or sell their company down the line, which means trademarking and proper brand protection is absolutely necessary.
This is just a small taster of how digital, tech and legal come hand in hand.
The all in all? Legal is essentially the ‘armour’ for digital and tech companies. It’s put up to protect them so they can grow and scale without worry that things could go wrong at any given time. Support and protection for those within these careers is the main aspect.
If you’d like to know more about legal, digital and tech, please don’t hesitate to get in touch at any time – I’d absolutely love to help.