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Creativity calls for clarity.

Intellectual Property and Commercial law boutique supporting clients in innovation and creativity.

Our thinking

We are delighted to announce that from 1 October 2022, we have grown our practice by teaming up with SH&A and its leading IP litigator and trade mark Attorney, Sarah Hadland. More about our joint plans here.

Our sole focus is to support innovation and creativity by cutting through the legal noise.

With expertise in intellectual property, data, trade secrets and commercial law, we work with individuals and businesses forging new ground in content creation, design, branding and technology. We invest time to understand our clients’ needs, internal structures and decision making. Collaborating with the client, we are able to deliver incisive and practical advice.

Clients often rely on us to find legal frameworks where law lags behind business models. In addition to advising on existing laws, we help shape it by being involved in legislative consultations and working with national and international decision-makers on legal reform. You can read more about this in the Intelligence tab.

New clients are offered a free initial consultation to get to know us before deciding to retain us.

Legal expertise

We advise on laws relating to protection and exploitation of copyright, trade marks, databases, trade secrets and other intellectual property rights (IP). We assist with IP registration (where available) and draft and advise on enforcement of agreements with an IP element, such as licences, assignments, franchise agreements, and non-disclosure agreements.

Our IP work extends to matters involving the interaction between IP and human rights, and specific issues relating to IP rights in the digital environment.

Our clients are professionals and businesses in the arts, media, adverting, fashion and retail sectors.

Matters on which we recently advised include:

  • Licensing publicity rights (rights in the nature of passing off) of a celebrity to a international clothing company
  • Representing a licensor in negotiations of a Government-backed nation-wide advertising campaign
  • Conducting a data protection audit for a US-based company
  • Advising on product placement in a YouTube influencer content
  • Helping a collecting society formulate strategy relating to the liability of online platforms under the new EU Copyright Directive
  • Advising on a moral rights and copyright infringement claims in the Intellectual Property Enterprise Court
  • Drafting an images policy for a fashion magazine
  • Representing a client in mediation over visual rights licensing schemes
  • Providing strategic advice on an international trade mark portfolio
  • Enforcement of trade marks against a film production studio
  • Drafting a franchise agreement for a chain of restaurants

Anna Skurczynska, Director

Anna has a broad practice across all areas of intellectual property (IP) and commercial law, with the focus on digital copyright, branding, database rights, privacy, data protection, and media law. She works closely with all clients of the company either as the main advisor or the liaison with other experts working with the firm, guiding matters to completion. She has gained formidable reputation in the photography and creative industries, leading to her being shortlisted by the Law Society as the Solicitor of the Year (Private Practice) shortly after funding Open Plan Law.

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Sarah Hadland, Director

Sarah has specialized in intellectual property law for over 20 years. She advises clients from multi-nationals such as Next Retail, Gü Puds, Urban Outfitters, Fugro Geos, and Ty Inc. (Beanie Babies) to small fabric designers, food manufacturers, authors and franking machine installers. She manages all aspects of intellectual property from negotiation of licences to litigation, dealing with civil infringements and criminal matters such as counterfeiting.

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Naazneen Schmittzehe, Consultant

Naazneen Schmittzehe is an IP specialist lawyer with 20 years of experience in non-contentious and contentious Intellectual Property work. Qualified as a solicitor in both the UK and Hong Kong, she has worked for leading international city law firms, west end and niche practices. With experience in a wide number of sectors including fashion, music, publishing, luxury, retail, food and technology, Naazneen manages trade mark portfolios with a particular emphasis on the retail sector. Naazneen is experienced in the planning and execution of anti-counterfeiting operations both in the UK and abroad and has been involved in numerous successful operations. She advises upon exploitation as well as protection of intellectual property rights. Rated as ‘excellent‘ in the Legal 500.

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Richard Thomas, Consultant

Richard has an illustrious career spanning 38 years. He specialises in cross-border mergers and acquisitions, in which his experience spans many sectors, from chemicals to engineering, financial services, transportation, oil & gas and high-tech, within the United Kingdom, the United States, Western, Central and Eastern Europe.

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Beth Eaton, Paralegal and Administrator

Beth works with solicitors and consultants on matters taken on by the firm, and makes sure that we are excellently organised and administered as our clients would expect us to be. She has a Masters degree in Law from Bournemouth University and before joining Open Plan Law acquired a broad legal experience as paralegal in private practice and in-house at Porsche. She enjoys problem-solving and combines legal astuteness with good understanding of clients’ businesses. She is often the first port of call and offers indispensable assistance to attorneys and the clients of the firm alike.

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News & Articles

We are bigger!

As of 1 October 2022, we have joined forces with SH&A – an IP boutique founded and led by Sarah Hadland. While days may be getting colder and more autumnal, our new broader Open Plan Law team is fired up about this change. Small but perfectly formed, we punch above our weight in IP litigation and advisory work. Sarah’s reputation as a litigator will be a great asset for Open Plan Law’s creative clients, and Anna’s commercial, advertising and data protection practice may be of use to SH&A’s clients. Both firms’ ethos has always been to exceed client’s expectations – we look forward to doing it together.

1 October 2022

Open Plan Law advising on the EU out-of-commerce works register

Anna represented the Coordination of European Picture Agencies (CEPIC) in discussions with the EU cultural and heritage sector on the features of the register of out-of-commerce works introduced under the Directive on Copyright in the Digital Single Market. She focused on issues around works embedded in out of commerce works (e.g. photographs in books), which deserve a separate treatment.

10 December 2019

Navigating through online platforms T&Cs

Focal International is an association of audio visual archives, including members such as British Pathé, Sky News, Freemantle, the British Library. Anna was invited to its recent members day to deliver a talk about terms and conditions of social media platform, and how those allow (or not) to monetise audio visual content.

28 November 2019

Open Plan Law helps shape EU copyright

At Open Plan Law we enjoy any excuse for a party but International Women’s Day gives us a pause for thought. Do we need a designated day to celebrate women, or is the day an anachronism? And if we do celebrate women, what is it for?

15 November 2019

Ongoing: copyright webinars

Our extended time at home (read: in lockdown) is a good opportunity to refresh the building blocks of copyright. In collaboration with BAPLA, Anna will be delivering six webinars on topics ranging from copyright history, and differences between fair use and fair dealing, to a spot of crystal ball gazing into the future of copyright. You can find more details, and book tickets at https://bapla.org.uk/copyright-webinars/

29 September 2019

All news


If you require legal advice please use the form on this page to contact us.

Alternatively, please call us on +44 (0) 203 693 8113

We are always interested in hearing from all those interested in working with Open Plan Law and sharing our ethos.

Our address:
Open Plan Law Limited

Prama House
267 Banbury Road
Oxford OX2 7HT

Office tel. no.: 01865 339 337

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