Cordelia trained and qualified into the Intellectual Property department at media & entertainment firm Harbottle & Lewis LLP where she stayed from September 2005 until March 2012. In October 2015 she then joined Maple & Black Law as their first and only IP lawyer and single-handedly built up their IP practice which then formed part of the merger between Maple & Black Law and Acuity Law where her practice merged with the Technology, Media & Telecoms department.

Cordelia has extensive expertise and advises on both contentious and non-contentious IP matters and specialises in the protection, exploitation, and enforcement of all intellectual property rights, with a particular focus on copyright, trademarks, design rights and confidential information.

She regularly brings and defends actions at the UK and EU intellectual property registries and ICANN under the Uniform Domain Name Dispute Resolution Policy in addition to giving clients technical and strategic pre-action advice in relation to civil actions for infringement of intellectual property rights and passing off.

Her non-contentious work involves brand protection advice including filing and enforcing UK, EU and worldwide trademark and design right registrations and working closely with several overseas IP lawyers. An increasing number of clients have recently assigned representation of their entire registered IP portfolios into Cordelia’s management.

Cordelia also advises on and drafts IP agreements involving the exploitation of intellectual property rights in addition to IP matters which form part of wider corporate deals.

She has a hands-on approach and advises individual and business clients from a range of sectors including the media, entertainment and creative industries with a focus on fashion, art and publishing, health and fitness, communications and technology both in the UK and with a cross-border focus.

Cordelia is particularly conscientious of her clients’ commercial needs which she puts down to her early experiences on secondment at Virgin Atlantic Airways, the London 2012 Organising Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games and the publisher, Argus Media, in each case advising on a wide variety of commercial IP and brand protection matters.

At a previous firm, Cordelia acted for LucasFilm on the high-profile Star Wars copyright infringement case, working on the case from inception through to success at the Supreme Court (Lucasfilm Ltd & Ors v Ainsworth & Anor [2011] UKSC 39) which gave her valuable contentious experience as well as technical acumen in the field of copyright law.

Cordelia’s extensive experience, tenacity and personability not to mention her ability to achieve the very best for her clients, has been recognised by her ability to retain and win regular, repeat work from her clients both big and small. Some of the testimonials Cordelia has recently received from her clients are:

  • “Cordelia was great – quick, responsive, knowledgeable and professional – I very much hope to work with her again.” (Art Curator in relation to IP licensing arrangements)
  • “Cordelia is an extremely tenacious, thorough and personable lawyer. Her level of expertise showed at all times and we were always clear of every option available to us. We will certainly work with Cordelia again in the future.” (Fashion retailer in relation to a design right infringement claim).
  • “Cordelia did an amazing job. Our case was hard to win, but Cordelia did a splendid job drafting a legal response. In the end the panel decided in our favour. We won the case.” (Local Bitcoin and Altcoin exchange in relation to a domain name dispute).

*Cordelia Payne is a Consultant at Acuity Law working on a self-employed basis*

  • UK, EU and international trade mark filings and prosecutions
  • Brand protection strategy
  • Commercial contracts with an IP focus
  • Licences and assignments of intellectual property rights
  • Intellectual property disputes at the UKIPO, EUIPO, IPEC and High Court
  • Domain name registration and disputes
  • Advising an international furniture design and homeware brand on their collaboration with the V&A museum in London for the sale of licensed goods as part of one of the museum’s exhibitions, in addition to setting up a new digital platform to find emerging designers
  • Successfully defending a complaint filed by a competitor at ICANN against a peer-to-peer Bitcoin and Altcoin trading platform for the transfer of a domain name
  • Advising an art curator on appropriate IP licensing structure and arrangements, as well as drafting a suite of agreements with business clients and commissioning artists
  • Advising a high profile chain of fitness studios on international brand protection strategy and making a large number of trade mark filings in the UK, EU, Australia and other territories. The work also included negotiating co-existence agreements in Spain and the U.S, making appeals to the EUIPO and preparing a strategy to prevent a multi-million dollar U.S company with a similar brand from entering the U.K market
  • Advising an employee experience and rewards platform across a range of IP and brand protection matters, including defending trade mark opposition proceedings brought by eBay Inc
  • Successfully defending a claim for trade mark infringement and passing off brought by the Soho House group in relation to a client’s new restaurant in Soho
  • Advising on the intellectual property considerations of a US-based high-end property developer acquiring kitchen designers, Smallbone of Devizes and Mark Wilkinson
  • Representing a virtual reality marketing business at the UKIPO in relation to trade mark and passing off opposition proceedings


  • The Intellectual Property Team is ranked Tier 2 in The Legal 500.

  • The Media & Entertainment Team is ranked Tier 2 in The Legal 500.

Words from our clients

  • Cordelia Payne was a perfect person to deal with my lack of knowledge on the IP and trademark subject and showed patience and understanding of the predicament I found myself in.

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