I initially started out working in recruitment after graduating from King’s College London with a degree in English Language & Communication. I later realised I wanted to expand my generalist HR knowledge and studied for a CIPD certificate in Human Resources while working as a HR assistant for a luxury retail brand.
What attracted you to GJE?
The size of the firm was an important factor for me — being able to get to know everyone properly as you’re all in one office helps a lot when it comes to collaborating on different projects. Working as part of a small team also means you get a wide scope of tasks and responsibility — helping me to develop further as a HR professional.
What do you enjoy about your role?
I’ve always had a soft spot for the recruitment side (particularly being the one to pass on the good news to those that get offered a position) and what I especially enjoy about this role is that it allows me to work with people at all stages of the process — from interview stage through to induction. The diversity of people I get to meet and their stories is a real highlight of the job. Aside from recruitment, I think I’m lucky to work in a team of HR generalists where we can all get involved in different areas and work on exciting projects together, which wouldn’t be possible in a larger organisation. Highlights include organising the firm’s wellbeing weeks, when we’ve had everything from desk massages, yoga and mindfulness workshops to paper plane competitions and we even had a nutrition expert demonstrating how to make healthy lunches.
What is the culture here like?
To make it in the IP world I quickly noticed you have to be incredibly passionate and dedicated, and that really comes across in the culture here. The firm encourages involvement across the business at all levels and you feel like you have the chance to make your mark! We all like to have a laugh and there always seems to be a GJE social event around the corner — oh and there are often cakes to be found somewhere in the office!
What would have been your career plan B?
If I wasn’t working in HR, I would have liked to have been a chef…or better yet, a food critic. This year I took part in the BBC programme MasterChef and made it as far as the quarter finals!
I was working in retail as well as studying Business at college. I was fortunate enough to get some work experience at GJE and I found patents very interesting and wanted to continue to build my knowledge. As soon as I finished college I went straight to GJE, eager to start full time work and learn more.
What appealed to you about your role?
I am always performing new tasks and learning new things which makes it enjoyable. I also assist in the training of new starters which I very much enjoy.
What are the people like at GJE?
GJE is a great place to work. Friendly, helpful and approachable sums up everyone here.
What have been the highlights during your time at GJE?
I’ve had many memorable moments so far at GJE. For me I have really enjoyed the quiz nights put together by the social committee, even though I’ve never been on the winning side! Another highlight was abseiling off our building, the Broadgate Tower! It was a great experience and it was a pleasure to raise a lot of money for charity, which we do a lot of here at GJE.
What would you say to someone looking to join GJE?
This industry is very interesting, I would recommend you do your best to learn as much as you can and communicate with the experienced workers here at GJE who will be willing to provide their own knowledge should you ever have any questions. It is a social and enjoyable place to work, just be you and you’ll fit in fine.
If you weren’t a Patent Administrator, what would you be?
I’ve always dreamed of working in sport such as coaching — any job where I can help others is always appealing.
What attracted you to GJE?
Five years ago, a family friend recommended to me that GJE was a great place to work. Following her advice, I took the opportunity of gaining some work experience within the IT and Engineering team. I had always wanted to work within the City and GJE’s offices are located a stone’s throw from Liverpool Street station making it an easy commute for me. The team instantly made me feel welcome and I haven’t looked back since. Having finished my work experience I joined GJE initially working within the accounts department.
Tell us about your current role
A few months after joining GJE a vacancy became available for the role of secretary within the IT and Engineering team. I was offered this position and am now working for four fee earners. My daily role includes preparing documentation for clients, such as patent specifications and designs, monitoring due dates and staying on top of the post. I also help with training new secretaries to show them the ropes.
What’s been your most memorable project?
For three years I was a member of the social committee. During this time we organised a wide range of events ranging from a ’70s cocktail night to a treasure hunt set out across Shoreditch. Although we organised a lot of fun events during this time, the Christmas parties were always my favourite. Part of our role within the social committee was to organise projects for our sponsored charity. It was rewarding to see how well our efforts were received and the money we could raise.
I’ve worked as a trade mark secretary for 17 years and have acquired a dedicated interest in this type of work and knew that this was the career route for me.
What’s your current role in a nutshell?
I have been at GJE for 8 years and my role is to provide full administrative and secretarial support to the attorneys within the Chemistry & Life Science team. A typical day would entail me checking and dealing with post, corresponding with clients, foreign attorneys and official offices, including form filling, preparing invoices and dealing with queries.
How would you describe the culture here?
GJE provides a friendly working environment and a platform for career development. There is a supportive culture at the firm, where my colleagues are encouraging and professional.
What has been your most memorable moment at GJE?
My most memorable moment at GJE was when I passed the CIPA administration course. This was an important achievement for me. I was able to put into practice new skills and gained sound knowledge and understanding of the work I do.
What would you recommend to someone wishing to join GJE?
If you are looking to join GJE, I would recommend that research of the firm is key and having an informal chat with us. If you feel that you have a passion for the practice areas that GJE specialises in, and you have the qualities to work as part of a dynamic team, GJE would be the firm for you.
Secretarial Team Leader, Trade Marks
Prior to GJE, I worked at The Royal Courts of Justice as a Deputy Manager for the Chancery Registry which is where my interest in law began. My experiences here helped me realise I wanted to become a legal secretary. I enrolled on an evening Legal Secretarial course where I gained the skills and qualifications needed and shortly after completing, secured the role of a Trade Mark Secretary at GJE.
What attracted you to GJE?
Some law firms are so big you’re in danger of becoming just a number so one of the things that appealed to me about GJE was its size. On first impressions, there was a family feel about the firm and everyone was very friendly and approachable which made my decision to join GJE very easy.
What does your role entail?
As a Secretarial Team Leader, I’m here to ensure that our fee earners and our clients receive a high quality service from my secretarial team. I’m also responsible for the performance and development of each of my secretaries, helping to build and develop their existing skills.
What do you enjoy the most about it?
One of the things I love most about my role is the people I work with. From my very first day, almost ten years ago, I have always felt part of a team and although my direct team has changed over the years, new colleagues are always welcomed and new relationships formed quickly.
What has been your most memorable moment here?
After four years in the role of a Trade Mark Secretary, a Secretarial Team Leader position became available. Confident with the knowledge, skills and experience I had gained along the way and knowing this was a brilliant opportunity in terms of both personal and career development, I went for it. I’m very pleased to say I was successful — and securing the role, which I’m still doing today, is by far my most memorable moment at GJE.
Head of Records
What made you choose to join GJE?
I ‘fell in’ to IP straight from leaving school (and I still don’t know what I want to do when I grow up!). I was attracted to the role at GJE as Patent Formalities Manager as GJE appeared as a forward thinking and dynamic firm (appearances were correct in this case).
What does your role entail?
My role has expanded from Patent Formalities Manager to Head of Patent and Trade Mark Administration. I enjoy my current role because it is very varied and I get involved in lots of different things — in the morning I could be dealing with renewals and team objectives, and in the afternoon I could be working on process change. I especially like that I have contact with everyone in the firm, across all support groups and all practice groups.
What do you enjoy the most about your role?
I have worked in all areas of IP — specialising in trade marks in one role, renewals in another, and setting up a records department from scratch for the London office of a US law firm (that was fun!) so I feel I bring a broad range of knowledge to my role here at GJE.
What has been the most memorable moment?
My most memorable moment at GJE was involvement in the GJE centenary party – it was lots of fun to organise and was so rewarding to see everyone enjoying the night.
What advice would you give to someone joining GJE?
If you wanted to start your career here I would advise that you take time to listen to the experienced folk who have been at the firm for years (e.g. I have team members who have been with GJE for at least 15 years) — they have a wealth of knowledge that you just can’t get from books or the Intranet.
My role before I joined GJE was in the European patent formalities section at another IP firm, dealing with all formalities, from approval of text, to grant and validation.
What are the main responsibilities in your role?
My current role is also in the European patent formalities section. This involves requesting French and German claims from the translators, filing them at the EPO and ensuring that the relevant fees are paid. When a decision to grant is received from the EPO, we report this to the client and instruct validation, while keeping a close eye on any due dates.
How would you describe the GJE team?
The people at GJE are nice and I have made some good friends here. The team are a very helpful, friendly crowd and there are always social things going on, such as the firm’s quiz night and summer party — most people join in (thanks to our social committee).
What would you say to someone applying to GJE?
Having worked at GJE for over two years, I would definitely recommend it. The culture is friendly and everybody seems to get along. It’s a very good firm to work for and I’m sure you would enjoy working for GJE too.
Accounts Payable Controller
I have been working in legal finance since 1991 and I joined GJE from a large law firm as GJE offered me a slightly different working environment and role.
How did you decide on your career?
My father was a professional photographer and I was hoping to follow in his footsteps. However, the competition in this field is such that he advised (ordered) me to find a more secure career. I did venture off in various directions, workwise, whilst deciding on my future. I had a novel published (124 copies sold!) and tried my hand at DJing (enjoyable, but not much in the way of income), before settling into a career in legal finance.
What are your main responsibilities?
My role at GJE is Accounts Payable Controller, which means I deal with all payments the firm makes, as well as entering and monitoring disbursements and official fees in order to be billed to our clients.
What is the working environment like at GJE?
GJE has a good atmosphere and although there is always a lot of work to be done, there is not the relentless pressure in the workplace that causes unnecessary stress. The partners are approachable and there is a ‘my door is always open’ feeling about the workplace.
What else have you been involved with outside of your day to day role?
I take the staff profile photos that you see on the website and in promotional materials — it’s a great way to meet new members of staff!
I worked at the Polish branch of a British lens & frame manufacturer JaiKudo. I progressed from a general IT support position for 30 people, which was the size of the company when I initially started, to being the head of the IT team, as the company grew to employ 100 people. I was responsible for in-house software programming, system integration development, and hardware scaling and general support.
What attracted you to GJE?
It was an opportunity to work in a larger business operating on the verge of science and new technologies. Also the ability to expand and broaden my skills.
What is your current role here?
Similar to my previous role, only without management responsibilities which is a welcome change!
What has been your most memorable project at GJE?
Being tasked with a fairly complicated project involving integration of different internal systems only a week after starting my work here.
What would you say to those looking to apply to the firm?
I would say the people are great and everyone is very supportive of each other.
I started my career in marketing as an intern in a small management consultancy firm. The internship quickly turned into a full-time role, but it wasn’t long before I realised I wanted to work in a larger organisation with a more fast-paced environment. I had my sights set on the professional services industry and was attracted to GJE because of its reputation for having a friendly, collaborative work environment, alongside a top-tier status for client work.
What do you enjoy about your role?
The variety of work, the training and growth opportunities, and the exposure I get to each of the practice groups and support groups — there’s some really great people here and I’m privileged to be able to work with and get to know a lot of them. The work-life balance is good too — far better than at some other City-based firms.
What does your role involve?
I work to drive awareness of the firm through direct comms, social media, and events. I also work directly with partners and fee earners to assist them in their BD efforts, be that presentation preparation, content creation or prospect research. I particularly enjoy the digital marketing and branding aspects of my role.
General Office Manager
So what made you choose to join GJE?
During my interview, over 10 years ago now, I met the Partnership Secretary, a very charming man along with the Manager, a friendly and enthusiastic lady. I could really see myself working with them so I guess you could say I was charmed into joining!
What’s it like to work at GJE?
I’ve always worked in London and love the City, there’s always somewhere interesting to go or something to see. The office is based near Shoreditch which you can always rely on to find a quirky venue for after work drinks and is a favourite with our social committee. The area has a community feel with regular events and activities. In the summer you’ll find me watching the outdoor big screen and soaking up the sun, a great place to recharge before heading back to the office for the afternoon.
How would you describe the GJE culture?
For those that work here, GJE has a reputation for its regular and often inventive social and charity events. There are always different events to get involved in and dressed up for! I took part in the 20k walk along the Thames with a group of people from the office, the donations went to the firm’s chosen charity; it was a great way to catch up with colleagues and see London at the same time.
What’s been your most memorable project at GJE?
The office move was a challenge and it was exciting to see the fit out progress, it gave me the opportunity to work with a great team and we are now based in modern offices at The Broadgate Tower. I went on to abseil the new building which was a great experience I’d recommend, but don’t worry if heights aren’t your thing, it’s not part of the initiation process!
Before you joined GJE, did you have any other careers in mind?
I had hoped to work with animals and although I was a Zoo Keeper (just for the day!) I decided that I was better suited to working with people.