Life as a trainee

Interview with Silvana Milnes

Why did you choose a career as a Chartered Trade Mark Attorney?

I knew I wanted to be a lawyer from a young age, as I have always been driven and wanted my work to have purpose. Throughout my undergraduate degree, I was convinced that I wanted to be a criminal solicitor, but after work experience in a criminal law firm, I realized that this wasn’t the career path for me. 

I completed university and began working as a trade mark paralegal at Meissner Bolte. As soon as I started the job, I became engrossed in what the trade mark attorneys were doing. I soon realized that a career in Intellectual Property was a niche, rewarding profession in an interesting area of the law. I then decided that being a Chartered Trade Mark Attorney was the career for me. 

Why did you choose Meissner Bolte and how did you obtain the training position?

I chose Meissner Bolte as it ticked every box in terms of my future career goals - I have always liked to challenge myself and step out of my comfort zone. I knew that I would be given hands-on experience at an early stage, which would ultimately lead to an increase in my confidence. I love the outdoors and so the fact that I could look out of an office window and see the countryside was a bonus. I obtained the training position around 8 months after starting as a paralegal – I was over the moon and extremely grateful that my dedication to the job was acknowledged. 


What is your favorite thing about working in Trade Marks?

It would have to be working with clients and helping them secure registration for their proposed brands. Helping clients define their business, protect their trade mark in line with their business strategy is extremely rewarding. 

I also enjoy the networking aspect of the job, both locally and internationally. The job allows you to meet different people and make professional connections. My favourite work trip has been to Munich as I was able to spend time with my colleagues from our German offices. 


If you were a trade mark, what trade mark would you be?

COSTA as I cannot live without coffee!


How do you feel about the profession now that your Part Qualified?

I feel even more passionate about the profession now that I am Part-Qualified as I have gained a new sense of responsibility. Each day that I expand my knowledge, become more experienced and gain new opportunities strengthens my desire to become the best trade mark attorney that I can be. Knowing that I am in the final stretch after years of hard work adds to the excitement of what is to come.  


Any advice you would have for someone considering a career in Intellectual Property?

I would recommend thoroughly researching the firms you are looking at to determine whether it’s the right fit for you. Having the right working environment is paramount to your growth and development as a professional. 

Intellectual Property requires you to have both business and commercial awareness, as well as legal knowledge and expertise. This is a big aspect of the job and so gaining as much as experience as possible is key. Learning about brands and marketing is helpful when talking to clients about what’s important to them, rather than just addressing the legal issues. On a personal level, my advice would be to make sure you’re passionate about what you’re doing. The route to qualification and the role itself is demanding so having that passion and drive is what really pushes you through.

Silvana Milnes, LL.B.

Part-Qualified Trade Mark Attorney

Hebden Bridge (GB)