Alistair Gay, Partner at the firm who joined over twenty years ago, shares his thoughts on what makes Keltie special.
I instantly got the impression that this was a young, dynamic firm and a real breath of fresh air. There was a tangible aura of energy, drive and enthusiasm unlike anything I had seen before in my career. Keltie was far ahead of its time in terms of the software, systems and technology in place and the attraction of the big client names the firm had recently won made it an obvious choice.
The thing that struck me most about Keltie after I joined, was the belief that the firm existed not just to provide a service to clients, but to help them improve themselves. This partnership approach and the care meant there was a collective ambition for progression, both within the firm and with our clients. Twenty-three years later, the approach is still the same and it is a cornerstone of how we work.
Our learning culture means that we combine the skills and expertise of our team as a whole. Our practice areas are hugely diverse, but that means we have the in-house skills and capabilities to work with each other for the benefit of our clients. We win clients by harnessing the breadth of our talent and a focus that the client’s need is bigger than our individual pride in our specialisms. We learn from each other, bounce ideas off each other and firmly believe that our service quality is greater when we come together.
When new starters join the firm, they are exposed to client work from day one. Rather than ‘starting from the bottom’, we operate a more holistic approach where graduates work on client projects from the outset. We believe this exposure brings numerous benefits including their ability to qualify more quickly thanks to more ‘real’ training - something reflected in our exam rate success. Working closely with experienced experts every day, coupled with a honed mentoring and development process means new starters progress much more quickly with us.
At Keltie, you are surrounded by good people. Our internal culture of approachability means new graduates work with a number of our Partners and gain knowledge and experience from all of them thanks to our openness and desire to bring on new talent. As a business, we want to nurture the best talent in our industry and we are not afraid of the fact that our younger people might go on to surpass our personal achievements. It is all about the firm.
It is said by many companies, but I have only found it to be completely true at Keltie - the firm feels like a family. Keltie is people - without our people, we are nothing. Of course, we care about our clients and delivering great service for them, but the care for each other goes beyond anything I have experienced in my career. We recognise the value and importance of our team across the board, in every role. We pride ourselves on our openness and the fact that any ‘hierarchy’ within the firm only exists on paper.
Some of my closest friends are colleagues from Keltie - that speaks volumes of the culture and dynamic within the firm. You can speak to anyone within the business, regardless of their position on an organisational chart - we work together, side by side to deliver a better service for the client. We are more than just an employer to our staff - the energy, enjoyment and care we build translates through our approach to training and development, and ultimately to the relationships we craft with our clients. We all develop the firm together.
The landscape is changing so much - buyouts, acquisitions and investment from venture capital are transforming the industry. There is a real balance to be struck between diversification and aggressive growth versus the reputation we have built over the years due to our size. We must work hard to retain our people-based culture but cannot ignore a need to diversify services and technology in line with how the industry itself is developing. It is certainly an interesting challenge.
13.12.2022Women and IP: a continuing journey
It’s now over 30 years since I joined the patent attorney profession. When I started, there were relatively few female patent attorneys, partly due to much lower numbers of women studying STEM subjects at university. I recall I was one of about six women in a cohort of 90 studying chemistry at Imperial College, and there were even fewer in the engineering departments. Today, thankfully there are more women in the profession – but there are still things we need to improve.
16.12.2020Shakeel Ahmad explains the borderline of patentability.
What is and is not protectable?