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Today's many hats interview is with self-confessed social media geek, Steve Kuncewicz, Head of IP and Media at Bermans LLP, a niche commercial firm based in Manchester and Liverpool.
Steve, how did you end up being a commercial lawyer?
Having slogged through the first half of my degree before finally getting anywhere near IP, I fell out of love with the idea of being a lawyer and took a couple of years out to do other things. I wrote two God-awful novels and kidded myself that I had any talent as a creative before finally giving in and breaking into the profession by becoming an accredited Police Station Representative for a large criminal firm in Manchester city centre.
As luck would have it, I ended up dealing with my fair share of trade mark and copyright-related prosecutions and realised that even though breaking into a commercial firm would be tough, I would have felt like I failed until I at least tried to break into IP & Media. After joining Cobbetts in Leeds as a trainee, I never looked back until the opportunity came to go in-house. That was a hugely valuable experience, and hopefully one which will inform the rest of my career and benefit my clients now that I’m back in private practice.
What type of projects are you working on at the moment?
It’s a very varied caseload—lots of defamation issues (so the 2013 Act hasn’t killed the industry as predicted), mainly relating to social media commentary; advising TV production companies on the development of series for national broadcasters; PR agencies on campaigns; lots of content clearance to avoid the ire of the ASA (especially now that their remit covers online and social media communication); and a lot of training for new clients on the potential legal risks involved in social media engagement. I get to be a geek for a living, and variety is very
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