Partner

Nick Cunningham

Helping clients to...

Leverage their intellectual property rights.

Understand telecoms standardisation.

Pursue and resolve disputes about patents, designs, and copyright.

Arbitrate intellectual property disputes, notably in licensing scenarios.

Use mediation to resolve disputes.

Manage reputational and privacy issues, particularly in digital media

Nick has a wide-ranging dispute resolution practice, with contrasting specialisms in telecoms standards, copyright and defamation. He is also a qualified mediator.

Experience

  • In 2013 Nick led a team of IP litigators that won a High Court claim for Seiko Epson Corporation against a competing manufacturer, based on several of SEC's patents. The manufacturer withdrew from the market entirely, shortly before trial.
  • He regularly attends the international IP Committee meetings of two principal telecoms standard-setting bodies - the European Telecommunications Standards Institute and the International Telecommunications Union - in a lobbying role.
  • In 2013 Nick led a team running High Court proceedings against ex-employees of Metso Minerals Industries, who vehemently denied having taken a vast database of engineering drawings for use in their competing business. The ex-employees eventually paid very substantial compensation and returned the database.
  • Nick is leading the firm's IP team in developing its knowledge and readiness for the introduction of the European Unitary Patent - the biggest development in patents law for several decades.




  • He recently advised Meggitt Aircraft Braking Systems on securing the intellectual property rights necessary for the manufacture of a key component, when its overseas supplier became insolvent.
  • He defended Stoke on Trent City Council against a defamation claim brought by a senior ex-employee in combination with industrial tribunal proceedings. The dispute was settled at an early stage by agreement, using mediation techniques.
  • He has advised several international sports personalities on business issues concerning their media profiles, successfully enforcing their rights.
  • Nick is an accredited mediator, trained by the Centre for Dispute Resolution, and has been involved in many mediations - both on clients' behalf and as a mediator.
  • He helped Alere to establish that its hair testing technology, which is used to detect drug abuse, was reliably used in custody proceedings, even though a test result from a rival laboratory gave a different result.
  • He regularly works with InterDigital Corporation on strategic issues in Europe concerning the licensing of standards-essential patents.

Nick's CV

Professional experience

2014
Wragge Lawrence Graham & Co, partner
2000 - 2014
Wragge & Co, partner
1990 - 2000
Wragge & Co, solicitor
1988 -1989
Ironbridge Gorge Museum
1978 - 1987
Academic textbook publishing

Education

1989 - 1990
Law conversion course and Law Society Finals
1978
BA (Cantab): 2.1 (History and English)

Languages

English

More about Nick

I get very engaged with my work, and enjoy dealing with other people on complex and strategic issues. Among my colleagues I have a reputation for obtaining good settlement outcomes and for leading successful teams of junior lawyers.

I work regularly and closely with our overseas offices, which is a trend that will continue with the introduction of the European unitary patent and the new court structure that it will bring.

His highlights...

Some of the many highlights of my career include visiting my client, Seiko Epson Corporation, in Japan; settling a large patent action immediately before trial; and developing my understanding of telecoms licensing.

One case that springs to mind involved selecting 35 patents from the other side's portfolio for our client to successfully attack in High Court proceedings. The case involved a novel remedy, determining the essentiality of the patents concerned to the 3G telecoms standard.

My most challenging job involved defending a local authority in a defamation case over detailed allegations of child abuse, which went to a three-month trial that we successfully defended on grounds of qualified privilege. The case required sensitive handling of witnesses and evidence in very difficult circumstances and further developed the law of qualified privilege.

Clients

Many of Nick's clients are in technical industries, most notably in telecoms and electronics.

His defamation clients come from many different sectors, with a focus on local government, real estate and housing associations.

Outside work...

I enjoy time with my wife and two children, music of all kinds (and especially jazz), contemporary dance, theatre, reading, walking and cycling in Shropshire where we live, and camping in Wales.

"I work regularly and closely with our overseas offices, which is a trend that will continue with the introduction of the European unitary patent and the new court structure that it will bring."