Callum Beamish-Lacey – Interview
Callum Beamish-Lacey – Interview
Senior Associate (Barrister)

What first inspired your interest in the law?

Having the opportunity to see advocates in action in the Crown Court and County Court during work experience. It was fascinating to see them handling witnesses and arguing their client’s cases. I knew I wanted to do the same.

At what stage did you decide that intellectual property was the area in which you wanted to specialise?

I’ve always loved science and technology. Initially I thought that criminal or family law would be where I ended up. However, I realised at University that I could practice law in a subject area that matched my personal interests and make a career out of it. Doing a law degree, I was able to study IP and IT law as modules in my third year – and I loved it.

Having trained as a barrister, why did you decide to join Powell Gilbert?

There are a few reasons, but ultimately I’m a very social person and enjoy working day-to-day in teams with exceptionally talented people. While self-employed barristers are obviously still a part of the litigation team, their day-to-day can be more isolated. Paid holiday, sick pay and shared parental leave are also a plus!

What aspect of your training as a barrister have you found to be useful when working on the solicitor side of the profession?

Powell Gilbert often does a lot of work that might otherwise be thought of as how self-employed barristers work in other firms or other areas of law – so my training helps there. There are also opportunities for oral advocacy (lots of my colleagues are trained as solicitor advocates) and written advocacy – I was trained how to argue and that is what litigators do! I’m also able to jump into the role of junior counsel on cases where necessary and having a good insight into how self-employed barristers work, think and approach things is always beneficial.

Having a background in law, do you find it daunting to familiarize yourself with the technical aspects of the cases you work on?

No, the opposite really – I love it. I find the technical aspects so interesting. I often say that the best part of my job is getting paid to learn about a niche and / or emerging area of science or technology, including through having the opportunity to quiz world-renowned and leading experts in those fields.

Which IP rights and technologies do you advise on?

Predominantly patents in the life-sciences sector (including medical devices).

What have you found to be the most challenging aspects of your work as a litigator?

Sometimes the job requires you to work long hours (but then there are peaks and troughs to busyness in litigation that tend to even things out). It can also be difficult sometimes to “leave work at work”.

What is the most significant case you have been involved in during your career?

From the perspective of the person-on-the-street it is probably the BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine litigation. 

If you could choose your "dream technology" to litigate, what would it be?

The mRNA vaccines are up there. But probably something to do with mountain bike components that require extensive testing / litigation experiments. 

How would you describe a typical day for a senior associate working at Powell Gilbert?

Lots of reading, drafting documents and thinking. Meetings and calls with colleagues, experts an clients. Lots of coffee.

How do you maintain a work-life balance amidst the demands of your legal career?

Incredibly supportive family and friends (also recently helped by a very good shared parental leave policy at Powell Gilbert). Setting and sticking to work-life boundaries (but equally recognising that sometimes they will shift). Sport and exercise. 

Can you share a memorable experience that stands out from your time at Powell Gilbert?

Sitting in the Italian sun on the annual PG ski trip in Cervinia, drinking an Aperol Spritz, with the Matterhorn in the background after an awesome day of snowboarding. That was pretty good. 

Which innovation do you think deserves particular recognition?

Too many serious ones to pick, so lets go for the washing machine – can you imagine life without one?

Tell us an interesting fact about you.

I once placed second at the All-Terrain Boarding Association-UK mountain boarding boarder-x championships.