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Ward Hadaway urges SMEs to take advantage of international trade opportunities

Ward Hadaway is urging North East businesses to take full advantage of international trade opportunities with the Department for International Trade (DIT).

Jason Knights, managing director of Blue Kangaroo

The Top 100 law firm has been working closely with the Department for International Trade (DIT) North East for the last 12 months to help SME businesses in the Durham area develop international opportunities.

DIT North East has developed North East Worldwide, a highly innovative project to deliver enhanced trade assistance to North East companies.

The programme has been designed to provide innovative, tailored advice to businesses in the North East LEP area who are looking to start or develop their export offering in goods and services. Key areas of support are export advice and guidance and access to funding.

Matthew Cormack, a Partner in Ward Hadaway’s Commercial team, said: “We were appointed by tender to deliver an export growth project with DIT in the final quarter of 2017. Since then, we have provided workshops, interactive seminars and legal advice on topics such as creating distribution and agency networks overseas and international exploitation of intellectual property.”

Blue Kangaroo, recently awarded a Board of Trade award by Dr. Liam Fox in recognition of their export success, have already benefitted from the programme, as have businesses that are new to exporting like Ambic Limited and Aztec Diamond, who won an Emerging Talent award at this year’s North East Entrepreneurial Awards.

Creative agency, Blue Kangaroo, has a global list of clients which includes The Walt Disney Company, Universal Studios, Paramount Pictures and Mattel.

Jason Knights, managing director, said: “Ward Hadaway has been instrumental in helping us with the negotiation of international contracts over a number of months and it is thanks to the support of Matthew Cormack and the Commercial team that we are now increasing our international reach.”

Matthew added: “We have really enjoyed working with Jason, his colleagues at Blue Kangaroo and all of the businesses introduced to us through the DIT scheme. Hearing about the opportunities and getting to grips with the challenges faced by each of them has been fascinating and hugely rewarding. It’s great to have played a small part in the growth of their export business, and in many cases to see our work lead to direct overseas opportunities and revenue generation.

“Through our partnership with DIT we provide up to 12 hours of fully funded legal advice on export-related issues to businesses within the Durham area, so we would encourage anyone who needs some support to get in touch with us.”

David Coppock, head of regions, North East, Department for International Trade, said: “North East firms of all sizes are already making the most of trade opportunities overseas, and if they can do it, you can too. In fact, in the year ending March 2018, exports from the region totalled £12.9bn, an increase of eight percent on the previous 12 months – a clear sign of the demand for our goods and services abroad.

“But although we know exporting can be highly lucrative and help firms boost their resilience, the process isn’t without its challenges. There are experts are on hand to help companies tackle everything from finding customers in new markets, to language and logistics. In addition to the support offered through partners such as Ward Hadaway, DIT has a network of International Trade Advisers based on the ground across the North East who can offer business one-to-one guidance.

“The support is out there, and you could be too. I’m encouraging anyone interested in finding out more about exporting to get in touch and see how it can benefit their business.”

Please note that this briefing is designed to be informative, not advisory and represents our understanding of English law and practice as at the date indicated. We would always recommend that you should seek specific guidance on any particular legal issue.

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