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Alex is a partner in the Intellectual Property and Information Technology (IP/IT) team at Ward Hadaway and helps clients to protect, develop, exploit and enforce their ideas and new technology.

This is done by using intellectual property rights (patents, design rights, trade marks, copyright and know how), commercial agreements such as research and development contracts, technology licenses and collaboration agreements and, in the case of disputes, through taking or defending court action.

Alex also works with clients who supply or purchase IT systems, develop or license software, do business over the internet and work in the creative industries, such as creating Apps, games, multimedia content and websites.

He is consistently ranked as an expert by Legal 500 and Chambers


Alex has over 25 years’ experience of advising clients of all sizes in all aspects of intellectual property and information technology.

He advises a number of multi-national companies, plcs and public sector bodies and has a wide expertise in handling complex transactions, including research and development contracts, IT systems and telecoms agreements, technology licensing contracts and international collaboration agreements.

His specific experience includes:

  • Advising businesses in the life sciences, pharmaceutical and medical devices sector. Clients include PCCA, TRB Chemedica (UK) and Motac Neuroscience
  • Acting for creative industries businesses, in particular in the fashion, digital media, film and publishing industries. Clients include Tech Nation and Qrious
  • Providing legal advice and support for start-ups and spin-out businesses. He has acted  in connection with the spinning out of a number of new companies from Universities, most notably from the University of Newcastle upon Tyne. Recent spin outs he has completed are for Cellularevolution, Pulmobiomed and Dragonfly Insulation
  • Acting for suppliers and purchasers of software, SaaS platforms and IT systems. Clients include ScS Sofas, Keepmoat Homes and a number of NHS Trusts
  • Business support and mentoring advice to start-up companies which are supported through programs run by organisations such as Teesside University’s Launchpad,  and Newcastle University’s Rise Up
  • A particular expertise in dealing with trade mark and branding issues and acts for several well known brands. His work includes advising on strategic brand management, international protection of brands and trade mark opposition and infringement proceedings.

What people say

  • Alex is well known for his calm, measured and positive approach to matters.

    Chambers & Partners
  • Sources are impressed by his 'good understanding of the temperature of the marketplace locally'.

    Chambers & Partners
  • The volume and range of work handled... by Alex Shiel stands out.

    Legal 500
  • One source says Alex Shiel is 'very approachable and friendly,' adding: 'He made me feel at ease.' He is routinely engaged on contractual agreements for collaborations and joint ventures, licensing and branding.

    Chambers & Partners
  • Clients say he 'brings a commercial as well as legal reality check to our objectives, which helps to ensure focus on what is most important'.

    Chambers & Partners
  • He was a pleasure to deal with – he was extremely responsive to queries, explained complex issues clearly and wrote concise, clear and comprehensive notes.

    Client quote, Chambers & Partners
  • He is one of my go-to partners in Newcastle for complex commercial work," adding: "He's an experienced and pragmatic commercial lawyer.

    Chambers & Partners
  • We chose Ward Hadaway because we needed proper advice from people who are used to innovation and new ideas. I was keen to talk to Alex [Shiel] and his team because I know they are genuine specialists in dealing with innovation and new concepts and their help has proved invaluable.

    Graham Rankin, Founder,
  • Ward Hadaway’s team is led by the ‘highly knowledgeable’ Alex Shiel.

    Legal 500

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