FBCC Member Series: Marks & Clerk

This interview is part of our new FBCC Member Series, where we introduce our member companies to the network. This time we interviewed Simon Portman, the Managing Associate at our Corporate Member company Marks & Clerk.


How would you describe your company?

Marks & Clark is a leading firm of Patent and Trade Mark Attorneys with offices in the UK, mainland Europe, Canada, and Asia. We’re a “one stop shop” for all your intellectual property needs which means we give advice to clients on applying for patents, registered designs, and trademarks and maintaining a coordinated intellectual property strategy. We also have a legal team that gives advice on commercial contracts and includes an internationally renowned litigation practice.

Our clients range from small start-ups to universities, charities, and big multinational companies. We work in all fields including entertainment, software, electronics, and healthcare, and so forth. We have particular expertise in cutting-edge areas like 3D printing, AI, XR, and 5G.

How did Marks & Clerk get its name?

The firm was founded in the 1880’s and gets its name from the founders George Croydon Marks and Dugald Clerk. So when they started the business Queen Victoria was on the throne and Sherlock Holmes was in Baker Street! Both founders have an interesting background; Marks was a famous engineer and actually a colleague of Thomas Edison. He became a director of companies like Columbia and EMI and was also a politician who was elevated to the House of Lords as Baron Marks. Clerk invented the two-stroke gas engine and spent many years developing the technology. So as you can see, they were both very interesting and successful people.


What makes Marks & Clerk special?

The company has a global reach and a breadth and depth of expertise to match all its competitors so we can give clients a top tier service, wherever they are and whatever their technological and commercial requirements. If their technology spans a range of fields, we can pull a team together with all the requisite skills.

However, in my opinion, what really makes us different is the company culture. Lots of organisations have core values but they don’t always translate into action. It’s clear ours do because it is a great place to work. In fact, when I applied here, the first question I was asked was “Are you a nice person?” Luckily, I managed to fool them and they let me in!

What are your plans for the near future?

I spoke last week on licensing 5G at Birmingham Tech Week and the recording will be online soon. I will also be speaking on virtual reality meetings and collaborations at VR Days Europe in November so anyone interested in the XR sector should sign up. In general, we are pretty busy at the moment. Covid-19 has given many of our healthcare clients new challenges to meet and the lockdown has obviously been a shot in the arm for the XR sector.

How has the pandemic affected your working life?

To be honest, it hasn’t that much. We were all set up to work remotely anyway and adapted pretty quickly. I don’t waste time commuting now so probably get more done and, ironically, I am seeing people face to face more than I used to. Thanks to video conferencing, I am interacting with people visually when previously I would have just emailed or phoned them. So I don’t feel isolated. Of course, work-related traveling is currently out of the question but it will come back, and meanwhile, we have honed our viral marketing strategy.

What are your tips for others working remotely?

Maintain a structure in your working day and separate your work life from your personal life. It is also very important to avoid spending too much time staring at your screen. In the office, we used to get up and talk to people, go to the printer, out to lunch. Now, if we’re not careful, we’re stuck in the same position all day gazing into a luminous rectangle. Our bodies weren’t built for that so I would encourage people to get off the laptop and take regular walks and rest the eyes, even if for just a few minutes.

What for you are the biggest benefits of being part of the FBCC?

Membership gives us the scope to widen our network and meet people from various businesses in the United Kingdom and Finland, who we hope will turn into clients and useful contacts. Finland, and the Nordic countries in general, are highly networked, full of innovation, and a great breeding ground for start-up companies. Luckily, Brexit hasn’t deterred Nordic businesses from setting up over here, and nor should it. The regular networking events are also great fun and, with luck, we’ll soon get back to doing them face to face. Meanwhile, I’m still living off winning one of the FBCC’s recent Nordic quizzes on Zoom and consequently suffering from a very un-Scandinavian bout of smugness. Regrettably, we didn’t do so well in the last one.

We warmly welcome our new Corporate Member Tuuli Bell Ltd!

We are proud to introduce our new Corporate Member Tuuli Bell Ltd.

Tuuli Bell Ltd is a boutique management consultancy with a vision to bring joy to the world of software sales. The consultancy was founded in 2019 by Dr Tuuli Bell and serves global organisations to help mature their businesses in complex environments.  One of the top problems they help solve is when teams’ priorities are not aligned with the company’s revenue streams. They help you focus on what needs done, improve your maturity gradually and ensure that revenue streams prioritise how you manage partnerships, teams, and customers. The Reach Your Sales Target Programme (TM), developed by Dr Tuuli Bell, helps you understand, improve and identify your bottlenecks in your revenue streams.

Discover how your sales organisation could change: http://www.tuulibell.com/

KONE, Finnair, Nordea and Nokia listed in the Top 50 Most Attractive Employers for Young Professionals in Finland!

The annual Young Professional Attraction Index, YPAI, conducted by Academic Work examines the most important factors for Finnish young professionals when choosing an employer and for what reasons some employers are perceived as more attractive than others.

This year their YPAI study consists of three parts. The first part lists the Top 50 Most Attractive Employers for Young Professionals in Finland in 2020, Top 10 in three different categories and includes stories from the fastest growing companies of the year.

We are happy to announce that our Corporate Member KONE has been listed 2nd in their Top 10 Most Attractive Employers for Technology Professionals, 3rd in their Top 10 for Commercial & Business Professionals, and 4th in their Top 50 Most Attractive Employers for Young Professionals in Finland.

We’re also delighted to tell you that our Corporate Member Finnair and two of our Patron Members, Nordea and Nokia were also listed in their Top 50 Most Attractive Employers for Young Professionals in Finland.

At FBCC we’d like to express our warmest congratulations to our Corporate Members KONE and Finnair and to our Patrons Nordea and Nokia!

To read more about the most attractive employers for young professionals in Finland, check our source Young Professional Attraction Index (in Finnish)

FBCC Corporate Member ScandiKitchen is recruiting!

FBCC Corporate Member ScandiKitchen is recruiting for several open positions. The roles they are looking to fill are:

ScandiKitchen is the UK’s biggest independent pan-Scandinavian food importer and distributor. They have an online retail operation delivering food to the UK and internationally along with a busy café and store in central London. Their wholesale arm distributes branded goods to independents and major retailers across the UK.

Find out more about the open positions on their website.

Congratulations our Corporate Member Light Cognitive!

Three of our Corporate Member Light Cognitive’s projects have been longlisted in the Dezeen Awards.

The Awards identifies the world’s best architecture, interiors and design, as well as the studios and the individual architects and designers producing the most outstanding work. Dezeen Awards are judged by an international panel comprised of 75 leading figures from the architecture and design world.

Longlisted Dezeen Awards projects have been selected from over 4,300 entries from 85 countries for the third edition of their awards programme, which celebrates the world’s best architecture, interiors and design as well as studios and individuals producing the most outstanding work.

First Light Cognitive project has been longlisted in the Lighting Design category of Dezeen Awards 2020. The studio recreates natural light in indoor spaces, using artificial windows and light panels. The company has designed horizon and sky luminaires that recreate a sense of openness and connection to nature, which are adaptable to any space.

You can check it out here.

Second Light Cognitive project has been longlisted in the Architectural Lighting Design category of Dezeen Awards 2020. Light Cognitive has created a lighting technology that recreates natural light in indoor spaces, using artificial windows and light panels. The studio has designed horizon and sky luminaires that recreate a sense of openness and connection to nature, which are adaptable to any space.

You can check it out here.


Third Light Cognitive project has been longlisted in the workplace design project category of Dezeen Awards 2020: an artificial light window that mimics natural light and supports wellbeing. Client: Paulig.

You can check it out here.


FBCC Corporate Member Scandikitchen is recruiting!


FBCC Corporate member ScandiKitchen is looking for a Management Accountant

ScandiKitchen is the UK’s biggest independent pan-Scandinavian food importer and distributor. They have an online retail operation delivering food to the UK and internationally along with a busy café and store in central London. Their wholesale arm distributes branded goods to independents and major retailers across the UK.

To support their ambitious growth plans, they are looking for an entrepreneurially minded Management Accountant to assist with strategy and manage our day-to-day accounting requirements. The role also looks after our HR processes and payroll.

This position would suit a newly qualified Management Account (ACCA, CIMA etc) or someone with equivalent solid working experience and knowledge. This role is full time and based in their office in Park Royal NW10.

To read more and apply for this position click here.

Finnair Ramping Up their Network

FBCC Member Finnair is happy to inform that as travel restrictions are removed in different countries and air travel starts to recover, they have now started to ramp up their operations! The  frequencies and routes will be added back to their network month by month from July onwards as the demand recovers.

The new schedule has now been published for the coming months all the way until end of March 2021 and they will gradually increase the flights from the United Kingdom and Ireland to Helsinki.

In July, August and September, Finnair are also able to resume flights to many of their long-haul destinations so that the short northern route via Helsinki is again open.

Check the exact, up-to-date timetable in the reservation system or on Finnair.com. Always remember to check the current restrictions for the destination country when planning or booking flights.

You can read the latest travel updates from Finnair’s website.

What Happens After Recovering from COVID-19? One Individual’s Data Story

The FBCC member Firstbeat has provided a unique insight into life after COVID-19 for one individual.

This individual, a 47-year-old man from London, contracted coronavirus in March. He was never admitted to hospital but was wiped out for well over a week and endured difficulty breathing, aches and pains, fever, and exhaustion. Thankfully, he made a full recovery and had returned to his normal routine when he took part in a Firstbeat measurement roughly one month on from the illnessThis measurement involves recording physiological reactions over a three-day period using heart rate variability to provide insights into everything from sleep and recovery, to exercise and stress.

The individual’s typical routine included a return to physical activity and working life. A combination that would usually leave him feeling energized. However, the results from his three-day measurement revealed that, although he had recovered from COVID-19, the knock-on effects of the respiratory illness appeared to be impacting his ability to recover effectively from even the most moderate of exercise.

For a man of his age, the typical stress and recovery balance score seen in a Firstbeat measurement report is 53 out of 100.  And the average ‘restorative effect of sleep’ score comes in at 57. This individual’s scores were 9 and 22 out of 100, respectively.

On Day 1 of the Assessment, despite only 13 minutes of vigorous physical activityand racking up almost eight hours of sleep, the individual experienced no daytime recovery and only minimal recovery overnight.

Day 3 was a similar story. Even though the individual noted in their diary some specific periods of ‘relaxation’ their body once again was unable to react affectively to balance the physiological stress brought on by periods of work and moderate exercise.

Although these results are only one person’s experience of life after recovering from COVID-19, it is interesting to note the apparent extended impact the illness had on this individual’s ability to recover. At least suggesting that a patient and slow approach to ramping up a return to normal life – and specifically exercise – if you have suffered from coronavirus may be the best and most sensible approach.

Read full article here.

“Podinar” with Marks & Clerk: Protecting Your Brand during the Lockdown 

Are brands important during the time of COVID-19? How should you protect your brand during these times? Does the lockdown bring any opportunities?

In our first ever “podinar”, Simon Portman and Michael Barret of Marks & Clerk and the general manager of the FBCC, Emma Jalonen, will discuss the current situation and what kind of difficulties and opportunities the lockdown has brought. Simon and Michael, as intellectual property experts, will also tell you how you can protect your brand during these times.


Simon PortmanSimon Portman specialises as a commercial contract lawyer for technology companies. He works for clients in the electronics, bioscience,  defence, software, nanotech and creative industries, advising companies ranging from small start-ups to big multinationals as well as individuals, public bodies and charities. You can read more here.



Michael BarrettMichael Barrett is dual-qualified as a Chartered (UK) and European Trade Mark Attorney and as a solicitor. He advises brand owners on all aspects of trade mark protection and registration, including portfolio management, clearance searching, trade mark prosecution, opposition, cancellation, revocation, licensing, assignment, infringement and the law of unregistered trade marks/passing-off. You can read more here.


About Marks & Clerk:

FBCC member Marks & Clerk has long been recognised as one of the leading intellectual property firms across the globe, with eight offices across the UK and a further nine in North America, Europe and the Asia-Pacific. 

Finnmark turns a box van into sauna

FBCC member Finnmark Ltd has launched a wood-burning sauna using a box van from Ifor Williams Trailers. The box van sauna was featured in the Northern Echo newspaper. Read the whole article here!

The box van sauna is new, purpose-built mobile sauna, which has a dimmable LED-lit back rest. The sauna will be parked up at idyllic tourist spots including the Lake District and at endurance events, cycle races and triathlons once lockdown restrictions lift.

Jake and Max Newport of Finnmark ltd consulted distributors Alan Tuer Trailers in Carlisle to find the perfect box van model to their project – the BV127. Finnmark ltd used western red cedar wood from Canada during construction, to keep weight to a minimum. Ifor Williams Trailers was chosen as the brands share the same values of quality and durability.

Finnmark Ltd is so pleased with its box van sauna it could lead to a new product range for leisure companies or private hire.

Finnmark Ltd is known in the industry for their uncompromising dedication to quality and authenticity when it comes to the sale of sauna equipment and bespoke installations. The growing company, which was founded in 2016, is based in County Durham’s Enterprise City.

Finnish-British Chamber of Commerce

The FBCC is an independent, non-profit organisation, recognized throughout the Finnish, British and international business communities. The Chamber offers four different membership categories: Patron, Corporate, Professional and Young Professional.