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.

Halfway greetings from FBCC autumn 2020 trainees Ella & Alina


As the autumn goes further, the air starts to get crispy, and the last leaves are falling from the trees it is time to face the halfway mark of our internship here at the chamber. Even though this year has been very exceptional, and we have had to adjust to the new ways of working, we both are very grateful for the experience and the growth attained as young professionals.

We started our internship in early August at the office, from where we have since moved to work from home. We are thankful for having been able to meet so many of our wonderful members and partners via online meetings. We have also learned how to create visual materials for the chamber’s social media platforms and newsletter, as well as being part of the process of creating and delivering a webinar and planning events.

For Ella, one of the biggest benefits of this internship has been the growth of her own international network through webinars and online meetings. She has found it very interesting to learn how companies are navigating through the pandemic. Additionally, she finds learning how to work using a variety of online platforms, from social media to bookkeeping, very beneficial for her future career. Ella is looking forward to developing her digital marketing skills even more during the next few months.

Alina has been very thankful to e-meet so many of the FBCC members from a variety of industries. She has learned a lot more about the differences between the Finnish and UK market. Alina values the experience she has gained with different social media platforms, and in fact, she has taken a project of writing a more thorough social media marketing strategy for FBCC. Additionally, she has learned to use different tools, such as InDesign and QuickBooks, and cannot wait to use the skills gained in her future career.

We are both happy to have a few more months left here at the chamber, and we are excited to see what the rest of the year has to offer for us. Hopefully, we will be able to meet even more of our members and partners in the upcoming (online) events, such as the Nordic Chambers’ Business Forum!

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)

Our September 2020 Newsletter

The summer days are coming to an end and the FBCC is ready for the autumn season. Hopefully, all of you have been able to enjoy this time of warm, sunny days and chilly nights.

We have now published our September newsletter. In the newsletter, you can find our member news and information about our upcoming webinars and events!

You can read the newsletter here

The FBCC is back from the holidays!

The FBCC is back from the holidays with a new team, energised and ready to work. Trainees Alina and Ella have finally arrived to London and joined our new General Manager Jade.

We hope you all had an amazing summer and you are ready for the upcoming autumn. We look forward to seeing you all at our virtual and live events soon!

We have also published our August newsletter and you can read it here


New trainees at the FBCC

This week the FBCC is welcoming two new trainees for the autumn 2020 period, please welcome Ella and Alina!

Ella is currently studying a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration at the Haaga-Helia University of Applied Sciences, UAS, in Helsinki. During her studies she has been focusing on finance and digital marketing. Before moving to London, she has been working in finance and sales. She is looking forward to learning about effective use of digital marketing and Finnish companies operating in the UK market. Ella is very excited about living in London this autumn and building her own professional network. For the future she wishes that the internship will help her grow as a young professional.

Alina is also studying a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration at Haaga-Helia UAS, and she is majoring in marketing and communications. Alina did her Erasmus exchange this Spring in Madrid, studying International Business and Digital Marketing at the Universidad Europea de Madrid. She is very excited to spend this autumn in London, working in an international environment and exploring the dynamic and lively city. Her goal for the autumn is to develop her networking skills and learn more about the ways that Finnish businesses operate in the UK. She hopes that the internship will enhance her future career in international business and help her create her own business network.

We wish the entire network happy rest of the summer, and hope to see you soon at our upcoming webinars and events!

FBCC Patron Goodwille is recruiting!


FBCC patron Goodwille is looking for an ambitious Marketing Executive, fluent in a Nordic language (preferably Swedish or Norwegian), to join their Marketing and Business Development team in London. Within your role you will be responsible for;

  • Managing, developing & growing our social media presence
  • Writing stories & articles in English for online distribution
  • Owning internal communication across the two sites
  • Managing the CSR initiative
  • Managing & organising webinars, events & seminars, in the UK & internationally
  • Proactively growing our network across the UK & Nordic countries
  • Promoting Goodwille to fast-growing Nordic businesses looking at entering the UK
  • Representing Goodwille at networking events

Although not a prerequisite, anyone that can demonstrate experience working with Photoshop or inDesign, along with experience in graphic design would be advantageous. The applicant should be able to demonstrate experience working across social media channels, preferably within a B2B organisation.

In addition to your main role as a Marketing Executive you will also be expected to support the close-knit marketing department with varied day-to-day tasks across the marketing mix. Reporting to the Marketing Manager but working day-to-day alongside another Marketing Executive you will be expected to confidently work independently, to manage your time and proactively develop your projects. As you grow in the role there is the opportunity to mould and develop the role into a position you find stimulating.

Goodwille a modern, forward-thinking and inclusive organisation, capable of offering an environment in which to accelerate your career in marketing & communications.

Read more about the position here.

Changes in the FBCC Team

Dear FBCC members, partners, friends, and extended network,

We hope you are all enjoying an amazing summer full of long, warm sunny days and some well-deserved time off. For us at the Chamber, this summer has been different in more ways than one – in addition to the lockdown, remote working and business unusual, we also have a big announcement to make. Our General Manager Emma Jalonen will be stepping down from her position on 31st July and starting 1st August her successor Jade Juvonen will be taking on the role.  Many of you may remember Jade from her previous time at the Chamber in Autumn 2019.

I, Emma, would like to sincerely thank all of you for your support, for attending our events and for engaging with us. These past three years at the Chamber have given me so much, both professionally and personally, and I have had the enormous privilege of meeting so many of you. It truly has been my pleasure meeting so many inspiring and interesting people from different industries and backgrounds and hosting you at our events. Working for the FBCC has been an amazing experience and I consider myself very lucky to have been given the opportunity to leave my mark on our operations. I also want to give a special thanks to our Board of Directors for giving me this opportunity, for believing in me and for all your support. I know I will be leaving the chamber in capable hands and I look forward to seeing what Jade and her team will accomplish over the next years.

As for me, Jade, when I left London this March, I knew I was coming back, but what I did not know was how and when it would happen. It is probably the most unique time to take on this role, with upcoming changes caused by Brexit and especially the pandemic. However, I am beyond excited to be back on the team! The past spring has been challenging for everyone, but it has also given room for innovation and new opportunities. I’d like to thank Emma and her Spring 2020 team for taking good care of the chamber and for proving us that the FBCC is able adapt to extreme changes.

The FBCC Team will be joined by two wonderful new trainees on 3rd August and they will be introduced to the network in the August Newsletter. We cannot wait to see all our members and friends at upcoming virtual and (hopefully) live events in the Autumn. There are lots of exciting things planned, so keep an eye out for updated on our website and newsletter.

Please join us in wishing Emma all the best in her future endeavours (you can stay in touch with her via LinkedIn) and welcoming Jade back to the Chamber and congratulating her for her new role.

Wishing the entire network health and happiness and I hope you enjoy the rest of the Summer!

Warmest Regards,
Emma & Jade

The FBCC Wishes You a Lovely Summer!

The FBCC office will be closed for the month of July. We will be back in the office on 3rd August. During July, our General Manager Emma Jalonen will be intermittently available via email: emma@fbcc.co.uk.

We wish you all a lovely Summer full of warm, sunny days, that will enable you to return to work in the Autumn with recharged batteries and new energy. We look forward to seeing you all at our virtual and (hopefully) live events soon!

We have also published our summer newsletter and you can read it here.

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.