Wednesday, 4 November 2009

Trade mark case delayed by Christmas

Legal Week reports that a trade mark infringement case between Asda, the supermarket chain (owned by Wal-Mart) and Specsavers, the high street optician chain, has been delayed to allow for the fact that as a term of their appointment to Asda's panel, Pinsent Mason had to agree that lawyers working on the account would work for three days over Christmas stacking shelves.

While I am sure that the lawyers will get to know their client better as a result, I'm not sure that stacking shelves will teach them much about the business. If the report is accurate - and I do treat everything I read in the press with suspicion - it seems to me that no-one's interests are being served save those of Asda's shareholders. Junior lawyers (it doesn't seem to apply to partners) lose days over Christmas, prospective part-time workers lose the opportunity to earn some money, and Specsavers have to wait for their day in court. If Pinsent Mason's social responsibility efforts are reduced to the extent that they are obliged to give time to a client, that would be the icing on the cake.

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