Meet The Experts: Clare Mullarkey, Trade Mark Attorney | All By Mama
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Meet The Experts: Clare Mullarkey, Trade Mark Attorney

Meet The Experts: Clare Mullarkey, Trade Mark Attorney


The ALL by MAMA Network has a whole host of experts handpicked to help you with your business. Today we would like to introduce you to our Trade Mark Attorney Clare Mullarkey


Tell us a little bit about yourself

I’m a Mum to two daughters, with a 14-month age gap, things are noisy and hectic in our house! In the rare moments to myself I enjoy reading, mainly fiction or autobiographies, and binge-watching tv series and the occasional film. Coffee is a very important part of my life, and I have a very sweet tooth. Basically, a coffee and cake date is my idea of heaven. I’m fairly inquisitive (nosy!) and love finding out new things. I live rurally in a village in Bedfordshire but absolutely adore cities, especially London and New York.

Work-wise, I’m a trade mark attorney with 16 years’ experience protecting and enforcing brands. I’ve worked in quite a few different roles in that time, working in-house with Unilever and Diageo; working at large multi-national law firms; and working for myself. In April 2019 I joined a small boutique intellectual property firm based in London.

What inspired you to start your business

I started my trade mark firm when I was on maternity leave with my youngest daughter. My role at the time was full-time in a large law firm, with a 4-hour round-trip commute; I realised that I couldn’t juggle being the employee I wanted to be alongside being the parent I wanted to be. I set up my company originally with the aim of providing freelance support to law firms. In time, this grew into more direct-client advice, with the occasional freelance contract. The business grew to a point where I needed extra support, and after exploring various options, I decided to join my current firm. Thankfully the majority of my clients came along with me and I get to work with some amazing businesses, whilst knowing that when I’m on holiday or at capacity, there’s other people who can help out. Plus I have access to other brilliant businesses I would never have had the chance to meet.

Describe your typical day

Ha, there is no typical day, which is actually why I love what I do. Each day is different. I can be meeting potential clients for a coffee in the morning, and then spend the afternoon drafting arguments or a co-existence agreement. The variety is a big part of what keeps me going, I like seeing the different challenges that come up and finding solutions to various issues.

Name three words that describe success to you

  • Security
  • Balance
  • Freedom

Name three business tips that you would give to yourself, if you were first starting out

  • I used to hate networking, but it’s now so much easier to find events that suit you personally, and I think that’s crucial. If you feel comfortable, you’ll find it much easier to speak with like-minded people and make a proper connection; not just a business card exchange. Try as many different types of events as you can find, and don’t assume you know what it’s like from the social media coverage of a particular event. Some of my best networking events have been a surprise to me as I thought they would be stuffy, or that they were too cool for me.
  • Take time out to plan. At the start I was guilty of quite a scattergun approach to my day with no structure. I also found that I was stressed by feeling like I had to do all the things, all the time. Once I realised that planning my week made things go more smoothly, it was a lightbulb moment. I’m not perfect at it, but it’s a lot better when I take 30 minutes to plan out my week and include time for marketing as well as doing the work, and the admin of running the business. It stops any single task becoming overwhelming.
  • Say no. You don’t have to say yes to every work opportunity that comes along. Take your time to assess whether you want the work, whether you have capacity for it, and whether it’s something that will benefit your business, either financially or because of the experience or contact. If it won’t serve you well, say no, and don’t apologise for saying no.

How do you juggle work & play

Much better than I used to! I used to feel an immense amount of guilt if I wasn’t working every spare minute. Now I have set boundaries. I put an out of office on when I’m not available. And I make sure that when I have a day off I plan to do something away from anything that might accidentally drag me back into work mode. My top tip would be to have a separate work phone (use an old phone or pick up a cheap handset) so that it is easier to step away from work especially in evenings and weekends.

What would be your Plan B?

I’d run a bookshop with a coffee shop attached.



IG @claretrademark

Twitter @claretrademark



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