Londonderry solicitor aims to help exports to India

Caldwell and Robinson, the Derry legal practice, is helping Northern Ireland companies develop business in India. The practice has been assisted by Invest Northern Ireland to team up with a Bangalore firm that will help Northern Ireland exporters with any legal problems they find in India.

The link-up with Indian solicitors, Narosuppa Daraswamy Raja, follows Caldwell and Robinson’s participation in a recent Invest NI trade mission to India and has been assisted by the agency’s trade team in Mumbai.

Driving the relationship is Philip Gilliland, a Caldwell and Robinson partner, who spent 11 years in management with international manufacturers supplying markets in South and East Asia. He subsequently returned to law and joined the family solicitors, Caldwell and Robinson, in Derry.

Mr Gilliland says: ‘I have seen the growth in interest among Northern Ireland companies in vibrant markets such as India and China and I have extensive knowledge of the legal pitfalls they can face from my time in manufacturing.

“In a bid to help local companies avoid such pitfalls I joined the Invest NI trade mission and was helped by the team in Mumbai to identify a potential business partner in India. They came up with a list of potential partners including Narosuppa Daraswamy Raja in Bangalore, one of India’s technology hubs.

“I visited several and decided that this company was the best fit for us and also for Northern Ireland SMEs. The practice is a similar size and provides many of the services that we offer business clients in Northern Ireland. We also benefit from the legal system in India being influenced by English Common Law.

“What the deal means to Northern Ireland companies is direct access through Caldwell and Robinson to expert legal advice in areas that could be crucially important to successful business in India, such as Intellectual Property Protection, enforcement of contracts, sales and distribution agreements, business start up and partnering agreements.

“In addition, Indian companies interested in setting up in Northern Ireland can access our expert services through our new partner in Bangalore. We have considerable interest in Northern Ireland as a European location among Indian technology businesses,” he adds.

Dr Vicky Kell, commenting on the strategic partnership, says: “Caldwell and Robinson has identified a business opportunity and could help many SMEs in Northern Ireland overcome any apprehensions they may have about the huge Indian marketplace.

“Obviously IP and copyright protection is one concern. There are others associated with doing business in international markets, among the most important being implications arising from agency/distribution agreements. These can pose problems if not based on the correct legal procedures and requirements.

“We have been actively encouraging companies such as Caldwell and Robinson which offer expert services to consider the opportunities now developing in international markets. This agreement is therefore a very encouraging development for the company and Invest NI.”

Caldwell and Robinson is a long-established and widely respected legal practice in Derry, employing 15 people and providing a broad range of professional legal services to clients throughout Northern Ireland.