Shelagh Gaskell

I am very sad to learn from Pinsent Masons’ website of the death of Shelagh Gaskell. I had known Shelagh for over 20 years. Although we had lost touch some years ago I will miss her greatly. I am sure I shall not be the only lawyer to do so.

She was a lovely lady but a very formidable one. The first time I met her was at Leeds University shortly after she would have joined Dibb Lupton Fawcett (as DLA Piper was known at that time). I was giving a talk on protecting semiconductor chip topograpraphies which was a burning issue before the Washington Treaty. Simon Chalton, who was then senior partner of Dibbs, brought her along and I remember that she asked me some very perceptive questions.

I got to know her better at the IBA conference in Buenos Aires in 1988. There were not many Brits at that conference – HMG had not yet restored diplomatic relations with Argentina – and even fewer Northerners. Apart from Simon and Shelagh the only other delegate from the North was Dan – now Lord – Brennan QC so I think we stuck together. That was the best IBA conference ever.

There were not many computer lawyers in the 1980s. The few of us who practised in the North – John Morris and Felicity Brandwood of the NCC, Graham Wood of Cobbetts, Jonathan Moakes of Halliwell Landau, Dai Davis of Hepworth & Chadwick and Simon and Shelagh of Dibbs – had a little dining club where someone would read a paper and we would discuss it over dinner. That was came to an abrupt end when the Manchester Club removed to the top of a high rise on Charlotte Street.

Shelagh followed Simon from Dibbs to Masons and stayed there after Simon moved on to Bird & Bird. We lost touch some time after I opened nipc in 1997. That was probably because I no longer had sufficient spare time or money for IBA and CLA conferences.

I should like to express condolences to all her friends and colleagues at Pinsent Masons, DLA Piper and elsewhere.


About Jane Lambert

I am a barrister specializing in intellectual property, technology, media and entertainment and competition law. I specialize in helping SME (small and medium enterprises) protect and exploit their investment in brands, design, technology and the arts. SME require intellectual property (legal protection for their intellectual assets) at least as much as big business but their limited means restrict the way they can use it. Looking after such clients wisely requires skills and knowledge which have taken me years to learn.
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