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Taking a shed-load of ideas across the pond

By Fred Bromwich

Creative ideas have taken a global branding agency across the Atlantic – two years after establishing its headquarters in Birmingham. Shed Brand Innovation was co- founded by American Angelique Green and Coventry graphic designer, Stuart Ruff, who first met while both working with Birmingham-based creative agency Boxer. Shed, which specialises in bringing new

brands or new products to market, now also operates from Charleston, the second largest city in the State of South Carolina. From its primary creative production studio in

Digbeth, at Fazeley Studios, Shed has already developed significant business connections in America – including projects for Coca Cola - but believes its new flagship ‘innovation lab’ in Charleston will only serve to further strengthen its appeal amongst US clients.

‘We specialise in forging mightier brands through brand communication that tells a good story’

Angelique, who prides herself on Shed’s ability to design ideas that change the way in which consumers interact with products, started her career working in Starbucks in her home city of San Francisco before being sent to open the firm’s first branches in England. Angelique went on to open Starbucks in 32 countries – and by the time she had left the company to work for Boxer, Starbucks had grown from 400 to 11,000 branches. “A lot of our clients are from the US but they chose to work with a British agency because the

Building mighty brands: The Shed team at Fazeley Studios

UK is known for having an eye for high quality design,” said Angelique. “Regional UK firms tend to have a friendly, down to earth approach and a strong work ethic. It’s a great cultural fit.” She added: “The world of brand

communication is constantly changing. ‘Likes’ are the new currency, content is king and data is everything. But the changing nature of technology doesn’t change human nature. “One thing remains absolutely constant in the

wake of all this change - it’s in our nature to love a good story. And we specialise in forging mightier brands through brand communication that tells a good story.” Shed’s team of specialists regard themselves

as ‘brand Innovators’, working with companies on their products and services, resulting in something new and relevant to customers. Angelique’s co-founder, Stuart Ruff, in his 20

year career, has worked for household names such as Tesco, Levi’s, Vodafone, Mothercare, Clarks and McDonald’s.

Tax expert makes Ohio move

Accountants Dyke Yaxley, which has offices in both the UK and US, has strengthened its team in Cleveland, Ohio, with the appointment of Raizy Margolin to its tax department. Raizy, who earned a Bachelor’s degree in

accounting from Touro College, New York, is a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants and is a certified public accountant in the State of New York. She began her career at Dixon Hughes Goodman and was most recently with Ernst & Young, where she assisted her clients in structuring international travel policies and agreements and providing compliance services to company employees.

Her practice focuses on providing advice and

solutions for cross-border taxation issues and matters unique to US citizens living and working abroad and foreign nationals travelling and working in the US. In addition, her expertise extends to companies sending employees on international assignments and providing advice regarding specific rules of compensation, tax equalization, and social tax treaties. “We are thrilled with the addition of Raizy

to our team,” said Rob Whittall, managing partner. “The breadth and scope of experience she brings further strengthens our ability to advise our clients and address international employment topics across the Atlantic.”

Bonita Trimmer, associate of Browne Jacobson A lesson from the

Panama papers Bonita Trimmer, an associate in the Birmingham office of law firm Browne Jacobson, discusses how to keep secrets in today’s ‘information age’.

The extensive debate provoked by the Panama papers (the leak of 11.5m files from Panama- based law firm Mossack Fonseca’s database) threatened, but failed, to stall the progress of the new EU Directive on Trade Secrets. Approval of the EU Council is still needed before the 24 month period allowed for the EU Member States to implement the Directive’s provisions starts. However, that is expected soon. Despite the frequent connections that have been

made between the Panama papers debate and the Directive, the majority of the information that has been published would be unlikely to fall within the Directive’s definition of a “trade secret” anyway. However, the need to balance the public interest

in freedom of expression (protected by article 10 ECHR) against a business’s interest in protecting its commercially-valuable secrets incorporated expressly into the Directive, echoes the similar tension between article 10 and the right for respect of private life (guaranteed by article 8 ECHR). Further in an age where, as noted by the Court

of Appeal, “the Internet and social networking have a life of their own… [and the UK] court has little control over what foreign newspapers… may publish” restraints imposed by a UK court may serve little purpose. This futility may be acknowledged by the Supreme Court if, following a recent oral hearing, it affirms the Court of Appeal decision to discharge the interim injunction it granted in the PJS v News Group Newspapers Ltd case concerning the privacy of a public figure’s extra-marital relationships. This situation may also occur in respect of trade

secrets; for example, as result of viral dissemination originating from a disgruntled ex- employee. In both cases damages may sometimes still be awarded where publication was not restrained, but they may be too little too late.

July/August 2016 CHAMBERLINK 25

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