George McCanney

Intellectual property specialist Secerna LLP continues its growth as it welcomes two new members to its team.

Doctor of Philosophy George McCanney joins the established intellectual property law firm as a trainee patent attorney to support a growing worldwide client base of multi-national corporations, FTSE and NYSE listed companies, universities, spin out companies, small businesses and innovators, and Grace Holliday joins as executive assistant to support the firm’s clients and attorneys.

George earned a degree in Bioscience from the University of Liverpool before undertaking a PhD in Neuroscience at the University of Glasgow. His PhD project focused on the repair of the central nervous system, particularly working on drugs that may be able to help MS sufferers. At Secerna, he will apply his expertise to help biotech companies protect their intellectual property.

A highly experienced and a fully trained legal secretary, Grace worked in conveyancing for Leeds law firms before spending two years living and working in Australia.


On moving into intellectual property law, George said, “Whilst I enjoyed my time in academia, I always felt that my future lay elsewhere once I had completed my PhD. Working in IP law appealed as no two cases are the same, you’re constantly learning about new technology and facing different challenges.”

Grace said, “When I returned to the UK, I was looking for a new challenge in a new area of law. As soon as I sat down with Jason and Charlotte, I knew that intellectual property law was where I wanted to be. There has been lots to learn and take in but working with a tremendous team has helped that process.”

Secerna partner Charlotte Watkins said, “Despite challenging times, the firm is experiencing continued growth, and we are committed to providing clear development paths for talented young science and technology graduates who, like George, are looking for an alternative to a career in academia.

“We are very happy to welcome two new starters to the team of George and Grace’s calibre. Both bring a wealth of knowledge to their roles and are already proving incredibly valuable to our work with clients across the UK and beyond.”