Copyright theft fighter FACT installs Lotus IP lawyer as first GC

The Federation Against Copyright Theft (Fact) has taken on Group Lotus in-house lawyer Byron Jacobson as its first permanent general counsel.

Jacobson, who was an IP lawyer at the car maker, joined Fact on 1 May to run its legal function, which previously relied on external advisers such as Wiggin, Russell-Cooke and Belfast’s Edwards & Co.

Byron Jacobson
Byron Jacobson

It has also taken on secondees in the past, including Wiggin IP litigation partner Neil Parkes, who served as its acting general counsel for six months from 2011 to early 2012 while still an associate.

The trade organisation combats online, hard-goods and source piracy and works with bodies including the police, Trading Standards branches and the Serious Organised Crime Agency.

News of its plan to hire a general counsel emerged in April (26 April 2013).

Jacobson said he was likely to maintain Fact’s existing law firm relationships rather than bring over advisers from previous roles, with a formal panel unlikely.

He qualified at specialist IP firm Nelson & Roediger in Phoenix, Arizona, and worked as an IP associate at US outfit Dorsey & Whitney’s Denver base. He moved to the UK in 2003, where he became an in-house lawyer at drinks group Allied Domecq, which was taken over by French rival Pernod Ricard in 2005.

He has not been replaced at Lotus, whose legal team is overseen by head of legal services Karen Bloodworth.

For more on Fact and the battle against online piracy in the UK, see City analysis