Serena Tierney

Serena Tierney

Senior Consultant



Commercial and intellectual property lawyer Serena was a partner in a City law firm, leading and managing the Intellectual Property and Information Law team. In May 2020, she decided that she wanted a change of direction and retired from the partnership to apply her experience in a different context.

Serena is currently a non-executive director of a large national mathematics charity where she chairs the Contracts Committee, sits on Finance, Audit & Risk and is a member of the joint management board responsible for delivering two multi-million pound government projects.

She also sits as an adjudicator on the disciplinary panel of a national membership organisation.

For many years she worked in-house for FTSE 100 and international companies in the UK and elsewhere. She was most recently Global Head of Intellectual Property Law for Telefónica Europe plc. Earlier she worked for Disney, Diageo and Guinness.

She brings a practical and pragmatic team-based approach to problem-solving for her clients.

Her philosophy has always been to build strong relationships with stakeholders across the organisation and to ensure that the legal team empowers people outside it to carry out their roles efficiently and effectively from a legal, financial and risk perspective.

She has a business and commercial background in the telecommunications, entertainment and beverages industries and has professional experience of advising businesses in the pharmaceutical and medical devices sectors.

Serena has worked with over 60 of the UK’s leading universities, mostly in connection with research and development and commercialisation of research.

Recent relevant experience includes

  • Acting in the sale of the infrastructure supporting a significant part of the Internet
  • Supporting the development and MHRA approval of medical device software
  • Advising a GCHQ AI spin-out on use of commercially and personally sensitive data for its financial services clients
  • Patent licensing dispute arising from commercial funding of university research programme
  • IP strategy and structuring for early-stage businesses seeking funding
  • Working with Alan Turing Institute to develop GDPR-compliant processes for research and machine learning
  • Advising medical device manufacturer on a major product recall and remediation
  • Patent ownership dispute over technology for surveying radioactive sites

Fine Print

Key Practices

IP (contentious and non-contentious)

Tech including AI

Data protection for innovators


Education & Training

University of Oxford, Somerville College (MA Philosophy & Modern Languages)

University of Wolverhampton – CPE and LSF

Chartered Institute of Arbitrators (Mediation)

Legal Roles

Global Head of IP at Telefonica

O2, Disney and Diageo.

Marriott Harrison

Wragge & Co (now WLG Gowling)

Partner – City office VWV.


Data Safe Havens in the Cloud – arXiv:1908.08737 – with Alan Turing Institute

Awards & Nominations

IAM Strategy 300

Acritas Star Lawyer

FT Innovative Lawyers

Other Interests

I’m a keen gardener, growing masses of wild strawberries and verbena bonariensis despite my gardener’s best efforts to eradicate them

A Social Cause I am passionate about

I’m a trustee of a national charity improving maths education for all – MEI –  I’m passionate about making numeracy accessible especially to socially diverse and adult learners.

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