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From the Newsdesk

ACID’s Series of Influential Women in Design – ACID Legal Affiliate, Kelly Husdon

Kelly Hudson is a Director and solicitor at McDaniels Law, and one of ACID’s fantastic and dedicated legal affiliates. Kelly has experience across a range of IP matters, particularly in Trade Mark, Copyright and Design matters. A lot of you will probably have had first hand knowledge of Kelly’s intelligence, friendliness, knowledge of the law, and no mess attitude, as she has supported many of our members with intellectual property issues, large and small.

Although not strictly from the creative industries, Kelly has gained a wealth of knowledge of the design sector, having canvassed and campaigned with ACID for many years, plus supported members’ IP rights. So her view of design businesses, lone and micro to corporate, enables her to have a strong grasp of their workings. Kelly is also mother to a toddler, whilst succeeding in her no doubt high pressure and demanding, yet fulfilling career.

Kelly Hudson, Director & Solicitor at McDaniels Law and ACID legal affiliate

1. What is your role in the design industry? i.e., business or job role?

I am a solicitor and trade mark attorney working for McDaniel’s Law. I trained with the firm and I am now a Director there. We have worked with ACID as an affiliate law firm for several years now and help designers and IP owners at all levels with protection and enforcement of their IP. Working with such a wide range of businesses and individuals who design in different fields is one of the things I enjoy most about my job as it allows me to learn about new areas (as well as getting to practice law) and really gives us great insight into a client’s business, which is always, to me,  one of most interesting aspects of IP work, it is so multi-faceted.

2. Can you name any three women who inspire you, and why? Past or present

The first one would by mum. She has a very strong work ethic, which she instilled in me, and is generally a very resilient woman who I have always been able to depend on. She has always inspired me to push myself and achieve my maximum potential and always provides encouragement to do so.

Secondly I would say Baroness Hale of Richmond. This is quite a legal specific one but she was the first ever woman appointed as a Law Lord to sit in the House of Lords (before it became the Supreme Court). She then was the first woman to hold the title of President of the Supreme Court which she held until January 2020. I have had the pleasure of hearing her lecture once and her knowledge and insight were certainly something to aspire to. 

The third inspirational woman I would name would have to be the late Queen Elizabeth II. Obviously her achievements have been highlighted hugely with her recent passing but her reign defined several generations in this country and around the world and the service she provided is something I personally find incredibly inspiring.

3. Tell us one thing which people may not know about you? Personally or design associated.

I’m quite an open book but one thing people may not know is that I loved being creative and was very good at art in school. I would have loved to have worked in the creative industries myself but to be honest I am probably not quite creative enough! I have always enjoyed Law since doing a degree in the subject and working in IP gives me the perfect balance in my career by still allowing me involvement in the creative industries from the other side of the fence!

On a personal level I enjoy keeping fit and in the past have done a lot of running, mainly half marathons, although less so now as I have a toddler and a dog I wrangle with on a daily basis outside of my job.

4. Do you feel there are challenges for women in the design industry? Do you have any personal stories to share?

There are huge challenges. Although there is without doubt a better equality in the industry than there has been in the past, we are still nowhere near a position of actual equality and the industry is still male dominated at the top. There is still an inherent sexism within the industry and a bias towards men, I often see this when I attend events with ACID and we have to undertake protocols at exhibitions. I find people will feel it acceptable to speak to me in a manner they would not use with a man who was in my position of having to speak to them about a complaint made about their products. That said, I am not a person who has a problem standing my ground and the more women are in powerful positions or hold their ground when needed, the more attitudes will continue to change.

5. There tends to be a large rise of women in design, which is brilliant, but less women seem to hold higher positions in larger businesses. What do you think the design industry could do to redress this imbalance?

I think there is a gradual change to redress the imbalance but ultimately it is not just the design industry that needs to change but rather the change needs to occur in society as a whole. Many women fall behind male counterparts in careers due to the decision to have children and the main load of that decision then ultimately being put upon them, it is known as the ‘mothers load’. There needs to be a societal shift to take some of this emphasis off women and encourage the development of careers alongside motherhood. That is something which will take time but hopefully is happening, for example with the childcare provisions announcement in the recent budget which will hopefully allow many more women the opportunity to return to work when previously the cost of childcare would not have made this financially viable.  

Kelly Hudson

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