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Stephen Welfare


T: 020 7842 1426 (DDI)
T: 020 7583 2222

Stephen is a partner in our Technology & Media and Dispute Resolution teams. He is an experienced commercial litigator with a particular specialism in contentious intellectual property (IP) law. He is also the IP lawyer to the National Association of Jewellers and regularly contributes industry news for its members.

Stephen is an expert litigator who is in tune with his clients’ objectives. He gets results often without the need to go to court through out-of-court settlements. He has the ability to bring together the right team with the right skills for each case on its individual merits, so as to bring the matter to a successful conclusion.

Michael Edenborough QC, Serle Court

Stephen Welfare is an expert in intellectual property law, and knowledgeable about our industry. His advice is always commercially founded and yet sympathetic to the needs of jewellery design and manufacture. In addition to advising the NAJ and its Members on IP, he performed official duties such as Legal Officer at AGMs and the like.

Lindsey Straughton, National Association of Jewellers

About Stephen

Stephen studied at the College of Law, Guildford and trained as a solicitor at Royds. He qualified in 1993 and became a partner at Royds and now Royds Withy King in 1999.

Recognised by The Legal 500 UK as “always professional”, Stephen deals with all aspects of contentious intellectual property law, including

  • copyright disputes
  • patent infringement
  • trade mark disputes and passing off actions
  • design law issues.

He is responsible for the operation of the “Copywatch” IP Protection Scheme with the National Association of Jewellers and the British Travelgoods and Accessories Association.

With a wealth of experience dealing with intellectual property disputes, Stephen writes regular articles for the jewellery and luxury goods press (such as Retail Jeweller, Professional Jeweller, Jewellery in Focus and Fashions Extras) and has commented on topical issues on TV and radio.

Stephen is also an experienced general commercial litigator and his work has included media and sports law issues, disciplinary appeals and tribunals, licensing matters, Inland Revenue and HM Customs and Excise investigations. He also has expertise in estate agency law and business transfer agents fees recovery actions.

Work highlights

UKAJ logoWe are pleased and honoured to announce that we have been shortlisted for Service Supplier of the Year in the 2018 UK Retail Jewellery Awards.

The ceremony celebrates the very best in British jewellery and contributions made to the industry


Stephen’s client list includes Shaun Leane, David Marshall, Sarah Jordan and Paul Spurgeon (all former UK Jewellery designers of the year); Smyths Toys; East; Leatherman Tools Inc; Buck Knives Inc; Christie Group and Monsoon Accessorize as well as sports stars and celebrities.

Stephen’s reported cases include:

  • Agent’s commission dispute: Christie Owen & Davies plc v RAOBGLE Trust Corp. (2011) EWCA Civ 1151
  • Abuse of process: R v Buckinghamshire County Council Trading Standards ex parte Roberts (1994)
  • Copyright in artistic craftsmanship: Vermaat v Boncrest [2001] FSR 44
  • Unregistered design right: Landor & Hawa International v Azure Designs [2006] EWCA Civ 1285


Stephen is a member of the Intellectual Property Lawyers Association.

Outside of work, Stephen enjoys reading about historical military campaigns, watching cricket and playing golf.

The Legal 500 - The Clients Guide to Law Firms

For me it’s all about the clients.
What is their business, what is the nature of the dispute (or issue), and what resolution are they looking for?
The challenge is to understand these elements and apply law and procedure correctly, appropriately and proportionately in order to achieve commercial satisfaction.

Stephen Welfare

Related articles

Opinion [4]
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What is retention of title clause, and what does it mean for retailers?

11 October 2018

Basically a clause included in a sale of goods contract that where particular goods are sold on an order-by-order basis (i.e. on credit) legal title does not pass to the buyer until the goods have been paid for. The ordinary rule is otherwise that ownership transfers to the buyer upon delivery of the goods. A prudent seller will have retention of title clauses included in its terms and conditions.

Read more..
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10 Minute Topic: Estate Agent Fee Recovery

30 April 2018

Land and buildings, whether domestic or commercial, continue to increase in value as demand outstrips supply. Sellers will naturally look to save money wherever they can and avoiding an agent’s fee is occasionally seen as one possibility. With the increase in the use of online marketing methods and low cost commissions and self-help, the hard working estate agent has never before been so under threat by competition and financial/economic pressures. Being able to recover his contractual fee in law and in practice must be of paramount importance.

Read more..
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Brexit and intellectual property

12 March 2018

I posted a blog on the likely effects of Brexit on intellectual property back in July 2016. A year and a half on, and with negotiations between the UK Government and the EU moving along at a pace considerably slower than a skeletal sled, has any progress been made and is anything more certain?

In this blog, I review the position and provide an update.

Read more..
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Garden landscaping – who owns the design?

8 November 2017

It is probably universally accepted that an architect owns the design in a building. But what of a garden? Intellectual property specialist Stephen Welfare explores the issue.

Read more..
News [4]

Law firm Royds Withy King urges ASA to ‘flushlush’

1 June 2018

Cosmetics retailer Lush has launched a bizarre marketing campaign that amongst other accuses the police of ‘spying’ and being ‘paid to lie’. The campaign has left shoppers bemused and could have uncomfortable consequences for the popular retailer.

Read more..
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Royds Withy King advises the NAJ on the Made in Britain partnership

19 September 2017

Specialist intellectual property (IP) lawyers from UK Top 100 law firm Royds Withy King in London have advised the National Association of Jewellers (NAJ) on a strategic partnership with Made in Britain, the organisation representing more than 1,000 UK makers across 40 product sectors with one universal manufacturer’s marque.

Read more..
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New online copyright launch in China

17 May 2017

The Copyright Society of China (“CSC”) has launched its official online Copyright Monitoring Centre (“the Centre”).  The Centre had been founded for some time, since August 2016, but only went live last month.  The CSC hopes that the Centre will …

Read more..

Copyright changes to come into force

26 July 2016

Changes to intellectual property law, set to take effect later this month, will extend the length of copyright protection for certain artistic works. The decision to repeal Section 51 of the Copyright, Designs & Patents Act has been welcomed by …

Read more..

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