TM20: Cherrie Stewart

19th Aug 2021

Likes to keep her outlook positive.


I work as… a Chartered Trade Mark Attorney and Director with MacLachlan & Donaldson (Ansons) in Belfast.

Before this role, I was… an administrative assistant to a patent and trade mark attorney in the same office. 

My current state of mind is… calm and positive, which is my preferred state of being as I’d much rather look on the bright side of life. As Eeyore says: “It never hurts to keep looking for sunshine”.

I became interested in IP… when I covered the maternity leave of a receptionist in an IP firm 22 years ago.

I am most inspired by… a challenge. I’m at my best when trying to solve a problem within a deadline. 

In my role, I most enjoy… educating people about the need for good IP protection. At the start of a seminar to students in a university start-up programme, I asked how many of the participants thought they had IP in their business. Only two or three put up their hands. I asked the same question at the end and they all had their hands in the air. Job done!

In my role, I most dislike… advising clients who have received a C&D to rebrand. It is so disappointing for them and so often could have been avoided if only they had conducted a thorough clearance search before adopting a mark. 

On my desk is… a bag of dog treats, in an attempt to keep my dogs (two miniature schnauzers, Bonnie and Bailey) quiet as I work from home, plus my “100 books bucket list”.

My favourite mug is… a Friends Central Perk giant tea cup. Obviously I’m a child of the ’90s.

My favourite place to visit on business is… Boston. It’s an amazing historic city, with the Cheers pub and the Red Sox stadium.

If I were a brand, I would be… Levi’s. I don’t tend to follow fashion trends, but “quality never goes out of style”.

In my pocket is… my iPhone and more dog treats.

The talent I wish I had is… the ability to play a musical instrument well. I learned classical guitar as a child but didn’t take time to practise.

I can’t live without… my KindleTM

My ideal day would include… a long walk with the dogs, a bubble bath with a good book, and a meal out with my husband, family or some friends.

The biggest challenge for IP is… spreading awareness about the importance of intangible assets and how a lack of protection can affect a business’s future growth.

The best piece of advice I’ve been given is… don’t compare yourself to others. You are you, so be the best you that you can be. 

When I want to relax… I take a long walk around Lough Fea or through a forest with my dogs.

In the next five years I hope to… spend more time with my family and friends. Among other things, the pandemic has taught me the importance of meaningful contact with loved ones. 

The best thing about being a member of CITMA is… the opportunities to stay informed and to learn from the experience of my peers and colleagues.