CJCH Solicitors has joined forces with Swansea University Law School to form a collaborative partnership exploring international cyber-crime.
The professional collaboration will see specialist consultant from the leading legal firm, Luke Heydenrych, undertake a three-year PhD in Law exploring the motivating factors which influence intellectual property crime.
As part of his course Mr Heydenrych will study the psychology behind such crimes, and examine how cultural and geographical factors may influence infringement.
This is the latest strategic partnership undertaken by the university in a bid to encourage professional knowledge sharing, and economic progression across Wales, with previous collaborations including Rolls Royce.
On his research Mr Heydenrych said he was delighted to have been given the opportunity to research a topic he is passionate about. He said: “When the opportunity was presented to me by our CEO, Stephen Clarke, I was immediately interested due to Swansea’s reputation in the fields of post-graduate research and innovation.
“It has been fascinating studying the psychological motivations behind IP crime, with criminology theory taking up the majority of my focus from an initial research perspective.
“Much of what I am finding is that people tend to convince themselves that the behaviour of infringing online is different to that of physical theft. Excuses such as accessibility, cost and convenience are used when asking why someone might infringe online, but not in real life.”
His ground-breaking research will also incorporate 3D printing, to demonstrate how IP theft could lead to sensitive information bypassing safeguards, such as regulations or border controls, to allow items such as weapons or medical components to be printed in other countries
The research is also proving beneficial to Mr Heydenrych’s part-time role at CJCH Solicitors, enabling the firm to better tackle infringement and piracy on a global scale.
While the collaboration is with CJCH Solicitors, the firm’s consultancy arm, CJCH Consulting, is internationally renowned for providing industry leading anti-piracy and compliance services, tailored to client’s specific needs.
He said: “It goes without saying that the course will enhance my own development and value to the industry, but it will definitely contribute positively to the CJCH strategy. The firm has been shaking up the global Anti-Piracy and Licence Compliance industry from South Wales for many years, and is continuing to spend time and resources on expanding that offering, but also contributing to the general community knowledge and awareness.”
His employer has also been “extremely supportive” of him undertaking the challenging research work alongside his professional role. He said: “CJCH are my sponsor on this program, and have actually been incredibly supportive, they have adapted the role around my studies and have given me access to time and resources to complete my research wherever I am. CJCH understands the need to further this field and to develop the industry. I don’t think I would have found a law firm or consultancy this supporting anywhere else.”
Stephen Clarke, CEO at CJCH Solicitors, said: “Our collaboration with Swansea University Law School is a pilot initiative as we look at new opportunities to establish thought leadership and next generation thinking in the fields of digital commerce and cyber protection. We need to look to the bigger picture, that it is not about building our own internal capabilities, but sharing our insight to contribute to a more informed and able community.”