Trademark lawyer Verena von Bomhard moved to Spain in 1996 when her firm asked her to open up a branch near the then new OHIM in Alicante. She never looked back. ‘IP-law is just so tangible. I must say I loved it from day one.’

It was Spanish that got her into IP-law and a bit of luck, recounts Verena von Bomhard over Skype from her office in Alicante. ‘Before I wasn’t even studying law I learned Spanish. This was very unusual for Germans at the time, especially for southern Germans, as they would normally travel down south and learn Italian. At the time I spoke Italian and French, so I thought ‘let’s do Spanish.’ At the time she was 19 and could have never guessed the impact that choice made on her career.

After graduating in Munich in law the founder of Alicante-based firm BomhardIP started working in public administrative law in Germany. ‘I was doing a lot of regulatory work, advising companies on environmental law. ‘Not what you envision to do as a lawyer that’s passionate about the environment.’

She did not quite identify with her work but her then firm, which was in part specialized in Intellectual Property-law (IP-law), decided to open up an office near the then new Office for Harmonization in the Internal Market, which had its seat in Alicante and later became the European Union Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO). ‘They were looking for someone who spoke Spanish within the office and I was the only one who did.’

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