Member of the Month: August 2012

Andrew Harkness

A saxophone playing, Spanish speaking, Ceilidh loving founding member of GYP, Andy will be taking a break from 9-5 to pursue a Masters in Intellectual Property & the Digital Economy this year.

If this is an area of interest to you, have a look into Social Media Week which runs September 24th – 28th. GYP will be hosting a seminar with MacRoberts on the topic of Digital Wills.

What’s your background?

I’m from the small village of Kilmacolm outside Glasgow but chose to venture to the east coast to study Law and Spanish at the University of Edinburgh when I was 17.

During that time I also managed to spend a year abroad in Bilbao, Spain which was a fantastic experience and an opportunity to meet a whole bunch of folk from different cultures and countries.  It also now makes traveling within Europe a lot cheaper as I’ve a good choice of sofas to crash on.

Tell us about your work?

I work as a solicitor with The Royal Bank of Scotland where I advise the product teams within UK Retail on the regulatory and reputational impact of launching new products and enhancing existing ones.

I opted to go “in-house” when I qualified because I enjoy the more business-focused environment, and find my role gives me a huge amount of responsibility and a greater commercial understanding of the client.

If money and time were no object, what would you do?

Bit of a different answer but I think you should make the time – if you don’t, you’ll only regret it later.

On that note, I’m actually returning to university in September to do a LLM (Masters) in Intellectual Property & the Digital Economy.

Huge decision for me as I’m giving up the security of a really good job and all that goes with it (i.e. a steady salary) but I really want to push myself academically and get a deeper understanding of an area which is becoming more and more important to businesses everywhere.  I’m particularly interested in digital & financial regulation and e-commerce / data privacy.

It’ll also allow me to get back into music (I used to play saxophone really well) and have time back in my life for other interests.


Coffee: Where the Monkey Sleeps – great bagels! or Tchai-Ovna (but tea not coffee)

Quiet drink: Stravaigin or The Lansdowne Bar

Night out: More of a bar person but you can’t beat The Butterfly & the Pig

A Great Read: A Course Called Ireland. The story of an unfit golfer trekking his way around Ireland playing golf and covering around 900 holes in sixteen weeks – hilarious!

What has been your favourite GYP event & why?

Without doubt, the Christmas Ceilidh last year at the Art Club.  Good value, great craic and met loads of new folk.

This year we’re moving the Ceilidh to Burns Night for twice the fun! Tickets coming soon – Saturday, January 19th.