Sole trading!

Neil Robinson (The Custom Underground), Elaine Campbell & Natalie Baldwin (Northumbria Law School)

Neil Robinson (The Custom Underground), Elaine Campbell & Natalie Baldwin (Northumbria Law School)

We’re incredibly lucky to be able to work with creative entrepreneurs at the Student Law Office.  The energy and inventiveness of the creative sector captures the imagination of our students, who are thrilled to be able assist those businesses with free advice and documentation.

One such business is The Custom Underground which was launched in April 2013 by Neil Robinson, creating and designing bespoke shoes.

According to Neil, the business was born from a ‘moment of madness’ after deciding to doodle on a pair of plimsolls he was about to throw out. Since then it has quickly caught the eye of consumers, including a number of UK celebrities, and due to its soaring popularity he expanded his range to include t-shirts, hats and jackets as well as unique, one-off products.

With a growing consumer base seeking his bespoke products, Neil was keen to develop a tailored set of terms and conditions for his customers and was referred to the Student Law Office at Northumbria University. We were only too happy to help.

The entrepreneur, who lives in Stockton-On-Tees, said: “The Custom Underground has been really successful in quite a short space of time. I have had orders from the cast of The Only Way is Essex, members of dance group Diversity, and prominent UK DJs which has been amazing and really helped raise the profile of my work.

“The nature of my business, with bespoke and made-to-order products, meant I needed tailored guidelines so I was referred to the Student Law Office at Northumbria University.

“The help I received from the team there was fantastic. They understood exactly what I was looking for and they were great to work with, helping me to create a set of terms and conditions that covered everything from personalised designs and intellectual property to pricing, payment, returns and refunds.”

He explained: “I am really grateful to the Student Law Office – until recently I didn’t even realise this type of service existed. It’s brilliant that it can help people like me who are just starting out and don’t have a huge amount of money to pay for these types of services. I would certainly recommend it and I won’t hesitate to get in touch in the future as my business takes off.”

He continued: “I am still a one man band at the moment – everything about the business I do myself, including the website, orders and the designing of the products. I live with my partner and our two-and-a-half year old son so there is not much time for sleep.”

The custom and online elements to Neil’s business meant that standard terms and conditions wouldn’t offer the appropriate cover. More detailed and in-depth terms were required and it was important that we worked with Neil to ensure they were robust while fitting with the overall style of his website. Neil worked with our student trainee, Natalie Baldwin, who qualifies as a solicitor in September. We are thrilled that Neil was happy with the service we offered and we are looking forward to working with him again in the future.

For more information about our work with The Custom Underground, please visit: https://www.northumbria.ac.uk/about-us/news-events/news/2014/07/bespoke-law-service-for-bespoke-north-east-business/