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Beyond the Bio: A Spotlight on Andrew Buckley & M'Lynn Phillips


At IMS, we believe our people are our greatest asset. In honour of our incredible team, we are thrilled to go "beyond the bio" and share the personal stories of employees across our organisation.

As integral members of the Visual Advocacy team, Trial Consultant Andrew Buckley and Graphic Designer M'Lynn Phillips lend their creativity, passion, and experience to support clients. Discover their perspectives on the most rewarding aspects of working at IMS, their outlook on the industry's evolution, their favourite case, and more.

Andrew Buckley, Trial Consultant

Q: How/why did you get into this industry?

A: Before transitioning to this industry, I spent a decade as a freelance photojournalist developing multimedia content for organisations and individuals. I had no idea this niche field existed until I found a graphic design position at Barnes & Roberts. I had always been connected to and interested in the legal field through family, but I did not realise how much of my experience and skills translated into helping attorneys tell stories and portray complex information, as many of them did not go to trials and utilise these kinds of services.

Q: How did you find / why did you choose IMS?

A: I previously worked at Barnes & Roberts, which merged with The Focal Point, and then was acquired by IMS. It has been great to see the growing group of creatives bring so many new perspectives and skills to each case.

Q: What do you like most about your specific department and role?

A: Beyond what everyone contributes to each project, the bonds built during the long hours, war rooms, great successes, and hardships are among the sincerest and something very few people would understand outside this industry. I enjoy working on the variety of cases that come through the door and the new learning opportunities they bring, such as the intricacies of water slide patents or how specific language influences trade secret disputes. I also utilise my skills outside consulting with 3D printing and UAV survey projects.

Q: What internal accomplishment are you most proud of?

A: Something I have thought about recently is how good it feels, win or lose, to be a valuable part of a good team. Getting feedback from clients that they value the work we do, our insights, and that they want to work with us again always feels like a great accomplishment.

Q: What do you think sets IMS apart from competitors or other companies?

A: Our growing set of in-house capabilities excites me about the potential of future cases. From 3D modelling and animation to drone multimedia and medical illustrations, we utilise the immense variety of skills throughout the department to make intricate visuals that are thoughtfully produced from concept to final presentation.

Q: How do the IMS core values align with your own?

A: Overall, each case I work on gives me a boost of creative inspiration to collaborate with my colleagues, who also provide “Ownership Thinking” in every concept, graphic, and bit of knowledge that we send out into the world. Especially when we go onsite for a trial, nothing is more important to me than everyone on our team “Operating as One.” We work together to tell the best visual stories possible.

Q: If you were an attorney-client, what would you find most valuable about the process at IMS?

A: Because we work on so many cases every year covering a variety of subjects, our consultants, designers, and strategists have a holistic view of producing the best content possible. Very few cases are only about a document, a graphic, a product, or a patent. While producing a photo/video project for a client months or years before trial, I tend to think about how the content will be utilised and integrated, with graphics or expert narration, for example, into the overall story once it is finally presented to a jury. By considering each step of the process, each case can be presented in the most compelling way possible so that the jury feels they have all the information to make a well-informed decision.

Q: Do you have any predictions or comments on industry trends?

A: Technology will always be a factor in how the legal field evolves. As courtrooms continue to modernise, I expect that certain cases and judges will become more accepting of new technologies like augmented reality (AR) to show complex structures in a physical space or give jurors a first-person perspective of events such as mining operations or car accidents. I had a trial last year where a drone was allowed to hover in the courtroom since most of the jury had never seen a drone in person. Thinking outside the box on how to use these rapidly evolving technologies will become more vital as many cases deal directly with these concepts, especially in the IP realm.

Q: What has been your favourite case to work on so far?

A: Moonbug v. BabyBus was a memorable experience, not only because we worked with a fantastic trial team and I had a decent amount of time to take long walks around San Francisco, but because the IMS team was given so much creative freedom to tell the story of CoComelon, a children's YouTube channel. Our work was able to communicate and speak to the years of problem-solving, passion, and creativity that the artists possessed to bring this character to life. It was a tough case in many respects—nobody needs to hear nursery rhymes that many times per day in a room full of adults—but I could not have asked for a better team to work with to produce some of the best storytelling visuals I can think of.

M'Lynn Phillips, Graphic Designer

Q: How / why did you get into this industry?

A: It was a complete accident! Many of my colleagues and I were not aware of this industry before starting. I love doing work that is stimulating and poses a unique problem to solve. That was the biggest draw to this position when I heard about it. Each case has its own unique set of facts, and while many cases can fall into a formulaic routine, think patent trials, you still have to tackle each case with a fresh perspective.

Q: How did you find / why did you choose IMS?

A: The culture was immediately the most attractive thing about IMS. The Visual Advocacy department has a tight-knit bond, camaraderie, and dedication to providing best-in-class service. It is really a unique environment where everyone is supportive and uplifting of one another.

Q: What do you like most about your specific department and role?

A: I love how much everyone is willing to chip in, help, and go the extra mile for each other. I can trust my colleagues to do amazing work and have my back. That is invaluable to have when you are in the war room. This job requires doing things quickly while maintaining accuracy and attention to detail. Being able to rely on your team without a second thought to do exactly that gives me peace of mind. Coming from Visual Advocacy, though, one of my favourite things about our department is that we get to make really, really fantastic graphics. That is fun.

Q: Are there any memories you would like to share?

A: One of the most memorable experiences is my first closing presentation in a war room for the Lendlease v Circa 1200 trial. The graphics we created were out of the box and unique. Some of those styles we came up with have been repeated in other cases, which is a huge accomplishment. Witnessing the attorney present those slides to the jury was a moving moment because some of the end clients had tears in their eyes during the presentation because they were finally at the end of the long and stressful trial journey. The victory after that was so moving and memorable to me. That moment made me realise how impactful and vital our graphics are. I still think about that day a lot.

Q: What sets IMS apart from competitors or other companies?

A: We have deep expertise across a wide array of service lines. It allows us to tailor our solutions to each client's specific needs, which is crucial for getting the best results. We are always pushing the envelope with new ideas and technologies, and we even have a dedicated Innovation Council that focuses on researching market trends and emerging technologies that can be used to give our clients an advantage. Building strong relationships with our clients is another big thing for everyone on the team. We are not just here to do a job but to understand each case and make a difference. My colleagues' dedication is unmatched, and time after time, I see how our team will go the extra mile.

Q: If you were an attorney-client, what would you find most valuable about the process at IMS?

A: At IMS, our whole business is to serve our clients. We offer a wide array of services, which allows trial teams to select the exact offerings they need to succeed. If a client can dream it up, we can likely achieve it.

Q: Do you have any predictions or comments on industry trends?

A: The biggest topic in the media, and on everyone's minds, is generative AI. It is fascinating to look at the flurry of lawsuits related to this technology against companies such as OpenAI, Microsoft, Anthropic, Midjourney, Stability AI, and others. The copyright world is changing before our eyes, as it does whenever any emerging technology that makes copying or sharing existing work comes around. From the printing press to the internet and now generative AI, the copyright system is robust and will continue to course correct as these cases continue popping up and being ruled upon.

I am sure we all heard about the lawyer who cited fictitious case law in a brief he generated with ChatGPT. I am also keeping an eye out for any instances of falsified evidence or deepfakes making their way in front of a jury. We are living in a really interesting time, almost like something from a Sci-Fi novel.

Q: What has been your favourite case to work on so far?

A: This is tough because I have been lucky to work on many amazing cases with exceptional clients and colleagues. However, my favourite so far was Moonbug v. Babybus. This copyright infringement case centred around the hit children's animated series CoComelon. There was such a creative force on that team. From the animation expert who is a professor at CalArts and has worked on Emmy-nominated animations, the witnesses who work as animators on the show, and the trial team at Tyz Law Group PC who had such a great, creative mindset when it came to their arguments and the case as a whole, it felt like a perfect match for our Visual Advocacy team. And, with the main exhibits being cartoon sing-along videos set in a vibrant world, we could be more playful with the graphics than usual. It was a once-in-a-lifetime experience, and I am so proud of all our work. In addition, we received a favourable outcome for Moonbug, with the jury awarding $23.5M in damages and the infringing YouTube channel, with over 22 million subscribers, being de-platformed. You can find out more about this case here.

Learn More

Thank you to Andrew and M'Lynn for their dedication to our team and the clients and experts we support. Together, we win.

Visit the links below to meet the IMS team and learn about our culture and career opportunities.