Benelux: Luxembourg

Trademark practitioners in Luxembourg have long benefited from the multitude of premier brands headquartered in the grand duchy. However, uncertainty is mounting over the future of this local client base, following changes to the tax regime which has hitherto made the country such an attractive home for multinationals. The harmonisation of prosecution structures across the European Union has also proved unfavourable to Luxembourgish IP outfits, as their national and Benelux registration services can be bypassed. Nonetheless, meaty contentious instructions continue to flow in from international brand owners. Practitioners also profit from the presence of the European Court of Justice on their doorstep, as well as Luxembourg’s status as one of the biggest investment fund centres in the world – a source of substantial IP work on behalf of financial services firms. Start-ups, particularly in the IT space, constitute the most significant emerging market for trademark lawyers in the country.

Firms

H
Allen & Overy
Arendt & Medernach
Decker & Braun
NautaDutilh Avocats Luxembourg Sàrl
Wildgen Partners in Law
Allen & Overy
Closely integrated with the firm’s extensive Benelux, European and global networks, the Luxembourg branch of Allen & Overy fields one of the largest IP teams in the country, which adeptly counsels a throng of prestigious international brands. One peer considers it “the very best full-service firm on the Luxembourg market”. The standout figure is Katia Manhaeve – a versatile, gifted lawyer who dispenses perceptive brand protection advice. The persuasive advocate has adroitly represented rights holders before the EU General Court and in other prominent forums. Manhaeve’s offering is further enhanced by ancillary expertise in advertising, data protection, distribution and e-commerce.
Arendt & Medernach
Full-service operator Arendt & Medernach is one of few Luxembourg-based practices to have invested in a string of offices in some of the world’s leading commercial centres – including Dubai, Hong Kong, London, Moscow, New York and Paris – and is accordingly a safe pair of hands for clients with global trademark protection needs. Leading the group, Héloïse Bock works for mega-brands in the luxury goods, automotive, pharmaceutical and insurance sectors, among others. The insightful brand strategist’s abundant experience is reflected in her commercially and legally sound judgement and assured decision making. Eloquent and persuasive, she is also a staunch defender of clients’ rights in the courtroom. On the basis of her substantive contributions to the legal profession, Bock has been inducted into Luxembourg’s illustrious 21-member Council of State.
Decker & Braun
The closest thing to a boutique in Luxembourg, Decker & Braun is a top choice for high-stakes trademark litigation both regionally and at an EU level. It also provides stellar mediation, licensing and transactional services. Father and daughter Nicolas Decker and Marianne Decker are trademark professionals par excellence. The former was one of the first IP specialists in the country; his “deeply impressive knowledge of trademark law reflects the huge number of cases that he has worked on”. Likewise, Decker the younger is a “really good lawyer who knows her stuff. She is a fantastic person, professionally and otherwise. Good to cooperate with, she strikes that balance between formality and having a human touch”.
NautaDutilh Avocats Luxembourg Sàrl
Full-service NautaDutilh is a rarity in manning outposts in Luxembourg, the Netherlands and Belgium, making it a prime destination for brand owners with pan-Benelux interests. The Luxembourg team is distinguished by its enforcement prowess, whether duking it out in the courts or collaborating with customs officials. Recent highlights include representing Fashion One TV in several infringement cases; acting to protect the University of Texas’s longhorn mark; and filing oppositions on behalf of iconic designer Jean-Paul Gaultier. Masterminding these endeavours was Vincent Wellens, an astute IP specialist and seasoned litigator in Benelux and European forums. He brings a wealth of experience from in-house positions and is lauded for his appreciation of client needs; he also boasts an in-depth understanding of competition law.
Wildgen Partners in Law
Established in 1923, Wildgen Partners cuts a dash on Luxembourg’s IP landscape. While strong across the trademark spectrum, it shines especially brightly at brand commercialisation, dispensing cutting-edge advice on IP acquisitions, licensing, distribution and tax structuring. The outfit also runs ‘Wildgen 4 innovation’, a legal hub for new and pioneering businesses. The IP squad is ably marshalled by Emmanuelle Ragot, a “very active practitioner” with decades of experience working in France, the United Kingdom and Luxembourg. She operates flawlessly across the contentious/non-contentious divide and excels where trademark matters intersect with IT and online concerns.

Individuals

Nicolas Decker - Decker & Braun
Katia Manhaeve - Allen & Overy
Héloïse Bock - Arendt & Medernach
Marianne Decker - Decker & Braun
Claire Leonelli - Cyril Pierre-Beausse
Emmanuelle Ragot - Wildgen Partners in Law
Vincent Wellens - NautaDutilh Avocats Luxembourg Sàrl
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Issue 68