United States: Texas


Haynes and Boone, LLP
Baker Botts LLP
Norton Rose Fulbright US LLP
Richard Law Group
Thompson & Knight LLP
Baker McKenzie LLP
Fibbe Lightner LLP
Hitchcock Evert LLP
Sidley Austin LLP
Vinson & Elkins LLP
Baker Botts LLP
Baker Botts is among “the best of the big law firms for general trademark advice”. It plays host to a “sophisticated branding practice with experienced practitioners” who are “cost effective, efficient and timely”. Chairing the squad is the “responsive and thoughtful” Paul Reilly. Like the group as a whole, he possesses vast experience of both contentious and non-contentious mandates, giving him “an extremely broad knowledge base”. The “trusted and thorough professional” is “a terrific lawyer who can think outside the box and give tailored solutions – he is really flexible and versatile”. Elizabeth Rucki’s practice is also wide in scope, as she has played the field in all areas of intellectual property; however, she spends the bulk of her time on day-to-day prosecution and portfolio management for leading clients across a swathe of industries. Her knack for the craft is matched only by her enthusiasm for it: “She is incredibly passionate about trademark law.”
Baker McKenzie LLP
“Excellent all-round firm” Baker McKenzie has a titanic worldwide presence. Within the United States, Texas is a stronghold for the corporate multinational – and its trademark practice – with offices in Houston and Dallas attracting a steady influx of instructions. Lisa Meyerhoff is the driving force of the former; she is eminently proficient at all types of brand enforcement, including trade dress infringement, domain name disputes and anti-counterfeiting actions. Such is her prowess that she recently assisted a major brand owner in completely dismantling a large counterfeiting ring without even having to file suit. Newly minted partner Justin Welch takes charge in Dallas. He is also intimately familiar with anti-counterfeiting procedures, although he principally concentrates on the prosecution of worldwide applications and portfolio management. Handling the briefs of industrial businesses and restaurants on an international scale is a focal point for Welch and his team, which he leads “with wisdom beyond his years”. “Organised and thorough in his work”, he is “a wonderful lawyer – smart, remarkably conscientious and definitely a rising star”.
Fibbe Lightner LLP
Clients love the partners of Fibbe Lightner, who deliver Big Law know-how in a bespoke and personalised package. The compact practice is extremely diverse; although non-contentious issues with an international bent are a forte, it nevertheless maintains a crack team of “excellent trial lawyers”. Robin Lightner Maisashvili and Reagan Fibbe are “results oriented, cost effective and thoughtful, business-minded global strategists”. Lightner Maisashvili “always gives sound advice and is practical in her approach”. “She is great at anticipating what clients will need in the future and mapping out the strategy needed to get from point A to point B.” Fibbe, too, is a “very solid attorney” whose “reputation precedes her”. They both “conduct themselves in a professional, down-to-earth and receptive manner that is second to none”. The nationally renowned Fish & Richardson boasts an extensive network of offices across the country, with seamless cooperation among its many IP practitioners a hallmark. It maintains a firm foothold in the Lone Star State, with posts in Austin, Houston and Dallas. Russell Rippamonti represents the Dallas unit. A petroleum engineer, he is perfectly suited to manage portfolios and secure rights – both trademarks and patents – for oil and gas industry players.
Haynes and Boone, LLP
The sophistication and depth of Haynes and Boone’s Texas trademark bench are unquestionable – peers and clients alike aver that “its ranking in the gold band is both justified and unsurprising”. As a central cog in the firm’s overarching international corporate offering, the elite ensemble draws on a large reservoir of expertise to resolve commercial issues as quickly as it identifies them. Notwithstanding its size and resources, it is a lean, well-oiled machine with lower overheads than comparable firms. The group’s position in the upper echelons of the US trademark scene is due in no small part to Purvi Patel Albers, a “longstanding member of the trademark bar in Dallas, whose reputation precedes her”. Her soup-to-nuts practice focuses on managing and enforcing marquee brands, both domestically and internationally. She is “extremely personable and clients really love her”. “Statesman of intellectual property” Jeffrey Becker likewise straddles the contentious/non-contentious divide with aplomb, but wins particular plaudits for his sharp, strategic dispute counselling. “Smart, client focused and very efficient”, he is the trusted guide of numerous household names, including AT&T. Group co-chair David Bell aids him on this monumental brief, astutely handling the telecoms giant’s myriad issues in the online space. Bell is a “specialist in social media and internet law” and is quick on his feet when protecting brand owners from cyber-attacks. He “identifies legal risk through the eyes of a business owner”, which makes his client communication first rate: “He doesn’t put up brick walls – if you tell him that there is a problem, he’ll just come back with a solution.” Rounding off the talented set is William Nash. He is a hidden gem for the Dallas group, which frequently consults him for his wealth of knowledge as one of the foremost branding lawyers in San Antonio. With more than 5,000 trademark filings and 100 litigation proceedings worldwide under his belt, he is incredibly well versed in all aspects of trademark law – especially in cross-border matters.
Hitchcock Evert LLP
Hitchcock Evert’s trademark unit is lauded for its 360-degree view of intellectual property; this allows its “commercially savvy attorneys” to secure watertight protection for the most demanding of Fortune 500 brand owners. The group is overseen by Elisabeth Evert, “a leader of the trademark community in Dallas”. Her all-encompassing practice includes the prosecution and clearance of marks, licensing and acquisitions, actions before the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board (TTAB) and full-blown litigation. She also acts as a mentor for up-and-coming lawyers at other firms. “She is quick, highly intelligent and great at addressing problems – she has this really insightful instinct.”
Norton Rose Fulbright US LLP
Full-service heavyweight Norton Rose Fulbright has boots on the ground in numerous key jurisdictions, giving its “strong branding group” a solid platform from which to dispense on-point international solutions. Its Austin bureau houses trademark veteran Michael Scott Metteauer, “a go-to for work in the United States, but also an expert in international matters”. Major brand owners continually rely on his strategic advice on thorny portfolio management issues. “He can take the most complex problem, distil it down and communicate a solution effectively with both clients and opponents, so that most matters are settled very favourably.” Despite his deep experience of complex cases, patrons often find that they “don’t have to resort to litigation, due to his highly effective advocacy in resolving disputes early”. With him in the office is Alicia Morris Groos, a “wonderful trademark attorney who is not only hardworking, but quick to respond and always accurate in her analyses”. She has a well-rounded practice, although portfolio management is where she truly shines. “Incredibly smart, she is a valuable resource for when you want to know what you can do, but even more valuable when you want to know what you should do.” Linda Merritt keeps watch over the Dallas office; her counselling and prosecution skills are top class, but her trump card is her unrivalled understanding of the Madrid Protocol. Trademarks are the lifeblood of “premier boutique” Pirkey Barber, which has grown into a herculean brand management force in a very short space of time – “the most pre-eminent trademark firm in Texas” celebrated its 10th anniversary in 2016. “For the firm to stand almost exclusively in this field speaks volumes to the calibre of its work.” The bedrock of its success comes in the form of founding partners Louis Pirkey and William Barber. The duo enjoy “stunning reputations”: “There is probably nobody more knowledgeable or experienced with significant trademark matters than the two of them.” The “seriously talented” Pirkey is a “core of the community and industry, and has paved the way for other lawyers’ successes” through the wisdom that he has imparted to countless practitioners. Barber is a “fantastic lawyer, leader and person”. He is a “prominent and accomplished litigator”, with “a scholarly understanding of all aspects of the law”. Their efforts are supported by a host of talent. Jered Matthysse, for example, worked with Pirkey to protect Stubb’s Austin Restaurant Company – a prominent local restaurant and music venue – from a competitor claiming the right to use the STUBB’S mark. The contentious maven exudes passion and vigour, and his dynamic skill set has been employed to devastating effect in several other leading cases for the firm. Matthysse also teams up with Shannon Vale and Steve Meleen to counsel TGI Friday’s on the implementation of international policing strategies. Vale takes the lead on this – his global brand enforcement chops are second to none – although he adroitly dispatches non-contentious mandates to boot. “He is really knowledgeable when it comes to intellectual property and can identify potential obstacles, as well as the options to proceed, to ensure that the desired outcome is always obtained.” Meleen is a well-rounded attorney whose nimble courtroom performances have secured repeated successes for a multitude of clients, including ExxonMobil. Similarly, the “creative and level-headed” Christopher Graff fiercely defends the rights of numerous high-powered brand owners, to thunderous applause: “He is extraordinarily responsive and always tailors his approach to a client’s unique business culture – and his sound legal advice is provided in an easily digestible manner.” The “unbelievably sharp” Wendy Larson excels at crafting long-range strategies for ironclad protection of marks and at taking down infringers in disputes. Handling issues in the domain name, technology and social media spaces is also second nature to her. Christopher Kindel is the firm’s go-to licensing superstar for all manner of transactional briefs. A jack – and master – of all trades, he adeptly oversees domestic and international clearance and advises on cross-border enforcement matters. Last, but certainly not least, is Rodney Caldwell, an esteemed and seasoned litigator and counsellor who reinforces the team’s efforts with his deep wisdom.
Richard Law Group
In spite of its humble size, Richard Law Group is without a doubt a hub of trademark brilliance that ably serves clients of all stripes, including global multimillion-dollar brands. Rainmaker Molly Buck Richard is “legendary in the trademark space”. “She is completely flexible in all types of work, from prosecution to complex litigation, and she’s not just a terrific lawyer, but a terrific person”. Buck Richard is another “thought leader whose great counselling skills make her an outstanding mediator”. Jim Struthers makes headlines for his “smart and savvy” guidance on all non-contentious mandates, especially in the online world. He is a boon for clients in the technology and internet spheres, not least thanks to his prior in-house experience at Hewlett-Packard. “He is fantastic at analysing the key issues at stake with his careful and practical approach” – traits which have seen him entrusted with the portfolios of major technology and social media corporations.
Sidley Austin LLP
“Sidley Austin is a fantastic firm with a premier corporate practice that complements its trademark service.” The soft IP team benefits immensely from this cross-departmental synergy, allowing it to dispense cutting-edge advice on the branding aspects of multimillion-dollar acquisitions, especially in the technology field. Julia Chester captains the group with acute strategic insight. She cuts an impressive figure on the transactional front, but is also a dab hand at international customs enforcement actions. Subduing domain name squatters is yet another forte.
Thompson & Knight LLP
The extensive trademark know-how on offer at Thompson & Knight is supplemented by the firm’s deep understanding of advertising, social media and antitrust issues. Deborah Lively heads the trademark practice, but also co-chairs the robust advertising and social media group, giving her a comprehensive perspective on brand protection. She specialises in non-contentious mandates, but is also heavily involved in pre-litigation planning. “She is a tireless worker, readily available and prompt with her responses”, and is praised for her “tenacity for making sure that every single detail in a transaction is correct”. When thorny disputes arise, clients can safely rely on Max Ciccarelli, a “one-of-a-kind professional who is the epitome of passion and commitment”. “You are in good hands with him for any challenging problem, because his expert advice will ensure that all options are exhausted for the absolute best possible outcome every time.”
Vinson & Elkins LLP
Thorough, streamlined prosecution is the main selling point of Vinson & Elkins’s trademark group, although it is also no slouch when it comes to handling branding disputes. Group anchor Scott Brown has more than two decades of experience in the field. “He is remarkable in his ability to communicate complex issues, skilled at engaging the client in the discussion of multiple options and decisive when a recommendation is needed. Although he is both knowledgeable and articulate, you always feel that his focus is on empowering you to make the best decision.”


William G Barber - Pirkey Barber PLLC
Jeffrey M Becker - Haynes and Boone, LLP
Purvi Patel Albers - Haynes and Boone, LLP
Louis T Pirkey - Pirkey Barber PLLC
William D Raman - Fleckman & McGlynn PLLC
Paul Reilly - Baker Botts LLP
Molly Buck Richard - Richard Law Group
Shannon Timothy Vale - Pirkey Barber PLLC
David Bell - Haynes and Boone, LLP
Margaret A Boulware - Boulware & Valoir
Elisabeth A Evert - Hitchcock Evert LLP
Reagan Fibbe - Fibbe Lightner LLP
Christopher L Graff - Pirkey Barber PLLC
Richard John Groos - King & Spalding LLP
Robin Lightner Maisashvili - Fibbe Lightner LLP
Deborah Lively - Thompson & Knight LLP
Steve Meleen - Pirkey Barber PLLC
Linda M Merritt - Norton Rose Fulbright US LLP
Michael Scott Metteauer - Norton Rose Fulbright US LLP
Lisa Meyerhoff - Baker McKenzie LLP
Alicia Morris Groos - Norton Rose Fulbright US LLP
Jim Struthers - Richard Law Group
W Scott Brown - Vinson & Elkins LLP
John C Cain - Fleckman & McGlynn PLLC
Edward A Cavazos - Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman LLP
Julia M Chester - Sidley Austin LLP
Max Ciccarelli - Thompson & Knight LLP
John M Cone - Ferguson Braswell & Fraser PC
Kristin Jordan Harkins - Conley Rose PC
Dyan House - Carter Scholer Arnett Hamada & Mockler PLLC
Christopher M Kindel - Pirkey Barber PLLC
Elizabeth W King - Sutton McAughan Deaver PLLC
Anna Kuhn - Pirkey Barber PLLC
Wendy Larson - Pirkey Barber PLLC
Dwayne Mason - Greenberg Traurig LLP
Jered Matthysse - Pirkey Barber PLLC
William B Nash - Haynes and Boone, LLP
Russell N Rippamonti - Fish & Richardson PC
Elizabeth K Rucki - Baker Botts LLP
Justin Welch - Baker McKenzie LLP


Rodney K Caldwell - Pirkey Barber PLLC
Paul C Van Slyke - Hoover Slovacek LLP

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Issue 71