Coordinating operations from its Malmo headquarters, IP specialist Awapatent is a perennial presence in the upper echelons of the Scandinavian market. Though eminently capable of handling high-stakes litigation, the outfit earned its stripes through its dominance of the prosecution scene – the efforts of Magnus Hallin and Martin Tranälv have helped to ensure it retains its spot in Sweden’s gold tier for prosecution and strategy. In recent years the firm has also made considerable strides in East Asia; the opening of offices in Beijing and Hong Kong in 2015 reflects its commitment to providing high-quality, internationally focused advice on any trademark issue.
Baker McKenzie LLP
In every edition of the WTR 1000
, Baker McKenzie has the largest number of listed individuals and offices, and the number of both continues to rise. This year’s tables, for example, pay testament to the growing influence of the firm in Central and Latin America, as its Argentina and Mexico teams make their debuts. Much is made of the firm’s shared global services centre in Manila, with its 700-plus staff – a unique resource which helps it to process large volumes of work. However, this takes a back seat to the quality of the firm’s leading individuals and teams stationed in key offices. Paul Rawlinson in London; Alvaro Correa in Bogota; Say Sujintaya in Bangkok – these are just three names which will be immediately familiar to those looking to secure an advantage in Latin America, Europe and Asia – and there are many more within these pages.
Bird & Bird
Ranked in over 17 jurisdictions across Europe and Asia, Bird & Bird is a global IP powerhouse with a gilt-edged reputation. The London team settled into sparkling new quarters in September 2016, but it has been business as usual for the outstanding group in terms of the continued expansion of its prosecution practice and polished performances in high-profile litigation. Well-balanced teams in other key locations east and west fly the flag high in Europe. Few international players know Asia as well as Bird & Bird; for example, it has been active in China and Hong Kong for over 20 years, and is a trusted guide for companies eyeing up game-changing strategic moves in the region. The promotion of Beijing’s David Allison to the partnership in May 2016 has put even more senior talent at clients’ disposal.
Clarke Modet & Co
Clarke Modet & Co has a history spanning over 130 years, making it one of Spain’s longest-established specialist IP outfits. Within the last half century, it has made a concerted bid to become the largest service provider throughout the Hispanophone and Lusophone world – an ambition which it has realised resoundingly. It has 34 offices in 10 countries and an army of nearly 500 professionals, and can effortlessly shoulder the coordination burden for companies protecting brands across borders.
Cooley’s US and UK-based trademark, copyright and advertising practice is a beacon for billion-dollar industry leaders. Thanks to its imposing West Coast presence, the firm is a magnet for tech titans such as Google, Facebook, LinkedIn and Bluetooth SIG. Its glowing reputation was recently solidified by the addition of Bobby Ghajar – the former head of Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman’s trademark group – in its Santa Monica unit. Across the pond, Nick Bolter ascends to the gold tier this year thanks to the increasingly phenomenal results he secures.
With footholds in practically every corner of the world, Dentons is ideally positioned to handle the worldwide branding concerns of titanic conglomerates. However, its sheer magnitude never gets in the way of a personalised service. Led by Monica Richman, the New York contingent wins rave reviews for its bespoke solutions and the special attention it showers on clients. As a result, the firm makes its debut in the New York table this year. Meanwhile, news of the three-way merger between Dentons, Cárdenas & Cárdenas and López Velarde has reverberated across the Latin American market. The strategic decision has been quick to pay dividends, as reflected in the Colombia rankings, where the combined entity takes gold.
DLA Piper UK LLP
DLA Piper is a rare breed in the WTR 1000
, with a strong presence in North America, Europe and Asia. Stateside, its Chicago team is one to highlight, with Mark Feldman, Christina Martini and Keith Medansky all garnering outstanding feedback. A key storyline for the UK group – the nerve centre of operations in Europe and a key pivot for many marquee clients – is the growth of a robust pan-continental prosecution practice. Désirée Fields enters the guide this year in recognition of the impetus she has given to this. She is based in London, where Simon Levine – the firm’s global co-CEO – also sits. Go-tos in Asia include Edward Chatterton and Horace Lam, who understand all the ins and outs of protecting and enforcing rights in China.
The dust has now settled on Gowlings’ 2015 merger with Wragge Lawrence Graham, revealing a firm that has impressive strength across the trademark spectrum and extensive geographical reach. Once again the set boasts the highest number of listed individuals in Canada. Robert MacDonald and Kelly Gill are rainmakers; Christopher Pibus joins them in the gold tier this year, too. Meanwhile, the arrival of Tania D’Souza-Culora has significantly bolstered the group’s anti-counterfeiting capabilities. Another significant hire has made the firm an instant player in the Middle East: portfolio management marvel Jon Parker came on board in March 2016 from Clyde & Co. The outfit also provides top-tier coverage in Russia, where a squad of experienced advocates thrives under the guidance of David Aylen.
Herbert Smith Freehills LLP
Co-headquartered in London and Sydney, Herbert Smith Freehills is a redoubtable international name with 26 offices and the ability to make light work out of major cross-border matters. Seamless information exchange between teams and uniquely tailored counsel are hallmarks of its service worldwide. Regional managing partner for Asia and Australia Sue Gilchrist is one of the firm’s leading lights; she is a fearless litigator with a striking track record. Mark Shillito and Joel Smith KO cases in the United Kingdom, and Alexandra Néri in France.
Gold-rated Spanish firm Herrero & Asociados has been making a strong push in Latin America and now has offices in Argentina, Brazil and Mexico. Demand for its regional and global expertise is hot, as brand owners increasingly seek to capitalise on the efficiencies afforded by having a single contact point for multiple jurisdictions. With the Brazilian branch breaking into the WTR 1000
for the first time this year, Herrero & Asociados also debuts in the international chapter of the guide. Ángeles Moreno has architected the firm’s ambitious expansion.
Hogan Lovells International LLP
Possessing the resources to escort clients through tricky trademark terrain no matter where it lies, Hogan Lovells has won the enduring loyalty of a host of multinationals. It has 2,500 lawyers spread across six continents; among these are no shortage of trademark stars. Andreas Bothe and Leopold van Gerlach are the fulcrums of the firm’s storied German practice and continue to ply their trade at the vanguard of IP law, handling colour and 3D marks with finesse; other European stand-outs include Marie-Aimée de Dampierre, Marc Wallheimer and Ana Castedo. In the United States, enforcement sage Raymond Kurz leverages the experience he gained chairing jury, bench and International Trade Commission trials to help clients walk out with the right result.
Consistently one of the top filers of EU trademarks, Marks & Clerk is a force to be reckoned with on the non-contentious front. In its UK stronghold, Matthew Sammon holds the reins; his strategic nous and impeccable business sense make him a treasured asset for clients with weighty, high-value portfolios. The firm’s name is not just synonymous with prosecution, however: its solicitors’ branch continues to do great things under the stewardship of Kirsten Gilbert. Over in Asia, ithe practice is developing nicely thanks to the efforts of many, including Simon Speeks and Sandra Gibbons in Hong Kong, and Candice Kwok in Singapore.
Serving an enviable roster of A-list clients, Mayer Brown is always a safe choice for international rights holders, especially those seeking to navigate the US and Hong Kong markets. Adept at honing in on the business goals of clients, the firm excels at everything from razor-sharp trademark and anti-counterfeiting litigation to complex domain name issues. Its capabilities in the latter were significantly bolstered in late 2015 with the addition of Brian Winterfeldt, a nationally renowned authority on cyberspace. Located in the DC office, Winterfeldt now co-leads the global brand management and internet practice group along with Chicago-based Michael Adams. The pair have taken the practice to new heights and as such, Mayer Brown enters the Illinois and Washington DC tables this year.
Norton Rose Fulbright LLP
Norton Rose Fulbright has a phalanx of almost 4,000 lawyers based in 50 strategically located cities worldwide. There is little beyond its purview and the same applies to its imposing branding practice. The firm’s widely admired contentious prowess extends to the adaptable IP team, which can tackle all types of branding transgressions without breaking sweat. Its Canadian contingent received a significant boost in firepower in 2016 thanks to a merger with Bull, Houser & Tupper.
Reed Smith LLP
With just shy of 2,000 lawyers practising throughout the United States, Europe, Asia and the Middle East, Reed Smith is unquestionably a force to be reckoned with on the global stage. Its 100-lawyer strong IP team can effortlessly dispatch cross-border and multi-layered trademark briefs and has wide-ranging experience that cuts across countless industries. The firm is an invaluable partner for both premier household names and budding businesses alike.
Rouse IP Ltd
Rouse IP has come a long way since its birth in 1990 in London’s Docklands. The cutting-edge boutique is renowned for its hands-on service and innovative take on trademark law. In England, Stuart Adams and Jeremy Newman strike fear into the hearts of counterfeiters; in China, Linda Chang and Elliot Papageorgiou furnish blue-chip companies with incisive, business-minded counsel; and in the United Arab Emirates, the trio of Chad Dowle, Bassel El Turk and Sara Holder dazzle with their dynamism and experience. Further hotspots include Indonesia, Thailand and Vietnam. No other UK-originated firm knows Asian markets quite like Rouse.
Sheppard Mullin Richter & Hampton LLP
The holistic offering of Sheppard Mullin Richter & Hampton resonates with brand owners whatever their trademark concern. For example, the robust trademark team can fight – and win – hotly contested suits that go all the way up to the US Supreme Court. Carlo Van Den Bosch made waves on the IP market in early 2015 with his victory for Hana Bank in a milestone case involving the issue of trademark tacking. The firm is also admired for its insight into Asia: Scott Palmer can effortlessly navigate the Chinese landscape for clients seeking to tap this crucial market and likewise assists Chinese entities with their eyes on new horizons.
Simmons & Simmons LLP
Simmons & Simmons is a destination of choice for elite brand owners seeking a one-stop shop service; a dedicated soft-IP wing handles all aspects of brand management and enforcement on an international level. The firm has cultivated a reputation for creativity, in terms of both its legal strategies and service delivery.
Taylor Wessing LLP
Commerciality and pragmatism are hallmarks at dynamic force Taylor Wessing. It maintains one of the biggest – and best – trademark teams of all UK commercial firms, which is in its element sourcing and executing solutions to issues that would tie others up in knots. Head of brand management in London, Roland Mallinson is a client favourite whose measured approach and down-to-earth personality are matched by a formidable intellect. Thomas Pattloch is a font of wisdom and analysis on China matters and a repository of trust for European, US and Chinese companies. He sits within a sterling group in Germany, which is helmed by Dusseldorf’s Olaf Gillert – who also captains the international trademark and designs practice.