Ireland

Having continued to attract substantial foreign direct investment over the past year, Ireland has a vibrant economy that is expected to weather whatever negative effects Brexit may bring; there are even well-founded hopes that in future some high-tech companies will choose to establish operations in Dublin instead of London. A number of UK firms have already moved into the country since the referendum result, but local players remain at the top of the food chain.

Firms

1
DFMG Solicitors
Mason Hayes & Curran
Matheson
McCann FitzGerald
William Fry
2
A&L Goodbody
Arthur Cox
Beauchamps
Eugene F Collins
Philip Lee
A&L Goodbody
A&L Goodbody maintains a “leading” trademark practice amid its full-service set-up. Understanding that legal advice provided in a vacuum will not fly in the C-suite, its IP aces routinely bounce ideas off their banking and finance and tax counterparts in order to devise holistic strategies rooted in commercial reality. John Cahir and John Whelan form the nucleus of the practice, excelling in both backrooms and courtrooms. Getting signatures on the bottom line of lucrative rights transfer agreements is the sort of challenge that Cahir loves and never shies away from. His IP expertise stretches beyond trademarks into neighbouring fields – for instance, he is chairman of the Irish Copyright Association. The forward-looking Whelan helms the firm’s international technology practice and, with his robust regulatory knowledge, is a favourite among pharmaceutical entities.
Arthur Cox
Exploiting valuable rights is the metier of commercial law firm Arthur Cox’s trademark team. Its lawyers keep abreast of all developments – big and small – in their clients’ industries so that nothing lies outside their field of vision. John Menton is the first choice for many enterprising brand owners. Leading the corporate team, he has the skill set needed to realise even the most ambitious objectives and knows what senior business executives want from outside counsel – straightforward, transparent, to-the-point support with every option clearly outlined.
Beauchamps
Beauchamps superbly straddles the contentious/non-contentious divide, furnishing clients with incisive counsel that hits the mark every time; its filing strategies are wisely informed by lessons learned in infringement cases. Technology and brands team captain Maureen Daly exemplifies the firm’s versatility. She monetises rights with aplomb and displays nimble courtroom footwork whenever a case takes a surprise turn. Interviewees praise her remarkable work ethic, legal knowledge and personable, positive nature.
DFMG Solicitors
DFMG Solicitors serves up a stellar suite of services; clearance checks, rights transfers and high-profile litigation are all handled with the utmost flair and finesse. Recent highlights include filing EU trademark applications on behalf of Gilead Sciences and assisting Rowex on the Irish leg of a worldwide dispute with GlaxoSmithKline concerning the use of the colour purple for inhalers; the latter was the first matter in Ireland to consider whether a stay under Article 104 of the EU Trademark Regulation was required. The “fantastic” Patricia McGovern led the charge on this project. She has a tremendous client roster that also takes in Philip Morris, BMW and Northern and Shell. Coordinating assiduous anti-counterfeiting programmes is another of her strong suits.
Eugene F Collins
Blending impeccable technical knowledge with a modern, international outlook, Eugene F Collins continues to entice brand owners of all shapes and sizes. While it offers a bumper service menu, it is best known for its creative, cost-effective assistance on the non-contentious side; applications are deftly drafted and portfolios masterfully managed. Bringing his consummate interpersonal skills into play, managing partner David Hackett steers clients safely through precarious negotiations time and again. Telecommunications is one of his specialist sectors. Enterprises seeking reliable outside counsel for pragmatic, round-the-clock brand management support would be well advised to consider LK Shields. The full-service player has the wherewithal to establish, expand and safeguard trademark portfolios with ease. Because it can package its IP assistance with straightforward advice on areas such as company formation and shareholding arrangements, it is particularly popular with start-ups. New recruit Peter Bolger has invigorated the practice with his ever-fresh thinking. He is a poised strategist with 20 years’ experience and a nose for novel monetisation opportunities.
Mason Hayes & Curran

Mason Hayes & Curran’s trademark whizzes are “extremely diligent; they put in the hours to make sure that they really get what clients want and then do everything they can to bring that about”. Filing a complex EU trademark application, sewing up a favourable licensing contract and winning a high-stakes case are all in a day’s work for the indefatigable team. Heavyweight litigators Richard Woulfe and Gerard Kelly form its core. Kelly counts pharmaceuticals as a forte and is a regular face before the Commercial Court, while Woulfe shines in the social media realm.

Matheson
Clients keep coming back to Matheson for its foresight, responsiveness and distinctively innovative thinking. Filing strategies are mapped out with a laser focus on business objectives and crown-jewel intellectual assets are skilfully exploited. Thanks to offices in New York, Palo Alto and now San Francisco supplementing the Dublin headquarters, it is particularly popular among US companies with European interests; its London base continues to help it win weighty mandates from the United Kingdom, too. Spearheading the IP practice, Deirdre Kilroy has the experience to safely shepherd licensing agreements to a successful close and conduct due diligence that leaves no stone unturned.
McCann FitzGerald
McCann FitzGerald collaborates intimately with brand owners, familiarising itself with every nook and cranny of their market so that nothing will take it by surprise. Pragmatism and promptness are hallmarks of the team’s non-contentious service. Regularly pooling knowledge, Adam Finlay and Paula Fearon manage portfolios with élan. Finlay brings complementary advertising and product placement expertise to the table; exquisite communicator Fearon goes out of her way to condense the most intricate issues into easily actionable takeaways for busy clients. In the courtroom, Fiona O’Beirne and Paul Lavery come to the fore. Having litigated for over 25 years, O’Beirne has seen just about all there is to see in trademark law. Taking charge of the technology and innovation group, Lavery is au courant with the most cutting-edge software developments.
Philip Lee
Since it was founded in 1996, commercial law firm Philip Lee has moved from strength to strength. Overseas bases in Brussels and San Francisco – plus exclusive membership in Ireland of the global network Multilaw – have attracted a string of multinationals with cross-border issues on their hands. They always receive robust, dependable service from Ann Henry and Anne Bateman. Henry is a tremendous litigator who has been turning heads with her tireless get-up-and-go spirit. Pharmaceutical giants make a beeline to life sciences sage Bateman, who supplements her solid trademark practice with in-depth data protection expertise.
William Fry
“William Fry has a very strong trademark practice and deservedly gets the lion’s share of the work in Ireland.” Oozing experience and commercial savvy, its lawyers oversee global product launches with verve and extinguish infringement flames without breaking a sweat. Anti-counterfeiting is a notable specialty, due to the outfit’s strong ties to the customs authorities. David Cullen has been blazing a trail in this regard with his extensive support for Duracell. He is a diligent, dedicated professional who always offers a unique take on thorny problems. Enforcement virtuosos Carol Plunkett and Laura Scott are extolled for their “excellent technical ability, commercial outlooks and wit”. They have been supporting GlaxoSmithKline on a significant trademark infringement and passing-off matter. Ranked in the gold band of the WTR 1000, Plunkett is a true doyenne of IP law.

Agencies

Agencies

1
FRKelly
Tomkins & Co
2
Cruickshank
MacLachlan & Donaldson
Cruickshank
Cruickshank’s finely wrought branding counsel routinely hits the bullseye. Its commercially savvy attorneys give clients 24/7 care and ensure that work is always completed on budget and on time. Leading the trademark practice, Mary Rose O’Connor is a cosmopolitan, outward-looking professional who has filed countless national and EU trademark applications in her time. Her creativity and crystal-clear communication are prized by brand owners the world over.
FRKelly
“FRKelly is the leading trademark and patent attorney firm in the country. It’s very tight; everyone there is extremely good.” So intimately does the team get to know the brands in its charge that senior business executives routinely get it on the phone and ask the sort of questions that normally only in-house counsel could answer. “Practical advice carefully tailored to her clients’ needs” is a given with the supremely effective and ultra-efficient Brenda O’Regan. “She is incredibly professional and provides excellent service at all times.” Niamh Hall relishes the challenge of building up a portfolio from scratch; she has escorted start-ups aplenty in this regard. A commercially shrewd lawyer with notable licensing expertise, Shane Smyth is a dexterous negotiator to boot, while also bringing unique design knowledge to the table. Thanks to 20 years’ experience, Mary Bleahene has a sixth sense for what will fly before the Irish Patents Office and the EU Intellectual Property Office.
MacLachlan & Donaldson
Celebrating its 50th anniversary in 2017, MacLachlan & Donaldson is a firm fixture on Ireland’s IP landscape. It has never stopped refining its customer service and now boasts an international reputation for the creative but commercially sound way that it oversees product launches. Peter MacLachlan takes a special interest in start-ups; the building blocks of a portfolio are in safe hands with him. His fellow managing partner Cliff Kennedy is a shrewd, technically astute strategist whose risk assessments are spot on; he never fails to see the wood for the trees.
Tomkins & Co
Tomkins & Co’s IP mavens work their socks off to cater to clients’ every needs; they respond to emails with breakneck speed and pull all-nighters whenever a red flag is raised. Consequently, complex non-traditional marks are registered with minimal fuss and advantageous licensing contracts are sewn up with ease. Simon Gray is a font of commercial wisdom, while 30 years of experience makes Seamus Doherty a refined prosecutor. Highly active in the IP community, Judy McCullagh lectures widely and currently serves as secretary of the Irish Association of Patent and Trademark Attorneys. The extremely personable Louise Carey is a versatile practitioner with a complete command of issues concerning European Union trademarks.

Individuals: enforcement and litigation

John Cahir - A&L Goodbody
Maureen Daly - Beauchamps
Patricia McGovern - DFMG Solicitors
Alistair Payne - Acuatus
Carol Plunkett - William Fry
Anne Bateman - Philip Lee
Paula Fearon - McCann FitzGerald
Ann Henry - Philip Lee
Gerard Kelly - Mason Hayes & Curran
Fiona O’Beirne - McCann FitzGerald
Laura Scott - William Fry
John Whelan - A&L Goodbody
Richard A Woulfe - Mason Hayes & Curran

Individuals: prosecution and strategy

Peter Bolger - LK Shields
Niamh Hall - FRKelly
Patricia McGovern - DFMG Solicitors
Alistair Payne - Acuatus
Mary Bleahene - FRKelly
John Cahir - A&L Goodbody
Louise Carey - Tomkins & Co
David Cullen - William Fry
Maureen Daly - Beauchamps
Seamus Doherty - Tomkins & Co
Adam Finlay - McCann FitzGerald
Simon Gray - Tomkins & Co
David Hackett - Eugene F Collins
Cliff Kennedy - MacLachlan & Donaldson
Deirdre Kilroy - Matheson
Paul Lavery - McCann FitzGerald
Michael Lucey - PURDYLUCEY Intellectual Property
Peter MacLachlan - MacLachlan & Donaldson
Judy McCullagh - Tomkins & Co
John F Menton - Arthur Cox
Mary Rose O’Connor - Cruickshank
Brenda O’Regan - FRKelly
Niall Rooney - FP Logue Solicitors
Shane E Smyth - FRKelly
Niall Tierney - Tierney IP
John Whelan - A&L Goodbody

Ireland: The Bar

Senior counsel

Cian Ferriter SC - Distillery Building
Michael J Howard SC - Distillery Building
Niamh Hyland SC - Dublin International Arbitration Centre
Denis McDonald SC - Distillery Building
Michael McDowell SC - Distillery Building
Jonathan Newman SC - Distillery Building

Junior counsel

Paul Coughlan - Law Library
Caren Geoghegan - Distillery Building
Glen Gibbons - Distillery Building
Yvonne McNamara - Distillery Building
Ray Ryan - Law Library

Senior counsel

Cian Ferriter SC’s advocacy is the talk of the town in Dublin. He knows trademark law like the back of his hand. Michael Howard SC’s unorthodox solutions have airlifted plenty of brand owners out of dead-end situations. The street-smart Niamh Hyland SC has a wealth of experience to call on in high-pressure situations. Denis McDonald SC knows exactly when to apply pressure and when a lighter touch would be better. An encyclopaedia of intellectual property, Michael McDowell SC has been involved in some of the country’s biggest cases. The versatile Jonathan Newman SC complements his leading trademark practice with strong franchising, competition and data protection expertise.

Junior counsel

Paul Coughlan is a hard-hitting litigator whose intellectually rigorous pleadings have the force to convince even the frostiest judges. Striking composure and ceaseless elegance are displayed in Caren Geoghegan’s courtroom performances. The quick-witted Glen Gibbons knows EU law inside out and has handled scores of thorny multi-jurisdictional cases. Totally at home in the online world, Yvonne McNamara is a domain name dynamo. Ray Ryan does not break a sweat when the temperature rises; his game plans can withstand any heat.

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Issue 74