United States: Texas
An “outstanding” and “highly venerated firm with a who’s who list of clients”, Pirkey Barber is brimming with “sophisticated and capable attorneys”. Even its younger associates are singled out for their excellence by peers: “Erik Combs is an even-keeled professional who is responsive, practical and reasonable”, while “Alexandra Bistline and Travis Wimberly are two up-and-coming stars, who really impress with both their conduct and substantive knowledge”. The firm has been the talk of the town lately with a slew of new hires: Tara Vold and Paul Williamson (both of whom are ranked in the DC Metro Area) join the set in Northern Virginia, while the “exceedingly bright” Anna Kuhn is “an excellent addition to the team in Texas”. With an Ivy League education and experience as former in-house counsel for Dell, “Kuhn really knows how to cut to the chase and excels at understanding risk tolerances – she is a pragmatic and superb attorney”. Name partners Louis Pirkey and William Barber form the foundation on which the practice is built. Pirkey is “certainly one of the best in the nation for trademark prosecution” and also “clearly among the top ranks for litigation”. “He knows the law extremely well and is a very persuasive advocate; his non-aggressive style makes him a pleasure to deal with.” Barber also has “an exceptional reputation”; “honest and ethical”, he is “tremendously experienced and has excellent judgment. He can look at a problem from all angles and come back with a creative solution”. “Their expertise has flowed down the ranks, which has helped cement the firm’s reputation.” General Mills recently called on the talents of Barber and Christopher Kindel, who have been assisting with the complicated prosecution of the famous yellow colour of the Cheerios cereal box. “Kindel has an amazing range of knowledge and relates well to business clients; he appreciates their concerns and needs and can translate complex matters into a language they can understand.” “Personable and really well-rounded, he sees the big picture and can provide expert advice on topics that intertwine themselves into one legal issue.” Managing partner Steve Meleen successfully protected Viacom International’s rights in a fictional restaurant after he achieved a summary judgment victory that prevented IJR Capital Investments from using the mark KRUSTY KRAB for its proposed restaurant. “Meleen knows how to enforce rights in a strategic, practical manner and instils confidence when handling complex litigations; he always provides sound, thoughtful advice and is a pleasant person to be around, too.” Jered Matthysse and Wendy Larson add critical support on the contentious front. The former is “really hardworking and constantly climbing through the ranks as a result – he has a really bright future ahead of him”. “Larson does fantastic work both in terms of her practice and in IP committees.” “They both impress with their business acumen and ability to crystallise trademark arguments into soundbites that everybody can understand.” While he offers perceptive counsel across the board, the main thrust of Shannon Vale’s practice is in getting vital deals locked down. The “incredibly smart” lawyer has helped SXSW to safely establish its place in the market over the last two decades, and in 2016 provided assistance in its negotiation with the White House for a trademark licensing agreement. Another sagacious adviser, Christopher Graff draws widespread acclaim from patrons, with one stating: “He deeply appreciates our culture and can break down complicated IP issues in an easily comprehensible way. His response time is so exemplary that all our other outside counsel pale in comparison.” “He constantly has a total grasp of the situation and is able to make incisive and strategic suggestions, always with the client’s best commercial interests at heart. He and his team’s understanding of foreign jurisdictions is a genuinely rare quality and speaks volumes about their expertise, experience and high standards.” Making her debut in the WTR 1000 this year is Sherri Eastley, “an extremely clever attorney who might fly under the radar only because of the depth of talent at the firm”. She has a gift for overcoming perplexing prosecution matters and knows how to keep clients satisfied. A fountain of knowledge, luminary Rodney Caldwell rounds off the set. “He is an excellent litigator and somebody you can call for assistance without hesitation.”
Other recommended experts
The redoubtable Margaret Boulware deftly handles the brand portfolios of Fortune 500 behemoths. Running her own boutique – Boulware & Valoir – she garners plaudits for the profound depth of her trademark experience. Fleckman McGlynn is home to the versatile John Cain, a prosecution master and litigation virtuoso, and a silver-tongued negotiator of transactions to boot. Edward Cavazos oversees the Austin wing of Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman. His work product, both in dispute resolution and long-term strategy, is “fantastic”. “John Cone really understands the law and is a superb litigator; he knows how to present facts in a simple way that gets right to the heart of the matter.” In addition to being “a solid lawyer with a great demeanour”, “he possesses an interesting and useful international perspective that gives him a unique edge”. He is based at Ferguson Braswell & Fraser. Formerly at Pirkey Barber, Alison D Frey now flies the flag for Dickinson Wright. With a particular flair for non-contentious mandates, “she efficiently balances the needs and objectives of your branding strategy with associated costs. She is a strong communicator and is able to offer business guidance with her legal advice”. Richard Groos brings his unique portfolio management skills to bear for King & Spalding. Systematic and precise, he offers perspicacious counsel to a host of clients, including Home Depot, which he advises on everything from registrations to global enforcement and domain name disputes. Working out of her eponymous shop, Elizabeth King exploits over two decades of trademark know-how to brilliant effect. As a former examining attorney of the US Patent and Trademark Office, she knows how to prepare adamantine applications. At FisherBroyles is Deborah Lively, the previous head of Thompson & Knight’s trademark department. Her meticulous attention to detail and judicious insight make for a potent combination in all aspects of prosecution and transactional matters. She also has a talent for protecting brands on social media. “Dwayne Mason goes much farther than simply filing your trademarks – he will learn about your business environment and couple it with an up-to-date knowledge of IP law.” The Greenberg Traurig highflyer “provides exceptional value with his strategies that are aligned with corporate goals.” A recurring name in the field, William Raman possesses a fine-grained appreciation for all things trademark-related. Widely esteemed for both his counselling and litigation acuity, his fastidious approach to brand protection means that he leaves no stone unturned. Holding the fort in Dallas for Fish & Richardson is Russell Rippamonti. His technical background as an engineer is a particular boon for IP owners in the petroleum industry, and he is “a really solid option for the management of both trademarks and patents”. Operating out of Hoover Slovacek is Paul Van Slyke, a big name in this field with even bigger clients. He is an enforcement maven who has countless years of courtroom and TTAB experience under his belt.
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