A scion of the well-known Swedish firm, AWA Asia is a sure-footed guide through the Chinese trademark regime for a host of foreign enterprises from Europe, Australasia and the Americas. Proficient in both prosecution and enforcement, it is hailed for the breadth of its expertise. “Responsive, strategic and effective” team leader Ai-Leen Lim
has “top-tier skills across the board” and comes highly recommended by foreign associates for her “clear and detailed explanations, thoughtful insights on legal principles and sound suggestions for tactical success”. The former Bird & Bird star shines brightest on perspicacious brand planning and complex IP-rich transactions.
Baker McKenzie LLP
The Beijing, Shanghai and Hong Kong outposts of legal titan Baker McKenzie provide stellar brand protection services for a slew of household names. Combining an unparalleled global network with fine-grained local knowledge, the firm effortlessly dispatches demanding multi-jurisdictional briefs across East Asia and beyond. Its commercially attuned lawyers in China are tried and tested in transactions, recently overseeing a major trademark-rich deal for Starbucks. Enforcement is also a forte; it lately helped to secure both criminal and civil judgments against various infringers of Calvin Klein’s marques. Loke-Khoon Tan is the key contact.
Bird & Bird
A team of 50 crack IP professionals makes Bird & Bird a force to be reckoned with in Chinese trademark law. Having practised in the country for some 20 years and established a fruitful alliance with domestic firm Lawjay Partners, it is a compelling option for foreign brand owners. Hotshot enforcer Rieko Michishita
is a go-to for tricky cross-border anti-counterfeiting briefs between China, Taiwan and Hong Kong. She is a particular favourite among Japanese companies seeking clued-up counsel across the water. Further strengthening the team is new partner David Allison
, a well-rounded practitioner best known for his facility for alternative dispute resolution: he is a member of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators and a panellist of the Asian Domain Name Dispute Resolution Centre.
DLA Piper LLP
Worldwide IP powerhouse DLA Piper has a formidable presence in China, where it represents a host of mega-brands. An expansive web of offices and associates ensures that it can resolve any and all trademark conundrums that arise throughout East and Southeast Asia. Steeped in regional knowledge, clear-thinking strategist Horace Lam
is a safe pair of hands for pan-continental instructions; a keen business sense informs his advice on contentious and non-contentious matters.
Marrying granular legal expertise with a refined cultural understanding, the Chinese arm of Gowling WLG provides a soup-to-nuts brand protection services to high-flying multinational brands. Cross-border specialist Jamie Rowlands
excels at finding creative workarounds to trademark puzzles, and keeps a cool head both in the courtroom and at the negotiating table. Quarterbacking the prosecution team in China is the versatile Jian Xu
, another redoubtable litigator. As chair of the British Chamber of Commerce Legal Forum, he is of one mind with the businesses he represents.
Firmly ensconced on the East Asian legal scene, Hogan Lovells has an admirable track record of defending transnational brands in the Middle Kingdom: it secured the first interim injunction from the country’s IP courts and initiated the first trade dress infringement case under Chinese competition law. More recently it has skilfully acquired and enforced rights for Burberry, and brought counterfeiters to book for Yvolution. Elite practitioner Deanna Wong
dazzles with her savvy IP management and commercialisation. Litigation whizz Zhen (Katie) Feng
adds a further dimension to the firm’s holistic practice: qualified in China and the United States, she has a brilliant rapport with US patrons. Meanwhile, interaction with European clients has been boosted by the recent establishment of a China desk in Frankfurt.
Home to a phalanx of talented native Chinese professionals, Jones Day’s Beijing and Shanghai offices provide polished trademark services informed by sophisticated local insight. Working in harmony with colleagues in other commercial practice groups, the IP team offers shrewd business-minded guidance. Esteemed for its relentless approach to enforcement, Jones Day has also earned an enviable reputation for its adroit handling of intricate brand rights transactions. A crucial contact in Beijing and Hong Kong is Haifeng Huang
, a sage counsellor and cogent advocate.
A global firm with a laser focus on emerging markets, Rouse is a preferred choice for companies seeking to establish and safeguard their brands in China. Its “incredibly enthusiastic” problem solvers have pioneered creative ways of serving clients’ interests: its unique CIELA litigation analysis software is a real advantage on contentious instructions. Running the Chinese offices is the percipient Linda Chang
, who designs and implements strategies to secure unassailable brand protection for myriad multinationals. Elliot Papageorgiou
’s practice encompasses stellar portfolio management and agile cross-border litigation; few foreigners are as familiar with China’s IP law and business environment. Heading the national and worldwide trademark teams, Rachel Li-Mei Tan
keeps the big picture in mind on weighty instructions.
Sheppard Mullin Richter & Hampton LLP
Trenchant trademark enforcer Sheppard Mullin is the firm to call for global companies seeking to clear the Chinese marketplace of fakes and infringers. The experience and skill of its professionals translate into forward-thinking, commercially on-point counsel - particularly in the online space, which is a real stronghold. The assertive yet measured approach of veteran campaigner Scott Palmer
is reassuring for clients in heated adversarial situations.
Simmons & Simmons LLP
A persuasive contender on the global IP stage, Simmons & Simmons cuts a dash in China, where it offers gilt-edged portfolio development and enforcement services to a glittering collection of brands. With “in-depth knowledge of the latest developments and trends in Chinese law”, Beijing trademark team fulcrum George Chan
is acclaimed by clients and foreign associates alike. “Extraordinary responsiveness makes him a great person to deal with when difficult issues arise.”
Dishing out intelligent IP guidance imbued with a distinctly commercial flavour, Taylor Wessing is extremely popular with European and North American companies seeking to protect their interests in China. Spearheading the team is Thomas Pattloch
, a steady-handed manager of complex legal briefs and a staunch defender of intellectual assets. He spent six years as the IP officer of the European Commission in China and as such understands the challenges that foreign enterprises face in the country better than most.