Benelux: Luxembourg

For many years a favoured destination of prestigious brands attracted to its generous tax privileges, Luxembourg has lost some of its appeal to global companies following significant changes to its fiscal policies. Nevertheless, the grand duchy remains a buoyant jurisdiction for trademark practitioners; with a sophisticated export economy, the country is home to a large number of banking and financial services concerns. In close proximity to the European Union’s General Court and Court of Justice, its professionals are also well positioned to represent clients in cutting-edge disputes. As in Belgium and the Netherlands, local lawyers describe an ongoing change in the relationship between IP agencies and law firms, with each encroaching more and more on the other’s traditional territory. Many of the country’s legal practices are now considering whether to hire in-house trademark attorneys.

Firms

H
Allen & Overy
Arendt & Medernach
Decker & Braun
NautaDutilh
Wildgen
Allen & Overy
Cosmopolitan in outlook and able to draw on unsurpassed international resources – in the Benelux, the European Union and further afield - Allen & Overy’s Luxembourg IP team is also the country’s largest domestic practice and boasts a fine-grained knowledge of the local market. The specialist squad executes brilliantly on challenging contentious mandates and dishes up perspicacious strategic advice; part of a leading commercial law set-up, it also handles brand-rich deals with finesse. Illustrious professional Katia Manhaeve benefits from over 20 years’ experience; best known for agile litigation before national and European Union courts, the multitalented practitioner can offer assured guidance on any brand rights conundrum. Adjacent expertise in distribution law, advertising, and e-commerce are further strings to her bow. She is also president of the International Association for the Protection of Intellectual Property’s Luxembourg chapter.
Arendt & Medernach
Splendid general service firm Arendt & Medernach is well placed to deliver top-notch trademark services in the grand duchy and beyond: the Luxembourg-based outfit boasts offices in London, New York, Paris, Moscow, Hong Kong and Dubai. Team leader Héloïse Bock is “deeply knowledgeable about intellectual property and has a fantastic can-do attitude”; the cogent advocate is a key ally when disputes arise and her wide-ranging business law savvy enables her to see trademark matters in panoramic perspective, which adds value with astute counsel. Bock’s distinguished service to the legal profession resulted in her being admitted to the country’s 21-member Council of State.
Decker & Braun
Nimble IP shop Decker & Braun is highly prized for its first-rate dispute resolution; it outshines rivals not only in high-stakes litigation, but in mediation, arbitration and creative licensing agreements. Superb father and daughter team Nicolas Decker and Marianne Decker “are undoubtedly leading figures in Luxembourg IP law – they are terrific attorneys with intricate specialist expertise”. Pioneering professional Decker senior “has been involved in the lion’s share of contentious matters for many years and has an encyclopaedic knowledge of case law”. He is also “determined, professional and adroit in negotiations”. Decker junior rises to the gold band this year, following glittering feedback from fellow professionals; she is “an extremely talented lawyer: very dynamic, to the point in her advice and closely familiar with cutting-edge issues”.
NautaDutilh
Cutting an impressive figure in each of the three Benelux countries, NautaDutilh is tried-and-tested in national, regional and continental trademark instructions. The Luxembourg team – like its counterparts in Belgium and the Netherlands – has a glowing reputation for the adept handling of heated brand rights spats; it packs a punch in judicial and administrative hearings, but shows a delicate touch in alternative dispute resolution forums. Domain name conflicts are another stronghold for the set. An expert in soft IP and online matters, Vincent Wellens provides assured leadership; the crack litigator is also a dab hand in transactional matters, assisting the firm’s M&A, banking and tax departments with IP-related matters. He recently had success defending fashion giant Fendi in the Luxembourg District Court against infringement allegations by Coach; and Wellens lately represented British American Tobacco in an appeal against the Benelux Office of Intellectual Property’s decision to reject his client’s opposition to an application by Landewyck.
Wildgen
Top general service outfit Wildgen serves up shrewd trademark commercialisation counsel to brand owners. While drawing on a rich tradition – it was founded in 1923 – the firm is resolutely forward-looking: intellectual property is a major focus for the practice, which serves as a legal hub for innovative small and medium-sized enterprises – a staple of the trademark department’s client base. Leading the line is Emmanuelle Ragot, a judicious adviser on a broad range of transactional and contentious matters; she also has related know-how in media and internet law. A popular choice for start-up companies, whose business priorities and challenges she understands intimately, Ragot is also a compelling option for multinational clients, partly because of her experiences working in France and the United Kingdom.

Individuals

Marianne Decker - Decker & Braun
Nicolas Decker - Decker & Braun
Katia Manhaeve - Allen & Overy
Héloïse Bock - Arendt & Medernach
Claire Léonelli - /c Law
Emmanuelle Ragot - Wildgen
Vincent Wellens - NautaDutilh
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Issue 74