The French market has remained broadly stable since the worst of the global economic crisis, with a slow but steady increase in work becoming apparent as the country gradually recovers. Many of the trends common to large, sophisticated jurisdictions are in evidence, with recent litigation over Google AdWords sparking intense debate and Community trademarks continuing to grow in importance. The interplay between trademarks and related legal issues, such as unfair competition, is also coming under scrutiny from authorities and practitioners alike. Despite recent interest in increased consolidation between the roles of attorneys at law on the one hand and trademark attorneys on the other, it looks as though the two branches of the profession will remain clearly divided for the time being, with trademark attorneys unable to encroach any further into the courtroom. That said, heavyweight firms - both Anglo-Saxon (eg, Hogan Lovells and Allen & Overy) and French (eg, Gide Loyrette Nouel and Salans) - are now offering extensive non-contentious services. Their more traditional French peers continue in small litigation-focused shops, such as Cabinet Armengaud & Guerlain and Cabinet Gaultier Lakits Szleper, which retain positions at the upper end of the rankings. However, given the overall distinction between the culture and practice of law firms and attorney firms, they are listed on separate tables.
Marina Cousté is a recent arrival at Reed Smith following her departure from Howrey. While best known for her patent litigation work, she is also well versed in trademark disputes; she is hailed as “an outstanding practitioner that we rely upon greatly”. Clients enthuse that Cabinet Escande’s Michel Paul Escande is “one we trust with our most difficult cases”; he marries a “high degree of professionalism, reliability and approachability” with “his strength as a practitioner, leading to excellent results”. He has carved a particular niche through his litigation on behalf of prominent fashion houses. Richard Milchior of Granrut Avocats is an “experienced, high-quality practitioner” who picks up warm recommendations from the market. “Excellent collaborator” Sarah Bailey is a senior associate at Simmons & Simmons with a broad portfolio of work for clients in the film, cosmetics, logistics and consumer goods industries, among others. Promark’s Alain Berthet represents many well-established French companies and is noted for his activity in trademark opposition and cancellation matters. He is also a popular port of call for practitioners seeking counsel in the French market and is appreciated for “his responsiveness and business-oriented approach in resolving trademark disputes”. “Rising star” Nathalie Dreyfus is a founder of Dreyfus & Associes: “She has a lot of experience and know-how, provides practical advice and delivers work very efficiently, which is exactly what we seek in our counsel.” Managing a broad practice, she focuses on disputes and on online trademark issues. Winston & Strawn’s Nathalie Hadjadj- Cazier brings “a serious amount of knowledge and experience” to the table when working for clients in trademark-related transactions and litigation. Pascale Lambert is a “highly skilled” patent attorney and “excellent practitioner with a great reputation” at Cabinet Pascale Lambert & Associes. Hughes Hubbard Reed’s Stefan Naumann is “a truly excellent” IP litigator, with a key focus on trademark matters. Evelyne Roux of Cabinet Regimbeau “stands out for her great professionalism and expertise”. She heads the firm’s legal department and is particularly proficient at international litigation.