Australia

Australia’s competitive IP landscape continues to go through a period of change and the past year has seen further consolidations while smaller, independent firms are popping up on the radar. Negotiations are also ongoing for the Australia-European Union Free Trade Agreement. In response to an EU request to protect hundreds of spirits, agricultural and other names as geographical indications (GIs), the Australian government opened a consultation period seeking opinions on the changes relating to GIs and the scope of their protection. Meanwhile, IP Australia is trialling the Smart Trademark initiative, which aims to tackle counterfeiting by enabling brand owners to prove to online consumers that they are buying an authentic product.

Firms: enforcement and litigation

  • Allens
  • Baker McKenzie
  • Corrs Chambers Westgarth
  • Herbert Smith Freehills LLP
  • King & Wood Mallesons
  • Ashurst LLP
  • Clayton Utz
  • Davies Collison Cave
  • DLA Piper
  • Gilbert + Tobin
  • K&L Gates LLP
  • Norton Rose Fulbright
  • Phillips Ormonde Fitzpatrick
  • Addisons
  • Banki Haddock Fiora
  • Bird & Bird LLP
  • Dentons
  • McCullough Robertson
  • MinterEllison
  • Shelston IP Pty Ltd
  • Sparke Helmore Lawyers
  • Spruson & Ferguson

Firms: prosecution and strategy

  • Allens
  • Baker McKenzie
  • Corrs Chambers Westgarth
  • Davies Collison Cave
  • Gilbert + Tobin
  • Herbert Smith Freehills LLP
  • King & Wood Mallesons
  • Phillips Ormonde Fitzpatrick
  • Spruson & Ferguson
  • Addisons
  • Ashurst LLP
  • Banki Haddock Fiora
  • Bird & Bird LLP
  • Clayton Utz
  • DLA Piper
  • FB Rice
  • Griffith Hack 
  • K&L Gates LLP
  • Madderns
  • Norton Rose Fulbright
  • Shelston IP Pty Ltd
  • Wrays
  • Buchanan Law
  • Cooper Mills Lawyers
  • Dentons
  • Gadens
  • HopgoodGanim
  • Macpherson Kelley
  • Maddocks
  • McCullough Robertson
  • Michael Buck IP
  • Sparke Helmore Lawyers
  • Thomson Geer

Addisons

With a reputation among consumer-facing businesses for its outstanding services, Addisons’ multi-disciplinary team of IP professionals possesses a “depth of expertise that is usually the hallmark of a very large firm, but also a personal touch that no large firm can match”. Companies choose Donna Short to manage their global portfolios and protect their intellectual property thanks to her top-notch “practical counselling, responsiveness and efficiency”, as well as her approachability. “Donna is very friendly and extremely reliable. You can tell she genuinely wants the best for your business. With her global knowledge and commercial analysis, she goes above and beyond to ensure her clients are equipped to make good, informed decisions.” Leading the trademark practice with Short is Karen Anne Hayne. An expert on branding, Hayne remains the trusted on-the-ground counsel for international enterprises without a physical presence in Australia. “Karen offers excellent, creative advice based on the client’s need and preferred approach. She develops a deep understanding of each business, its core values and its IP history.” Special counsel Tim Clarke provides valuable support to the two trademark partners. He is particularly experienced with Madrid Protocol matters and handles proceedings before the Australian and New Zealand trademark and designs offices. “His advice is prompt and holistic. He is a well-rounded practitioner who is fantastic at communicating very complex ideas and devising cost-effective solutions. Tim is personable, knowledgeable, thorough and pragmatic.”

Allens

Allens runs a fully integrated IP practice with a global reach, making it a valuable asset to the many Australian and multinational businesses that it serves. Leading the team is Miriam Stiel, whose client roster includes major domestic enterprises News Corp, Canva and Australian Agricultural Company. Stiel also regularly advises the Australian Olympic Committee on IP matters and was recently entrusted with Uber’s entire Australian and New Zealand trademark portfolios. An “exceptional IP lawyer fully up to date on the latest legal developments”, Timothy Golder’s expertise earns him the respect of peers and patrons alike. Andrew Wiseman is known for his insight into the food and beverage, advertising, entertainment and life sciences industries. A passionate supporter of the firm’s pro bono practice, he works with the World Wide Fund for Nature and the Life Education Program to protect their intellectual property. Multi-talented Sarah Matheson handles both contentious and non-contentious matters, while also advising on commercial transactions. Long-term client Fairtrade relies on Matheson to manage its Australian and New Zealand portfolios. Now back where he began his IP career, gold-ranked brand management expert Tim Allen boosts the IP practice.

Ashurst LLP

Taking a commercial approach to intellectual property, the team at Ashurst offers the full range of services from prosecution and enforcement to transactions. The 20 dedicated IP professionals are well versed in the intricacies of a variety of industries. Department head Lisa Ritson is a seasoned IP lawyer who recently picked up brand protection work for the Sydney Opera House Trust. “Personable, commercial and efficient” Anita Cade holds the reins over at the Sydney office. Kellech Smith is a chemistry expert whose “key strength lies in understanding the details of a case while remaining focused on the strategic big picture”. A “fabulous, shrewd litigator”, she has plenty of experience appearing before the Federal, Full Federal and High Courts of Australia.

Baker McKenzie

Topping both the enforcement and prosecution tables is international giant Baker McKenzie. The global IP group provides seamless multi-jurisdictional services with outstanding results in the consumer goods and retail, healthcare and technology, media and telecoms sectors. Byron Angelopulo leads the Australian trademarks side and is “a pleasure to work with”. On top of managing the portfolios of numerous core clients, Angelopulo takes care of a great deal of the firm’s commercial and transactional work. An expert in cross-border disputes, Robert Arnold is “extremely knowledgeable on trademark matters and a highly trustworthy, reliable counsel”. Besides leading the Australian franchising practice, Jonathan Flintoft coordinates portfolios across Southeast Asia for a number of high-profile names. Litigator Elisabeth White is regarded as “a competent, absolutely outstanding lawyer”. “You can 150% count on her to deliver thoughtful suggestions and creative, out-of-the-box thinking.”

Banki Haddock Fiora

Banki Haddock Fiora is an independent boutique firm recognised for its commercial acumen, which attracts some of the world’s most well-known brands. An authority on trademark issues related to counterfeit and grey market goods, Simon Kneebone focuses on both prosecution and enforcement matters. Disputes resolution group leader Julie Robb centres her attention on litigious cases, while Alison McGinn takes the lead for non-contentious matters after carefully considering the specific needs of every client’s business. “Alison is very personable and responsive and her advice practical. She has sound judgement and is never afraid to give her honest opinion.” Entering the rankings this year is Kate Andean, who takes care of all EU and UK trademark matters. One associate gushes over her “reliable advice and accommodating manner which makes her a pleasure to work with”.

Bird & Bird LLP

With 29 offices around the world, Bird & Bird is known for its global outlook. The team of sector-focused lawyers works as one to “connect clients to IP professionals all over the world for support on complex IP issues and cross-border matters”. An expert in the life sciences and higher education fields, Sydney office department head Jane Owen is “one of the best practitioners in her area of expertise and highly regarded by her peers in IP litigation. At the core of her approach to litigation is her savvy commercial thinking – she is one of the best people for quickly getting to the core of a dispute and building a strategy around that to bring the case to a close as expeditiously as possible. There aren’t many in the game that possess that ability, so it is always an enormously enjoyable experience to work with her.” Lynne Lewis specialises in intellectual property and related consumer and regulatory law. Peers admire Lewis for her “superior intellectual and instinctive understanding of the field. She is a brilliant trademark lawyer who does a lot of stellar work on the commercial side. She also has a unique ability to predict how a case will go; what she envisions from the beginning is what ends up happening in court. She is forensic in her approach and fun to work with; anyone who gets the chance to should consider themselves lucky.”

Buchanan Law

Independent outfit Buchanan Law has the legal, technical and commercial expertise that keeps rights holders coming back again and again. “Scott Buchanan and his team stand out as a specialist IP firm and for their depth of experience when it comes to trademarks. Their thorough investigations, professionalism and attention to detail are commendable. Additionally, Scott’s pragmatic approach, as well as his understanding of what is important to each business and its commercial objectives, brings about outstanding results for the client.”

Clayton Utz

Australian law firm Clayton Utz provides comprehensive trademark services to large domestic and international brands across a diverse range of industries. Leading the IP and technology team in Melbourne is Chris McLeod, who works on trademark prosecution matters for Toyota Motor Corporation and 2XU, as well as providing valuable assistance to Australia’s largest university, Monash, in its international expansion efforts. An experienced litigator, Timothy Webb keeps an eye on the Sydney office’s trademark prosecution and brand protection group. He is a recognised expert in the technology, media and telecoms sectors. Both having honed their skills over more than 30 years, savvy litigator Mary Still and director Brett Doyle are highly regarded in Australian IP circles for their depth of expertise when it comes to trademark matters. Meanwhile, senior associate Sean McGuire manages the global portfolios for Toyota Australia and Monash University.

Cooper Mills Lawyers

With deep expertise in telecoms and technology, boutique firm Cooper Mills Lawyers offers a wide range of IP services to businesses of all sizes. Erhan Karabardak and Victor Ng are experienced trademark practitioners and two names to remember.

Corrs Chambers Westgarth

“What sets Corrs Chambers Westgarth apart from other firms is the feeling that the lawyers and clients are in it together. The practitioners advocate passionately for their clients’ best interests, as if they were a part of the organisation. Not only do they represent you, they work with you. Irrespective of who you deal with at Corrs, you can rely on consistency and quality of service.” The people over at Corrs garner an overwhelming amount of praise from satisfied customers. “Beyond possessing the standard qualities you look for in a firm, there are two especially commendable distinguishing features about Kate Hay and her team: their enduring patience and calmness under pressure; and always living up to expectations. Kate’s advice is practical and pragmatic, while also being tailored to the needs of the client. Finally, the team is an extremely respectful and welcoming group of professionals. All dealings with them are an absolute pleasure!” Litigator Stephen Stern’s practice is based on four decades of trademark experience. Patrons attest to his dedication and commitment: “Steve is absolutely passionate about his craft. He has a fantastic service mentality and is extremely quick in his response regardless of time or day. His huge amount of experience comes through in his ability to cover varied and complex areas of law. His advice is commercial, and you know that with him by your side your interests will always be highly protected.” Head of trademarks Jürgen Bebber’s advice is “direct, concise and devoid of unnecessary legalese. Potential risks, solutions and consequences are always clearly identified and addressed.” “Jürgen utilises his broad knowledge of the law and strong commercial insight to not only effectively identify business risk but manage it in a commercially intelligent way. He knows how to distil a complicated situation into manageable parts, and he approaches his work with a high degree of integrity.” Eugenia Kolivos receives high praise too: “Eugenia is always the first lawyer I think of due to her pragmatism and ease to deal with. Strong expertise across all areas, particularly when a matter crosses multiple areas of expertise. Plus, she cares deeply about receiving the best results for clients and takes the time to understand what their goals are.” Odette Gourley is “an intelligent, business-savvy legal adviser. She knows all aspects of the law and communicates it with clarity to lawyers and non-lawyers alike.” “Odette approaches difficult matters sensitively and cost-efficiently.” Meanwhile, David Fixler “looks beyond the issue at hand and strategises for the future. He is invested in the long-term success of his clients. With regard to small businesses, he is able to identify their potential and help them grow.”

Davies Collison Cave

“The key to Davies Collison Cave’s success is that it couples professional, competent IP advisory services with solid client relationships.” With the highest number of trademarks filed each year in Australia for the past two decades, DCC is a force to be reckoned with. An awarded expert on trademark law, Marion Heathcote advises on international portfolio management and protection across the Asia-Pacific region. Carly Mansell is a commercial and business-savvy lawyer particularly experienced in the pharmaceutical industry. Australian companies and multinationals alike turn to Michael Wolnizer for his “outstanding professionalism, timely service and sage advice”, as well as his expertise on internet-related trademark issues. Specialising in Australian and New Zealand trademark law, respectively, the diligent Adam Sears “seems to work all hour of the day, night and weekend as he answers emails regardless of when he receives them”, while Nick Holmes is “more like a friendly colleague than a lawyer”. Branding maestro Stuart Green offers “strategic advice that is always extremely helpful and on point”. A published author on the system of international trademark registration, Ian Drew has worked on trademark matters across the globe. The go-to lawyer for both domestic and international enterprises seeking a stellar litigator, Chris Jordan “has a sharp, insightful mind and a keen sense of strategy. Chris’ commercial advice and dispute management skills are outstanding.” Completing the set is Timothy Creek, who handles the transactional side of things.

Dentons

Part of a wide-reaching global network, Dentons Australia offers comprehensive trademark services with particular expertise in the life sciences, retail, hotel and leisure industries. Joy Atacador leads the IP and technology side. “Her commitment and follow-up is second to none, and her creativity when it comes to brand protection matters is refreshing.” “Joy and her team take the time to understand each business and to explore and expand upon what the client is looking for. She has an ability to keep things simple and doesn’t overcomplicate anything.” Fellow IP lawyer Robyn Chatwood has “excellent technical knowledge and sound commercial acumen. On top of this, she genuinely cares about her clients and is more than happy to go the extra mile.” Over three decades of IP experience goes into Scott Sloan’s work, which focuses on enforcement and litigation. Special counsel Roanne de Menezes manages portfolios across a range of sectors, as well as handling local and overseas contentious matters.

DLA Piper

With “a really strong offering in intellectual property globally and a coordinated approach for IP protection”, DLA Piper manages the portfolios of some of the world’s most recognisable brands. The Australian side is led by co-chair of intellectual property and technology Melinda Upton who provides “expert advice on the application and filing process in global jurisdictions while expertly navigating local authority regulations”. Under her leadership, “the team helps protect and maximise the value of clients’ brands and assets”. Litigator Robynne Sanders focuses on fast-moving consumer goods, medical devices, engineering and IT. Rights holders value Sanders’ “extremely commercial” approach. “Beyond that, Robynne really knows how to listen and come up with efficient strategies that bring about successful outcomes for her clients.”

FB Rice

Well-regarded Australian outfit FB Rice provides “prompt and pragmatic IP solutions” for rights holders ranging from domestic start-ups to widely known brands such as LG Electronics and Nissin Foods Holdings. What “sets the firm apart from its competitors is its worldwide network, as well as the team’s experience, commercial awareness and responsiveness”. “The services are very reliable, and the fact that it is an independent firm run by its partners allows for a long-term view of client relationships.” Under group leader Michael Seifried’s guidance, the trademark practice is growing rapidly, having seen a significant increase in contentious work over the past year. Patrons value Seifried for his “deep understanding of their trademark needs, his first-class advice with local and international knowledge, and his commercial astuteness. A very good lateral thinker, he helps businesses see the broader picture and breaks down complex issues into understandable pieces of information.” Satisfied customers “think of Michael and FB Rice as our partners in intellectual property”. “It is refreshing how his guidance on Australian law is not limited purely to the legal side of things but includes how Australian legal subtleties impact real-world market conditions.” Joanne Martin “has a knack for understanding cases and predicting their outcome”. “Her flexibility and customer service is exceptional. She has no problem coming up with solutions or alternatives, and, if necessary, will work seven days straight to get a matter sorted.” Martin and her colleagues, including Lisa Neilson, are praised for being “very engaging, bright attorneys who not only have an excellent grasp of Australian IP law, but also think globally. Rather than focus only on obtaining a registration or positive result in their own country, they consider the implications worldwide.” “Lisa provides succinct, practical advice” with a strong “grasp of IP legislation and practices across multiple jurisdictions”.

Gadens

“Head and shoulders above the competition,” Gadens’ practice is “of the highest quality”. “More responsive than other firms”, it offers comprehensive trademark advice and services “at a reasonable cost”. A specialist in intellectual property, franchising and competition and consumer law, Adam Walker is “extremely hardworking and efficient, and always comes up with effective solutions”. WTR 1000 newcomer Hazel McDwyer skilfully handles everything from brand protection to enforcement. One client exclaims: “Hazel is one of the best IP lawyers in Australia. Her advice is always on target and sensitive to budgets and timelines. She is also the most pragmatic and commercial-savvy practitioner I have had the pleasure of meeting. I can count on Hazel to do what is best for our company, rather than what is best for the firm.” Kerry Awerbuch runs a successful practice focused on trademark prosecution, infringement, opposition and clearance, while Donna Bartlett takes charge on the transactional front in addition to advising on brand strategy and protection.

Gilbert + Tobin

With a strong trademark practice landing it a spot in the gold tier for prosecution and strategy, Gilbert + Tobin is highly respected for its contentious and non-contentious work. A slew of iconic companies, including Electronic Arts, Bed Bath & Beyond and Red Bull, regularly seek out the 29-person IP team for its “commercial, timely and high-quality advice”. Captaining the practice is gold-ranked Lisa Lennon, a “very smart lawyer, highly recommended for her prosecution work”. As a leading figure at the firm, she manages the portfolios of many of its most high-profile clients. Another star practitioner, commercial Siabon Seet is widely considered among peers as a “very good adversary on the litigation front”. “The quality of Siabon’s work is of the highest standard and she is an absolute pleasure to work with.” Anti-counterfeiting expert and IP head Michael Williams is a respected litigator. Rebecca Dunn enters the enforcement table this year given her involvement in large and complex trademark litigation matters.

Griffith Hack 

“Griffith Hack specialises in IP law with an excellent track record in protecting and enforcing IP rights for its clients. They provide excellent service and their fees remain very reasonable for the work performed.” Aside from an ever-growing trademark practice, the set continues to see an uptick in the number of Australian trademark filings handled. The integration of Watermark in May 2020 has provided a further boost to the team’s already impressive capacities, while in-house IP portfolio management platform Amplia offers significant cost-saving opportunities for clients. “This firm is excellent with its communication and the advice it provides. Their expertise in intellectual property is exceptional and the work is always of first-rate quality. Additionally, they are genuinely interested in the issues that each client faces and are very passionate about what they do.” Nicola Scheepers confidently tackles “complicated trademark issues with global implications” and “addresses very sophisticated appeals with the Australia IP office”. “What makes Nichola special is her in-depth knowledge and sophisticated analysis of complex issues. She consistently provides advice that is accurate, practical and cost-effective.” “Well respected in IP circles,” Kellie Stonier “manages to stay at the cutting-edge of developments in the trademark and IP sphere”. Stonier is “exceptionally approachable and a clear expert in the field, who really ensures clients get the invaluable advice and assistance they need but in a way that is easily digestible and commercially applicable, even under difficult or unusual circumstances”. Banking more than three decades at Griffith Hack, Anne Makrigiorgos is a trademark attorney who has seen it all. As the first female president of the Institute of Patent and Trademark Attorneys of Australia, Makrigiorgos is recognised for her substantial contributions to the field. Shannon Fati not only produces high-quality work, her advice is “always trustworthy, clear and timely. It is truly enjoyable to work with her.”

Herbert Smith Freehills LLP

“Second to none in the IP market,” Herbert Smith Freehills dominates the top spot in both the prosecution and enforcement tables. The team is “responsive and commercial and takes the time to understand clients’ legal strategies in the context of their broader business objectives and budgets. On top of that, they have a good sense of humour.” With a practice developed over 30 years to cover all aspects of trademarks, consultant Ike Papageorge is “responsive, knowledgeable and thorough”. Captain of the IP department Sue Gilchrist successfully defended Anchorage Capital Group and its subsidiary ACPA in a trademark infringement dispute that made it all the way to the High Court. One client has this to say about Jeremy Herz: “Jeremy has had a stellar track record in achieving favourable outcomes for us across the board and always provides strategic and technically excellent advice. He specialises in opposing bad-faith foreign language trademarks and I could not recommend him more highly in this regard.” Shaun McVicar is “the go-to person for IP disputes as well as more commercial IP matters. He always goes above and beyond to ensure clients get the best advice in line with their business objectives.” Kristin Stammer specialises in commercial IP transactions, working closely with corporate IP senior associate Tess Mierendorff on IP commercialisation and IP aspects of M&A transactions.

HopgoodGanim

Over at independent legal and advisory firm HopgoodGanim Lawyers, clients and foreign associates can count on “a team of practitioners who care about what they do. Every file is treated like a child – attention is paid, instructions are carried out. When issues arise, these are pointed out in advance. There is a personalised service which is lacking among many other firms.” Popular with tech companies in particular, the excellent Hayden Delaney leads the group and ensures that all advice meets the standard of being “succinct, comprehensive and provided in a timely manner”.

K&L Gates LLP

One among a network of offices spanning the United States, Europe and Australia, K&L Gates’ Melbourne-based practice connects clients looking for global IP portfolio management services to more than 70 IP professionals worldwide. Revered as a “formidable opponent” by peers, Chris Round is a well-rounded practitioner with extensive experience in trademark prosecution, enforcement and litigation. Over the past year he has been involved in prosecution matters for Cricket Australia and the Australian Football League. Jonathan Feder is a “tenacious litigator”, while strategic thinker Tony Watson provides commercial advice on both prosecution and enforcement matters.

King & Wood Mallesons

King & Wood Mallesons once again defends its spot at the top of the rankings after a year of growth and success, having taken over a number of large IP portfolios. In terms of sheer volume of trademark filings, it remains unrivalled in the Australian market. Through close cooperation with its top-ranked offices in China, the firm offers outstanding services in the region too. It also continues to be recognised as a leader in workplace equality year after year, thanks to the commitment and efforts of gold-ranked litigator and “trusted adviser” Katrina Rathie. Procter & Gamble is one client benefitting from Rathie’s “accessibility, practicality and considered advice, even under tight deadlines”. Head of intellectual property Matthew Swinn is the go-to person for manufacturing and life sciences litigation. “Extremely knowledgeable, thoughtful and creative when providing advice on all aspects of trademark work,” Bill Ladas “has been making strong progress in the trademarks space” and is regarded as an “excellent, professional practitioner” by peers. In addition to providing “business-savvy advice that yields realistic and practical strategies for achieving the client’s goals”, Ladas is “perhaps the most responsive attorney on earth”. Cate Nagy’s “attention to detail, timeliness, clarity and commercial pragmatism” impress foreign associates and clients alike. Her “positive energy and enthusiasm no matter the time of day” make her “a pleasure to work with”, while her “ability to remain calm during heated negotiations” means that she is a valuable asset when navigating sensitive transaction-related matters. “Well-known, respected and capable all-rounder” Scott Bouvier runs a “wide-ranging commercial and disputes practice. His broad and varied experience is truly invaluable to clients.” John Swinson is an experienced litigator whose achievements are widely known and respected throughout.

Macpherson Kelley

National commercial firm MacPherson Kelley provides quality advice on prosecution and contentious matters while implementing effective protection strategies. Special counsel Mark Metzeling – along with the rest of the team – receive high accolades from clients. “They really understand our business and can provide constructive ideas and solutions to trademark challenges, rather than just execute our requests. They have been instrumental in securing our trademarks overseas.” “They have assisted us in achieving excellent outcomes at excellent value.”

Madderns

Proudly independent Madderns caters to a large client base of iconic Australian names with big export businesses. The firm’s expertise in the wine industry is known and respected far and wide, while its reputation in the fashion industry continues to grow. The set is experienced in complex prosecution work and regularly represents rights holders in opposition and non-use cancellation proceedings domestically and globally. A specialised side offers filing and prosecution services in China too. Megan Ryder and group leader Louise Emmett are both on the specialist trademarks team where they assist patrons on prosecution matters, while Craig Vinall competently juggles both patent and trademark matters.

Maddocks

Commercial law firm Maddocks’ dedicated IP team consists of 11 partners and 13 lawyers spread across offices in Canberra, Melbourne and Sydney. “Quality, insight and timeliness” best describe the work produced by these 24 professionals. The side is particularly strong in its focus areas of healthcare, government, technology, media and telecommunication, education and retail. With “experience, knowledge and speed”, Shelley Einfeld and Brendan Coady help rights holders to best protect their intellectual property, with additional expertise in transactional matters.

McCullough Robertson

“Fearless and unafraid to push the boundaries to get results other firms fail to deliver,” McCullough Robertson is an independent Australian commercial outfit with an IP team managing close to 5,000 trademarks across the world. IP practice leader Belinda Breakspear “provides amazing trademark services while being friendly and helpful. If an issue or question arises, it is very easy to pick up the phone and give her a call. She has her clients’ best interests at heart, rather than the opportunity to generate billing.” “There is honestly nothing I can think of that could improve the services rendered to me,” says one happy patron. Fostering a supportive work environment by “emphasising the importance of having happy, healthy, high-performance practitioners and respecting their work-life balance”, Breakspear has built a department that is “incredibly collaborative, well informed and a delight to work with”. Foreign associates appreciate how her trademark advice is “practical while taking the broader commercial picture into account”. On top of that, she “keeps her clients fully informed and updated at all times. She is a very genuine person who always prioritises her clients.”

Michael Buck IP

“Thorough, responsive and personal,” Michael Buck IP has a “solid record in the trademark space”. Besides offering quality services, the firm’s global network of associates enables it “to assist with language and interpretation difficulties”. Geraldine Rimmer “supports local clients throughout their global growth” and “guides them at reasonable pricing and with the utmost knowledge and experience”. Foreign associates consider Rimmer a “tremendous blessing” who “hits the ground running from day one and is very responsive and always ready to assist in any matter”.

MinterEllison

In addition to its successful patent practice, MinterEllison runs a “very strong” trademark offering that is worthy of recognition. Backed by 25 years of experience, Robert Cooper specialises in IP disputes, trademark matters, licensing and IT disputes.

Norton Rose Fulbright

A global network of more than 250 lawyers, patent attorneys and trademark agents tend to clients’ every IP need worldwide at Norton Rose Fulbright. From the beginning of innovation and throughout the growth of a business, these skilled professionals provide reliable advice to safely protect the rights of trademark owners. “Well-known” practitioner Frances Drummond heads the excellent Australian IP team. From the Sydney office, trademark prosecutor Georgina Hey competently manages brand and IP assets – working closely with litigators when necessary. Peers respect Jackie O’Brien for her “outstanding trademark enforcement work”.

Phillips Ormonde Fitzpatrick

With a gold-ranked prosecution and strong enforcement practice, IP boutique Phillips Ormonde Fitzpatrick offers “professionalism, cooperation and high-quality legal advice”. “They are very client-oriented and the services provided are always adapted to each business’ unique needs.” Trademarks team leader Michael O’Donnell safeguards companies’ IP rights, focusing on Australia, New Zealand and Papua New Guinea. “Michael is thorough and pays attention to details. He is able to translate legal advice into language that we can easily understand and then act on in an informed manner. We also greatly value the practical way that he outlines the probability and ramifications of various scenarios facing our business in each situation.” Michael Squires receives equally high praise: “His advice is always pragmatic, professional and timely. I would not hesitate to recommend Michael to anyone looking for trademark advice. He also provides many valuable complimentary services, such as seminars on new legislation and refresher courses.” Russell Waters handles all aspects of trademark matters, while long-term member of the team and chair of the board Greg Chambers is a senior litigator with numerous successes under his belt. Anita Brown “goes the extra mile to satisfy clients’ needs, including providing cost-effective options, being open minded and professional when dealing with any registering issues and always willing to answer questions at no additional cost.” David Longmuir is experienced in all areas of IP litigation, with a special interest in life sciences. Commercial and litigation practice group leader Chris Schlicht enforces the IP rights of local and international patrons alike. Working alongside him is senior associate Marine Guillou who skilfully handles anti-counterfeiting matters.

Shelston IP Pty Ltd

Specialised IP firm Shelston IP provides trademark services across Asia-Pacific from its Sydney and Auckland offices. Trademarks and brands group leader Sean McManis is “not only proactive, responsive, thorough and knowledgeable, he provides comprehensive, diverse trademark services”.

Sparke Helmore Lawyers

“One of the very best in the business,” Shannon Platt heads the IP and technology team at national law firm Sparke Helmore Lawyers. “Shannon has a broad spectrum of knowledge in trademark law and works in a holistic way, foreseeing issues and risks for the client, and managing those matters with skill, diligence and purpose. This requires commercial and business acumen, as well as a thorough understanding of the law and court processes.” “With Shannon, there is no need for us to try to interpret what our next move should be or try to read between the lines. Her advice is always clear and remarkably spot-on.” Other patrons highlight the group’s personability: “After each meeting, I feel like we are their only client. If there is a matter that cannot be conveyed simply via email, I can always give them a call to discuss it. I cannot say enough about how grateful we are to have the firm and Shannon as our IP legal team.” “Trademark disputes are expensive and not for the faint-hearted. They not only defended our corporate rights, they fought for an end to a long-standing dispute with a difficult opposition incapable of reaching a suitable agreement outside the court process.”

Spruson & Ferguson

With one of the largest trademark filing practices in Australia, Spruson & Ferguson handles a huge volume of work for businesses in the Asia-Pacific region through its “international network of coverage”. Patrons appreciate that practitioners “tell it as it is rather than sugar coat it. They tell you what you need to hear, rather than always what you want to hear, and then give clear and concise legal advice on how to solve complicated issues.” Peers hold Tracey Berger and Ken Hamilton in high regard: “The two of them have high-quality service standards supported by efficient and effective document management and reporting, as well as broad IP knowledge both locally and in Asia.” Litigator Khajaque Kortian represents small local businesses and international giants alike. Peter Hallett handles transactional matters with a focus on negotiating and drafting commercial IP agreements. Meanwhile, “easy to work with” Sylvie Tso “keeps things simple so clients can spend their time effectively on other things”. Familiar with all aspects of the Madrid System, Daniel Wilson joins the rankings this year.

Thomson Geer

Independent corporate law firm Thomson Geer provides “highly accurate advice that succeeds in achieving optimal outcomes for its clients”. An essential member of the “excellent and commercially minded” IP practice, Peter Le Guay protects, maintains and enforces IP rights alongside Dianne Beer who offers “commercial and pragmatic trademark support”. Patrons admire Beer’s “direct commercial approach” and are grateful that they can “pick up the phone to get an explanation of both simple and complex matters in order to make quick progress”.

Wrays

After growing its IP practice for a century, independent IP firm Wrays has become one of the largest of its kind in Australia. Clients rely on the set for “for honest and open dialogues, as well as timely action upon instruction”. Head of the trademarks team Jennifer McEwan “offers clear and detailed advice on trademark issues. She has proven to be a formidable and successful attorney, acting with patience, care and foresight.” Experienced in both contentious and non-contentious matters, Marie Wong’s expertise attracts influential names in the pharmaceutical, wine, construction and fashion industries.

Other recommended experts

Known for his broad sectoral knowledge, Andrew Butler moved his practice from Wrays to DC Collins in 2018. Colin Cheung provides SMEs with the full range of IP services over at Actuate Intellectual Property. Johnson Winter & Slattery’s Christine Ecob takes a holistic approach to advising brand owners on matters concerning product launch, advertising, labelling and commercial agreements. Specialised in technology-based industries, corporate lawyer Julian Gyngell is based at Kepdowrie Chambers. HWL Ebsworth Lawyers’ Helen Kavadias is “a fantastic trademark prosecution attorney. She is always very responsive and careful.” Philip Macken is the go-to person for trademark and domain name prosecution at brand consultancy Brand Haven. A trustworthy portfolio manager at Lesicar Maynard Andrews, Kate Maynard keeps an eye out for infringement activities. “Highly regarded class act” Melissa McGrath enters the rankings this year on a wave of positive feedback. Coleman Greig patrons often mention her passion and dedication to intellectual property and achieving success. “Melissa’s empathy for her clients and the way she gets along with and works extremely hard for them is very special. She brings her whole self to everything she does.” “She is always available to discuss the details of a case and share her professional opinion, outlining the risks and potential consequences of each option.” “Melissa’s dynamic personality makes her enjoyable to work with, and her serviceoriented approach means we always feel like we are her most important client. She understands the importance of knowing her clients and empowering them. An underrated gem I am glad I found.” McGrath’s “piercing intellect, sincerity and dedication to excellence” impresses peers, as does her “extensive experience, having worked on some of Australia’s most complex IP matters”. Tim O’Callaghan is a reliable strategist and litigator at Piper Alderman. He balances his responsibilities as head of the Adelaide office and national deputy manager with ease. “An expert in his field”, Kenneth Philp has litigated numerous landmark cases throughout an illustrious career spanning more than four decades. Previously with Macpherson Kelley, he is now a consultant Clifford Gouldson. Jacqui Pryor has a knack for explaining trademark-related concepts and issues to business owners as the director of Mark My Words Trademark Services. Trademark attorney, lawyer, barrister and notary public Lance Scott has vast experience practising in Australia, New Zealand and the United Kingdom – his services can be located at Gestalt Law. Gerard Skelly, director of Selfmark Pty, specialises in all areas of trademark law. Ann Slater provides cost-effective, high-quality IP support at Slaters Intellectual Property, Technology and Entertainment Lawyers.

Individuals: enforcement and litigation

  • Sue Gilchrist - Herbert Smith Freehills LLP
  • Odette M Gourley - Corrs Chambers Westgarth
  • Kate Hay - Corrs Chambers Westgarth
  • Chris McLeod - Clayton Utz
  • Cate Nagy - King & Wood Mallesons
  • Katrina Rathie - King & Wood Mallesons
  • Siabon Seet - Gilbert + Tobin
  • Stephen Stern - Corrs Chambers Westgarth
  • Robert A Arnold - Baker McKenzie
  • Jürgen Bebber - Corrs Chambers Westgarth
  • Scott Bouvier - King & Wood Mallesons
  • Anita Cade - Ashurst LLP
  • Robert Cooper - MinterEllison
  • Jonathan Feder - K&L Gates LLP
  • David Fixler - Corrs Chambers Westgarth
  • Jonathan Flintoft - Baker McKenzie
  • Karen Anne Hayne - Addisons
  • Chris Jordan - Davies Collison Cave
  • Khajaque Kortian - Spruson & Ferguson
  • Bill Ladas - King & Wood Mallesons
  • Lynne Lewis - Bird & Bird LLP
  • Shaun McVicar - Herbert Smith Freehills LLP
  • Jackie O'Brien - Norton Rose Fulbright
  • Shannon Platt - Sparke Helmore Lawyers
  • Lisa Ritson - Ashurst LLP
  • Julie Robb - Banki Haddock Fiora
  • Chris Round - K&L Gates LLP
  • Robynne Sanders - DLA Piper
  • Donna Short - Addisons
  • Miriam Stiel - Allens
  • Mary Still - Clayton Utz
  • Matthew Swinn - King & Wood Mallesons
  • John Swinson - King & Wood Mallesons
  • Melinda Upton - DLA Piper
  • Tony Watson - K&L Gates LLP
  • Timothy Webb - Clayton Utz
  • Elisabeth White - Baker McKenzie
  • Michael Williams - Gilbert + Tobin
  • Dianne Beer - Thomson Geer
  • Belinda Breakspear - McCullough Robertson
  • Greg Chambers - Phillips Ormonde Fitzpatrick
  • Brett Doyle - Clayton Utz
  • Rebecca Dunn - Gilbert + Tobin
  • Marine Guillou - Phillips Ormonde Fitzpatrick
  • Peter Hallett - Spruson & Ferguson
  • Jeremy Herz - Herbert Smith Freehills LLP
  • Peter Le Guay - Thomson Geer
  • David Longmuir - Phillips Ormonde Fitzpatrick
  • Melissa McGrath - Coleman Greig Lawyers
  • Sean McManis - Shelston IP Pty Ltd
  • Chris Schlicht - Phillips Ormonde Fitzpatrick
  • Scott Sloan - Dentons
  • Kellech Smith - Ashurst LLP
  • Kellie Stonier - Griffith Hack

Individuals: prosecution and strategy

  • Tim Allen - Allens
  • Robert A Arnold - Baker McKenzie
  • Frances Drummond - Norton Rose Fulbright
  • Timothy Golder - Allens
  • Marion Heathcote - Davies Collison Cave
  • Bill Ladas - King & Wood Mallesons
  • Lisa Lennon - Gilbert + Tobin
  • Joanne Martin - FB Rice
  • Cate Nagy - King & Wood Mallesons
  • Lisa Ritson - Ashurst LLP
  • Michael Wolnizer - Davies Collison Cave
  • Byron Angelopulo - Baker McKenzie
  • Jürgen Bebber - Corrs Chambers Westgarth
  • Tracey Berger - Spruson & Ferguson
  • Scott Buchanan - Buchanan
  • Andrew Butler - DC Collins
  • Hayden Delaney - HopgoodGanim
  • Brett Doyle - Clayton Utz
  • Ian Drew - Davies Collison Cave
  • Shelley Einfeld - Maddocks
  • Louise Emmett - Madderns
  • Jonathan Flintoft - Baker McKenzie
  • Stuart Green - Davies Collison Cave
  • Ken Hamilton - Spruson & Ferguson
  • Karen Anne Hayne - Addisons
  • Georgina Hey - Norton Rose Fulbright
  • Nick Holmes - Davies Collison Cave
  • Lynne Lewis - Bird & Bird LLP
  • David Longmuir - Phillips Ormonde Fitzpatrick
  • Jennifer McEwan - Wrays
  • Chris McLeod - Clayton Utz
  • Sean McManis - Shelston IP Pty Ltd
  • Michael O'Donnell - Phillips Ormonde Fitzpatrick
  • Jane Owen - Bird & Bird LLP
  • Ike Papageorge - Herbert Smith Freehills LLP
  • Katrina Rathie - King & Wood Mallesons
  • Megan Ryder - Madderns
  • Robynne Sanders - DLA Piper
  • Nicola Scheepers - Griffith Hack
  • Michael Seifried - FB Rice
  • Donna Short - Addisons
  • Gerard Skelly - Selfmark Pty Ltd
  • Michael Squires - Phillips Ormonde Fitzpatrick
  • Miriam Stiel - Allens
  • Melinda Upton - DLA Piper
  • Craig Vinall - Madderns
  • Adam Walker - Gadens
  • Russell Waters - Phillips Ormonde Fitzpatrick
  • Tony Watson - K&L Gates LLP
  • Timothy Webb - Clayton Utz
  • Elisabeth White - Baker McKenzie
  • Andrew Wiseman - Allens
  • Marie Wong - Wrays
  • Kate Andean - Banki Haddock Fiora
  • Joy Atacador - Dentons
  • Kerry Awerbuch - Gadens
  • Belinda Breakspear - McCullough Robertson
  • Anita Brown - Phillips Ormonde Fitzpatrick
  • Colin Cheung - Actuate Intellectual Property Pty Ltd
  • Tim Clarke - Addisons
  • Brendan Coady - Maddocks
  • Roanne de Menezes - Dentons
  • Christine Ecob - Johnson Winter & Slattery
  • Shannon Fati - Griffith Hack
  • Julian Gyngell - Kepdowrie Chambers
  • Erhan Karabardak - Cooper Mills Lawyers
  • Helen Kavadias - HWL Ebsworth Lawyers
  • Simon Kneebone - Banki Haddock Fiora
  • Peter Le Guay - Thomson Geer
  • Philip Macken - Brand Haven
  • Anne Makrigiorgos - Griffith Hack
  • Carly Mansell - Davies Collison Cave
  • Kate Maynard - Lesicar Maynard Andrews
  • Hazel McDwyer - Gadens
  • Alison McGinn - Banki Haddock Fiora
  • Sean McGuire - Clayton Utz
  • Mark Metzeling - Macpherson Kelley
  • Lisa Neilson - FB Rice
  • Victor Ng - Cooper Mills Lawyers
  • Tim O'Callaghan - Piper Alderman
  • Shannon Platt - Sparke Helmore Lawyers
  • Jacqui Pryor - Mark My Words
  • Geraldine Rimmer - Michael Buck IP
  • Lance Scott - Gestalt Law
  • Adam Sears - Davies Collison Cave
  • Ann Slater - Slaters Intellectual Property, Technology and Entertainment Lawyers
  • Kellech Smith - Ashurst LLP
  • Daniel Wilson - Spruson & Ferguson

Individuals: transactions

  • Byron Angelopulo - Baker McKenzie
  • Donna Bartlett - Gadens
  • Scott Bouvier - King & Wood Mallesons
  • Belinda Breakspear - McCullough Robertson
  • Anita Cade - Ashurst LLP
  • Robyn Chatwood - Dentons
  • Timothy Creek - Davies Collison Cave
  • Hayden Delaney - HopgoodGanim
  • Jonathan Flintoft - Baker McKenzie
  • Timothy Golder - Allens
  • Karen Anne Hayne - Addisons
  • Georgina Hey - Norton Rose Fulbright
  • Eugenia Kolivos - Corrs Chambers Westgarth
  • Lisa Lennon - Gilbert + Tobin
  • Lynne Lewis - Bird & Bird LLP
  • Sarah Matheson - Allens
  • Chris McLeod - Clayton Utz
  • Mark Metzeling - Macpherson Kelley
  • Tess Mierendorff - Herbert Smith Freehills LLP
  • Shannon Platt - Sparke Helmore Lawyers
  • Donna Short - Addisons
  • Kristin Stammer - Herbert Smith Freehills LLP
  • John Swinson - King & Wood Mallesons
  • Sylvie Tso - Spruson & Ferguson
  • Timothy Webb - Clayton Utz
  • Elisabeth White - Baker McKenzie

Luminaries

  • Kenneth Philp - Clifford Gouldson Lawyers