- Allen & Overy LLP
- Arochi & Lindner SC
- Baker McKenzie
- Bird & Bird LLP
- Clyde & Co LLP
- DLA Piper
- Dorsey & Whitney LLP
- Eversheds Sutherland (International) LLP
- Gowling WLG
- Herbert Smith Freehills LLP
- Hogan Lovells
- Jones Day
- Kilpatrick Townsend & Stockton LLP
- Marks & Clerk
- Mayer Brown
- Morgan Lewis & Bockius LLP
- Norton Rose Fulbright
- Pearl Cohen Zedek Latzer Baratz
- Perkins Coie LLP
- Reed Smith LLP
- Simmons & Simmons LLP
- Stephenson Harwood LLP
Allen & Overy LLP
Allen & Overy (A&O) has an ultra-sophisticated trademark skillset that makes it the first choice of many world-beating brands. The only Magic Circle firm to maintain a strategic prosecution practice, it serves as a true one-stop shop. Demand for its bulletproof global brand management, IP transactions and litigation capabilities has been strong, prompting a recruitment drive in 2019 which brought on board former Hogan Lovells Alicante-based practitioner Karla Hughes to serve as trademark and design prosecution group leader in Belfast. The firm’s US IP growth has also been noteworthy: in March 2020, Paul Keller came back into the fold from Norton Rose Fulbright, the firm he had moved to from A&O in 2015. The development of the practice continues to be overseen by David Stone, who is celebrated as one of the foremost non-patent IP minds in the world and a top litigator. With him in London are other high-fliers including fellow gold-ranked litigator Neville Cordell and transactional mavens Jim Ford and Nigel Parker. A&O also has other first-string experts stationed in a multitude of additional European locations, and in Asia.
Arochi & Lindner SC
Hailed for its vigorous enforcement of trademark rights, Arochi & Lindner dominates IP litigation in Mexico, playing a frontline role in a significant proportion of major lawsuits and anti-counterfeiting raids. Adept at prosecution, too, it’s a superb all-round performer. Its Spanish contingent sustains this outstanding reputation for contentious tenacity in Europe, overseeing strategically important campaigns for many famous names in the fashion and sportswear and food and beverage industries. Roberto Arochi and Hedwig Lindner share the leadership role in Mexico; while Gonzalo Barboza serves as managing partner in Spain.
Ashurst’s trademark practice has come on in leaps and bounds since the arrival of David Wilkinson in early 2018 to head the UK IP practice. Under his stewardship, it has assisted an expanded number of blue-chip patrons – McLaren, Goldman Sachs and Thomas Cook among them – with portfolio management, strategic anti-counterfeiting initiatives, domain name matters and infringement litigation. It debuts in the UK rankings this year in recognition of its impressive progress. Meanwhile, Ashurst continues its strong showing in Australia, where lead IP partners such as Lisa Ritson, Anita Cade and Kellech Smith work wonders for premier global brands including H&M, Microsoft and Samsung, while also contributing to the advancement of IP policy in the country.
With over 350 people in 21 offices spanning Europe and Asia, and a carefully cultivated peer network, AWA cuts a dash on the global IP stage. For in-house counsel seeking diverse teams to partner with that have talented professionals not just at the top, but throughout the ranks, it is increasingly distinguishing itself, thanks to its cosmopolitan outlook and emphasis on high-quality training. A commitment to innovation also helps to set it apart: it has made conscientious efforts to develop and invest in digital tools that make clients’ lives easier, and to better integrate its international offerings. Key contacts include Denmark’s Anette Rasmussen and Claus Marcussen; Swedish lawyers Gustav Melander, Kristian Martinsson, Lars Pettersson and Ted Hagman; and, of course, Ai-Leen Lim, who takes charge in Asia.
Baker McKenzie is unique in its ability to guide companies in protecting, rolling out and maintaining global brands. Viewing the practice from an international perspective, the eye is drawn to the firm’s proprietary Global IP Manager system and back-office Global IP Support Centre, both of which facilitate the efficient management of worldwide portfolios and accurate reporting on the same. However, it is also important to recognise the standalone quality of its various teams – such as that in London, which drives many of the wider organisation’s key relationships. Michelle Blunt, Ben Allgrove, Jessica Le Gros and Michael Hart form a stellar line-up in the UK capital. This snapshot would be a long one if it summarised all relevant coverage in the guide; suffice it to say that Baker McKenzie is the most widely ranked firm in the WTR 1000.
Bird & Bird LLP
Bird & Bird boasts one of, if not the largest prosecution practices of any UK law firm – which is growing all the time – and has a striking track record in significant litigations, often with international componentry. Drawing strength from the integration of its non-contentious and contentious offerings, it presents to the market one of the very best 360-degree trademark practices. The eminent firm becomes an even more compelling option when its overseas capabilities are factored in: with a presence in the United States, multiple continental European and Asian locales and the Middle East, it is ideally situated to assist brand owners with cross-border strategies to safeguard and enhance brand integrity.
Clyde & Co LLP
Clyde & Co is considered a guiding light in China, where it is one of the few foreign players to offer a fully specced local and international practice – with the support of local joint law venture Clyde & Co Westlink JLV, which is fully licensed by the Chinese Ministry of Justice. With Elliot Papageorgiou as head of intellectual property in China, the firm is renowned for the superior client care it affords to marquee European brands. A top IP strategist for the region, Papageorgiou has handled multiple cases before China’s Supreme People’s Court. A beacon in the Middle East, too, Clyde & Co has long been recommended in the WTR 1000’s UAE chapter; well-rounded brand protector and enforcer Mark Devaney and IP commercialisation expert Joycia Young feature in the UAE individual listings.
When it comes to brands practice, Dentons has a unique footprint, as the only firm in the *WTR 1000* with a presence in Latin, Central and North America; Western and Central and Eastern Europe; multiple African jurisdictions; and Asia. This gives it a crucial advantage in representing multinational companies with ambitions of extending their business interests beyond core markets and into new ones. It is highly ranked in many jurisdictions, which attests to both its quality and reach. In New York, for example, it ascends to the silver tier for prosecution and strategy in what is one of the world’s most competitive legal trademark markets; gold-tier Monica Richman is the star of the show there and a truly dynamic partner to elite fashion, financial services, consumer products and entertainment brands. In other ranking news, the firm is identified among the leading service providers in Kazakhstan, a market covered in the guide for the first time this year.
With 4,000-plus lawyers in strategic locations across the globe, DLA Piper can provide legal certainty to clients and support their business development in every conceivable way. IP and technology is a mission-critical practice – there are over 400 IP specialists on deck, who proactively advise on large-scale multi-jurisdictional portfolios and litigations. Pivotal in the context of its international operations is the UK group, captained by London-based Ruth Hoy with back-up from colleagues in London, Leeds and Birmingham. Staying in Europe, another name to note is Niels Mulder, who takes charge in the Netherlands and plays a vital cross-border coordination role. In the United States, Chicago-based Keith Medansky continues to knock the ball out the park on all instructions, earning plaudits as a thoroughly commercial lawyer.
Dorsey & Whitney LLP
Staying out in front of trademark trends, Dorsey & Whitney maintains a cutting-edge practice in the internet, social media and advertising fields; excellent in traditional areas such as brand management, enforcement, licensing and litigation, too, it provides a satisfyingly holistic service. Many of its US trademark experts enjoy global reputations, including former practice chair Liz Buckingham in Minneapolis; current chair Charlene Krogh in Denver; domain names sage Jamie Nafziger, also in Minneapolis; and New Yorkers Sandra Edelman and Sarah Robertson. The firm’s flag also flies high in Greater China, where it maintains a staff of over 20 trademark attorneys who are equally well equipped for the full range of contentious and non-contentious mandates. Janet Wong provides strong leadership in the Hong Kong office.
Eversheds Sutherland (International) LLP
There have been interesting developments at Eversheds Sutherland of late: its UK branding group, led by Kate Ellis, became part of Konexo UK, a division of the firm launched in 2019 to act as a global alternative legal and compliance provider. The move reflects a desire to approach trademark practice in a more operationally efficient and flexible way for the benefit of multinationals with IP and other needs in the United Kingdom, Europe, Asia and the United States. In recognition of this, the firm has been added to the WTR 1000 UK listings for 2021. It also makes its debut in the Russia listings – its Moscow team having successfully expanded its portfolio of international clients; and in Hong Kong, where Cedric Lam has made notable gains since coming on board in late 2018. Meanwhile, the firm has retained its placement in the Finland and Singapore rankings.
In Canada, Gowling WLG stands out as a prolific filer, deft handler of IP-driven transactions and hard-hitting litigation outfit. Its bench in the jurisdiction has only become deeper in recent years and includes many leading lights who perform a wonderful service for clients and contribute richly to wider IP life in Canada. The same can be said of Gowling’s teams in Russia, England, the United Arab Emirates and China: Moscow managing partner David Aylen has his local crew working dynamically; London-based Gordon Harris is playing a crucial role in integrating the firm’s international practice as co-head of the global IP team together with Ottawa’s Robert MacDonald; Jon Parker continues to distinguish himself as one of the most seasoned trademark practitioners in the Middle East; while Chinese lawyer and patent and trademark attorney Jian Xu takes the reins in Beijing.
Herbert Smith Freehills LLP
Inspired by its proficiency in high-exposure litigation and commercially consequential transactions, prestigious rights holders enlist Herbert Smith Freehills to supervise their most strategically important IP projects in complete confidence. An exceptionally safe pair of hands with great commercial instincts, UK IP head Joel Smith makes the most of all available tools to navigate clients through complex disputes. He has recently continued to coordinate Casio’s global IP enforcement programme in a role which has seen him engage in contentious matters in many different jurisdictions. The firm runs a refined portfolio management practice out of Australia, with Melbourne consultant Ike Papageorge in charge. As a tribute to its all-round excellence, Herbert Smith Freehills secures gold-tier placements for both prosecution and litigation in the Australia listings for 2021.
For EU trademark and designs work, Hogan Lovells fits the bill perfectly: its Alicante team, spearheaded by Imogen Fowler, has unbeatable EUIPO experience. Looking further into the practice in Spain brings into focus an incredibly strong team of 26 professionals who protect, manage and enforce the rights of many industry heavyweights. Assisted by global head of IP, media and technology Burkhart Goebel’s dual base in Madrid and Hamburg, the Spanish group is closely aligned with its German counterpart, which is also in the uppermost echelons in terms of sophistication. Clients of Hogan Lovells Germany – which include more than 50 of the world’s top 100 brands, as identified by the Financial Times – capitalise on an impressively large and diverse line-up of professionals spread across offices in Dusseldorf, Frankfurt, Hamburg and Munich. An imposing presence in Asia, too, the firm stands tall in Japan, where it maintains a sizeable team of trusted experts, including Japanese, US, European and other qualified lawyers. Lloyd Parker serves as regional managing partner for the Asia-Pacific region and operates out of Tokyo. In the United States, brand owners lean heavily on gold-rated Timothy Lyden, whose strategies for brand protection and IP value creation are tried and tested.
The preferred protector for a litany of major league companies, Jones Day has the resources, reach and talent to help set clients’ brands apart in competitive global markets. The firm has found the formula for success in integrating its various international teams, as illustrated by its recent work examples: coming together to maintain over 1,400 trademark files for Educational Testing Service are practitioners from seven offices in six countries on three continents; while the Wikimedia Foundation works with contacts in five offices on three continents. It is hard to pick out individuals from such a stacked bench of high-calibre attorneys, but well-rounded litigator and counsellor Meredith Wilkes and polished trial lawyer John Froemming are gems in the United States; contentious sharpshooter and transactional IP expert Emmanuel Baud is a star in France; and versatile IP and data privacy lawyer Michiru Takahashi is the go-to in Japan.
Kilpatrick Townsend & Stockton LLP
Kilpatrick Townsend’s growth in trademark practice in recent years has been impressive, especially considering the pre-eminent status it already enjoyed prior to this latest spurt. In 2019, it added 22 new trademark and copyright team members to its ranks, taking its total headcount of non-patent IP specialists to over 110 and making it one of the largest dedicated groups in the United States. The firm’s sphere of brand operations spans the globe, but special mention should be made of its China know-how and experience: having had boots on the ground in Shanghai for the past eight years in the form of a large patent-focused group, it opened a Beijing bureau in January 2019 to better service the China trademark needs of its US and European customer base – a project that has gone well under the watchful eye of Christopher Woods.
Marks & Clerk
Firmly plugged into the UK innovation scene through a rich tradition of partnership with top companies, Marks & Clerk sustains the largest EU and UK trademark portfolio management practice of any dedicated IP outfit in the country, thanks to the collective diligence and insight of teams in London and seven other regional cities. The firm also acquits itself with distinction on the litigation side, courtesy of Kirsten Gilbert, Vicky Butterworth and Gina Lodge, who anchor the trademark practice at Marks & Clerk Law. A prominent name in Asia, too, the firm has increased its influence in the region as Singapore has grown as an R&D and IP hub. Capitalising on these opportunities, Candice Kwok has burnished her reputation as a practical and strategically savvy operator.
Throughout all phases of the brand lifecycle, Mayer Brown applies a laser business focus to its work. Whether securing trademark protection, enhancing the profitability of a portfolio, seizing on opportunities for IP monetisation or litigating complex disputes, its overarching goal is to create IP value for clients. Chicago-based Michael Adams furthers this mission as co-head of the global brand management and internet practice. Adams serves as worldwide counsel for Beam Suntory, while eminent US colleagues such as John Mancini take the lead on other noteworthy relationships. Mayer Brown also maintains a substantial IP and TMT practice in Asia, which is spearheaded by Gabriela Kennedy. The start of 2020 saw significant expansion of the team there, with several trademark executive hires and some notable internal promotions The Asia team matches strength in depth in all areas of the practice – prosecution, litigation and transactions – with a flair for conducting rigorous IP audits and planning regional strategies for more efficient rights management.
Morgan Lewis & Bockius LLP
Morgan Lewis made a major play in the United Kingdom in July 2020 with the recruitment of WTR 1000 gold-ranked lawyer and former head of trademarks at Cooley, Nick Bolter. He came on board with several associates and other professionals, giving the firm instant credibility in London and enhancing its global IP capabilities. These are already strong thanks to the worldwide trademark portfolio management, strategic brand counselling and IP transactional efforts of the firm’s US-based lawyers such as Karen Butcher, Kristin Altoff and Dana Gross, who support clients such as Edgewell Personal Care wherever they need it. Butcher, Altoff and Gross form the backbone of an exceptionally strong contingent of practitioners in DC, which is well integrated into a wider group that includes stars on the West Coast and in other locales such as Boston. Morgan Lewis is a great platform and one that is only getting stronger.
Norton Rose Fulbright
Norton Rose Fulbright’s US brands team has an abundance of trademark, advertising, copyright, trade secret and internet know-how, and affords excellent domestic coverage in the world’s largest consumer market. Of its roughly 65 trademark-focused professionals, a number are based in Canada, Europe and Australia, giving the firm outstanding global capabilities; cross-border teams are regularly assembled for key projects, in which individuals with the right skills, in the right places and at the right level and billing rates, connect to give patrons a well-calibrated service. Recent personnel developments have helped to create fresh momentum – the promotion of Tim Kenny to global head of intellectual property being the most notable from an international perspective. Its NRF Transform programme is also helping to keep the practice at the cutting edge: this recently led to the development of Trigger, an automated international trademark management platform giving clients easier access to the group. More broadly, Norton Rose Fulbright has invested in artificial intelligence (AI) technologies to work more efficiently and take greater loads off in-house counsel.
Pearl Cohen Zedek Latzer Baratz
Pearl Cohen runs a highly synergistic IP practice, in which patent, trademark and other tools are astutely deployed to yield business benefits for clients. It does so on a global basis, working out of offices in Israel, the United States and England. Zooming in on non-patent IP, the ensemble puts a comprehensive suite of services at the fingertips of both well-established and dynamic emerging brands; thanks to the support of people such as US group leader Todd Braverman, they feel completely protected come what may. Braverman reliably receives glowing references and is renowned for his US and international clearance, prosecution and enforcement capabilities; he is flanked in New York by Jackie Zion and Peter Kirschenbaum, a recent arrival from JPMorgan Chase. Dor Cohen Zedek and Yossi Markovich – both recommended in the WTR 1000 gold tier – form a dream team in Israel.
Perkins Coie LLP
Impressive stats attest to the breadth of Perkins Coie’s worldwide practice: more than 50 trademark attorneys in the United States and China care for some 30,000-plus filings and registrations on behalf of nearly 2,000 clients in over 150 jurisdictions and across many industries. Hallmarks of the practice include unparalleled expertise on internet governance and ICANN matters, and deep experience assisting multinationals with IP protection and enforcement in China. With respect to the former, DC’s Fab Vayra is one of the world’s foremost authorities. Scott Palmer captains the 16-strong attorney and paralegal team in China.
Reed Smith LLP
Reed Smith has an extensive global IP group staffed by lawyers in Europe, Asia and the United States; it also dovetails neatly with the firm’s wider commercial practice, enhancing its efficacy as a one-stop shop for brand-rich companies. In their element handling complex matters including high-profile litigation, sophisticated senior lawyers such as Silicon Valley’s Katy Basile and London partner Michael Skrein are always ready to seize the initiative. Armed with in-house insight, Basile does sterling work managing famous brands internationally; while Skrein is a media maven and an adroit handler of multi-jurisdictional litigations.
An undisputed Asia-Pacific powerhouse, Rouse continues to pioneer new approaches and strategies for brand management and enforcement in emerging markets – something it has done throughout its existence. All its teams – in Vietnam, Thailand, Cambodia, Indonesia, Hong Kong and China – merit close attention and praise, but the recent development of the latter has been particularly striking: over the past five years, Rouse has filed more than 1,000 IP litigations, including landmark cases; developed a unique litigation analysis tool, CIELA; and set up shop in Shenzhen. Linda Chang serves as country manager for China and oversees the activities of groups in Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou, Shenzhen and Hong Kong. What it does in Asia it also does in the Middle East, where it has built up a professional division of 30 fee earners. Rouse UAE, led by Bassel El Turk, spearheads trademark initiatives throughout the region as well as in Africa.
Simmons & Simmons LLP
Close inter-office collaboration across Europe, the Middle East, Africa and Asia-Pacific – backed by a global network of foreign associates – enables Simmons & Simmons to seamlessly represent brand owners wherever they take their business. A conscientious innovator that is always seeking to refine its delivery and increase efficiency through technology, the firm acquired Wavelength – the world’s first regulated legal engineering firm – in 2019, and has continued to develop its own AI tools to help companies manage risk and make smart strategic decisions. In the past two years, the firm has taken further steps to strengthen its platform – for example, by promoting to the partnership (Paul Tjiam in Amsterdam and Priya Nagpal in the UK), hiring in Beijing and opening a new office in Shenzhen. Simmons & Simmons knows the China market well and has a superstar in George Chan, who heads its Beijing IP agency.
Stephenson Harwood LLP
Stephenson Harwood manifests a rare faculty for coordinating and winning multi-jurisdictional trademark and IP litigations, and frequently pushes the boundaries of the law. These qualities resonate with prestigious life sciences innovators, energy and shipping companies, as well as some of the best-known brands in retail and luxury. Other USPs including advanced know-how in the field of non-traditional trademarks and in residual goodwill issues, which are becoming more prevalent as the brand revival trend continues. Running a vibrant practice in London are Alexandra Pygall and Rob Jacob; their collaborator and colleague Eifion Morris recently became CEO in a move that underlines the importance of intellectual property to the firm. The group in the UK capital connects well with teams elsewhere, including Hong Kong, which focus in a likeminded way on driving commercial resolutions to trademark matters. At the helm in Hong Kong, Jezamine Fewins never blinks when in the spotlight of high-profile cases.