In today’s increasingly competitive globalised marketplace, cast-iron international protection for brands has never been more important. With many in-house trademark departments consolidating their legal work among a smaller number of service providers as a result of budget cuts, those firms with the necessary resources and expertise to provide consistent, insightful advice across borders are perfectly placed to capitalise on this trend. In this section we shine a spotlight on the firms that have secured WTR 1000 listings in multiple regions; for many global brand owners, these international titans are the first port of call.
- Allen & Overy LLP
- Arochi & Lindner SC
- Baker McKenzie
- Bird & Bird LLP
- Clyde & Co
- Cooley LLP
- DLA Piper
- Gowling WLG
- Herbert Smith Freehills LLP
- Hogan Lovells
- Jones Day
- Kilpatrick Townsend & Stockton LLP
- Marks & Clerk
- Mayer Brown
- Norton Rose Fulbright LLP
- Pearl Cohen Zedek Latzer Baratz
- Perkins Coie LLP
- Reed Smith LLP
- Rouse & Co International
- Simmons & Simmons
- Stephenson Harwood LLP
- Taylor Wessing
Allen & Overy LLP
Allen & Overy is not just an able running mate to world-leading brands but a strategic pacesetter. The elite international outfit has recently expanded its UK trademark offering significantly and recruited in Belfast, where its efficiency-enhancing legal services centre is based. Working out of London, David Stone continues to make great things happen for 20th Century Fox, MGM and Gibson Guitars. The firm offers a streamlined service across major European and Asian jurisdictions. In Europe, the team in France, helmed by Alexandre Rudoni, is making a big push in the gaming and entertainment space. The China IP group, meanwhile, has been making its presence felt in litigation, handling multiple high-profile cases in the past year; David Shen has his crew in Shanghai firing on all cylinders in diverse sectors including life sciences, technology, consumer goods and education.
Arochi & Lindner SC
Synonymous with enforcement success, Arochi & Lindner is the first port of call for international brands requiring assistance in Mexico as well as across Latin America. The firm stays up to the minute on the evolving legal and business landscapes and, as a result, identifies and executes practical and effective solutions to discrete problems while providing excellent strategic overviews. Burnishing its credentials as a top-notch litigation outfit, the Spanish contingent has been on a roll with Gonzalo Barboza at the wheel. The team adds value through its outstanding industry knowledge in the automotive, fashion and food and beverage sectors.
There are 180 practitioners – including patent and trademark attorneys as well as lawyers – flying the AWA flag across 16 offices in Sweden, Denmark, Germany, Hong Kong and Beijing. It recently expanded its European footprint by joining forces with IP group Pronovem, which operates in Belgium, Switzerland and the Netherlands – making it an even greater force to be reckoned with internationally. In Sweden, the set has bolstered its online anti-counterfeiting services through its partnership with Yellow Brand Protection and its acquisition of domain consultants Dotkeeper. The Asia practice is thriving under CEO Ai-Leen Lim’s robust leadership with renowned multinational clients flocking to instruct the Beijing office, which is also a licensed trademark agency that allows for direct filings and enforcement before the China Trademark Office. A further testament to the firm’s banner year is the addition of Lars Pettersson, Janne Britt Hansen and Ashley Zhao to the WTR 1000’s Sweden, Denmark and China and SARS: China: Foreign chapters respectively.
The most extensively covered firm in the WTR 1000, Baker McKenzie is a global powerhouse harnessed by a colossal number of leading and emerging brands. It deploys myriad special tools and technologies to ensure that the world’s largest brand management practice runs efficiently, and now boasts four business service centres – in Manila, Belfast, Tampa and Buenos Aires – enabling it to offer round-the-clock support to patrons. The teams in Manila and Belfast have grown considerably of late, necessitated by a significant increase in the number of portfolios now under management. Newly minted partner Jessica LeGros, based in London, heads the global brand management practice.
Bird & Bird LLP
Bird & Bird is not only one of the top trademark outfits in the United Kingdom but a guiding light internationally, too. Focusing on London, it runs perhaps the largest portfolio management practices of any UK law firm; 600% growth of this practice in just four years is testament to the incredible work being put in by Allan Poulter, Mark Holah and others. With Peter Brownlow on deck, Bird & Bird naturally continues to be a go-to for must-win trademark, copyright and design infringement cases, too. Growth in the United States has become a focus for the side, which is furnishing vital non-US legal advice to US companies from its base in San Francisco, where UK partner Nick Aries recently moved. Spearheading the well-rounded, far-reaching Asia practice, meanwhile are teams in Hong Kong, Beijing and Shanghai, which work seamlessly to dot the ‘i’s and cross the ‘t’s on complex regional projects.
Dynamic international full-service firm Clyde & Co maintains a strong presence in Asia courtesy of Greater China IP division spearhead Elliot Papageorgiou. Since he joined in 2017, the practice has come on in leaps and bounds, with many talented new hires and numerous successes scored in important litigations. Under Papageorgiou’s leadership the team secured two precedent-setting wins at China’s Supreme People’s Court, one of which overturned several other court decisions. The United Arab Emirates is also a hotbed of activity for the set. Local businesses and international blue-chip companies alike seek out Dubai-based trio Mark Devaney, Rob Deans and Joycia Young, who have every stage of a trademark’s lifecycle covered. They know how to navigate through the Middle East’s legal landscape with finesse and are a premier choice for entities looking to cement their brands in the Gulf region.
A significant piece of news coming out of Cooley’s trademark practice recently was a change in leadership as London-based Nicholas Bolter took up his place as global head of the group. He is now applying his distinctive long-term strategic thinking to wonderful effect in his management of the group. This move underscores Cooley’s commitment to providing a high-quality, full-scope trademark practice. Another notable development in London was the arrival of former Hogan Lovells partner Charlie Winckworth, who brings additional firepower to the firm’s UK litigation practice. There was exciting hiring news in the United States too, with Jeffrey Greene coming on board in July 2019 by way of Fenwick & West; Greene has already made considerable headway in establishing and growing Cooley’s trademark presence in New York – clients know they have a team behind them, not just one individual.
A notable distinction for Dentons is its position as the only global law firm with its own offices across Central America and the Caribbean. There, Dentons Muñoz Zacapa dispenses a well-rounded trademark service encompassing prosecution, counselling, transactions and litigation. The person to keep on speed dial for Central America is head of the practice Monserrat Guitart, based in Costa Rica. Enhanced regional coverage in the WTR 1000 this year has brought Guitart into the rankings for the first time. Dentons also stands out as one of the very few outfits with a strong US and European presence. The go-to in America is Monica Richman who is a powerful force for good for in-house counsel; in Europe, gold-rated Isabelle Leroux is renowned for her international acumen.
With offices in 40 countries and several thousand lawyers across all commercial practice areas DLA Piper’s reach is almost limitless; in its global IP and technology group alone, it has 550 lawyers, 400 of which are dedicated to intellectual property. The firm knows all about the business of brands and how to efficiently and effectively serve multinationals with worldwide trademark protection and enforcement needs. The touchpoints for many of these are Ruth Hoy and her team in the United Kingdom and Keith Medansky in Chicago. Hoy showcases local and international prowess and has a deft touch when it comes to UK oppositions and litigation, as well as global portfolio management; patrons she does it all for include Lululemon Athletica Canada. Medansky is similarly versatile and is called upon for overarching strategic guidance in addition to representation in discreet prosecution, litigation and transactions matters.
With the most ranked practitioners of any firm in Canada, Gowling WLG continues to dominate the trademark scene there. In terms of volume, no other ensemble comes close to its number of filings; its practitioners have also always played a significant role in advancing the law and industry best practice north of the US border. Testament to the leadership and continued growth of the team in Canada, the WTR 1000 extends its coverage with the addition of four individuals – Scott Foster, Douglas Fyfe, Eric Macramella and Susannah Rolston. The picture is similarly rosy in other jurisdictions; Jon Parker is performing flawlessly in the United Arab Emirates; Robert MacDonald and Gordon Harris are providing excellent strategic leadership of the global practice from London and Ottawa respectively; and David Aylen continues to be a top authority in Russia and the CIS market.
Herbert Smith Freehills LLP
When it comes to the protection of crown jewel IP assets, Herbert Smith Freehills is a repository of unshakeable trust; its leading partners are experienced and far-sighted strategic advisers with a talent for optimising brand value, assertively enforcing rights and staking out competitive market positions. The London, Paris and Milan teams work in a highly integrated and synergistic way to cover all the bases for clients; seasoned litigators Joel Smith, Alexandra Neri and pharmaceutical expert Laura Orlando are the key contacts in London, Paris and Milan respectively. By no means isolated is the firm’s trademark division in Australia – unlike the outfits in Europe, this undertakes both prosecution and high-level litigation work. Ike Papageorge, who debuts in the WTR 1000 this year, anchors the prosecution practice; gold-tier litigator Sue Gilchrist is the person to call for anything hotly contentious.
To understand the level at which Hogan Lovells is operating in the trademark sphere, it is instructive to look at the German offering, which acts for over 50 of the world’s top 100 brands. The team, which benefits from exceptionally strong leadership by Burkhart Goebel, Morten Petersenn and Andrew Bothe, adds value thanks to deep industry knowledge in the automotive, life sciences, consumer and technology, media and telecommunications sectors. Across the international organisation, which is WTR 1000 recommended in multiple European and Asian jurisdictions as well as the United States, trademark specialists are doing top-level work. Outside of Europe, the Japan side is especially impressive and one of the largest trademark departments maintained in the country by an international law firm. Based in Tokyo, Lloyd Parker oversees the IP and technology media and telecommunications group for the Asia Pacific region and the Middle East. In the United States, Julia Anne Matheson and Timothy Lyden both occupy spots in the gold tier for prosecution and strategy, the latter having earned promotion from silver for the 2020 edition. Helping this excellent and well-integrated global ensemble stay ahead of the competition are new AI-powered online smart brand creation and management platforms.
In the United States, Jones Day is called upon to draw lines in the sand for prestigious brand owners and is routinely sought out to litigate cases in which there is much to lose and much to gain; John Froemming et al are often asked to replace existing counsel when cases have a higher likelihood of seeing the inside of a courtroom. On the prosecution side and in enforcement, the firm operates seamlessly across borders to render a tip-top service. Benefiting from this, for example, is the Wikimedia Foundation, on whose behalf lawyers in the United States, Hong Kong, Japan, Germany and the United Kingdom all work together collaboratively to set strategy.
Kilpatrick Townsend & Stockton LLP
Virtually unrivalled in terms of trademark depth in the United States, Kilpatrick Townsend has more than 110 specialists addressing every conceivable aspect of brand protection. Among its many other distinctions is a uniquely strong focus on Greater China; making up a country-targeted brands team are lawyers in New York and Shanghai, many of whom flex legal educations in both jurisdictions and are bilingual. Proving its commitment to solving rights holders’ issues in this strategically vital and problematic part of the world, the firm also opened a Beijing-based full-service Chinese trademark agency in January 2019. Kilpatrick Townsend makes its first appearance in the China: Foreign chapter in the 2020 WTR 1000 and, as a result, also earns a place on the international table.
Marks & Clerk
A top patent and trademark attorney outfit in the United Kingdom – and an excellent law firm – Marks & Clerk dispenses a full-suite of trademark services. Its network of offices, which spans London, Birmingham, Manchester, Oxford, Cambridge, Edinburgh, Glasgow and Aberdeen, enables it to cater to the domestic market much more extensively than any of its peers. For 2020, Marks & Clerk makes its debut appearance in the Canada rankings; mirroring the set up in the United Kingdom, this provides both agency and legal services. The firm’s ecosystem in Southeast Asia is a vibrant one; worth highlighting is the responsive and business-oriented Singapore team which, under the supervision of Candice Kwok, is doing well on the portfolio optimisation and strategy front; also making waves is the group in Malaysia, which renders an attentive service to clients from Korea, Japan, Europe and the United States.
Among elite international outfits, Mayer Brown maintains one of the largest IP and technology, media and communications practices in Asia; of note for those with pressing issues in China, it has a trademark agency in Beijing for China prosecution and a team there for litigation and administrative actions, too. Across the region, Mayer Brown carries out high-calibre portfolio management, enforcement, litigation and transactional work. Running the show is Hong Kong-based Asia IP doyenne Gabriela Kennedy. Kennedy co-leads the global IP practice with Chicago’s Michael Adams, who has Mayer Brown firing on all cylinders in the United States; the portfolio practice has almost tripled in size with new clients appointing the firm as global counsel.
Norton Rose Fulbright LLP
Members of Norton Rose Fulbright’s US brands team are accustomed to representing clients wherever their businesses take them and have handled scores of disputes not just in the United States but around the world. Highlighted by patrons for his global savvy is Michael Metteauer in Austin, who serves in a leadership capacity at INTA. The US-Canada border is one the firm works across particularly effectively; Norton Rose Fulbright is one of only three in the WTR 1000 Canada rankings to also feature in the publication’s US coverage. Toronto’s Lorelei Graham is an important engine of the Canada practice and is representing GlaxoSmithKline and many other household-name clients. Continuing to serve as a go-to in Asia is Justin Davidson, who anchors the IP and technology group in Hong Kong. He has been recommended in every edition of the WTR 1000 and is a stalwart IP protector, negotiator and litigator in the region.
Pearl Cohen Zedek Latzer Baratz maintains its star-studded status in Israel thanks to the exceptional performances put in by Dor Cohen Zedek and Yossi Markovich, along with an A-to-Z branding service and unmatched client care. It also has a base in London and an additional three offices in the United States, so the team knocks it out of the park in international matters too. Technology-related mandates are deftly handled by New York based Todd Braverman and Jaqueline Zion, a new name in the guide this. Their sterling work has also led to a significant development in the firm’s WTR 1000 coverage– a firm debut in the United States: New York rankings.
Perkins Coie LLP
The Perkins Coie trademark practice is an impressive one, managing more than 30,000 trademark filings and registrations in 180 countries for nearly 1,000 clients. Making it all happen is a deep bench of specialists in the United States and a team in Asia, which has seen considerable development recently. The breakthrough came with the May 2018 addition of Scott Palmer from Sheppard Mullin, who brings nearly two decades of China experience to the table, along with fluency in Mandarin. His recent highlights include successfully challenging many bad-faith filings and securing victory for a car manufacturer against various Chinese auto parts companies in a series of patent and trademark infringement cases. Zooming in on the US practice, recent developments include bringing together the trademark prosecution and litigation practices to create a 50 attorney-strong group covering all the bases for brand owners. Seattle-based Patchen Haggerty chairs the firm-wide trademark, copyright, internet and advertising practice.
Reed Smith LLP
Reed Smith is one of only a handful of firms with a strong trademark presence in the United States, the United Kingdom and Asia. Its global group houses 100-plus IP lawyers who are well integrated into the wider organisation and can therefore give brand owners easy access to incredible resources across multiple practice areas. The team is in its element handling complex IP cases; London-based senior partner Michael Skrein, for example, has a long track record litigating significant legal battles, a recent example being his UK Supreme Court 5-0 win for British Telecom and Everything Everywhere, which established that luxury brands and not internet service providers must pay the cost of implementing orders for the latter to block access to counterfeit websites.
Rouse & Co International
Rouse is an undisputed leader when it comes to pan-Asian IP practice as well as a top global consultancy. All eyes in the international brand-owner community are on China right now and it is a market that Rouse knows exceptionally well, having filed over 1,000 IP litigation cases there in just the past five years and secured several benchmark victories. It works collaboratively with subsidiary Lusheng Law Firm, which undertakes all tasks restricted to locally admitted lawyers – Linda Chang is the China country manager. Meanwhile, Rouse continues to acquit itself with distinction in various emerging or otherwise challenging markets, Vietnam being an example; it has been present on the ground there for over 20 years and knows the lay of the land not just there but in neighbouring Cambodia and Laos as well. Rouse is one of just a small number of international outfits appearing in the WTR 1000’s UAE coverage. Bassel El Turk is giving strong leadership to a growing line-up of IP professionals in Dubai, including a number of legal consultants, capable of covering the waterfront for brands in the Middle East.
Simmons & Simmons
Simmons & Simmons is an excellent one-stop shop for brands engaged in business across Europe, the Middle East and Asia; there is nothing it cannot do for prestigious clients. The team in London has been leading the way with respect to technological innovation while maintaining its high-level portfolio management and multi-jurisdictional litigation practices. Continentally, the ensemble in Italy deserves special mention; Stefania Bergia and Giulio Enrico Sironi joined as partners in September 2018 forming a new-look brands practice in Milan. News coming out of the Netherlands includes the promotion to partner of Paul Tjiam. He is the engine of an outstanding practice in Amsterdam, which has been attracting new blue-chip clients left, right and centre of late; Simmons & Simmons moves up a tier in the Netherlands this year. Out in Asia, the success of the firm’s well-integrated agency in China, run by George Chan, stands out. Simmons & Simmons can serve companies’ total China IP needs like few other international commercial players.
Stephenson Harwood LLP
High-profile litigation is the order of the day for Stephenson Harwood, whose trademark lawyers handle difficult and important cross-border cases with distinction. The team in London has been leading the way when it comes to the enforcement of non-traditional trademarks, litigating extensively for GlaxoSmithKline in Poland, Austria, Croatia, Georgia, Lithuania, the United Kingdom, Germany and at the EUIPO; Eifion Morris and Rob Jacob take the lead here. Alexandra Pygall’s work also has a strong international flavour; in setting global IP strategies – on both the patent and trademark sides – her touch is especially deft. Under the captaincy of extremely versatile IP and technology lawyer Jonathan Chu, Stephenson Harwood is performing at a high level in Asia; this year, the firm earns a gold-tier placing on the Hong Kong enforcement and litigation and prosecution and strategy tables.
Taylor Wessing provides gold-standard guidance on cross-border clearance, trademark protection and disputes matters. It has a polished and well-integrated team of specialists spanning the European Union, which not only situates it ideally for a post-Brexit world but also gives it a competitive advantage in strategic work thanks, for example, to an enhanced ability to assess distinctiveness and likelihood of confusion between marks in multiple languages. Taylor Wessing also knows how to navigate household name brands through challenges and issues in Asia. In Singapore, the firm is one of the few general practices with a high degree of IP specialisation; like their counterparts in other international offices, the lawyers in Singapore take a rigorously commercial approach to intellectual property. Spreading its wings in the Association for Southeast Asian Nations, Taylor Wessing makes its first appearance in the Vietnam listings for the WTR 1000 2020.