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
- Clyde & Co
- Cooley LLP
- DLA Piper
- Gowling WLG
- Herbert Smith Freehills LLP
- Herrero & Asociados
- Hogan Lovells
- Jones Day
- Marks & Clerk
- Mayer Brown LLP
- Norton Rose Fulbright
- Reed Smith LLP
- Rouse & Co International
- Simmons & Simmons LLP
- Stephenson Harwood LLP
- Taylor Wessing
Allen & Overy LLP
Allen & Overy is the only UK Magic Circle outfit to offer trademark filing services; unsurprisingly, given its legendary reputation for quality, many top brand owners – The Coca-Cola Company being a prime example – are taking this up. London-based David Stone is the person to whom they are drawn; he is an international thought leader on brands and designs. With Brexit a worry for many UK firms, Allen & Overy is sitting pretty given its broad European footprint; in the WTR 1000, it has experts recommended in the Benelux, France and Slovakia. It also has an excellent reputation for intellectual property in Asia, the credit for which belongs to David Shen; a former general counsel for a leading global pharmaceutical company, he knows exactly what support his clients need and delivers it.
Arochi & Lindner SC
With A-teams in Mexico and Spain, Arochi & Lindner can seamlessly serve the IP protection needs of clients in Latin America and Europe. The Mexican contingent is best known for its hard-hitting litigation and enforcement work, although it acquits itself with distinction on the portfolio side, too. Gonzalo Barboza leads the charge in Spain and is an astute all-rounder. His in-house experience at Red Bull sets him apart as a commercially focused and dynamic operator.
AWA has 160-plus IP practitioners – including patent and trademark attorneys and lawyers – across offices in Sweden, Denmark, Germany, Hong Kong and Beijing, making it not just a Nordic powerhouse but a major global player. In Asia, partner promotions and lateral hires speak to a practice in fine fettle; CEO Ai-Leen Lim has got the firm firing on all cylinders. It is important to note that AWA IP (Beijing) is a locally licensed trademark agency and consultancy, and can therefore offer the widest range of trademark registration and enforcement services possible for a foreign outfit. The team in Sweden has a new face in the WTR 1000 this year in Kristian Martinsson, who impresses with his deft handling of brand selection and portfolio management and his broad expertise in trademarks, marketing law and promotions. Always keen to spread the gospel of intellectual property, the firm recently launched a new digital hub dubbed ‘AWA Point’ to help keep clients and other stakeholders in the IP market informed and up to date.
In terms of the sheer scale of its trademark practice, nobody else comes close to Baker McKenzie; the London office alone is responsible for the global coordination of over half a million trademarks. Jessica Le Gros does a fine job as head of trademarks in the UK capital. Making it all possible are expansive offshore teams in Manila and Belfast that render vital back-office support. One of the more significant developments in the firm’s WTR 1000 coverage this year is its debut appearance in the US national rankings – it goes in at the silver level. Gold-ranked New Yorkers Pamela Church and Lisa Rosaya are key contacts stateside.
Bird & Bird
At Bird & Bird, multiple teams in Europe and Asia sync up to put in place ironclad trademark protection schemes for marquee global brands and advise on far-sighted strategies. Recent developments for the IP A-lister include the rollout of a new and innovative brand protection reporting portal; clients benefit from the combination of comprehensive data, provided by the top internet monitoring companies, with the accurate and commercial legal analysis that Bird & Bird practitioners are famous for. The UK branch is spearheading this while also playing a crucial role in knitting the international group together. In other news, the firm opened its first US representative office in 2018, choosing downtown San Francisco as the location; IP partner Nick Aries has relocated there from London.
Bringing on Elliot Papageorgiou in 2017 as a senior partner in Shanghai was a watershed moment for Clyde & Co’s Asia IP practice; substantial growth throughout 2018 shows that the organisation chose wisely in its Greater China IP helmsman. Former Rouse man Papageorgiou is an IP devotee with a gift for optimising the protection and value of IP portfolios across the Asia-Pacific region. The United Arab Emirates is another centre of IP expertise for the firm; Dubai-based Rob Deans maintains an excellent Middle East practice encompassing all aspects of the registration, commercialisation and enforcement of trademark rights.
Among AmLaw 50 firms, Cooley has one of the largest trademark practices with some 30 lawyers spread across its US and UK offices. The team represents a kaleidoscopic range of clients (numbering nearly 1,000 companies), but is best known for its work on behalf of the world’s leading technology companies; DC’s Peter Willsey and Brendan Hughes, for example, act for Google in numerous trademark infringement matters. Over in London, Nick Bolter does awesome work for Twitter and Netflix.
The WTR 1000 footprint of Dentons is unique and pays testament to its truly global capability; the firm is recommended in several European jurisdictions (the United Kingdom, France, Russia and Poland), the United States (New York) and Colombia; it also has individuals recommended in the Australia and China chapters and appears in the Singapore rankings following its combination with Rodyk. Already the world’s largest law firm, it has been in expansion mode recently and broadened its reach in Asia, as mentioned, and in Central America where a combination with Muñoz Global has given it a presence in Costa Rica, Panama and Guatemala.
With over 4,200 lawyers in over 40 countries, DLA Piper is one of the world’s most muscular law firms. Intellectual property is a central plank of its full-service offering and its broader IP and technology group is extremely well resourced, with over 500 lawyers. Its UK team is one of its best when it comes to global brand management and dispute resolution; it ascends to the silver tier in the rankings this year and earns increased coverage by way of debut appearances for Richard Taylor and Leigh Martin. In the United States, a merger with LA boutique Liner in late 2017 has enhanced its capabilities in the media and entertainment space.
Gowling WLG is a standout in Canada when measured by both volume and quality – it is the most prolific filer of trademark applications in the country and has a stacked team of leading lawyers, four of whom are listed in the gold tier – Christopher Pibus, Robert MacDonald, Kelly Gill and, for the first time in 2019, Jennifer Morton. In Europe and Asia, the firm has been on the move, opening a second office in Germany (in Stuttgart) in 2017 and affiliating with JurisAsia in Singapore. The high-calibre UK team gets increased coverage in the WTR 1000 by the first-time inclusion of John Coldham, who is rapidly cultivating his reputation as one of the leading design rights experts in Europe.
Herbert Smith Freehills LLP
Herbert Smith Freehills isn’t about being the biggest in trademarks; it focuses, instead, on quality and adding strategic value for blue-chip international rights holders – and routinely surpasses expectations in both regards. The team in Australia provides an all-inclusive trademark prosecution, litigation, enforcement and monetisation service and is seamlessly integrated with the teams in Europe, which focus on strategic advisory work and contentious matters; clients get everything they need to maintain a healthy and distinctive brand wherever their main contact point is based. The squad’s top lawyers are Melbourne’s Celia Davies, Sydney’s Sue Gilchrist and London’s Joel Smith. Laura Orlando in Milan has settled in nicely since she came on board from Simmons & Simmons in late 2017.
Herrero & Asociados
Herrero experienced some notable staff changes in 2018 but is still a major player in Spain and a rising name in Latin America – a region in which it has, in recent years, opened a number of offices. The firm is well placed to advise clients on all aspects of trademark protection in hispanophone jurisdictions.
When it comes to European trademark law, Hogan Lovells is the best in the business; its teams in Spain and Germany are gold-ranked and contain superstars such as Imogen Fowler, based in Alicante, and global chair Leopold von Gerlach, who divides his time between Hamburg and Frankfurt. Major news coming out of the US camp, meanwhile, includes the March 2018 hire of Julia Matheson from Finnegan. Promotions in Asia show the firm is doing well eastwards, too. Underlying its commitment to brands, Hogan Lovells recently launched its ‘Total Brand Care’ series of seminars for in-house legal, IP, marketing and business professionals which cover the most important trademark, public relations and marketing topics of the day – essential events for those who want to stay up on all the latest.
Jones Day maintains its rankings in France and Germany thanks, respectively, to the consistently strong performances of litigator Emmanuel Baud and all-rounder Marc Groebl. The firm has a new name in the UK section this year in Rebecca Swindells, an experienced counsellor and litigator for clients in the telecoms, media and technology, retail and financial services sector. As testament to the joined-up nature of Jones Day, Swindells regularly liaises with her continental colleagues, particularly those in Munich and Dusseldorf, to deliver pan-European IP solutions. John Froemming continues to be a powerhouse in US trademark infringement litigation – he’s the person to call when your key brands are on the line.
Marks & Clerk
Marks & Clerk is the United Kingdom’s largest patent and trademark attorney outfit; it is also a leading provider of integrated prosecution and litigation services thanks to its unique Marks & Clerk Solicitors setup. The WTR 1000 features more in-depth coverage of the UK team and recommends Esther Gottschalk and John Ferdinand for the first time this year. With 17 offices in seven countries, the firm is also a redoubtable international force; it expanded its footprint in 2018 by merging with Sim & McBurney / Sim Ashton & McKay in Canada. The firm’s Asia rankings this year are consistent with those of the previous year; it’s a stable and reliable point of contact in a rapidly developing region of the world.
Mayer Brown LLP
Mayer Brown manages in the region of 50,000 global trademark files, in the course of which it has come across just about every brand-related quandary you can think of; such experience has enabled its tight-knit US and Asia IP teams to cultivate a high degree of strategic acumen which it leverages to its full potential. Capitalising on this are global brand owners such as Beam Suntory and Discover Financial Services, Diners Club and Pulse Networks, which instruct the firm on portfolio management and strategic advisory matters across the world. With John Mancini in the fold, enforcement is a strong suit, too. Mancini is a repository of trust for marquee companies such as Nestlé.
Norton Rose Fulbright
For clients looking for North American coverage coast to coast, Norton Rose Fulbright fits the bill perfectly; it has a stacked US brands team, which it has augmented across multiple offices recently, and a well-formed group in Canada. In 2018, the latter capitalised on the momentum gained from its combination with Bull Housser the previous year to grow its practice very effectively. Internationally, the firm has approximately 300 IP professionals, putting it in pole position to manage and exploit brand assets globally.
Reed Smith LLP
Reed Smith is the base of operations for several international trademark stars. In Silicon Valley, gold-rated Katherine Basile provides commercially and internationally oriented trademark advice across the board; she’s a Swiss army knife of a lawyer who can clear, prosecute, commercialise and litigate trademarks with equal dexterity. In London, Michael Skrein is known for his expertise on website blocking, advertising and media issues. They form part of a well-rounded international team that spans the United States, Europe and Asia.
Rouse & Co International
Rouse has few, if any, rivals when it comes to pan-Asian IP expertise. The firm became one of the first international IP outfits to establish a presence in Asia when it opened its Hong Kong office in 1993, and it hasn’t looked back since. Rouse continues to distinguish itself with its proficiency in managing and enforcing IP rights regionally, and particularly in developing countries such as Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos.
Simmons & Simmons LLP
Simmons & Simmons is a member of the international IP elite and an excellent one-stop shop for brands not just in Europe, the Middle East and Asia – where it maintains offices – but worldwide. Its various local teams are well aligned and work in harmony, but they all deserve credit in their own right; the London crew has caught the eye with the legal tech innovation awards it has won; the Amsterdam contingent has gained many new clients, including Shimano and F5 Networks; the Paris team has hired astutely and enhanced its patent and trademark capabilities; and the IP lawyers in Hong Kong continue to do wonderful things for local companies with big international reputations, such as Cathay Pacific Airways.
Stephenson Harwood LLP
Multi-jurisdictional IP litigation is the metier of Stephenson Harwood; its London lawyers know international trademark law extremely well and ensure that the right case precedents and legislative provisions are put to use expeditiously and efficiently. Eifion Morris and Rob Jacob continue their sterling work for GlaxoSmithKline in a non-traditional trademark case concerning the colour purple applied to asthma inhalers against Sandoz, which involves passing off and unfair competition claims in some 30 countries; the foreign associates they’ve coordinated with on the sprawling matter are unanimous in their praise of the dynamic duo. The team in Hong Kong, fronted by Jonathan Chu, is also distinguished by its polished handling of cross-border litigations and transactions in Asia.
‘Sophisticated and commercial’ describes Taylor Wessing’s approach to trademark practice – the firm’s strategic counsel is like gold dust. The European team can support brand owners in many meaningful ways with its fluency in prosecution and portfolio management and litigation dexterity; it practises across the contentious/non-contentious divide in a more integrated fashion than most, too, which puts it at a distinct advantage in terms of finding satisfying solutions. Flying the firm’s flag high in Asia, Jonathan Kok and Rizwi Wun have been flourishing in Singapore. Like their European counterparts, they take a business-minded approach to IP tasks, enhanced by a strong focus on key sectors including consumer brands, life sciences, media and entertainment and technology.