Ireland

Although lawyers in Ireland remain concerned about the impact Brexit will have on the economy, they remain confident it will be able to weather the storm and many enthuse over Dublin’s booming start-up sector. It is rumoured that several UK firms are looking to establish operations here but, at least for now, long-established local outfits still rule the roost.

Firms

  • DFMG Solicitors
  • Mason Hayes & Curran
  • Matheson
  • McCann FitzGerald
  • William Fry
  • A&L Goodbody
  • Acuatus
  • Beauchamps
  • LK Shields 
  • Philip Lee

A&L Goodbody

Business law firm A&L Goodbody operates “one of the leading IP practices” in Ireland. With sterling teams in Dublin and Belfast supported by counterparts in the United States, it has the capacity to support multinationals on international product launches and cross-border cases. John Cahir and John Whelan are two lawyers who really put in the hours getting acquainted with their clients’ markets. The commercially minded Cahir has acted on scores of significant cases and lucrative rights transfers. Whelan is a pharmaceuticals pro who thinks globally and led the firm’s San Francisco and Palo Alto offices from 2013 to 2016.

Acuatus

Acuatus furnishes its clients with hands-on partner-level support at all stages of a trademark’s lifecycle – and does so at a fair price. Recent highlights include protecting the Intel brand from dilution in Ireland and assisting Rondo on an infringement action brought by Mars relating to a three-dimensional mark. These were handled by founding partner Alistair Payne, who has the technical knowledge and communication skills to distil difficult legal concepts into engaging, straightforward reports that can easily be scanned in the C-suite.

Beauchamps

Beauchamps is a class commercial outfit with a cracking IP practice. Its creative, business-minded lawyers routinely come up with exciting new ways to monetise clients’ intangible rights and are no strangers to the courtroom either. Advice is always clear and concise and provided with a quick turnaround. Maureen Daly is the star of the show – she has worked with an impressive array of start-ups, not-for-profit organisations and multinationals. Highlights from her curriculum vitae include representing the international clothing company BiBA on trademark infringement and revocation proceedings before the High Court and managing global investment giant VKR’s portfolio in Ireland.

DFMG Solicitors

DFMG Solicitors are trusted by world beaters from industries as diverse as automotives and tobacco. Its technically sublime, hands-on practitioners provide solutions that will look as good tomorrow as they do today. The cynosure of all eyes in the practice is Patricia McGovern – who has “a stellar reputation. She’s been working in the trademark spaces for a long time and it shows – her expertise is top notch. For either prosecution or enforcement, she’s an excellent choice.”

LK Shields 

LK Shields’ IP practice has come on leaps and bounds since the arrival of Peter Bolger in 2017. Having significant experience across the board – in the filing, commercialisation and enforcement of trademarks – he has brought in waves of new business. Recent activity includes work for world-renowned names in the food and beverages and consumer electronics sectors. He is based in the firm’s Dublin office but works hand in hand with his colleagues in Galway and London.

Mason Hayes & Curran

Business law firm Mason Hayes & Curran has a thriving technology-focused IP practice with Facebook, Google, Twitter, Indeed, Yelp and Yahoo! all onboard, who it assists across the full spectrum of trademark matters. The side is at its best advising on litigation and enforcement and is currently acting on more commercial court IP disputes than any other law firm in the country. Gerard Kelly and Richard Woulfe lead the line. Kelly is a hard-hitting litigator with notable experience before the Supreme Court and a lock on the relevant case law. In the 30 years that he’s been in the business, Woulfe has put out his fair share of fires too – dealing with urgent interlocutory injunction applications is a strong suit.

Matheson

Since its establishment in Dublin in 1825, Matheson has grown into a legal giant with overseas offices in London, New York, Palo Alto and San Francisco and has top-class practitioners in all legal areas. Its IP offering is fronted by the fabulous Deidre Kilroy, a transactional ace who has handled scores of licensing, franchising, collaboration and disposal deals in her time.

McCann FitzGerald

Brand owners looking for cradle-to-grave trademark support would be well advised to consider the exemplary McCann FitzGerald. Its lawyers establish, exploit and enforce trademarks with the utmost flair and finesse. Commercial whizzes Adam Finlay and Paul Lavery are currently working shoulder to shoulder for Champion Products on its brand licensing, distribution, franchising and manufacturing arrangements with third parties in Europe and the Middle East. Fiona O’Beirne, meanwhile, has her hands full providing Customs monitoring and IP enforcement support for a dazzling range of world-renowned clients, including Sony, Calvin Klein, Google, Hewlett Packard, Disney and Eli Lilly. Internet virtuoso Paula Fearon is a commercial litigator with extensive knowledge of e-discovery procedures.

Philip Lee

Philip Lee’s creative, enthusiastic, customer-oriented trademark attorneys are unafraid of a challenge; they love it when a client comes to them with a request to register a non-traditional mark in a crowded field. Anne Bateman has the outstanding judgement needed to craft successful applications and provide winning representation in proceedings before the Irish Patent Office and the EUIPO: “She has one of the sharpest IP minds in Ireland and shows tremendous attention to detail.”

William Fry

With 13 solicitors registered as Irish and European trademark and design attorneys, William Fry manages some of Ireland’s largest portfolios – including those of Diageo and Valeo Foods – and acts on large-scale litigation. A recent highlight is representing GlaxoSmithKline on a complex colour trademark case before the Commercial Court, which forms part of a global multi-jurisdictional dispute. This is being handled by Carol Plunkett and Laura Scott, whom clients consider to be “outstanding and a real pleasure to work with”. “Carol has been involved in many of the most important decisions in Ireland over the past 20 years” and “Laura is a highly experienced litigator with intimate knowledge of all areas of intellectual property”. Their teammate David Cullen is a fabulous portfolio manager with a complete command of cyberspace issues. His illustrious client roster includes Microsoft, The Irish Times and Premier Lotteries.

Agencies

Agencies

  • FRKelly
  • Tomkins & Co
  • Cruickshank
  • MacLachlan & Donaldson

Cruickshank

Having effectively safeguarded IP rights for more than 90 years, Cruickshank is a safe choice for brand owners of all shapes and sizes. Its tech-savvy practitioners grapple with the problems posed by new platforms and are totally at home in the online world. Hallmarks of the service are pragmatism, creativity and lightning-speed responsiveness. Mary Rose O’Connor is a name for the address book – she files with flair and finesse and is a regular in proceedings before the EUIPO.

FRKelly

Knowing that seeking IP protection can be extremely daunting for start-ups and entrepreneurs at the beginning of their journey, FRKelly makes things as simple and straightforward as possible; advice is always provided within a wider commercial context and in transparent language. This approach has proven particularly popular among new brand owners, but it has also won the firm mandates from many of the top 50 US corporations. There’s a plethora of talent at FRKelly, but Niamh Hall is the first point of contact for many interested parties. She is a past president of the Association of Patent and Trademark Attorneys of Ireland and specialises in acquiring EU trademarks. Having drafted trademark legislation that was introduced as a private members bill and acted a precursor to the 1996 Irish Trademarks Act, Shane Smyth is a great choice for theoretically tricky matters. Brenda O’Regan hits her stride advising on internet issues; she is currently working with the Irish Domain Name Registry to develop a formal policy development process. A “fantastic professional” is how peers characterise IP all-rounder Sumi Nadarajah – “Everyone loves working with her”. With more than 20 years’ experience, Mary Bleahene really knows how to draft an application that will get a green light from examiners.

MacLachlan & Donaldson

MacLachlan & Donaldson is a firm fixture in Ireland’s trademark landscape. Its lawyers take the time to fully understand their clients’ businesses and markets so that they can provide concrete advice that aligns with their commercial needs – something that has won them mandates from far and wide. Managing director Cliff Kennedy is “a lawyer who needs no introduction”. He has a wealth of experience in proceedings before the Irish Patents Office. The “extremely smart” Peter MacLachlan has a particular interest in advising new start-ups; he is a go-getter who loves building things from scratch.

Tomkins & Co

“Tomkins & Co is the longest established patent and trademark attorney firm in the country. It is considered a ‘safe pair of hands’ by big brand owners and provides creative, proactive prosecution and enforcement support.” Having plied his trade for more than 30 years now, Seamus Doherty has seen nearly everything there is to see in IP law, but his passion for brands remains undiminished. Simon Gray has been in the game for a similar amount of time and is a venerated member of the trademark community – from 2015 to 2018 he was president of the Association of Patent and Trademark Attorneys. Judy McCullagh is a diligent drafter who also knows how to navigate clients through opposition, revocation and invalidation proceedings. Establishing and safeguarding EU trademarks is bread and butter for the sagacious Louise Carey.

Other recommended experts

David Hackett leads the IP practice at Eugene F Collins. He is a licensing virtuoso with a unique understanding of the telecoms sector. PURDYLUCEY’s Michael Lucey is renowned for his work with start-up companies – his entrepreneurial spirit makes him a fine fit for them. John Menton of Arthur Cox is trusted by a slew of technology companies from North America; he led the firm’s New York office for more than three years and has a great feel for the business culture there. Having worked in-house at one of the world’s largest broadcasting and media companies, Niall Tierney at TIERNEY IP knows how to present information in a way that pleases time-pressed business executives.

Individuals: enforcement and litigation

  • John Cahir - A&L Goodbody
  • Maureen Daly - Beauchamps
  • Patricia McGovern - DFMG Solicitors
  • Alistair Payne - Acuatus
  • Carol Plunkett - William Fry
  • Anne Bateman - Philip Lee
  • Paula Fearon - McCann FitzGerald
  • Gerard Kelly - Mason Hayes & Curran
  • Fiona O'Beirne - McCann FitzGerald
  • Laura Scott - William Fry
  • John Whelan - A&L Goodbody
  • Richard A Woulfe - Mason Hayes & Curran

Individuals: prosecution and strategy

  • Peter Bolger - LK Shields
  • Niamh Hall - FRKelly
  • Patricia McGovern - DFMG Solicitors
  • Alistair Payne - Acuatus
  • Mary Bleahene - FRKelly
  • John Cahir - A&L Goodbody
  • Louise Carey - Tomkins & Co
  • David Cullen - William Fry
  • Maureen Daly - Beauchamps
  • Seamus Doherty - Tomkins & Co
  • Adam Finlay - McCann FitzGerald
  • Simon Gray - Tomkins & Co
  • David Hackett - Eugene F Collins
  • Cliff Kennedy - MacLachlan & Donaldson
  • Deirdre Kilroy - Matheson
  • Paul Lavery - McCann FitzGerald
  • Michael Lucey - PURDYLUCEY Intellectual Property
  • Peter MacLachlan - MacLachlan & Donaldson
  • Judy McCullagh - Tomkins & Co
  • John F Menton - Arthur Cox
  • Sumi Nadarajah - FRKelly
  • Mary Rose O'Connor - Cruickshank
  • Brenda O'Regan - FRKelly
  • Shane E Smyth - FRKelly
  • Niall Tierney - TIERNEY IP 
  • John Whelan - A&L Goodbody

Ireland: The Bar

Other recommended experts

Senior counsel

Cian Ferriter SC is a razor-sharp litigator who knows IP case law like the back of his hand. The deft dispute resolution skills of Michael Howard SC are recognised far and wide. Niamh Hyland SC supplements her trademark practice with tip-top competition and administrative law knowledge. An experienced, reliable and creative lawyer, Denis McDonald SC is a sound choice for cliff-edge cases. Michael McDowell SC is sought out for his rock-solid theoretical foundations and perspicacious reasoning. Jonathan Newman SC is adept at solving IP matters with data protection or franchising threads.

Junior counsel

Paul Coughlan has the equanimity and powers of recall to triumph in make-or-break cases. The razor-sharp Caren Geoghegan has a complete command of commercial law issues. Glen Gibbons is the author of Trademarks Law, a comprehensive examination of all significant Irish Superior Court and Patents Office jurisprudence; his theoretical knowledge is second to none. Yvonne McNamara is a hard-hitting litigator with the ability to airlift clients out of seemingly dead-end situations. While IP whizz Ray Ryan is known for his effective, engaging arguments.

Junior counsel

  • Paul Coughlan - Law Library
  • Caren Geoghegan - Distillery Building
  • Glen Gibbons - Distillery Building
  • Yvonne McNamara - Distillery Building
  • Ray Ryan - Law Library

Senior counsel

  • Cian Ferriter SC - Distillery Building
  • Michael J Howard SC - Distillery Building
  • Niamh Hyland SC - Dublin International Arbitration Centre
  • Denis McDonald SC - Distillery Building
  • Michael McDowell SC - Distillery Building
  • Jonathan Newman SC - Distillery Building