Singapore

The Intellectual Property Office of Singapore (IPOS) continues its drive to position the city state as a regional IP hub. In 2019 the office ramped up its efforts to promote self-filing by rolling out a mobile app – IPOS Go – which enables users to file trademarks on their devices in as little as 10 minutes. Also in the news is the inception of the Institute of Singapore Trademark Agents, which is dedicated to the “advancement and development of the trademark profession”.

Firms: enforcement and litigation

  • Baker McKenzie Wong & Leow 
  • Drew & Napier LLC
  • Amica Law LLC
  • Bird & Bird ATMD LLP
  • Rajah & Tann Singapore LLP
  • Ravindran Associates LLP
  • Allen & Gledhill LLP
  • Eversheds Harry Elias
  • JurisAsia
  • Lee & Lee

Firms: prosecution and strategy

  • Allen & Gledhill LLP
  • Amica Law LLC
  • Baker McKenzie Wong & Leow 
  • Bird & Bird ATMD LLP
  • Drew & Napier LLC
  • Donaldson & Burkinshaw LLP
  • Ella Cheong LLC
  • Lee & Lee
  • Marks & Clerk Singapore LLP
  • Ravindran Associates LLP
  • RHTLaw Asia LLP
  • CNPLaw LLP
  • Dentons Rodyk & Davidson LLP
  • Eversheds Harry Elias
  • Francine Tan Law Corporation
  • Gateway Law Corporation
  • JurisAsia
  • Margaret Law Corporation
  • WongPartnership LLP

Allen & Gledhill LLP

“With a thorough understanding of the client’s business objectives and trademark portfolios, Allen & Gledhill renders efficacious advice with strong legal expertise and pragmatism in the most responsive manner. Pei Lin Low and Stanley Lai SC are very proactive in their support of and regularly identify and flag up potential problems.” The firm’s robust and loyal client base reflects its consistent reliability in meeting expectations; for example, one major Singaporean bank has maintained its portfolio with Allen & Gledhill for over 15 years. Low shoulders much of the responsibility in this area – as part of the drive to internationalise the trademark department, she recruited an Australian trademark attorney to her team. Lai is one of Singapore’s few senior counsels to specialise in trademark and IP work.

Amica Law LLC

Up-and-coming lawyers work excellently alongside seasoned partners at Amica Law to form a dynamic outfit of contentious and non-contentious trademark talents. Chief litigator Jason Chan has racked up close to three decades of IP litigation experience. He teamed up with Melvin Pang – recently promoted to full director – to defend T2 Singapore against TWG Tea Company’s claims of trademark infringement and passing off before the High Court, securing a favourable resolution for the client. Jo-Ann See and Winnie Tham are two non-contentious trademark sages who form the backbone of the Amica portfolio management practice: See is adviser to Starbucks and ExxonMobil, while Tham counsels Dell Inc and Janice Wong. Finally, Wilson Wong and Anna Toh fulfil licensing and IP securitisation assignments with the utmost accuracy and efficiency.

Baker McKenzie Wong & Leow 

“Prominent, efficient and professional” are just a few of the adjectives ascribed to Baker McKenzie Wong & Leow. “The young and dedicated team led by Andy Leck offers commercially sound and actionable advice.” Peers endorse Leck with telling enthusiasm, praising his “authority, expertise and strong ability to deliver on objectives”; one Fortune 500 company was adamant that he is “miles ahead” of his competition. Ren Jun Lim is Leck’s protegee and puts his teachings into excellent practice to the benefit of his clients. In the words of one interviewee he is “very responsive to enquiries and with a keen eye for detail, he is extremely hands-on. His meticulous and in-depth approach to strategising is key to the excellent outcomes we enjoy.”

Bird & Bird ATMD LLP

Bird & Bird’s Singapore IP practice is spearheaded by Lorraine Anne Tay. Also the joint managing partner, she is a renowned for providing clients with commercially attuned advice on brand management and IP commercialisation, which takes into account the international legal and business issues. Alban Kang has been honing his craft in patent and IP litigations for upwards of 30 years. Leading Bird & Bird’s ASEAN and Japan practice, he is highly sought after to execute contentious multi-jurisdictional mandates.

CNPLaw LLP

Renamed CNPLaw LLP in April 2019, the former Colin Ng & Partners has been a firm fixture on Singapore’s trademark scene for over two decades, while Soo Ling See Tow has been the custodian of the trademark practice for the past 12 years. Running a split practice between IP and commercial litigation, she manages the portfolios of such marquee names as Pokka Corporation.

Dentons Rodyk & Davidson LLP

“Quick to respond, Dentons Rodyk & Davidson ably assists clients with trademark prosecution in Singapore and Asian countries.” Formerly an assistant registrar of trademarks and patents, Woon Chooi Yew stands out for her versatile capabilities across the contentious/non-contentious divide.

Donaldson & Burkinshaw LLP

Singapore’s oldest law firm Donaldson & Burkinshaw is an extremely reliable trademark practice, which offers cost efficiency, responsiveness and consistently top-quality advice. Managing partner Michelle See Hui Ng inspires clients and colleagues alike with her prudent yet up-to-date approach to trademark work. Guarding and cultivating the portfolio of a major food and beverage company, she is skilled at acquiring non-traditional trademark rights. Commissioner for oaths and IP partner Elaine Chiam has developed a niche in the aerospace industry; she is also highly sought after by pharmaceutical companies and large conglomerates. Having joined the firm 23 years ago, Shy Tsong Lee has a knack for always meeting – and surpassing – evolving client expectations.

Drew & Napier LLC

Turning heads with “sensible cost control, profound experience, knowledge and value-add”, the 130-year-old Drew & Napier is the top trademark filer in Singapore; its “willingness to leave the comfort zone to experiment with novel strategies” is also well received among interviewees. Recently appointed as an IP adjudicator to hear disputes at IPOS, managing director and IP group helmsman Tony Yeo is a “first-rate litigator who navigates clients through the minefields of IP management without a hitch”. Also highly recommended is Siau Wen Lim, a versatile operator who strikes a fine balance between minimising cost and maximising results. Yvonne Tang is another all-rounder in the squad whose experience in Singaporean and global trademark exercises has become an invaluable asset. “Her advice is always comprehensive, in tune with business goals and objectives and delivered with lighting responsiveness.” Ruby Tham is a stalwart in the prosecution practice and a force to be reckoned with in opposition and invalidation proceedings. Finally, Singapore and New South Wales-qualified Meryl Koh is a “brilliant lawyer who tailors her service to the requirements of the task at hand”.

Ella Cheong LLC

Although Ella Cheong rarely involves herself in its daily management, her namesake firm – which was originally formed at the invitation of the Singapore government – continues to command immense respect in Southeast Asia. Kar Liang Soh and Kevin Wong carry on this legacy with pride. “Soh and Wong give clients sound advice on dealing with trademark briefs in a cost-efficient manner and are prompt in addressing clients’ concerns.”

Eversheds Harry Elias

Eversheds Harry Elias is a relatively new entrant but has already made a splash in the Singapore IP market with its attentive client service. “Strong expertise, a high degree of responsiveness, practical solutions and a friendly culture” are the hallmarks of the set – as exemplified by Esther Wee. The Malaysian patent, trademark and industrial design agent is diligent in providing recommendations that fit within budget and is extremely patient, especially when advising companies with little IP experience.

Francine Tan Law Corporation

Francine Tan Law Corporation debuts in the WTR 1000 this year on the back of effusive feedback. “The firm gives really effective and reliable advice at reasonable rates on Singapore trademark conundrums.” Interviewees are full of praise when asked about Francine Tan; many acclaim her “incredible responsiveness” to enquiries and her ability to furnish clients with “concise and error-free” final products. “Her intellectual curiosity and knack for face-to-face relationship building make it very enjoyable to work with her.” Most recently, the outfit has expanded with the addition of a new lawyer.

Gateway Law Corporation

“Dependable and possessing excellent ties with overseas associates, Gateway Law Corporation impresses clients with a proactive philosophy to managing trademark work;” additionally, the team is excellent at fitting its service to a diverse base consisting of government-affiliated bodies and multinational companies. Founder Max Ng sheds light on all sorts of trademark conundrums; the team he leads is immensely patient in explaining solutions to trademark problems. Amira Nabila Budiyano is a name to watch.

JurisAsia

Fully plugged into the Gowling WLG network, JurisAsia benefits from the pristine reputation of Sheena Jacob. Commended for her “client management and business developments skills, she really delivers high-level service”. The England and Wales, Singapore and New York-qualified lawyer is a magnet for US concerns for cross-border work and assistance with International Trade Commission proceedings.

Lee & Lee

“A leader on the Singaporean IP scene,” Lee & Lee aces such key metrics of service quality as responsiveness and breadth and depth of advice. Astute portfolio manager Yee Swan Boo is “hands-on and client-oriented” and earns praise for her ability to get things done. A contributor to the IP section of the Annual Review of Singapore Cases, the preeminent standing of Tee Jim Tan SC is further evidenced by his deputy presidency of the Copyright Tribunal and the Competition Appeal Board of Singapore; as well as contentious work, he runs a busy transactional IP practice. The trademark work of Maurice Cheong is made up of a mix of court litigations, IPOS actions and commercial work, while Zechariah Chan focuses on nurturing small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) by providing IP legal services via the government’s SPRING Singapore scheme.

Margaret Law Corporation

Newly inducted to the WTR 1000 firm rankings, Margaret Law and Syn Yi Ming offer IP and corporate expertise with a Chinese angle, blending these elements into a holistic offering unique to Margaret Law Corporation. The trademark prosecution practice – which has been steadily expanding – is fronted by the extremely client-friendly Law. Highly proficient in Chinese and “a source of positive energy, she triumphs above the competition for her profound legal knowledge and commitment”; Alibaba and its affiliate companies have now consolidated their entire trademark portfolio in Singapore with the firm. Syn is a fount of knowledge in commercial IP work, having conducted numerous China-related deals in his former capacity as legal director for Temasek Holdings.

Marks & Clerk Singapore LLP

The Singapore branch of Marks & Clerk possesses eminent standing as a domestic firm embedded within a global IP practice. Distinguished by seamless communication, a strong sense of responsibility and unambiguous advice, the team – led by Candice Kwok – is a well-oiled machine made up of reliable attorneys and stable administrative staff. Kwok’s top-notch counsel and expertise is informed by her awareness of global trademark trends and is always delivered within fast timeframes; she wins particular praise for being “very effective fitting around client’s stipulated budgets”.

Rajah & Tann Singapore LLP

Regional heavyweight Rajah & Tann Singapore exemplifies the Nordic idea of lagom (just the right amount) when it comes to providing a top-quality service at affordable rates. “Fees are not exorbitant but appropriate for the level of service provided; they are reasonable so that clients do not have to think twice before undertaking trademark work in the city state.” IP head Kok-Keng Lau is an authority on software and technology briefs and comes celebrated for his client-first working style – “Never missing a beat, he has a sharp eye for defining problems and then come up with workable remedies. He explains the full picture before going into the nitty-gritty of what needs to be done at a given point in time. He is extremely hands-on in the execution stage as well.” Nicholas Lauw is Lau’s junior and has garnered praise for his work across prosecution, enforcement and licensing, and trademark transactions.

Ravindran Associates LLP

In the course of the past 25 years, Ravindran Associates has carved out a name for itself, particularly in IP litigation. Founder and managing partner, Ravi Ravindran is one of the most revered IP litigators in Singapore with a long list of landmark cases to his name. Singaporean and Malaysian-qualified Sukumar Karuppiah is well versed in the full-range of trademark work including portfolio management and enforcement. Finally, Sue-Ann Li is an authority on trademark prosecution and commercial IP work.

RHTLaw Asia LLP

The industry-focused RHTLaw Asia has been making inroads into cultivating nascent Singaporean brands; as such, it has seen a substantial uptake in regional trademark filing numbers with food and beverage and video game industry being hot areas for growth. The set provides an A-to-Z offering, with the ultimate aim of helping clients to grow their businesses. Jonathan Kok is an expert on the technology, media and communications industry, while consumer brands are the responsibility of Rizwi Wun.

WongPartnership LLP

At full-service, regional outfit WongPartnership LLP, Chung Nian Lam serves up a “robust service punctuated by responsiveness, clear communications and commercial savvy”. The IP practice leader is “highly experienced” in the full range of trademark and IP matters; he also takes up influential positions at industry associations.

Other recommended experts

Cyril Chua of Robinson LLC is Singapore’s foremost authority on multi-jurisdictional IP enforcement. Chair of the Singapore Law Society’s IP practice committee, Jonathan Foong has recently founded That.Legal LLC. Former Donaldson & Burkinshaw and Lloyd Wise partner Angela Leong now runs a slick practice out of AIDA Law Corporation. Jevon Louis recently made the jump from Ravindran Associates to Shook Lin & Bok – he Is a popular choice for landmark trademark litigations. Teresa O’Connor helms the IP department at Infinitus Law Corporation and has a large following of SME clients in Singapore. Regina Quek of One Legal LLC “is hugely responsive and embraces her clients’ issues as her own”. At Yusarn Audrey, Audrey Yap Su Ming is a maven at generating commercial value from IP assets – the same is often said of Joyce A Tan & Partners’ Joyce Tan. At the same firm, Jeffrey Lim is a former Motorola commercial counsel who is well-versed in IP, IT, corporate laws and regulatory issues.

Individuals: enforcement and litigation

  • Cyril Chua - Robinson LLC 
  • Andy Leck - Baker McKenzie Wong & Leow
  • Tony Yeo - Drew & Napier LLC
  • Jason Chan - Amica Law LLC
  • Sheena Jacob - JurisAsia
  • Alban Kang - Bird & Bird ATMD LLP
  • Stanley Lai SC - Allen & Gledhill LLP
  • Kok-Keng Lau - Rajah & Tann Singapore LLP
  • Ren Jun Lim - Baker McKenzie Wong & leow
  • Siau Wen Lim - Drew & Napier LLC
  • Ravi Ravindran - Ravindran Associates LLP
  • Tee Jim Tan SC - Lee & Lee
  • Yvonne Tang - Drew & Napier LLC
  • Maurice Cheong - Lee & Lee
  • Jonathan Foong - Infinitus Law Corporation
  • Sukumar Karuppiah - Ravindran Associates LLP
  • Meryl Koh - Drew & Napier LLC
  • Jonathan Kok - RHTLaw Asia LLP
  • Jevon Louis - Ravindran Associates LLP
  • Max Ng - Gateway Law Corporation
  • Melvin Pang - Amica Law LLC
  • Francine Tan - Francine Tan Law Corporation

Individuals: prosecution and strategy

  • Andy Leck - Baker McKenzie Wong & Leow
  • Pei Lin Low - Allen & Gledhill LLP
  • Jo-Ann See - Amica Law LLC
  • Francine Tan - Francine Tan Law Corporation
  • Lorraine Anne Tay - Bird & Bird ATMD LLP
  • Yee Swan Boo - Lee & Lee
  • Elaine Chiam - Donaldson & Burkinshaw LLP
  • Sheena Jacob - JurisAsia
  • Sukumar Karuppiah - Ravindran Associates LLP
  • Jonathan Kok - RHTLaw Asia LLP
  • Candice Kwok - Marks & Clerk Singapore LLP
  • Chung Nian Lam - WongPartnership LLP
  • Margaret Law - Margaret Law Corporation
  • Ren Jun Lim - Baker McKenzie Wong Leow
  • Siau Wen Lim - Drew & Napier LLC
  • Max Ng - Gateway Law Corporation
  • Michelle See Hui Ng - Donaldson & Burkinshaw LLP
  • Teresa O'Connor - Infinitus Law Corporation
  • Ravi Ravindran - Ravindran Associates LLP
  • Soo Ling See Tow - CNPLaw LLP
  • Esther Seow - Davies Collison Cave Pty Ltd
  • Kar Liang Soh - Ella Cheong LLC
  • Yvonne Tang - Drew & Napier LLC
  • Winnie Tham - Amica Law LLC
  • Mary Thomas - Mary Thomas IP Strategies & Solutions
  • Esther Wee - Eversheds Harry Elias
  • Kevin Wong - Ella Cheong LLC
  • Rizwi Wun - RHTLaw Asia LLP
  • Audrey Yap Su Ming - Yusarn Audrey
  • Woon Chooi Yew - Dentons Rodyk & Davidson LLP
  • Shy Tsong Lee - Donaldson & Burkinshaw LLP
  • Angela Leong - AIDA Law Corporation
  • Sue-Ann Li - Ravindran Associates LLP
  • Jeffrey Lim - Joyce A Tan & Partners
  • Regina Quek - One Legal LLC
  • Ruby Tham - Drew & Napier LLC
  • Anna Toh - Amica Law LLC

Individuals: transactions

  • Zechariah JH Chan - Lee & Lee
  • Maurice Cheong - Lee & Lee
  • Sheena Jacob - JurisAsia
  • Jonathan Kok - RHTLaw Asia LLP
  • Chung Nian Lam - WongPartnership LLP
  • Nicholas Lauw - Rajah & Tann Singapore LLP
  • Margaret Law - Margaret Law Corporation
  • Andy Leck - Baker McKenzie Wong & Leow
  • Ren Jun Lim - Baker McKenzie Wong & Leow
  • Siau Wen Lim - Drew & Napier LLC
  • Syn Yi Ming - Margaret Law Corporation
  • Max Ng - Gateway Law Corporation
  • Joyce A Tan - Joyce A Tan & Partners
  • Tee Jim Tan SC - Lee & Lee
  • Yvonne Tang - Drew & Napier LLC
  • Esther Wee - Eversheds Harry Elias
  • Wilson Wong - Amica Law LLC
  • Rizwi Wun - RHTLaw Asia LLP
  • Audrey Yap Su Ming - Yusarn Audrey