United States: DC Metro Area

Firms: enforcement and litigation

Firms: prosecution and strategy

Andrews Kurth Kenyon LLP

In 2016 Andrews Kurth absorbed the entire team of IP boutique Kenyon & Kenyon and adopted the combined name of Andrews Kurth Kenyon; the synergy of the two firms has been put to great effect. The DC branch plays host to several key trademark players, including “true trademark expert and superb litigator” Edward Colbert, who co-chairs the IP and technology practice with dexterity. The main thrust of his practice lies in tackling heavy-duty disputes: “His deep expertise is immediately recognised by judges and his positions are readily accepted by the courts. He is also well versed on the limitations of jurisdiction of various forums for trademark dispute resolution.” “He is highly knowledgeable, experienced, always careful and attuned to the priorities of your business.” He and Susan Smith recently achieved a major win for the US Olympic Committee. Smith has also put her varied talents to good use lately by protecting Audi AG’s famous interlocking rings. She creatively constructs watertight applications – and defend them in court – and is hailed for her “detail-oriented, professional and practical approach”.

Arent Fox LLP

“Arent Fox is an excellent option for trademark work” as it has “a deep bench of seasoned practitioners who know exactly what they are doing”. “The firm has a premier reputation on the market; it is certainly very visible given its huge practice – especially with regard to high-profile fashion clients – and activities in the wider community.” Branding conundrums in the apparel industry are meat and drink to Anthony Lupo, who also cuts a dash in the entertainment and technology sectors. “He successfully handles a broad range of clearance, prosecution and enforcement work” and is “firm but practical, making him easy to work with”. The set also resonates with world-beating brand owners in the food industry. Mars is just one titan that it ably assists – it is served by both managing partner Cristina Carvalho and trademark squad captain Ricardo Fischer. Carvalho’s nuanced international expertise is a primary weapon in her diverse arsenal; she is especially talented when it comes to prosecution and transactional mandates that cross over into Latin America. The same can be said of Fischer, whose business-minded approach is best exploited in multi-jurisdictional matters. “Highly skilled in prosecution, he is very service minded and offers swift turnaround times.” Burger King provides the group with a constant influx of work, which Christopher Norton takes charge of. The superstar attorney makes for an assured guardian of domestic and foreign rights to a slew of global brands. Although adept across the trademark lifecycle, Michael Grow radiates brightest when it comes to full-blooded litigation. “He is an erudite practitioner” who is “creative, thoughtful and excellent all around, as a lawyer and person”. James Davis II is the firm’s resident internet and domain name specialist. He has had his plate full overseeing AOL’s trademark portfolio and assisting it with developing decisive registration strategies both in the United States and further afield.

Buchanan Ingersoll & Rooney PC

Although capable of troubleshooting any branding issue across myriad industry sectors, Buchanan Ingersoll & Rooney maintains a laser focus on client service which keeps patrons coming back time and time again. “The team produces high-quality work that is delivered on time and within budget and it can be recommended without reservation.” One of its leading lights, Bassam Ibrahim has lately been handling worldwide clearance and strategy for Noosa Yoghurt, one of the fastest-growing yoghurt brands in the country. “He is very responsive and creative in his solutions. He consistently offers practical and sound advice and, importantly, has a keen attention to cost control.” His colleague Bryce Maynard, who co-chairs the trademark department, is also quick to garner plaudits: “From initial searches to licensing matters and enforcement, he is immensely talented and extremely knowledgeable. He is also timely and easy to get a hold of even under tremendously tight deadlines.”

Cooley LLP

Cooley is one of the dominant IP forces on the West Coast, but the “national powerhouse” also boasts a large and dynamic crew of branding attorneys in its Washington wing. “It is a terrific shop that has quickly expanded around the country, including on the East Coast.” “Led by Peter Willsey, its excellent lawyers handle all aspects of trademark work – filing, prosecution, litigation, counselling and more – and provide business-focused advice, pragmatic solutions, top-notch service and quality representation.” Clients sing the praises of Willsey, who “always makes you feel like the number one priority and takes care of your needs with much professionalism”. Peers are equally impressed: He is “a talented litigator” and “a solid attorney who doesn’t overreach on behalf of his clients – he is cordial and reasonable, which means you can end up with win-win settlements”. His rich clientele includes heavyweights such as Bluetooth SIG and Mozilla. He also manages the ever-growing portfolio of Sazerac. He shares this task with Brendan Hughes, who cultivates long-lasting relationships and is a huge hit with major brand owners; he is one of the main points of contact for Google. “He is really flexible and knows how to utilise his vast knowledge to match your business needs. He isn’t hung up about doing things in a certain way and can go with the flow of your business to help you achieve your objectives.”

Covington & Burling LLP

Covington & Burling specialises in getting to grips with tricky international mandates and issues in China in particular are a growing area of focus. Seamless communication between its offices means that the best experts are assigned to each individual matter, enabling the development of bespoke solutions that eschew a one-size-fits-all approach. Marie Lavalleye spearheads the firm’s IP due diligence reviews when it comes to significant corporate transactions. Over the last year, she has played an instrumental role in the negotiation of a licensing agreement on behalf of AstraZeneca and in a joint venture and trademark licensing deal for the National Geographic Society. Kathleen Gallagher-Duff assisted with the latter; she also oversees National Geographic’s global portfolio. Her sagacious counsel serves the Public Broadcasting Service exceptionally well, whose collection of marks are under her stewardship.

DLA Piper LLP (US)

“DLA Piper is a trusted partner due to its breadth of knowledge, extensive global reach and creative advice.” “Its DC team is first-class, and its international capability is a great advantage for clients.” Ann Ford anchors the branding side as chair of the trademark, copyright and media practice. “One of the most experienced lawyers in the country”, “she does a fantastic job of managing the group and fosters a good working environment that has allowed the IP team to prosper”. “She always gives practical advice and can identify how to increase efficiency in the maintenance of your trademark assets.” According to one satisfied customer: “She is among the best counsel out there.” Ford is flanked by Thomas Zutic; peers hail him as “a delight to work with. He is respectful and understands how to get a mutually beneficial resolution”. One brand owner concurs: “He cares about outcomes and never fails to strongly advocate for your cause. His guidance is especially valuable because he balances his expertise in IP law with a deep appreciation of your business.” Ryan Compton makes his debut in the WTR 1000 this year. He is in his element when facilitating multi-layered transactions; he has been busy helping Dr Seuss Enterprises to license out its properties in a variety of fields. One client emphatically concludes: “He is extremely responsive and just awesome!”

Drinker Biddle & Reath LLP

Drinker Biddle & Reath expanded its geographic reach in 2017 with the opening of a Dallas outlet which grants it access to new markets and customers. Predominantly staffed by commercial litigators, it provides its branding team with a wider set of tools, including greater firepower on the contentious front. In addition to a fresh flow of businesses knocking at its door, the team has further strengthened its already robust relationships with existing clients. Jennifer Dean holds down the fort as the vice chair of the IP ensemble and chair of the trademarks division. Her fine-grained knowledge of soft IP law allows her to adopt a panoramic perspective when guarding portfolios. Of late, she has had particular success assisting brand owners that have had their marks used for fraudulent purposes.

Dykema Gossett PLLC

Dykema Gossett blends a sophisticated depth of IP know-how with competitive rates and efficient staffing arrangements, making it a compelling option for brand owners of all stripes. Its distinctive government policy practice is another selling point that sets it apart from competitors. At the top of the totem pole is Eric Fingerhut, who directs the trademark line-up with verve. “He is professional and responsible and a longstanding name in the community.” His all-encompassing practice has recently seen him take on issues ranging from advertising and contest agreements to anti-counterfeiting programmes. Always ensuring that client interests are firmly at the forefront of everything he does, Fingerhut knows how to keep brand owners out of trouble. At his side is Jennifer Fraser, who came on board in 2015 following the firm’s merger with Cox Smith. The former examining attorney of the US Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) has had an especially busy year before the courts and the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board (TTAB).

Finnegan, Henderson, Farabow, Garrett & Dunner LLP 

“One of the finest IP practices out there, Finnegan is full of incredibly fantastic lawyers.” “Its team is world-class, and absolutely solid from its core partners down to its paralegals and administrative staff. There is consistency in the quality of its expertise and client engagement and it’s a joy working with all of its individuals.” One foreign associate avers: “I really love its thoughtful approach – its attention to detail is meticulous, and it is brilliant at thinking outside of the box and devising tailored solutions.” Douglas Rettew captains the esteemed trademark set. “Rettew is a rock star – he is so knowledgeable and wonderful to work with. He is able to look at problems through a commercial lens to identify how they will affect your business and can resolve issues on a legal and business level. He is also great at managing budgets and working through billing concerns.” “His excellent service is flawless, as he is perpetually responsive and prepared.” Like Rettew, Mark Sommers is a nationally recognised litigator and a lightning rod for praise, as one client states: “Simply put, I can think of no other attorney more creative, efficient and effective or for whom I have greater respect.” “He is the complete package: a convincing advocate, a masterful strategist and a real-world counsellor who adds tremendous value” and “exceeds even the loftiest expectations”. Danny Awdeh is widely commended for his contentious abilities: “He is an exceptional advocate who gives candid, practical advice backed by an impressive understanding of the legal complexities. He has an innate sense for how disputes are likely to develop to keep his clients at least two steps ahead. He also understands corporate philosophies and takes a measured, commercially oriented approach, becoming an extension of the company.” Christopher Foley and Brett Heavner nimbly straddle the contentious/non-contentious divide. Foley dispatches highly sophisticated prosecution and litigation instructions with aplomb, while anti-counterfeiting expert Heavner is “easy going but will stand up firmly for your rights”. Although adept at enforcement and litigation, Julia Anne Matheson is most widely celebrated for her perspicacious counsel. “Whenever a contentious matter arises, she is amazing at finding solutions that are workable for both sides.” “Her no-nonsense and straightforward attitude puts clients first in every respect. Unlike many other US lawyers who may hastily rush into a dispute, she is brilliant at taking a step back to consider all the options.” One leading brand owner professes: “She is one of the most responsive lawyers I have ever worked with. She answers emails and phone calls regardless of the time or day and is a tireless advocate who truly takes the time to understand your business, which informs her business-savvy advice.” An experienced portfolio manager, Christie Baty Hudgins has represented a number of household names – such as Yahoo! and Caterpillar – in a variety of branding issues.

Gibson Dunn & Crutcher LLP

Gibson Dunn & Crutcher houses a premier appellate practice and broad cross-sector groups, all of which are effectively leveraged by its branding squad. Drawing from the firm’s supplementary areas of rich expertise, it deftly serves global brand leaders and makes light work of even the most complicated suits. “The fact that it’s making new case law on behalf of its clients speaks volumes to the quality and creativity of its lawyers.” A co-chair of the fashion, retail and consumer products practice, Howard Hogan is a key port of call for major trademark owners. He has helped Gucci to obtain a number of significant victories, including a precedential decision in its dispute with the Bank of China which granted the US courts the ability to freeze counterfeiters’ assets worldwide. “Hogan is a leader in helping to shape policy initiatives that benefit trademark practice in the United States and elsewhere. He is a careful and conscientious lawyer who is smart, practical and trustworthy.”

Hogan Lovells US LLP

The smooth and harmonious cooperation between Hogan Lovells’s web of offices worldwide provides brand owners with a 24/7 helpline and a reservoir of industry and jurisdiction-specific knowledge. In the United States, its DC hub is one of the cornerstones of its global trademark profile. As testament to the firm’s cohesive approach and international capabilities, it recently represented CeramTec in a highly intricate, multi-jurisdictional suit concerning its trademarked pink-coloured hip implant components. Raymond Kurz and Anna Kurian Shaw led the foray on this brief. Dealing with multifarious and nuanced disputes is familiar territory for Kurz, who has sharpened his litigation skills to a fine point over a long and impressive career. Shaw joins the WTR 1000 rankings for the first time this year; she has a special flair for dealing with non-traditional marks and issues that reach the International Trade Commission. Timothy Lyden’s holistic practice touches on virtually all subjects, but strategic counselling is his forte. “He does tremendous work in both the national and international domains. He is incredibly knowledgeable and is able to understand your needs to put your particular situation in context. Not only is he effective, he is also extremely responsive and a pleasure to work with.”

Holland & Knight LLP

“Holland & Knight is an invaluable partner when it comes to protecting highly important IP assets.” “It is a go-to firm for all facets of trademark law and it is really effective at defending worldwide brands.” In addition to its judicious guidance to rights holders, the outfit has also been advising the US government regarding branding policies: through its Trademark Working Group – spearheaded by Paul Kilmer – the cohort stands on behalf of numerous corporations to present information to the government regarding deficiencies in trademark law. “Kilmer is articulate, analytical and not afraid to dispense suggestions and ideas.” “His and Daniel Neustadt’s work have raised the prominence of key trademark issues and augmented the efforts of both the USPTO and organisations such as the International Trademark Association (INTA).” “The two of them are extremely practical, creative, quick to respond, well versed in the law and highly effective negotiators.”

Jones Day

“With Jones Day in your corner, you know you will be represented well – its reputation carries weight and its lawyers will give their all when a conflict arises.” Its DC branch is a litigation hub and its local practitioners are known to be “professional, easy to deal with and well informed”. Nationally renowned trial attorney John Froemming co-heads the vigorous branding practice. “Over his long career, he has immersed himself in legitimate trial experience and this is paired with a strong understanding of trademarks – a very rare combination of talents.” “Meticulous and thoughtful”, “he does an outstanding job in knockout disputes, including in trade dress cases, and he is extremely impressive”. One happy customer raves: “He is by far and away the best trademark litigator we have ever used – he is diligent, smart and has exceptional instincts.” Susan Kayser adds extra dynamism with her courtroom acumen. “She wields a thorough command of the law and relevant procedural rules. Her calm and rational approach has resulted in favourable settlements with difficult parties without the need for the nasty hysterics so often favoured by other counsel.” On behalf of Procter & Gamble, she recently secured a permanent injunction against an entity infringing the trademarks and trade dress packaging of the consumer goods giant’s Crest Whitestrips product line.

Katten Muchin Rosenman LLP

Brand management is the focal point of Katten Muchin Rosenman’s esteemed IP practice, and its integrated national platform maximises on efficiency and expertise. One of its central watchtowers, the DC unit specialises in keeping a variety of trademark portfolios in fine fettle; it also hosts a number of contentious mavens, such as Terence Ross, who joined up in 2016 to co-chair the firm’s IP litigation practice. Managing partner Roger Furey also resides in the capital; “an established name in the field”, he is an enforcement aficionado who brandishes over 25 years of experience protecting IP rights.

Kelly IP

Despite coming into existence just a few years ago, Kelly IP has already cemented its position as one of the pre-eminent names in the trademark world; this year, the revered outfit joins the exclusive WTR 1000 national gold tier club. It is “an amazing firm that does impeccable work at a fraction of the cost that you would expect given its quality”. “Its insight is really sharp when it comes to filing and strategy”, but it also houses “a talented litigation team” and is “superb in contentious mandates”. One in-house lawyer comments: “It is fantastic at clearing marks and is especially adept in the entertainment sphere.” The “tremendous firm” continues to enjoy a rapidly increasing demand for its services, and the 2016-2017 period saw it bring on board a number of new clients – and new lawyers to advise them. “Arguably the best trademark practitioner in the country”, David Kelly “maintains strong relationships with massive brands and has built a stunning firm around him”. “Totally collaborative, collegial and self-assured”; he has “a particularly strong TTAB practice”. Linda McLeod is similarly “outstanding in enforcement”. The former TTAB judge is “seriously smart and really knows her stuff; she makes all the right arguments, but at the same time knows how to take a well-reasoned stance to get a disagreement resolved”. “It’s not a scorched-earth approach with her – she is a brilliant lawyer and strikes the perfect tone in disputes.” McLeod also runs a “deep prosecution practice”. By the same token, all types of branding matter fall within Stephanie Bald’s ambit: “She is very well versed in the law and does a stellar job representing her clients.” “A fierce advocate with a wealth of experience, she has a strategic vision that gives her the ability to foresee short-term and long-term issues coming down the road.” Rob Litowitz is “creative, thoughtful and an A-plus practitioner and person”. “He’s a deep thinker and an honourable opponent who excels at crafting nuanced positions both in the courtroom and in mediations.” Lynn Jordan also wins acclaim from her contemporaries, who applaud her “impressive industry credentials and deep experience in this field. She has a really strong clearance practice and is always on top of the latest legal developments”. Patrons are equally quick to sing her praises: “Jordan is immensely proactive, user-friendly and client-focused – you couldn’t ask for better counsel.”

Kilpatrick Townsend & Stockton LLP

“Full of wonderful attorneys”, Kilpatrick Townsend & Stockton is a dominant trademark force across the United States. It has continued to add big-ticket names to its ranks, including Allison Pawlenty-Altman, who rejoins the set after a stint in-house at Amazon on the West Coast. She has made clearance and prosecution a fine art and is especially adept at subjects sitting at the intersection of technology and entertainment. Fellow partner David Mayberry is sure-footed in the courtroom. The industrious trial lawyer also knows the ins and outs of arbitration and mediation, and is able to devise innovative solutions to disputes.

McDermott Will & Emery

“McDermott Will & Emery has an excellent reputation in this field”; “it adopts a creative approach and isn’t afraid to utilise new technology to better serve its clients.” Working in close cooperation with the firm’s potent alcohol and beverages regulatory group, the DC branding set has carved an impressive niche for itself in that space. As a prime example, it has been assisting Brooklyn Brewery – the largest brewery in New York – in everything from global prosecution to hard-fought litigation. In the last year, John Dabney and Richard Kim successfully defended its BLACK OPS mark. Dabney is a silver-tongued orator whose arguments resonate with judges; he recently brought his skills to bear for Tyson Foods in a number of pivotal trademark and false advertising infringement battles. He also leads the way as head of the global trademark litigation group. The “highly efficient and knowledgeable” Kim is “very responsive in prosecution matters”. The ex-USPTO examining attorney brings an insider’s perspective to non-contentious mandates and has “a strong business sense”. The Absolut Company is another drinks giant that relies on the firm to shield its brand identity; Robert Zelnick has done a stellar job on this task, and has knocked out one infringer after another – the former chief of the trademark practice has an abslutely superb track record in the courtroom. Transactional whizz Joanne Ludovici rounds off the troupe; her all-encompassing experience has given her an interdisciplinary view on matters, making her an ever-vigilant caretaker of worldwide portfolios.

Morgan Lewis & Bockius LLP

One of the largest law firms in the world in terms of professionals on its books, Morgan Lewis & Bockius is never short of talent or resources. However, its size belies its overarching focus on efficiency, flexibility and teamwork. These characteristics are shared by the coast-to-coast branding squad, which is centred in the nation’s capital. Karen Butcher anchors the “strong all-round” team. “Incredibly smart and diligent, she has a large and healthy practice that focuses on prosecution, clearance and licensing.” Diageo is just one of the many prestigious clients she cares for, and she has been defending its famous brands, such as SMIRNOFF and CAPTAIN MORGAN, for years. Kevin Fee and Kristin Altoff have also assisted the world-leading spirits and beer producer. A perceptive litigator, Fee has had his plate full representing Amazon and Toys “R” Us in critical infringement suits. Altoff is celebrated for her “top-quality service” and debuts in the WTR 1000 this year. The crux of her practice lies in worldwide brand management; she ensures that rights holders stay ahead of the curve from both a legal and business perspective. Anita Polott similarly enjoys a steady flow of portfolio work, but also excels in negotiating multi-layered transactions and fending off transgressors in court. “She really understands the fundamentals of trademark law and gets how all the pieces fit together. It’s surprising how often you find lawyers who don’t fully grasp the rules, but Polott is the exact opposite of that – she is really strong on the substantive areas and a creative litigator.”

Muncy, Geissler, Olds & Lowe, PC

“Muncy, Geissler, Olds & Lowe has a terrific group of lawyers – it is a quality firm full of world-class, friendly people.” In 2016 it acquired a phalanx of IP practitioners from Oblon – including Kathleen Cooney-Porter, Jeffrey Kaufman, Roberta Bren and Beth Chapman – which resulted in the formulation of “a robust group that has reached a nice critical mass of lawyers”. Cooney-Porter was previously the managing partner of Oblon, as well as its brand practice leader. Adding to her already striking résumé, she has held a number of positions within the USPTO, including as an examining attorney. Likewise, Bren is a former examiner who “provides effective and practical advice with regards to trademark strategy”. She and Chapman – a former TTAB judge – are “such fonts of knowledge. They have both been involved in this line of work for so many years and are just fantastic resources for cutting-edge topics and questions”. Kaufman exploits over three decades of trademark and copyright know-how to spectacular effect; his skill stretches across the boundary of prosecution and litigation. Jay Hines completes this cadre of seasoned professionals; his practice has a distinctly international flavour, and he has written and spoken extensively on the Madrid Protocol.

Nixon Peabody LLP

Nixon Peabody houses “an outstanding IP group that is spread across its multiple offices”. As evidence of the capabilities of its “top-notch” trademark practice, it actively cares for over 20,000 marks. This includes the portfolio of Alibaba Group, which Jeffrey Costellia handles with alacrity. The secret to his success comes from the fruitful, personal relationships he nurtures and as the practice group leader, he has instilled this philosophy into the team as a whole. The “exceptional” David May also knows how to push the right buttons with brand owners; a keen business developer who builds unbreakable connections with clients, he is “detail oriented, extremely efficient and ever professional”.

Pirkey Barber PLLC 

“Whenever a conversation arises about the best trademark practitioners, you can bet Pirkey Barber’s lawyers will always be high up on the list.” “Its lawyers know what they are talking about, and it has a robust practice in both prosecution and enforcement.” The pre-eminent Texas-based firm gained an immediate foothold in DC’s trademark market after its merger with Vold & Williamson at the beginning of 2017. Tara Vold and Paul Williamson are both on the receiving end of much praise: “They are collegial and easy to work with. Clients really appreciate their work product, which is of a very high quality.” “Vold is a superb attorney. She is extremely knowledgeable in both prosecution and litigation strategy, and knows how to map out a plan to get something accomplished. Detail oriented and efficient, she is also very well connected in the global branding community, so is always able to provide excellent references for local counsel.” Williamson is “an icon of the trademark bar”. “He is a consummate professional and gentleman who is constantly on the shortlist of clients. His advice is thoughtful and globally minded.”

Smith Gambrell & Russell LLP

“Smith Gambrell & Russell offers a great balance between high-end knowledge and reasonable rates. Despite its comparatively low costs, its service is on par with the best of the big firms based on its response times and dedication.” “It has a noteworthy footprint in Washington with a diverse, forward-thinking team. It is also growing across the nation.” “Trademark trailblazer” James L Bikoff is the leading light here and can be credited with many of the firm’s successes. “He is outstanding and a pleasure to work with in every way. He possesses an excellent command of the law and is extremely relatable. He is always on time and well organised, too.” Bikoff is also “an expert at resolving disputes quickly and efficiently”. Working alongside him is Bruce McDonald, who draws widespread applause from satisfied clients: “He is easy to work with and demonstrates good insight, instincts and a substantive knowledge of this field.”

Squire Patton Boggs (US) LLP

Squire Patton Boggs’s extensive geographical reach is one of its best assets. A rapidly expanding anti-counterfeiting practice in China and formidable trademark practice in Germany are just two prime resources at the US team’s fingertips; the DC branding unit has especially close ties with the London office as well. Deborah Lodge holds down the fort here; she excels at crafting watertight trademark applications and helping patrons to develop their brand image in a wider marketing context. Her pragmatism and personal touch with clients are additional selling points. Lodge has recently been utilising her skills to aid Chuck Norris in a multitude of licensing agreements.

Steptoe & Johnson LLP

Steptoe & Johnson has established a dazzling reputation for mission-critical litigation on behalf of global brand names. Patrons within the luxury goods space are in particularly good hands; Michael Allan is an expert in this domain and has assiduously represented the likes of Louis Vuitton and Burberry in high-stakes disputes. For the latter, he recently achieved a stunning victory by convincing the court to issue a permanent injunction against an infringer as well as securing the maximum statutory damages. Together with William Pecau, Allan co-chairs the top-class ensemble. The main thrust of Pecau’s practice also lies in multifaceted litigation, but he cuts a dash in high-level licensing engagements, too. His depth of expertise is often called on behind the scenes; he recently authored an amicus curiae brief on behalf of the Federation of the Swiss Watch Industry FH to support the notion that ‘red gold’ is generic. Rachel Hofstatter was also instrumental in this unique task. She provides admirable support on the enforcement front, but really comes into her own on non-contentious instructions. Her all-encompassing knowledge and creative flair have helped clients to protect their IP assets in the broadest manner possible.

Sterne, Kessler, Goldstein & Fox PLLC 

Sterne, Kessler, Goldstein & Fox’s universal branding outlook enables blanket coverage of all trademark matters and a flexible, solution-oriented approach. In the last year, it has further ramped up its capabilities with a number of new hires, including two IP litigators. “Its lawyers are always to the point and very fast. Easygoing and accessible, they are also simply nice people to work with.” Its team is frequently called on by leading brands, such as Verizon, which relies on it for a slew of clearance and prosecution work. Trademark commander Monica Riva Talley has been spearheading this initiative and many others. “Knowledgeable, trustworthy and efficient, she knows what good client service means.” Her “excellent work spans the gamut” and she “understands how to cut to the important issues at hand, rather than dwelling on less salient aspects of the problem”. The “terrific” Tracy-Gene Durkin operates at the vanguard of design patent law and has an affinity for matters at the intersection of trademarks, trade dress and design protection.

Sughrue Mion PLLC

Sterling boutique Sughrue Mion calls on a well-oiled branding team that is recognised for its superlative performances on behalf of trademark owners. Its practitioners’ heads are crowned with numerous laurels; the intelligent and thoughtful Gary Krugman, for example, previously led the USPTO Trademark Public Advisory Committee and is a former co-chair of the Washington DC Bar law section steering committee. “He is both a great attorney and person with an A-to-Z understanding of the law.” Moreover, his experience as a former TTAB judge grants him superior judgement”. “Safe pair of hands” Jody Haller Drake also has stunning credentials to her name: she has held a number of positions at the USPTO and served the American Intellectual Property Law Association both as chair of its trademark relations committee and on the board of directors. One peer states: “I would send work to her in a heartbeat – she’s not just talented on the legal aspects, but has a superb business sense that resonates with clients.” Similarly, Stephanie Wade “is dependable and treats brand owners well. Both she and Drake are straightforward and pragmatic; they won’t go over budget and will simply fix any issue that arises”.

Venable LLP 

“Venable possesses an extraordinarily deep bench of professionals and its knowledge base is second to none – it is incredibly experienced in both prosecution and enforcement.” “Its sizeable trademark group is highly client focused and responsive; it has a real sense for strategy and knows how to pull together foreign associates for a unified plan.” The “flexible and quality” team is “especially proficient at handling brand matters related to non-profit organisations”. The American Bar Association is one of its most significant clients in the non-profit arena; its first point of contact is Andrew D Price, who ascends to the gold tier this year. A “well-connected” and “ever professional” attorney, he “applies common-sense strategies in his enforcement work and always has realistic expectations when working on a settlement, which is appreciated in a world where opposing counsel are often exceedingly difficult”. He and Justin Pierce are “two of the most approachable and practical lawyers. The former excels at developing healthy and fruitful relationships, while the latter is a keen listener who brings years of international and in-house experience to the table”. The new manager of the IP practice, Pierce aids some of the largest brands in the world without breaking a sweat; he is “a wonderful lawyer and unflappable in the face of adversity”. Rebecca Liebowitz is also widely lauded: “Exceptionally smart and hard-working, she has a robust understanding of foreign trademark law and is a first-rate global strategist.” “Personable and trustworthy”, “she is always on the ball and has a bright future ahead of her – she is definitely one to keep an eye on”. The redoubtable Mark B Harrison rounds off the set. His wealth of experience is a constant resource mined by the team: “He is by far one of the best attorneys in the area – he is always committed to helping your cause and is just unbelievably knowledgeable.”

Other recommended experts

Hailed for his lightning-quick responses and professionalism, Keith Barritt of Fish & Richardson is a client favourite. Utilising expertise across the trademark spectrum, he is cognisant of budget constraints and can mould his advice to suit the specific needs of brand owners. Complex IP litigation forms the brick and mortar of Peter Brody’s practice. “He demonstrates not only a thorough understanding of legal issues, but also business ones: he is mindful of time and resources and prioritises your goals. He maintains an extremely high standard of professionalism, but also has a good sense of humour that makes the work more enjoyable.” Brody “collaborates well with his colleagues and in-house lawyers and experts; his judgement is very well regarded”. He flies the flag at Ropes & Gray. Stationed at Foley & Lardner, Katherine Califa assists rights holders in securing and developing their image on the market with her complete understanding of brand management. She reigns supreme in everything from domain name disputes to fraught transactional negotiations. Lisa Dunner runs her own certified firm Dunner Law. “She really knows her stuff” and her “sound advice” leads to cost-efficient solutions. Gerben Law Firm is home to its namesake Joshua Gerben, who is “highly responsive to all queries and always genuinely helpful, with advice that is appropriate to your needs, budgets and desired outcomes”. His practice is focused on heavy-duty clearance and prosecution, at costs that belie the quality of the work product. One client avows: “Gerben’s clear-sighted advice is never lacking and an attribute shared by his team; he can handle complex maters well with his truly deep knowledge of trademark legislation.” Operating out of Haynes and Boone, Philip Hampton II “completely understands trademark and patent strategy, as well as how the USPTO thinks. He is a huge asset and his strategic counsel is particularly helpful. His technical background also means that he has a superb grasp of complex design and patent issues, especially when related to medical devices”. Edmund Haughey III recently took charge of the IP practice at Fitzpatrick, Cella, Harper & Cinto. Clients appreciate his varied talents, but he is in his absolute element in intricate patent and trademark spats. Steven Hollman is “a sharp IP litigator with far-reaching experience”. Previously stationed at Hogan Lovells, he made the move to Sheppard Mullin in 2016. Jonathan Hudis is quick to respond to clients and takes a 360-degree view on branding matters. The Quarles & Brady man prosecutes and litigates with percipience, but also knows how to seal vital licensing deals. Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman is graced by the presence of Patrick Jennings, who helps to alleviate branding headaches with his refined counselling. He is also eminently capable in transactional issues and enforcement short of full-blown litigation. Karol Kepchar helps her clients to pragmatically manage their intangible assets through perceptive litigation and licensing programmes; she is especially skilled at mandates sitting at the confluence of the Internet and intellectual property. She works out of Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld. Sheldon Klein of Gray Plant Mooty “delivers exquisite work that is efficient and helps you to avoid unnecessary actions at the USPTO. He always has relevant suggestions on how to best proceed in order to secure your IP rights. With his practical and business-oriented approach, you know your interests are being well taken care of”. A leading light of Barnes & Thornburg’s DC branch, the “really bright” Joseph Lewis is “a sharp litigator with a solid practice”; however, his expertise spans the full trademark gamut, from mark selection and assiduous portfolio maintenance to the creation of licensing programmes for brand value maximisation. The “timely and budget sensitive” Timothy Lockhart of Wilcox & Savage is “extremely responsive and has an eagle eye for the details of an IP transaction”. He is also talented in prosecution and litigation instructions. “Aside from his vast knowledge of the law, he is business aware, proactive and candid with his advice. Lockhart is completely trustworthy and his special care really adds value.” All-around branding sage Rebecca McDougall is a judicious supervisor of global portfolios who is well informed about cutting-edge issues in the online space – her trump card is her all-embracing international network. She flies the flag for Miles & Stockbridge. “A professional through and through with incredible breadth and depth of insight”, Nixon & Vanderhye’s Hae Park-Suk is “a perennial client favourite”. One customer enthuses: “I have never worked with anybody more qualified, capable and knowledgeable than her. Her responses are not only comprehensive, informative and easy to understand, but she also highlights risks clearly and her turnaround time is extraordinary. She is perpetually available and patient.” Another states: “Park-Suk is down to earth and pragmatic; she wields invaluable commercial experience so has a good sense for balancing legal uncertainties with business realities.” Working out of Foley & Lardner is former USPTO examining attorney Norm Rich. Facilitating IP-rich deals to bring out the full potential of brand owners’ rights is his bread and butter, but he is also widely respected for his ability to resolve disagreements: “He handles himself with poise and is highly capable; his amiability earns him much respect and it means that cases can be settled reasonably.” Previously at Katten Muchin Rosenman, Peter J Riebling opened his own eponymous outfit – Riebling IP – in 2016. His clinical trademark advice resonates with large, worldwide businesses in particular, such as Mattel. As an endurance sports fanatic himself, he has earned the patronage of many trademark owners in the sporting world; he is also renowned for his “ability to immediately grasp difficult issues, be that in complex technologies or substantive trademark law”. John Rynkiewicz plays a central role in the branding practice of the recently merged Arnold & Porter Kaye Scholer. “He provides the full spectrum of work, from prosecution and strategy to guidance on M&A agreements. His greatest attributes are his depth of knowledge, timeliness and availability. Rynkiewicz possesses an extensive understanding of not just US law, but also of international matters; he is very creative and knows what buttons to push when carrying out or defending oppositions.” Janet Satterthwaite holds down the branding division at Potomac Law Group. “She is a first-class legal brain and extremely commercially minded; she understands client concerns and is results driven. She works equally well with small and medium-sized enterprises and huge multinationals, and possesses a truly international outlook.” “Satterthwaite sees the big picture, can tackle challenging questions and knows both US and EU trademark practice inside and out – she is fantastic.” Shapiro and Silverstein is the base of operations for Ronald Shapiro, “a walking encyclopaedia of trademark law who knows every last corner of the Lanham Act. He is meticulous in his preparation and drafting of documents – everything is so well thought out and impressive. A consummate professional with a lot of integrity, he never loses his cool.” Rights holders in the communications industry can sleep easy when relying on David Silverman; he assiduously manages the portfolios of Atlantic Media Company and UP Entertainment, among others. His business-sharp advice never fails to take into account endgame objectives, ensuring that patrons’ marks are protected and their potential fully realised. He can be found at Davis Wright Tremaine. Mosaic Legal Group is now the home of Andrew Spivak, who previously worked in-house at two major companies and at the USPTO as an examining attorney. He has accumulated “years of big law experience, which has made him extremely effective in trademark conflicts – he is the first person you should see for a problem”. At the beginning of 2017, Mark Tidman assumed leadership of the world-renowned IP group at Baker & Hostetler. With a masterful understanding of how to optimise global portfolios, “nothing is too much trouble for him – he is very responsive and provides clear counsel”. Brandishing just shy of 11 years’ in-house experience, Fabricio Vayra’s specialises in issues straddling the crossroads of intellectual property and the Internet. He has held an assortment of influential positions at INTA – including as advocacy group coordinator, chair of the internet committee and on the executive committee – and the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN). Vayra plies his trade at Perkins Coie. Greenberg Traurig’s Steven Wadyka is “a smart attorney” who is “really versatile and knowledgeable”. The main thrust of his practice is in the deft enforcement of IP rights, including in mission-critical anti-counterfeiting instructions. Stacey Watson of new boutique Markery Law makes her debut in the WTR 1000. She approaches trademark quandaries from a client’s perspective thanks to stints in-house at Walmart and Verisign; “she offers incredibly good value for brand owners”. Formerly the co-leader of Mayer Brown’s global brand management and internet practice, Brian Winterfeldt recently opened his own shop, Winterfeldt IP Group. “Exceptionally knowledgeable and one of the country’s best for internet matters”, he “offers well-informed, pragmatic advice and is an expert of domain names and all things related to ICANN”.

Individuals: enforcement and litigation

  • Edward T Colbert - Andrews Kurth Kenyon LLP
  • John J Dabney - McDermott Will & Emery
  • John G Froemming - Jones Day
  • Michael A Grow - Arent Fox LLP
  • David M Kelly - Kelly IP
  • Anthony V Lupo - Arent Fox LLP
  • Douglas A Rettew - Finnegan, Henderson, Farabow, Garrett & Dunner LLP
  • Mark Sommers - Finnegan, Henderson, Farabow, Garrett & Dunner LLP
  • Danny M Awdeh - Finnegan, Henderson, Farabow, Garrett & Dunner LLP
  • Stephanie Bald - Kelly IP
  • James L Bikoff - Smith Gambrell & Russell LLP 
  • Ann K Ford - DLA Piper LLP (US)
  • Philip G Hampton II - Haynes and Boone LLP
  • Howard S Hogan - Gibson Dunn & Crutcher LLP
  • Susan M Kayser - Jones Day
  • Gary D Krugman - Sughrue Mion PLLC
  • Rob Litowitz - Kelly IP
  • Linda K McLeod - Kelly IP
  • William G Pecau - Steptoe & Johnson LLP
  • Janet F Satterthwaite - Potomac Law Group PLLC
  • Fabricio Vayra - Perkins Coie LLP
  • Tara M Vold - Pirkey Barber PLLC
  • Steven J Wadyka Jr - Greenberg Traurig LLP
  • Paul Williamson - Pirkey Barber PLLC
  • Peter J Willsey - Cooley LLP
  • Robert W Zelnick - McDermott Will & Emery
  • Michael J Allan - Steptoe & Johnson LLP
  • Peter M Brody - Ropes & Gray LLP
  • Beth A Chapman - Muncy, Geissler, Olds & Lowe, PC
  • James R Davis II - Arent Fox LLP
  • Kevin Fee - Morgan Lewis & Bockius LLP
  • Eric T Fingerhut - Dykema Gossett PLLC
  • Jennifer Fraser - Dykema Gossett PLLC
  • B Brett Heavner - Finnegan, Henderson, Farabow, Garrett & Dunner LLP
  • P Jay Hines - Muncy, Geissler, Olds & Lowe, PC
  • Rachel M Hofstatter - Steptoe & Johnson LLP
  • Steven P Hollman - Sheppard Mullin Richter & Hampton LLP
  • Bassam N Ibrahim - Buchanan Ingersoll & Rooney PC
  • Jeffrey H Kaufman - Muncy, Geissler, Olds & Lowe, PC
  • Karol A Kepchar - Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP
  • Sheldon H Klein - Gray Plant Mooty
  • Raymond A Kurz - Hogan Lovells US LLP
  • Joseph D Lewis - Barnes & Thornburg LLP
  • David J Mayberry - Kilpatrick Townsend & Stockton LLP
  • Bruce A McDonald - Smith Gambrell & Russell LLP
  • Justin Pierce - Venable LLP 
  • Anita B Polott - Morgan Lewis & Bockius LLP
  • Peter J Riebling - Riebling IP, PLLC 
  • Ronald E Shapiro - Shapiro and Silverstein PLLC
  • Anna Kurian Shaw - Hogan Lovells US LLP
  • Susan A Smith - Andrews Kurth Kenyon LLP
  • Mark Tidman - Baker & Hostetler LLP

Individuals: prosecution and strategy

  • Eric T Fingerhut - Dykema Gossett PLLC
  • Mark B Harrison - Venable LLP 
  • Lynn M Jordan - Kelly IP
  • David M Kelly - Kelly IP
  • Paul F Kilmer - Holland & Knight LLP
  • Anthony V Lupo - Arent Fox LLP
  • Julia Anne Matheson - Finnegan, Henderson, Farabow, Garrett & Dunner LLP
  • Linda K McLeod - Kelly IP
  • Andrew D Price - Venable LLP 
  • Brian J Winterfeldt - Winterfeldt IP Group
  • Danny M Awdeh - Finnegan, Henderson, Farabow, Garrett & Dunner LLP
  • Roberta S Bren - Muncy, Geissler, Olds & Lowe, PC
  • Karen Butcher - Morgan Lewis & Bockius LLP
  • Jody Haller Drake - Sughrue Mion PLLC
  • Ann K Ford - DLA Piper LLP (US)
  • Richard Y Kim - McDermott Will & Emery
  • Gary D Krugman - Sughrue Mion PLLC
  • Rebecca Liebowitz - Venable LLP 
  • Timothy J Lockhart - Willcox & Savage, PC
  • Joanne Ludovici - McDermott Will & Emery
  • Timothy Lyden - Hogan Lovells US LLP
  • Hae Park-Suk - Nixon & Vanderhye PC
  • Justin Pierce - Venable LLP 
  • Douglas A Rettew - Finnegan, Henderson, Farabow, Garrett & Dunner LLP
  • Norm Rich - Foley & Lardner LLP
  • Peter J Riebling - Riebling IP, PLLC 
  • Janet F Satterthwaite - Potomac Law Group PLLC
  • Mark Sommers - Finnegan, Henderson, Farabow, Garrett & Dunner LLP
  • Monica Riva Talley - Sterne, Kessler, Goldstein & Fox PLLC 
  • Tara M Vold - Pirkey Barber PLLC
  • Peter J Willsey - Cooley LLP
  • Thomas E Zutic - DLA Piper LLP (US)
  • Kristin Altoff - Morgan Lewis & Bockius LLP
  • Keith A Barritt - Fish & Richardson PC
  • James L Bikoff - Smith Gambrell & Russell LLP 
  • Katherine Califa - Foley & Lardner LLP
  • Cristina Carvalho - Arent Fox LLP
  • Ryan Compton - DLA Piper LLP (US)
  • Kathleen Cooney-Porter - Muncy, Geissler, Olds & Lowe, PC
  • Jeffrey L Costellia - Nixon Peabody LLP
  • James R Davis II - Arent Fox LLP
  • Jennifer L Dean - Drinker Biddle & Reath LLP
  • Lisa A Dunner - Dunner Law PLLC
  • Tracy-Gene Durkin - Sterne, Kessler, Goldstein & Fox PLLC 
  • Ricardo Fischer - Arent Fox LLP
  • Christopher P Foley - Finnegan, Henderson, Farabow, Garrett & Dunner LLP
  • Jennifer Fraser - Dykema Gossett PLLC
  • Roger P Furey - Katten Muchin Rosenman LLP
  • Kathleen Gallagher-Duff - Covington & Burling LLP
  • Joshua Gerben - Gerben Law Firm PLLC 
  • Edmund J Haughey III - Fitzpatrick, Cella, Harper & Scinto
  • B Brett Heavner - Finnegan, Henderson, Farabow, Garrett & Dunner LLP
  • Christie Baty Hudgins - Finnegan, Henderson, Farabow, Garrett & Dunner LLP
  • Jonathan Hudis - Quarles & Brady LLP
  • Brendan J Hughes - Cooley LLP
  • Patrick J Jennings - Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman LLP
  • Jeffrey H Kaufman - Muncy, Geissler, Olds & Lowe, PC
  • Karol A Kepchar - Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP
  • Sheldon H Klein - Gray Plant Mooty
  • Marie A Lavalleye - Covington & Burling LLP
  • Joseph D Lewis - Barnes & Thornburg LLP
  • Deborah M Lodge - Squire Patton Boggs (US) LLP
  • David L May - Nixon Peabody LLP
  • David J Mayberry - Kilpatrick Townsend & Stockton LLP
  • Bryce J Maynard - Buchanan Ingersoll & Rooney PC
  • Rebecca McDougall - Miles & Stockbridge PC
  • Daniel Neustadt - Holland & Knight LLP
  • Christopher Norton - Arent Fox LLP
  • Allisen Pawlenty-Altman - Kilpatrick Townsend & Stockton LLP
  • John P Rynkiewicz - Arnold & Porter Kaye Scholer LLP
  • David M Silverman - Davis Wright Tremaine LLP
  • Susan A Smith - Andrews Kurth Kenyon LLP
  • Andrew Spivak - Mosaic Legal Group PLLC
  • Mark Tidman - Baker & Hostetler LLP
  • Stephanie K Wade - Sughrue Mion PLLC
  • Stacey Watson - Markery Law LLC