United States: North Carolina


  • Alston & Bird LLP
  • Enns & Archer LLP
  • Kilpatrick Townsend & Stockton LLP
  • Moore & Van Allen PLLC
  • Tepper & Eyster PLLC
  • Womble Bond Dickinson (US) LLP
  • Parker Poe Adams & Bernstein LLP
  • Trego, Hines & Ladenheim PLLC
  • Ward and Smith, PA

Alston & Bird LLP

Alston & Bird maintains one of the largest trademark practices in North Carolina. The well-resourced national firm partners with prestigious companies around the globe to render watertight protection for sizeable trademark portfolios along with well-thought out strategic brand advice. Forming the beating heart of the practice in Charlotte are Michele Glessner and Larry Jones. Glessner is impressive – not only does she know trademark and copyright law back to front, she has an engineering background and deep patent knowledge as well as excellent language skills, including in Arabic and French. Sources describe her as a “bright, even-keeled lawyer with excellent interpersonal skills and a demonstrated ability to handle sophisticated portfolios”. Jones’s more than 40 years of litigation and international enforcement experience make him a discerning choice for nuanced trademark infringement cases.

Enns & Archer LLP

At large firms there can be a lot of institutional barriers to offering truly candid advice; by telling it like it is, small but mighty brands boutique Enns & Archer has cultivated unshakeable trademark owner trust. Patrons get the benefit of close attention from the set’s two partners Rodrick Enns and Julia Archer, who bring immense experience to bear while being extremely flexible and cost effective. Enns “quickly gets to the nub of the issues” and is a “smart, careful and deliberate thinker” who, as a litigator, is “respectful but also formidable”. Archer is exceptionally well grounded in trademark office practice and is admired for her meticulous approach. As senior figures within INTA, the two lawyers contribute much to the development of US and international trademark law and policy.

Kilpatrick Townsend & Stockton LLP

“An elite trademark firm both locally in North Carolina and nationally” is the verdict on Kilpatrick Townsend & Stockton. Thanks to its cavernous chest of resources and infinity pool of talent, the firm is perfectly poised to address any and all brand-related issues from the global management of portfolios to hardcore litigation and transactional work to how to deal with China. In the Winston-Salem office, William Bryner sets the tone; pragmatic and an excellent big-picture strategist, he knows how to best accomplish his clients’ broader commercial objectives. “Bill is as good as there is – he has an incredibly sharp mind and is hugely experienced.” Freshly minted partner Laura Miller also does top-drawer work as a counsellor, particularly with respect to international affairs. Diligent and organised, she handles high-volume projects with rare efficiency.

Moore & Van Allen PLLC

As a “leading Southeast commercial firm with a strong and impressive IP practice”, Moore & Van Allen is a magnet for general counsels looking to consolidate and for in-house trademark counsel seeking a more cost-effective provider that is as good as any coastal firm. The outfit’s highly specialised trademark and copyright team has a fine-grained understanding of its clients’ business needs and risk tolerance, which is put to good use through the astute and consistent management of worldwide brand protection and enforcement efforts. Co-leading the team are Arlene Hanks and Henry Ward, two sophisticated counsellors with dynamic domestic and international prosecution and transactional practices. Taking the litigation reins, Mark Wilson is a “level-headed guy who is not afraid to take on the hardest cases”. Other notable names include senior counsel Ellen Rubel, a former award-winning trademark examiner and counsel Kitty Bina, a former Coca-Cola trademark counsel; this is a squad with depth.

Parker Poe Adams & Bernstein LLP

Respected medium-sized regional firm Parker Poe debuts in the WTR 1000 this year; its well-formed IP group is in a good groove and attracting a significant amount of trademark instructions on both sides of the contentious/non-contentious divide. The team provides a high-end service at a highly persuasive price point. Highlighted as a “rising star in the Southeast for trademark, trade secret and internet-related litigation”, Christopher Thomas is making a mark right now. “Chris is highly dedicated and responsive – he comes back to you quickly even long outside office hours.” As a litigator, he asks questions first and shoots later if the situation demands; planning for trial but resolving things before discovery is how he does it.

Tepper & Eyster PLLC

For pharmaceutical trademark work you would be hard pressed to find a better firm in the country than Tepper & Eyster. Maury Tepper is the guru when it comes to creative pharma brand strategising; having served as director and trademark counsel for GlaxoSmithKline he can put himself in his client’s shoes – and he knows what it is like for in-house teams to operate on a budget. “Maury has an elevated level of insight beyond your typical trademark lawyer. He is bright, personable and a great mentor with cutting-edge expertise.” His partner Kathryn Eyster is also outstanding; she has a gimlet eye for detail and executes quickly even on the most complex tasks. The pair discuss and review everything together and as a result the work that goes out the door is nothing less than first rate.

Trego, Hines & Ladenheim PLLC

Compact Charlotte boutique Trego, Hines & Ladenheim lives and breathes intellectual property and offers a well-rounded patent and trademark service to a diverse and growing clientele. Anchoring the brands practice is “superb litigator” and experienced prosecutor Matthew Ladenheim. The board-certified trademark specialist is “a really nice, personable and knowledgeable guy who is a pleasure to work with”.

Ward and Smith, PA

Extremely savvy on process and project management, Ward and Smith does a tremendous job aligning its practices with the way clients operate, the outcome of which is an efficient trademark service and better budgeting; the team also speaks the language of marketing and business executives. Taking charge of the practice is Angela Doughty, a “hugely experienced and pragmatic lawyer whose advice and direction on complex areas of US trademark law instils confidence”. She has a far-reaching network of contacts which is unsurprising given the amount of international work she does for clients such as Hatteras/Cabo Yachts whose trademarks she protects and maintains in over 42 countries. Running the litigation side of things is Joseph Schouten, a “creative thinker who is great at putting his clients at ease in difficult situations and providing counsel that is easy to understand”. Reflecting on a recent matter, one client comments: “The whole team was fabulous – they exercised patience and broke down the complexities of the litigation process for us while understanding our business on many levels.”

Womble Bond Dickinson (US) LLP

Womble Bond Dickinson’s US IP practice is finely formed – the firm has a team of 16 dedicated trademark lawyers and paralegals who are backed by nearly 30 IP litigators; this enables it to manage in the region of 10,000 trademarks globally while taking care of any and all disputes that arise. The ensemble goes the extra mile in terms of service too, by deploying the best technical tools and regularly meeting with clients to keep them abreast of developments and opportunities. Safeguarding many famous brands and bringing strong leadership to the firm’s team of trademark specialists is portfolio management maven Randel Springer. Down the hall in the Winston-Salem office is John Morrow, who chairs the US IP litigation group. Morrow staffs cases efficiently while staying involved throughout – he is not one of those litigators who just turns up for court. Sources highlight the firm’s “strong bench” and joining Springer and Morrow in the WTR 1000 for the first time this year is newly promoted partner William (Evan) Fultz. Displaying a deft touch when it comes to the launch of new brands, the management of portfolios and the enforcement of rights on and offline, Fultz is impressively versatile.

Other recommended experts

Arthur DeBaugh helms a growing trademark practice at “excellent general practice firm” Bell Davis & Pitt. He is distinguished by his in-house counsel experience – he previously served as chief IP counsel at Sara Lee – and his ability to understand issues from a client’s perspective. His expertise spans trademark, marketing, advertising, copyright, trade dress, trade secret and commercial law, making him a proficient all-rounder for everything concerning brand protection. Experienced IP litigator John Nipp knows that a lawsuit is the last thing a business wants to be involved in and is adept at resolving disputes before they get ugly with satisfying commercial outcomes – although he is well prepared to present his case if need be, protecting brands and saving his clients money is what he is all about. Nipp practices out of Additon Higgins & Pendleton. Jason Sneed is an experienced federal court and TTAB litigator and an authoritative voice in the US and international trademark policy discussion through his high-level engagement in INTA and other organisations. He runs the show at SNEED.


  • William Bryner - Kilpatrick Townsend & Stockton LLP
  • Rodrick J Enns - Enns & Archer LLP
  • Randel S Springer - Womble Bond Dickinson (US) LLP
  • Maury M Tepper III - Tepper & Eyster PLLC
  • Julia C Archer - Enns & Archer LLP
  • Arthur J DeBaugh - Bell Davis & Pitt PA
  • Angela Doughty - Ward and Smith, PA
  • Kathryn M Eyster - Tepper & Eyster PLLC
  • William S (Evan) Fultz - Womble Bond Dickinson (US) LLP
  • Michele M Glessner - Alston & Bird LLP
  • Arlene D Hanks - Moore & Van Allen PLLC
  • Larry C Jones - Alston & Bird LLP
  • Matthew J Ladenheim - Trego, Hines & Ladenheim PLLC
  • Laura Miller - Kilpatrick Townsend & Stockton LLP
  • John F Morrow Jr - Womble Bond Dickinson (US) LLP
  • John Nipp - Additon Higgins & Pendleton
  • Joseph Schouten - Ward and Smith, PA
  • Jason Sneed - SNEED PLLC
  • Christopher M Thomas - Parker Poe Adams & Bernstein LLP
  • Henry Ward - Moore & Van Allen PLLC
  • Mark Wilson - Moore & Van Allen PLLC