Adams & Adams

WTR Research

The WTR 1000 focuses exclusively on trademark practice and has firmly established itself as the definitive 'go-to' resource for those seeking world-class legal trademark expertise.

Gold - Firms

A frontrunner for complex IP matters, Adams & Adams has the commercial acumen and resilience to accommodate both Fortune 500 companies and start-ups. In the words of one satisfied patron: “The team understands exactly how our business operates and always go the extra mile to guarantee we receive exceptional and the most suitable legal advice. They are the number one IP firm.” Constant growth and “excellent value for service quality” are par for the course at Adams, which continually attracts new names to an already lengthy client roster. Spearheading the prosecution practice, Simon Brown has “built a very strong and unique network of local associates, making it possible to seamlessly manage intellectual property throughout Africa”. Colleague Megan Moerdijk “is meticulous and detail oriented, and has a wealth of trademark prosecution knowledge across a wide range of territories”. Other masters of prosecution include Eugene Honey, Lucy Signorelli and Nelia Hickman, who all shine on the smart management of portfolios for domestic and international clients. This year, the WTR 1000 also welcomes Johan Du Preez, Samantha Copeling and Blain De Villiers, who further bolster Adams’ outstanding non-contentious capabilities. “Proactive, timely and outstanding” are the words used to describe Du Preez; while Copeling is “an amazing professional, a legend in portfolio management and really friendly too”. De Villiers “distinguishes himself with his professionalism and strategic thinking, as well as his practical and commercially oriented advice. He is a fountain of knowledge, even in far-flung jurisdictions”. The enforcement side of the practice is equally impressive. Chairman Gérard du Plessis is a “highly valued practitioner whose broad knowledge of the law always results in the highest-quality advice”. Nolwazi Gcaba, Dale Healy and Kelly Thompson flawlessly handle complex contentious matters and work effortlessly alongside brand owners. Well known for domain name disputes, Jenny Pienaar combines her “incredibly practical mindset and ability to intuitively understand clients’ needs with an outstanding courtroom track record”. “Competence, technical expertise, trademark knowledge and business-understanding are the qualities that make Steven Yeates an outstanding IP litigator.” Drawing on three decades of experience, Mariëtte du Plessis “always goes the extra mile to provide the best legal advice, which takes into consideration her clients’ business concerns”. IP triple threat Darren Olivier is highly regarded for his unmatched prosecution, litigation and transactional prowess. Rounding off a stellar troop is an anti-counterfeiting specialist Godfrey Budeli, who willingly shares his wisdom by training the country’s future trademark professionals.

Firm Profile

Adams & Adams is an internationally recognised and leading African law firm that specialises in providing IP, corporate and commercial services.

With primary office locations in South Africa and branches and associate offices in a number of African countries, our firm’s leadership position as the largest IP law practice in Africa – and one of South Africa’s foremost corporate, property and commercial law firms – is reflected in the ground-breaking work that we do and the valuable client relationships that we have with many of the world’s largest corporations and organisations, as well as small and medium-sized companies.

Around 250 Fortune 500 companies rely on Adams & Adams to protect their IP rights and commercial interests in South Africa and Africa.

Our IP expertise encompasses the full spectrum of IP services for clients globally – from identification and creation, through to the management, commercialisation and enforcement of IP rights. Our multi-disciplinary teams comprising prosecution, litigation and commercialisation specialists are dedicated to developing and executing IP strategies that translate into a sustainable competitive advantage for clients. Our approach is to constantly add value to clients’ IP portfolios and assets. We have the ability to demonstrate that value lies in being distinctive, which is offered to clients through our unique services – created in and refined since 1908. In addition to searching, drafting and prosecuting patent and trademark applications, the firm has an outstanding reputation for advising on strategic IP portfolio development, IP asset management, infringement analysis, due diligence and litigation support.

Adams & Adams offers a wide range of specialist legal services organised under one of southern Africa’s fastest growing commercial, property and litigation practices. This department is involved in every aspect of corporate and commercial law and has advised on numerous large and complex national and international transactions. The Adams & Adams general commercial legal services practices boast competent and powerful teams that represent clients in expertise areas such as, among others, commercial and contract law, commercial litigation, property services, public procurement, banking and finance, mergers and acquisitions, tax, exchange control, data protection, franchising, competition, labour, personal injury, arbitration and dispute resolution.

As a leader among law firms involved in commercial services and other corporate transactions, the transactional and litigation experience of our attorneys, the breadth of our practice and the geographical reach of our offices in Africa have allowed us to maintain a competitive leadership position, representing a broad array of public and private companies, private equity firms and financial institutions, government entities and other institutions and individuals in almost every type of commercial law situation.

Adams & Adams is consistently acknowledged and tier-1 ranked by the leading global industry bodies and peer-review indices that recognise excellence in global legal practice. Participation in awards and indices allows us to benchmark our performance and gain valuable feedback from third parties.

Central to Adams & Adams’ growth strategy is the close relationship that we continue to foster and enjoy with our local partners and associate offices throughout Africa, in combination with vital engagement with local registries. Each year our professionals travel widely, focusing our efforts on jurisdictions where protecting clients’ interests has been paramount. Through our associate offices and long-established networks, we serve our global client base throughout Africa in matters of intellectual property, commercial law, property and litigation.

We are proud of the quality and longevity of our employee relationships, with numerous team members boasting more than 20 years of service with the firm. This culture of loyalty brings about superlative levels of commitment, enthusiasm and performance. Adams & Adams’ multicultural and multilingual staff complement ensures that we can assist clients in multiple languages if required.

We have associate offices in the following African countries:

  • Angola;
  • Botswana;
  • Burundi;
  • Cameroon;
  • Cape Verde;
  • Egypt;
  • Ethiopia;
  • Gambia;
  • Ghana;
  • Kenya;
  • Lesotho;
  • Liberia;
  • Libya;
  • Mozambique;
  • Namibia;
  • Nigeria;
  • Sierra Leone;
  • Sao Tome and Principe;
  • Swaziland;
  • Tanzania (including Zanzibar); and
  • Zimbabwe.

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