Ashurst

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.

Silver - Firms: enforcement and litigation

Silver - Firms: prosecution and strategy

Ashurst provides “one of the best IP practices in the country”. As one source enthuses: “Drawing on its bench of extremely well-trained, knowledgeable and diligent professionals, the firm puts teams together with care and a strong focus on the skills and experience required to drive optimal outcomes. The firm’s lawyers have a keen appreciation of long-term strategy and demonstrate great tactical acumen in their work, striking the right balance between legal and commercial considerations.” Collectively, it manages an astounding 30,000 brands. On top of this, it leads critical litigation campaigns, is heavily involved in IP policy development at the governmental level and hosts a large number of essential educative events. Excelling as head of the IP and media team – a post she took up in late 2020 – Anita Cade keeps the group firing on all cylinders. She shines as a litigator, strategic counsellor and commercial IP lawyer, often fulfilling all three roles for brands such as Woolworths, for which she has recently completed an audit of its entire global trademark portfolio. Demonstrating similarly impressive versatility, Lisa Ritson has a prestigious following of her own, including the Sydney Opera House Trust. As a litigator, she deftly wins courtroom battles, while also applying her commercial focus in order to bring about an early resolution. Kellech Smith stands out with the depth of her IP knowledge, which spans all categories of intangible rights. As a brand expert, she is the favourite for names such as Crown Resorts – Australia’s largest gaming and entertainment group to manage its global portfolio and handle infringement matters in many jurisdictions. Completing the WTR 1000 rankings is newcomer Stuart D’Aloisio, who supervises a wide range of services, including anti-counterfeiting for Rolex. Much like Smith, he brings patent and trademark expertise to the table, which makes him a great match for those with diverse portfolios.

Silver - Firms: enforcement and litigation

Any instruction that comes Ashurst’s way is dealt with “professionally and swiftly”: “No issue is too big for the team to take on and they are great at educating clients on the steps necessary to achieve their commercial goals.” The IP group has been growing in both workload and esteem in recent years, thanks to the leadership of astute strategist and litigator David Wilkinson. “Responsive, concise in his advice and commercial in the way he approaches issues”, Wilkinson “suggests practical ways to handle matters and takes into account any cost sensitivities”. The solicitor-advocate has recently been assisting Teach First with portfolio management; brokering branding collaborations for the likes of Google; representing General Nuclear System Ltd in a trademark infringement and passing-off dispute; and advising on the IP aspects of asset sales following Thomas Cook’s entry into administration. The latter was a complex, high-profile project that involved the sale of over 20 IP and IT assets – including trademarks, domain names, Microsoft licences and IP addresses – to a range of different parties. Also acting on this brief was counsel Don McCombie, a master of IP exploitation and a smooth negotiator of IP-related deals. Alongside Wilkinson, he has been advising McLaren Group on the investment in McLaren Racing by MSP Sports Capital – a multi-disciplinary mandate which drew resources from across the full breadth of Ashurst’s commercial law practice.

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