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.
Recommended - Firms: transactions
Silver - Firms: prosecution and strategy
Gold - Firms: enforcement and litigation
Striking the perfect balance between the sense of scale that comes with its status as the world’s sixth largest law firm and the “consistency, responsiveness and practical advice” associated with a boutique, CMS enjoyed another red-letter year in 2021. Highlights on the prosecution side include its management of the vast portfolios of industry titans such as Microsoft, the Crown Estate, BAE, Deliveroo and Sky; as well as its distinguished position as Nestlé’s preferred UK trademark counsel and Sainsbury’s global IP counsel. Meanwhile, contentious instructions have included representation of Booking.com in High Court proceedings against easyGroup; a pan-European injunction claim for Sky; a series of disputes for ITV in relation to properties such as Love Island; and a range of anti-counterfeiting work for UEFA. Things have been equally busy on the transactional front, with advice on a ground-breaking joint venture between Norwegian energy giant Equinor and BP just one disclosable highlight. Working across prosecution, litigation and transactions with equal finesse is Joel Vertes, who led on several of the above pieces, including the Equinor/BP deal and the Booking.com litigation. Versatile and commercially savvy, he has built up abundant client goodwill during his 20 years at CMS. The equally versatile Sarah Wright heads up the London trademarks team and brings special knowledge of design rights to the table; she has been key to both the Microsoft and Sainsbury’s briefs. On the latter, she collaborated with Sheffield-based Eleanor Merrett, who makes her debut in the WTR 1000 this year thanks to glowing client feedback: “We are delighted by her counsel and we take great comfort in the accuracy and depth of her insights.” Also popular with patrons is David Parrish, who “thinks outside the box and has a friendly, relaxed and professional manner”. A brand protection expert with a stellar track record in disputes, he provides comprehensive support to database management company Oracle. Similarly combining litigation prowess with brand protection expertise is solicitor-advocate Tom Scourfield, who co-heads the global IP group and is a top choice for issues in the consumer and retail sphere. He has been assisting Nestlé alongside colleague Kelly Saliger. A dual-qualified solicitor and trademark attorney, Saliger has been valiantly protecting trademark portfolios for the last decade, especially in the technology and media fields. She shares her know-how with the wider community through well-received contributions to the UK Trade Mark Handbook, and clients appreciate her “thorough IP knowledge and perfect organisation of complex cases”. Also acclaimed is fellow portfolio manager Louise Gellman, who was instrumental in the establishment of CMS’s Warsaw office and is reportedly “not only an excellent attorney, but also an engaging speaker and presenter who brings just the right amount of humour”. A new arrival is Ben Hitchens, fresh from leading the trademark practice at Locke Lord. The calm and collected adviser adroitly dispatches both prosecution and litigation mandates. Competitors are already taking note of his rise to power: “Ben is an extraordinarily talented lawyer and if he’s not already a superstar, he’s going to be one.” The firm deepened its bench in November 2021 with the hire of former Locke Lord practitioner Paolo Andreottola. The prosecution, portfolio management and oppositions expert is recommended without hesitation as an “excellent attorney who provides a superior service”.
Silver - Firms: solicitors
Long hailed for its transactional prowess, CMS has also become a potent player on the contentious front of late, thanks to the efforts of Neeraj Thomas. With both solicitors and trademark attorneys on deck, the Scottish IP team serves as a persuasive one-stop shop; while the firm’s sprawling international network ensures a seamless global service befitting of its worldwide client base. Thomas joined the practice in 2019 and has been busy assisting brand titans such as Disney and Nestlé, while also defending broadcaster ITV against infringement of its Love Island brand. “Neeraj is one of the leading trademark litigators in Scotland. He has in-depth knowledge of trademark law, but the real differentiating factors are his energy and commercial approach. He brings passion and energy when enforcing trademarks, but always has one eye on his clients’ commercial objectives”. Fronting the transactional arm is IP and technology lawyer Carina Healy, who has spent two decades getting IP-related contracts and deals inked. She has a special affinity for the needs of academic institutions, and counts the University of Glasgow, Dundee University and University College London among her clients.
Bronze - Firms: prosecution and strategy
Silver - Firms: enforcement and litigation
“A fantastic firm that is highly regarded for its practical approach to legal services”, CMS “considers business strategy from a global perspective” and utilises unique software tools to reduce costs and maximise efficiencies. Its “responsive, innovative and collaborative” practitioners receive floods of instructions across the trademark lifecycle for giants such as Microsoft, whose portfolio is ably managed by of counsel Alicja Zalewska-Orabona and senior associate Maciej Olejnik. Patrons value Zalewska-Orabona’s in-house experience and forward-thinking approach. “She is extremely creative and detail oriented; I am blown away by how much she can learn and retain, as well as apply, in order to become stronger outside counsel,” enthuses one happy client. “A genuine partner, Alicja has been instrumental in helping with our digital transformation. Overall, she is incredible – a dream to work with and at the top of her field.” The versatile Olejnik also wins rave reviews from patrons: “In my opinion, he is one of the best attorneys I have worked with in the last decade. He is patient and understanding, and provides accurate decisions.” Rounding off the line-up and leading the firm’s Central and Eastern European (CEE) IP group, Tomasz Koryzma ensures that brands are fully protected and keeps infringers at bay. As testament to his skillset, L’Oréal has chosen the outfit as its sole anti-counterfeiting counsel in Poland and Koryzma works closely with local customs officials and police to resolve any threats quickly and discreetly.
Bronze - Firms
CMS is supremely well connected across the continent and the Hungarian contingent is no exception. Drawing on seamless support from the firm’s international network, the IP group in Budapest makes light work of cross-border matters for clients wherever their location. It handles global trademark portfolios, coordinates multi-jurisdictional disputes and brokers lucrative transactions with a deft touch for the likes of eBay, Microsoft and Deutsche Telekom subsidiary Magyar Telekom. In recent years, all three clients have been ably assisted by Dóra Petrányi and Ágnes Sólyom. The “superlatively smart” Petrányi is most at home in the high-technology, telecommunications and life sciences fields; while Sólyom – who is 100% dedicated to IP issues – has made the IT and media sectors her own.
Bronze - Firms
A long-established resource for innovative companies, CMS Cameron McKenna never shies away from breaking new ground. It utilises the latest technologies, online platforms and artificial intelligence software to streamline its processes and maximise efficiencies; and has even launched the first open industry platform for lawyers focused on knowledge sharing. This collaborative approach is also exemplified in the IP team, with practitioners linking up with their corporate and regulatory colleagues to offer holistic solutions on tricky enforcement and commercialisation briefs. Heading up the commercial, regulatory and disputes division, Tomáš Matějovský is hailed by one peer as “an experienced and fantastic litigator – especially in the telecommunications industry. He is nothing but professional and extremely pleasant when on the other side of the table”. He recently prevailed for listed US food safety company Ecolab in proceedings at the Czech Industrial Property Office.