Kirkland & Ellis LLP

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: enforcement and litigation

Silver - Firms: prosecution and strategy

Brand owners faced with the threat of major litigation would be wise to enlist the services of Kirkland & Ellis, which has unbeatable trial experience and a hit rate to match. Despite being frantically busy, the acclaimed team never drops the ball on anything, which is testament to the strong leadership of its senior lawyers and the industriousness and collaborative ethos of everyone on the team. The fulcrum around which the practice turns is the unstoppable Dale Cendali, a “tireless and tenacious litigator with unparalleled substantive knowledge”. She recently charted a path to an amicable resolution between client AXA Equitable Life Insurance and Equitable National Life Insurance following an intense battle over rights to the EQUITABLE mark. Many of her cases involve major discovery efforts that include multiple fact and expert witness depositions and extensive briefing, which is a measure of their complexity and significance to the parties involved – often competitors in tight industries. As another example, she is currently acting for Delta Air Lines against American Airlines concerning the latter’s five federal trademark registrations for marks containing the word ‘flagship’. Claudia Ray frequently collaborates with Cendali, forming a tailor-made strike force for prestigious clients, but has victories of her own to show for recent efforts – for example, she secured a vital win for Colson Group Holdings in a trademark and unfair competition litigation brought by competitor Caster Connection, freeing up her client to sell hundreds of thousands of dollars in inventory that the lawsuit had put a pause on. Both lawyers play a strong hand in the firm’s dynamic prosecution and strategic counselling practice, to which Johanna Schmitt also makes a vital contribution. All three handle clearance, prosecution, counselling and enforcement assignments for Colgate-Palmolive and Hill’s Pet Nutrition. Schmitt and Joshua Simmons are both recommended in the WTR 1000 for both prosecution and litigation, and as such are dexterous all-rounders. Simmons fulfils an important strategic role for many patrons, including textile design company F Schumacher & Co and GoodRx – the latter drawing on his comprehensive trademark, copyright and patent expertise.

Gold - Firms

Ms Claudia E Ray Ms Dale M Cendali & Ellis LLP (New York NY)

Bronze - Firms

For trademark and IP cases marked by deep complexities in their points of law or distinguished by virtue of their strategic value or the amount of dollars at stake, Kirkland & Ellis is an obvious choice. It has a superlative results record, which speaks to the strategic sagacity and trial nous of its lawyers. Robin McCue anchors the trademark practice in Chicago and fits the bill for large cases involving many experts, extensive evidence and complex damages issues, all of which she handles with the minimum of fuss and the maximum benefit.

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