Twelve Tables Law Firm

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.

Bronze - Firms: prosecution and strategy

Twelve Tables Law Firm may be young – it was established in 2019 – but it is already storming its way into the prosecution table of the WTR 1000 this year, having added four new partners to its IP litigation and prosecution practice. Co-founder Hairuo Zhang wins praise for her “entrepreneurship spirit”. After a four-year battle, Zhang secured the final victory for US SeaWorld LLC against Australia Sea World LLC in trademark administrative lawsuits through her “efficiency and strong IP and trademark professional knowledge”. “Hairuo is a very experienced IP counsel. She not only provides professional advice based on her experience and knowledge in intellectual property, but she confidently guides clients through any ambiguity and uncertainty. She always delivers the best results possible, thinking out of the box and finding creative ways to handle cases.”

Firm Profile

Twelve Tables Law Firm is a boutique firm with a strong reputation in intellectual property and litigation in China. The firm’s partners are leading IP attorneys known for their expertise in IP-related matters in China. The firm has gained credibility in the legal market by handling cross-border and landmark IP litigations before major IP venues in China, including the Supreme Court. Some cases that our attorneys have litigated have had a deep impact in China, setting new standards in IP law and establishing the firm as one of the country’s leading IP firms. Our clients range from Fortune 500 companies and leading national entities to first-rate foreign law firms.


The firm’s attorneys have gained extensive experience working at top-tier international law firms, the China National IP Administration (CNIPA) and the Chinese courts; they boast excellent track records in representing clients in high-value court actions and office actions involving all types of intellectual property.

The firm’s founders Hairuo Zhang, Andy Xiang and Bob Jin, who used work at King & Wood Mallesons as IP litigators, make a brilliant trio. They have been named as leading trademark and patent professionals by WTR 1000 and IAM Patent 1000.

The patent team, led by Mr Xiang and Jin, also includes Yang Li, who has over 17 years of expertise in patent prosecution and litigation in technology areas such as telecommunication, and wired and wireless communication systems. Before joining the firm, Mr Li was deputy director and an examiner of the Patent Re-examination Board of CNIPA for 10 years. The patent team also includes Tao Jiang, who holds a PhD in biochemistry and has over 17 years of expertise in patent prosecution and litigation in biotechnology and pharmaceutical, among other areas. Before joining the firm, Dr Tao was deputy director and an examiner of the Patent Examination Cooperation Centre of CNIPA for 10 years. The team also is home to Shufa Zheng, who has a PhD in electrochemistry and over 12 years of expertise in patent litigation in telecommunication, pharmaceutical and chemical engineering fields. Before joining the firm, he practised IP law at the Patent Examination Cooperation Centre of CNIPA as a patent examiner and at King & Wood Mallesons as an attorney. In early 2020 the firm expanded its IP litigation and prosecution practice by hiring four new partners.

The firm has also deepened its resource in trademark prosecution and counselling by recruiting partner Ping Zhang. Ms Zhang had worked at Baker & McKenzie for nearly 10 years, where she was responsible for managing the trademark portfolio in China of numerous Fortune 500 companies.

Trademark litigation

Twelve Tables Law Firm’s trademark litigation practice is led by co-founder Hairuo Zhang, who has an exceptional track record of successful litigation. Ms Zhang has litigated over 100 complex and cross-border civil actions involving intellectual property of all types, and over 150 court appeals against CNIPA decisions. The Supreme Court of China listed three trademark and unfair competition suits that she won as ‘Representative IP Lawsuits of the Year’ in 2013, 2015 and 2016. Seven design patent infringement suits she successfully litigated for a leading European company were included in the White Paper released by the Shanghai IP Court on World IP Day 2020. The IP Committee of the China Bar Association recognised a trademark re-trial suit that she won before the Supreme People’s Court as one of the top 10 trademark cases of 2018.

Trademark prosecution and counselling

The firm’s attorneys have accumulated rich experience in trademark prosecution and domain name disputes by managing trademark portfolios for some of the world’s most recognisable brands. They are experienced in managing and analysing clients’ trademark portfolios and discovering the loopholes of clients’ IP rights. Working in close cooperation with the litigation team, our prosecution team is well equipped to build and exploit portfolios in a cost-effective manner.


  • Nominated as one of the leading IP firms by Asian Legal Business in the IP (patent) category in 2020 
  • Won two awards from China Business Law Journal’s 2020 China Business Law Awards in the following categories:
  • IP (Trademark)
  • Firms to watch
  • WTR 1000 ranked Ms Zhang among the leading trademark lawyers in 2018, 2019 and 2020
  • IAM Patent 1000 ranked the firm’s other co-founders Mr Xiang and Mr Jin among the world’s leading patent professionals in 2020

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