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
UK headquartered powerhouse Wiggin is globally renowned for its superb all-round IP capabilities and has been making moves on the Belgian landscape by signing on major players from HOYNG ROKH MONEGIER - Carina Gommers and Carl De Meyer - in 2021. “Carina’s keen insight, great business sense and broad expertise make her an invaluable asset in conflict resolution”; while “Carl is both technically and theoretically outstanding”. “They are simply best in class and the way they think alongside their customers is amazing. They come up with the best solutions by getting into the nitty-gritty, but never lose sight of the bigger picture.” Of particular note is Gommers’ recent election as the European Communities Trademark Association’s second vice president – a testament to her standing in the community.
Gold - Firms: solicitors
Wiggin is recognised industry-wide as a trailblazer in the brand protection space. Its fast-growing group of 25 IP specialists dives head-first into trademark litigation, commercial IP tasks and – increasingly – online protection work. On the brand protection and prosecution side, key clients include Endemol Shine Group, Microsoft and Gucci; while on the contentious front, it has lately been enlisted by Netflix, Vans and the University of Oxford. Whatever the brief, clients are impressed: “Even in very complex cases, Wiggin delivers pragmatic and highly competent solutions. The team’s work is fast and reliable; and above all, they are really nice people.” “The firm is top-notch, providing excellent advice and work product, while displaying commercial flair. The approach is strategic and cost conscious, and there’s a clear focus on the client.” “They are the best trademark team in the UK in terms of filing strategies, protection, monitoring, licensing and litigation. They are confident when coordinating international litigation, and big brands are drawn in by their use of legal tech and expert business knowledge.” “They’re very good at thinking laterally and are collaborative, open-minded and great at deflecting tension and focusing on resolving the issue at hand.” Pulling the strings is IP head and president of AIPPI UK Sara Ashby, who has spent 25 years on her feet in venues such as the High Court, the Court of Appeal and the UKIPO and EUIPO. Non-standard IP disputes across sectors from fashion to engineering are her metier – this year saw her handle an action for Vans alongside newly appointed partner John Colbourn – “a great lawyer, an amazing mentor and the kind of person for whom everyone has respect”. With a complete command of trademarks and designs, he also has special know-how on parallel imports and exhaustion of rights. Also well versed in anti-counterfeiting issues is Simon Baggs – an online protection megastar in the United Kingdom, having founded INCOPRO, Wiggin’s affiliate technology company. This cutting-edge outfit uses image recognition technology and machine learning data analytics to defend more than 750 brands against internet infringement, and is rapidly expanding its influence through relationships with key IP firms globally. Another online protection boffin is Rachel Alexander, a capable crafter of enforcement stratagems and a worthy representative in high-profile litigation; she recently went out to bat for Netflix in a major dispute against EasyGroup. Also on deck is Gurminder Panesar, who manages myriad large trademark portfolios across Europe, having founded the firm’s in-house filing practice back in 2011. Commercial IP matters – including brand licensing and coexistence issues – are another forte; as an example, he has been assisting Endemol with a range of licensing and merchandising deals in relation to properties such as MasterChef and Mr Bean. Michael Browne similarly advises on the monetisation of trademarks through licensing, franchising and distribution agreements. He has also been involved in trademark and passing off disputes in the High Court, and has useful ancillary insight on related competition law issues. Completing the line-up in the WTR 1000 this year is IP doyenne Anna Carboni, whose trademark and copyright disputes work is the talk of the town: “Anna Carboni is justifiably respected – she’s a superstar in the industry. She’s very well known and is a fantastic practitioner and mentor.”