Elise Menkhorst

Associate Partner at Clairfort Advocaten BV
Ranked in Benelux: Netherlands
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 - Individuals

Full-service commercial law firm Clairfort has a strong IP practice with a superb team of specialised attorneys, specifically Elise Menkhorst, Evert van Gelderen, and Tjibbe Fokkens. They exhibit the best qualities of a boutique – nimbleness, expertise and fair fees – but with the resources of a larger offering.” Making her debut in the WTR 1000 this year, “Elise is a shining example of someone who has a calling and is doing exactly what she loves and excels at. She is extremely knowledgeable and practical, but also critical when assessing the merits of a situation. She has the gift of simplifying even the most challenging topics.” “The go-to attorney for trademark-related issues in the Benelux, Evert is highly experienced and knowledgeable in national, European and international law. He is committed to his clients, pragmatic in his advice and a prudent negotiator.” “Tjibbe is an outstanding lawyer. Not only does he know all the tricks, but with his creativity, strategic sense and goal-oriented approach, he effortlessly adds value at the highest level.

Elise Menkhorst's Profile

Elise Menkhorst is an attorney at law who specialises in the fields of IP law, advertising law and commercial contracts governing IP rights.

Ms Menkhorst both advises and litigates in IP related matters, including matters regarding trademarks, designs, domain names, copyright, patents and unfair competition. She represents Dutch and international businesses in domestic and cross-border disputes. She especially enjoys working on the more complex matters. She will always try to find the best possible solution for the client – whether this is an amicable settlement or a legal proceeding in which the rights of the client need to be defended.

She also liaises with designers and businesses in order to optimally protect their rights and advises companies on issues relating to advertising law.

Ms Menkhorst further negotiates, drafts and assesses commercial contracts regarding the exploitation of IP rights such as licensing agreements, distribution agreements and cooperation agreements.

Ms Menkhorst has been working in IP law for over 15 years and was admitted to the Bar in 2010. She was one of the four lawyers that started Clairfort. She is an enthusiastic, accessible and highly motivated lawyer, dedicated to obtaining the best outcome for her clients with the aid of strategy and expertise.

She regularly lectures in her fields of expertise, including for the University of Leiden and for the yearly professional course of the BMM (Benelux Association for Trademark and Design Law). She is an editor of the BMM Bulletin, a professional journal about trademark and design law, and an active member of the BMM and the VvRr (Association for Advertising Law), among others.


Firm Profile

Clairfort is a firm of niches. Its teams of specialist lawyers have extensive experience in their own fields of expertise and offer specialist advice in those fields – including in the field of IP and advertising law. 

Specialised IP team

Clairfort’s IP lawyers provide their national and international clients with clear advice and practical solutions. The IP lawyers are professional and dedicated, but also approachable and responsive. They will always focus on the clients’ best interests. In addition, Clairfort’s IP lawyers familiarise themselves intimately with their clients’ businesses and invest in long-term relationships. As a result, they know exactly what interests are at stake. This makes them reliable sparring partners and enables them to always stand up for their clients’ rights.

Clairfort’s IP lawyers have broad experience in all aspects of IP and advertising law. They assist their clients in shaping, procuring, protecting and marketing their products, services and innovations. Not only do they have an eye for the legal complexities, but they also foresee the strategic and practical implications. This is one of the reasons their clients consider them to be  trusted advisers.

IP protection

Clairfort boasts expertise in all IP matters. It advises clients on strategies for the best possible protection of their products, services, innovations and know-how. In order to facilitate such protection, Clairfort works closely with specialised representatives such as trademark and design agents and patent agents.

IP exploitation and contracts

Clairfort’s IP lawyers also help their clients with the (worldwide) exploitation of products and services, for instance by negotiating and drafting commercial contracts such as licensing, distribution, franchising and agency agreements.

IP litigation

Clairfort further assists its clients in IP disputes by advising and litigating in (cross-border) IP infringement matters. These disputes often relate to trademark infringement, parallel trade or counterfeit products, but the IP team also frequently deals with conflicts regarding designs, trade names, domain names, copyright or breaches of licensing agreements.

Clairfort always aims to settle a matter satisfactorily out of court, but – if necessary –  its lawyers forcefully represent their clients in court to achieve the desired result. The firm’s IP lawyers are very skilled in handling (international) disputes, negotiating and conducting injunction proceedings before the civil courts, as well as administrative proceedings such as before the EUIPO.

Cross-border intellectual property

Clairfort understands the cross-border aspect of intellectual property very well. Not only does Clairfort assist Dutch and foreign clients in national and international matters, it also has a broad international network with which it closely works together on cross-border matters. In addition, Clairfort’s IP lawyers are active in the Benelux and international IP community.

Advertising law

The team of specialists working at Clairfort is highly experienced in the field of advertising law and the codes and rules that may apply in relation to specific product categories or services. Clairfort advises and litigates in situations pertaining to comparative advertising or use of trademarks or products in an advertisement, on arrangements with parties such as designers, advertising agencies or influencers and on the admissibility of certain advertisements.

IP areas of law

Clairfort’s IP team would be happy to discuss any questions you may have about:

  • trademark law;
  • copyright law;
  • patent law;
  • design rights;
  • trade name law;
  • advertising law;
  • domain names;
  • unfair competition;
  • portrait rights;
  • trade secrets;
  • parallel trade;
  • licensing and other commercial contracts;
  • cross-border distribution networks; and
  • any other IP issues.

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