Sarah Wright

Ranked in United Kingdom: England
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

Silver - Individuals: prosecution and strategy

Bronze - Individuals: enforcement and litigation

Recommended - Individuals: transactions

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 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 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”.   

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