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Browne Jacobson LLP is recommended for contentious IP matters such as patent, design right and registered design infringement claims, particularly those posing risk of reputational damage. The group also manages trade mark portfolios and provides ongoing transactional advice to its diverse client base, spanning multiple sectors and including The National Trust, OSI Systems, Lloyds Bank Group, Kennametal and Mace Group. Mark Snelgrove was part of a team acting for LVMH brand Moët Hennessy in a trade mark and passing off claim against Polistas pertaining to the use of Veuve Clicquot trade marks. Work highlights also included representing a major company in a cross-border trade mark dispute and advising a fashion retailer on preventing its competitor from distributing a counterfeit product in breach of design rights. Paula Dumbill is another name to note, as is Selina Hinchliffe, who joined from Eversheds Sutherland (International) LLP. Richard Roberts left for Potter Clarkson LLP

The level of service at Eversheds Sutherland (International) LLP is ‘faultless’; the ‘excellent’ team ‘responds quickly and accurately’ and combines ‘well-researched advice, informed by its fantastic industry knowledge’, with ‘worldwide reach’. The client base includes Gala Leisure, Rolls-Royce and Kidney Research UK. Practice head James Fry provides ‘excellent pragmatic support’, particularly in non-contentious work for clients in the education, life sciences, industrial and technology sectors; he is managing contractual work for Loughborough University and advised the client on its licensing agreements with international companies. In other work, the group is drafting and negotiating collaborative agreements pertaining to research and development of National Grid, and managing Mary Quant’s trade mark portfolio as well as assisting the client with ongoing IP issues globally. Aberystwyth University continues to instruct the team on IP licensing and agreements related to its research collaborations. Selina Hinchliffe recently joined Browne Jacobson LLP.

Howes Percival LLP’s team ‘punches above its weight’, assisting retailers, designers, technology companies, educational institutions and food manufacturers with contentious and non-contentious IP work. Practice head Matthew Talbot is supported by Hannah Steggles. The group is representing Universal Garmets in a case against Poundstretcher and Poundstretcher’s suppliers relating design right infringement and other IP claims, and advising Shoe Zone on various trade mark and passing off matters. It also manages Just Hype’s entire trade mark portfolio and its filing of trade mark applications worldwide. Leicester University, Asiana, AE Rodda & Son, Zatchels and Charles Martell & Sons are also clients.

Nelsons Solicitors Limited’s team ‘fights hard without losing sight of the client’s best interests’. Praised for its ‘acute perception of the nuances of litigation’, the contentious side of the practice includes Stewart Vandermark. The team acted for a global textile company in a copyright dispute against an international retailer and assisted a corporate client with confidential data misappropriation claim against a former employee. On the non-contentious side, Jim Carter is supported by ‘brilliant’ associate Emma Ward. Highlights included handling store licensing agreements for a global brand, managing promotional and retail agreements for a manufacturing company and advising a design consultancy firm on its contractual framework for the supply of services abroad. Karen Harrison left for Knights Professional Services Limited and Nick McDonald joined Potter Clarkson LLP.

Shakespeare Martineau LLP’s ‘friendly and approachable’ team is a ‘solid’ choice for contentious and non-contentious IP work. Ed Wright is advising roadtohealth on IP agreements with RGA Atlantic Reinsurance Company, while Martin Noble is defending Darlington Building Society against claims of trade mark infringement and passing off filed by a firm of solicitors in the Intellectual Property Enterprise Court. Noble also acted for the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales, in obtaining an injunction against its former member preventing the defendant from using the Institute’s logo and ‘chartered’ status. In other work highlights, the group represented three individual patent holders in patent infringement proceedings brought against a competitor; the case settled before proceeding to the Court of Appeal.

The ‘proactive’ team at Spearing Waite LLP displays a ‘high level of precision, punctuality and in-depth industry knowledge’. The group provides ongoing support to Manike Music on matters ranging from publishing agreements to rights clearance issues, and assisted Menat Holdings with developing an international trade mark strategy for two of its brands, which involved filing applications and oppositions in over 30 jurisdictions. Other highlights included defending Truly Sumptuous Sweetz and Treatz in trade mark opposition proceedings brought by Gartona. The client base also includes Leicester Tigers, Media Archive for Central England, National Space Centre and Enzien Audio. The ‘brilliantJohn Buckbyidentifies and manages the risks before the opposing party notices them as opportunities’. Ian Thomson joined from Geldards LLP.

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