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The sizeable team at Baker McKenzie retains a strong foothold in the Hong Kong and China IP markets, with clients appreciating its ‘very timely responses’ and ‘practical solutions’. The diverse client base includes leading names across the healthcare, retail and media sectors, among others, which continue to turn to the firm for sensitive and high-value dispute resolution. On the non-contentious side, recent instructions include advising on trade mark management and protection strategies, e-commerce issues, and distribution agreements. Elsewhere, Shih Yann Loo is advising a major player in the technology sector on matters relating to its copyright enforcement programmes. Loke-Khoon Tan leads the team, which also includes Maria Smith, who has a broad contentious and non-contentious IP practice, and Ruby Chan, who wins plaudits for her ‘close attention to detail’.

Internationally recognised’ in the IP space, Bird & Bird’s Hong Kong office continues to grow organically, most recently through the promotion of David Allison to partner in May 2016. The practice marks an increase in trade mark litigation; for one US-based global company, a cross-office team from Hong Kong and Beijing won numerous trade mark cases, and is currently representing the client in ongoing litigation that forms part of a large, worldwide trade mark dispute. In other work, a team, which includes practice head Matthew Laight and Ted Chwu, is currently advising the Hong Kong government on the review and reform of Hong Kong’s patent system. Healthcare and life sciences specialist Alison Wong is another key contact.

Providing ‘a very high-quality service and practical advice’, Deacons is a well-established name, thanks in part to its long history in the market. Among its key clients are Nestlé, 4M Industrial Development and Tsit Wing Coffee. For the latter, a cross-office team, led by Charmaine Koo (‘one of the best lawyers in town’) and Patsy Lau, won a case in the Court of Final Appeal involving a long-running trade mark dispute with TWG Tea. Rodney Goh’s recent workload includes acting for a large beauty products company in a multi-jurisdictional trade mark filing programme. Recent mandates for Vivian Poon include advising a company in the entertainment sector on trade mark management and registration in Hong Kong and Macau.

At Clifford Chance, highly regarded practice head Ling Ho advises well-known international companies on trade mark and brand portfolio management, and works alongside colleagues in the M&A department to handle the IP aspects of major corporate transactions. In one recent highlight, Ho and a team in Singapore advised Mondelez International on the proposed acquisition of a stake in Kinh Do Corporation. Senior associate Alice Tang is also recommended.

Hogan Lovells has a ‘fantastic’ practice across Greater China, which continues to receive instructions from its longstanding client base of retail, luxury brand and entertainment companies, while also winning several new clients. Highlights on the contentious side included Eugene Low’s successful representation of Tencent concerning the Uniform Domain-Name Dispute-Resolution Policy (UDRP) and more specifically, the domain name for WeChat. Other key contacts include ‘vastly experienced’ counsel Henry Wheare and Deanna Wong, who ‘is very good at understanding the business reality’.

The three-partner practice at Jones Day specialises in contentious IP, where it is regularly sought out by its broad Chinese and multinational client base. Haifeng Huang splits his time between the Hong Kong and Beijing offices; he is currently defending a client in the technology sector in a high-profile patent infringement case. Chiang Ling Li’s ‘knowledge of Mainland China and Hong Kong IP regulations, combined with her seasoned business sense, make her an invaluable adviser’. Anita Leung left the firm in 2016.

Under the leadership of highly recommended practice head Gabriela Kennedy, the ‘very professional’ team at Mayer Brown JSM saw significant expansion at associate level during 2015 and 2016. Other notable hires included counsel Xiaoyan Zhang from Hogan Lovells in New York. IP litigation remains a strength; Rosita Li and a multi-disciplinary team recently represented Sino Land in a trade mark and passing off case brought by Corinthia Hotels.

Rouse Legal Hong Kong maintains strong relationships with leading global brands, which turn to the firm for trade mark prosecution and portfolio management. Litigation also features; Adelaide Yu and senior associate Theresa Mak successfully represented a well-known company in the fashion and clothing sector in a trade mark opposition appeal at the High Court. Chris Vale heads the practice.

The well-established IP practice at Wilkinson & Grist fields eight partners, a large pool of associates, and patent and trade mark agents. Demonstrating its reputation in the market, the team was appointed by the Hong Kong government’s IP department to advise SMEs participating in the IP Managers Scheme. Andrea Fong is recommended.

DLA Piper’s cross-office IP practice in Hong Kong and the PRC sees it handling contentious and non-contentious matters for a solid client base of large multinationals including McDonald’s, Avon and ASOS. ‘Responsive’ practice head Edward Chatterton is noted for his ‘business-minded advice’. Registered foreign lawyer Ian Jebbitt is another key contact.

Dechert maintains a broad practice, with recent instructions spanning IP monetisation strategies, patent enforcement, trade mark infringement proceedings and corporate support. Lewis Ho leads the Hong Kong group, which leverages its strong offering in the PRC as well as the firm’s wider global platform.

With a strong international office network and a leading global client base, Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer’s Hong Kong team is regularly instructed to handle the complex IP aspects of cross-border transactions, and maintains a busy standalone IP practice. Among a raft of major work highlights was Richard Bird’s recent representation of a multinational company in the automotive sector in patent infringement proceedings brought by a PRC company.

The ‘professional and responsive’ IP practice at Norton Rose Fulbright is active in cross-border matters; in one recent highlight, it advised Crown Worldwide on its trade mark portfolio across 70 jurisdictions. 2015 and 2016 also saw the team acting for numerous clients in patent disputes. High praise is levelled at practice head Justin Davidson.

IP remains a key area of focus at independent Hong Kong firm Oldham, Li & Nie. Its client base includes numerous well-known brands and luxury goods companies, though the roster also extends to the financial services, and media and entertainment sectors. Practice head Vera Sung is ‘responsive and clear in her advice’.

Providing ‘wide and in-depth IP knowledge’ and ‘practical solutions’, the team at Reed Smith Richards Butler has a broad contentious and non-contentious practice. The ‘very capable’ Steven Birt heads the department, which is regularly instructed by well-known global brands for assistance with trade mark, design and copyright issues in Hong Kong and the region.

The team at Stephenson Harwood impresses with its ‘prompt replies’, ‘practical advice’ and ‘reasonable fees’. It receives instructions across the full gamut of IP law and often handles mandates with cross-border elements. The team is led by the ‘very experiencedJezamine Fewins, considered by some to be ‘one of Hong Kong’s finest lawyers’.

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