Twitter Logo Youtube Circle Icon LinkedIn Icon

The Legal 500 Hall of Fame Icon The Legal 500 Hall of Fame highlights individuals who have received constant praise by their clients for continued excellence. The Hall of Fame highlights, to clients, the law firm partners who are at the pinnacle of the profession. In the United Kingdon, the criteria for entry is to have been recognised by The Legal 500 as one of the elite leading lawyers for eight years. These partners are highlighted below and throughout the editorial.
Click here for more details

United Kingdom > London > TMT (technology, media and telecoms) > Intellectual property > Law firm and leading lawyer rankings



Index of tables

  1. Intellectual property
  2. Hall of Fame
  3. Leading individuals
  4. Next generation lawyers

Leading individuals

  1. 1

Who Represents Who

Find out which law firms are representing which Intellectual property clients in London using The Legal 500's new comprehensive database of law firm/client relationships. Instantly search over 925,000 relationships, including over 83,000 Fortune 500, 46,000 FTSE350 and 13,000 DAX 30 relationships globally. Access is free for in-house lawyers, and by subscription for law firms. For more information, contact


Bird & Bird LLP’s practice is ‘responsive, brief and commercial’, and acts for high-profile clients such as Dr. Reddy’s Laboratories and EE. Morag Macdonald, who is the firm’s international IP practice co-head, is renowned for her work on cross-border patent litigation; her clients include Baxter, Velocys and ConvaTec. The London IP team is led by Katharine Stephens and Robert Williams. Litigator Stephens handles patent, trade marks and design matters, most notably for Nokia and Philip Morris International. Patent litigator Williams acts for clients including BT, The Dow Chemical Company and Allergan. Peter Brownlow leads the trade mark, copyright and designs practice; he recently represented Merck KGaA in a trade mark and breach of contract claim against Merck, Sharp & Dohme. Jane Mutimear is a key name for IP disputes, handling work for clients including Nando’s and LloydsPharmacy. The ‘extremely personable, sharp and intelligent’ Phil Sherrell successfully acted for De Beers Group in a domain name dispute before the World Intellectual Property Organisation. Patent litigator Mark Hilton specialises in the life sciences sector, frequently acting for key client Actavis. Trade mark specialist Mark Holah is also noted and has advised clients including 7-Eleven, Fabergé, and Claire’s. Other key figures in the team include Tom Snaith, who focuses on transactional and commercial IP law, and former vice president and head of litigation at Nokia Richard Vary, who joined the firm in 2016. Recently promoted partner Ewan Grist specialises in cross-border patent litigation.

Bristows LLP’s team is ‘top of the field in all IP matters’. The firm has a highly diverse IP practice and focuses predominantly on the life sciences and TMT sectors. It is known for its ‘hands-on approach’, and its impressive client roster includes AstraZeneca, Novartis, and Samsung. Brian Cordery is ‘energetic’ and ‘hugely respected among clients, competitors, barristers and the judges’; he jointly heads the IP litigation team with Myles Jelf, who is ‘a leading light’ in the TMT sector. The team has ‘a wealth of experience’ in patent litigation, and includes ‘exceptionally able litigatorsRobert Burrows, who is ‘highly intelligent’ and ‘well- placed to handle complex and difficult litigation in the life science sector’, and the ‘extremely bright’ and ‘absolutely committed’ Andrew Bowler. Patent litigator Liz Cohen also specialises in life sciences, where her clients include Celltrion and Smith & Nephew. Matthew Warren, who is head of commercial IP, has particular expertise in emerging technology. Head of brands Paul Walsh, alongside Jeremy Blum, recently represented Mondelēz in opposing Nestlé’s application to the UK trade marks registry to register the four finger shape of the KitKat as a trade mark. Laura Anderson and Fiona Nicolson specialise in transactional IP.

Powell Gilbert LLP’s team is ‘absolutely superb in every way’ and its IP litigation practice acts for clients including Actavis, Sony and Illumina. High-profile cases include defending smartphone manufacturer Huawei in a patent case brought by Unwired Planet and Ericsson, and representing Actavis in a dispute with Warner-Lambert (Pfizer) pertaining to an alleged patent infringement. The group also acted for Biogen in litigation pertaining to a biosimilar for AbbVie’s prescription drug Humira. Practice head Penny Gilbert predominantly handles IP litigation and advisory work in the life sciences sector. Simon Ayrton specialises in IP dispute resolution, but also handles parallel import and repackaging, and anti-counterfeiting matters. IP litigator Zoe Butler is best known for her patent expertise, but also covers copyright, trade marks and design right matters. Ari Laakkonen, Tim Powell and Tim Whitfield are other names to note. Bethan Hopewell and Peter Damerell were recently promoted to partner.

Allen & Overy LLP recently transformed its practice, adding four new partners from Simmons & Simmons: Marc Döring, who is ‘a superb all-round litigator and a master tactician who has a complete understanding of patent litigation' and ‘a calm litigator’, fellow patent litigators Marjan Noor, who has considerable expertise in the life sciences sector, and Mark Heaney, who is a key name for clients in the technology sector, and trade mark and design expert David Stone, who is ‘a solicitor with the mind of a judge who is able to lead a large litigation team with great skill and tactical nous’. Stone represented Fox Entertainment Group in a high-profile trade mark case pertaining to the television series Glee. Patent litigator and practice head Nicola Dagg is ‘a fantastic rainmaker with a large following’; she and Mark Ridgway, whose ‘attention to detail is second to none’ and who focuses on contentious IP in the telecoms and pharmaceutical sectors, represented Warner-Lambert (a Pfizer company) in a dispute pertaining to the enforcement of a second medical use patent pertaining to the drug Lyrica. IP litigator Neville Cordell, alongside Dagg, are advising Regeneron Pharmaceuticals on its global enforcement strategy pertaining to its transgenic mouse technology, which includes representing the client in patent infringement proceedings before the Court of Appeal. Jim Ford leads on commercial IP, his clients include GlaxoSmithKline and Asahi Breweries.

Baker McKenzie has a diverse IP practice, which covers all aspects of IP. Practice head Michael Hart handles contentious and non-contentious matters, with a particular emphasis on copyright, designs, trade marks and trade secrets; his clients include HSBC and Sony. Ben Allgrove primarily focuses on regulatory and contentious issues, mainly relating to digital media; he acts for clients including Google, Hit Entertainment and Pinterest. Michelle Blunt heads the transactional and commercial IP practice. Hiroshi Sheraton specialises in patent litigation, mainly in the life sciences sector; he was part of a team handling several matters for Basilea Pharmaceutica, including advising on the exclusive licence of a drug product in certain jurisdictions to a pharmaceutical company, and assisting with the re-purchase of a product from a major pharmaceutical company. Paul Rawlinson, who serves as the global chair of the firm, leads on advice to Eli Lilly and Company on the client’s global anti-counterfeiting programme, recent work includes handling anti-counterfeiting actions for Elanco, Eli Lilly’s animal health company.

CMS’ team provides ‘excellent service in all areas’, and its recent three-way merger with Olswang LLP and Nabarro LLP has significantly boosted its capabilities. Tom Scourfield, who is ‘a fountain of knowledge’, recently represented Nestlé in opposition proceedings brought by Mondelēz pertaining to the client’s UK trade mark application to register the shape of a four finger KitKat. He also advises BT on the enforcement of its IP rights on its BT Sport channels, which has included developing an online and offline enforcement strategy. The ‘very professional’ and ‘knowledgeable’ Poonam Majithia, specialises in the sport, TMT and consumer products sectors. Guy Heath, who was formerly head of Nabarro LLP’s practice, focuses on IP transactions and trade mark law. Joel Barry, previously head of Olswang LLP’s IP practice, covers a wide range of IP matters, but is best known for his expertise in brand protection.

Gowling WLG’s team acts for various high-profile companies, including Dyson, Unilever, and Aston Martin. Highlights included advised Fujifilm Kyowa Kirin Biologics on clearing the way to launch a biosimilar to the Humira drug, which includes representing the client in litigation pertaining to the revocation of certain patents. Practice head Gordon Harris has particular expertise in patent disputes in the engineering and technology sectors. David Barron heads the technology patent litigation team; he led a team representing InterDigital in two high-profile patent disputes with Nokia. Patent litigator Alexandra Brodie, who has a particular focus on telecommunications technology, recently represented Marks & Spencer in pursuing a claim pertaining to an alleged patent and unregistered design right infringement against Asda regarding a school shirt cuff design.Nick Cunningham is an expert on copyright and patent disputes, specifically in the telecoms sector. Other key names include brands and designs expert John Coldham and Matt Harvey, who specialises in patent law disputes.

Herbert Smith Freehills LLP’s team, which consists primarily of individuals with engineering and scientific backgrounds, acts for clients including AbbVie and Unilever. Practice head Mark Shillito has core expertise in the life sciences sector. Joel Smith, who has a strong track record acting for clients in the media, technology and retail sectors, recently represented Sky in copyright infringement proceedings against publicans that broadcast Sky football on commercial premises through domestic viewing cards. Patent law specialist Sophie Rich is best known for her work in the pharmaceutical sector. Sebastian Moore, who also focuses on the pharmaceutical sector, recently acted for Gilead Sciences in multiple patent disputes with Idenix (now owned by Merck) concerning a hepatitis treatment drug. Patent law expert Andrew Moir focuses on the technology sector, and recently defended Unilever against a compensation claim brought by a former employee regarding inventions made during his employment. Complex patent law specialist Rebekah Gay recently joined from the firm’s Sydney office. Christopher Sharp joined Pinsent Masons LLP and David Wilson joined Carpmaels & Ransford LLP.

Hogan Lovells International LLP’s team stands out for its ‘strength’ and ‘depth’, and it handles all aspects of IP for an impressive list of clients including Mars, Merck Sharp & Dohme, and Vodafone. Patent litigator Stephen Bennett has a ‘sensible head on his shoulders’ and provides ‘practical’ and ‘sensible advice’. Daniel Brook is ‘technically very competent’ and ‘gets the ins and outs of even the most complex piece of patent litigation’. Paul Brown also focuses on patent litigation, mainly for medical devices and electronics clients. Trade mark and brand specialist Sahira Khwaja is ‘very knowledgeable’ and has ‘a particular eye for detail’. Trade mark expert Charlie Winckworth, who recently advised Ford on a number of technology projects, is ‘experienced with a strong client base’ and ‘works hard to achieve the right result for his clients’. Patent specialist Paul Brown focuses on the electronics and medical devices sector, and recently represented Vodafone in a fair, reasonable, and non-discriminatory terms licensing dispute with Intellectual Ventures. Sarah Turner specialises in trade secrets and transactions. ‘Excellent’ senior associate Anneka Dalton is ‘extremely thorough and clearly passionate about her work’ and associate Laura Whiting is ‘a no-nonsense litigator’.

Taylor Wessing LLP’s expertise in this space spans a number of sectors, but it is particularly strong in technology, media, pharmaceutical and consumer goods. The practice is led by Niri Shanmuganathan, who specialises in soft IP and has strong expertise in the media and publishing sector. Nigel Stoate heads up the patent litigation team, and focuses heavily on the life sciences and technology sectors. He represented Hospira / Pfizer in litigation pertaining to the launch of biosimilar drug Trastuzumab. Mark Owen is an expert in copyright, trade mark and design law, particularly in the media sector; he recently advised Casual Dining Group on the protection of its brand portfolio, which includes Bella Italia, Belgo and Café Rouge.

DLA Piper has a diverse IP practice and acts for high-profile clients such as Amazon and Lloyds Bank. Simon Levine, who is the global co-chief executive officer and managing partner of the firm, is well known for his work in contentious IP, particularly in the media, sport and technology sectors. The London team is led by Ruth Hoy, who also co-chairs the firm’s fashion team, has particular strengths in trade mark and copyright matters. Adam Cooke focuses primarily on litigation in the life sciences and technology sectors; he recently represented Novo Nordisk in a patent dispute against Regeneron. Soft IP specialist John Wilks specialises in the media, technology and sport sectors, and recently advised Emirates Airline on infringements and unauthorised use of the client’s brands, which included handling trade mark, copyright and domain name issues. He also advised British Airways and Unilever on IP strategies for exploiting and protecting commercially valuable data. Wilks, Simon Levine and Ruth Hoy, have handled various matters for the Premier League concerning the client’s copyright enforcement programme.

Fieldfisher has traditionally been best known for its soft IP expertise, but has recently strengthened its patent litigation practice with the additions of Diana Sternfeld, Nicole Jadeja and Rebecca Baines from Rouse IP Limited's patent litigation group. Sternfield brings ‘huge energy and commitment to every project’ and stands out for her ‘confidence’ and ‘prowess’ in the space. Nicole Jadeja is ‘astute’, ‘very good technically’, and ‘hardworking, responsive and extremely personable’. Recent highlights include representing GlaxoSmithKline in a patent litigation dispute with Pfizer regarding Meningitis B vaccines. Nick Rose leads the IP and technology litigation group; his recent work includes acting for the Karen Millen clothing retailer in a trade mark dispute with its founder and eponym Karen Millen. Leighton Cassidy, who heads the IP protection team, recently advised Dixons Carphone on its trade mark portfolio.

Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP’s practice works across a number of different areas. Avril Martindale focuses on IP transactions, and recently advised on AB InBev’s acquisition of SABMiller. Giles Pratt, who specialises in transactions, disputes and data privacy, recently represented the tobacco company JTI in its application for a judicial review of the government’s decision on plain packaging rules for certain tobacco products. He also advised Tesco on its sale of several of its businesses, including restaurant chain Giraffe, Dobbies Garden Centres and coffee shops Harris + Hoole. In another highlight, the team acted for Sony Pictures Entertainment in the European Commission’s investigation of pay-TV licensing arrangements between six major Hollywood studios and Sky.

Harbottle & Lewis LLP’s team is renowned for its work in the technology, media and entertainment sections, with clients including Invictus Games Foundation. Known for his particular expertise in the technology sector, Jeremy Morton is ‘an extremely skilled lawyer’, who stands out for his ‘swift turn around’ of work and ‘responsive’ approach. Shireen Peermohamed is known for her work in contentious IP, with experience in handling litigation and ADR. Other key figures include contentious IP expert Andy Millmore, broadcasting specialist Tony Ballard and trade mark expert Georgy Evans. Recent work highlights include handling trade mark and copyright matters for the estate of Sir Terry Pratchett, and advising Warpaint Cosmetics on its branding, packaging and product design. New clients include independent games publisher System 3 Software and the online messaging platform Emoticast.

Lewis Silkin LLP stands out for its ‘excellently integrated IP work’, particularly in the soft IP space. Giles Crown, who is ‘knowledgeable’, ‘pragmatic’, ‘proactive’ and ‘efficient’, focuses on trade marks, copyright and designs. It frequently handles high-profile matters, including advising Nissan on the use of its IP by Vote Leave and Business for Britain during the Brexit referendum campaign; the implication was that Nissan supported these organisations when it had not. Dispute resolution head Simon Chapman is a key name for the protection and enforcement of IP rights. Highlights included defending House of Fraser in a dispute with Jack Wills, pertaining to the pigeon logo associated with its Linea garments, which allegedly infringed upon the pheasant logo associated with Jack Wills.Jeremy Summers focuses primarily on the media, entertainment and sports sectors. Nick Walker handles contentious IP, particularly on copyright and trade mark matters. Jo Farmer heads the brands and IP practice, who recently advised (founded by on a wearable technology watch.

Linklaters LLP handles contentious and non-contentious IP, representing clients such as Johnson & Johnson, Intel and Novartis. Litigator Ian Karet, who heads the IP practice, is, according to one client, ‘the person you want in your corner if things become contentious’. He recently advised Nestlé on its agreement with PAI Partners to create Froneri, a new ice-cream, frozen food and chilled dairy company. He is also representing Merck & Co in a high-profile trade mark dispute with Merck KgaA. Richard Cumbley is the global head of TMT/IP and the transactional IP practice is led by Nemone Franks who is ‘hugely personable and brilliant to have on your side in negotiations’. Other key figures include IP litigator Nigel Jones and of counsel Yohan Liyanage, who acted for Johnson & Johnson in a patent revocation case brought by Eli Lilly concerning an antibody to treat Alzheimer’s disease. Associate Isabelle Guyot has ‘an amazing intellect’ and is ‘one to watch’.

Marks & Clerk Solicitors’s team covers all aspects of IP, and is particularly known for its ‘client-focused approach to litigation’ and ‘timely, proactive, focussed and effective’ advice. The group stands out for its ‘excellence’ at partner level, and level of ‘technical expertise’ at associate level. Practice head Mike Gilbert, is a key name for patent litigation in the life sciences sector, and is ‘great at client care’. The ‘very effective’ William Cook specialises in patent litigation and licensing and Graham Burnett-Hall is also a prominent patent litigator. Kirsten Gilbert heads the trade mark and brand protection practice, Michael Moore handles patent and design rights, most notably in the technology sector, Charlie Balme advises on patent disputes and trade mark and commercial IP matters and Dafydd Bevan is ‘very conscientious and hard-working’. Of counsel Vicky Butterworth is ‘an excellent lawyer’ and ‘a great team player’. John de Rohan-Truba is ‘bright, thoughtful and hard-working’, and fellow associate Chris Pratt is ‘good at technical matters’.

Mishcon de Reya LLP focuses on all aspects of IP, and has a strong reputation for its patent litigation work. Microsoft, Pfizer and Tesco are longstanding clients of the practice, while Sky and News Corp are new clients. Practice head Jeremy Hertzog, handles various IP matters; he recently represented Jack Willis in a dispute with House of Fraser concerning a pigeon logo on a clothing line. David Rose, who was a new arrival from King & Wood Mallesons, has a strong reputation for contentious matters. He recently defended Dr Reddy’s Laboratories in a patent infringement claim brought by Warner-Lambert / Pfizer regarding its second medical use patent for the epilepsy drug Pregabalin, and handled trade mark protection and enforcement issues for Sky. Other key names include Ray Black, Sally Britton, Lewis Cohen, Martyn Hann and Peter Nunn.

At Osborne Clarke LLP, the team covers a number of different areas of IP, and has gained a reputation for its cross-jurisdictional advice. The team recently received a significant boost, hiring four partners from Rouse IP Limited, including IP litigator Arty Rajendra, trade marks specialist Mark Foreman, senior associate Richard May and chartered trade mark attorney Leanne Gulliver. Clients include Facebook, the European Commission and Ubisoft, while Toni & Guy, Motorola and Hays are new clients. Practice head Lorna Brazell is conducting market analysis for the European Commission in a study pertaining to how IP laws affect data. Robert Guthrie joined from King & Wood Mallesons, and is known for his work in contentious IP. Nick Johnson focuses mainly on marketing and advertising law issues. Other key names include commercial transactions specialist Paul Gardner, life sciences and healthcare expert Janita Good and John Davidson-Kelly, who has particular expertise in content acquisition and licensing.

Pinsent Masons LLP has a multi-disciplinary IP practice that provides ‘high-quality’, ‘timely’ and ‘relevant’ advice. The team is led by the ‘phenomenally successfulClare Tunstall, who is noted for her patent litigation expertise. Iain Connor specialises in IP disputes, and recently represented Interflora in a keyword advertising dispute with Marks & Spencer. Adrian Murray heads the patent and trade mark attorney team and has ‘quality industry expertise’ in the pharmaceutical sector. Litigator Charlotte Weekes is ‘fantastic with clients’ and has ‘superb judgement’. Deborah Bould is known for her work handling patent disputes and Allistair Booth advises on transactions in the life sciences sector. Patent specialist Catherine Drew joined from Olswang LLP, and senior associate Christopher Sharp, who is ‘technically very sound’ and is ‘excellent to work with’, was a new arrival from Herbert Smith Freehills LLP. Associate Tamsin Cornwell is ‘extremely down to earth’ and ‘fantastic with the details of a case’.

Redd Solicitors LLP’s team focuses primarily on the retail, consumer goods and financial services sectors. Practice head Anna Carboni has a strong reputation for contentious soft IP matters, particularly in the life sciences, technology and retail sectors. Simon Chalkley has a strong track record in transactional IP, and considerable experience acting for fashion and luxury brand clients. Litigator Sara Ashby is also a key figure and Michael Browne, who was recently made partner, also has particular expertise in litigation. Associate director John Colbourn is experienced in litigation and soft IP and senior associate Victoria Gyles handles contentious and non-contentious matters regarding patent and trade mark law. The team recently acted for Gilead Sciences in a trade mark dispute with Taiwan Liposome Company concerning an anti-fungal drug containing amphotericin B in a liposomal preparation. The firm has also advised Gucci on trade mark registry matters before the UK’s IPO, and advised Microsoft on trade mark matters. *Following publication of the 2017 edition, the firm merged with Wiggin LLP.

Amazing on all fronts’, the group at Simmons & Simmons provides ‘Magic Circle advice at a much cheaper price’. The team is highly regarded for its work in the life sciences and technology sectors, and acts for clients including GlaxoSmithKline and Morgan Stanley. The practice is headed by patent litigator Rowan Freeland. Kevin Mooney is known for his expertise as a patent litigator in the life sciences sector. Michael Gavey also has considerable strength in the life sciences, most notably in patent and technology licensing; he recently advised the Institute of Cancer Research on the sale of a portion of the royalty entitlement for the sales of the drug Zytiga to Drug Royalty III. Patent litigator Scott Parker works closely with pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies and represented ViiV Healthcare in its high-profile dispute with Teva pertaining to anti-HIV drug Kivexa. Marc Döring, Mark Heaney, Marjan Noor and David Stone joined Allen & Overy LLP.

Arnold & Porter Kaye Scholer LLP’s team provides ‘clear’ and ‘practical’ advice. The practice is headed by transactions expert Richard Dickinson, patent litigator Christopher Stothers, who is ‘excellent’ and ‘easy to get along with’, and Michael Bywell, who was a new arrival from MinterEllisonRuddWatts in New Zealand. Stothers, who has considerable expertise in the life sciences sector, recently represented medical technology company Heraeus Medical in a trade secrets dispute with bone cement manufacturer Biomet, and also advised Karen Millen on restrictions to trading under her own name after selling off her eponymous brand in 2004. Other key names include technology-focused litigator Michael Bywell and associate Paul Abbott.

Carpmaels & Ransford LLP acts for clients including Biogen Idec and Crawford Healthcare. The ‘excellentJonathan Day heads the firm’s trade mark practice. Jake Marshall, who is head of transactions, recently advised Orphan Europe (part of the Recordati Group) on a patent licence and collaboration agreement pertaining to a drug candidate. Ian Kirby, who heads the disputes practice, is defending Align Technology in a claim brought by Your Smile Direct alleging infringements of multiple patents regarding teeth aligner technology. Patent litigator Camilla Balleny, who is ‘astute’ and ‘a delight to deal with’, handled a complex patent litigation case for Cubist. David Wilson, who is a new arrival from Herbert Smith Freehills LLP, is ‘an impressive litigator’ and has a ‘wonderful client manner’. Senior associate Sarah Johnson focuses on multi-jurisdictional litigation, and senior associate Jennifer Antcliff is particularly focused on the biotech and pharmaceutical sectors.

Charles Russell Speechlys LLP covers all aspects of IP law, acting for clients including Cadbury, Debenhams and Harcourt Developments. The IP practice is jointly headed by Mary Bagnall, who specialises in soft IP and has expertise in brand protection strategies for start-ups and acquisitions, and Ian Wood, who has significant experience in contentious IP and IP strategy implementation. He recently represented Deepak Nitrite in a patent revocation case relating to complex chemicals used for brightening/lightening paper, and acted for The Big Bus Company in a dispute with Ticketogo pertaining to an alleged patent infringement relating to ‘print at home’ ticket technology. Other recent highlights include acting for Stanley Dock Hotel and Titanic Trademark in a dispute over the name ‘Titanic’. Jennifer Pierce, who leads the commercialisation and transactional IP practice, recently advised on the sale of Inventive Medical, a wholly owned trading subsidiary of Uclh Charity. Kate O’Rourke, who heads the trade mark portfolio strategy and prosecution practice, is also noted.

Cooley (UK) LLP has a diverse IP practice. Team head Nick Bolter is known for his expertise in trade mark and designs; he recently represented Twitter in various disputes relating to its Periscope platform, and advised Timberland on the protection of its iconic wheat yellow boot. Life sciences patent specialist Colm Murphy was a new arrival from Venner Shipley LLP. Sarah Pearce focuses mainly on the technology sector, primarily handling transactions and Chris Coulter is a key name for technology and telecommunications transactions. Special counsel Claire Lehr, who is noted for her trade mark and design rights expertise, advised YouMedical (a subsidiary of Trimb Healthcare) on its trade mark of the word ‘wartie’ for body and skincare products. European and chartered patent attorney David Wraige is also a key figure. Tesla Motors is another client. Akash Sachdeva joined Keystone Law.

D Young & Co LLP has expertise in trade mark, patent and copyright law, particularly in contentious matters. The team acts for clients including Procter & Gamble, Johnson & Johnson, Rolex and Skechers. Ian Starr covers all aspects of IP, and is well-known for his work in the FMCG, broadcasting and pharmaceutical sectors. Richard Willoughby, who is a highly regarded patent litigator, recently acted for Takeda in an opposition against its patent for the type two diabetes drug Alogliptin. Antony Craggs is a recent arrival from Gowling WLG; his highlights include representing EVVA Sicherheitstechnologie in a patent infringement dispute with Fresh Collection concerning a key for a cylinder locking system pat, and acting for beauty products company Paris Presents in pursuing a claim against Lifestyle Products concerning the alleged infringed of its make-up brush designs. Trade mark and design specialist Tamsin Holman is also noted.

Dechert LLP has a strong track record handling contentious IP on an international scale. Highlights included representing Alibaba in IP disputes across various jurisdictions, and advising Thomas Cook on its international trade mark portfolio and the rebranding and launch of two new brands. Other work includes advising restaurant brand Dishoom on copyright, infringement and worldwide brand protection, and defending online retailer Asos in trade mark opposition proceedings brought by Roger Maier. Practice head Paul Kavanagh, who has a full-service IP practice, provides ‘commercially astute advice’. Senior associate Kate Norman has particular expertise in trade mark and IP transactions, most notably in the life sciences sector and senior associate Nathan Smith’s practice is going ‘from strength to strength’.

Dentons has an intentional practice that covers a wide range of IP issues. Clients include Virgin, Nokia and the Ministry of Defence. John Linneker, who is the practice co-head, has a strong track record handling contentious IP matters. Patent litigator Campbell Forsyth and patent prosecution expert Justin Hill were new arrivals from King & Wood Mallesons and Olswang LLP respectively. Forsyth acted for Resolution Chemicals in a dispute before the High Court, concerning Astra Zeneca’s drug Crestor, and represented Positec in a dispute with Husqvarna before the High Court; the court declared an infringement patent invalidity against Husqvarna. Andy Lucas is also noted.

EIP has made waves for its work in hi-tech patent litigation, and acts for clients including Unwired Planet, Visa Europe and Amgen. Practice head Gary Moss has ‘fantastic judgement’ and ‘can summarise even the most complex situation concisely’. Patent litigator Matt Jones has particular expertise in the technology sector, and is ‘sound on the technical details’. Robert Lundie Smith focuses on contentious and non-contentious IP matters and patent law expert Andrew Sharples focuses mainly on the life sciences sector. Recent highlights include acting for Unwired Planet in a dispute with Samsung and Huawei pertaining to the licensing of its telecoms patent portfolio, and acting for Clear Correct in patent infringement proceedings brought by Align Technology concerning four of Align’s patents. Other work includes acting for Immunex, a subsidiary of Amgen, pertaining to a claim brought by Aventis regarding the revocation of a patent owned by Immunex.

Jones Day has a broad international practice that has ‘a particularly good international angle on disputes’. The firm has a strong track record in the life sciences sector, working with companies such as Merck & Co in patent litigation. Other high-profile clients include American Apparel, and Wikimedia Foundation. ‘Superb’ practice head Alastair McCulloch is ‘technically very able’ and ‘a good tactician’; he recently represented Idenix Pharmaceuticals in a patent dispute with Gilead Sciences regarding a hepatitis C drug. He is also representing the Royal Academy in a dispute pertaining to opposition proceedings pertaining to the UK trade mark application ‘RA’; the case is currently at the appeal stage. Rebecca Swindells has significant experience in trade mark and copyright law.

Norton Rose Fulbright’s ‘commercially aware’ team has expertise in contentious and non-contentious IP; it acts for clients including Carlsberg and Orange. Mike Knapper heads the firm’s Europe, Middle East and Asia IP practice, and has particular expertise handling commercial arrangements. His recent work includes advising Reckitt Benckiser on acquiring the K-Y brand from Johnson & Johnson, and advising Permasense on the sale of its patented wireless corrosion monitoring technology. Jonathan Ball, who heads the London IP practice, specialises in big-ticket patent litigation, but recently compiled and filed applications for copyright registration in China for McLaren Racing. Huw Evans, who has a full-service IP practice, recently acted for Saab Seaeye in a patent litigation dispute regarding two key Atlas patents. Of counsel Clare Jackman specialises in trade mark law.

At RPC, the ‘client- and business-minded’ team predominantly handles trade mark and copyright litigation, and transactional matters. Practice head Jeremy Drew, who stands out for the ‘sharpness and clarity’ of his advice, acted for Louis Roederer in a trade mark infringement and passing off claim against J Garcia Carrión (JGC) concerning Cristal champagne and JGC’s Cristalino. Paul Joseph and David Cran are ‘excellent lawyers’, and have expertise in contentious and non-contentious IP matters. Paul Joseph recently defended Sports Direct against claims brought by Beverly Hills Polo Club alleging trade mark infringement and inducing breach of contract. David Cran recently defended The States of Jersey Development Company against a copyright infringement claim brought by Hopkins Architects. IP and technology litigator Ciara Cullen, who was recently made partner, advised Pernod Ricard on endorsements and brand ambassador contracts for its various brands. Other key figures include legal directors Ben Mark and Georgia Davis, and senior associates Henry Priestley and Louise Morgan. Google and the BBC are also clients.

Reed Smith LLP’s team is jointly headed by Gregor Pryor and Stephen Sessa.The ‘experienced’ Carolyn Pepper is ‘a very safe and comforting presence’. Michael Skrein, who is an expert in copyright, trade mark and trade secrets disputes, is representing the UK’s five major internet service providers in a trade mark test case; luxury group Richemont has brought an application to use the internet service providers’ IP address and URL blocking systems to prevent access to websites that allegedly infringed upon its brands. Jonathan Radcliffe heads the patent practice and is noted for his experience in the life sciences and technology sectors; Stephen Edwards is an expert in copyright, especially in issues relating to broadcasting; and senior associate Louise Berg specialises in soft IP matters.

Slaughter and May’s practice handles contentious and non-contentious IP issues. Highlights included advising GlaxoSmithKline on Galvani Bioelectronics, a joint venture with Verily Life Sciences (formerly Google Life Sciences), for the research and development of bioelectronic medicines, and assisting Acetlion with Johnson & Johnson’s offer to acquire the company. David Ives heads the practice and has particular expertise in commercial IP arrangements. Head of non-contentious IP Cathy Connolly acts for clients including Virgin, Rolls-Royce and Ineos. Susie Middlemiss, who also heads the firm’s contentious IP offering, is noted for her patent and technology expertise, and for handling IP litigation. Rob Sumroy is a key name for advising on major technology and telecoms integration agreements.

Squire Patton Boggs’s team stands out for its ‘business acumen’ and ‘very good advice’. The team is representing Process Components Limited in a dispute with a former licensee concerning infringement of copyright, industrial design and trade marks, and misuse of confidential information. Other work includes managing the trade mark and design rights portfolio for global footwear brand Clarks, homeware company Cath Kidston and music management and promotion company Live Nation. Carl Rohsler is best known for his litigation expertise but covers the full-spectrum of IP advice; he advised energy drinks company Carabao on its sponsorship deals with Reading FC and London Fashion Week. Practice head Andrew Wilkinson focuses on advising on the IP aspects of transactions; Robert Wegenek advises on commercial contracts, IP licensing, joint ventures and corporate governance, among others; and Florian Traub leads the firm’s European trade mark and designs practice, and is ‘highly responsive’ and ‘balances legal advice with the practicalities of businesses’.

The ‘excellent’ team at Stephenson Harwood has ‘superb legal skills’ and is ‘easy to deal with’. It has strong expertise in sectors including life sciences, retail and luxury, and oil and gas and acts for clients including GlaxoSmithKline, Cell Medica and Moët-Hennessy. The team is led by ‘formidable litigatorEifion Morris, who is known for his skillset in cross-border IP litigation. Alexandra Pygall handles commercial matters and litigation, and has ‘an excellent and commercial legal mind-set’. Peter Taylor handles contentious and non-contentious matters, but has a particular focus on litigation. Rob Jacob, who was recently promoted to the partnership, specialises in the life sciences and oil and gas sectors. Recent work include representing GlaxoSmithKline in a claim against Sandoz, a subsidiary of Novartis, which spans 30 countries. The firm also advised Lego on brand enforcement on copycat products.

Wiggin LLP’s team has a strong reputation for protecting IP rights online, and represents major media companies, including NBCUniversal and BBC Worldwide. Practice head Simon Baggs is adept at advising major film studios on actions to require internet service providers to block access that infringes copyrighted content. He and Rachel Alexander, who specialises in online IP, represented luxury group Richemont in a case against five UK internet service providers regarding the blocking of access to websites selling counterfeit goods. Alexander also represented PRS for Music in proceedings concerning the use of music in gaming machines, and acted for XL Media in a domain name dispute. Gurminder S. Panesar heads the brand management team, and recently worked with ad-tech business mporium Group on the IP regulatory aspects concerning its second-screen, mobile marketing solution.

WilmerHale’s practice was bolstered by the arrivals of highly regarded patent litigator Justin Watts and associate Matthew Shade, who joined from Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP. Recent work included acting for BMS in a patent dispute with Merck & Co concerning an anti-PD-1 immunotherapy cancer drug. IP litigator Anthony Trenton has particular expertise in patent litigation.

Addleshaw Goddard’s team is particularly active in the consumer and retail sector, with clients including Primark, Sainsbury’s and beverage company Diageo. Practice head Emma Armitage is a key name for brand and design disputes; she and managing associate Rachel Cook recently defended Primark in two separate copyright infringement disputes. David Engel specialises in online rights and reputation matters; recently promoted partner Georgina Powling focuses on contentious and non-contentious IP matters; and Damon Rosamond-Lanzetta specialises in complex commercial and IT transactions.

Baker Botts (UK) LLP’s practice head Neil Coulson has particular expertise in contentious IP – handling patent litigation and trade mark disputes – particularly in the oil and gas, chemicals and electronics sectors. He represents domestic and international clients, and has a particular focus on Russian matters.

Briffa is a full-service practice that has a strong reputation for working with fashion designers and product designers, as well as acting for SMEs and start-ups. Clients include The Aga Khan University, Fig & Bloom and Honeycomb Project Management. Margaret Briffa and Ralph Wehrle, who focus on contentious IP matters, are the practice co-heads.

Brandsmiths’ team handles a range of IP matters, from handling anti-piracy issues in the UK and across Europe for Microsoft, assisting with design right and trade mark infringement actions for automotive companies such as Rolls-Royce, BMW and Mini, through to handling the IP portfolios of well-known brands such as Ministry of Sound as well as up-and-coming names. Partner Adam Morallee primarily focuses on copyright and trade mark issues, and is ably assisted by senior associates Andrew Lee, who is noted for his expertise in complex trade mark and passing-off matters, and Rob Foote, whose track record covers a range of commercial agreements in the automotive, media and sports sectors. Recent highlights include advising Dee Management on its strategy for its new fashion business The Modist, and representing Beverly Hills Polo Club in a dispute with Sports Direct pertaining to alleged trade mark infringement. In another key mandate, Morallee, Lee and associate Hayley Griffin are representing DAKS Simpson Group in High Court trade mark infringement proceedings concerning the client’s DAKS trade mark and its check trade mark.

Brown Rudnick LLP’s team has notable expertise acting for clients in the luxury, retail and technology sectors, and clients include Clearcast, Lyst and Gina shoes. Alexander Carter-Silk is experienced in contentious and non-contentious issues, and senior associate Claire Blewett is a key name for disputes, particularly in the technology sector. Steven James is noted for his expertise in trade mark, patent and copyright matters. He recently advised the Consumers' Association and its brand ‘Which?’ on brand licensing matters for major projects and collaborations.

Browne Jacobson LLP’s practice is headed by Declan Cushley, who is a key name for trade mark matters. Alex Watt specialises in non-contentious commercial transactions, while the firm’s patent litigation practice was boosted by the recent addition of Kathleen Fox Murphy from Taylor Wessing LLP. Recent highlights include representing Ericsson, as co-counsel, in its dispute with Unwired Planet. The team is also acting for the London Taxi Corporation in pursuing infringement and passing off claims; the case is currently on appeal. The firm also works in partnership with patent and trade mark prosecution practice Barker Brettell LLP. Lloyds Bank is also a client.

Burges Salmon LLP’s team is a popular choice for US companies. Recent highlights include assisting Starbucks with UK and EU trade mark infringement matters and proving clearance advice on new brands, logos and slogans. The group assisted Victoria’s Secret with obtaining protections protection for its brands Pink and Bombshell, and advised Waitrose on IP licences in supplier relationships. The team handles brand protection matters for Harrods, which includes advising on trade mark infringements and issues with copyright and counterfeiting in the UK and internationally. Practice head Jeremy Dickerson is best known for handling contentious IP and Helen Scott-Lawler focuses primarily on transactional IP and commercial exploitation. At associate level, Emily Roberts and Georgina Shaw specialise in contentious IP, and Chris Morris is an expert in brand protection. The Discovery Channel is also a client.

Clifford Chance LLP has increased its ‘presence’ in this space, following the recent arrival of the ‘charming but tough’ Stephen Reese from Olswang LLP; he has considerable expertise in the life sciences sector and the ‘confidence to listen to views from the whole team’. Reese recently acted for Astex in a dispute with AstraZeneca regarding an Alzheimer’s drug’s clinical development. Brands specialist Vanessa Marsland, who focuses on the technology, media and consumer goods sectors, recently advised Mondeléz on the sale of various Australian brands, including Vegemite. Leigh Smith is experienced in handling soft IP, and fellow senior associate Anna Blest advises on transactional and contentious IP.

Clyde & Co LLP’s team is, according to one client, ‘one to watch over the next few years’. Recent highlights include defending the The Doctors Laboratory and TDL Genetics against patent infringement proceedings brought by Illumina and Sequenom. The team is also representing the AA in pursuing claims against several former, which includes alleged breach of confidence claims, copyright infringement proceedings and an application for an interim injunction. Practice head David Wilkinson has expertise in disputes and transactions; ‘excellent’ legal director Rebecca Costen is a key name for IP litigation and brand protection; and Ralph Cox is an ‘outstanding patent litigator’, who also handles trade mark and design rights disputes. Other key figures include legal director Don McCombie and senior associate Isabel Ost. Fameccanica is also a client.

Collyer Bristow LLP acts for clients from a range of sectors. Patrick Wheeler, who is an expert in soft IP, recently represented Nigel Wooley, as the owner of the trade mark ‘Henley’, in defending an invalidation claim before the EU General Court. Tim Bamford handles IP litigation and Karen Fong is experienced in the fashion and beauty sectors.

Edwin Coe LLP’s team provides ‘prompt and pragmatic’ advice. Simon Miles, who has expertise in both contentious and non-contentious IP work, and senior associate Karen Lee have ‘an excellent knowledge’ of trade mark law and provide ‘sound, practical advice’. Senior associate Charlie White is also noted. Recent highlights include advising The Copyrights Group and Paddington and Company on protecting the IP rights of brands including Paddington Bear, The Country Diary of an Edwardian Lady, Fungus the Bogeyman and Greenwich Polo Club. The firm also advised Silvergate Media on brand protection matters pertaining to the children’s book and television series Octonauts.

Eversheds Sutherland (International) LLP’s ‘excellent’ team provides ‘timely, well considered and pragmatic’ advice. Neil Mohring handles copyright, sponsorship and trade secret matters, and recently advised Apple Corps on the launch of The Beatles catalogue onto streaming platforms. The ‘excellentAndrew Terry has expertise in trade marks, copyright and sponsorship matters; he recently advised Coca-Cola on its advertising and sponsorship campaigns, and acted for Avon in an advertising dispute with Clarins. Patent litigator Adrian Toutoungi, who has a particular focus on the technology sector, advised BAE Systems on a new aerospace engine class called Sabre. Trade mark attorney Kate Ellis manages the trade mark portfolios of household brands, including John Lewis, Waitrose and Littlewoods.

Fox Williams LLP focuses primarily on the fashion and technology sectors, and acts for clients including Superdrug, Glanbia, Vivienne Westwood and Fenix. Simon Bennett, who is the practice co-head, recently represented Bebe Clothing in a dispute with Primark, regarding breach of confidence and copyright infringement claims. Co-head Stephen Sidkin specialises in cross-border trade mark and design licensing and Nigel Miller has notable expertise in new technologies, IT and data protection.

IP boutique Hansel Henson primarily handles soft IP matters. Name partners David Hansel and Tom Henson jointly head the team. Other key names include Justine Flockhart and associate Sarah Wells, who has notable expertise in copyright law. Recent highlights include providing brand protection advice to Future Games of London concerning its app Hungry Shark, and representing digital type foundry Berthold Types in a dispute pertaining to ‘free’ font websites that were infringing on its software. The group also assisted novelty gifts company NPW with clearing new product names and advised on products in development.

Howard Kennedy LLP’s team focuses on soft IP matters and predominantly acts for clients in the media, retail and arts sectors. Practice head Robert Lands handles commercial and contentious IP issues; Mark Stephens has notable expertise in contentious IP, and a particular focus on the arts and culture sector; and consultant Jonathan Sellors is experienced in copyright, design rights and trade marks issues. Associate Alex Meloy is also noted. Clients include Pandora, Bloomberg and the Tate.

Irwin Mitchell’s practice head Georgie Collins is ‘empathetic’ and ‘incredibly good at her job’. The group advises Capita on the protection, management and enforcement of its IP rights, consisting of over 650 trade marks, and serves as sole UK counsel for ImageRights. The Conan Doyle Estate is also a client.

Kemp Little LLP’s IP practice is ‘well informed’ and ‘practical’. The team is led by the ‘highly astute’ Paul Garland, who has ‘a strong commercial instinct’. IP litigator Rebecca Halford-Harrison is well known for her work in the life sciences and food technology sectors and Jeremy Harris handles contentious and non-contentious work for clients including Coca-Cola and Thomson Reuters. Mark Lewis joined the team from Penningtons Manches LLP, and has particular expertise in technology disputes. Sony and Ferrari are also clients.

Locke Lord LLP handles a wide range of IP matters. John Olsen has a strong track record handling trade mark matters and senior counsel Paolo Andreottola also specialises in trade mark law. Other key individuals include disputes associate Ellen Hughes-Jones and trade mark law associate Ben Hitchens. Associate Theresa Castle joined from Bird & Bird LLP.

Penningtons Manches LLP’s client list includes Levi Roots and AllSaints. Recent highlights include advising Leon Restaurants on licencing and franchising issues, and assisting RocketSpace, a technology incubator for Uber and Spotify, in expanding its presence in the UK. Anna Frankum, who primarily focuses on non-contentious IP, is ‘highly professional’ and ‘efficient’.

PriceWaterhouseCoopers Legal LLP’s team is led by Latika Sharma, who has notable experience in acting for early-stage and fast-growth businesses. The team is well known for advising on international IP licensing and transactions, and acts for clients including Bupa, Tantalum, Just Eat, Chemical Intelligence, Thunderhead, Hindawi Publishing Corporation and Su-N Technologies. Mark Lewis joined the firm Kemp Little LLP.

Stevens & Bolton LLP has a broad IP practice, handling trade mark, patent, copyright and design rights. Practice head Tom Lingard recently defended Bakkavor against a claim made by Kerry concerning the alleged misuse of confidential information in food processing. Charlotte Tillett acted for Acro Aircraft Seating in a patent dispute with Recaro Aircraft Seating, and advised fragrance company Puig on trade mark and licensing arrangements with Roja Dove. Gary Parnell, who focuses on IT, and licensing specialist Nicola Broadhurst are also noted.

TLT’s team covers a wide range of IP issues for clients including include Barclays and Merlin Entertainments. Practice head Nick Fenner has particular expertise in technology disputes. Daniel Lloyd joined the firm in 2016 from an in-house position with BT. Recent highlights include advising BGL on Compare the Market and its related brands, as well representing BT Sport in a dispute pertaining to the broadcasting of its TV channel without a license.

Waterfront Solicitors LLP is best known for handling IP disputes, and acts for clients including Kuhn Audureau and Hydro International. ‘First-rate litigatorPiers Strickland, who is ‘robust and tough when necessary’, and Matthew Harris are the practice co-heads. Associate Anna Ward is ‘a rising star’. Associate Lucy Marlow joined the team from Thomas Eggar LLP. Highlights included defending agrochemical company GAT Microencapsulation against contractual and misrepresentation claims made by agrochemical conglomerate Rotam, and representing Banijay Rights in a copyright infringement dispute regarding an international television format.

Wedlake Bell LLP’s clients include Tesco, Jaeger and Jumeirah Group. Practice head Michael Gardner represented Lacoste in successfully opposing Chanel’s application to registering the trade mark 11.12, and is acting for Which? in a dispute with the owners of Which Law pertaining to the alleged infringement of a trade mark. Adrian Heath-Saunders advised design consultancy PearsonLloyd on a design and royalty agreement with furniture design and manufacturing business Teknion. Jonathan Cornthwaite is assisting BJU International with the administration of an international portfolio of trade mark applications and registrations. Other key figures include senior associate Harry Jupp and associate Sarah Mountain, who specialise in contentious IP matters.

International comparative guides

Giving the in-house community greater insight to the law and regulations in different jurisdictions.

Select Practice Area

GC Diversity and Inclusion Report

In partnership with...

Interview with...

Law firm partners and practice heads explain how their firms are adapting to clients' changing needs

Press releases

The latest news direct from law firms. If you would like to submit press releases for your firm, send an email request to

Legal Developments in London for Intellectual property

Legal Developments in the UK

Legal Developments and updates from the leading lawyers in each jurisdiction. To contribute, send an email request to

Press Releases in the UK

The latest news direct from law firms. If you would like to submit press releases for your firm, send an email request to