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For some, Bird & Bird LLP is ‘the premier patent litigation firm; it has the deepest bench of skilled patent litigators of all the European firms’. It supplements this patent expertise with ‘an excellent’ trade mark practice; recent highlights include successfully representing Mattel in a trade mark infringement and passing-off case before the Court of Appeal against Zynga relating to Mattel’s SCRABBLE brand. Key figures include Jane Mutimear, who is ‘a great case leader’; Mark Holah, who for some is ‘the best trade mark lawyer in London’; and ‘pragmatic’ practitioners Peter Brownlow, Mark Hilton, Morag Macdonald, Tom Snaith, Robert Williams and Patrick Kelleher.

Bristows LLP’s respected team features a number of ‘premier division’ practitioners, including the ‘hugely knowledgeableBrian Cordery; James Boon, who has ‘a lot of fighting spirit’ and is defending PGS in a patent infringement claim brought by Electromagnetic Geo Services; Liz Cohen and Dominic Adair, who represented Celltrion Healthcare to revoke three European and UK patents related to the use of a chimeric CD20 antibody; and IP litigation specialist Theo Savvides. Matthew Warren, Andrew Bowler and Myles Jelf are also praised for their ‘commercial awareness and technical ability’.

Powell Gilbert LLP demonstrated its reputation in the patent space by defending Huawei in a patent action by Unwired Planet International concerning 3G and 4G technology. Tim Powell has ‘a deep understanding of patent law’ and led the team representing Actavis against Pfizer in a case concerning the use of the active ingredient in Pfizer’s blockbuster drug Lyrica. On the trade mark front, Simon Ayrton acted for Cambridge University in an IPEC dispute regarding the licensing of its trade mark. Other key figures within the well-established team include Penny Gilbert, Zoë Butler, Alex Wilson and Ari Laakkonen, who are ‘extremely thorough and tenacious litigators’.

Allen & Overy LLP handles big-ticket matters in the patent field, advising on both litigation and IP-rich corporate transactions for clients including Novartis, Virgin Media, McDonald’s and Imperial Tobacco. IP litigation head Nicola Dagg is ‘a very bright, courageous and experienced litigator with an international reputation’. She is ably supported by IP litigators Mark Ridgway and Neville Cordell. Head of commercial IP Jim Ford can ‘disentangle the most challenging of commercial IP issues and produce workable solutions’.

Singled out for its cross-border capabilities and its impressive global footprint, Baker McKenzie LLP’s practice acts for an impressive client base of global household names in a broad range of sectors. IT and software copyright specialist Ben Allgrove acted for Virgin Media in its role as intervener in ITV v TVCatchup, regarding the compatibility of the Copyright Designs and Patent Act 1988 with European law. Hiroshi Sheraton focuses on advising life sciences sector clients on patent strategy, transactions and litigation. Managing partner Michael Hart heads the IP practice, which includes commercial IP partner Michelle Blunt and head of trade marks Jessica Le Gros.

Gowling WLG handles both patent litigation and IP-related commercial transactions. Gordon Harris leads the team, which includes David Barron, who is advising SSH Communications Security on its claim for patent infringement against Sony in the Patent Court; Paul Inman, who advised Coloplast in its High Court action against MacGregor Healthcare for infringement of a patent for a hydrophilic coated intermittent catheter; and Nick Cunningham and Alexandra Brodie, who have ‘huge IP experience and are excellent with clients’.

Herbert Smith Freehills LLP is praised for its ‘attention to client needs and requests, and for its well-tailored advice’. The practice, led by the global head of IP Mark Shillito, is particularly experienced in coordinating multi-jurisdictional parallel proceedings. In a recent highlight, Sebastian Moore (who is noted for his ‘second-to-none client-handling skills’) successfully defended Gilead in a patent infringement case brought by Idenix and a counterclaim for revocation of Idenix's European patent. Also recommended is Sarah Burke, who is ‘very calm throughout, despite high pressure and tight timescales’; Joel Smith, who is recommended in the trade mark space; life sciences specialist Sophie Rich; and patent expert Andrew Moir.

Hogan Lovells International LLP attracts praise for its ‘in-depth team, which can respond rapidly and knowledgeably to any enquiry’. It is primarily known for its particular expertise in the life sciences and telecoms sectors, representing clients including Lilly, Merck Sharp & Dohme, HTC and Amazon. Practice head Stephen Bennett is ‘a real talent, with a practical and commercial approach’, and Paul Brown is ‘hugely experienced in telecoms and medical devices’. Life sciences specialist Daniel Brook and trade mark practitioner Charlie Winckworth are also highly recommended.

Olswang LLP remains prominent in both hard and soft IP matters. Highlights included defending Sandoz in a preliminary injunction application by Pfizer, and acting for Sky in the NowTV case before the Supreme Court. Joel Barry heads the 24-partner team, which includes Michael Burdon, Gareth Morgan, Robert Stephen and Sarah Wright.

Marc Döring’s* team at Simmons & Simmons has extensive experience litigating patents before the national courts and assisting with cases before the EPO. It represented ViiV Healthcare in litigation against Teva relating to the patent and supplementary protection certificate for its anti-HIV drug, Kivexa. Patent litigator Marjan Noor* acted for Eli Lilly in patent litigation against Sanofi regarding the components of insulin pen injector devices, and acted for the same client against Actavis concerning Eli Lilly’s patent for atomoxetine. The recruitment of the ‘diligent’ Mark Heaney* in October 2015 has bolstered the practice’s electronics and telecoms sector capabilities. *Since publication, Marc Döring, Mark Heaney and Marjan Noor have joined *Allen & Overy LLP.

Taylor Wessing LLP’s ‘extremely impressive’ team regularly handles high-profile patent litigation. Nigel Stoate and Simon Cohen acted for Abbott Laboratories in UK patent revocation proceedings against Ethicon and Cordis Corporation, as well as on concurrent EPO opposition proceedings. James Marshall, Charles Lloyd and Roland Mallinson are ‘standout practitioners’.

At DLA Piper, Ruth Hoy is advising Hermès International on its brand protection and trade mark infringement issues. The ‘technically strong’ Adam Cooke is acting for Novo Nordisk on patent infringement and validity litigation concerning transgenic mice used for the creation of human monoclonal antibodies. Claire Bennett focuses on patent disputes in the technology sector. Other clients include FA Premier League, Avon and Virgin Atlantic.

Fieldfisher handles a broad range of soft IP mandates, and its team, which is led by Nick Rose, ‘has its ear very close to the ground on current market practice’. The team expanded with the arrivals of patent litigators Diana Sternfeld, Nicole Jadeja and Rebecca Baines from Rouse Legal in April 2016. Leighton Cassidy has ‘an excellent grasp of the commercial needs of his clients’. Recent work includes defending a patent infringement claim, management of international trade mark portfolios for household names, and online copyright trade mark infringement disputes.

Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP is praised for its ‘deep appreciation of the business and science surrounding patent litigation’. The team handles a significant amount of IP-driven transactional work; recent highlights include advising The Blackstone Group on the sale of Center Parcs in a dual track negotiation, and London Stock Exchange Group on the sale of its Russell Investments asset management business. Within the team, Justin Watts is singled out for his ‘vast experience in patent litigation’; Giles Pratt has ‘an impressive knowledge of trade mark law’; and Matthew Shade combines ‘acute nous, commercial instinct, grasp of detail, and strategic insight’.

Clients of Harbottle & Lewis LLP appreciate its ‘depth of industry knowledge, particularly in the technology, media and entertainment sectors’. Recent instructions include defending in a High Court trade mark and unregistered design right claim, acting in a patent licensing matter related to software and the internet, and assisting with a trade mark infringement claim. Key figures include ‘knowledgeable and tenacious’ contentious IP specialist Andy Millmore, and Jeremy Morton and Shireen Peermohamed, who are ‘commercial and pragmatic’.

In an illustration of Lewis Silkin LLP’s strong reputation in the trade mark space, the ‘knowledgeable and thoroughSimon Chapman acted for Lush in its dispute with Amazon concerning the use of “lush” as a Google Adword. Giles Crown handles copyright, design and trade mark litigation, and is defending BT in a trade mark infringement claim in the High Court brought by Virgin Media. Commercial IP specialist Jeremy Summers is also recommended.

In an illustration of Linklaters LLP’s strong financial services expertise, the ‘pragmatic and practicalIan Karet acted for Bank Leumi in a software licensing dispute with Micro Focus involving copyright infringement and breach of contract. On the transactional side, Nemone Franks advised Hutchinson Whampoa on the IP aspects of its acquisition of the O2 mobile telecoms business in the UK from Telefónica.

Marks & Clerk Solicitors leverages its strong patent and trade mark attorney practice to provide ‘a very good interface between prosecution and litigation’. Mike Gilbert continued to act for Genentech in three separate proceedings brought by Hospira concerning six Genentech patents for its blockbuster drug, Herceptin. The practice is also acting for Jägermeister in the enforcement of its trade mark rights against various infringers. Other key figures on the patent side include Charlie Balme, William Cook and Graham Burnett-Hall, and for trade marks, Kirsten Gilbert has an excellent reputation.

Mishcon de Reya LLP expanded its practice with the recruitment of David Rose from King & Wood Mallesons in April 2016. The team has a strong trade mark and brand litigation practice, and regularly acts for clients in the fashion and retail industry. Practice head Jeremy Hertzog (who is noted for his ‘sharp analytical mind’) successfully acted for Jack Wills in a trade mark infringement and passing-off dispute with House of Fraser. Lewis Cohen, Sally Britton and Martyn Hann are also recommended.

Pinsent Masons LLP has a formidable reputation in representing generic pharmaceuticals companies; in a recent highlight, Clare Tunstall and Charlotte Weekes acted for Teva in proceedings to invalidate Boehringer’s patent for Spiriva. Adrian Murray represented Actavis in European patent opposition proceedings as well as associated High Court litigation, and Iain Connor continues to advise Interflora on its keyword advertising dispute with Marks & Spencer.

At Redd, Anna Carboni acted for Gucci in a global trade mark dispute with Gerry Weber International AG. Sara Ashby and Simon Chalkley are ‘excellent’ in handling litigation and non-contentious work, respectively. Ashby is advising a pharmaceutical company in relation to trade mark infringement matters concerning parallel imports within the EU. Rebecca Lawrence joined from Powell Gilbert LLP in September 2015.

At Arnold & Porter (UK) LLP, Christopher Stothers and Richard Dickinson focus on IP litigation and transactional IP, respectively. Stothers defended AstraZeneca in a case concerning a European patent for a specific medical use of its blockbuster combination asthma inhaler, and in infringement proceedings against Teva’s generic equivalent. Michael Bywell joined from Minter Ellison Rudd Watts in February 2016 and has particular experience in the technology area.

Berwin Leighton Paisner LLP’s team is defending Fraser-Nash Research and Ecotive in claims regarding the trade mark infringement of the shape of LTC’s classic London taxi designs. Other clients include the Financial Times, Monsoon Accessorize and Rocco Forte Hotels. The practice is led by Simon Clark and includes Ian Gruselle, Ian de Freitas and Toby Headdon, who are ‘immensely hardworking and imaginative lawyers’.

CMS has a strong client following in the consumer products, TMT and life sciences sectors. Tom Scourfield acted for ISG Construction in High Court proceedings brought against it by Claridge Architects in respect of the alleged infringement of the claimant’s copyright over a number of architectural drawings. Susan Barty is another name to note.

Carpmaels & Ransford LLP continues to expand its ‘young but growing’ IP practice, recruiting pharmaceutical and biotech patent specialist David Wilson from Herbert Smith Freehills LLP in January 2016, as well as two senior associates. Camilla Balleny and Ian Kirby are ‘extremely astute, especially in the pharmaceutical area’. Kirby is defending Crawford Healthcare in High Court patent infringement and trade mark infringement proceedings and parallel EPO opposition proceedings.

Charles Russell Speechlys LLP has a tremendous record in trade mark litigation; Mary Bagnall has ‘an up-to-date knowledge of the intricacies of trade mark law’ and ‘a fantastic eye for detail’. Bagnall continues to represent Cadbury in the protection of “Cadbury Purple”. Practice head Ian Wood advised Sandvik on potential claims for patent infringement against Crusher Manganese Steels. Jonathan Radcliffe joined Reed Smith LLP in May 2016.

Cooley (UK) LLP has particular expertise in the technology and life sciences space, acting for a number of industry leaders including Twitter, Nikon Europe and Forex Capital Markets. Recent instructions include domain names dispute, patent infringement claims and IP licensing rights. Key figures include Nick Bolter, who focuses on trade marks and designs; Akash Sachdeva; and life sciences patent partner Colm Murphy, who joined from Venner Shipley LLP in May 2016.

At D Young & Co LLP, Tamsin Holman and Ian Starr acted in design litigation for Skechers relating to a number of products sold by leading supermarket chains. Johnson & Johnson, PepsiCo international, Procter & Gamble and AkzoNobel are also clients.

Paul Kavanagh at Dechert LLPunderstands the client’s needs’ and ‘keeps entirely focused on them to ensure the best result’. The team is assisting clients including Travelex, Dishoom and Thomas Cook on international trade mark portfolio, copyright and brand protection matters.

Dentons is praised for its ‘practical advice given with an awareness of the commercial position of the client’. It regularly advises ASOS and Virgin on a wide range of IP matters, including trade mark licenses, IP licensing arrangements, copyright infringement and piracy issues. The practice has several key names, including Anna Copeman and John Linneker, who are rated as ‘commercially focused’, and was bolstered in the patent, life sciences and technology spaces with the arrival of Campbell Forsyth, who joined from King & Wood Mallesons in April 2016.

EIP has a ‘top-notch telecoms patent litigation practice’. The team continues to represent Unwired Planet International in its High Court patent action against five mobile phone companies. Gary Moss and Robert Lundie Smith are ‘exceptionally skilled litigators’.

Jones Day regularly assists a broad range of clients on a pan-European basis. It continues to act for Idenix Pharmaceuticals against Gilead Sciences in the Court of Appeal patent litigation relating to the Hepatitis C drug, Sovaldi. Alastair McCulloch is ‘a highly experienced patent practitioner, with excellent commercial awareness’. Rebecca Swindells, who has particular expertise in the technology, media and TMT sectors, joined from Fieldfisher in March 2016.

Nabarro LLP has a solid reputation advising on trade mark strategy, enforcement and litigation, particularly for technology, fashion and real estate sector clients. Recent highlights include acting for The British Heart Foundation on its IP commercialisation arrangement and protection strategy. Guy Heath heads the team, which includes litigator David Parrish, who provides ‘well-considered and practice advice’, and consultant Ashley Roughton, who is a key name for patent matters.

Norton Rose Fulbright has ‘a very capable group of professionals with great client skills and a wealth of experience in patent litigation’. ‘Superb IP litigatorHuw Evans is acting for Saab Seaeye in a patent dispute against Atlas Elektronik and ECS Special Projects. Practice head Mike Knapper and Jonathan Ball are also highly recommended.

Osborne Clarke can draw upon its growing network of offices globally to advise on cross-border patent strategy, trade marks and licensing transactions. Lorna Brazell is advising a high-profile gaming company on international parallel import issues and IP strategy. Clients include WePay, News International, Vodafone and KPMG. Robert Guthrie and Ben Goodger are ‘technically very strong and pleasant to work with’.

RPC’s practice focuses on trade mark and copyright litigation, as well as international arbitration. Jeremy Drew acted for Champagne Louis Roederer in a successful trade mark infringement and passing-off claim. Paul Joseph is acting for the BBC in a dispute with Take-Two Interactive in respect of its marketing materials. David Cran gives ‘clear and robust advice’.

Reed Smith LLP has a strong reputation in the fields of IP and media, where it advises on copyright and trade mark disputes. Michael Skrein is a recognised ‘doyen’ for complex IP litigation, and Emma Lenthall has a wide-ranging soft IP practice and is ‘a pleasure to work with’. Jonathan Radcliffe joined from Charles Russell Speechlys LLP in May 2016.

Rouse Legal’s focus is on mechanical and electronic hardware patent disputes. Arty Rajendra is currently acting for Ford Motor Company in IPEC proceedings. Jeremy Newman heads the five-partner team, which saw the departure of patent litigator Diana Sternfeld, who joined Fieldfisher in April 2016.

Slaughter and May has ‘an extremely effective patent team’ led by the ‘highly experiencedSusie Middlemiss and Cathy Connolly. Middlemiss acted for Speciality Fibres and Materials in High Court litigation for damages in a patent action involving Smith & Nephew and ConvaTec.

At Squire Patton Boggs, Carl Rohsler and Florian Traub acted for Zippo in trade mark proceedings brought by Lorillard. The team also manages copyright and trade mark portfolios for a number of household names, including Live Nation and Clarks.

Stephenson Harwood’s practice is ‘one of the new breed of multi-jurisdictional dispute specialists’. Patent litigators Alexandra Pygall and Eifion Morris are both ‘very thorough and with excellent judgement’. Recent highlights include representing easyGroup IP Licensing on over 30 trade mark infringement matters in a number of European countries.

Wiggin LLP’s expertise covers advice to content-owning companies and global brands, including BBC Worldwide, NBC Universal, Perform Group and Motion Picture Association, on protecting and exploiting IP rights online. Simon Baggs is advising PRS for Music on its dispute against SoundCloud. Rachel Alexander and Gurminder Panesar were promoted to the partnership in April 2016.

Addleshaw Goddard LLP’s client roster features a number of household names including Primark, British Airways, MoneySuperMarket and Sainsbury’s. Practice head Emma Armitage defended Nationwide Building Society in a High Court passing-off claim brought by its former advertising agency 18 Feet & Rising.

Baker Botts (UK) LLP has successfully attracted strong workflow in the energy and natural resources, and technology sectors. The ‘commercially minded’ Neil Coulson is advising Pioneer Surgical Technology on its High Court patent action relating to its European patent against MedSpine Europe and Saspine. Mark Heaney left to join Simmons & Simmons in October 2015.

Founded in 2014 by Adam Morallee, an IP expert and former head of Mishcon de Reya LLP’s sport practice, Brandsmiths has attracted an enviable client roster of household names including Lucozade Ribena Suntory and Microsoft. The seven fee-earner team focuses on contentious IP matters – 2015 highlights included its continuing work for BMW, Rolls Royce and Mini on anti-counterfeiting and trade mark infringement matters, and advising SRG Apparel in ongoing litigation with the owners of the Superdry brand arising from a passing-off action. In addition to handling disputes, the firm also provides advice on IP portfolio management, development and exploitation. Senior associates Andrew Lee and Michael Forrester are also recommended.

Briffa’s excellent reputation is built on its capabilities in IP litigation, and in handling copyright infringement, breach of confidence and trade mark disputes. Managing partner Margaret Briffa is highly recommended.

Brown Rudnick LLP is praised for its ‘clear approach and excellent industry knowledge’. Alexander Carter-Silk is ‘tirelessly inventive in seeking creative solutions to his clients’ legal and commercial problems’, and is recommended alongside Steven James, who is ‘a clear-thinking individual’. Clients include AVEVA Group, Which? And Richemont.

At Browne Jacobson LLP, Declan Cushley is praised for his ‘in-depth knowledge of trade marks and copyright’. Alex Watt and Giles Parsons are names to note for IP-rich commercial transactions and IP litigation, respectively. Patent specialist Kathleen Fox Murphy joined from Taylor Wessing LLP in March 2016.

Burges Salmon LLP’s team is led by Jeremy Dickerson and Helen Scott-Lawler. It manages Starbucks’ UK trade mark portfolio, as well as handling IP matters for clients including Harrods, Yeo Valley and Discovery Communications.

Clyde & Co LLP is representing Mermeren Kombinat in trade mark infringement proceedings against Fox Marble. David Wilkinson has ‘an excellent grasp of IP, particularly in the copyright and trade mark space’. Patent litigator Ralph Cox has particular expertise in the life sciences and precision engineering sectors.

Collyer Bristow LLPcombines a tenacious but analytical approach with excellent client-care skills’. The team acted for American Science & Engineering in patent infringement proceedings against Rapiscan concerning X-Ray scanning equipment used in security applications. Joe Cohen heads the four-partner team, which includes soft IP specialist Patrick Wheeler.

Edwin Coe LLP’s recent highlights include acting for the Evoqua Water Technologies in a patent dispute with Zenon Technologies regarding the alleged infringement of four European patents related to water treatment. Simon Miles is ‘a great communicator’.

IP mastermindSimon Bennett leads the ‘highly responsive’ practice at Fox Williams LLP, which focuses on advising clients from the fashion and technology sectors, and advises on trade mark and copyright infringement and passing off.

Hansel Henson advises clients such as Future Games of London, Doctors Associates and Seoidra Design on copyright and trade mark matters. Name partners David Hansel and Tom Henson singled out for their ‘sound, commercial advice’.

The ‘commercially mindedRobert Lands leads the team at Howard Kennedy LLP, which is supported by the firm’s ‘excellent’ media and commercial litigation practice. Clients include Pandora Jewellery, The Tate and Bloomberg News.

Irwin Mitchell successfully represented five defendants in injunctive proceedings concerning patent infringement and passing-off relating to a medical device, and is defending an appeal against that decision in the Court of Appeal. Practice head Georgie Collins is ‘dynamic and proactive’.

Kemp Little LLP’s client list includes Thomson Reuters, Wolseley and Wonga. Recent instructions include acting in trade mark and copyright infringement disputes, IP aspects of corporate acquisitions, and IP licensing transaction. Paul Garland is praised for his ‘pragmatic approach’.

At Locke Lord LLP, John Olsen is ‘an extremely responsive and knowledgeable trade mark specialist’. Clients include MasterCard International, World Trade Centres and International Water Association.

Macfarlanes LLP handles commercial matters as well as copyright, trade mark and passing-off disputes. Litigator Geoff Steward is the main contact.

Penningtons Manches LLP continues to advise All Saints Retail on the protection of individual designs, trade marks and copyrights. Key figures include Anna Frankum and Lesley Hall, who focus on commercial matters, and litigator Alex fox.

At PriceWaterhouseCoopers Legal LLP, Latika Sharma and Jonathna Nugent ‘set the benchmark in how to deal with clients in a practical way whilst at the same time providing an excellent service’. The team handles international IP licensing and strategy transactions, as well as advising on tax-related structuring of IP assets.

At TLT, practice head Nick Fenner has a particular focus on the technology sector. Recent highlights include advising an educational institute on a threatened patent infringement claim.

At Waterfront Solicitors LLP, ‘highly experienced litigatorPiers Stricklandcombines great commercial acumen with first-rate legal skills’. Strickland issued proceedings in the High Court for Jumar Solutions against Derek Mckee for copyright infringement, breach of confidence and breach of contract. The ‘approachableMatthew Harris has particular expertise in domain name disputes.

Wedlake Bell LLP’s representative clients include Which?, PokerStars and Tesco. Michael Gardner acted in a trade mark dispute against a UK publishing house.

WilmerHale is advising a major pharmaceutical company in relation to patent litigation in a number of European countries. Anthony Trenton is highly recommended for his litigation expertise.

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