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Bond Dickinson LLP’s ‘excellent’ team is now led by Patrick Cantrill, who splits his time between Leeds, Newcastle and London, following Mark Pearce’s departure to Mills & Reeve LLP. The group, which provides ‘practical, timely and effective advice’, handles a range of contentious and non-contentious IP issues, with notable experience in patent litigation. Key clients include Bellway and Atom Bank; Cantrill acts for the latter on all IP mandates, including obtaining trade mark protection in the UK and Europe, and handling patent issues. The team’s other recent highlights include advising Nova International on the management of its trade mark portfolio and acting for Northgate in multiple brand and copyright disputes. Middleborough Football Club, Sanderson Weatherall and Fox International are also clients. Will Sander joined Keystone Law.

DWF’s ‘incredibly receptive’ team acts for a number of high-profile brands including Greggs, Panasonic and Arriva. The group also has substantial expertise in the retail sector; ‘highly commercial’ practice head Ed Meikle, who also leads the firm’s retail group, advises clients such as Morrisons, Fenwick and Lidl. Other strong sectors for the team include the food, sport and consumer product industries; Jelly Belly Candy Company and Pernod Ricard all feature among its client roster. The department handles the full range of IP matters, including copycat packaging, trade mark infringement, reputation management and patent litigation. Meikle advised Newcastle United on IP, brand protection and brand management issues, and assisted Swizzels Matlow with the defence and protection of its portfolio of confectionary brands. Senior solicitor Alison Evans is singled out for her IP litigation expertise.

Alex Shiel leads the six-partner IP team at Ward Hadaway, which sits within firm’s commercial group and advises technology start-ups, entrepreneurs and SMEs on a range of matters, with notable strength in trade mark issues. Shiel’s recent highlights include advising Tech City UK on trade mark registrations and sponsorship agreements, and assisting Energizer with the promotion of its Wilkinson Sword brand in conjunction with the Assassin’s Creed film. Other clients include Newcastle University and Oxford Leadership Academy; Shiel advised the latter on its international trade mark portfolio. Also recommended are litigators Tim Toomey, Robert Glassford and Peter Hornsey; Leeds-based trade mark attorney Bill Goodwin; and Judy Baker, who specialises in IT issues and data protection mandates and recently assisted Transcendit with an IP licence.

Niall Head-Rapson leads McDaniel & Co.’s niche IP practice, which advises clients on the full gamut of contentious and non-contentious IP issues, including patents, trade marks, and confidential information. Head-Rapson is highly recommended for his IP litigation experience and leads a team that is noted for its expertise in the furniture, fashion, jewellery, garden and greetings card industries. Recent highlights include advising J Barbour & Sons on a trade mark infringement claim against Amazon, acting for Mainetti in a patent infringement issue relating to its hangar products, and handling copyright infringement proceedings for Chiselwood regarding kitchen designs. Other clients include Spirit Fires, Green Board Games and Mathmos. Senior associate and registered trade mark attorney Kelly Hudson is a registered trade mark attorney.

Mincoffs Solicitors LLP’s ‘professional and personable team’ is led by Antony Hall, who is ‘thorough, detailed and a genuine sector expert’. Highlights for the team, which is which is ‘always extremely helpful and generous with its time’, included advising board game manufacturer Steamforged Games on a licence negotiation with Bandai Namco Entertainment to produce a board game based on the Dark Souls video game franchise, as well as general IP portfolio management issues. The team is also assisting CompareMyTravel with several trade mark registrations. Ovington Boats, Infinite Playgrounds and RTC North are also clients. Associate Lucy Cook is singled out for ‘going the extra mile for clients’ and ‘always taking the time to understand the client’s business’; her experience encompasses licensing matters and trade mark filings and prosecutions.

The ‘excellent, knowledgeable and proactive’ department at Muckle LLP attracts praise for its ‘good and positive attitude, great enthusiasm and commercial experience’. Practice head Alex Craig, who ‘is easy to talk to and takes a no-nonsense approach’, and George Festing specialise in non-contentious and contentious IP respectively. Festing also has noteworthy expertise in the media sector and is defending Duran Duran guitarist Andy Taylor in a claim relating to how US copyright law reversion rights apply to English music publishing agreements. In other highlights, Festing acted for The Explorer Group in multiple breach of copyright claims and Craig advised the shareholders of Glowsoft on the IP elements of its acquisition by Mandata. John Devine is recommended for sports-related matters.

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