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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.
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United Kingdom > Yorkshire and the Humber > TMT (technology, media and telecoms) > Intellectual property > Law firm and leading lawyer rankings

Editorial

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Index of tables

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

Hall of Fame

  1. 1

Leading individuals

  1. 1

Next generation lawyers

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Who Represents Who

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As ‘a firm that sits very comfortably in the top tier’, DLA Piper UK LLP has ‘developed and maintained a real strength in IP litigation’ alongside its expertise in anti-counterfeiting, brand launches and IP licensing. Leigh Martin and Richard Taylor head the team from Leeds and Sheffield respectively; Martin recently rejoined the firm from Clarion and is ‘a superb litigator who works swiftly and tirelessly for his clients’, and Taylor is ‘highly knowledgeable and commercial in his approach’. Recent highlights for the practice include assisting Heineken with its trade mark portfolio, advising the University of Sheffield on its global trade mark portfolio and acting for Ardagh Group on trade mark issues including pre-filing and clearance advice, filings and prosecutions. GE Healthcare, Spin Master, British Airways, the Coal Authority and Tata Steel are also clients. Legal director Rebecca Piper regularly handles contentious IP work, trade mark matters and transactional-related IP issues; and senior associate Jim McDonnell has ‘excellent legal knowledge’. Chris Tulley retired.

Boutique firm James Love Legal ‘has IP expertise in abundance’ under the leadership of ‘industry doyen’ and name partner James Love. Clients also single out registered trade mark attorney Lindsey Wrenn, who is ‘very responsive and willing to work flexibly in partnership with clients towards strategic and practical solutions’; and senior consultant Isabel Davies, who is ‘a key name for IP litigation’. Recent highlights include advising Alexander Duckham & Co on its global trade mark portfolio, acting for Hangzhou Arts Industrial Corporation in the enforcement of its IP rights, and representing Bestival in multiple trade mark disputes. Other clients include H&M, TomTom, Rightmove Group, Drayton Manor Theme Park and Tetra Pak.

With ‘an excellent boutique IP offering and a personalised high-quality service’, Kempner & Partners LLP ‘sets the bar very high and is a class above the majority of its competitors’ thanks to ‘great in-depth knowledge, proactive response times and a thoughtful approach’. Senior partner Richard Kempner provides ‘a service that is tailored to the needs of the clients and is quick to adapt to any issue thrown at him’; he is recognised for his IP litigation expertise and recently represented Ansell in a High Court patent infringement action. Other key individuals include managing partner Jason Dainty, who is ‘a class act’ and advised Nomad Foods Group on its global trade mark portfolio; Martin Delafaille, who assists brand owners with the registration and exploitation of trade marks and designs; Matthew Sammon and litigator Stuart Jackson.

Addleshaw Goddard handles the full spectrum of IP work for a client base in the financial services, retail, consumer and digital services sectors; examples include Limitless Digital, Pure Collection and British American Tobacco. Georgina Powling leads the department and handles a mixture of contentious and non-contentious mandates including transactional support, commercial agreements, trade mark and design right infringement disputes and software licensing litigation. The group’s recent work includes advising Mark Millar on the IP elements of the sale of Millarworld to Netflix and assisting Bibby Line Group with a transactional trade mark licence related to a group restructuring. Ryan Gracey joined Gordons LLP.

Clarion ‘stands out as having an organic, energetic and responsive culture and refreshingly informal approach that makes clients feel relaxed and cared for in the best possible way’. Practice head Esther Kirwan ‘has the ability to offer clear and pragmatic advice’, legal director Sue Streatfield is ‘level headed with good person-facing skills and a calm demeanour’, and associates Sarah Molloy and Jemma Green are ‘excellent communicators and clients feel comfortable with their guidance’. Recent work includes assisting Hard Rock International with its anti-counterfeiting efforts, advising Fujifilm Diosynth Biotechnologies on IP licences, services agreements and collaboration agreements, and acting for DFS on asset purchases including trade marks, domain names, design rights and databases. Icelandic Seafood, Card Factory and Hermes Parcelnet are also clients.

Boutique firm HGF Law is recognised for its IP litigation strength alongside transactional expertise with notable experience in the healthcare and retail sectors. In a recent highlight, the group represented Accord Healthcare in a substantial pharmaceutical patent litigation relating to a patent for anti-convulsant medication. Other work includes advising Rocket Games on its anti-counterfeiting program, assisting the Robin and Lucienne Day Foundation with trade mark and copyright licensing and enforcement, and acting for Superbrand in litigation brought by SuperDry relating to the use of the mark SUPER. Patent litigator Martyn Fish leads the group; his clients include international companies, universities and SMEs.

Louise Fullwood heads Pinsent Masons LLP’s practice, which handles national and cross-border IP transactions particularly in the public and infrastructure sectors. Recent mandates include advising Zurich Group on the IP elements of its disposal of its workplace pensions and savings business, assisting Westfield Europe with a contractual arrangement with virtual reality company The Void on the IP management issues surrounding the establishment of its Star Wars hyper-reality experience in two London retail spaces, and acting for Angle on an option agreement with Queen Mary University of London for an exclusive global licence for the use of its megakaryocyte IP. The team also acts on hard and soft IP litigation with experience in the European Patent Office and the European Union Intellectual Property Office. Victoria Bentley focuses on IP disputes with particular expertise in patent litigation and life sciences issues.

Womble Bond Dickinson (UK) LLP  has ‘some excellent individuals who are fantastic at solving any issue put in front of them’. Team head Patrick Cantrill splits his time between the firm’s Leeds, Newcastle and London offices and ‘is impressive with his old-school thoroughness and commercial acuity’ and ‘is a genius litigator who goes straight for the jugular and cuts through any excessive jargon’; he recently represented Jemella Group, the manufacturer of ghd hair straighteners, in multiple IP disputes including international trade mark infringement cases and anti-counterfeit issues. Cantrill also advised fancy dress costume supplier Smiffy’s on the management of its global trade mark and design portfolio, acted for Decathlon Group in several trade mark and copyright infringement disputes and handled multiple copyright infringement disputes for Immediate Media Company. Managing associate and chartered trade mark attorney Rachel Hearson is also a name to note.

3volution Limited ‘never ceases to please its clients’ with ‘a personal and bespoke service that combines an attentive approach, excellent market knowledge and a willingness to see how things can be done differently’. Department head Louise Handley is ‘a go-to person’ for non-contentious IP work including commercial IP and film agreements; she recently advised Zoo Digital, the creator of a voice actor software program, on the assignment of voice actor IP rights and cross-border IP issues, and filed multiple trade mark applications for Kings Security Systems. Sara Ludlam also receives praise for her ‘thorough and reliable approach’; she acted for a UK subsidiary of Macopharma in trade mark and patent infringement issues.

Irwin Mitchell’s department is led by Alex Newman, who specialises in contentious and advisory IP work. Other key individuals include transactional expert Joanne Bone, senior associate Emma Yates, who handles IP litigation and defamation issues; and associate Steve Murphy, who focuses on trade mark disputes. Recent highlights include defending RN Ventures in a claim alleging it had infringed on L’Oreal’s patent and registered designs, managing Natural Instinct’s trade mark portfolio and handling related trade mark infringement work, and assisting Gravity Fitness with its branding strategy and trade mark filings. SKA Organisation, Lhasa and Callcredit Information Group are also clients.

Lupton Fawcett’s group provides ‘a fantastic personal service and includes individuals who are always available and provide clear and pragmatic solutions’. Led by Clive Lawrence, who is ‘diligent, handles the details well and easily gets to the route of a problem and finds the most desired solution’, the practice includes litigator Simon Lockley, who ‘gives concise commercial advice’, and John Sykes, who is ‘enjoyable to work with’. The team recently acted for J & J Ormerod in a design infringement case, represented a Campaign for Fairer Gambling campaigner in a libel claim against the Association of British Bookmakers and its chief executive relating to a Channel 4 News debate, and acted for Smiles Powder in a trade mark infringement dispute and related passing off issues. Senior associate Ben Clay rejoined the firm from an in-house position.

Keith Benton leads the department at Rollits LLP, which is noted for its expertise in the food, manufacturing and charity sectors. In a recent highlight, Benton represented Seachill in opposition proceedings relating to an application for The Saucy Fish Company filed by a competitor. The group also assisted Hull City Tigers with the renewal of its agreement with the University of Hull for it to be the club’s official training partner, acted for the Ron Dearing University Technical College on its sponsorship agreement with its partners and handled trade mark registrations for an internationally renowned poker player. Fenner, Cranswick, The Deep and the Institute for Strategic Dialogue are also clients. other key figures include Andrew Digwood, who is the key name for IP disputes, and associate James Peel, who advises clients on agreements involving the creation, licensing and use of IP rights.

Squire Patton Boggs’ recent work includes defending Easylife Group in a trade mark infringement and passing off action, representing Rondol Technology in copyright infringement, design right infringement and breach of confidence litigation, and acting for Zipwall in a patent infringement dispute. Other clients include London Taxi, MOBA Mobile Automation, Magnomatics, Avantia and Lantor are also clients. Andrew Clay leads the team, which has a particular specialism acting in IP infringements and disputes including patent actions, breach of confidence issues or design right infringements.

Virtuoso Legal’s ‘truly excellent’ team is praised for its ‘responsive and commercial approach’, with practice head Elizabeth Ward singled out for her ‘consistently brilliant advice’. Other key individuals include Kirsten Toft, who is ‘technically exceptional and has a personal approach to client service’; she is recommended for non-contentious work. Recent mandates for the group include advising NOCN on the management of its trade mark portfolio including international trade mark filings and trade mark infringement matters, assisting Rader International with licensing issues, and acting for Moordale Foods on the management and protection of its key brands and handling international trade mark filings. VideraBio, Thebigword Group, New Era Property Solutions, the Institute of Export and Be The Best You are also clients.

Walker Morris LLP ‘adds good value in terms of strategic and commercial advice beyond simply the technical issues and handles matters in a quick and efficient way’. The department, which is particularly active in contentious work, is headed by James Crayton and includes senior associate Alan Harper and Heather Williams, who leads the trade mark team and is a registered trade mark attorney. The team counts Karro Foods and Dakota Stores as clients; Harper represented the latter in a brand infringement dispute. Other work includes acting for several football clubs including Leicester City FC and Everton FC in a trade mark infringement case brought by O2 Worldwide relating to its Priority rights and defending Burnley College in a copyright infringement claim brought by Vero Software relating to an alleged infringement of its software. Former practice head Rupert Bent joined Eversheds Sutherland (International) LLP.

Berwins ‘really takes the time to understand its clients’ needs, operations and expectations from both a legal and commercial perspective’ and ‘uses its insight and experience to reach the best possible outcome’. Paul Berwin is ‘prompt, effective and practical’ and leads the team, which focuses on trade mark applications and licensing matters, particularly on the contentious side. Clients include Gap Systems, TwentySix, Black Sheep Brewery and Anthony Hodges Consulting.

At Gordons LLP, Stephen McVey handles IP and media litigation including patent and trade mark infringement cases and domain name disputes. The practice also assists with celebrity endorsement issues, research and development agreements, brand exploitations, licensing work and franchise agreements. Clients include Young’s Seafood, Goldenfry, Pavers and Timothy Taylors. Andy Brian is also a name to note and is experienced in the retail, food and drink, manufacturing and logistics sectors. Ryan Gracey joined from Addleshaw Goddard.

Shulmans LLP is ‘an excellent firm with a strong and talented IP practice that is making its mark in the region’ and fields a team, which ‘is a delight to work with thanks to a friendly and pleasant manner and a clear dedication to its clients’. Department head Rob Lucas ‘provides timely, thoughtful and commercially relevant advice while remaining adaptable and responsive to the client’s needs and expectations’; he is particularly prominent in the audio, packaging, fragrance and retail sectors. Lucas recently advised Audio Technica on brand development and brand protection issues, assisted ACT Response with the launch of a new global brand strategy, and acted for Beaverfit on a licensing deal with an Italian gym equipment supplier.

James Phinn leads Gosschalks’ non-contentious IP practice while Phil Osborne focuses on contentious work with support from Will Buckenham. Phinn focuses on the engineering, food, service and IT sectors and regularly handles IP advisory work, contract issues and transactional mandates. Osborne’s expertise encompasses copyright and design infringement, brand enforcement issues and patent disputes. Key clients include Massarella Catering Group, BSN Medical, Air-Weigh Europe, Fluid Power Design and Scientific Laboratory Supplies.

LCF Law handles trade mark advice including licencing and portfolio management issues for a range of clients including owner-managed businesses, online retailers, biocide companies, franchises and businesses in the software and IT space. Clients include AGR Racking, XL Joinery, Hygiene Supplies Direct and Go Media. James Sarjantson leads the commercial and IP team which sits in the wider corporate department; his work encompasses contentious and non-contentious IP rights and IT contract advice. Susan Clark is also a name to note for transactional work.

Clients of McCormicks ‘are spoilt at all levels thanks to the truly excellent service that the firm provides’. Jon Healey, who joined from Walker Morris LLP in 2018, leads the department which is prominent in the sport and media sectors. In a recent highlight, the team advised the Premier League Charitable Fund on data protection issues, trade mark licences and a sponsorship agreement with Barclays Bank. Other work includes acting for Harrogate International Festivals on multiple sponsorship agreements with its lead sponsors Theakston and WHSmith, assisting the Premier League with operational and IP issues surrounding the company’s website including the Fantasy League facility, and handling trade mark registrations for Cleveland Process Designs. Leeds United FC, Rudding Park and Plantagenet Media are also clients.

At Mills & Reeve LLP, team head Mark Pearce joined the practice from Womble Bond Dickinson (UK) LLP in 2017 and has notable experience in the technology and education sectors. His recent work includes advising Tekmar Energy on a possible infringement of its patent by one of its competitors relating to a cable protection system; handling an international trade mark filing campaign for Nuchido; and assisting Meir Australia with its establishment in the UK and related European brand protection. Other clients include Centre for Process Innovation, the University of West London and Premia Solutions.

Dai Davis is the key contact at Percy Crow Davis & Co, which handles patents, trade marks, designs and copyright issues across IP acquisitions and sales, licensing work and IP litigation.

Recent mandates for Ward Hadaway’s group include assisting Eurocamp with its global trade mark portfolio including monitoring infringements and handling trade mark licensing issues, advising SAP on the protection of its IP rights relating to its software products and acting for Brainwave Drinks on the protection of its drinks brands internationally. Communisis, Hisense and Sage are also clients. Bill Goodwin leads the team and has notable expertise in trade mark and design work and assists clients in the manufacturing and technology sectors. Other key individuals include Gareth Yates, who advises on software licensing issues, development contracts and IT disputes; and Newcastle-based Alex Shiel, who is noted for his expertise acting on the IP issues associated with new technology.

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