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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



Index of tables

  1. Intellectual property
  2. Leading individuals
  3. Next generation lawyers

Next generation lawyers

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Bond Dickinson LLP is ‘one of the top firms in IP in the UK’, according to one client. Patrick Cantrill leads the overall IP team, with Rachel Hearson heading up the integrated trade mark and design unit. The team is recommended for ‘always understanding the commercial as well as the legal drivers’, and has a range of national and international clients. It is particularly strong on the litigation side, and Cantrill has recently been representing Jemella Group, the manufacturer of ghd hair straighteners, in a parallel imports claim in the High Court against a Chinese manufacturer and retailer to prevent it infringing the client’s rights. Other representative clients include Princess Yachts International, Middlesborough Football Club, Belmond Group, Immediate Media, Deckers/UGG Boots (USA) and Decathlon SA (France), as well as a well-known supermarket chain and a large drinks brand.

DLA Piper UK LLP’s Leeds office saw the arrival of Leigh Martin from Clarion, who takes over team leadership duties from Chris Tulley. Richard Taylor, who ‘advises with real authority and gravitas’, heads up the Sheffield group, which operates alongside the Leeds office as part of a wider team. Managing trade mark portfolios is one strength of the practice, with Heineken a key client in this regard. The team also provides corporate support work and acts for clients involved in disputes. Contentious highlights included High Court litigation in the UK for a toy company regarding registered designs and trade marks. The team also represents clients in multi-jurisdictional litigation, as well as assisting with Europe-wide anti-counterfeiting seizures and actions. Rebecca Piper was promoted to legal director in the Leeds team in 2016. Clients include household names such as Nike, Avon Cosmetics and Portakabin.

Name partner James Love heads the boutique firm James Love Legal, which is recommended for its ‘technically and strategically sound’ IP expertise. Love is assisted by registered trade mark attorney Lindsey Wrenn, who is ‘responsive and offers rational and sound advice’, and senior consultant Isabel Davies on trade mark filings and assignment projects as well as various contentious matters. Recent highlights for the team include advising Alexander Duckham & Co on the purchase of the Duckhams oil company and associated brands from BP, and advising pottery group Denby Brands on its multinational trade mark portfolio, including Denby, Burleigh, Burgess & Leigh, and Middleport.

Kempner & Partners LLP is a specialist IP firm in Leeds, headed by founding partner Richard Kempner. The team advises the likes of Costcutter, Farrow & Ball, JD Sports, various restaurant groups, the Manor Formula One team and the Civil Aviation Authority. The practice is also instructed by foreign law firms on behalf of their clients when UK legal advice is needed relating to IP. The team is the main provider for all of Asda’s pre-launch new product clearance and contentious IP work; a recent highlight was defending the client in a claim in the Patents Court brought by Marks & Spencer for patent infringement and unregistered design rights relating to children’s clothing. The team also acted for regarding the recovery of five domain names acquired by a developer setting up a rival travel service, as well as in related trade mark infringement and passing off proceedings.

The IP department at 3volution Limited handles various IP work for clients, including licensing deals, trademarking, and litigation arising from patents, design, copyright and trade marks. The team, which is led by Louise Handley, is particularly well known for advising clients in the baby product industry and was recently appointed by the national Baby Products Association to advise on a range of IP matters. It also advises the universities of Leeds, Bradford and Huddersfield, high-profile brands such as Hurlingham Polo and film production companies. Recent highlights include advising a Canadian company, which recently acquired a prestigious brand of guitar amplifiers, on brand protection, and assisting Leisurewear International Limited with its numerous trade marks, including its ‘RESPECT’ mark.

Recently promoted Georgina Powling heads up the Leeds IP offering at Addleshaw Goddard, which is described as ‘good if not big’ by one client. Powling is ‘efficient, commercial, very astute and bright’ and acts for major blue-chip and FTSE-listed companies such as Saga, for which she has been advising on a range of IP issues, including software license terms and trade mark portfolios. The team is recommended for its ‘good turnaround times and excellent availability’ and has recently been assisting Travelodge plc in relation to its image rights library and database by drafting agreements for contributors and users. Other active clients include SSE Contracting Limited, Diageo plc and British American Tobacco Sweden Holding AB. Associate Ryan Gracey joined from 3volution Limited.

Esther Kirwan now heads the IP team at Clarion, following the departure of Leigh Martin to DLA Piper UK LLP. Kirwan and Sue Streatfield bring their expertise in litigation to the IP practice, an example being their work for Hard Rock to try and prevent the dissemination of counterfeit products, including working with UK Border Force and Trading Standards in actions against parties dealing in counterfeit goods. Streatfield was also appointed to Clingen Group plc’s legal panel in 2016 to advise on various aspects of IP protection, enforcement and commercialisation. The team is also strong on the branding side and manages client’s trade mark portfolios.

The specialist practice at HGF Law focuses on contentious and transactional IP matters, and is particularly strong in IP litigation in the healthcare and retail sectors. Representative healthcare clients include Glenmark Pharmaceuticals Europe and Accord Healthcare. Recent highlights include acting for Warwick University in defending a patent entitlement action at the UK IPO brought by a former employee, and acting for Logitech in an action for a declaration of non-infringement and a claim for groundless threats brought by Tech21 in relation to the design of electronic device cases. In the retail sector, it has been devising a strategy for Rocket Games, creator of the Pie Face Game, for dealing with counterfeit products, including direct action.

Pinsent Masons LLP’s IP team is led by Louise Fullwood in Leeds, and draws upon its national network of IP specialists to advise clients across the country. One area of expertise is advising corporates and public sector bodies on the IP aspects of major projects. In an example of cross-border work, Fullwood has also been leading advice to the European Organisation for Nuclear Research (CERN) on the structuring of a tender for the establishment of a hybrid cloud platform, which involved drafting documents reflecting differences in IP laws, and has also been assisting the Department for Work and Pensions with licensing for the use of copyrighted material relating to a programme created by an American academic. She has also been advising House of Fraser on the acquisition of the ISSA fashion brand in connection with international trade marks, design and fabric archives as well as design licenses from designers. Victoria Bentley leads on contentious IP matters and has been assisting Fullwood in the renegotiation of a patent licence during preparations for the sale of Aflex Hose to Watson-Marlow Fluid Technology Group.

Keith Benton heads the commercial IP team at Hull-based Rollits LLP and is ‘able to listen to potentially complex issues around branding and IP while delivering uncomplicated counsel’. Benton advises on the non-contentious side, including contract preparation. The team also includes Andrew Digwood, who litigates any contentious IP matter, and associate James Peel. Peel has been advising football club Hull City Tigers on its sport sponsorship agreement with Sport Pesa, and on an agreement with the University of Hull to be the Club’s official training partner. Representative clients also include food manufacturers such as Icelandic Group UK (The Saucy Fish Co) and AAK (UK). It also advises Proton Cars in Malaysia on all of its design and trade mark work. The team is able to file trade marks in-house and advises on all aspects of brands, trade marks and patents, including portfolio management.

Consultant Andrew Clay, who was recently appointed by the Lord Chancellor as one of the two Deputy Chairmen of the Copyright Tribunal, heads the ‘fully competent and pragmatic’ IP practice at Squire Patton Boggs. A highlight for the team has been assisting Scuff Gaming in multiple litigation cases across Europe regarding trade mark infringement of its gaming controllers, which are used by more than 95% of elite gamers. Another highlight has been its representation of MOBA Mobile Automation in an ongoing patent infringement claim against Snorkel Products relating to overload sensors.

The ‘fantastic’ IP practice at Virtuoso Legal specialises in the protection, enforcement, management and commercialisation of IP and gives ‘concise, practical and commercially orientated advice’. Recent highlights include acting for Argos in the High Court in a landmark decision regarding online trade mark infringement in relation to banners and Google advertisements. The team is also on the panel for all general matters for General Electric, and for the Royal Free Hospital is handling IP commercialisation strategy and negotiating with Google Deep Mind over the licensing of patient data. Elizabeth Ward leads the team, which also includes vice principal Kirsten Toft, who is ‘always happy to muck in with the real work’, and very sound litigator’ Philip Partington.

Walker Morris LLP expanded its trade mark and designs offering with the additions of senior associate Jennifer Good and associate Beverley Robinson, both of whom are registered trade mark attorneys. Rupert Bent, who is ‘friendly and approachable whilst being professional and knowledgeable’, heads the IP department in Leeds, with senior associate Heather Williams heading the new trade marks practice. The team advises clients such as Crystal Palace FC, Leeds Building Society, Harry Ramsden’s and Deckers Europe Limited on all IP-related matters. For Deckers, the team assists with the protection of its IP rights, particularly regarding its UGG brand, which it has been defending in disputes with Groupon and BHS Limited respectively concerning infringement. Bent has also been representing Landis+Gyr in patent litigation brought against British Gas and others over smart energy meters.

The ‘consistently excellent’ IP team at Berwins focuses on trade mark applications and licensing, particularly on the contentious side, and is led by head of commercial and digital Paul Berwin, who is ‘friendly and approachable’. The Harrogate team advises commercial clients on various IP and licensing matters, and has recently been assisting Trimble UK with contract negotiations to protect IP software rights, and with the renewal of trade marks relating to portfolio companies in the UK and US. Associate solicitor James Talbot also advises on IP and data protection issues.

Stephen McVey leads the team at Gordons LLP, which advises the firm’s retail clients on intellectual property matters. McVey is an ‘excellent litigator who takes a commercial view when advising the client’, and along with Catherine Woodward focuses on the contentious side; Andy Brian advises on the non-contentious. A recent highlight for the practice has been assisting Victorian Plumbing regarding a trade mark infringement action brought against it by Victoria Plum. Other representative clients include Bull Brand, Nisa Retail and Goldenfry Foods.

Alex Newman heads the IP practice at Irwin Mitchell in Leeds, as well as heading the anti-counterfeiting and piracy group. Representative work for the team included defending R N Ventures in patent and registered design right infringement proceedings issued in the High Court by L’Oreal relating to the client’s Magnitone face brush range. It has also been advising SKA Organisation in relation to the IP strategy of its radio telescope project. The practice overlaps with the IT team, headed by Joanne Bone, and is advising independent games company Team17 on its international branding strategy.

The ‘competent all-rounder’ IP team at Lupton Fawcett LLP is now headed by Clive Lawrence, following John Sykes’ decision to transition into a consultancy role. Commercial litigator Lawrence leads on contentious matters alongside dispute resolution director Simon Lockley, with a recent highlight being the representation of J & J Ormerod in a design right case against a rival selling a similar product. Sykes has been representing clients in trade mark disputes and opposition cases, and has been giving advice on patenting and ‘freedom to use’ new technology. The team also manages clients’ brand and design portfolios.

Percy Crow Davis & Co’s practice is led by founding partner Dai Davis, who has been an IP specialist for more than three decades. The firm’s client base includes universities and charities, as well as companies and individuals, as licensors and licensees of IP. The practice specialises in non-contentious IP projects and advisory work. Recent highlights for Davis, who has ‘in-depth knowledge of IP contracts and technology’, include advising Park Signalling on a major IP licensing project, and advising Bournemouth University on data protection and Freedom of Information matters.

Andrew Jackson Solicitors LLP’s commercial and IP department advises clients on areas such as registration and protection of trade marks, design rights, copyright, patents, domain names, branding, brand strategy and IP infringement. The Hull-based firm has a number of plc clients that it assists with IP and data protection issues. Marie Kell heads the team.

The cross-departmental team at Gosschalks is headed by James Phinn on the non-contentious side, and Phil Osborne in contentious matters. Osborne has been advising clients in various disputes, including Air-Weight Europe in an action brought by VPG Systems UK in the Intellectual Property and Enterprise Court concerning its alleged infringement of VPG’s patent. Phinn heads up the firm’s project team and has been using his expertise in commercial and IP agreements to assist clients with licensing as well as production and supply agreements. Key clients include Massarella Catering Group, Kingstown Works, Modular Space Ltd and Heat Recovery Solutions.

James Sarjantson heads up LCF Law’s commercial and IP unit in Leeds, which sits within the wider corporate department. The firm provides portfolio management services and has been advising clients on a range of trade mark and patenting matters, including licensing agreements, patent infringement and design right infringement. Clients for the firm include AGR Racking, XL Joinery and Hygiene Supplies Direct.

The IP team at McCormicks advises its sports clients, including The Premier League and The Premier League Charitable Fund, on data protection issues and the licensing of trade marks and other IP rights. The team has also been advising Harrogate International Festivals on the preparation and negotiation of sponsorship agreements with WHSmith and Waterstones for writing festivals, and has been assisting Cleveland Process Designs with software development agreements and licenses to be entered into with Jupiter Insurance as well as the registration of trade marks for brand protection. Recently promoted Lewis Goodwin heads the team in Harrogate.

At Shulmans LLP, the intellectual property practice is led by Rob Lucas, with support from Emma Roe, who heads the commercial IP sub-division following her arrival from DWF in 2016. The team is particularly active advising clients in the chemicals, packaging and electronics sectors, as well as clients that supply specific products to larger brands. The team has been advising clients on brand protection and exploitation, licensing and trade mark infringement. On the contentious side, a highlight for the team was acting for Transdek UK in a claim for unregistered design right infringement in relation to the design of lorry trailers replicated by four rival companies. The team expanded with the addition of new associate Helen Goldthorpe, who advises on the data side of intellectual property in the technology sector.

John Baddeley heads the IP department at Wake Smith Solicitors Limited and has expertise in licensing, contracts and commercial agreements. Sheffield-based Baddeley acts for a range of national and regional e-commerce and IT solution providers. Recent highlights include acting for Gala Technology regarding its licensing of a new payment system, and assisting an online retailer with potential passing off issues in connection with branding and identity. The team has also been advising The Neurology Academy, a medical course trainer, with copyright issues and trade mark registrations.

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