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Australia > Intellectual property > Law firm and leading lawyer rankings


Index of tables

  1. Intellectual property
  2. Leading individuals
  3. Next Generation Partners

Leading individuals

  1. 1

Next Generation Partners

  1. 1
    • James Ellsmore - King & Wood Mallesons
    • Elizabeth Ireland - Ashurst
    • Duncan Longstaff - Shelston IP
    • James Neil - Clayton Utz
    • Caroline Ryan - King & Wood Mallesons
    • Natalie Shoolman - Clayton Utz
    • Gillian Woon - Baker McKenzie

Allens’ ‘excellent’ team, led by Miriam Stiel, acts for clients such as the Australian Olympic Committee, PepsiCo and Tiffany & Co. Richard Hamer is defending Pfizer in an appeal subsequent to successful patent infringement proceedings in relation to the drug pregabalin. Melbourne-based Tim Golder is advising Nissan on the restructure of its franchise network and IKEA in relation to franchising agreements in Australia. In the mining sector, Sarah Matheson acted for Garmin on the Australian aspects of a global dispute with Navico involving marine sonar technology, and senior patent counsel Philip Kerr is defending Vodafone in patent infringement litigation proceedings brought by Voxson.

Ashurst's ‘business acumen, industry knowledge and appropriateness of advice is very high’. Practice head Lisa Ritson continues to act for Moroccanoil Israel in proceedings in the Federal Court of Australia regarding trade mark infringement, consumer protection issues and passing off claims against Aldi in relation to copycat products. Kellech Smith is representing a pharmaceutical company in relation to its challenge to Pfizer’s patents for pregabalin, and the team continues to act for Samsung Bioepis in preliminary discovery Federal Court proceedings against Pfizer and Wyeth regarding patents protecting Pfizer’s drug ENBREL. Peter Chalke is a ‘master technician'; Stuart D’Aloisio, who is ‘smart across all disciplines’, and Andrew Rankine have both been promoted to partner. Senior associate Elizabeth Ireland is also singled out. Ben Miller and Mary Padbury both retired from the partnership. Sophie Dawson left to join Bird & Bird.

The ‘sophisticated, business-focused’ team at Baker McKenzie ‘is very responsive and has deep legal and commercial knowledge'. Richard Gough heads the national group, which provides the entire range of enforcement, protection and exploitation advice. Australian media and content practice head Andrew Stewart continues to represent the Motion Picture Association of America, its members and Village Roadshow in copyright litigation seeking to block access to several websites allegedly infringing copyrights; Elisabeth White and Jonathan Flintoft represent a food and beverages manufacturer in misleading or deceptive conduct proceedings commenced by another beverages business. A technology and e-commerce conglomerate also counts among the team's clients. Byron Angelopulo, who has a ‘good understanding of commercial strategy’, leads the trade mark practice. The ‘technically good, unflappable’ special counsel Gillian Woon also comes in for praise.

Clayton Utz ‘provides a high level of service and is thorough and timely’. Litigation lies at the very core of the practice and Sydney-based practice head John Collins represented Telstra in patent infringement proceedings in the Federal Court against Upaid Systems. Timothy Webb is acting for the SingTel Optus group of companies in the first Australian cases under the new section 115A of the Copyright Act. In another significant matter, the team continues to defend Toyota in global trade mark infringement disputes in relation to counterfeit car parts. Other names to note include Chris McLeod and Richard Hoad, as well as Natalie Shoolman and James Neil, both special counsel.

Gilbert + Tobin is noted for its ‘service, accessibility and commercial and strategic advice’. Practice head Michael Williams handles a broad range of matters; he successfully defended a private equity fund at trial and on appeal in the Federal Court in a brand extension case. Siabon Seet is defending copyright proceedings on behalf of Bed Bath & Beyond in Australia, and in a separate related matter acted for the client against a New Zealand company seeking to register its ‘Bed Bath & Beyond’ trading name in Australia. Lisa Lennon assisted biomedical company Calico in two appeals, defending and prosecuting opposition and removal proceedings against a company seeking to enforce the trade mark of a similarly named business.

Herbert Smith Freehills provides ‘spot-on advice, extremely valuable due diligence and a fast, efficient service’. Kristin Stammer represented Seven West Media in its acquisition of The Sunday Times newspaper and the PerthNow website from Nationwide News. On the contentious side, Sue Gilchrist acted for Motorola Solutions, a digital mobile radio manufacturer, in patent infringement proceedings commenced in the Federal Court of Australia. Sydney-based Rebekah Gay continues to defend a patent infringement claim filed against Ariosa Diagnostics by Sequenom, which owns the patent for non-invasive pre-natal testing, on the grounds that the client’s Harmony test infringes said patent. Singled out in Melbourne are litigation experts Shaun McVicar, Patrick Sands and Celia Davies, who heads the trade marks practice.

King & Wood Mallesons' team ‘has great depth and provides very efficient and effective advice, which is always considered, commercial and assists with achieving strategic objectives’. ‘All-rounder’ Scott Bouvier acted for Sears on selling the rights to the Kmart brand name in Australia and New Zealand to Wesfarmers. In a notable highlight, Katrina Rathie successfully defended LG Electronics Australia’s home entertainment and television division against a complaint made by Samsung Electronics Australia to the Advertising Claims Board. Melbourne-based practice head Matthew Swinn acts for a range of pharmaceutical clients. Special counsel Caroline Ryan and ‘up-and-coming’ senior associate James Ellsmore are also singled out.

Norton Rose Fulbright's team is jointly led by the Sydney-based head of intellectual property, Frances Drummond, and Cameron Harvey, who leads the disputes resolution practice from the Melbourne office. Jackie O’Brien has handled a number of high-profile matters for the team. Sydney-based Georgina Hey advised on the intellectual property aspects of high-value transactions. The team has been bolstered by special counsel Tony Sergi, who joined from the Bar.

Corrs Chambers Westgarth renders ‘prompt and concise’ advice and the team is ‘excellent in terms of professionalism, business acumen and commerciality’; it recently welcomed high-profile litigation specialist David Fixler to its Melbourne office from King & Wood Mallesons. Also singled out is Odette Gourley, who is representing New York's Hospital for Special Surgery Pty in a passing off and misleading conduct action against Hospital for Specialist Surgery and related parties. In Melbourne, Kate Hay is recommended for Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) and consumer law matters. She is handling a number of copyright, patent and design matters in the Federal Court and is supporting 'outstanding' practice head Stephen Stern to oversee Lundbeck’s longstanding claim against four generic companies over a drug patent.

Griffith Hack has a focus on trade mark and patent litigation, but the team, led by Derek Baigent, handles the full gamut of intellectual property matters and is noted for its ‘level of knowledge and responsiveness’. It defended Sony in patent litigation proceedings in the Australian Federal Court brought by two Russian nationals alleging that Sony’s PS Vita game console infringes their patent. Kellie Stonier draws much praise and is handling brand enforcement and trade mark work for Allergan. Susan O’Connor, who represented LG Electronics against Beats Electronics in a trade mark opposition before the Trade Marks Office, Nicola Scheepers and Chris Sgourakis are also singled out. Russell Berry has left the legal profession, Wayne Condon left the firm to launch IP boutique Biopharmalex, and Jurgen Bebber joined Corrs Chambers Westgarth.

Minter Ellison's practice head Robert Cooper  acted for Calidad in defeating Seiko Epson's patent and trade mark claims, which allows Seiko’s recycled ink jet cartridges to be sold in Australia. Melbourne-based John Fairbairn represented Foxtel in one of the first proceedings in the Federal Court that led to the nationwide blocking of pirate websites The Pirate Bay, Torrentz, TorrentHound and IsoHunt. Wayne McMaster represented Mylan in asserting three patents for the diabetes-related drug fenofibrate against Sun Pharma. On the non-contentious side, Shyama Jayaswal renders ongoing patent portfolio advice to longstanding client PPG Industries. Kylie Diwell has a focus on acting for clients in the higher education, health and government sectors.

Addisons has seen the arrival of ‘go-to’ lawyer Donna Short, who joined from now-defunct firm Henry Davis York and co-leads the team with Karen Hayne. It advised Megalek on its trade mark strategy and registration of a number of trade marks across the Asia Pacific region, and Short, jointly with special counsel Hazel McDwyer, assists almond processing company Blue Diamond Growers with trade mark prosecution matters in Vanuatu, Fiji and Samoa.

Banki Haddock Fiora handles the full spectrum of intellectual property work in Australia and New Zealand under the leadership of trade mark and branding expert Margaret Shearer and experienced litigator and copyright expert Peter Banki. Shearer and Alison McGinn work closely with counsel in the US for both Pfizer and Zoetis, handling all clearances, filings, applications, prosecutions and renewals. Julie Robb heads the litigation practice and continues to represent a global electrical conglomerate in trade mark opposition proceedings in China. Simon Kneebone acts for Hanesbrands in design and patent law issues.

Bird & Bird added to its bench, welcoming ‘excellent litigator’ Lynne Lewis from Minter Ellison. The team is spearheaded by Jane Owen, who continues to represent Generic Health as the defendant in an ongoing patent litigation case filed by Otsuka, as well as representing said client as a claimant in a Federal Court case. Owen also represents Dongkuk Steel in its dispute with BlueScope. Led by Troy Gurnett, longstanding client Volkswagen receives strategic advice on trade mark filing, prosecution and branding issues. Shehana Wijesena is another name to note.

DLA Piper's five-partner team is led by global co-chair of the firm’s trade mark, copyright and media group Melinda Upton, who has substantial experience across the gamut of intellectual property work, and advises a client roster including names such as Fitbit and Gucci. Sydney-based Nicholas Tyacke, who is ‘wise, experienced and fast’, is acting for Pfizer in numerous proceedings in the Federal Court of Australia, including the first cases in Australia to address claims on undertakings as to damages by generic pharmaceutical companies, their suppliers and the Commonwealth of Australia. Robynne Sanders is acting for a client in its suit against Mattel for patent infringement in the Federal Court of Australia. Upton continues to advise the Australian Wool Innovation non-profit on its trade marks portfolio.

Anthony Muratore and Lisa Taliadoros jointly head Jones Day's group and continue to represent Merck in proceedings arising from an allegation by Gilead Sciences that the client’s patent for compounds used in the treatment of HCV infection is invalid, as well as Merck’s counter-claim of patent infringement against Gilead. The team also acted for Bradken and Bradken Resources in proceedings in the Federal Court of Australia concerning patents owned by CQMS relating to ground engaging tools.

At Maddocks, Sydney-based practice head Brendan Coady ‘is excellent and provides great commercial insights’. Jeff Goodall continues to assist Sydney Airport with a brand audit and filing strategy and Timothy Atkin defends NetComm Wireless against patent litigation proceedings brought by a US competitor. Greg Hipwell regularly assists clients with their strategic expansion strategies. Anthony Willis advises the Department of Defence on two helicopter projects, notably on technical, software, simulator, and licensing disputes. Other names to note include Shelley Einfeld, Katherine Armytage and Brendan Tomlinson.

Belinda Breakspear's team at McCullough Robertson advises clients on brand protection and management matters. The team has continued to grow its contentious capacities; Breakspear acts on behalf of the Australian Agricultural Company for its international trade mark portfolio management. Terry White Chemmart instructs the team to handle international enforcement mandates. Litigator Peter Stokes in Brisbane and Alex Hutchens and Paul McLachlan, both in Sydney, are singled out. The team has been bolstered by the addition of Matthew McMillan.

Simpsons Solicitors' team is jointly led by Adam Simpson, Jules Munro and Mark Bamford. In recent highlights, it successfully represented Eight Mile Style  in a dispute with the National Party of New Zealand over its 2014 election campaign, which used music similar to one of Eminem’s songs. Munro advised Australian restaurateur and author Stefano Manfredi on the global sale of his Espresso di Manfredi coffee brand to Douwe Egberts. Senior lawyers Michelle Eadie, a ‘practical lawyer who knows her field well’, and Clare Young, who gives ‘diligent and sound advice’, come in for praise.  Special counsel Ian McDonald is ‘exceptionally knowledgeable’.

Spruson & Ferguson Lawyers has a focus on intellectual property and is led in Australia by managing director Tracey Berger, who spearheads the firm’s trade mark work; John Afaras leads on litigation matters. The group’s expertise covers a number of sectors including aerospace, renewable energy, oil and mining, life sciences and manufacturing. Greg Gurr focuses on the engineering and information technology sectors. Andrew Blattman left in November to head an intellectual property holding company.

Arnold Bloch Leibler fields ‘first-rate solicitors who provide timely, accurate, concise instructions’. The team handled a significant matter for the Namatjira Legacy Trust, the foundation seeking to regain control of the intellectual property vested in the works of Aboriginal landscape artist Albert Namatjira. Other significant matters for the team included Matthew Lees' representation of Fonterra in proceedings against Bega Cheese in the Supreme Court of Victoria. David Robbins, Mark Leibler, Zaven Mardirossian, Gabriel Sakkal and Peter Seidel are additional names to note.

Antoine Pace and Michael Owens co-head Gadens Lawyers' ‘strong’ practice out of Melbourne and Brisbane respectively. It acted for a number of high-profile clients including Nike Australia, Facebook Australia and the Queensland state government. Cotton On Group receives advice on its global trade mark portfolio and on rolling out the brand’s strategy globally. It also defended manufacturers of essential oils products in patent and trade mark infringement proceedings as well as misleading and deceptive conduct claims. Other names to note include Adam Walker and special counsel Kerry Awerbuch.

Acting for government bodies, media companies, publishers, manufacturers and retailers, HWL Ebsworth's team, led by Luke Dale, covers the full range of intellectual property work and has been bolstered by the arrival of Jennifer Huby through the firm's merger with TressCox. Bill Singleton is defending a  a multimillion-dollar matter for Jabree, which is opposing the registration of the Aboriginal word ‘Borobi’ on the grounds of cultural appropriation. Matthew Craven is advising construction material manufacturer BlueScope on supply arrangements that involve IP licensing issues. Other names to note are John Gray and Peter Campbell.

K&L Gates' team, led by Jonathan Feder, ‘provides a consistent service that is high value for money’. Simone Mitchell successfully represented Branhaven in its widely publicised appeal against a decision by the Australia Patents Office in relation to animal genetics testing. Nigel Lokan continues to act for some of Australia’s largest universities including Macquarie University, in patent procurement matters. The team also represents GM Holden in enforcement of its design rights against Australia’s largest spare parts manufacturer SSS Auto. Chris Round is another name to note.

Macpherson Kelley continues to represent both numerous clients in contested trade mark matters. Malcolm McBratney, who co-heads the practice, represents SEL Australia in proceedings against the Australian trade mark for Red Bull's 'wings to fly' slogan. Practice co-head Paul Kirton renders ongoing advice to Horizon Global, including on a range of protection matters.

Mills Oakley' team, led by Teresa Nicoletti , includes patent litigator James Lawrence and Blair Beven, who has substantial experience in IP litigation but also acts for retail and fashion clients in transactional matters. Lawrence has a focus on the pharmaceuticals and life sciences industries; he continues to defend Dr Reddy’s Laboratories in patent infringement and revocation proceedings filed by Helsinn regarding the launch of its palonosetron generic product. Nicoletti acts for plaintiff Phoenix Eagle in proceedings regarding the misuse of a proprietary papaya cream formulation and related confidential information by former directors and employees.

Piper Alderman is noted for its ‘excellent level of service’. Practice head Tim Clark continues to represent the Australian Digital Health Agency in a patent opposition matter and is acting for a healthcare client in the potential commercialisation of a vaccine technology. The ‘highly knowledgeable' Tim O’Callaghan acts for Australian finance company Pepper Group in opposition proceedings against parties infringing Pepper’s trade marks in Israel, the EU, Australia and New Zealand. Sarah Johnson joined from Kemp Strang.

Litigation sits at the core of Shelston IP’s practice but the Sydney-based team covers the full range of intellectual property work and handles patents, trade marks, designs and copyright issues, as well as trade marks registrations. Names to note include patent attorney Katrina Crooks, technology expert Mark Vincent and principal Grant Shoebridge, who leads the firm’s immunology team and has significant expertise in the pharmaceutical and biotech industries. Senior associate Duncan Longstaff is also singled out.

Sparke Helmore Lawyers' team is led by Shannon Platt who specialises in brand protection, IP litigation and commercialisation. It assisted Community First Credit Union with a trade mark registration, which was opposed by Bendigo Bank. Platt represents a furniture retailer in infringement proceedings brought by King Furniture Australia in relation to Australian registered and certified designs. Other names to note include Richard Chew, who represents clients in the telecoms, utilities and retail sectors. Joanna Lee is also singled out.

The ‘commercially strong’ team at Thomson Geer manages significant trade mark portfolios of clients including Reckitt Benckiser, the Oberoi Hotels Group and Le Cordon Bleu. George Lukic and Bronwyn Furse continue to represent a real estate company in proceedings arising from the rebranding of a leading franchised real estate network. In the media space, Constant Media instructed Peter Le Guay in proceedings it brought against TV channel Ten’s morning show for airing photographs of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle without Constant’s license. Ben Coogan, Tony Conaghan and Katrina Chambers are also names to note.

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