Twitter Logo Youtube Circle Icon LinkedIn Icon

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.
Click here for more details

United Kingdom > London > TMT (technology, media and telecoms) > Brand management > Law firm and leading lawyer rankings



Index of tables

  1. Brand management
  2. Hall of Fame
  3. Leading individuals
  4. Next generation lawyers

Leading individuals

  1. 1

Next generation lawyers

  1. 1

Who Represents Who

Find out which law firms are representing which Brand management clients in London using The Legal 500's new comprehensive database of law firm/client relationships. Instantly search over 925,000 relationships, including over 83,000 Fortune 500, 46,000 FTSE350 and 13,000 DAX 30 relationships globally. Access is free for in-house lawyers, and by subscription for law firms. For more information, contact


Baker McKenzie attracts praise for its ‘seamless combination of IP expertise with a multi-jurisdictional outlook and wide global footprint that matches multinational clients’ needs’; the team provides ‘a multi-country solution and thinking combined with a single relationship point’. It has an excellent track record handling high-stakes trade mark enforcement and litigation, as well as big-ticket transactional mandates, and the team’s ‘user-friendly approach to legal services and willingness to adapt to client needs is highly valued’. Practice head Michael Hart is assisting a fashion brand with a number of actions against third parties concerning infringements of its copyright and design right protected garments. Other key figures include Ben Allgrove, who acts for Google on regulatory, consumer and data protection issues in relation to its content products; and Michelle Blunt and Paul Rawlinson, who are advising a global consumer goods company on a series of brand acquisition and disposal mandates. On the trade mark front, Jessica Le Gros (who is singled out for her ‘accurate, prompt and very business-oriented advice’) focuses on global brand clearance and trade mark disputes; Gros and Blunt assisted a building material company on its global rebranding project, which involved advising on trade mark clearance, commercial risk and strategy. Of counsels Helen Brown and Julia Hemmings, who are experienced at handling consumer transactions with an emphasis on the retail fashion sector, are other names to note. Eli Lily, HSBC, Kurt Geiger, Virgin Media and L'Oréal are also clients.

Bird & Bird LLP has a well-known reputation in the brand management area, particularly on the brand-owner side, and is praised for its ‘good industry knowledge and excellent legal expertise’. The practice’s expertise spans trade mark and design portfolio management, traditional and online marketing and advertising strategies and global brand expansion transactions. Contentious trade mark matters are a key area of strength; recent highlights include successfully representing Merck in a High Court dispute arising from breach of contract and trade mark infringement with US-based Merck Sharp & Dohme in the High Court. The highly regarded Peter Brownlow and Felicity Reeve continue to act for Monster Energy on a number of trade mark matters, including acting in 60 European Union Trade Mark (EUTM) oppositions or European Union Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO) board of appeal cases, as well as acting on a series of trade mark appeals in The General Court. Reeve also acted for Chelsea FC on the negotiation of a long-term sponsorship agreement with Nike. Katharine Stephens and Allan Poulter are representing Philip Morris International in four EUIPO appeal cases involving invalidity actions brought by British American Tobacco. According to one client, dual-qualified trade mark attorney and solicitor Mark Holah is ‘one of the best trade mark lawyers in London’; he is assisting House of Fraser with more than 500 trade mark registrations and related oppositions, cancellation actions and comparable actions globally. Litigator Phil Sherrell is ‘extremely personable, sharp and responsive’. Tom Snaith and Nick Aries are also recommended.

Bristows LLP further strengthened its already well-respected brand management capability with the recruitment of IP litigator Simon Clark and trade mark specialist Ian Gruselle, along with six other practitioners from Berwin Leighton Paisner LLP. The ‘professional, strategic and commercial’ team is particularly strong at advising major brands and agencies on the legality of advertising campaigns and sales promotions as well as comparative advertising and contentious matters. Paul Jordan, who heads the advertising and marketing practice, is acting alongside Paul Walsh for WPP on the management of its worldwide trade mark portfolio; in 2016, they assisted on clearance searches regarding a global rebranding and handled trade mark infringement and domain name disputes. Jordan’s other highlights included advising Paramount Pictures on music licensing requirements and copyright issues relating to live streamed and online availability of movies; advising British American Tobacco on its compliance with the UK’s e-cigarette advertising restrictions relating to the promotion of its new e-cigarette product, Pebble; and assisting Royal Mail Group with advertising copy clearance issues. IP disputes specialist Jeremy Blum focuses on brand and IP enforcement. Senior associate Sacha Wilson has notable experience in sponsorship, digital advertising, ad-tech developments and associated regulatory issues. Associate Andrew Butcher and Remya Jayakkar are ‘knowledgeable and commercially-minded’.

CMS takes ‘active steps to understand the client’s business’ and ‘provides expert advice without losing sight of the commercial risks and benefits’. It significantly enhanced its brand management offering when it merged with Olswang LLP and Nabarro LLP in 2017, creating a brand management powerhouse that advises on the full range of issues, from registration and enforcement of trade marks to the exploitation and promotion of brands through advertising. Key figures within the sizeable team include Iain Stansfield, who focuses on transactional and advisory work for a client base comprising several well-known names in the advertising and marketing, publishing and retail sectors; head of advertising and marketing Susan Barty ,who is ‘client focussed’ and singled out for her ‘solid industry and legal expertise’. Also recommended are the ‘commercially-mindedTom Scourfield, who heads the IP group, which includes contentious IP specialist and ‘trusted adviserDavid Parrish; Joel Barry, who specialises in the media sector; and Guy Heath and Louise Gellman, who focus on protection, exploitation and enforcement of trade mark rights. Recent highlights include advising Sky on the protection, enforcement and management of more than 3000 trade mark portfolios in over 150 countries; acting for British Olympic Association on infringement and settlements in relation to ambush marketing; and assisting new client eBay with a series of trade mark opposition cases relating to –BAY formative marks. Japan Tobacco International, Levi Strauss, Marks & Spencer and Microsoft are also clients.

According to one client, Lewis Silkin LLP is ‘one of the best in terms of agility and efficient use of resources’. Brinsley Dresden, Dominic Farnsworth and Jo Farmer jointly lead the cross-departmental practice, which has an extensive track record in the brand management space spanning advertising regulation, corporate transactions, commercial contracts and IP issues. The firm is the sole UK representative in the Global Advertising Lawyers Alliance, which acts as a hub for clients requiring advertising law advice and covers more than 80 jurisdictions. Dresden advises a number of leading brands and advertising agencies on a wide range of issues covering all aspects of advertising law and regulation. Farnworth’s particular areas of expertise include sponsorship, endorsements, image rights, domain name disputes and unauthorised use of famous personalities in commercials and other media formats. Farmer (‘a star in terms of pragmatism, efficiency and co-ordination of the firm’s resources’) advised Wieden + Kennedy on its advertising and creative services contract and commercial agreement with Sainsbury’s. Simon Morrissey focuses on the converging areas of advertising and technology law, and has specialist expertise in data protection. On the contentious side, Giles Crown handled a number of comparative advertising disputes, including for BT Group, which it represented in its dispute with Sky relating to broadband claims made in Sky’s television advertising. Legal director Geraint Lloyd-Taylor advised an international advertising agency regarding its work on a supermarket chain’s advertising campaign. IP practitioner Alex Kelham is ‘great on sports and sponsorship-related matters’.

Many consider Osborne Clarke LLP to be a market leader in sponsorship, advertising and marketing. The firm is also singled out for its expertise in ad-tech and marketing-tech matters; recent highlights include advising on privacy, advertising and contractual issues associated with ad-tech, programmatic advertising, customer audience segmentation and targeting. Representative clients in this space include YuMe, Sonobi and Integral Ad Science. The team was further bolstered with the arrivals of reputation management specialist Ashley Hurst from Olswang LLP, as well as IP litigator Arty Rajendra and trade mark attorney Mark Foreman, both of whom joined from Rouse IP Limited. In other highlights, practice head Nick Johnson is advising L'Oréal on prize promotions, as well as a range of advertising and marketing activities, and continues to assist Facebook with advertising, marketing and brand issues; Tom Harding is advising Bose on brand exploitation issues, including its sponsorship of the Mercedes F1 team; Anna Williams is advising new client Yahoo! on advertising and privacy issues and on internal policies relating to matters such as sensitive ad targeting and customer segmentation; and Robert Guthrie is advising a private members club on the exploitation of the brand internationally and the management of its trade mark portfolio.

Taylor Wessing LLP is singled out for its ‘excellent level of service’ and its ‘rounded, commercial and creative approach to brand portfolio and management’, which enables the team to provide ‘practical suggestions to enhance brand portfolios’. The group acts for a broad range of clients including Inditex, Cisco, Hard Rock Holdings and GEMS, and handles a steady flow of advertising pre-clearance and disputes work, as well as sponsorship and endorsement deals. Recent work includes assisting Orange with its global trade mark portfolio, which amounts to more than 4500 marks in over 190 jurisdictions; defending the developer of a dating app in High Court proceedings concerning allegations of trade mark infringement and passing off; advising Godiva Chocolatier on its brand protection strategy relating to new brands and products; representing Property Renaissance in successful High Court and Intellectual Property Enterprise Court (IPEC) proceedings against Titanic Spa regarding the use of the name Titanic; and successfully acting for a leading media and entertainment provider in defending and settling trade mark opposition proceedings and threatened High Court litigation against one of its flagship brands. Within the team, practice head Roland Mallinson and Timothy Pinto are singled out for their ‘legal knowledge, and pragmatic and timely approach’. IP and media group head Mark Owen specialises in copyright, trade mark and design law. France Delord’s approach is ‘always practical and pragmatic’ and is ‘a pleasure to work with; she takes great pride in her work and in building relationships with clients’. Also recommended are Charles Lloyd and Jason Rawkins, who are praised for their ‘commercial awareness and technical ability’, and senior associate Adam Rendle, who specialises in trade marks, copyright and media-related issues.

Allen & Overy LLP significantly enhanced its soft IP offering with the recruitment of David Stone from Simmons & Simmons, who is ‘one of the most gifted lawyers in IP’. He leads the global brands group, which is now regarded as one of the leading IP practices in London. It has wide-ranging expertise covering the life sciences sectors, and has one of the most highly regarded non-patent groups. Stone is a ‘real design guru’ and is ‘able to lead a large litigation team with great skill and tactical nous’. He is ably assisted by ‘very creative and commercial’ trade mark specialist Neville Cordell, who is ‘a versatile litigator who is well-known for both trade mark and heavy duty patent cases alike’; and Nigel Parker and Jim Ford, who are highly recommended for big-ticket sponsorship mandates. Recent highlights include advising Fox Entertainment on all of its UK and EU brands and designs; assisting Tradeweb Europe with a trade mark infringement and passing-off claim against Finsa Europe; and acting for one of the world’s most famous football clubs on a global template franchise agreement.

DLA Piper is regularly called on to advise major international clients on global brand management issues spanning trade mark clearances and disputes, sponsorships, and advertising and promotional campaigns, with a notable emphasis on sport, gambling and digital media. Nick Fitzpatrick and Patrick Mitchell count Baku Games, The National Basketball Association and The Premier League as clients, while John Wilks, Duncan Calow and Claire Sng advise brands including Amazon, Panasonic and Alcatel Lucent on advertising and marketing issues, including handling complex compliance projects and issues relating to digital and ad-tech. It is advising Aviva on privacy compliance issues relating to behavioural and targeted advertising, social media marketing, and use of big data for advertising and marketing purposes. The team is also assisting a number of clients on multi-jurisdictional marketing promotion reviews, and has handled trade mark filings, oppositions, portfolio management and online and offline infringement issues for Papa John’s. In another key highlight it is advising Rakuten on its €220m sponsorship of the Futbol CLUB Barcelona. The team is led by well-regarded IP practitioner and litigator Ruth Hoy and includes consultant Siân Croxon and media and entertainment specialist Duncan Calow.

Fieldfisher’s ‘top-notch’ 13-partner team regularly advises on advertising and marketing, as well as sponsorship mandates and IP portfolio management matters. David Bond leads on sponsorship matters and highly regarded trade mark specialist Leighton Cassidy leads the IP protection group. It acts for an impressive array of clients, from start-ups to high-profile international household names. A cross-departmental team is assisting Dixons Carphone with its trade mark portfolio, including advising on trade mark and patent protection and enforcement. Cassidy and Richard Hing regularly act for Take Two Interactive Software, and are advising on 30 pending trade mark oppositions and related appeals, non-use revocation actions and customs seizures across the European Union. Paul Barton advised Ensighten on international data protection and privacy matters as well as on a series of transactions relating to the supply of its enterprise tag management system and related digital marketing products. Litigator Nick Rose acted for Karen Millen Fashions and Mosaic Fashions US in a high-profile dispute in the High Court against the individual Karen Millen regarding the rights in Karen Millen’s trade mark outside Europe with a focus on China and the US. Senior associate Mark Smith has notable knowledge in the ad-tech space, as well as considerable experience in managing international compliance projects and advising on Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) investigations. Hastings Guise is praised for his ‘ability to get to the crux of the issue effectively and efficiently, and provide practical, client-friendly advice’. Sonal Patel is also recommended.

Gowling WLG handles multi-jurisdictional brand management and advertising matters for clients in food and drink, automotive, retail and technology sectors; representative clients include Weetabix, Mothercare, Oxfam and Volkswagen Group. The group is primarily an advertising and marketing practice, with considerable experience in intellectual property management and enforcement. Recent highlights include assisting A Nelson & Co with trade mark enforcement and protection issues across a number of jurisdictions; advising Baker Tilly International on its global brand licensing project; and acting for Carlsberg on the successful defence of an ASA complaint regarding its YouTube advertisement. Key contacts include advertising expert Dan Smith and Kate Swaine, who specialises in the enforcement and clearance of brands, advertising and designs; they are supported by George Sevier, who has particular expertise in online brand management, covering issues involving the use of trade marks in keyword advertising, domain name recovery matters, and removing infringing products from online stores. Mathilda Davidson has particular expertise in food and fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG) marketing and charity promotions.

Harbottle & Lewis LLP continues to make its mark in sponsorship and has enhanced its trade mark and brand-related portfolio management offering with the recruitment of trade mark practitioner Georgy Evans, who joined from Bristows LLP. The arrival of sports marketing specialist Andy Korman from Couchmans LLP strengthened the firm’s sports practice, which continues to act for major global brands on sports marketing matters and their advertising campaigns. Other areas of expertise include protecting brand owners from defamatory statements by competitors, broadcasters and the public via social media, and area in which the firm has ‘a first-class reputation’. Notable highlights included assisting with advertising clearance matters for a range of domestic and international clients; advising Infiniti, the luxury division of Japanese automaker Nissan, on its partnership and technical collaboration with the Renault Sport F1 team; and acting for celebrities including Kate Moss and David and Victoria Beckham on the management of their global trade mark portfolios as well as brand protection and exploitation. Andy Millmore leads the team, which includes Kostyantyn Lobov, who advises brands and advertising agencies on regulatory and clearance issues, including handling of investigations by the ASA; and Daniel Tozer, who advises agencies on their commercial contracts and counts Droga5 as his client. Also recommended are Bob Mitchell, consultant Dalton Odendaal and Michael Lister, who have notable experience advising on sponsorship matters; and IP litigators Jeremy Morton and Shireen Peermohamed.

Hogan Lovells International LLP handles a range of brand protection and branding strategy matters, from issues arising from M&A transactions to trade mark filings, disputes and exploitation of brands through advertising, sponsorship and endorsement. The team also regularly advises its US clients on copy clearance issues arising from their advertising in the UK. Richard Welfare and Sahira Khwaja heads the team, which includes Charlie Winckworth, who is ‘a commercially-minded IP lawyer’ and ‘works hard to achieve the right result for his clients’. Also recommended are senior associate Anneka Dalton, who focuses on advising high-profile bands on trade mark and domain name issues, and has a track record handling trade mark disputes; and counsel Jane Summerfield, whose experience covers labelling and compositional legislation, and defending challenges by regulatory authorities to products and advertising materials. Highlights included advising Mars on its advertising campaigns, promotional activities and on brand enforcement matters in the UK; assisting Merck Sharp and Dohme with the UK trade mark aspects of a dispute against Merck KGaA concerning the use of the name Merck; acting for a multinational manufacturing company in trade mark opposition proceedings; and assisting Eos with its actions against infringing copy products ranging from small high street operations to large industry players.

RPC strengthened its media and information law and contentious data protection with the recruitment of Nicola Cain, who joined as legal director from an in-house role in February 2017. Its wide-ranging expertise spans traditional and new media publishing, IP, data protection, advertising, competition and corporate media work. Recent highlights include assisting PizzaExpress with all aspects of its advertising and marketing campaigns and brand protection and enforcement matters. Highlights for Oliver Bray included assisting Google with its pan-European advertising campaigns, including advising on TV, online and in-store point of sale advertising campaigns for new Google product launches, and acting for YouTube on clearance issues in relation to videos and materials created for a variety of YouTube advertising campaigns. IP specialist Jeremy Drew represented Louis Roederer in its successful trade mark claim against J. García Carrión regarding its infringement of Cristal champagne. David Cran advised Sports Direct on the sale of the Dunlop brand to Sumitomo Rubber Industries, which involved the acquisition of Dunlop’s trade mark portfolio and its sporting goods and licensing business. Paul Joseph acted for the BBC in a dispute with Take-Two Interactive regarding marketing materials for the TV drama The Gamechangers. Ben Mark and recently promoted partner Ciara Cullen are also names to note.

Reed Smith LLP’s recent highlights include advising a global cosmetics company in the negotiation of a multibillion-dollar media agency agreement, and acting for BBC Worldwide on an application to the Commercial Court for declarations in connection with a contractual dispute over music archives. Michael Skrein and senior associate Huw Morris are the main contacts; Morris has notable experience in copy clearance, regulatory investigations, advertising sales and contractual matters. Emma Lenthall and Gregor Pryor are also recommended for advertising-related disputes.

Squire Patton Boggs covers the full spectrum of brand management matters and is widely recognised for its specialist advertising expertise; clients include major brands and ad agencies, which the firm advises on contract drafting, enforcement, and regulatory matters. Key strengths include clearing international advertising campaigns and prize promotions. Robert Wegenek advises on advertising clearance and production issues involving sponsorships and branded content, while technology lawyer Carlton Daniel handles contentious and non-contentious matters for clients in the advertising, marketing and media sectors. Recent highlights include advising on a range of commercial and advertising regulatory matters; acting for Hobbs on copyright, trade mark and design right infringement and franchising arrangements; assisting Chelsea FC with its sponsorship deal with Samsung; and advising agencies within the WPP group on high-profile global agency appointments and advertising campaigns. Florian Traub is recommended for pre-filing trade mark clearance and infringement matters, and recently acted for a leading healthcare and cosmetic retailer on all aspects of trade mark protection and enforcement including clearance and litigation.

Bates Wells Braithwaite attracts praise for its ‘excellent response times, solid business advice, great value for money and superbly attentive and personal service’. The highly regarded Rupert Earle is advising the ASA on a number of advertising cases involving UK and EU law issues and threats of judicial review. The group also has niche expertise advising charity sector clients on a range of trade mark issues; in an illustration of its capability in this area, Rosamund McCarthy is advising the charity Girl Effect on branding, advertising, IP rights and governance matters, and trade mark attorney Mathew Healey is assisting a household charity on its international portfolio of registered trade marks and pending applications spanning more than 40 jurisdictions.

Browne Jacobson LLP is singled out for its ‘high level of commercial acumen’, ‘appropriate advice’ and ‘extremely fast response times’. The team was joined in February 2017 by IP litigator Cerryg Jones from Gowling WLG; he splits his time between the firm’s Birmingham and London offices. The team continues to act for the London Taxi Corporation on a trade mark infringement and passing-off action against Frazer-Nash Research and Ecotive related to 3D trade marks in the shape of the British London black cab. It is also assisting a large fashion brand on a number of trade mark opposition matters. Key figures include Declan Cushley, who is ‘very commercial’ and gives ‘pragmatic legal advice and solutions’; Bonita Trimmer, who has a particular focus on brands and designs disputes; IP litigators Giles Parsons and Mark Daniels, who are praised for their ‘strategic advice’; and Alex Watt, who is recommended for transactional trade mark work and advertising and marketing deals.

Cooley (UK) LLP’s brand management capability spans a wide range of sectors, with a particular focus on technology and life sciences. Nicholas Bolter heads the practice, which which saw the arrival of patent attorney Colm Murphy from Venner Shipley LLP in May 2016. Bolter is assisting Twitter with a trade mark filing and disputes relating to the launch of the Periscope platform, and is acting for a multinational corporation on IP, advertising and marketing issues within Europe and a range of commercial agreements including sponsorship, agency agreements and outsourcing. Special counsel Claire Lehr is also recommended. Akash Sachdeva joined Keystone Law.

Specialist sports law firm Couchmans LLP focuses on assisting sports sector clients with a wide range of matters, including sponsorship, IP, advertising and marketing. Chairman Nic Couchman’s clients include International Olympic Committee, Formula 1 Management, Nike, Nokia and News International. Nick White advises sports personalities including Mo Farah and Chris Hoy; governing bodies including FIFA and Basketball England; and brands such as Rapha and Skins. Fraser Reid focuses on providing sports marketing and sponsorship advice to a number of sports agencies and brands. Andy Korman joined Harbottle & Lewis LLP in 2016.

Mishcon de Reya LLP advises on a broad spectrum of contentious and non-contentious brand management mandates, and its team handles trade mark and design filing, prosecution and enforcement matters. David Rose is acting for Sky in a dispute with an IT cloud company trading in the UK and Europe by reference to the name SkyKick, which involves management of proceedings in the UK courts, and at UKIPO and EUIPO. In another highlight Sally Britton is representing Charlotte Olympic Holdings on a number of disputes in China with serial bad faith filers. Ray Black handles Ralph Lauren's UK and EU trade mark portfolio, in particular in relation to a large number of ongoing UK and EUTM trade mark oppositions and registered design actions at first instance and appeal level relating to the client's polo player device and POLO marks. Jeremy Hertzog heads the team which also includes Lewis Cohen who specialises in commercial and IP arrangements.

At Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman LLP, practice head Rafi Azim-Khan represented Velvet in disputes with Kimberly Clark via the ASA regarding unfair competitor claims, and acted for the same client on product descriptions, consumer test programmes and product claims, as well as handling social media, website marketing and e-commerce issues. Azim-Khan’s other highlights included assisting Sysorex with next generation consumer tracking, profiling and targeted advertising in the UK and issues arising from the commercialisation of big data; and advising a US technology company on comparative advertising issues. Counsel Steven Farmer is particularly experienced at advising on ASA complaints and investigations, comparative advertising issues and other IP disputes in an advertising context. The Clorox Company, Burt’s Bees, Slimfast and Norwegian Airlines also feature on its client roster.

Simmons & Simmons has wide-ranging brand management expertise spanning portfolio management, litigation, and brand-related transactional instructions including sponsorship and advertising issues. The group is particularly experienced in the finance, fintech, TMT, FMCG and life sciences sectors, and advises clients including Hugo Boss, The TJX Companies, Theravance Biopharma and Imperial Brands. Adrian Smith (who is ‘one of the safest pairs of hands’ according to clients) specialises in clearance, protection and enforcement of rights, and commercial brand exploitation arrangements, while managing associate Darren Meale’s level of legal expertise and organisational skills are ‘very impressive’; he is ‘a real pleasure to work with’. The team is advising Fontem Ventures on its trade mark and design portfolio and is handling a large number of disputes, including trade mark opposition and enforcement matters. David Stone joined Allen & Overy LLP in November 2016.

Wiggin LLP is known for its high-tech copyright and media sector expertise. Practice head Simon Baggs is ‘a real star’; according to one client, he is ‘the outstanding solicitor in the field of ISP liability’. Baggs and Rachel Alexander represented Richemont in an appeal before the Court of Appeal brought by five major ISPs, challenging two granted website blocking orders. Practice head Gurminder Panesar continues to advise Perform Group on trade mark portfolio management and proceedings at the UKIPO and EUIPO, and is advising Hiscox Group on its worldwide trade mark portfolio. Other clients include BBC Worldwide, UCAS, Imaginarium Studios and Playtech.

Addleshaw Goddard’s team includes Paul Bentham in Manchester and London-based Emma Armitage, who focus on non-contentious and contentious trade mark matters, respectively. The team has notable retail and consumer sector expertise, and is particularly experienced at handling brand and design disputes. It advises a large number of household names on trade mark searches, filing and prosecution of applications, and third party trade mark disputes, trade mark renewals and brand audits. Primark, Harrods, Associated British Foods and Liverpool Football Club are all clients. Highlights included advising an independent school on an agreement to license its name, trade mark, uniforms and operating procedures to set up a franchise school in the Middle East. The Manchester-based James Whittaker is also recommended.

Bond Dickinson LLP’s brand management group ‘blends a number of practitioners with different skillsets’ and is ‘very client-focused, with a strong understanding of both the what and the why of what it is asked to review’. Consultant Nicky Strong ‘seeks a sensible balance between the commercial goals and the regulation, and is genuinely collaborative in her approach’. Strong continues to advise Post Office on all advertising and marketing materials across its entire product portfolio, and recently assisted with its telecoms comparative advertising campaigns. She is also representing Colgate Palmolive on multiple competitor disputes in relation to advertising claims. On the trade mark side, a team led by Patrick Cantrill advised Middlesbrough Football Club on clearance searches, as well as the filing and management of its trade mark portfolio. Clients also single out trade mark attorney Rachel Hearson, who is praised for her ‘good communications and pragmatic approach’.

Brabners LLP is ‘happy to go the extra mile when needed and has a very realistic, pragmatic and solutions-focused approach taking into account relevant commercial and industry specific knowledge and expertise’. Nik White is rated for providing ‘a consistent high level of service in keeping with his own efficient, effective and client-focused approach to legal service’. The team advises a number of sporting entities on brand protection and enforcement issues, and in 2016 assisted the Wayne Rooney Foundation with its agreements with Manchester United and Everton. Other highlights included acting on a series of broadcasting and sponsorship agreements, and assisting a number of domestic and international clients with domain name disputes. Colin Bell counts Groupon, Ideal Industries and Celimmune as his clients, which he assists on trade mark filing and opposition matters.

Charles Russell Speechlys LLP fields a ‘well-oiled, highly professional legal team’ led by Mary Bagnall, who impresses with her ‘unfailing efficiency, professional knowledge, sensible advice, and calm and courteous attitude’, and Ian Wood. Trade mark attorney Kate O’Rourke is also recommended. Bagnall’s recent instructions include representing Cadbury in validity proceedings on appeal from the UKIPO relating to its trade mark of the colour purple, and assisting Drake Star Partners with brand clearance searching and trade mark protection. O’Rouke represented Actis in an ongoing dispute with the owner of a Chinese character mark involving cancellation and invalidation proceedings to enable Actis to secure trade mark registration and its ability to use the mark in China. Dogs Trust, Wagamama, Gulf Air and Paddy Power are also key clients.

Andrew Terry at Eversheds Sutherland (International) LLP advises The Coca-Cola Company on a broad range of advertising and promotional campaigns across its entire product range, as well as assisting with sponsorship and IP protection and exploitation in relation to major sporting events. He is also acting for Avon Cosmetics in a High Court trade mark and comparative advertising dispute with Clarins. Other highlights included advising a social media company on advertising and technical agreements relating to the launch of its platform in the UK and other jurisdictions, and representing a luxury fashion brand in a pan-EU brand protection and anti-counterfeiting programme. The team also includes dual-qualified solicitor and trade mark attorney Kate Ellis and IP litigator Adrian Toutoungi.

Herbert Smith Freehills LLP’s Joel Smith handles contentious and non-contentious work for clients spanning the consumer, retail, media technology and energy sectors. In 2016, Smith advised Love Productions on trade mark infringement and passing-off issues relating to the company's rights to the mark Great British Bake Off, and acted for Sky in IPEC copyright infringement proceedings against publicans broadcasting Sky football games through the use of domestic viewing cards. The team also advises on comparative advertising issues involving complaints of trade mark infringement before the High Court or complaints to the ASA, and on online behavioural advertising.

K&L Gates LLP is singled out for its ‘well-reasoned and comprehensive advice’. The team is particularly strong in handling cross-border brand and technology licensing transactions, trade mark protection and enforcement actions. Practice head Arthur Artinian (‘a top-quality adviser with great business awareness’) he advised Belkin International on global IP management and enforcement actions covering a portfolio of more than 2000 trade marks and designs, and represented TripAdvisor on a dispute relating to its logo together with a number of trade mark infringement and opposition actions against third parties. It also acts for a number of fashion and luxury goods sector clients on design infringement claims and counterfeiting issues. Sports lawyer Warren Phelops is recommended for sponsorship, licensing, media and endorsement matters.

Lee & Thompson LLP has ‘a thorough understanding of the issues surrounding brand protection, not only on the protection side, but also on the policing and enforcement side’. The team has ‘broad yet in-depth knowledge and experience of all aspects of brand management, providing clear, accurate and client-specific advice’. Gordon Williams is recommended, as is Mark Stafford; both are ‘very capable lawyers, providing no-nonsense and high-quality advice that is straightforward, accurate and easy to understand’. Dominic Bray, who focuses on advertising and marketing matters, is also recommended. In 2016, the team assisted marketing agency group Engine Group with major campaigns clearance issues, and advised on a number of endorsement and sponsorship mandates. Julian Ward joined from Hamlins LLP in May 2017.

IP boutique firm Redd Solicitors LLP manages trade mark and designs portfolios of household fashion brands, as well as FMCG, technology and pharmaceutical companies. Simon Chalkley focuses on commercial IP transactions, while the highly regarded Anna Carboni and Sara Ashby specialise in IP litigation. In 2016, the team advised Microsoft on trade mark matters relating to Skype; assisted a fashion designer with the management of its worldwide trade mark portfolio and rebranding of the label; and advised Ceviche on brand clearance, protection and strategy for the restaurant brands, as well as on enforcement against third parties. *Following publication of the 2017 edition, the firm merged with Wiggin LLP.

Media law boutique Sheridans advises on the protection and exploitation of IP rights, including trade mark, copyright, moral rights and sui generis database rights. Its client list features advertising agencies, production companies, industry bodies and celebrities. Recent highlights include advising a video game developer and publisher on its response to the ASA regarding the alleged misleading advertising of the game prior to its release. Tahir Basheer, Alex Chapman, Peter McInerney, Jeremy Roberts are the main contacts.

At Swan Turton LLP, advertising and marketing specialist Charles Swan advises J Walter Thompson London on advertising issues and ASA complaints; assisted The Hershey Company on its UK advertising and marketing strategy; and advised a US-based fashion and lifestyle media company on advertising and marketing. Stuart Barry specialises in media and music rights, with a particular focus on digital formats.

Wedlake Bell LLP’s ‘commercially-minded’ team is ‘particularly good with clients and always gives advice with an eye to the end goal’. The team advises a range of well-known brand owners including fashion brands, sports and charitable bodies, as well as multinational retailers. Adrian Heath-Saunders recently advised Surrey County Cricket Club on the variation to and extension of a naming rights sponsorship agreement relating to the Kia Oval; Michael Gardner is representing Lacoste in an opposition proceeding to a trade mark application made by Chanel. Other highlights for the team included advising Independent Sports Media on digital marketing and sponsorship arrangements in relation to the Hyper Tygers digital comic book and video game sports series. The ‘very thorough and responsiveJonathan Cornthwaite is also recommended.

The team at Clintons is led by the highly recommended Philip Stinson and includes Stephen Joelson who, in 2016, assisted Calibre Brands with a range of advertising and marketing matters, including labelling, use of promotional material and trade marks; and Tom Frederikse, who advised a major online retailer on its online influencer campaigns. The group also has notable experience assisting advertising groups in their negotiations with clients and acting for agencies in respect of agreements with celebrities.

Collyer Bristow LLP has a substantial presence in the sport sector, and recently advised on a number of sizeable cross-border sponsorship deals. Other representative clients include Aldo, Mercury Music Prize, Sanrio and Vitol. Patrick Wheeler and Charles Braithwaite are the names to note for contentious and commercial matters, respectively.

DWF is known for advising on comparative advertising in the retail and consumer goods space. Dominic Watkins and Hilary Ross are the key contacts; their clients include Lidl, Marks and Spencer, Adidas and Haribo.

Fox Williams LLP primarily focuses on fashion and technology sector clients, which the group advises on a broad range of IP matters; it also specialises in patent protection, designs, copyright and trade mark issues arising from the fintech sector. The ‘knowledgeable and responsiveSimon Bennett and trade mark attorney Sarah Redmond are assisting SuperGroup with its trade mark filing strategy and EU and UK opposition proceedings and settlements. Other clients include Space Ape Games, DKH Retail and Glanbia Performance Nutrition.

Gordon Dadds LLP is singled out for its ‘comprehensive and clearly formulated advice and responsiveness’. The team is now led by trade mark specialist Matthew Hiscox following the departure of Jim Dennis to Simkins LLP in January 2017. The team is advising Usborne Publishing on passing-off, copyright, trade mark and domain name issues, and is assisting a number of clients including Rude Health, Sportpesa and The Mole Clinic with their worldwide trade mark portfolios.

Hamlins LLP’s team has particular expertise in protecting and exploiting IP rights within the music, entertainment and media sectors, including copyright and design rights, passing-off, licensing and anti-counterfeiting. Representative clients include PRS for Music, Phonographic Performance Limited (PPL) and Bravado International Group.

Keystone Law further strengthened its brand management offering with the hire of Lucy Blick-Jones from BBC Worldwide, Sarah Needham from DC Thomson, Suzy Schmitz from Kemp Little LLP, and Vanessa Barnett from Charles Russell Speechlys LLP. Recent highlights saw Anthony Misquitta advising Guthy-Renker UK on IP and advertising law issues; Ian Down advising a fast food chain on a broad range of advertising, promotions and campaigns; and Schmitz assisting a consumer goods company with comparative advertising and third party trade mark issues.

At Penningtons Manches LLP, Anna Frankum manages Levi Roots’ international trade mark portfolio and in 2016, advised on defending an opposition in Canada. She also assisted CHT R. Beitlich on filing oppositions against trade marks filed at the UKIPO and EUIPO by a Chinese competitor. IP litigator Alex Fox is also a key contact.

Simkins LLP enhanced its IP litigation capability when it recruited Jim Dennis from Gordon Dadds LLP in January 2017. Since joining the firm, Dennis acted for Frank Recruitment Group in a trade mark dispute with Pearson, and is acting for KPMG and Mechatronics on a number of trade mark oppositions. Caroline Copeland and Nick Eziefula are ‘excellent commercial lawyers and great team players’; their recent highlights include advising a large advertising and marketing agency on a series of master service agreements with a number of blue-chip companies.

Simons Muirhead & Burton’s client roster features a number of well-known luxury and high street retailers. The ‘super-experienced and extremely knowledgeableManinder Gill recently assisted Rubis International on its global trade mark and branding strategy, and assisted a retail company with advertising issues including pre-advertising clearance and compliance. Gill is ‘particularly astute in relation to copyright infringement litigation, having a very commercial perspective and mindful of the wider reputational aspects’. Associates Anne Rogers and Caroline Subedi are also recommended.

TLT advises high tech start-ups and international brand owners on the full range of trade mark issues and domain name registrations. James Touzel and Nick Fenner are recommended. Touzel recently advised a financial services company on advertising issues relating to its social media campaign.

International comparative guides

Giving the in-house community greater insight to the law and regulations in different jurisdictions.

Select Practice Area

GC Diversity and Inclusion Report

In partnership with...

Press releases

The latest news direct from law firms. If you would like to submit press releases for your firm, send an email request to

Legal Developments in London for Brand management

Legal Developments in the UK

Legal Developments and updates from the leading lawyers in each jurisdiction. To contribute, send an email request to

Press Releases in the UK

The latest news direct from law firms. If you would like to submit press releases for your firm, send an email request to