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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 > South East > TMT > Intellectual property > Law firm and leading lawyer rankings



Index of tables

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

Next generation lawyers

  1. 1

Who Represents Who

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Boyes Turner provides an ‘outstanding level of service’, with ‘great, practical advice on real problems that require quick, yet intelligent solutions’ and ‘really sharp business acumen’. Bill Gornall-King heads the department and specialises in advising clients on the commercial exploitation of their intellectual property, particular in the electronics and IT sector. Gornall-King is advising specialist software engineer Red Fox ID on the legal issues involved in its development of a new generation of software products and services for the transport sector. ‘Highly recommended’ Mark Blunden ‘is an outstanding attorney’, who ‘comes armed with multiple solutions to complex commercial issues’. Blunden and media and entertainment law expert Sarah Williamson  have been acting for Brandview on its content harvesting and monetisation when licensing its solutions to retail sector customers using the solutions for price, promotions and product analytics. Associate solicitor Helen Dobson joined the team in 2017 from Osborne Clarke.

The practice at ‘first-class’ national firm DMH Stallard LLP is headed by senior litigation partner Tim Ashdown, who possesses ‘thorough, in-depth understanding of his subject’ and ‘great strategic skills’. Ashdown divides his time between the firm’s London and Brighton offices and acts on all aspects of intellectual property, looking after many of the firm’s key IT clients, including Nozomi, Arcadia Group and Alpargatas. Ashdown has continued to support the Havaianas footwear brand – owned by Alpargatas – on multiple infringement and parallel importation cases, regularly securing injunctions and disclosure orders in the Intellectual Property Enterprise Court (IPEC) and the High Court. Other key figures for the team include Brighton-based IP disputes specialist Robert Ganpatsingh and Gatwick-based commercial partner John Yates, who leads on non-contentious IP matters for the office. Yates and Ganpatsingh both worked with corporate partner Jonathan Grant on the sale of Summersdale Publishers to Octopus Publishing Group, during which material copyright issues arose requiring the input of Yates and Ganpatsingh to resolve. Senior associate Sarah Cook is noted for her experience in a broad spectrum of IP matters and in domain name disputes, notably assisting Ashdown in the case of Xena Systems Limited v Cantideck and Conquip Industrial before the IPEC, acting for the claimant.

EMW Law LLP is renowned primarily for its work in contentious IP matters, particularly concerning patent, industrial design and trade mark infringement, with a growing non-contentious practice in the protection and exploitation of IP in the context of technology work, IP licence deals and other business models such as franchising and joint ventures. James Geary leads the practice with Mark Finn, who has over 30 years’ experience in IP litigation. Finn acted for Atlas Elektronik, supported by senior solicitor Felix Dodd, in relation to an appeal brought by Saab Seaeye against a first-instance decision of the High Court in a claim relating to an underwater mine clearance weapon system. Non-contentious IP specialist Matthew Holman regularly advises suppliers and purchasers of IT products and services on a range of matters, and is continuing to advise Rightmove on IT matters as well as licensing and brand protection work. Other clients of the team include Santander UK, Dallas Burston Ethitronix and Ethypharm UK.

Maier Blackburn LLP's team has a ‘wealth of knowledge’ in the publishing sector and counts Oxford University Press, Portland Press and Simon & Schuster as clients. Outside this space, Marvel Entertainment and the Cochrane Collaboration also feature on the roster. The ‘very efficient’ Steven Maier resolves disputes across all media and IP sectors, with clients including book, directory and periodical publishers, artists, agents and media organisations. Maier has continued as worldwide litigation counsel to the Tolkien Estate, recently successfully settling long-running litigation in California against Warner Bros and others concerning merchandising rights in the Lord of the Rings trilogy and The Hobbit in anticipation of a multi-season deal with Amazon. Noted for her ‘vast knowledge’ and ‘long memory’, Cathleen Blackburn handles the non-contentious side of the practice and is sought after for her international copyright expertise, specialising in all sectors of the publishing industry and regularly advising individuals and institutions involved in the arts and other areas of cultural activity.

Osborne Clarke handles a range of leading patent work in its core industry sectors, including technology and life sciences, financial services, and renewable energy and cleantech, working for major corporates including Tech Mahindra, Xerox, Virgin Media and the Redwood Group. The firm’s Reading office regularly co-ordinates with its Silicon Valley office, allowing it to effectively service strong US tech clients. Commercial practice head Russell Bowyer specialises in non-contentious work, with an IP caseload spanning trademarks, patents, copyrights and design rights. Bowyer and IP litigator Robert Guthrie advised longstanding client Hyundai on the IP aspects of a widely publicised advertising campaign for the Hyundai Santa Fe, which involved Patrick Bergel, the great-grandson of Ernest Shackleton, driving a slightly modified Santa Fe on a 5,800km journey across the Antarctic. Bowyer also co-ordinated with corporate partner Sara Valentine on the sale of Rush Hair to LDC, in particular advising on the IP issues raised in the renegotiation and novation of its template franchise agreement. Senior associate Joanne Loveridge focuses on technology exploitation and managing trade mark portfolios, and notably worked with Bowyer on the provision of an opinion to ActiveOps on its IP strategy, with a focus on potential threats and opportunities for exploitation.

‘Highly motivated and professional IP law firm’ Palmer Biggs IP, Solicitors combines ‘a high level of expertise with very reasonable fees’, with an emphasis on trade marks, passing off, design and copyright issues. The firm is strong in the automotive, fashion and luxury goods sectors, with big-name clients including Tommy Hilfiger, Nike and Rolls-Royce Motor Cars. Senior partner and registered trademark attorney Steve Palmer is ‘very bright and excellent with clients, with strong commercial sense’. Palmer and Dawn Osborne, a specialist in internet law, represented BMW on a trade mark infringement and passing off case relating to the defendants’ use of BMW’s marks for their service. Solicitor Charles Lawless is ‘very thorough, with growing litigation expertise’, and notably supported Palmer and Osborne on Abercrombie & Fitch’s claim against the defendant over selling counterfeit products over the internet.

With ‘all the firepower of a heavyweight London firm’, Stevens & Bolton LLP possesses an ‘excellent’ IP department who ‘know their stuff and are extremely efficient and pragmatic’. Practice head Tom Lingard and Charlotte Tillett are the key figures and are ‘first-class lawyers’ who are ‘a joy to work with’. Solicitor-advocate Lingard’s primary focus is on litigation but he also advises clients on complex IP licensing and transactional matters. Lingard is representing endurance event company Tough Mudder in a variety of brand and trademark enforcement matters, as well as in opposition proceedings in the UKIPO. Tillett heads the life sciences sector offering and has experience of contentious matters including pharmaceutical patent litigation, trade mark and passing off disputes, copyright and designs litigation, and actions involving breach of confidence and defamation. Tillett is advising CI Plus on a complex claim in the High Court against Impex-Sat for breach of licence terms and circumvention of technical devices applied to copyright works, among other claims. Senior associate Elaine O'Hare has a particular expertise in the fashion and retail sectors, with recent projects including advising a leading French fashion house on a comparative advertising dispute. Communications practice head Gary Parnell is noted for his advice on IP-related matters concerning software solutions.

Blake Morgan LLP has a wide-ranging industry specialism in IP work, in particular handling matters in the charities, education, professional regulation, and retail and leisure sectors, as well as the public sector. With ‘carefully thought-out advice’ and a ‘commercial approach’, practice head Jill Bainbridge is experienced in dealing with a wide range of trade mark matters and in particular cases involving cross-jurisdictional issues. Bainbridge defended multinational publisher Informa in proceedings brought against the client for copyright infringement relating to articles published online, co-ordinating with Mishcon de Reya LLP, which acted for Euromoney in an almost identical claim brought by the same claimant. Sheilah Mackie specialises in non-contentious matters including IP-rich corporate transactions and brand management, and also advises on IP exploitation in the education, charities and technology sectors. Senior associate and trade mark attorney Ben Evans continues to advise Be Wiser Insurance on brand protection, IP rights enforcement and its portfolio. Legal director Chris Williams specialises in all areas of contentious IP, with a particular focus on trade marks and technology.  Gayle Curry left the practice to join BrookStreet des Roches.

The ‘excellent, knowledgeable’ Cripps LLP provides ‘quick response times, good value for money and appropriately tailored practical advice’. Advertising, technology and media sector head Pete Kenyon and Irfan Baluch are the key figures; both are recommended for their ‘excellent responsiveness, good sector knowledge and straightforward advice’. Kenyon’s client base is focused in the software sector, and Kenyon himself has a particular focus on complex IP development and licensing structures, spending a considerable amount of time working with Optomany on a range of complex, high-value technology deals with IP licensing at their core. Baluch assists established businesses and start-ups with the development, acquisition, protection and exploitation of IP, with one notable matter seeing him working alongside ‘star’ corporate and commercial lawyer Victoria Symons to advise RDT on the strategic licensing issues relating to the Trice app, which effectively seeks to create a new mobile marketplace for RDT’s insurer clients. Other practice clients include Coregeo, Holiday Extras and the Alzheimer’s Society.

The team at Penningtons Manches Cooper builds a ‘long-lasting trust and successful cooperation’ with its clients, which include Jimmy Choo, Vaccitech and IKEA. The practice offers expert advice on patents, know-how, trade mark and copyright licensing, and copyright, database and design right protection. Oxford-based partner Chris Shelley jointly heads the practice with London-based Anna Frankum. Shelley is particularly renowned for his work in the life sciences, publishing and engineering sectors; in one recent highlight he advised new client Inkpath on various issues including data protection and the implications of the GDPR, negotiating contracts and drafting an evaluation agreement. Trade marks specialist Gavin Stenton provides strategic brand protection advice to brand owners in a wide variety of sectors including fashion, sport, drinks, publishing and professional services. Joanne Vengadesan, who splits her time between Basingstoke and Reading, is also highly regarded, as is associate Holly Strube. A notable personnel change saw Rachael Barber leave the practice to join Kemp Little LLP.

White & Black Limited's IP team is ‘very responsive’, with ‘deep knowledge of the relevant law, broad experience, commercial advice, and very accurate cost estimates’, with instructions of note received from Concha y Toro, Genesys Telecommunications Laboratories and Nikon. ‘Go-to-man’ Phil Thompson heads up the practice and is a longstanding adviser to some of the leading technology sector players with significant European and UK-based operations, with one project seeing him acting for a European corporate on the development of wireless communication technology products. Victoria Wright (‘client-focused and takes the time to ensure she understands the aim of her clients’) and ‘detail-focused lawyer’ Nicholas Mitchell are the key figures on the contentious side, who have between them recently advised on significant contentious IT matters in the travel, construction and marketing sectors. Nick Mathys left the practice in November 2017 to move to Lewis Townsend LLP.

‘Articulate, measured and sensible’ of counsel Laurie Heizler heads the 'strong' IP offering at Barlow Robbins LLP and is recommended for his ‘depth of knowledge and confidence’. Heizler has been advising Reconnaissance International in respect of alleged copyright infringement. Heizler has also been acting alongside senior associate and litigator Chris Darvill for client Kallo Foods in respect of proceedings before the High Court alleging infringement of registered trademarks and passing off. The firm acts for businesses, schools, charities and private individuals, including Veriton Pharma, Dykomed and Northstar Comic Productions. The firm also receives instructions from trade mark and patent attorneys such as Murgitroyd.

Clarke Willmott LLP gives a ‘very good, responsive service’; ‘their advice is always well thought out and in strong detail and they provide a London service at regional prices and represent very good value for money’. Daniel Berry (‘leaves no stone unturned; a strong strategic thinker’) became the head of the firm’s South IP team in March 2017 and is noted for his significant experience in managing trade mark and design portfolios, with key clients including Organix, Onecom and Medicom Healthcare. Berry has continued to assist the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants on its trade mark and domain name portfolios. Berry has also been managing Mozzo Coffee’s trade mark portfolio and disputes, notably concluding a settlement agreement with Nestlé in October 2017 for the use of Mozzo’s brand in several EU member states.

BrookStreet des Roches' team is experienced in commercial and contentious IP matters, with particular specialisms in franchising, software and app development and licensing transactions, and data security, management and licensing. Significant clients of the practice include Whittard, Toni & Guy and McDonald’s Restaurants. Practice head Hugh Tebay has ‘outstanding legal acumen’ and is ‘highly trusted and very well respected’. Tebay and senior associate Claire Jacques acted for Atomo Diagnostics on the licence of its intellectual property rights in its range of diagnostic kits for a number of diseases and illnesses to licensees based in Europe, India, South Korea, the US and the UAE. Health sector IP expert Gayle Curry joined the team from Blake Morgan LLP in August 2017. Senior consultant Peter Moody is also noted.

Paris Smith LLP is known primarily for its work in IP audit and strategy, trademarks, international licensing and franchising, and contentious IP, regularly receiving client referrals from local and national patent and trade mark attorneys such as Chapman IP, Deverill IP and Barker Brettell. Intellectual property department head Laura Trapnell is ‘quick to respond and always really helpful with fantastic customer service’. Emily Sadler is noted for her expertise in franchise agreements and disputes.  Clients of the practice include Hobbycraft Trading, Marwell Wildlife and The Mayflower Theatre Trust.

At Shoosmiths LLP, ‘very skilled’ trade mark specialist lawyer Gary Assim divides his time between the firm’s London and Milton Keynes offices. Assim’s expertise spans many sectors, including retail, automotive and technology, with recent experience including defending a global retailer against a claim for patent infringement and acting for an iconic footwear brand on the protection of its intellectual property. Anastasia Fowle heads the firm’s national data protection team, as well as being a member of the sports and automotive sector offerings. Fowle has been recently been working with VW Group on UK IP, branding, technology and digital media, commercial and data protection matters, and IP disputes. Consultant Laurence Kaye  maintains involvement with the practice.

Niche intellectual property practice Sipara is run by Rebecca Kaye and Robert Furneaux and was created to provide trade mark services to brand-led companies with an international outlook. Kaye has particular expertise in helping clients to source from overseas and develop new markets, while Furneaux is particularly strong for instructions in the publishing sector. The firm is particularly active in the retail sector, with prominent clients in this area including Topshop, Whittard and New Look. Clients from other sectors include Oxfam, Lloyds Pharmacy and the University of Oxford.

At asb law LLP, practice head Debbie Venn has ‘a wealth of knowledge’, and handles trade mark and image rights protection, among other matters, for Captive Minds. Partner Nicola Billen is highly regarded for disputes concerning IP infringements and domain names. Clients include Pets Corner, Macro 4 and In2action, and the team now advises new client Canon UK on a range of matters, including protecting IP rights for licensing software and hardware.

Brethertons LLP's IP practice is led by Brian Auld, who has niche expertise in advising clients on dealership and distributorship transactions and software agreements. Auld acted on a couple of significant matters for a healthcare sector client on the assignment of intellectual property as part of a company sale and on a trademark licence agreement. Auld is primarily assisted by commercial lawyer Leanne Lawrence and solicitor Ben Hancox.

The IP team at the ‘excellent, responsive and value for money’ Coffin Mew LLP is headed by Mark O\'Halloran, who ‘responds quickly, is extremely knowledgeable and can quickly cut to the chase of any matter’. O’Halloran’s client base spans household name food services businesses, agile management consultancies and specialist retail installations. Other key team members are contentious IP expert Ian Dawes and recommended senior associate Rebecca West. Recent highlights include leading a negotiation on behalf of E-Crunch over brand rights and an amicable settlement, and defending voice and video communications specialist DV02 against invalidity proceedings brought by O2 Worldwide.

Commercial contracts specialist Cathrine Ripley heads the IP offering at Field Seymour Parkes LLP, with the IP facets of her work primarily focusing on the licensing of patents and UK and EU trade mark work. The team has continued to handle the IP concerns arising out of corporate transactions, while experiencing an uptick in the number of instructions for advice on trademarks and strategic IP planning. South Africa-qualified attorney Susan Wells joined the team in August 2017, in preparation for her dual qualification in 2018.

Foot Anstey's IP practice provides ‘excellent knowledge and value for money’ and is noted in particular for its ‘good responsiveness and proactivity’. Paul Cox recently joined from Clarke Willmott LLP to head up the firm’s IP practice. Cox ‘is always responsive and is able to identify issues and solutions; his ability to give good and practical advice is appreciated’, with the retail, leisure, food and drink, and automotive industries some of his areas of strength. Highlights included Neil Parkes acting for Sky UK in its ongoing battle against illegal streaming of Sky Sports online and Peter Singfield providing ongoing support to Trinity Mirror regarding the management of its Local World portfolio of trade marks.

‘Highly rated for intellectual property’, Howes Percival LLP ‘has a broad range of knowledge and is able to run big and small cases efficiently and cost effectively’, with particular expertise in the publishing and manufacturing sectors, as well as being adept at handling disputes involving software or online features. ‘Excellent litigator’ James Howarth, based in Milton Keynes, ‘combines good legal knowledge with excellent commercial judgement’. Howarth has been representing manufacturing sector client Fibrefab in a complex trade mark dispute with a competitor, and on the advisory side has been acting for publishing sector client Lion Hudson on an option agreement for a film based on one of its titles. National department head Matthew Talbot is based in the firm’s Leicester office.

The 'excellent' Moorcrofts LLP ‘has provided consistently good service over many years’, with ‘a high level of service in an area which calls for a specialised skillset’. Managing partner and ‘very fine IT/IP lawyer’ Andrew Katz ‘is a genuine expert in open source legal matters, and also extremely capable on IT law and data protection’, with other areas of expertise including open hardware, cloud computing and compliance in data protection and software supply chains. Katz has been working closely with CERN on the latest release of its open hardware licence and has been advising Questionmark Computing on its cross-border data flows ahead of GDPR implementation. Technology and IP solicitor Tim Astley and associate solicitor Katie Osborne are noted as important team members.

Moore Law provides ‘excellent service with outstanding responses times, comprehensive industry knowledge and very good value for money’. ‘Outstanding commercial lawyer’ Tris Moore heads the commercial and IP offering at the firm and is noted for his expertise in the law relating to commercial clinical trials and related IP. Moore has been acting for RocketRoute on the commercial and IP aspects of a significant corporate transaction, and is advising pharmaceutical and clinical research company P1vital on its clinical trials for experimental medicine. Significant new client instructions have been received from WKK Architects, Trading Post Coffee Roasters and The Zeitgeist Agency.

The ‘very good, responsive and obliging’ Spratt Endicott handles a broad range of IP considerations, advising clients on privacy policies, licence terms and the IP aspects of corporate transactions, among other matters. Chairman John Spratt leads the IP offering, with assistance from directors Hitendra Patel and David Whiting and associate Catherine O\'Riordan. Whiting is strong for contentious IP issues, bringing his experience of litigation and alternative dispute resolution to assist clients requiring the protection and exploitation of IP rights, while Patel and O’Riordan tend to handle the mainstream advisory IP issues.

Kevin Sullivan handles a range of intellectual property matters at Warners Solicitors, especially IP disputes, including those relating to copyright, designs, trademarks, passing off and misuse of confidential information. Recent highlights include acting for Technomed in respect of its successful claim for the infringement of its copyright and database right in its ECG software solution and acting for Mosaic Smart Data on the licensing of its MSX data analytics software product to JPMorgan Chase. Sullivan is supported in IP matters by solicitor Jonathan Booton.

With a 'brilliant service and response', Wortley Byers LLP ‘always lays out all the details clearly and concisely’ for IP instructions. The firm attracts clients from a wide spectrum of industry sectors, including pharmaceuticals and healthcare, hotels and leisure, insurance, and transport and logistics. Head of practice Sue Dowman ‘is very pragmatic and responsive, with a fair and unbiased viewpoint’. Dowman has supported APP Wholesale with the management of its trademark portfolio and advised ATP when it was faced with allegations of copyright infringement. Solicitors Baljeet Kaur and Elizabeth de Cruz support Dowman.

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