Firms To Watch: Intellectual property

Deans IP was established in 2020 by experienced IP practitioner Rob Deans. The group's experience ranges from portfolio management to watching services, anti-counterfeiting and anti-piracy advice and the contentious aspects of IP.

Intellectual property in United Arab Emirates

Clyde & Co LLP

Clyde & Co LLP has a full-service intellectual property offering that spans across the GCC. The team is capable of advising on the entire intellectual property life cycle; key sectors of strength include TMT, healthcare and aviation. Joycia Young specialises in the commercialisation of intellectual property and is particularly recognised in the franchising space. Mark Devaney is sought out for matters involving brand protection and enforcement. Senior associate Nicole Giblin also works on the contentious side of the practice and has a strong background in the prosecution and enforcement of trademark rights.

Practice head(s):

Mark Devaney; Joycia Young

Other key lawyers:

Nicole Giblin


‘International and local legal knowledge.’

‘Client commitment and responsiveness.’

‘Excellent service with a blend of in-depth local knowledge but a strong basis of English law too, which helps when providing instructions.’

‘Mark Devaney – UK qualified lawyer with fantastic local start-up connections. He has the ability to bridge both technology and trade marks, and always finds a creative angle to get a solution. Exceptionally easy to work with and very generous with his time introducing colleagues from other departments.’

Key clients

Etihad Airways PJSC

Zuffa LLC

Work highlights

  • Acted as global IP counsel for Etihad Airways, including assisting with intellectual property protection, enforcement and commercialisation.
  • Acting for Zuffa LLC on the protection of the UFC brand in the UAE to support the expansion of the UFC franchise.


Rouse's Bassel El Turk is the country manager for the UAE and Saudi Arabia offices and focuses on enforcement and intellectual property litigation. MEA managing partner Sara Holder co-heads the firm's global patent and technology practice; she handles a broad range of work from advising on the monetisation of technology and innovation, to protection and enforcement of patents. Samantha Grainger heads the Dubai trademark group and also has a strong protection and enforcements practice, as well as having expertise in licensing and franchising agreements.

Practice head(s):

Bassel El Turk; Sara Holder; Samantha Grainger

Key clients




DP World

United Arab Emirates University

Emirates Shipping Line

A & I Services Incorporated

Bird & Bird

Bird & Bird's trade mark, design and patents practice in Dubai is led by Melissa Murray who has extensive experience advising clients on trademark protection, franchising and commercial licensing. Murray is supported by legal director Renée Nugent, who focuses on trademarks and assists clients with worldwide portfolio management and enforcement matters

Practice head(s):

Melissa Murray

Other key lawyers:

Renée Nugent


‘Eager, responsive and dedicated!’

‘Global capabilities delivered well through a local office.’

‘Renee Nugent – highly capable and pragmatic.’

‘On IP-related matters Bird & Bird provide us with a collaborative approach which makes them a true adjunct to our own in-house team.’

‘The willingness of our lead partner, Melissa Murray, to provide informal advice and discussion around issues means that we never feel that everything is ‘on the clock’.’

‘Tailored training for our business has been a genuine added-value proposition.’

‘Melissa Murray is responsive and instinctively knows where our pressure points may lie. She is well-connected and ready to think of pragmatic solutions to a given scenario.’

‘Renée Nugent is especially stand-out, in taking the time to consider other issues than the ones just at hand, but also looks at the overall business and adjacent things that can be optimized. She simply goes above and beyond.’

DLA Piper

Paul Allen  at DLA Piper was promoted to global co-chair of the intellectual property and technology practice in 2021. His primary focus is advising clients on technology, outsourcing and digital transformation programmes. Jamie Ryder heads the intellectual property and technology practice in the Middle East; his key clients include local and international broadcasters and media organisations. Emily Southon left the firm.

Practice head(s):

Paul Allen; Jamie Ryder

Gowling WLG

The Dubai intellectual property practice at Gowling WLG is ‘focused and committed‘. Jon Parker heads the practice and has extensive experience advising clients on matters concerning brands, designs and copyright. Rachel Armstrong rejoined the firm in early 2023.

Practice head(s):

Jon Parker

Other key lawyers:

Rachel Armstrong


‘In our experience, Gowling WLG’s whole Dubai team are not just bright, innovative, focused and committed, they are incredibly knowledgeable and some of the nicest people we have ever met in UAE.’

‘Their responsiveness and knowledge is excellent.’

‘We recently engaged their services for an urgent filing program in the Middle East and they made it happen!’

‘Jon Parker – his knowledge and experience is so valuable, particularly in the Middle East. He and his team are reliable and we know we can count on them.’

‘The team’s strength is Jon Parker and his team. Jon is probably the most experienced trade mark attorney in the UAE and is clearly imparting that experience to the colleagues in his team.’

‘Jon Parker’s experience, responsiveness and knowledge of Middle Eastern trade mark law and practise.’

‘What makes the Gowlings team stand out from many others in the market, particularly the other international firms of a similar size and ilk, is their attentiveness and speed.’

‘Jon Parker excels in difficult scenarios. Put simply, you can just trust his advice and strategy.’

Key clients

Sky Optical


Huntsman International

Shiseido Americas

Gulf Digital Media Model


Work highlights

  • Advised a Middle East tech company on multi-country trademark prosecution matters, general IP advisory work, identification and acquisition of IP rights, commercial IP work.
  • Advised a Middle East edutech company on the development of an online enforcement programme which has led to significant numbers of infringing accounts being shut down.
  • Acted for a European automotive manufacturer in relation to a number of contentious IP matters, the majority of which were settled following initial correspondence, and one which led to a successful administrative enforcement complaint and raid.

Hadef & Partners

Hadef & Partners' intellectual property practice is split into three pillars: prosecution, commercialisation and enforcement. Head of commercial Victoria Woods has substantial experience advising on cross-border transactions that involve distribution and franchising agreements. James Dunne heads the trademarks and brand protection practice and represents clients in a range of sectors including hospitality, entertainment and luxury goods.

Practice head(s):

James Dunne; Victoria Woods


‘The firm handles all trademark work for my clients in the UAE and Saudi Arabia in a very quick and efficient way. The quality of work is outstanding.’

‘James Dunne is my main contact and working with him is always a great pleasure.’

‘We have worked over the years with James Dunne. He is an exceptional lawyer giving practical business-oriented advise. The thing that stands out is that clients always compliment the practical guidance.’

‘The team provide responsive, holistic, commercial support. They are exceptionally knowledgeable and always willing to assist. Can’t recommend them highly enough.’

‘James Dunne who heads up the trade marks team is fantastic. He provides practical and strategic advice and has a wealth of knowledge and experience.’

‘The firm is very responsive and very knowledgeable with regard to brand protection in the Gulf States. No query goes unanswered without a detailed analysis. Another key strength is the team’s friendly, pragmatic approach and eagerness to assist.’

Work highlights

  • Advised a US-based manufacturer of high performance custom OE and universal length shock absorbers for use in off-road vehicles on a trademark filing programme to ensure a sufficient scope of protection in the UAE following the termination of its UAE distribution agreement with a UAE-based high performance offroad racing shop who secured (without consent of the client) registration for trade marks and filed further applications for additional marks.
  • Advised an international art collective based in Japan on the terms of a new exhibition project in Abu Dhabi with one of the UAE’s largest real estate development, management and investment companies.
  • Advised a large multinational retail franchise that operates 90 consumer retail brands across the world on the clearance project of 15 candidate trademarks for various retail outlets to provide an assessment on availability for use and registration.

BSA Ahmad Bin Hezeem & Associates LLP

BSA Ahmad Bin Hezeem & Associates LLP's 'knowledgeable' intellectual property practice advises clients in a range of industries including media, automotive, industrial and pharmaceuticals, while the fashion and consumer goods have also been key areas of growth for the practice. Munir Suboh heads the team. Senior associate Amal Atieh is also noted.

Practice head(s):

Munir Suboh

Other key lawyers:

Amal Atieh


‘Very efficient and knowledgeable team.’

‘Extremely professional and organized and always offer the highest quality of service and always in a timely manner.’

‘Definitely my only choice when it comes to all IP related matters in the UAE and neighbouring countries.’

‘Munir Suboh – very experienced in IP; very flexible and always makes sure to accommodate our clients’ needs.’

‘Excellent expertise for trade mark law.’

Dynamic team.

Munir Suboh is a very good interlocutor.’

Key clients


Andersen Tax LLC

Better Body Foods and Nutrition LLC

Clinique Des Champs Elysées

Etihad Rail Company PJSC

Al Arabiya Networks FZ LLC

Al Mayass Restaurants

Fortafy Games DMCC

Gulf Petrochem FZC

WWE Entrainment Inc

Etam Lingerie

Al Arabiya Network FZ LLC

Premier Beverages P. В. Limited

Illumina, Inc.

Work highlights

  • Advised MBC IP FZ LLC on the execution of a large advisory and prosecution project to support the branding on MBC’s “SHAHID” – video-on-demand audio-visual and entertainment application.
  • Acted for Anderson Tax LLC in complex trade mark/trade name dispute and domain issues that arose after an accountancy firm operating in the UAE used the Andersen brand and a domain name bearing the client’s registered trademark.
  • Assisted Clinique Des Champs Elysées with conducting trademark and trade name searches and gave an assessment on the risk of use and registration in the GCC countries.

Cedar White Bradley IP LLP

Cedar White Bradley IP LLP is a specialist intellectual property firm and advises clients in a broad range of sectors from pharmaceuticals and tobacco, to consumer electronics and cosmetics. Saba Al Sultani heads the trademarks practice. Managing partner David Harper is another key point of contact.

Practice head(s):

Saba Al Sultani; David Harper

Charles Russell Speechlys LLP

Charles Russell Speechlys LLP has a full-service intellectual property practice with particular expertise in the media, entertainment and event industries. Mark Hill heads the practice and has extensive trademark and brand protection experience. Senior associate Lara Haidar is a key member of the team and focuses on portfolio management and brand custodianship, joint ventures and disputes.

Practice head(s):

Mark Hill

Other key lawyers:

Lara Haidar


IP is a global issue. Having CRS LLP as the legal partners ensures that we are truly covered both legally and functionally.

Their strengths is in the processes they implement to handle IP requirements.

Great team with great experience and knowledge.

Their networking reach is outstanding.’

Mark Hill has been excellent on all fronts. Great listener with great feedback and advice.

Key clients

International Cricket Council

Gulf Air

Oman Air

Immersive Group

Al Tayer Group

Azadea Group

Haier Electronics Middle East

LSI (Jack Links)

Madina Gulf

Majid Al Futtaim (MAF)

Image Nation Abu Dhabi

Racing Green Pictures Limited

Historylies Limited

Construction Industry Solutions

David Morris

Ajman Independent Studios

Sacha Jafri

Patricia Millns

The Aerys Group DMCC

Lutron Electronics Company

Ted Baker

Voltage Pictures


VIP Films

Rapha UK

Airmiles International


Growl Media  – Appy Kids platform animation concept

Dubai World Trade Centre

Qatar World Cup

Driway International Technologies

Pentex Limited

Actis LLP

Brawn GP Limited

Elle Macpherson

GRM International Pty Ltd

ITF Licensing (UK) Ltd

Lanistar Limited

Moore Stephens International Licensing Limited

Northern & Shell Worldwide Limited

Robertson Stephens LLC

Work highlights

  • Advised Sacha Jafri in relation to rights in respect of the artwork entitled The Journey of Humanity, the world’s largest canvas painting sold recently for $62m at an auction.
  • Advising International Cricket Council in relation to its strategic commercial projects, including its major global cricket events and all aspects relating to how its brands support its commercial cycle.
  • Assisted RGP with all aspects of the crucial elements of IP and copyrights in the film production of Seacole.

Eversheds Sutherland LLP

Eversheds Sutherland LLP's team is 'commercial' in its approach and has a broad practice that covers transactional matters, as well as litigation and arbitration. Nasser Ali Khasawneh co-heads the global TMT practice. Commercial practice head Geraldine Ahern has expertise advising on mandates involving agency, distribution and franchising issues. Principal associate Christine Khoury has a broad TMT and intellectual property practice.

Practice head(s):

Nasser Ali Khasawneh

Other key lawyers:

Geraldine Ahern; Christine Khoury; Andrew Garbett


‘The swift turnaround with feedback and action always impresses me.’

‘The team is  very commercial in their approach and take their time to understand my organisation and our needs.’

Simmons & Simmons Middle East

Simmons & Simmons Middle East has substantial cross-border expertise across its core sectors in the IP area, these being fintech, esports and medtech. Raza Rizvi heads the practice and has extensive expertise advising clients in the pharmaceuticals and TMT sectors. Senior associate Nick Roudev advises on commercial technology law, intellectual property and data privacy.

Practice head(s):

Raza Rizvi

Other key lawyers:

Nick Roudev


‘Raza Rizvi: in addition to his undisputed talent, knowledge and experience, you feel you are speaking to a friend that really cares about solving your problem. I believe he has passed this attitude to his team which makes the whole team remarkable.’

‘The practice combines its intellectual property practice with its outstanding technology practice area and gives a tailored service for tech clients which makes it stand out compared to its peers in UAE.’

‘Raza Rivzi is tremendously tech savvy and therefore can communicate so well with tech sector clients as he knows their commercial objectives and can put a frame around the legal advice in a way that makes sense and can be implemented.’

Key clients








Emirates Digital Wallet



Work highlights

  • Advising Dubizzle on emerging IP and digital laws, including novel issues around payment functionality, data monetisation, and all related intellectual property rights.
  • Assisted ADNOC with safeguarding its significant investment into R&D programmes by advising extensively on IP-related agreements for ADNOC’s academic and research institutions.
  • Advised Celgeneon on its business critical IP strategy for the protection of major pharmaceutical products which benefit from US and European patent protection and certain limited protections in the UAE and across the Middle East.

The Bench

The Bench is a boutique law firm that handles intellectual property infringement, franchising, hotel licence agreements, sponsorship agreements and M&A transactions for its predominantly TMT and hospitality-focused client base. Joby Beretta heads the practice.

Practice head(s):

Joby Beretta

Other key lawyers:

Peter Hansen


‘The team are great, the real selling point of using The Bench.’

‘If you find law intimidating to get your head around, this team makes everything easy.’

‘There are no egos, you can say you don’t understand and they will explain in the right way so you understand completely.’

‘I feel very comfortable that I have a team like The Bench having my back. They are super easy to work with and such a nice bunch of people.’

‘Joby Beretta understands the importance of a good client relationship, he has the most amazing vibe about him, he never seems stressed, he is very calming and cultivates a trusting relationship.’

‘Joby Beretta was very knowledgeable about our industry and things like the international approaches taken to the impact of Covid on rent renegotiations with landlords etc.’

Key clients

Nomad Media Group

Rixos Hotels

Virgin Mobile Middle East & North Africa

Accor Hotels

International Hotels Group (IHG)

RMAL Hospitality



MSS Kits

Bench Events

Work highlights

  • Advising RMAL Hospitality on numerous F&B franchise agreements in the UAE.
  • Advising a US company on the acquisition of music rights in the UAE.
  • Advising MSS Kits on product design and its global IP portfolio including patents, trademarks and design rights.