Patents 2015: Analysis

We are pleased to introduce our 12th Patents edition, an exhaustive guide to the world’s top patent lawyers, featuring 695 practitioners from 378 firms across 63 countries.

The top of the legal market is an interesting mix of global firms and boutiques. Bird & Bird and Hogan Lovells are among the most established names in international patent law, and they both offer expansive coverage across Europe and Asia. Hoyng Monegier is a stand out choice for patent litigation across Europe. In the US, Kirkland & Ellis and Sidley Austin are among the most widely respected for their expertise in the patents market.

Boutique IP practices offer some of the finest names in patent law. Finnegan Henderson Farabow Garrett & Dunner, Fish & Richardson and Fitzpatrick Cella Harper & Scinto are three of the very best in the US. Two London-based boutique IP firms, Bristows and Powell Gilbert, place highly in our research, as does Germany’s Reimann Osterrieth Köhler Haft. International litigation boutique Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan also impresses.

The top chambers for IP litigation is 8 New Square, while 3 New Square and 11 South Square also feature a number of outstanding barristers.

We have also identified the 10 stand out individuals from countries across Europe, as well as the 10 best names from outside the European market.

Who's Who Legal: Patents 2015
Most Highly Regarded Individuals
Lawyer Firm
Miquel Montañá Clifford Chance, Barcelona
Richard Ebbink Brinkhof, Amsterdam
Brian Cordery Bristows, London
Willem Hoyng Hoyng Monegier, Amsterdam
Penny Gilbert Powell Gilbert, London
Sally Field Bristows, London
Nicola Dagg Allen & Overy, London
Peter-Ulrik Plesner Plesner Law Firm, Copenhagen
Andrew Waugh QC 3 New Square, London
Andreas Von Falck Hogan Lovells, Düsseldorf
Rest Of The World
Donald Dunner Finnegan Henderson Farabow Garrett & Dunner, Washington, DC
Morgan Chu Irell & Manella, Irvine
Ronald Dimock Dimock Stratton, Toronto
Kenneth Adamo Kirkland & Ellis, Chicago
Douglas Deeth Deeth Williams Wall, Toronto
Philip Kerr Allens, Sydney
Donald Cameron Bereskin & Parr, Toronto
Wayne Condon Griffith Hack, Melbourne
Shlomo Cohen Dr Shlomo Cohen & Co, Tel Aviv
Don Martens Knobbe Martens Olson & Bear, Los Angeles

Bird & Bird garnered an incredible 24 inclusions this year. The firm’s London office fields the largest number of recommendations, with six lawyers featured. Morag Macdonald is joint head of the firm’s international intellectual property group and offers clients an “impressive depth of experience” and a “solutions oriented approach” to their disputes and cross-border patent work. Jane Mutimear is a patent litigation “guru” whose “no nonsense approach” means she is a “first choice” for many. Neil Jenkins is a cross-border litigation specialist with a particular focus on trade secrets cases. He is a “great operator” with an “astute legal mind”. Katharine Stephens is joint head of the intellectual property department in London. She specialises in multi-jurisdictional patent disputes and is praised for her “sound advice”.

Elsewhere in Europe the firm’s Germany office has four practitioners recommended. Christian Harmsen is head of the German intellectual property group and also co-head of the international intellectual property group. He is a patent litigation specialist, with experience coordinating multinational proceedings for large international clients. Boris Kreye is a “prominent” patent litigator who has represented national and international clients before all German patent infringement courts. The “superb” Bruno Vandermeulen heads the intellectual properly team in Brussels and focuses his practice on patent litigation and the drafting and negotiation of licence agreements. In the Netherlands Marc van Wijngaarden is an “incredibly talented” patent litigation specialist who is “greatly respected” by peers and clients alike. The “intuitive” Manuel Lobato is a patents and trade secrets specialist who is head of the intellectual property group in Spain. Massimiliano Mostardini is managing partner of the firm’s Italian offices and co-head of the intellectual property group in the country. He regularly assists clients in domestic and pan-European patent litigation and is a “trusted adviser” to many. In Finland Ella Mikkola is a patent litigation specialist who also has experience in M&A-related IP agreements and regulatory proceedings. She is head of the intellectual property and life sciences groups in Finland and is a “favourite among clients”.

The firm also has a strong showing in Asia with five practitioners listed across three offices. In Hong Kong, Matthew Laight heads the intellectual property group for China, and specialises in both contentious and non-contentious matters. He advises clients across the electronics, pharmaceuticals, communications and information technology sectors, and is lauded for his “sharp intellect”. Alban Kang is managing partner of the firm’s Singapore office who specialises in complex patent litigation and impresses with his “resolute focus”. In China Christine Yiu advises technology companies on devising and implementing strategies that will maximise the return from their IP portfolio with a focus on patent litigation.

Hogan Lovells also performs exceptionally well in our research with 14 lawyers highlighted for their work in patents. The firm’s German office receives the most recommendations with four practitioners featured. Andreas von Falck in Düsseldorf is a patent litigation specialist with a focus on pharmaceutical, medical devices and high-tech industries. He is a “major player” whose clients “can’t fault” his work. Martin Chakraborty advises clients on unfair competition and patent disputes and is a “great strategist”. Netherlands-based Bert Oosting has “impressive experience” in patent litigation with a specialism in pharmaceutical, biotechnology and medical device industries, and is a “top name”. In England, Stephen Bennett advises clients on the litigation of patent disputes and pharma regulatory issues affecting exclusivity and is noted for his “detailed advice”. Luigi Mansani is head of the firm’s Italian intellectual property practice and handles complex domestic and multi-jurisdictional patent litigation.  He is an “esteemed practitioner” whose “forensic approach” makes him popular with clients.

The firm also has three practitioners featured from its Asian offices. In China, William Fisher’s practice focuses on IP counselling, transactions and litigation both in the US and China, with a particular specialty in patents and trade secrets cases. He offers clients a “business-oriented approach” and is “highly sought after”. Philippe Riesen is head of the firm’s US IP practice in the Tokyo office, and has over 25 years of experience in patent litigation work. He is a “key player” who impresses with his “careful handling” of client work.

Finnegan Henderson Farabow Garrett & Dunner garners 11 inclusions across three offices in the US and one in China. Donald Dunner in Washington, DC has worked in all phases of patent law, including prosecution, licensing, litigation, validity and infringement studies, and counselling. He has “unsurpassed sector experience” in the areas of chemical engineering, biotechnology and pharmaceuticals. Thomas Irving has almost 40 years of experience in the field of IP law, and is commended by peers for his “encyclopaedic knowledge” and “stellar reputation”. Michael Jakes is a patent litigation specialist whose work in the federal district courts and the US International Trade Commission, and before arbitration panels has earned him a “formidable reputation”. Charles Lipsey in the firm’s Reston office has experience of patent cases spanning mechanical, chemical and electrical technologies, and offers “exceptional handling” and “bespoke solutions”. In Palo Alto, Michael Elmer has over 40 years of experience in IP matters and is “internationally renowned” for his patent disputes work. In China, Esther Lim has a broad patent practice, which covers litigation, prosecution, due diligence and portfolio management. She is recognised for her “prestigious practice” and “great flair”.

8 New Square sees 10 of its barristers selected for inclusion this year, including seven silks and three “impressive” juniors. Michael Tappin QC is “head and shoulders above the rest at the patent bar” and in the past decade has worked on a large number of high-profile patent cases. David Alexander QC has over 20 years of patent litigation experience with a focus on IT and media and entertainment matters. He is involved in both domestic and international and EU cases and is commended for his “no-nonsense approach”. Richard Meade QC is the “go-to silk” for technically complex patent disputes and is lauded for his “ability to make the judge see things his way”. The “well reputed” Andrew Lykiardopoulos QC has acted in a wide range of patent disputes in the High Court, the Court of Appeal and the Supreme Court, and is “hugely respected” by peers. Charlotte May QC is an “exceptional advocate” whose patents work is described as “innovative” and “meticulous”.

Fish & Richardson also garners 10 recommendations across six US offices with four practitioners highlighted from the firm’s Boston office. Frank Porcelli is a patent and trade secrets appellate specialist who is “revered” for his “forensic approach”. Frank Scherkenbach is a “thought leader” in complex high-technology patent litigation, with particular expertise in computer software, semiconductors and medical devices. John Pegram in the firm’s New York office has an “excellent style of delivery” and has litigated patent cases across the medical devices, pharmaceutical and technology fields. In Washington DC, Ruffin Cordell is a “trusted adviser” on patent dispute matters and offers clients a “high quality service”. Katherine Kelly Lutton in Redwood City advises clients ranging from Fortune 100 companies to start-ups on their portfolios, patent protection, patent enforcement and other intellectual property matters. She is a “leading light” in the field.

Hoyng Monegier also has 10 practitioners highlighted for their patents work. In the Netherlands Willem Hoyng is the managing partner of the firm, focusing his practice on patent litigation and “there is no one better in the Netherlands” according to clients. Simon Dack is an English-qualified barrister who is entitled to practise before all Dutch and English Courts. He specialises in international patent litigation and is a “font of knowledge” according to peers. In Belgium Benoît Strowel has advised some of the world’s leading pharmaceutical companies on their patent strategies, and is praised for his “sharp mind”. Carl De Meyer is the managing partner of the firm’s Brussels office and is a “font of knowledge” on all aspects of patent law. Managing partner of the firm’s office in Madrid, Luis Fernández-Novoa Valladares is a “heavyweight litigator” whose clients commend his “versatility” and “quick grasp of complex issues”.

Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan has eight lawyers recommended from four offices, three of whom are in the US. Charles Verhoeven is head of the firm’s North California offices, and is based in San Francisco. He is a “litigation trailblazer” and “one of the all-time greats”. Paul Brinkman in the firm’s Washington, DC, office is “internationally renowned” for his work in the global smartphone patent wars and “a pleasure to work with” according to peers. New York based Edward DeFranco is co-chair of the firm’s national intellectual property practice, and specialises in litigating patent infringement, trade secret, unfair competition and licensing actions. The “distinguished” Marcus Grosch is managing partner of the firm’s German offices, and is a patent litigation “expert”, with a particular focus on the interface of patents and antitrust laws.

Two London-based boutique IP firms place highly in our research, with Bristows and Powell Gilbert receiving seven recommendations apiece. At Bristows, Brian Cordery specialises in dispute resolution with a focus on life sciences patents, predominantly working for originators. He is a “quick thinker” whose “ability to get to the heart of the issue” makes him a “great asset to the firm”. Sally Field has been advising clients on patent dispute resolution matters for over 30 years, and is “extremely well thought of” by peers. Powell Gilbert’s Penny Gilbert advises clients in the bio pharma sector on multi-jurisdictional patent litigation, and her “in-depth scientific knowledge” makes her “a definite inclusion on any list”. Ari Laakkonen specialises in electronics patent litigation and IT disputes and is commended for his “technical abilities”.

Other notable inclusions from the European market include Miquel Montañá at Clifford Chance, whose multi-jurisdictional dispute resolution work involving patents is “world class”. He is an “outstanding litigator” whose clients laud his “commercial acumen”. Richard Ebbink of Brinkhof in Amsterdam concentrates his practice on European patent litigation, and is recommended for his “quick-thinking” and “impressive roster of clients”. Allen & Overy’s “exceptional” Nicola Dagg in the firm’s London office specialises in the enforcement and licensing of patents, as well as disputes arising from these. Also in London, Andrew Waugh QC at 3 New Square advises on patent-related issues, with a particular emphasis on chemical, pharmaceutical and bio-technical/genetic engineering matters. Plesner Law Firm partner Peter-Ulrik Plesner in Copenhagen is “very active” in patent litigation, and lauded for his “wealth of experience” in the sector.

In the US, Morgan Chu at Irell & Manella in California is chair of the firm’s litigation group and a “stand-out advocate”. Kenneth Adamo from Kirkland & Ellis in Chicago specialises in all areas of patents including unfair competition and trade secrets and is noted for his “dedicated approach” to clients’ work. Knobbe Martens Olson & Bear partner Don Martens in Irvine has over 40 years’ experience in patent litigation and is a “grandfather of the patent bar”.

Three Canadian-based lawyers also feature particularly prominently in our research, all from Toronto. Ronald Dimock from Dimock Stratton is a patent disputes specialist, with experience in mediation, litigation and arbitration. He is a “high flyer” and a “first-rate disputes lawyer”. Douglas Deeth of Deeth Williams Wall concentrates his practice on patent matters in the technology field, especially litigation and licensing matters. He is a “creative genius” who has an “unmatched reputation”. At Bereskin & Parr, Donald Cameron’s practice focuses on technology patent litigation and he offers clients “the highest quality of advice”.

Elsewhere, Philip Kerr from Allens in Sydney is an “unbeatable litigator” whose work in the complex technology and scientific fields is “legendary”. Also in Australia, the “fabulous” Wayne Condon at Griffith Hack in Melbourne is a patent infringement and revocation proceedings specialist. In Tel Aviv, Shlomo Cohen of Dr Shlomo Cohen & Co is a “formidable litigator” who continues to be the “name of choice in Israel”.

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Nominees have been selected based upon comprehensive, independent survey work with both general counsel and private practice lawyers worldwide. Only specialists who have met independent international research criteria are listed.

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