Simmons & Simmons – France 2021
The well-positioned IP team at this large international firm is chiefly respected in the market for its litigation for companies in the life sciences sector. Alongside such notable pharma manufacturers as Merck, a variety of medical product manufacturers feature on the list of long-time clients. The firm also advises companies from a wide array of other sectors. Worth noting recently was the litigation for UK manufacturer J.C. Bamford in a battle against French competitor Manitou. Work for a global mobile communications provider in an arbitration case offered a foot in the door with telecoms sector clients.
Overall, the French team is seen less often in infringement proceedings than comparable teams like Hogan Lovells or Jones Day. But the patent team is leveraging the potential offered by close cooperation with the London and Düsseldorf teams to expand its client base. On the recommendation of the UK team, for example, it gained an US company as a client for a pan-European dispute against a Janpanese competitor regarding barcode technology.
Cross-border litigation in life science sector.
The continent-wide growth strategy continues to be pursued with considerable investment across a range of offices. The firm is already prepared for cross-border disputes all over Europe, especially when it comes to pharma patents. The London–Amsterdam axis is particularly strong and well-known for its work regarding mobile communications. On the other hand, both offices work closely together with the Düsseldorf team in pharmaceutical disputes. The French practice is increasingly involved in pan-European litigation as well, not just in pharma cases. Simmons & Simmons has also bolstered its position in Milan in recent years.
But there are some gaps in the continental practice. The loss of a well-known German partner in 2020 was a setback for Simmons & Simmons’ continent-wide growth strategy. But with a partner hire in Munich, the German practice has already shown its ability to recover. With the support of the European team, it has acquired some interesting clients in the mobile communications sector. The Paris practice, too, is gradually adding tech clients to its list. This may also help the European practice to move away from its somewhat one-sided life science image.
2 partners, 2 associates, 1 of counsel
Patent litigation in the life sciences sector, especially pharmaceuticals and medical devices. Also telecommunications and other technical fields. Practice for arbitration proceedings and licence agreements.
Litigation: JC Bamford (claimant) against Manitou over excavators; Merck (defendant) against patients over Levothyrox; United Orthopedic (defendant) against C2F Implants over knee prosthesis; Neo Medical (claimant) against Safe Orthopaedics on implants and sterile instruments; Alkhermes (claimant) against Ethypharm over nanoparticulate fibrate formulations; Sigos (defendant) against Araxxe over telecommunications network; US company (defendant) against a Janpanese competitor regarding barcode technology.