Allen & Overy – Germany 2019
With a practice focussed on high-end litigation with lawyers, the Magic Circle firm is particularly strong in litigation for mobile communication and pharmaceutical cases. In the latter Feldges is highly active for originator companies. The firm’s most prominent cases at present include a series for Pfizer incl. one before the European Court of Justice. The German team was retained by a British pharmaceutical company for the first time – a core client of the London practice – and more significantly by Bayer. Work for large chemistry and pharma companies as a whole is increasing as a result of the cooperation with the teams in London and Paris. A&O’s litigation for Archos in a pan-European case against Philips has been the firm’s crown jewel for years in mobile communications. Based on this, the practice is pushing further into this sector with a young partner who came from Quinn Emanuel two years ago and was quickly integrated. However, many mobile phone communication companies already have established relationships to other outstanding patent practices, making it difficult for A&O to break through further into the market. Nevertheless, smartphone manufacturers have turned to the firm for NPE suits. There is an increased focus on litigation for the auto and consumer goods industries, which are increasingly grappling with connectivity issues and as such A&O’s advice to Volvo was a real coup. Seen through the prism of cross-border litigation and the UPC, the firm’s presence in Düsseldorf has room for improvement. A&O has a respected soft IP lawyer here but no designated patent experts.
Litigation related to biotech and pharmaceuticals patents; arbitration.
Despite the move of long-time London leadership figure Nicola Dagg to Kirkland & Ellis in 2018, the London practice still has a strong position in the UK market. In pharma disputes especially, the firm’s European practice is a market leader on the originator side and represents many of these clients across several offices, including Pfizer, Bayer, Eli Lilly oder Hoffmann-La Roche. The European team has always set itself high standards and its preparation for UPC is no exception. A&O is still getting set to rival European market leaders Hogan Lovells and Bird & Bird thanks to its aggressive expansion strategy. But it is still some way to go. A&O enjoys an excellent position in the French and UK market, though visibility in Amsterdam could be stronger. To catch up to the two European leaders, however, A&O needs to considerably step up its work in big-ticket mobile communications cases. The increasing connectivity in the auto industry harbours further potential. As such the arrival of Ebersohl in 2017 was a big step.
2 partners, 5 associates
Clear focus on technical protection rights. Exclusively litigation with a strong specialty in biotech and pharmaceuticals, often including regulatory issues. Also telecoms, electronics and mechanics. Arbitration, transactions and licensing.
Litigation: Warner Lambert/Pfizer against generics manufacturer on second medical use of Lyrica; Pfizer against Orifarm over SPC for children’s medicine; Archos against Philips over Android apps; frequent litigation for Hoffmann-La Roche; Bayer over veterinary medicines; Transactions and advice: Volvo Cars on FRAND and SEPs.