Allen & Overy – Germany 2021
The German patent litigation practice of this international firm put in yet another strong performance, as evidenced by the huge rise in proceedings involving electronics and mobile communications patents, and moreover the arrival of young Hogan Lovells partner Stephan Neuhaus. He brings a wealth of experience in pharma suits from his old firm for such clients as Eli Lilly and Hoffmann La-Roche. Both pharma originator drug manufacturers are also clients of Allen & Overy’s European practice, resulting in synergies for the Allen & Overy team. The addition of a second young litigator after Jan Ebersohl is a good strategic move in terms of broadening the practice and arranging a viable successor to senior partner Joachim Feldges. This also shows how tenaciously the international firm is pushing its visibility with young talent in the German and London markets in order to snatch market share away from European market leaders, Bird & Bird and Hogan Lovells. Eli Lilly is an especially important client for A&O’s London practice and now the opportunity arises for the bolstered German team to work for a major originator drug manufacturer more often. When it comes to manufacturers of pharmaceutical and biological originator drugs the German team is getting much support for further expansion from the London office, with which it conducts many high-stakes proceedings, for Pfizer and Bayer among others.
The team led by Ebersohl is gaining momentum in litigation over mobile communications and electronics patents. It is conducting its first series of suits for a US internet corporation. The team also tightened its ties to Samsung in mobile communications proceedings. This relationship works independently from the London team, which recently saw much activity for Huawei. The London connection to the Chinese mobile communications giant shows that there is still potential for the up-and-coming German team to tap, but also means a greater risk of conflicts of interest. The Paris office has a very good connection to Nokia, which has yet to be activated in Germany. Allen & Overy’s visibility in connected cars suits offers room for growth. So far it has only advised Volvo on FRAND issues.
Litigation related to biotech and pharmaceuticals patents, as well as mobile communications. Also arbitration.
Allen & Overy has made significant progress in coordinating and developing its European practice over the past few years. With offices in most of the key European jurisdictions and excellent positions in the French and UK markets, the firm has become a serious rival to Hogan Lovells and Bird & Bird as a European market leader. For example, over the past two years the German team has had more success beyond its traditional focus on pharma cases and has developed a stronger presence in mobile communications. Allen & Overy also has a well-positioned team in the Dutch market.
In large pharmaceutical and biosimilar cases, the firm’s European practice is a market leader on the side of originator drug manufacturers. The firm regularly advises clients such as Bayer, Eli Lilly and Pfizer in cross-border disputes. The London team handles many cases together with the teams in Amsterdam, Düsseldorf and Munich. The arrival of Stephan Neuhaus in Düsseldorf boosts the firm’s position in pharma litigation.
Allen & Overy is becoming more and more visible in mobile communications cases as the German team strengthened its presence in major cases. The firm’s teams in Paris and London are traditionally strong in these fields. But there are some gaps, however. In Amsterdam, the team’s presence remains understated. In Germany, even after the recent lateral hire there is still room for growth – at both partner and associate level.
Joachim Feldges, Jan Ebersohl
Stephan Neuhaus (from Hogan Lovells)
3 partners, 7 associates, 1 consultant (including 1 patent attorney)
In patents, exclusively litigation with a strong specialty in biotech and pharmaceuticals, often including regulatory issues. Increasingly mobile communication, including SEP and FRAND issues, and electronics. Also arbitration, transactions and licensing.
Litigation: Bayer (claimant) against Ceva over veterinary drug for farm animals Baycox Iron; frequent litigation for Bayer, Eli Lilly, Hoffmann-LaRoche and Pfizer concerning pharmaceuticals (public knowledge); MGI over DNA sequencing (public knowledge); Samsung (defendant) against Varta over batteries for wireless headphones; Samsung (defendant) against NPE concerning mobile communications; Archos (defendant) against Philips over Android apps; Synaptics concerning mobile communications; Volvo Cars concerning automotive engineering; US internet corporate (defendant) against NPE concerning mobile communications; coffee producer (claimant) against competitor over coffee capsules. Advice: Volvo Cars on FRAND and SEPs.