For several years, speculation has abound concerning how well the UK’s boutiques will weather both Brexit, and the potential impacts of the now-imminent Unified Patent Court. However, market-leading firm Bristows remains, alongside direct competitor Powell Gilbert, excellently placed to retain a variety of big-name clients while being a leading name among its European competitors. While it does have strength in mobile communications litigation, Bristows has always been a first choice for life sciences clients; in the past 18 months, nowhere is ...Full Analysis
Over 2022, nothing changed regarding Powell Gilbert’s excellent position in the UK patent litigation market. With an impressive year in life sciences, the firm remains, together with Bristows, the undisputed market leader in UK patent litigation.Full Analysis
After several years of being less visible in the UK courts and experiencing a slight downturn in reputation as a result, it is fair to say that Bird & Bird is once again at the top of its game. The firm is, while not quite on the same level as market leaders Bristows and Powell Gilbert, certainly forging ahead of other competitors such as Allen & Overy or Hogan Lovells. The large team of partners handle a diverse array of cases for clients in many different industries, but on the telecommunications side its stand-out instruction continu...Full Analysis
As Kirkland & Ellis continues to grow exponentially – the firm has, in the past twelve months, grown by four new partners, one of counsel and eight associates – it continues to impress competitors and clients alike. More importantly, it also offers a different model to the usual IP boutique or international firm set-up the UK market has come to expect. Among the most notable is the team's involvement in the second-ever UK trial, for Lenovo against Interdigital, to consider setting rates for FRAND licences. But for the London team, such visibili...Full Analysis
A solid patent practice with expertise in mobile communication and life sciences litigation, market challenger Allen & Overy sets the standard in client quality among its peers. Its life sciences practice is headed up by the ever-impressive Marjan Noor, who continues to attract regular instruction for long-term client Eli Lilly. “She jumps out for pharmaceutical litigation," says one competitor. However, recently appointed partner Rafi Allos leads for client Bayer in litigation against Sandoz and Accord over anticoagulant medication. This d...Full Analysis
With notable, cross-border clients in telecommunications litigation, this IP boutique continues to be one of the most present litigation teams in the UK market when it comes to mobile communication and FRAND cases. For example, EIP has been very busy again for PanOptis and its subsidiary Optis Cellular in a dispute against Apple. Although it is co-counsel with Osborne Clarke on the FRAND aspects, the firm litigates alone regarding the technical patents involved. Furthermore, the firm's visibility for NPEs continues with its work for IP Bridge a...
Despite being one of the smaller practices in the UK patent market, the London patent team of market-challenging Hogan Lovells continues to retain a steady list of high-quality clients while cementing its reputation, and the reputation of its lawyers, as a reliable and talented firm for patent litigation. “They’re a quality group,” says one competitor, with the whole firm often praised as “well-integrated and easy to work with”. While the practice is well-balanced in its expertise, in Stephen Bennett it has one of London’s go-to lawyers for lif...Full Analysis
As part of an integrated European practice predominantly known for its life sciences work for generics, the challenge for the UK patent team at Taylor Wessing has been two-fold. Firstly, it must differentiate itself from those competitors with equally solid life sciences practices but perhaps more diverse client offerings; secondly, it must retain high-profile tech clients to demonstrate the team's varied capabilities. It is now fair to say that over the past few years, the practice has done just that, with its partners litigating for several c...Full Analysis
For many years now, the patent litigation practice at Carpmaels & Ransford has enjoyed a strong position in the London market, which extends across Europe when it comes to both patent prosecution and litigation in the life sciences sector. The firm has a particularly strong position in pharma and biotech patents, with one client attesting to its “outstanding and in-depth expertise” regarding pharma patents. The firm also has an outstanding Europe-wide reputation in SPCs, such as in its work for Janssen against Teva over Xeplion.
The well-positioned London office of Anglo-Canadian firm Gowling WLG continues to play a steady role in the UK market, with its current visibility leaning heavily on the high-profile case between its client Interdigital and Lenovo. The case, led by partner and co-chair of the firm’s global tech group, Alexandra Brodie, spans multiple technical and FRAND trials, including 5G technology. However, at the end of 2021, Interdigital also announced multiple patent infringement suits against Oppo – but has instead turned to Bird & Bird to conduct proce...Full Analysis
The well-positioned London patent litigation team of Herbert Smith Freehills boasts multiple impressive life sciences instructions, especially for diagnostics and pharmaceutical clients, which continue to underpin the majority of the patent team’s work. This year, the firm achieved a settlement for core client Gilead against Viiv in a case over a blockbuster HIV drug. It is no secret that Roche retains the firm on a long-term basis, while the life sciences team continues to litigate for innovator Millennium Pharmaceuticals in the defence of a m...Full Analysis
The well-positioned London patent litigation team at Pinsent Masons, which has traditionally acted for generic pharmaceutical companies, is embracing a broader client base across a range of sectors while maintaining strong growth throughout Europe. For example, the firm has recently won new clients on the innovator side, as well as working in developing areas such as medical technology and DNA sequencing. Growing strength in the latter field is demonstrated through the firm’s advisory work for a client at the EPO with regard to CRISPR/Cas paten...Full Analysis
Successfully integrating litigators, patent attorneys, and a strong transactional practice, the strongly positioned London team of this international full-service firm is making an impression on the market. Although the focus is somewhat mixed in patent prosecution and advice, on the litigation side it has been historically strong in life sciences. Under the direction of senior partner Michael Burdon, this trend shows no signs of abating, with the firm landing work for clients in major cases such as multiple instructions for Samsung Bioepis. On...
As one of a handful of US firms to have successfully set up a London litigation practice, the well-positioned team at WilmerHale continues to make headlines. This is largely through its work for Apple, which takes up much of the bandwidth of the small team – barely a month passes by without WilmerHale being present against patent holder Optis in the courts. Although its mobile communications practice is dominated by the case, with trials spanning FRAND, licensing and technical patent litigation, the team led by Justin Watts is able to demonstra...Full Analysis
The well-positioned London patent litigation team of this international full-service law firm has a good reputation in the UK market for pharma and biotech cases on the side of companies that research and develop drugs. It is demonstrating this in impressive fashion through its preparation of the European suits for Moderna against BioNTech over mRNA patents, which were coordinated in cooperation with the Dutch Freshfields team. The London partners are also conducting the UK proceedings.Full Analysis
Thanks to its strong position in life sciences, this mixed patent firm has seen steady but continual growth over the last year. Both its prosecution and litigation arms enjoy a good reputation for their work in the pharma and medical technology sectors. This not only applies to the lawyers’ work on infringement and nullity suits, but also the patent attorneys’ work in EPO proceedings. The firm built on its excellent position with its acquisition of a high-profile medical product manufacturer as a client for EPO proceedings against another major...
With an ambitious eye on its place in the UK patent market, the well-positioned patent practice at Mishcon de Reya continues to develop its visibility under the lead of partner David Rose. In 2022, this included the hire of Campbell Forsyth, who was formerly global co-head of European litigation and UK head of IP at mixed firm Dentons, as well as a partner promotion. The fruits of the former have already been seen in court; Forsyth had previously worked for Zentiva, and Mishcon de Reya is leading litigation work for this long-term client agains...Full Analysis
Over the past few years, the well-positioned patent practice of global firm Osborne Clarke has successfully broken through in London, helped in no small part by its involvement in the landmark Unwired Planet case against Huawei. Although this concluded in 2020, continual work for the NPE's parent company Optis as co-counsel with EIP against Apple continues to be the main case driving the tech practice's visibility. A team led by Arty Rajendra is mostly present in the FRAND and competition aspects of the case, which ensures multiple court appear...Full Analysis
The well-positioned practice of DLA Piper, which has once again grown at partner and associate level, has tended to attract litigation work from clients in the mechanical and technical patents sector. This is a trend which shows no signs of slowing; in 2022, the practice won two new clients in SafeStand and Alumasc, both of which hail from the building and engineering sector. However, while a host of notable clients pepper the firm’s advisory list, from sectors including life sciences, energy, transport and consumer goods, these are yet to turn...Full Analysis
Although small, the well-positioned London patent practice of Jones Day continues to be fairly visibile in the UK courts. It is especially active in mechnical patent disputes, with this part of the firm’s practice enjoying more visibility than in tech or life sciences over the past few years. In the UK market, the clout of the small team is retained through core clients such as Lufthansa, which after a lengthy battle lead partner Alastair McCulloch continues to represent in a damages claim against Astronics and Panasonic. The firm has also rece...Full Analysis
The well-positioned patent team of this international full-service firm is best known for litigation for high-profile pharmaceutical clients. Linklaters positions itself on the side of innovators like Sanofi, as well as GSK and its subsidiaries. For its regular clients, the team is involved in cross-border suits, such as for Sanofi against Amgen over important cholesterol drugs. Another significant battle for ViiV/GSK against Gilead over a HIV-inhibitor drug has recently been settled.Full Analysis
The selection of law firms in the above table reflects the research of the editorial staff at JUVE and is based on interviews with clients, lawyers and academics. It remains a subjective view and implies no disparagement of any firm not mentioned here but which is nevertheless active in this field. The firms are alphabetically listed within the groups. To find out more about our rankings and research criteria please click here and here.
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