The London patent team of this international full-service firm is especially well positioned in the UK with patent litigation for high-profile pharma clients. It generally litigates for pharmaceuticals originators, such as Sanofi and Regeneron. For its regular clients, the team is involved in a cross-border suit against Amgen over important cholesterol drugs. In cases like these, clients benefit from the close cooperation between the London team and the offices in Paris and Frankfurt. This was also the case for ViiV Healthcare, which the firm represented in the UK, Germany and France against Gilead involving HIV drug bictegravir with high economic stakes. Lead partner Ian Karet is particularly renowned for his expertise in pharma cases. He was made a deputy judge at the UK High Court last year.
Away from pharma, the client list includes Seoul Semiconductor, a well-known manufacturer from the electronics sector, for which the German practice of Linklaters conducts patent litigation. The London team, however, has played more of a secondary role compared to the heavily involved German practice so far, as the company currently has no lawsuits in the UK. Although the firm recently landed a tech start-up for advice on licences, the small London practice lacks the manpower to expand the client base beyond the established pharma innovators in the long term. A lateral with experience in telecommunications and electronics is needed to attract additional clients and to bridge the gap to advice and litigation in medical device patents, for example, where connectivity is playing a growing role.
Pharma litigation, transactional work in IP.
In the healthcare sector, the Linklaters teams in London, Frankfurt and Paris consistently work together in high-profile cases for originator companies like ViiV and Sanofi. But the firm has higher ambitions for cross-border disputes. For this it needs to develop a visible patent team in NL, which would also give it a more rounded offering for the UPC.
On the other hand, both the German and French team are making huge strides when it comes to adding companies from the mobile communications and information technology sectors to the client base. The London team, however, lags behind and there is still some way to go to reach the level of top firms like Hogan Lovells, which litigate very consistently in such disputes in all main European markets – despite having only slightly larger teams in London.
13 lawyers (IP in total)
Soft IP, patents and transactions, historically with a strong focus on life sciences.
Litigation: ViiV/GSK (claimant) and Shionogi against Gilead over HIV inhibitor drug; VHsquared (defendant) and Unilever against Ablynx over immunoglobins from antibodies; Sanofi (defendant) and Regeneron against Amgen over cholesterol-lowering drug; Sanofi and Regeneron (claimants) against Amgen over eczema and asthma treatments; Shire Pharmaceuticals/Takeda (defendant) against CSL Behring over C1-esterase inhibitor for blood disease.