Legal 500 UK 2021
The Legal 500 has been analysing the capabilities of law firms across the world, with a comprehensive research programme revised and updated every year to bring the most up-to-date vision of the global legal market. The rankings are based on a series of criteria, but simply put, they highlight the practice area teams who are providing the most cutting edge and innovative advice to corporate counsel.
HGF has been ranked Tier 2 in PATMA: Patent Attorneys, PATMA: Trade Mark Attorneys, North West, West Midlands, Yorkshire & The Humber and Tier 5 in London: Patents Contentious and Non-Contentious.
PATMA: Patent Attorneys
HGF Limited stands out for its wide office network, totalling 12 offices in the UK and ten offices elsewhere in Europe. The group’s electronics, engineering, chemistry and life sciences teams work together to handle prosecution work, including oppositions, and litigation in cooperation with the firm’s own solicitors. The caseload often includes cross-border matters, particularly for clients in the US and South Korea. Clients include major corporations, SMEs, and universities and other public sector bodies. CEO Paul Sanderson and chairman Jason Lumber are based in Leeds; senior partner and head of electronics Harry Hutchinson and head of medical devices Vanessa Stainthorpe in Sheffield; head of engineering Lucy Johnson, who splits her time between Newcastle and York; head of life sciences Kate Taylor in York; head of chemistry Andrew Wells in Manchester; head of oppositions and appeals Chris Moore in Birmingham; and head of energy Craig Watson in Aberdeen. Alastair Da Costa joined the firm as strategic development director in August 2019, while Gareth Probert left for EIP in February 2020.
‘The team are highly responsive and thorough in all of their dealings with us.’
‘Very agile and attuned to the changing world in which we live. They listen to clients and understand their needs very clearly. Not at all stuffy, yet completely on top of their game from both a legal and commercial perspective.’
‘Andrew Wells is a standout partners in the chemical and industrial field. He has in-depth knowledge of the industry, and is very commercially aware, completely on top of his game legally, and engages proactively and attentively with clients with tact, precision and promptness.
PATMA: Trade Mark Attorneys
HGF Limited fields one of the busiest trade mark filing caseloads in the UK market, and is particularly active in EU trade mark applications. The well-rounded team also has notable strength in contentious work, especially in opposition and appeal proceedings and disputes. The practice is primarily active for clients from the UK, Ireland, the Netherlands, Switzerland and Germany, but also handles a substantial number of instructions for US and South Korean clients, particularly major companies, followed by medium-sized growth companies, universities and other public sector clients. The Leeds-based trio at the helm of the practice consists of CEO Paul Sanderson, chairman Jason Lumber and David Potter as the head of the trade marks practice. Alastair Da Costa, also based in Leeds and an experienced manager, joined the firm as strategic development director and executive board member. Rigel Moss McGrath joined the Manchester office from W P Thompson & Co.
‘Client-focused advice for reasonable costs.’
‘Tuned in to our priorities and preferred ways of working.’
London: Patents Contentious and Non-Contentious
HGF Limited’s patent litigators have strength in the life sciences sector, as evidenced by Rachel Fetches’ representation of multinational generic pharmaceuticals companies in patent infringement defence and oppositions. Recent litigation highlights have involved the coordination of pan-European proceedings. Martyn Fish is currently involved in patent infringement litigation in the engineering sector, and also provides strategic advisory support regarding FRAND licensing to electronics and telecoms clients.
Good technical knowledge and common sense advice
Specialist IP firm HGF Law is home to a ‘friendly, efficient and knowledgeable team’. The team handles the full range of contentious and transactional IP matters, with a particular focus on the life sciences, retail, fashion, education and advanced engineering sectors. Examples of work handled include licensing, dossier and associated brand acquisition, commercialisation, design clearance for new products Janet Knowles is a ‘go-to lawyer’ while Antony Gold is ‘efficient and knowledgeable’; both head the practice. Advice relating to compliance with the Advertising Standards Authority and other regulatory bodies is also a core strength.
‘A friendly, efficient and knowledgeable team that are easy to engage with.’
‘I find Michelle Davies is easy to dialogue with, listens, advises and gently steers well.’
‘Janet Knowles is my go-to lawyer on any matters associated with IP, and licensing/ collaboration.’
Intellectual property specialist firm HGF Law has a notable breadth of experience in the electronic, engineering, life sciences and brands sectors. The Birmingham team, which is led by Marie McMorrow, acts for clients in big-ticket patent and trade mark litigation, counterfeiting and protected designation of origin disputes and copyright infringement claims and also handles transactional IP work. The firm also has a patent, design and trade mark registration practice.
Yorkshire & The Humber
International IP specialist HGF Law has a strong contentious offering in Leeds under the leadership of Martyn Fish. A client roster of UK and global names in the retail, construction, pharmaceuticals, technology and automotive sectors engage the team in patent infringements, injunction actions and design infringement claims before the higher courts and European Patent Office. Senior solicitor James Talbot handles transactional work, which includes corporate due diligence, commercialisation issues and licensing mandates.
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