Herbert Smith Freehills

Intellectual Property Department

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What the team is known for Pre-eminent group with an outstanding track record in patent litigation. Its expertise crosses the spectrum of IP services, with groups of commercial IP practitioners and litigators as well as a dedicated trade marks management and prosecution team. Significant experience handling commercialisation and transactional matters, in addition to trade mark portfolio management. Regularly advises leading multinational clients on all aspects of IP protection, including the co-ordination of multi-jurisdictional cases.

Strengths Clients praise the team, saying its lawyers "are approachable, quick to respond and highly expert in the advice they provide," and adding: "They are a real treat to deal with and extremely reliable."

Another comments: "They are my first choice in terms of IP for their knowledge and speed."

Work highlights Advised Costa and Driscoll's Australia on the protection and enforcement of their plant breeders' rights in several blueberry varieties.

Acted for Accor Hotels on the IP and franchising aspects of its AUD1.2 billion acquisition of the Mantra Group via scheme of arrangement.

Notable practitioners

Celia Davies handles the full range of trade mark matters, but is particularly noted for trade mark litigation. One referee comments: "She is an experienced and confident IP specialist who gives clear advice. She is available to her clients and tries to fully understand their business."

Kristin Stammer is acknowledged for her corporate intellectual property work, including transactions, franchises, branding, licences and commercialisation. She acted for Accor Hotels on the intellectual property and franchising aspects of its acquisition of the Mantra group via a scheme of arrangement.

Shaun McVicar is widely considered a "quality lawyer" by market commentators. He is particularly noted for his strength in patent litigation, and offers experience in handling patent validity and infringement for pharmaceutical and medical device companies.

Sue Gilchrist is widely acclaimed as a "standout" by market commentators for trade mark and patent infringement litigation. Another commentator says: "She's amazing, she knows her stuff back to front."