Adams & Adams

IAM Research

The Patent 1000 focuses exclusively on patent practice and has firmly established itself as the definitive 'go-to' resource for those seeking world-class legal patent expertise.

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Africa’s largest IP outfit, Adams & Adams provides exceptional patent services both in South Africa and across the continent. Boasting four South African offices and dozens of highly credentialled IP experts, Adams & Adams offers an impeccable patent service. Chairing the patent division is Janice Galvad, who oversees the patent overseas filing section of the firm. In addition to spearheading the group’s developing expertise in electronic patent filings and electronic file management, she masterfully instructs patent and design filings in South Africa. Sharing her skill in the patent design field is Wilhelm Prozesky. His clients, which include huge international brands, greatly appreciate his sharp legal acumen and precision when prosecuting patents. With a transnational perspective on IP law, Nicky Garnett heads the Africa patents section at the firm. Patrons appreciate her clear vision when filing in multiple African jurisdictions. Also on the prosecution side, “Pieter Visagie’s expertise in patent drafting and prosecution both locally and internationally is enhanced by his extensive exposure to the practices of the patent offices of most major jurisdictions. His services are extremely valuable, particularly for those seeking chemical and chemical engineering patents. Pieter offers professional and concise understanding of clients’ industries and can be relied upon to give sound advice.” Vishen Pillay crafts airtight patent strategies and seamlessly drafts and prosecutes patent portfolios that span multiple jurisdictions. Passionate about all things to do with technology, James Davies focuses on the developing field of software-implemented inventions. With a background in electronic engineering, he guides clientele throughout the patent and design application process in South Africa and in other jurisdictions. Also with an electrical engineering background, Johnny Fiandeiro has wide knowledge of the telecommunications and computer-implemented inventions sectors. A favourite among smaller inventors, he is an excellent communicator who gives tailored and specific advice to his varied patrons. After developing his IP knowledge over three decades, Colin MacKenzie centres his patent practice on the mechanical engineering and the nuclear industries. “Louis van der Walt is an exceptional attorney. He is incredibly knowledgeable in the area of IP, and clients feel safe in his hands.” A chemistry expert, he was recently appointed by the Minister of Agriculture, Land Reforms and Rural Development to advise on an appeal regarding Plant Breeders’ Rights in South Africa. The firm also benefits from the presence of numerous praiseworthy litigators, including Dario Tanziani, who routinely represents high-profile pharmaceutical companies in groundbreaking patent litigation cases. He also handles the firm’s patent renewals section, which oversees a 30,000-strong patent portfolio across the world. Drawn to cases at the intersection of competition law and intellectual property throughout the African continent, Alexis Apostolidis is respected for his dynamic performances before South African courts. Working collaboratively to represent pharmaceutical giant Bayer, both Russell Bagnall and Danie Dohmen are excellent choices for complex patent litigation. A pharmaceutical and chemistry expert, Bagnall effortlessly handles cross-border litigation across several African countries; Dohmen is a thought leader in the IP community, who actively engages in IP policy issues on an international level. 

Firm Profile

Adams & Adams is an internationally recognised and leading African law firm that specialises in providing IP, corporate and commercial services.

With primary office locations in South Africa and branches and associate offices in a number of African countries, our firm’s leadership position as the largest IP law practice in Africa – and one of South Africa’s foremost corporate, property and commercial law firms – is reflected in the groundbreaking work that we do and the valuable client relationships that we have with many of the world’s largest corporations and organisations, as well as small and medium-sized companies.

Around 250 Fortune 500 companies rely on Adams & Adams to protect their IP rights and commercial interests in South Africa and Africa.

Our IP expertise encompasses the full spectrum of IP services for clients globally – from identification and creation, through to the management, commercialisation and enforcement of IP rights. Our multi-disciplinary teams comprising prosecution, litigation and commercialisation specialists are dedicated to developing and executing IP strategies that translate to a sustainable competitive advantage for clients. Our approach is to constantly add value to clients’ IP portfolios and assets. The ability to demonstrate that value lies in being distinctive, which is offered to clients through our unique services – created and refined since 1908. In addition to searching, drafting and prosecuting patent and trademark applications, the firm has an outstanding reputation for advising on strategic IP portfolio development, IP asset management, infringement analysis, due diligence and litigation support.

Adams & Adams offers a wide range of specialist legal services organised under one of southern Africa’s fastest growing commercial, property and litigation practices. This department is involved in every aspect of corporate and commercial law and has advised on numerous large and complex national and international transactions. The Adams & Adams general commercial legal services practices boast competent and powerful teams that represent clients in expertise areas such as, among others, commercial and contract law; commercial litigation; property services; public procurement; banking and finance; mergers and acquisitions; tax; exchange control; data protection; franchising; competition; labour; personal injury; and arbitration and dispute resolution.

As a leader among law firms involved in commercial services and other corporate transactions, the transactional and litigation experience of our attorneys, the breadth of our practice and the geographical reach of our offices in Africa have allowed us to maintain a competitive leadership position, representing a broad array of public and private companies, private equity firms and financial institutions, government entities and other institutions and individuals in almost every type of commercial law situation.

Adams & Adams is consistently acknowledged and tier-1 ranked by the leading global industry bodies and peer-review indices that recognise excellence in global legal practice. Participation in awards and indices allows us to benchmark our performance and gain valuable feedback from third parties.

Central to Adams & Adams’ growth strategy is the close relationship that we continue to foster and enjoy with our local partners and associate offices throughout Africa, in combination with vital engagement with local registries. Each year our professionals travel widely, focusing our efforts on jurisdictions where protecting clients’ interests has been paramount. Through our associate offices and long-established networks, we serve our global client base throughout Africa in matters of intellectual property, commercial law, property and litigation.

We are proud of the quality and longevity of our employee relationships, with numerous team members boasting more than 20 years of service with the firm. This culture of loyalty brings about superlative levels of commitment, enthusiasm and performance. Adams & Adams’ multi-cultural and multi-lingual staff complement ensures that we can assist clients in multiple languages if required.

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