Allen & Overy LLP

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.

Recommended - Firms: transactions

Gold - Firms: litigation

Allen & Overy’s French IP team serves an impressive roster of multinational clients across the life sciences and high-technology sectors, and has featured in a diverse range of pan-European disputes over the last year. Preliminary injunction matters are something of a specialty: the group played a role in 75% of such actions between 2018 and 2019. In the pharmaceutical space, it continues to represent Merck Sharpe & Dohme in a series of actions against generics companies under the watchful guidance of IP head and life sciences co-head Laëtitia Bénard. She has appeared in myriad game-changing multi-jurisdictional patent suits and thrives at the crossroads of intellectual property and pharmaceutical regulatory law. For high-technology disputes, the person to call is David Por: he recently defended Archos against patent infringement actions brought by Philips in one of the first cases in which the precedent set by the CJEU in Huawei v ZTE was applied by the courts.

Bronze - Firms: litigation and transactions

Allen & Overy’s Dutch outpost plays a vital role in the firm’s larger network, providing well-informed commercial strategies to its international clientele and assisting them with critical pan-European disputes. It has the legal and technical chops to prevail in must-win litigation across a range of sectors: thanks to its facility for SEP and FRAND-related issues, for example, it was recently called on to represent Dutch telecommunications company KPN in an infringement and licensing matter relating to the same. Running point on this is department head Frits Gerritzen, an “esteemed and truly terrific lawyer” who is also “an industry leader in the world of high-tech”: “Frits is attuned to developments in other jurisdictions and their impact on local advocacy. He is a brilliant, thoughtful and calming presence.”

Highly-recommended - Firms: transactions

Silver - Firms: infringement

Allen & Overy’s German IP group is a vital part of its indomitable European offering. Despite its relative youth, the tightly knit team – based in Munich and Dusseldorf – has already earned a glowing reputation for its poised performances in high-profile disputes at the cutting edge of patent law and practice, including those interwoven with SEP and FRAND or SPC and second medical use threads. Its clientele features industry giants from both life sciences and high technology: as an example, the firm is acting for Samsung Electronics – including in a set of preliminary injunction proceedings – under the watchful eye of Jan Ebersohl. He litigates across the technical spectrum, but is especially well known in the car connectivity and Internet of Things fields, and also takes charge of the firm’s global automotive sector group. With a wealth of unfair competition know-how, he has a percipient take on issues that straddle patent and antitrust law. Heading the German life sciences group is 30-year veteran Joachim Feldges, who has lately been advising Bayer on the German components of two cross-border litigations in relation to veterinary products. He coordinates international patent strategies for pharmaceutical, biotechnology and medical devices players, and is also a qualified arbitrator and mediator. Completing the line-up is all-rounder Jens Matthes, whose remit covers the full range of IP rights, as well as unfair competition and employee invention law, and whose contentious caseload is complemented by a steady contract negotiation and corporate transactions practice. “Jens is a very dedicated adviser and one of the very best German commercial IP lawyers. He displays a profound understanding of business requirements and his proposals are always very helpful.” “He assists with some of the most critical projects through his tremendous expertise, smart contract interpretation skills and a highly efficient negotiation style that never is intimidating, but always leads to great solutions.”

Silver - Firms: litigation and transactions

Allen & Overy’s Belgian contingent has enjoyed a red-letter year thanks to a series of headline-grabbing new hires. The group operates adroitly on both sides of the contentious/non-contentious divide, with a robust litigation division sitting alongside an equally powerful standalone transactions practice. Peter Van Dyck, Geert Glas, and Filip Van Elsen are the names to note when it comes to closing deals. When he is not providing holistic IP support to his A-list clientele, practice head Van Dyck shares his wisdom by lecturing at KU Leuven University. Glas has spent more than three decades in the game and is a certified arbitrator, giving him a keen sense of when to litigate and when to push for out-of-court settlements. Van Elsen is in charge of the global TMT department and is intimately familiar with both the telecommunications and life sciences spaces.

Gold - Firms: litigation

Highly-recommended - Firms: transactions

Despite some significant personnel losses over the last two years, Allen & Overy remains on top of its game. It has been representing Huawei in its hotly debated dispute with Conversant under the watchful eyes of Mark HeaneyNeville Cordell and Mark Ridgway. “Skilled operator” Heaney is “exceptionally intelligent and knowledgeable”; while the “diligent and detail-oriented” Cordell likewise “has excellent knowledge of the law – you can count on Neville to make sure any errors are picked up on”. Ridgway is hailed as “one of the best patent litigation tacticians in London”: “If Mark were not featured in the IAM Patent 1000, his omission would be startling.” With a facility for both telecommunications and life sciences disputes, he “maintains a partner-level overview of cases while rolling up his sleeves and getting to grips with client needs”. Anchoring the life sciences side is Marjan Noor, who has been busy acting for Bayer in patent infringement and revocation proceedings relating to a veterinary injection product. Her degree in medical sciences and pharmacology grants her keen technical insight. On the transactional front, Jim Ford and Nigel Parker have all the answers – global life sciences co-head Ford recently advised Circassia Pharma on the termination of a development and commercialisation agreement with AstraZeneca; while Parker’s highlights include assisting GlaxoSmithKline with a collaboration agreement in the cutting-edge area of mRNAvaccines.

Recommended - Firms

Magic Circle firm Allen & Overy LLP entered the Patent 1000’s China table last year following the announcement of a joint operation with Shanghai Lang Yue Law Firm, enabling the team to represent clients before mainland courts and to provide seamless services across the region. A high-profile mix of local and international corporations in the technology, media and telecommunications, life sciences and industrial engineering sectors enlist the help of Allen & Overy when it comes to complex litigation, dispute arbitration, transactional issues and advisory work. Committed to playing a leading role in the strive for diversity and inclusion, the outfit has several initiatives to promote racial, gender and LGBTQ+ equality across its network.

Silver - Firms: litigation and transactions

Renowned worldwide for its proficient and reliable IP offering, global firm Allen & Overy maintains a sterling reputation in Poland as a “modern and dynamic team”. It collaborates smoothly with its counterparts around the world to deliver a first-rate service to companies across the industry spectrum. Lately, it has been advising Bayer on the protection, defence and enforcement of SPCs in a matter that could result in a new interpretation of the products that are protected by this type of IP right. Running point on this matter is Krystyna Szczepanowska-Kozłowska: “She is the queen of patents, with a strong academic background, and knows absolutely everything there is to know about the law.”

Get unlimited access to all IAM content