Gowling WLG

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.

Gold - Firms: litigation

Recommended - Firms: transactions

Gold - Firms: prosecution

“Gowling’s patent team exemplifies professionalism, flexibility and a favourable quality-cost ratio. Their thorough understanding of patent processes, high degree of expertise and outstanding communication, means that their input is always valuable when overcoming hurdles and facilitating success.” Practice group captain Brian Kingwell leads by example and has lately been managing the international portfolio of biotechnology company Genentech. Working alongside him on the prosecution front are Susan Tandan, Selena Kim, James Longwell, Grant Tisdall and Brian Lee. Tandan has been assisting Dose Biosystems in acquiring patent protection for its consumable formulations and to great effect. “When it comes to patentability, Susan is best-in-class. She is incredibly informed and creates strategies that help her clients expand their geographical coverage.” Companies in the regulated industries love Kim for her practical and strategic approach, while companies in the blockchain space, like Geeq Corporation, enlist Longwell to secure robust patent protection in the United States and internationally. Tisdall supports the Royal Bank of Canada with its patent portfolio, including its applications in both the United States and Canada, and Lee “brings his intelligence and solid work ethic to every instruction”. He has been running point for all of General Fusion’s patent matters. Jennifer Wilkie and Omar Nassif are both life sciences experts who provide intelligent advice to start-ups, SMEs and multinational corporations. Understanding the technical side of things, the duo is great at seeing the overall business picture, doesn’t get bogged down in the details and can be relied upon to consistently deliver commercially minded advice. “Setting himself apart from his competitors, Roch Ripley provides practical, timely and effective services. He combines his legal expertise with a solid engineering background to tackle complex subject matter and is the embodiment of trust in every sense of the word.” Gowling also has three new practitioners breaking into the guide this year: Sonia Ziesche on the prosecution front, and Jay Zakaïb and Laurent Massam on the contentious side. “Sonia stands out for her knowledge, experience and keen strategic sense. She is an outstanding patent agent and a go-to person in the life sciences industry.” “Jay is extremely thorough and has a lot of scientific expertise. He’s a fantastic litigator who is at the top of his field in Canada.” Head of the IP litigation and strategy group, Massam recently represented JemPak Corporation, alongside Ronald Dimock, and the pair emerged victorious, having successfully defended the manufacturer in infringement proceedings involving two detergent patents. Genentech also relies on Anthony Creber in contentious scenarios, while John Norman is defending an American multinational biotechnology company in a dispute concerning two of their generic drugs. The “exceptionally clever Christopher Van Barr sets the gold standard in litigation and has a reputation for being extremely well prepared for every brief”. He recently joined forces with Michael Crichton on behalf of LG Electronics in infringement proceedings against Wi-LAN, regarding cell-phone handover technology and SEPs. R Nelson Godfrey enjoys a well-rounded IP portfolio and regularly battles it out on behalf of industry leaders across a variety of sectors, from software to retail consumer products. Re-joining the firm’s Canadian practice in 2022, David Aylen has deep-rooted international experience that leading multi-national companies take full advantage of. On the transactions front, Anita Nador covers everything from drafting and prosecution to commercialisation planning and has a soft spot for those in the life sciences space. A seasoned professional, Daniel Polonenko has over two decades of experience in the biotech industry and over 13 years of corporate experience. There is no conundrum that he cannot solve.

Recommended - Firms: transactions

Bronze - Firms: litigation

A dominant IP force on the global stage, Gowling WLG has been growing its influence in Paris over recent years, to resounding success. Prolific on both the contentious and non-contentious sides, the outfit’s French outpost regularly makes its mark in industries as varied as biotechnology and consumer goods. Thanks to its offices across the globe – especially in the United Kingdom and Germany – the group can easily facilitate litigation at a pan-European level. Making the magic happen is the versatile Céline Bey, who adroitly deals with any mandate thrown at her, whether litigious or transactional in nature.

Silver - Firms: litigation

Highly-recommended - Firms: transactions

Gowling WLG is home to more than 1,400 professionals based in 19 cities across the United Kingdom and Europe, Canada, and Asia and the Middle East, making it one of the largest groups of its kind on the world map. The UK contingent has recently been defending Comcast Corporation and Sky Limited against patent infringement claims, and leading on this is Huw Evans, who has been litigating patents in the life sciences and technology fields for over 30 years. “Huw Evans is one of the UK’s best known and experienced IP litigators – he and his colleagues provided excellent commercial and strategic advice. He is able to offer innovative commercial solutions without always having to resort to litigation.” Leading the IP practice overall is Gordon Harris, an engineering and manufacturing expert who has been in the game for 35 years: “Gordon does a splendid job. He is very thorough in his approach and he also has a great sense for the strategic aspects. I would recommend him to anyone who is looking for representation in the UK or coordination of a cross-border litigation.” Co-chairing the tech sector group globally is Alexandra Brodie, who over her 20-year career has carved a niche advising on 2G, 3G, 4G and now 5G related technologies, while heading up the life sciences team is Patrick Duxbury. His practice benefits from his former career as a microbiologist, with the transactional maven having recently advised on a collaboration agreement for AstraZeneca. Paul Inman also has a microbiology background, which he brings to his patent litigation practice – this year has seen him act for Neurim Pharmaceuticals against Viatris, in a complex and unusual case. Similarly, Luke Kempton has a PhD in biochemistry, and puts it to use in both litigation and transactional work, especially for Japanese companies. The firm also has a Japanese speaker on board in PhD neuroscientist Seiko Hidaka, who earns her place in the IAM Patent 1000 this year due to effusive plaudits from interviewees: “Seiko’s knowledge of patent law is magnificent. Her fluency in Japanese has obvious benefits when dealing with Japan-based clients.” For the Chinese market, meanwhile, Jamie Rowlands is the specialist – having spent five years working in China, he returned to the United Kingdom in 2020 but continues to act as the Chief Representative Officer forChina.

Recommended - Firms

Internationally renowned law firm Gowling leverages its presence in Canada, France, England, China, Russia and Singapore to support its clients in the Middle East. The group’s UAE office has seen significant growth in disruptive technologies, one of many areas in which the team looks to create and exploit IP rights. Spearheading the practice is Jon Parker, a prominent name on the scene. During his illustrious career in the Middle East, he has overseen hundreds of applications before the UAE and Gulf Cooperation Council patent offices. Working closely with Parker is Tamara El-Shibib. The technology transfer maestro is primed to focus on the commercial aspects of intellectual property, maximising the value of her clientele’s assets through licensing agreements. She has a proven track record in this space, evidenced by her magnificent work in-house at the QatarFoundation.

Recommended - Firms

Gowling WLG was the first foreign firm to file a patent application in China. Its Chinese patent practice has grown exponentially since then – a mix of domestic and world-leading multinational players profit from Gowling’s vast IP services; its domestic network branch in Chongqing provides the practice with direct and seamless access to the Chinese court system. Patrons are particularly pleased with its tailored service: “The whole Gowling team feels like an ‘extension of our in-house team’”. The outfit received a significant boost with the arrival of former Clyde & Co IP head Elliot Papageorgiou. In his 17-plus years in mainland China, he meets and exceeds patrons’ demands at the trade secret and IP disputes frontier. “Elliot’s team just ‘gets’ our business, and prioritises what is important for us.” “Elliot provides us with this feeling that he is always on our side, and his understanding of European and especially German culture and the needs of a business such as ours is a key attribute. He also provides great value – focusing on finding a solution rather than ‘billable hours’.” Beijing-based Jian Xu is dubbed “knowledgeable, understanding, caring and super-responsive.” A biochemist by trade, he currently anchors the IP prosecution practice with poise.

Firm Profile

For more than a century, the world’s top innovators have looked to Gowling WLG to maximise and protect their treasured intangible assets, at home and abroad. As the global economy grows ever more knowledge-driven, clients continue to count on our broad experience to help them grow their business in an increasingly interconnected IP landscape.

Home to more than 200 IP practitioners in jurisdictions around the world, and supported by full-service legal capabilities, Gowling WLG remains a leader in patent law, with significant strength in prosecution, enforcement and litigation, and transactional work across all global sectors.

Knowledge is power

Successful innovative companies require strong patents and rely on legal professionals with nuanced industry and technical knowledge. Members of our team have rich experience and connections across a broad range of industry sectors, and many have advanced educational and career backgrounds in life sciences, engineering and technology. Some of them are inventors themselves. The innovation insight and business understanding allow us to engage with your inventions and your business on a sophisticated level as we work with you to develop your patent strategy.

Patent solutions – wherever you need them

At Gowling WLG, we take a holistic 365-degree approach to your IP strategy, ensuring it seamlessly aligns with and supports your underlying business objectives. Our strength lies in our full-service global capability paired with a collaborative approach. You need trusted advisers who will help you to maximise your innovations and protect what makes them unique.

Our IP lawyers will support you wherever you operate around the globe. We are among the leading IP practices in Canada, the United Kingdom and throughout Europe, as well as in China and the United Arab Emirates.

As part of its expansion in China, Gowling WLG has forged an exclusive referral arrangement with Chongqing Aquila Law Firm (Aquila Law), which allows Gowling WLG to provide clients with enhanced, seamless access to the Chinese courts and IP offices.

We also have an exclusive association with JurisAsia in Singapore – along with a robust network of established relationships with leading IP practitioners worldwide – that further ensures our clients have access to the very best in patent advice, wherever the growth of their business takes them.

Full life cycle approach

From initial drafting and filing of patents to complex enforcement matters, through to the management and monetisation of large international portfolios, our team is fully equipped to assist you during the entire life cycle of your innovation. Our practice also boasts extensive capabilities in IP transactions, both domestic and cross-border – including with respect to standard essential patents and FRAND, patent mining and mapping (landscaping), licences and agreements, and the IP aspects of corporate transactions. If your intellectual property is threatened, you need a law firm with the global strength to pursue to defend or enforce you patents. From ‘bet the company’ IP litigation to the smallest skirmish, we work with you to obtain outcomes that fit your individual business objectives.

Comprehensive service offering

Intellectual property frequently touches on various other areas, from regulatory issues to challenging competition obstacles. We have you covered on all fronts. Outside of our IP practice, Gowling WLG is equipped to advise clients in virtually every area of law relevant to business. This comprehensive offering gives our team the ability to seamlessly harmonise our clients’ IP interests with other facets of their organisation, and in turn develop a more holistic picture of their business objectives.

Office locations

  • Canada (Calgary, Hamilton, Montreal, Ottawa, Toronto, Vancouver and Waterloo Region)
  • United Kingdom (Birmingham and London)
  • Europe (Munich and Paris)
  • Asia (Beijing, Guangzhou, Shanghai and Singapore – the latter through an exclusive association with JurisAsia)
  • Middle East (Dubai)


  • John Harris (Canada)
  • Jian Xu (China)
  • Huw Evans (United Kingdom)
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