Commercial, IP and regulatory

Wragge & Co competition head Bernadine Adkins had a standout 2011.

Bernadine Adkins, Wragge & Co

The lawyer led construction company Thomas Vale through a battle against a £2m fine issued by the OFT over alleged cover pricing, a case that won the firm third place in Competition/Regulatory Team of the Year category at The Lawyer Awards last year. Adkins has admitted that the biggest challenge was convincing the client that cover pricing, which was endemic in the industry, constituted bid-rigging and was worthy of a sizeable fine. She won this fight and guided Thomas Vale through another

one, an appeal against the fine, in which Adkins acted as advocate, eventually reducing the levy to £171,000.

 

Ben Allgrove, Baker & McKenzie

Ben Allgrove is one of Baker & McKenzie’s stellar IP partners – and in a group that has been ranked consistently in the top tier for this work for years, that is saying something. Australian Allgrove, who was promoted to the partnership last year, is a former Rhodes scholar and relationship partner for Google. Last year solicitor-advocate Allgrove, alongside Henry Carr QC, acted for news aggregator Meltwater in its landmark copyright case against the Newspaper Licensing Agency, which is headed for the Supreme Court in 2012. On top of his meaty caseload Allgrove is also noted for a handling a significant amount of pro bono work, particularly for Amnesty International, Irex and the Global Fund to Fight Aids, Tuberculosis and Malaria.

 

Jeremy Dickerson, Burges Salmon

IP specialist Jeremy Dickerson joined Burges Salmon in March 2006 from DLA Piper, where he was head of IP. What might have been read in some quarters as a lifestyle shift did nothing to dent the quality of the cases on which Dickerson advised. These included representing for Harrods for brand protection, Gunn & Moore on cricket sponsorship deals and Pentland Brands on brand management issues. But it is Dickerson’s role on one of The Lawyer’s top 20 litigation cases of 2012 that secures him a berth in this year’s Hot 100. The Burges Salmon lawyer is representing Discovery Communications Europe in a trademark infringement battle with the company behind TV’s History Channel, A&E Television Networks. At stake is the use of the word ‘History’ and the ‘H’ symbol. The broader significance the high-profile case should provide is in relation to evidential guidance. Much like the programmes, it will be watched closely.

Marc Israel, Macfarlanes

No corporate powerhouse is complete without a solid competition practice to push deals through, and at Macfarlanes that department is headed by partner Marc Israel. A partner since 2004, Israel has advised on a number of key deals, including in 2011 the takeover of Chi-X Europe by US exchange Bats Global Markets, which was expected to create the largest pan-European trading centre by market share and value traded. Israel led Bats through the unexpected Competition Commission review, the result of which was crucial for the US exchange to know how to value the target. Israel and his team, working opposite Slaughter and May, helped the client past the finishing line in November, five months after the OFT referred the deal to the regulator.

Marie Manley, Bristows

Landmark biopharmaceutical cases are a signature speciality of Bristows regulatory head Marie Manley. Since being made up to partner in 2005 her reputation for representing biopharma companies in litigation before both the English and European courts has gone from strength to strength. Today she is one of the market’s experts in orphan drug designation, lifecycle management strategies and EU supplementary protection certificates. Setting the bar high, she successfully represented Servier Laboratories in an appeal against the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence in what was the UK’s first-ever successful challenge to a decision on the cost-effectiveness of drugs. She is currently representing the French pharma company in Europe’s first case of a public body pursuing a company for financial damages caused by the enforcement of the company’s IP rights.

Lisbeth Savill, Olswang

Lisbeth ‘Libby’ Savill is head of film and television at media darlings Olswang. She is also a lawyer with a spectacular track record for advising on a roster of glitzy films. They include the Oscar-nominated An Education, My Week With Marilyn and Inglourious Basterds, for which she handled the financing and distribution arrangements in all cases. With that pedigree to draw upon, and with the release of another of her films, The King’s Speech, for which she earned a co-executive producer credit, acting as a catalyst, Savill last year transformed herself into one of the most outspoken commentators on the future of the British film industry. In particular, the demise later this year of the UK Film Council prompted Savill to outline her own recommendations for the future financing of potential Oscar winners. A stellar track record hitched to a willingness to speak one’s mind is what gets top lawyers hired.

 

Eduardo Ustaran, Field Fisher Waterhouse

Under Eduardo Ustaran, the head of Field Fisher Waterhouse’s (FFW) privacy and information law group, the team has grown consistently year-on-year. FFW is now thought to have the largest team of dedicated data protection lawyers in Europe with the largest number of EU authorisations for ‘binding corporate rules’, the mechanism by which international data transfers by multinationals are legitimised. Ustaran is closely involved with the development of a new data protection law for Europe, which is expected this year, having spent much of last year making representations to the European Commission on behalf of a range of clients, including Google, Vodafone, Nokia and Verizon. Ustaran’s standing among data protection regulators in numerous EU member states is high and is likely to grow this year as a self-regulatory model for data protection in cloud computing he has developed, and on which he is advising regulators, gains momentum.