HallMark eyes new litigation launch and AIM placement

Trademark and IP group HallMark IP has unveiled radical plans to acquire litigation capability and for a potential float on AIM, just one week after the group was bought out by brand consultancy Nucleus.

HallMark solicitor James Hodgson, who was formerly a founding partner at KLegal, outlined the plans ahead of the implementation of the Clementi reforms. “We’d like to do an AIM float in three years time,” said Hodgson.

HallMark was acquired by Nucleus last week for an undisclosed sum. Prior to the buyout, HallMark, with six trademark attorneys, was structured as a members’ organisation with profit flowing to the owners.

The acquisition comes as players in the patent, trademark and IP arena move towards multidisciplinary practices ahead of the Clementi reforms. Last year, HallMark raided Olswang to secure trademark head Vivienne Coleman, while the world’s largest firm of patent and trademark attorneys Marks & Clerk hired Wragge & Co’s IP head Gregor Grant this year to boost its patent litigation offering. From the law firm end, Olswang has also unveiled plans to go head-to-head with the patent practices after announcing a raft of senior patent hires.

Hodgson said HallMark was aiming to offer clients “cradle to grave” IP advice. “We’re there at the brand design phase through Nuc-leus, and then HallMark can do the trademark work. The next step is to offer the en-forcement element,” he said.