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Lovells has launched an intellectual property (IP) initiative to ensure a seamless-service pan-Euro-Asian capability.
This is intended to integrate Lovells' IP practices across the two continents with those of merger partners Siméon & Associés, Ekelmans Den Hollander and Boesebeck Droste. In a new international role, Stephen Hayward, co-head of the firm's Asian IP and technology group, will orchestrate further integration of the IP practices, marketing a cross-border IP service to existing and potential clients. According to Hayward, impetus for the global IP direction came in part from clients and competitors. "Clients are international and they want to be serviced internationally," he said. He went on to argue that in-house lawyers handle most of a company's IP work and often retain just one firm for outsourcing. He believes that a firm offering a coherent standard across jurisdictions is better placed to capitalise on this trend. In addition to the persuasive pressure brought to bear by clients, rival firms had expressed an interest in retaining Hayward's services for their own international IP strategies. Hayward commented: "Other firms approached me to do this, but I didn't want to leave. I'd rather do it with the people I know at Lovells." Henry Wheare, who will continue to head Lovells' IP/IT practice in Hong Kong, said: "Given Stephen's proven strengths in marketing and client development, this is an exciting opportunity to develop our international client base in Asia, and I only see the practice going from strength to strength."