Pannones secures top IP clients from DJ Freeman

Top Manchester law firm Pannone & Partners has won two major intellectual property clients from City firm DJ Freeman.

The 56-partner regional firm will act for the British Tourist Authority and the English Tourism Council protecting their intellectual property rights worldwide.

The clients approached Pannones to act for them after because they did not want to pay London rates for the work, which demands more than 15 hours every month from the partner dealing with it.

Pannones refuses to say exactly how much the new clients are worth, but says it is a significant amount.

The firm will safeguard the groups' registered trademark portfolio around the world and advise on copyright, advertising and data protection issues.

Intellectual property, advertising and marketing partner Laurie Heizler believes that this is another example of commercial clients looking outside London for legal expertise and competitive rates.

He says: “This is a client who was dissatisfied with London lawyers and London rates and decided to go out of London, so they came to me.”

Heizler says that the firm will instruct other local agents around the world to do the work, but Pannones is the principal legal adviser on intellectual property.

“Obviously DJ Freeman is going to be more expensive than we are – I imagine I charge between 50 and 55 per cent of what it was probably charging them.”

He says: “There is the expertise out of London now for almost anything, and major clients recognise that. The British Tourist Authority's instructions have demonstrated that Pannones has the relevant resources and expertise to handle high volume, varied intellectual property work on an efficient basis throughout the world.”

Heizler is the only partner at Pannones specialising in intellectual property, and his other clients include oil company Texaco and food giant Kelloggs. He joined the firm in 1996, having previously been in-house counsel at Kelloggs.

DJ Freeman was unavailable for comment as The Lawyer went to press.