Hot 100: Alexia Willetts, FIFA

FIFA IP legal counsel and head of trademark registration Alexia Willetts packed a lot into 2012.


Leading a team of just six lawyers, Willetts is juggling legislation on a number of major football tournaments, including the 2014 World Cup in Rio.

The huge collaboration of efforts to develop and protect the marketing assets for the 2014 World Cup was a highlight, Willetts says, with the global scale and tight deadlines a challenge.

“That is the first time I have been tasked to co-ordinate so many far-reaching stakeholders and corresponding interests,” she says. “To see the project launch in vaguely unfettered fashion was a blissful moment. The projects that I have been involved in have stretched me beyond my professionally trained and academic boundaries.”

Willetts learned her IP trade at Marks & Clerk in the Midlands before uprooting to Geneva, and her remit has expanded in line with her profile. She is challenged by a growing portfolio of international trademark cases, contracts, project management, risk and getting a handle on the quandary of the “use of protected trademarks by social media sites”.

She says in legal terms this is “fairly embryonic in nature” and the long-term implications could be tested in 2013.

Willetts is another one of our Hot 100 who packs more things into her schedule than most. She admits “abandoning rational thought” by studying for a Masters in luxury brand management this year. “Needless to say, sleep levels have decreased,” she laughs.