Global Trade Secrets Ranking Band 2


This is a detailed analysis of the firms in Band Two.

Hello, and welcome to Global Trade Secrets. Here, you’ll find what we believe to be the first genuine global ranking of law firms for trade secrets, reflecting the fact that at the sharp end, trade secrets are cross border, complex and high value. Editor Baron Armah-Kwantreng has spent months wading through submissions, talking to the market and developing an understanding of how it works in order to produce rankings that we feel are robust and credible, but more than that, extremely useful for corporate counsel who find themselves with a trade secrets challenge.

Please see below for detailed analysis of the firms in Band Two

Band 2


 Allen & Overy



Tier One clients attest Allen & Overy have “the global reach we need” on ’bet-the-company’ fast-paced multi-jurisdictional trade secrets litigation and strategic intangible assets management.

The firm has advised on some of the biggest and most significant trade secrets matters in the courts. It has successfully utilised “creative thinking in filing historic case law” in the rapid deployment of local and international legal and regulatory tools to prevent the flow of confidential information across the globe, saving clients millions of dollars.

Team Overview:

The firm’s global trade secrets law practice is resourced with over 420 litigators and 120 IP lawyers around the world. The team works alongside the firm’s leading employment and commercial litigation teams, and with cybercrime colleagues, with local federal and international enforcement agencies to complement civil measures.

London IP partner Mark Radcliffe is a go-to person to direct matters across the firm’s global network, from the dreaded Friday afternoon suspicious resignation of a flight risk employee, to a rival company threatening an immediate injunction shutting down critical business functions following a former employee onboarding.

The firm has recruited heavily in its US operations and in recent years has acquired trade secrets practitioners in northern California, New York, Boston and DC, some with key experience at the US ITC, and elsewhere, at their previous firms. It will be interesting to see how the new arrivals gel to form a mature firm-wide complement alongside the offering in Europe, the Middle East, Australia, Hong Kong and mainland China.

Anja Schulz, managing director and general counsel at software company IGEL Technology, recommends Dusseldorf partner Jens Matthes and his colleagues advising on civil proceedings, for “timely, balanced and cost efficient advice” on a competition law and trade secrets matter.

Key Matters:

● A&O represented Zimmer Biomet in defending complex multi-jurisdictional trade secrets litigation brought by Heraeus regarding bone cements.

● A&O played a critical role for hedge fund G-Research in high-profile litigation against employee Ke Xu, a Chinese national who fled to Hong Kong from London attempting to return to mainland China, allegedly with trade secrets on computer equipment he took from the firm.

● The firm represented RF Micro Devices (now Qorvo) in enforcing trade secrets against its former employees and the competing companies they set up. This is believed to be the first parallel enforcement in China and the US for trade secret violations.

● A&O represented a quantitative hedge fund in a dispute with a group of senior employees who had been poached by a competitor to create a copycat investment fund.

● The firm’s Palo Alto partners Jeremy Elman and Bijal Vakil represent Carl Zeiss Meditec in federal proceedings in the Northern District of California on alleged misappropriation of Carl Zeiss’ trade secrets by Topcon’s eye examination data Harmony platform and DICOM decoder.


Carl Zeiss Meditec, G-Research, IGEL Technology, RF Micro Devices (now Qorvo), Zimmer Biomet.


 Baker Mackenzie



“Usual suspects” Baker McKenzie has “the coverage for the big global matters” on trade secrets. The firm is active in a broad array of critical trade secrets advisory, transactional and litigation matters for leading clients on novel ventures, and early examples of EU Trade Secrets Directive litigation for clients across the US, Europe, Asia and beyond. The trade secrets practice leverages the firm’s status as the world’s largest full service IP litigation practice with nearly 400 intellectual property lawyers in 40 countries. It covers full-scope IP services in more jurisdictions than any other firm, combining in-market IP and cross-border experience. The firm acts for multinationals across fintech, healthcare, consumer, energy and manufacturing.

Team Overview:

The global trade secrets practice is led in the Americas from DC by US ITC cases advisor Christine Streatfeild and in EMEA by Dr Rembert Niebel in Frankfurt. Twelve partners are active in the area in the US, with six in EMEA. In the US the firm stood out as acting on the most DTSA cases in 2020. On the advisory side the firm employs a Trade Secrets Tool to help clients identify changes to internal policies and procedures.

Baker Mckenzie is described as “terrific with advice work on multi-country compliance advising on where to locate a R&D facility”. Peers describe the firm as having “some great people and everything in between”. Offices with significant trade secrets activity span: Washington DC, Chicago, Palo Alto, New York, Beijing, Hong Kong, Singapore, Sydney, Taipei, London, Frankfurt, Warsaw, Barcelona, and Milan.

Key Matters:

● Partner Bradford Newman serves as outside general counsel to the DFINITY FOUNDATION, creator of the US$9.3 billion valued Internet Compute, a decentralised, open-source, general-purpose blockchain, designed to host smart contracts. Newman advises DFINITY on data protection and trade secrets, and was instrumental in preventing “forked” chain damage, and has helped recover critical nodes IP.

● Baker McKenzie advised the GC of a US-based multinational technology group in a major trade secrets case. Baker assisted the client in conducting internal investigations, including email screenings, to confirm a number of departing employees stole a large amount of trade secrets. The firm successfully litigated a number of preliminary injunctive relief proceedings in Germany and initiated criminal proceedings against the former employees.


DFINITY, Acorns Advisors, Sundae, Maxor National Pharmacy Services, ITT, L’Oréal, Expedia.





Dechert, say premium clients, has “the global reach and understanding” to offer a full range of trade secrets protection services and defence against misappropriation allegations, often involving geopolitical sensitivities. Diane Siegel Danoff, head of the global Trade Secret Litigation practice, leads a team of 11 partners dedicated to trade secrets across a network spanning Austin, New York, Boston, Silicon Valley, Philadelphia and London. Danoff has extensive IP and trade secrets litigation experience, over 35 years of practice, and regularly speaks on topics such as ‘Lessons for Trade Secret Litigators from the Driverless Cars Space’.

Former financial crimes federal prosecutor Andrew Boutros is regional chair of the US White Collar practice. Boutros lectures on corporate criminal prosecutions at the University of Chicago Law School and has written on trade secrets-based RICO claims and the China initiative. Clients appreciate his “deep commitment to and knowledge of the practice area” and for “being creative and working through the problem” to “a good outcome” on tricky matters.

The firm’s trade secret counselling programme assists clients in strengthening their information systems, and in negotiations on key agreements such as employment, inventions and suppliers agreements.

Key Matter:

Andrew Boutros, David Kelley, and Jay Schleppenbach represent Huawei in the US government’s criminal prosecution of Huawei for alleged racketeering (RICO), conspiracy, fraud, and other offences in the Eastern District of New York. The Dechert team is part of a multi-law firm legal team. It acts as lead counsel on the trade secret theft allegations relating to CNEX, a criminal action described by the New York Times as “a significant escalation in the Trump administration’s legal fight” against Chinese technological dominance, which has continued into the Biden administration. In 2022, the team continued coordinating multiple sensitive internal investigations in the US and China into certain allegations of the RICO indictment.


Agape, Conagen, Huawei, Ipsen, Tekni-Plex.





Frankfurt-based Constantin Rehaag leads Denton’s Global Trade Secrets practice with a partner network of six in Europe, two in the UK, eight in the United States, one in Australia, one in Canada, one in Singapore, and three in South Korea. Rehaag is a member of the EU IPO’s European Observatory on Infringements of Intellectual Property Rights Legal Expert group.

Dentons deals with theft of secrets by a single employee, computer fraud and abuse, competitor poaching of a workforce, and breach of a confidentiality agreement or restrictive covenant. The team works with litigation colleagues and in-house technical experts, forensic investigators and eDiscovery professionals.

Recent outcomes include achieving temporary restraining order proceedings, preliminary injunction hearings, trial, arbitration, and the use of alternative dispute resolution techniques both before and after a lawsuit. The firm recently announced a combination with Link Advisors of India and the team incorporates Dentons Global Advisors, a multidisciplinary advisory firm providing integrated strategic counsel and support for clients spanning commercial, reputational, financial, regulatory and governance issues. Berlin partner Stefan Dittmer was co-chair of the task force publishing the ICC’s “Protecting Trade Secrets—Recent EU and US Reforms”.

Key Matter:

Washington, DC partner Song Jung led a multi-practice team for LG Chem, the largest Korean chemical company, and LG Chem Michigan, gaining a complex strategic settlement with geopolitical implications in the US and South Korea. Jung was “the driving force” in the settlement who was “relied on for strategic issues”. Dentons prepared and filed the complaint at the International Trade Commission and a corresponding complaint in District Court in the District of Delaware against SK Innovation and SK Battery America for trade secret misappropriation related to electric vehicle lithium-ion batteries. This is the agency’s largest trade secret case ever and likely one of the largest IP cases for potential damages. In February 2021, SK agreed to pay US$1.8 billion averting a sweeping US import ban.


König & Bauer, Bluesafety, Roche Pharma; Inrix, LG Chem/ LG Energy Solution, RoX, CM Blue, P.E.T.T., Fluorchemie Stulln, Ringspann, KL Discovery, Mobility Trader Holding.


 Gibson Dunn & Crutcher



GIBSON DUNN'S “high quality” trade secret litigators routinely pursue allegations of trade secret misappropriation from high-level executives and employees. On criminal proceedings the firm has a roster of former civil and criminal prosecutors and Department of Justice lawyers with extensive experience and strong working relationships with the state and federal agencies pursuing such investigations. The firm has seen success in helping clients navigate criminal investigations as targets or as third parties under subpoena.

In corporate disputes, Gibson Dunn’s lawyers routinely defend against and bring trade secret claims or counterclaims on behalf of clients, alone or in conjunction with other business claims such as breach of contract and fraud. The Intellectual Property group is also experienced in trying and winning trade secret claims related to hardware or software design in conjunction with or in lieu of patent claims.

The firm conducts confidential and comprehensive internal investigations for clients when misappropriation is suspected, and counsels clients on risk management policies. The loss this year of partners Mark Perry to Weil Gotshal and Joshua Lerner to WilmerHale is seen as a loss to the firm. It remains to be seen how the practice will regroup in 2023.

Key Matter:

In August 2022, Gibson Dunn filed lawsuits in Texas and New York on behalf of reinsurance broker Guy Carpenter & Co over the defection of its CG Access unit to competitor Howden Reinsurance Brokers. The Southern District of New York filing sued five former employees for a “carefully calculated raid, cherry-picking more than half of the GC Access team and utilising confidential details about their employment with Guy Carpenter to entice them to leave, [which] constituted a clear violation of the fiduciary duties and contractual obligations Defendants owed to Guy Carpenter.”

Gibson Dunn separately filed a suit in the Northern District of Texas seeking claims against Howden Reinsurance Brokers for violation of trade secrets laws and other business torts in connection with the hiring of 12 employees of the plaintiff’s GC Access unit. The filing alleged Howden orchestrated the simultaneous defection of the unit’s top leadership and over 20 accounts worth millions of dollars in annual revenue.


 Hogan Lovells



Peers say Hogan Lovells “scored a big and important victory with their report” ‘Study on Trade Secrets and Parasitic Copying (Look-alikes) MARKT/2010/20/D Report on Trade Secrets for the European Commission’ that led to the EU Trade Secrets Directive. Burkhart Goebel, global head of Intellectual Property, Media and Technology, leads a trade secrets practice with 25 partners across an office network spanning Amsterdam, Beijing, Dusseldorf, Hamburg, Houston, London, Madrid, Mexico City, Milan, Munich, Paris, San Francisco, Shanghai, Tokyo, Washington, DC.

The team acts on preventative measures such as urgent preliminary injunctions and regularly advises upon issues arising from departing employees/teams of employees, competitor targeting or from state-backed or individual hacking. Peers acknowledge the firm as “worthy adversaries” and for its “good IP capabilities and global office network”. International clients confirm “they understood us and gave good quality advice”.

A multidisciplinary team of employment, privacy and cybersecurity, and anti-bribery and corruption lawyers in key innovation hubs across the Americas, Europe, and Asia Pacific works with businesses to formulate trade secrets management and enforcement policies and practices. DC-based Joseph Raffetto defends clients in global matters and in every major forum in the US including the International Trade Commission. London partner Joel Smith advised Sky successfully on significant litigation in the English High Court resulting from trade secrets theft by an ex-employee and its use by a competing business to target Sky customers for warranty cover. Anna-Katharina Friese specialises in all questions of patent law and the protection of trade secrets and know-how.

A Trade Secrets Toolkit supports clients with the protection of trade secrets and confidential know-how across four modules: Identify, Protect, Respond, and Commercialise. The team has won some of the first court decisions on the new trade secrets law on behalf of clients, helping to shape case law.

Key Matters:

In April 2021, Hogan’s US office announced the firm’s cross-practice team led the effort representing LG Energy Solution (LGES) through its multi-year trade secret dispute over electric vehicle batteries with SK Innovation (SKI), resulting in a US$1.8 billion settlement between the two companies. Hogan Lovells played a multi-faceted role in this global matter, including representing LGES to a successful default judgment at the US International Trade Commission, as well as orchestrating and leading the lobbying efforts through the subsequent Presidential Review process by the US Trade Representative and White House. The Biden Administration called the settlement “a win for American workers and the American auto industry”.

Mulsanne Insurance Co v Marshmallow Financial Services (UK). Hogan Lovells represented Mulsanne in a trade secrets/breach of confidence and breach of contract action against Marshmallow in the High Court in London, concerning the alleged misuse of Mulsanne’s car insurance premium algorithms and underwriting rules and the firm’s application of trade secret/breach of confidence principles to an “insurtech”. This is the first high-profile insurtech trade secrets/breach of confidence case to reach trial.


Organik Kimya, Rolls-Royce, Aeroport De Paris, Jason Oil & Gas and Jason Energy, Solvay, Kraft-Heinz Food Company, KBR, System7, Hauni Maschinenbau, SDSE Networks; Mulsanne Insurance Co.


 Morrison & Foerster



Mofo’s trade secrets clients range from early stage companies to large multinationals, but have one thing in common: the need to protect their valuable intellectual property. Morrison & Foerster regularly advises clients on how to protect against the theft of their IP from both external and internal threats by implementing trade secret protection and information security programmes. The firm assists clients in tailoring the appropriate restrictive covenants to cover varying state and international jurisdictions regulations.

Team Overview:

The team’s lawyers frequently appear before juries, judges, and arbitrators to try cases involving misappropriation of trade secrets, the Computer Fraud & Abuse Act, restrictive covenants, employee raiding, customer raiding, and departures of key employees.

The team has litigated some of the most significant trade secret cases in California and the US. It is led by partners Kenneth Kuwayti and Bryan Wilson. Kuwayti led a firm webinar with DOJ officials on “When to Call in the Feds: Criminal Remedies for Trade Secret Misappropriation”.


Recent trade secret matters have been handled for Accenture, Adobe Systems, Booz Allen Hamilton, Hansen Medical and Konami Digital Entertainment.


 O'Melveny & Myers



O’MELVENY & MYERS has a cross-disciplinary Trade Secrets Counselling and Litigation practice spanning intellectual property, employment, and white-collar criminal law. The team includes lawyers with advanced technical degrees.

David Almeling, described as “excellent” by peers, is a noted academic, industry figure and trade secrets lawyer. He teaches trade secrets law at UC Berkeley Law School and he has testified before Congress on safeguarding trade secrets. He has “written important pieces of scholarship and practical scholarly work on trade secrets” and has “impressed with his leadership” as vice chair of the Sedona conference trade secrets group.

Key Matter:

O’Melveny represented RealPage, a leading provider of on-demand software and software-enabled services to the rental housing industry, in a lawsuit brought by its primary competitor, Yardi Systems. Yardi alleged that RealPage, in connection with its acquisition of a consulting firm that had serviced Yardi clients, misappropriated Yardi’s trade secrets and infringed on its copyrights. RealPage brought counterclaims against Yardi for antitrust violations, tortious interference with customer contracts, and trade secret misappropriation. Following the Court’s denial of Yardi’s motion to dismiss RealPage’s counterclaims and the depositions of several key witnesses, the parties entered into a comprehensive settlement of the litigation.


RealPage, Semtech.


 Quinn Emmanuel



QUINN EMMANUEL represents clients in US state and federal courts, as well as in arbitrations, across the country and internationally. The firm is “chock full of good trial lawyers able to try any kind of case” and is experienced in DTSA cases. In trade secrets misappropriation cases with criminal aspects it can draw on its white collar practice. Commentators say: “The depth is up and down the board, they have some of the best.” The firm was among the first to represent an aggrieved client under the Economic Espionage Act, which resulted in federal criminal convictions and an eight-figure civil jury verdict stemming from the theft of trade secrets.

The firm has also won, year after year, some of the most significant appellate decisions involving trade secrets law in federal and state courts across the US.

New York partner Rachel Epstein is co-chair of the firm’s Trademark, Copyright, and Trade Secret practices. Charles Verhoeven is head of the Northern California offices in Silicon Valley and San Francisco and is co-chair of the firm’s National Intellectual Property Litigation Practice. He obtained a plaintiff jury verdict of misappropriation of trade secrets and breach of contract and $118.3 million damages, with a judgment of $134 million in damages, for a plaintiff financial products company in an Eastern District of Missouri trial involving technology to create new stable value bank-owned life insurance products against The Hartford financial services company. He represented Waymo in high profile trade secrets litigation with Uber involving defendant Anthony Levandowski.

Key Matter:

Iqvia et al. v Veeva Systems (D.N.J. 2022). Quinn Emanuel represents IQVIA and IMS Software Services (“IQVIA”) in a case involving misappropriation/misuse of trade secrets brought by Veeva Systems. Quinn Emanuel uncovered in discovery that Veeva had been misappropriating IQVIA’s proprietary data and spoilating evidence for years, and moved for sanctions against Veeva. The Court agreed, finding Veeva had been “well-aware that it was misappropriating IQVIA data”, had “engaged in an extensive clean-up endeavor to hide what had occurred”, and imposed adverse inference sanctions against Veeva. Discovery in the case is continuing.


Avery Dennison, Barnes & Noble, Brøderbund Software, CalComp, Callidus Software, Corbis, Data East, Dow Chemical, eBay, Electronic Arts, Fox, FremantleMedia, Google, HBO, Hallmark, Home Depot, IBM, International Game Technology, Intuit, INVISTA/Koch Industries, Mattel, Marvell Technology Group, Maxwell Technologies, Motorola, MTV,, Napster, National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences, Northrop Grumman, Olaplex, Paramount, Pennzoil/Quaker State, Pfizer, Phoenix American, Phoenix Technologies, Pinterest, PPG Industries, Sae-A Trading Company, Shell Exploration & Production Company,, SolidWorks, StubHub, SSA Global, Trust Company of the West, Turner Entertainment, Viacom, Virgin Galactic, Warner Home Video, Waymo, Wiz, Zynga.


 Seyfarth Shaw



SEYFARTH SHAW has a trade secrets practice known for the depth of its employment expertise that also punches its weight in broader areas of infringement. The firm has 35 partners and 28 other lawyers with significant trade secrets activity across six offices: New York, Boston, Atlanta, Chicago, Houston, and Los Angeles.

Seyfarth is handling one of the largest trade secrets cases in the US implicating billions of dollars involving electrical vehicle technology. Additionally, Seyfarth recently obtained a multi-million dollar settlement and permanent injunction for a national logistics client in a highly contentious, long-running, “bet the company” litigation involving former executives and a competitor, which protected the client’s most valuable customers from unlawful poaching.

Seyfarth Shaw adopts a different model to many of its competitors in that the practice is not an adjunct to a larger IP group. The firm’s trade secrets lawyers are part of a separate dedicated national and international team. Seyfarth’s team has a specialised practice of representing or defending claims involving departing or entering top-level executives.

The group routinely works side by side with the firm’s eDiscovery lawyers (the largest of its kind in the US) who are forensically trained to respond to client inquiries that an employee has or may have improperly accessed or stolen data. This group routinely handles “bet the company” trade secrets/intellectual capital disputes, as is noted by its recognition as a leader in the complex IP litigation space as well as unique and sought-after assistance with privacy, cyber security, and ransom attacks.

Key Work:

Seyfarth Shaw represents electric vehicle maker Karma Automotive in pleadings involving billions of dollars against defendant Lordstown Motors Corp (LMC). Allegedly, discovery has revealed that defendants stole Karma’s highly confidential and proprietary information regarding nearly every aspect of Karma’s vehicles including Karma’s source code for its infotainment system, power moding specifications, production processes and tools, electric vehicle testing and validation documents, mobile device application product requirements, process improvement methodologies, supplier information, and project budgets. The destruction of evidence by employees of LMC is also alleged. Collectively the information LMC allegedly stole is conservatively worth hundreds of millions and perhaps billions of dollars. The lawsuit involves sophisticated technology and trade secrets. Millions of pages of documents have already been produced in discovery and countless depositions are expected to take place. This case will likely continue to garner press coverage as it nears trial.


Stryker Corporation, Capstone Logistics, SeneGence International, Optimas OE Solutions, Whittier Trust Company, Panda Restaurant Group, JWE, Pitney Bowes, Illinois Tool Works (ITW), Reynolds Group Holdings, Millennium Health, OnPrem Solutions, Karma Automotive.

Main rankings page