UK Trademark Rankings 2024

Eversheds Sutherland

Firm overview:

Eversheds Sutherland is an international firm, known among peers for patents and transactional IP matters, and for a strong trademark practice. A satisfied major client says: “Their level of service and expertise are exceptional. We will not be looking to tender our business anywhere else.” 

The team advises on high-profile multi-jurisdictional matters, including the Manuka Honey dispute before the UK Intellectual Property Office (UKIPO), and works with top consumer-facing brands on brand protection. 

For clients requiring advice across IP, the full-service firm handles day-to-day management of global trademark and design portfolios, including protecting the marks ‘Very’, ‘Ladybird’ and ‘Littlewoods’ for The Very Group, a retail and financial services company. 

The firm’s strength in IP-rich transactions is demonstrated by its work for multinational retail and home company Next, advising on new licensing collaborations with fellow high-profile brands and ensuring ongoing protection of the client’s rights.

Team overview:

The UK team of lawyers and attorneys is based in London and Manchester and works with the trademark teams in Asia, Europe and the US on international matters. 

David Wilkinson, head of IP for the UK, is based in London and leads a team of lawyers who handle all aspects of IP, contentious and non-contentious. 

Legal director Kate Ellis, based in Manchester, is the head of the brand group with nearly three decades at Eversheds and is “our go to person” for clients. A dual-qualified solicitor and attorney, Ellis manages global trademark portfolios for the firm’s key clients and advises on related actions before the UKIPO. Notably, she advised Rowse Honey and Valeo Foods on the much-publicised Manuka Honey matter. “Kate and her team are terrific,” is clients’ feedback.

Key matters:

  • In a closely watched, high-profile matter before the UKIPO, Kate Ellis and attorney Christian Durr advised Rowse Honey and Valeo Foods in an opposition against Manuka Honey Appellation Society (MHAS). MHAS sought to register ‘Manuka Honey’ as a trademark in the UK, which raised concerns among honey producers worldwide.
  • Manuka honey, an ingredient that is associated with antibacterial properties, originated in New Zealand and Australia and is widely used in honey products. Registration of the mark would result in limitations for honey producers using ‘Manuka Honey’, potentially providing exclusive use to members of MHAS likely based in New Zealand. The matter was heard by a panel of three—a first in the UKIPO—and the client succeeded in the opposition.


JD Williams, Next, Rowse Honey and Valeo Foods, The Very Group