UK Trademark Rankings 2024

Locke Lord

Firm overview:

Locke Lord is a large full-service firm with a dependable London IP practice. Working closely with its commercial counterparts, the firm handles sensitive matters for high-profile brands. For contentious matters, Locke Lord represents clients in the Intellectual Property Offices, Intellectual Property Enterprise Court up to the Supreme court and works with the Brussels practice on European matters. Clients rate the practice “highly”, its lawyers do the work “well and cost-effectively”. A number of drink-related brands choose Locke Lord for trademark advice, including vodka maker Absolut and the Court of Master Sommeliers.

The non-contentious practice covers trademark registration, brand enforcement, and portfolio management and handles multi-jurisdictional filing programmes, including for non-profit organisation, the Ayn Rand Institute, and asset management platform Atypical Partner. The IP practice was strengthened by its lateral hire of Dominic Farnsworth, lead partner for UK and EU IP, chair of the IP international group and co-chair of the trademark, copyright & advertising group, who moved from firm Lewis Silkin in 2022.

Team overview:

The UK and EU trademark practice operates out of locations in London and Brussels, and has links to 18 more Locke Lord offices in the US. Dominic Farnsworth leads the IP department and spearheads its ongoing expansion into Europe. Farnsworth is particularly skilled in the drinks sector, acting for the Court of Master Sommeliers and the Institute of Masters of Wine. Giovanni Visintini is “underrated, has in-house experience and knows how to deal with clients”, says a peer. A dual-qualified solicitor and trademark attorney, Visintini advises on a range of IP matters, and notably led a team to enforce colour marks in multiple jurisdictions in Europe.

Key matters:

  • Dominic Farnsworth works with the Court of Master Sommeliers, an educational organisation centred largely around wine and food pairing. The brand has been a part of American documentaries following individuals attempting to become a Master Sommelier. Locke Lord manages the client’s global trademark registration and enforcement strategy, including protection of the often-misused term ‘Master Sommelier’ and its related mark ‘MS’. This work involves intercepting companies, training businesses and third parties using the name and spans approximately 75 jurisdictions.
  • Leigh Smith and Neale Christy act for startup NE10 Vodka, manufacturer of flavoured vodka drinks, in a passing off matter. The case was brought by British “ultra premium vodka brand” Au Vodka, led by concerns about the appearance of NE10 Vodka’s product. Locke Lord succeeded in curbing a potential interim injunction against the sale of its client’s product. The claim has since been dismissed and the parties have settled.


The Absolut Company, Atypical Partner, ‎Arley Foods, Ayn Rand Institute, The Court of Master Sommeliers, InfoGrid, The Institute of Masters of Wine, NE10 Vodka, PT Organics, Social Progress Imperative