Intellectual Property
Our IP practice covers contentious and non-contentious issues relating to trademarks, patents, trade secrets, copyright, industrial designs, passing off/unfair competition, plant varieties and integrated circuits. We work with clients to properly and cost-effectively register, secure, protect and enforce their IP rights in China, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Australia, New Zealand and globally.  We act  for some of the world's most well-known companies in relation to IP rights, as well as counsel government regulators and industry groups.  Our work in this area, during the last 12 months, has involved:

  • Representing a European national government on securing Geographical Indication protections for various geographically significant brands in China
  • Representing several plant breeders from the US, Europe and South America in relation to the securing of plant variety rights in China's SFA and MOA PVR Offices (and associated trademark registrations) for various new strawberry, grape, raspberry and blueberry varieties, including the management of DUS testing, liaison with growers and government agencies, and the handling of associated regulatory matters
  • Representing a major US entertainment and live events MNC in trademark infringement matters in Mainland China, Hong Kong SAR, Australia and New Zealand
  • Assisting a major US microchip components producer with trademark security in China, Japan, Korea and India
  • Advising an international sports goods entity in patent litigation in China, Australia and the US
  • Representing a US virtual currency operation in arbitration proceedings in China and the Hong Kong SAR 
  • Advising a US nuclear devices and components MNC on IP protection strategies and implementation in China
  • Advising a US sound technology entity on China and Asia IP and related issues with regards to a new voice room product
  • Advising a major US industrial conglomerate on the acquisition of brands from adverse parties in China and Australia
  • Advising an iconic US musical instrument and electronic devices MNC on IP protection strategies and implementation regarding new product line development and sales in China, Hong Kong, Australia and New Zealand - shape marks, sound marks and others in play
  • Representing a New York based arts studio on China IP matters involving the NBA
  • Representing a major US city government and its incorporated bodies on trademark litigation in China
  • Representing a Hong Kong property and biotech company in trademark registration and litigation matters in China
  • Representing a US healthcare and FMCG company in trademark and design patent matters in China, the Hong Kong SAR and Australia
  • Advising an iconic US fashion house on IP protection strategies in China, and implementation of such strategies and litigation as required
  • Representing various US based auto companies in China Customs IP protection matters, worth over US$150m in value
  • Advising a US based chemicals company on restructuring of IP and technology holdings in China
  • Representing various US plant variety rights holders in Plant Breeders Rights matters in Australia
  • Representing a Singaporean beverages company in securing trademark registrations in China and globally, as well as licensing and related commercial matters
  • Representing a well-known Australian non-alcoholic beverages entity on securing protection for its key brands in China and the Hong Kong SAR
  • Advising a US electronics company on patent registration matters in China, along with litigation and related enforcement actions
  • Representing an iconic Australian wine lable in securing trademark registrations for its brands and labels in China
  • Acting as arbitrator in over one hundred domain name cases involving parties such as Alibaba, CK Huthison, PCCW, American Standard, Norton Rose, Harvard, Tencent, Marriott and CLP 
Our technology practice is one of the leading boutique TMT/biotech/pharma practices in the Asia Pacific region.  We work with clients to identify risks and opportunities in new and developing technologies, with a view to developing legal models to isolate and reduce those risks, whilst capitalising upon opportunities.  In the ever-changing world of regulatory developments in telecoms/media, data protection, outsourcing, cybersecurity, fintech applications, life sciences, pharma and biotech areas, we are constantly developing legal and technical skills so as to be in the best position to be able to assist our clients in the most practical way. Our more recent matters in this area, during the last 12 months, includes:

  • Advising a major US sound engineering and products company on China encryption and technology import and export regulations, including the new export control regulations
  • Advising an Asian solar entity on China and Australian regulatory issues
  • Advising the world's largest social media company on China aspects associated with US technology and Internet litigation
  • Advising a US entertainment device manufacturer on China's CCC regulations and place of origin issues associated with new product lines
  • Advising an Australian online education entity on product delivery agreements, including associated regulatory issues arising in China and across the Asia-Pacific region
  • Advising an iconic US technology entity on China regulatory issues associated with 5G devices
  • Representing a US devices entity in negotiations with Chinese government departments regarding the enforcement of export control, encryption and Customs regulations
  • Advising a leading cell phone designer and manufacturer on data privacy and technology regulations in China and the Hong Kong SAR
  • Advising a European health products company on data privacy issues in Mainland China and the Hong Kong SAR
  • Advising an Sino-Australian online games JV on regulatory issues in China and the Hong Kong SAR, and securing required approvals and IP registrations
  • Acting for a well-known US biotechnology company in the sale of million dollar equipment units to listed Chinese food processors and dairy multinationals, as well as ongoing maintenance and reagent sales arrangements

Our business transactions practice covers complex international mergers and acquisitions, tax planning, corporate finance, franchising and IP commercialisation transactions, foreign direct investment advisory, restructuring, anti-trust and competition law, Asian labor relations, employment and consumer protection. We have acted in some of the most complex commercial transactions in Asia in recent times, independently or backing-up some of the largest US law firms in the world. We provide corporate/commercial advice to some of the world's largest companies, as well as SMEs, NGOs and start-ups.  Our more recent matters in this area, during the last 12 months, include:

  • Representing a Chinese based solar energy entity in mergers and acquisitions in Asia
  • Representing a European solar energy entity in acquisitions in China
  • Representing a US auto company in acquiring a Chinese motorcycle manufacturer
  • Representing a US industrial components conglomerate in acquisition of key assets in China
  • Advising a US chemicals company on IP asset acquisition and licensing
  • Advising a US beverages entity on the acquisition of a China based beverages entity
  • Advising an Australian agricultural focused entity on the acquisition of an interest in a China dairy foods entity
  • Advising US and European plant variety developers in transactional and licensing matters in China
  • Advising various agricultural MNCs on R&D projects in China, including equity stakes and JV issues
  • Advising a European clothing manufacturer on FDI, JVs and the acquisition of competitors in China
  • Advising various hedge funds and investment banks on numerous Hong Kong IPOs, and cross-border transactions
  • Acting for a New Zealand based biotechnology equipment company in the sale of its instruments to major Chinese food processing companies
  • Advising a well-known US based technology company on the sale of equipment to Chinese dairy processors, as well as ongoing reagent sales and servicing arrangements
  • Advising on restructuring of the China based operations of a European clothing and sports goods manufacturer
Taxation and International Trade
Our market leading tax and Customs/trade team has assisted some of the world's major manufacturers in relation to transfer pricing disputes, process trade audits, Customs investigations, structuring of employment compensation arrangements, R&D incentive plannings and the taxation aspects of licensing and restructurings in the Asia Pacific region. Our firm was given the Tax Advisor of the Year Award in 2013, despite stiff competition from the larger law and accounting firms. Included in our tax team are lawyers, consultants and financial consultants.  Some of our people have focused on China/international Customs matters for over 20 years.  Our more recent work in this area, during the last 12 months, includes:

  • Advising a US sensors and controls company on processing trade and strategies to minimise duties in China and the Asian region
  • Representing a US auto company in Customs and Tax audits in China
  • Advising embassy staff, and their clients, in relation to international trade issues associated with wine, beef and other products
  • Advising a US electronics company on HS code classification issues and related disputes in China
  • Advising an Australian sports goods company on Customs disputes relating to licensing issues and technology export issues
  • Advising an iconic US electronics company on China Customs and Tax issues associated with processing trade, import and export, and anti-smuggling issues
  • Representing a US entertainment products manufacturer in Customs investigations in the Hong Kong SAR
  • Advising the China offices of a major US electronics company on corporate taxation issues, as well as the structuring of expatriate packages
  • Acting as second opinion provider for a major accounting and consulting firm regarding taxation issues arising in several large mergers and acquisitions