Our research


Welcome to Managing Intellectual Property IP STARS, the leading specialist guide to IP law firms and practitioners worldwide. Managing IP has been researching and ranking firms since 1996. The guide has expanded over the years, with more jurisdictions and practice areas now covered.

IP STARS is not a directory of all firms offering IP services and therefore many firms and individuals, including those that participated in the research, are not ranked.

There is no cost or fee to pay to participate in our research. Click here to learn how to participate and why it is important to do so each year. Below you will find an overview of IP STARS and other important information you need to know.


Our research for IP STARS covers contentious and non-contentious IP work. It is carried out by an experienced team of research analysts and journalists in our offices in Hong Kong, London and New York.

Each year our research analysts obtain information from thousands of firms, IP practitioners and their clients through interviews, email and online surveys. Before compiling the rankings, our research analysts also conducted their own independent research, including an analysis of publicly available information (such as court or IP office data) and existing data we hold on firms.

The aspects assessed for the firm rankings include expertise, workload, market reputation/track record, outcomes achieved for clients, and unique strengths in a given practice area. Judgements about which firms to include in the rankings, and which tier and practice area they should be in, take account of all this information.

The research is conducted rigorously and impartially. No firm or individual can pay to be ranked or to influence the results. There is no fee to pay to participate in our research.

You can find more information about our process on our methodology page. Guidance and answers to common questions can be found on our FAQs page

IP STARS research timeline

  • September 1: We start accepting firm submissions and conducting research including interviews*
  • October 31: Firm questionnaire and client referees submission deadline (see the submission instructions and forms here)
  • February 28: End of research and the start of results publication

*Please see our full research schedule here.

Firm and Individual rankings

Firms are ranked alphabetically in tiers or as highly recommended or recommended. The total number of firms listed varies from jurisdiction to jurisdiction. The number of jurisdictions, practice areas, firms or individuals featured in IP STARS is subject to change each year.

For most jurisdictions, the rankings are split into prosecution and contentious work, whereas in smaller jurisdictions we rank firms for their IP practice as a whole. We also publish special national rankings for the United States and cover all 50 states plus the District of Columbia.

To contextualise the rankings, we provide editorial commentary on many ranked firms. The editorials highlight pertinent information about the firms, including key practitioners, available market feedback and recent developments.

The stars

Alongside our firm rankings we also recognise the work of outstanding individuals. We refer to them as stars. There are three distinct categories: IP Star, Rising Star and Corporate IP Star. The IP STARS and Rising Stars lists are for individuals in private practice while the Corporate IP STARS list is for in-house practitioners. We also publish a special IP Star list titled Top 250 Women in IP . Information about how we select the stars can be found on our methodology page.

Publication and distribution

IP STARS is available in print and online. The firm rankings are first published in the Managing Intellectual Property magazine. Thereafter we publish three handbooks: the US edition, the Trade Mark & Copyright (global edition) and Patent (global edition). The handbook includes the rankings, our independent editorials on ranked firms and the IP STARS.

IP STARS Handbooks are widely distributed. You can find copies at Managing IP events or any major industry events we attend such as the INTA Annual Meeting. The handbooks are also offered to those who participate in our research.

Using our content

You may quote from our editorial but please attribute as follows: ‘Managing Intellectual Property IP STARS or IP STARS [the year of publication]'. Please contact us if you need our latest ranking logos or if you would like to discuss publishing or advertising opportunities. A ranked individual (IP star) or firm can publish their IP practice profile on this website and in the handbook.

The rankings and editorials on this website are based on the information available when the research for the year was concluded. Subsequent developments or information concerning any firm or individual will be considered during the research for the next edition. We are happy to make appropriate and essential updates, particularly firm name changes.

For the avoidance of doubt, the tables do not suggest or indicate that the IP expertise or services of the ranked firm or individual are limited to the practice area in question. Managing IP does not endorse or approve any particular firm or practitioner listed. Managing IP will not be liable for any damages or loss whatsoever, direct or indirect, arising from the use of or in connection with any content on this website or in the handbook. You must seek professional legal or financial advice and independently check the professional credentials of any firm or individual listed on this website or in the handbook.

By using this website you accept our terms and conditions The contents, and arrangement thereof, on this website and in the handbook are protected by intellectual property and other related rights.

IP Stars is part of the Delinian Group.

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