Managing IP published its first legal directory in 1994 and relaunched it as IP STARS in 2013. The research for IP STARS covers a variety of IP practice areas and more than 80 jurisdictions, making it the most comprehensive and widely respected IP practitioner guide in the legal profession.

IP STARS is an exclusive rankings publication: we do not rank all firms and individuals offering IP services. There is no fee to pay or cost to participate in our research, but participation in our research does not guarantee ranking. 

The most important way to participate in our research is by completing and submitting our research forms.

Below you will find an overview of IP STARS, our research forms and portal, and other important information you need to know about our research and publication.


Quick links


Research timeline

Research forms, submission portal and guidelines

Register to participate in our research

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Listen to our research webinar




The research

IP STARS covers contentious and non-contentious IP work. The research is conducted by an experienced team of research analysts 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, we also conduct independent research, including an analysis of publicly available information (such as court or IP office data) and the 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 data from the IP STARS research is also used for the Managing IP Awards programme.

The research is rigorous and impartial. No firm or individual can pay to be ranked or to win any of our awards.

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

The research/results timeline*

  • September 1: We start accepting firm submissions and conducting research including interviews (register your interest here)
  • October 31: Firm questionnaire and client referees submission deadline (see the submission instructions and forms here)
  • February: We start publishing research results

*Our research and results publication timetable (also see here) is subject to change each year so please follow our announcements here.

The firm rankings

For most jurisdictions, we publish firm rankings for 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.

Firms are ranked alphabetically using the ‘Tier’ ranking system or the ‘Recommended’ ranking system. In some jurisdictions with a Tier system, we also recognise a few active firms under a tier heading titled 'Other Notable Firms'. The number of firms, jurisdictions and practice areas featured is subject to change each year. The total number of firms listed varies from jurisdiction to jurisdiction.

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

The individual rankings

IP STARS also ranks individuals who are highly regarded by their peers and/or clients or those that are integral to their firm’s success or reputation. There are two distinct rankings for individuals in private practice: IP Star (e.g. Patent Star and Trade Mark Star) and Rising Star. 

Noteworthy practitioners, including those who were previously ranked as Rising Stars or IP Stars, have the 'Notable practitioner' tag. Individuals that have never been ranked or merely listed on this website are marked as 'Unranked'.

We also publish two special ranking lists titled 'Top 250 Women in IP' and 'Corporate IP Stars'.

If an individual is recognised, you will see the ranking tag we have assigned to him or her under their name. Read more about the individual rankings on our methodology page.

Online publication and distribution

IP STARS' rankings are available online. The firm rankings for trade mark and patent work are first published on Managing IP's website and thereafter on this website.

Managing IP's content is widely distributed online to a large international audience via newsletters and social media channels.

In total, Managing IP and IP STARS have more than 30,000 followers on Twitter.


In total, more than 25,000 people follow our company pages (Managing IP and IP STARS) and over 17,000 follow Managing IP's group page on LinkedIn.



Any firm or individual, regardless of ranking, can pay a fee to publish information on their profile page on this website and/or in our handbooks. However, unranked firms and individuals with profiles must not mislead the public by claiming that they have been ranked and/or endorsed by Managing IP.

Advertising or any other commercial relationship with Managing IP or IP STARS does not guarantee or influence our rankings and awards. Firms and individuals are recognised on merit, using available research data.

If you would like to publish your profile on this website, please contact our business development/advertising team. The team can also assist you with the latest ranking logos or discuss other marketing opportunities.


Using the content on this website

Using the regional drop-down menu above, select a jurisdiction to see all the firms and individuals that are ranked (the 'Rankings' tab is for firms while the 'Practitioners' tab is for individuals). Click on any firm or individual to find out more about them.

You can also use the search bar to find a firm or individual, but please be aware that a very small proportion of firms and individuals on this website are not ranked. For the avoidance of doubt, a mere listing on this website without any ranking does not in any way mean or suggest that the firm or individual is recognised by us.

The rankings and editorials on this website are based on the information available when the research for the edition was conducted. Subsequent developments or information concerning any firm or individual are normally considered during the research for the next edition, but Managing IP reserves the right to remove a firm or individual from the rankings or change their ranking at any time. Please contact our research team if you have editorial updates or corrections.

We are happy for a firm to copy only the market feedback quotes in our editorial review or an excerpt, if available, instead of copying the entire editorial. 

For the avoidance of doubt, the rankings 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. The rankings and information on this website are for information only, and Managing IP does not endorse or approve any firm or practitioner listed on this website or in any of our publications.

Managing IP will not be liable for any damages or losses whatsoever, direct or indirect, arising from the use of or in connection with any content on this website or any of our publications. 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 any of our publications. Our rankings and editorials are subject to change each year.

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


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