Official submissions for the IP STARS rankings and Managing IP Awards programme are made online through our firm submissions portal. Each year, we open the portal on September 1.

Please use the research documents we have provided below. We will use the information you provide for the IP STARS rankings and/or Managing IP Awards.

The submission process is simple: download the documents, complete them and upload.

We do not accept research documents via email; please do not send them via email unless we asked you to do so.

On this page you will find the research forms you need to complete, links to our online submission portal and basic submission guidelines.

If you would like to participate in the research and receive research announcements, including access to the submissions portal, please register your interest here.

All registrants are informed as soon as the research forms and submission portal becomes available.

Please also read about our research methodology (click here) and the answers to frequently asked questions (click here).

For firms only: Click here to download the firm questionnaire
For firms only: Click here to download the client referees spreadsheet
For in-house counsel only: Click here to download the in-house awards form

Fully complete both documents and check them thoroughly before submitting via our submission portal.

SUBMISSION PORTAL (opens on September 1)

Step 1: If you have not yet registered for the research, please register here to receive information about the portal.*

Step 2: Save the email or bookmark the portal link so you can upload your documents when you are ready to submit.

*You will be asked to set up an account to use the portal, if there is no account for your firm or company. We send the portal link/details to the email address used for the registration as well as to those that submitted for a previous edition. Please contact us here if you registered or submitted for the previous edition and have not yet received an email about the portal.

The deadline for uploading your research forms is October 31, unless otherwise agreed or announced (see our research timeline page).


The guidelines below must be read together with the information in our research forms and on other parts of our website, particularly our methodology.

It is very important that you read and understand what we consider under each practice area ranking and the attributes we assess.

Please make sure that all your research forms are correct and complete before you submit them. We cannot guarantee that subsequent changes or amendments to what you first submitted will be considered or implemented.

• Please write ‘(Confidential)’ next to any information that you do not want us to publish. Any information, especially client name or work description, not marked as such may be published. Furthermore, any information in the public domain may be published.

• Providing client names which are not marked confidential enhances your firm's credibility in the eyes of the researcher. However, we understand that this may not be possible for certain reasons.

• The client names in your client referees document will be treated as strictly confidential and will not be published.


• Please obtain consent from your client referees before you give us their contact details. Ensure the referees you provide are willing to provide us with feedback.

• When you open the spreadsheet, please ignore 'Sheet2' and click on the first sheet, 'Client referee details'.

• We restricted certain parts of the 'Client referee details' sheet (row 1 and columns B, G and I) for data consistency and to ensure we can efficiently process thousands of client referees. The restrictions do not affect data entry. 

If absolutely necessary, we are happy for you to use your own spreadsheet, but we will only accept and process it if it contains the same headings we have in our spreadsheet and the required information is in the right place.

• Headings in the spreadsheet: columns A and B are about your firm; columns C to H are about the referee (referee's first name, referee's last name, position, company/firm name, referee type, and email); and column I is the practice area of the work (e.g. patent or trade mark). 

Please note: A 'referral firm' client referee is someone who works in a law firm/IP firm, whereas a 'direct client' referee is anyone else who is outside a law firm/IP firm, e.g. in-house attorney or counsel.

Ineligible referees: We do not accept certain professionals such as secretaries/personal assistants, judges and IP Office employees.

• Please do not include the name of your IP partner or IP practitioner for each client referee in the spreadsheet; we do not require this information.

• Please do not tamper with or change our spreadsheet. You can type in or paste in any cell under the columns apart from where you need to use the dropdown option.

•  Please include your firm’s name and jurisdiction/country when saving your client referees document. Save your document as follows: FirmName_Country_IPSTARSReferees

• Submit your client referees spreadsheet via our online submission portal (we will not accept your client referees document via email).

Please note: You can access the client referees submission portal via our general submission portal (the link is on the instructions page so please carefully read all the instructions). Also, the link to the client referees submission portal is automatically sent to you after you submit. To get the link in your inbox, complete the mandatory questions, upload your form(s), and click submit.

• You can provide as many referees as you want, but try to be selective. We need at least five client referees, and you can also provide referees that are not featured in the case studies.

• You may lose ratings score if you do not provide client referees. 

• We need the referee's company email address, if available.

• Please try to avoid giving us the same client referees that you have already submitted to the other legal directories in the same year.

• Please make sure that all your client referees are correct and complete before you submit them.

• Our aim is to contact referees soon after the submission deadline. Please inform your referees to expect to hear from us between November and March (an email will be sent to them via Unsuitable referees will be disregarded and we may contact referees at any time in the year.

• We require one firm questionnaire for each jurisdiction/country in which your firm would like to be considered for the IP STARS ranking and Managing IP Awards. For example, if your firm operates in three jurisdictions/countries and you would like to be considered in all three jurisdictions/countries, then you need to submit three firm questionnaires.

• Please include your firm’s name and jurisdiction/country when saving your firm questionnaire. The suggested labelling is FirmName_Country_IPSTARS2022.

• Submit your firm questionnaire (Word format) through our online submissions portal (we will not accept your firm questionnaire via email unless we asked you to do so).

• Please use the official research documents we have provided and fully complete them. You will impress the researchers by providing all the required information in the text fields for each case study.

• The 'Type of work' text field also helps us identify the relevant practice area for our rankings so please do not worry that the case study section names in the firm questionnaire are different from the ranking name on our website. Provide all the information required and we will use them for the relevant rankings.

• You can include the IP case studies that you sent to another legal directory. Please be mindful of the case study’s date and the text fields we require. Read more about this on our FAQs page.

• Please only put forward five individuals for us to consider for the Rising Stars list and keep your comments about each of them to no more than 100 words.

• Please keep the total word count for your work summary (i.e. 'Summary of the work' and 'The significance, impact and/or outcome' sections) as short as possible, ideally no more than 300 words.

• Each firm questionnaire must be about your firm’s work, practitioners and activities in the country in which your firm wishes to be ranked.

• Provide up to 15 recent case studies in each section, starting with the most important or significant ones. You can provide more than 15 case studies per practice area, if you wish, especially if your firm deals with both contentious work and non-contentious IP work.

• You will not lose ratings score for providing fewer than 15 case studies in each section, but firms are strongly advised to provide at least 15 case studies for each IP practice area (e.g. patent prosecution work) in which they would like to be ranked.

• US firms: You may submit by state and/or national level. US firms can also copy any of the case study section and use it to provide case studies on their International Trade Commission (ITC) and Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) work since we have ranking tables for these two areas.

• You are also allowed to include case studies related to a particular practice area, e.g. the trade mark contentious ranking also takes account of domain name disputes.

• Although not required, you are free to copy any of the case study sections and use it to provide case studies for other IP areas not currently covered in IP STARS.

• All client case studies must be ongoing or concluded work within the past 12 months, ideally work highlights from October last year.

• We want to learn about all your recent case studies, both non-contentious and contentious work. For contentious work, e.g. litigation, it does not matter if your client was on the losing side. We want to know whether your firm is truly active and the quality of representation or advice given to clients.

• Please do not delete any question or section in our firm questionnaire document. If a question or section does not apply to your firm then please leave it blank.

• Official submissions are made online through our submission portal. Please do not send your completed research documents via email.

• Please make sure that all your research forms are correct and complete before you submit them. 


We have several jurisdictional and regional award categories for firms. We also have special awards to recognise impact cases and individuals.

The awards are based on the information obtained during the research period, and therefore the categories and number of awards are subject to change each year (for example, we may decide to present a special award to recognise corporate social responsibility initiatives).

Below is a brief explanation of our main awards. To learn about some of the IP practice areas we cover in our research, please see the methodology page.

  • Firm of the Year award (by jurisdiction): This award recognises firms that performed exceptionally well in a particular IP practice area or IP in general in a given jurisdiction. The nominees for this award typically have a number of notable case studies, but we can also consider other achievements or factors.

  • Firm of the Year award (regional): The regional award recognises firms that have offices and teams in more than one jurisdiction in the region. The considerations for this award are the same as the jurisdictional category.

  • Impact Case of the Year award: This award recognises IP disputes that made, or are likely to make, a big impact in a jurisdiction or region. These are often landmark court/tribunal or IP Office decisions that clarified or changed a rule or law. We can also consider rare court orders or remedies and cases that dealt with new legal arguments or an innovative approach.

  • Individual Practitioner of the Year award: This award recognises the outstanding achievements of individuals in private practice. The nominees for this award have at least one remarkable case study in which they were involved, but we may also consider other activities or factors not related to clients.

  • In-House Team of the Year award: This award recognises IP-related achievements and developments in companies. The award also takes account of the activities or work of the company’s in-house legal team in and outside their business.


Each year we conduct an online survey of the current IP Stars and the Rising Stars in private practice to obtain information about their practice and developments in the market. The surveys normally start in November, though subject to change as a result of other research projects.

Our online surveys are sent directly to the practitioners because they are required to complete it themselves. Marketing/BD teams are not required or expected to assist their practitioners to complete the survey. We do not have a PDF or Word document for our practitioner surveys. 

Any qualified IP practitioner can complete the survey but participation does not guarantee ranking. 

Quick links
IP STARS research methodology
IP STARS research timeline
IP STARS team contacts