Welcome to the IP STARS inaugural law firm rankings for IP transactions work. Having spent the past few years obtaining market feedback and relevant data, Managing IP is delighted to launch this new firm rankings table. This practice area is not actually new to us: we have been ranking IP transactional practitioners since 2013 and recognise exceptional IP transactions work in the Managing IP awards programme.

For this first edition, we have only produced law firm rankings for the United States (see here) and the United Kingdom (see here and here). Click on a ranked firm's name to see the individual(s) ranked for IP transactions work. This is an online-only publication which we intend to expand next year (December 2020), including to other major jurisdictions for IP. Read the research methodology below. 

This is the last firm rankings table published for the 2019 edition of IP STARS. All the firm and individual practitioner rankings for this year are now available on our website (visit each jurisdiction to see all the rankings we have or use the search bar to see if a firm or practitioner is ranked). We will start publishing and announcing the 2020 rankings from February 2020.

There is an increased awareness of IP as a business asset and not just a legal right to enforce or defend. We hope that this new table will assist those looking for specialist commercial IP advice when buying IP rights and/or exploiting or extracting value from them.

Congratulations to all the firms and practitioners ranked this year.


The methodology for the IP transactions ranking is the same as the other rankings we have in IP STARS. One key factor when deciding on the firms to rank is whether the firm has a dedicated IP team for this work, including at least one senior IP transactional lawyer who is highly regarded in the market. Our research analysts can also rank practitioners based on their own independent research findings.

The work considered primarily concern the sale and licensing of IP, both standalone IP transactional work and IP advice as part of a broader corporate transaction such as mergers and acquisitions. Our research analysts can also consider other contractual or advisory work on matters such as research collaboration, technology transfer and IP restructuring.

We consider IP transactional work in any sector, irrespective of the monetary value, bearing in mind that value and activities vary from sector to sector. Many of the ranked law firms were involved in some of the most challenging, high-value transactions where IP is the key asset, particularly in the life sciences and technology sectors.

We are aware that there are US and UK law firms and practitioners that have not been ranked this year, particularly those that often advise on transactions concerning brands and copyright. Patent and trade mark attorney firms have not been ranked as well, even though we know that some of them are involved in IP commercialisation work (for example, due diligence advice). Research is underway for the 2020 edition of IP STARS and we hope to expand our IP transactions coverage next year. 

This year's rankings were based on data gathered during the core research period for the 2019 edition of IP STARS (September 2018 to February 2019), but where appropriate we took account of subsequent developments. Our rankings are subject to change each year. Learn more about our methodology here

Please send your feedback or questions concerning this ranking table to research@managingip.com or contact the research editor Kingsley Egbuonu. We will consider your feedback when deciding the 2020 rankings.


*Readers interested in learning about the leading law firms for financial and corporate transactional work should visit the website of our sister publication IFLR1000.