Managing IP is delighted to reveal the IP STARS 2021 rankings of the leading law firms for intellectual property transactions work. Most of the law firms we recognised this year are often involved in high value deals, many of which are driven by IP rights.

The growth of the knowledge economy has led to an increasing awareness that IP is also a business asset to exploit and not just a legal right to enforce. We hope that our table will assist those looking for specialist commercial IP advice. Read more about the rankings below.

Congratulations to all the firms ranked this year.


14 jurisdictions covered this year

We expanded our coverage this year by including five new jurisdictions in EMEA and covering the Asia-Pacific region for the first time. See all of them below. Click on a jurisdiction to see its 2021 rankings.

On the jurisdiction page, select ‘Practitioners’ to see all the ranked practitioners in that jurisdiction or click on a firm’s name to see its ranked practitioners.




United States








South Korea






The Netherlands


United Kingdom (England)

United Kingdom (Scotland)


One more firm rankings table left

We started publishing the IP STARS 2021 rankings in March. The last firm rankings for this year are for copyright and related rights work (published in August). Managing IP’s 2021 Rising Stars list and Corporate IP Stars list will be confirmed in September.

Follow our ranking updates here.


The research for IP STARS rankings and MIP Awards 2022

Any research information not considered or used for this year’s edition will be used for the 2022 edition. We will start the research for the 2022 edition of the IP STARS rankings and Managing IP Awards in September 2021. The submission deadline is October 31.

Learn more about our research here.



Managing IP published its first legal directory in 1994 and rebranded it in 2013 as IP STARS. The publication quickly established itself as the leading specialist guide to IP law firms and practitioners worldwide. The research for IP STARS covers a variety of IP practice areas and more than 70 jurisdictions, making it the most comprehensive and widely respected guide in the IP profession.


Research methodology

The research for our rankings is conducted rigorously and impartially by a team of research analysts in London, New York, and Hong Kong. Each year we request information from thousands of firms, IP practitioners and their clients through interviews, email, and online surveys. Before compiling our rankings, we review relevant publicly available information as well as the previous data we hold on firms.

To be considered for the IP transactions ranking table, the firm must have an experienced team of IP practitioners and commercial lawyers. We evaluated all the relevant law firms and their transactions work, focusing on legal advice/work concerning the sale and licensing of IP rights. The work can be standalone or part of corporate transactions such as mergers and acquisitions and restructuring.

The aspects assessed for the firm rankings include expertise, workload, market reputation/record, outcomes achieved for clients, and unique strengths in each 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. Firms are ranked alphabetically in tiers, or as highly recommended or recommended. The total number of firms listed varies from jurisdiction to jurisdiction.

The IP transactions table takes account of all sectors. We are aware that value and business activities vary from sector to sector, and it is notable that most of the law firms have considerable expertise in sectors such as high technology and life sciences. Our copyright and related rights table also captures the law firms with specialist transactional lawyers for the creative industries.

The rankings are based on information available at the time the core research was completed. Except for firm name changes, any subsequent developments or information that could influence our rankings will be considered during the research for the 2022 edition of IP STARS, which starts in September 2021. However, Managing IP reserves the right to remove a firm or individual from our website at any time.

For the avoidance of doubt, the ranking tables do not suggest or indicate that the expertise or services of the listed firms are limited to the practice area in question. Managing IP does not recommend or endorse any practitioner or firm for IP work. Please read the terms of use concerning our content here.

The IP STARS rankings are not influenced by any commercial relationship, including advertising, with Managing IP or IP STARS. There is no fee to pay to participate in our research. No firm or practitioner can pay to be ranked. Participation in our research does not guarantee ranking. The rankings are subject to change each year. Learn more about the practice areas and methodology here.

Please contact us via email if you have information or feedback concerning our rankings or content.

Visit our sister publication IFLR1000 for an in-depth coverage of the law firms involved in a range of financial and corporate law work.