Our methodology for the firm rankings, IP stars lists and awards is based on a weighted system of peer and client feedback, combined with an independent review of all information obtained including publicly available information.

The links to our online questionnaires can be found here.

Step-by-step: firm rankings and awards

  1. Submit firm questionnaire and client referees by deadline*

  2. We review the submissions

  3. We obtain feedback from competitors and clients

  4. We conduct independent research

  5. We draw up the firm rankings and awards shortlist

Please do see our FAQs page for more.

Step-by-step: selecting the IP stars**

  1. Submit practitioner questionnaire by deadline*

  2. We review submissions

  3. We obtain feedback from peers and clients

  4. We conduct independent research

  5. We draw up the IP stars list

*Please note that making a submission does not guarantee listing.

** We use a similar methodology for other lists such as Corporate IP stars and Top 250 Women in IP. Research information obtained during our assessment of firms can be used for selecting IP stars. Please see our FAQs page for more information.

Practice areas we consider for ranking

Filing and prosecution ranking (patent and trade mark)
: Here we consider all registration-related work and interaction with the IP office, both pre-and post-grant. All contentious IP office work, such as opposition and cancellation actions, are considered here. Please note that we also factor in general brand management advisory work, patent litigation support and portfolio management here.

Contentious ranking (patent and trade mark): This ranking is about dispute resolution work, especially litigation. Matters that have not gone to court/tribunal or reached trial/judgment (i.e. settled) are absolutely welcome. We also consider Customs or other enforcement work, domain names, Hatch-Waxman litigation, ITC litigation and multinational litigation coordination. Please note that we do not generally consider contentious work in the IP office under this ranking.

Copyright and design ranking: We consider copyright and related rights, both non-contentious (such as licensing) and contentious work. We also consider registered and unregistered designs.

Life sciences ranking: At the moment this ranking is only available in the US. We consider all Regulatory work in the life science sectors, particularly pharmaceuticals and biotechnology. For example, Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Regulatory work.

Transactional and advisory ranking: We consider non-contentious IP advisory work and contractual work including licensing, security agreement, due diligence, franchising, strategy and tax relief.

Attributes assessed

We look at the key strengths of a firm and work done for clients in a given jurisdiction. The attributes evaluated include:

(a) client feedback on certain client care metrics;
(b) portfolio of work and its level of sophistication; and
(c) depth of resources and expertise.

These are assessed cumulatively and no one factor is decisive. For some countries, especially in Europe, we also consider work done at regional level.

Typically, the top-tier firms possess an outstanding reputation in their jurisdiction or region for the ranking category in question. These firms may or may not work for the biggest IP owners, but they definitely score well on a range of client care metrics and have the strongest teams and practices.


We produce tables ranking firms in tiers or as 'Recommended' or 'Highly Recommended' for the relevant IP work. Tier 1 is the highest ranking, but we do regard firms in Tiers 1 and 2 or those ranked as 'Highly Recommended' as our top-tier firms.


For our awards, we consider work highlights and other achievements over and above what normally might be expected. These include engagement in the IP community, IP advocacy and corporate social responsibility initiatives.

Please see our FAQs page for more.