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DWF France launches intellectual property practice with new partner hire

22 July 2018
International legal business DWF has established a new intellectual property department in France with the appointment of litigation partner Simon Christiaën. 
Simon joins from an international firm based in Paris, where he headed the patent & intellectual property litigation and dispute resolution department. With more than 25 years' experience in the intellectual property field, Simon has a particular focus on judicial action and arbitration, especially concerning patent litigation, design patents and copyright matters as well as trademark issues. He has strong sector expertise, with experience advising on infringement and intellectual property issues for industrial manufacturers and distributors, life science, pharmaceutical companies and businesses in the chemical, food, energy and environment industries. Simon regularly advises on cross-border and multi-jurisdiction litigation proceedings for high profile clients in the railway and road transport industry, simulation software and detection systems, the pharmaceutical industry and medical, dental and veterinary markets.

Simon is also a well-known author who has published numerous articles in various journals. He is a member of university research centres on industrial property and a network partner of the World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO) which offers legal, business, investment advice and services for the innovation and intellectual property professionals.

At DWF France, Simon will work closely with copyright and trademark litigation partner, Florence Karila, on IP litigation proceedings and IP/IT, data protection and corporate partner, Anne-Sylvie Vassenaix-Paxton on leveraging the business's strong IP platform in the UK to build a complementary practice in Europe. Over the last decade, France has seen an increase in patent applications, encouraged in part by changes in counterfeiting laws, which give businesses greater means to fight against infringement, as well as the delocalisation of production tools in France, which has led to the reinforcement of patented technology. With this expansion of its intellectual property practice, DWF is well-placed to support clients in the region, as well as those clients investing and trading in France, on the full spectrum of patent and intellectual property matters.

Jean-François Mercadier, Managing Partner of DWF France, said: "With Simon's in-depth intellectual property expertise and his acclaimed domestic and international patent litigation practice, his appointment reflects our commitment to continue growing our service line capability and strengthening our primary sector expertise in line with client requirements. Simon has not only a strong technical skillset but a very commercial approach that will allow us to develop a well-rounded and dynamic intellectual property and patents practice that is truly unique in the French market."

Simon Christiaën added: "With DWF's increasingly global platform and sector-specific capabilities, DWF France is in a strong position to expand its service offering and work closely with the business's teams both in Europe and internationally to facilitate further opportunities for clients. There has been a real rise in patent applications in recent years and, with both domestic and foreign businesses based in France increasingly concerned with protecting their intellectual property to maintain their technological advantage, there is an opportunity for DWF to be at the forefront of this area."

DWF France has continued to invest in growing its Paris office with the recent hire of renewable energy and commercial partner, Carole Arribes.

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