2016 Intellectual Property Practitioner of the Year – Hong Kong
Established in 1970, Fairbairn Catley Low & Kong is one of Hong Kong’s major law firms advising on all aspects of law. We got in touch with Grace Chu to find out more about the company itself and to hear her thoughts on winning this prestigious award.
The firm advises on all major aspects of the law in Hong Kong while expanding and developing its practice in Mainland China. We remain international in our outlook, with access to resources from the global network of the Multilaw with which it is affiliated.
Upon strong local foundations and an established global network, Fairbairn Catley Low & Kong has built a wealth of experience in Hong Kong, Mainland China and international matters. The firm’s practical yet creative and professional approach is valued by its clients in Hong Kong and around the world. We place a strong emphasis on the value of personal contacts and individual attention.
Typically, Fairbairn Catley Low & Kong advises on intellectual property, litigation, dispute resolution, corporate, commercial, property and conveyancing and private client matters.
Fairbairn Catley Low & Kong was one of the first legal firms in Hong Kong that practised and advised on IP law. Our expertise and successful cases resonate in the industry, and our success continues to set new benchmarks that we uphold to retain our clients’ trust and loyalty.
When China opened up its legal channels, Fairbairn Catley Low & Kong was one of the first to provide legal services to clients with international IP exposures. As China’s economic strategies focus more on innovation and technology, our firm is confident that it is very well situated as a legal conduit between China and its partners in the west.
Fairbairn Catley Low & Kong’s highly professional staff are ethical, competent, energetic and scrupulous and they are very much the firm’s core asset led by seasoned partners, that can work together seamlessly as a team yet individually as outstanding lawyers.
Fairbairn Catley Low & Kong’s primary task is not on innovation, but applying traditional diligence to safeguard its clients’ trademark interests and protect their rights in the globalised ecosystem. The job is unavoidably challenging and laborious as the trade mark portfolio of some of our clients covers nearly 170 countries whose IP laws and interpretations are heterogeneously complex.
Having said that, Fairbairn Catley Low & Kong does require its international partners and agents to employ advanced technology to watch and monitor their respective jurisdictions to ensure its clients’ IP rights have not been violated, as well as providing a real-time reporting system so that timely actions are taken.
Hong Kong provides a legal bridge between China and Western countries, where continental law and common law find their compromises. Our forty-six years of experience has seen us advising overseas and local clients on their exposure in China and across the world. The latter is achieved by a close network of legal partners, agents, and government departments. Understanding the legal dynamics in China and the country’s growing emphasis on IP rights and values is Fairbairn Catley Low & Kong’s edge in effectively serving our clients.
Technological advancement for the past two decades has surprised even the toughest sceptics. Sovereign borders are obscured by cyberspace, thus firms with solid international support like Fairbairn Catley Low & Kong, will be even more relevant in IP and trademark disputes. We keep a close eye on the technology and design players and prepare the firm for the next wave of innovation that would introduce legal challenges ahead.
In our experience, many firms underestimate the importance of IP protection and a brand strategy, but in the end they pay dearly for it. In our internet savvy world, someone in Hong Kong can purchase a box of fruit tea from England, while someone in Bangladesh can hijack the supplier’s brand name. Greater global coverage and market shares beget greater IP risks.
In our opinion, any company, regardless of its size, should employ an IP strategy to prevent future growth barriers.
As we speak, Fairbairn Catley Low & Kong is already monitoring the impact of the European Union’s latest membership change and how it would affect our clients’ interests politically and economically. We are also on deck to advise our clients on China’s ‘One Belt One Road Initiative’.
It is an honour to have received such a prestigious award from Acquisition International. Our hard working colleagues will be pleased that their efforts are not rewarded only by salary, but also by the market recognition of their achievements.