Gatekeepers of knowledge

Gatekeepers of knowledge

12 May 2014 By Leanne Mezrani

The six outstanding lawyers in the running for the Intellectual Property Award know knowledge is power and are ensuring that power doesn’t fall into the wrong hands.

Emma Bekens, a finalist in last year’s Lawyers Weekly 30 Under 30 Awards, has built a reputation as the point of contact for IP issues across all Norton Rose Fulbright offices in Australia. She is also making herself known to the international practice, setting up an international IP Committee that fosters relationships between IP lawyers across country posts. “I can comfortably say Emma is one of the best junior lawyers I have worked with,” said Frances Drummond, an IP partner at NRF.


In just three years at Baker & McKenzie Danielle Benecke (pictured right) has developed a specialisation in IP litigation and enforcement. “She has been nothing short of spectacular,” said Gregg Marrazzo, senior vice president of the Estee Lauder Group of Companies, who worked with Danielle on a complex and fast-moving counterfeiting case in the Federal Court. Danielle is also well-respected within Bakers and has been appointed to the firm’s Professional Development Committee, a role that requires her to arrange internal seminars on new legal developments and other knowledge-building initiatives.

IP_Dylan_Kerrigan-copy.jpgDylan Kerrigan (pictured left) has been involved in a large number of IP transactions for McCullough Robertson. Partner Malcolm McBratney described Dylan’s understanding of complex matters as “outstanding”. A client of the firm is of the same opinion. “Dylan is an outstanding lawyer period, not even considering his age,” said Luke Campbell, director of Absolute International. Dylan’s ability to provide clients with high-quality legal advice and commercial insights has not only won the praise of partners and clients, it also fast-tracked his promotion to senior associate.


Another lawyer who has received praise for providing commercially-targeted legal advice is Alana Long from mdp McDonald Partners. The firm’s managing partner, Michael McDonald, applauded Alana for identifying the “immediate commercial issues” of clients and how they relate to IP issues. Alana regularly goes the extra mile for clients; a recent example of her proactive approach is the preparation of information sheets for a major client that needed a vehicle to reach small business owners.

Benita McLennan has brought the Minter Ellison IP practice into the digital age by introducing electronic tools that eliminate the need for paper filings. This has streamlined the way the practice runs matters and has resulted in cost savings for the firm’s clients. Benita is also responsible for organising bi-monthly internal CLE presentations with an IP focus and is heavily involved in the firm’s graduate recruitment program, promoting Minters at universities and mentoring new graduates.

Since joining Corrs Chambers Westgarth at 24 years old, Rebecca Measday (pictured below), now 27, has worked on a range of IP matters, including the management and protection of IP assets for clients such as L’Oreal, Murray Goulburn and Deakin University. She recently assisted a well-known Australian company in auditing the management and use of its IP and, as a result of her advice on commercialisation opportunities and prospects to increase the value of the organisation’s IP portfolio, Corrs was asked to advice the client on its international branding strategy.


Gatekeepers of knowledge
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