Gowling WLG welcomes the next era of intellectual property practice with new global leadership

19 January 2021

Gowling WLG is pleased to announce Laurent Massam as the new head of IP Litigation & Strategy in Canada, and Martha Savoy and John Coldham as the new leads of the firm’s global Trademark, Brands & Designs Group, having been appointed in 2020.

Widely recognized among the top lawyers in their fields internationally, Massam, Savoy and Coldham will work with colleagues across eight countries – including global IP practice leaders Shelagh Carnegie and Kate Swaine – in bringing fresh energy, bold vision, and groundbreaking innovation to one of the world’s most robust IP service platforms.

“From jurisdiction to jurisdiction, the practice of IP law continues to transform at a frenetic clip – from new technologies and developments in case law to shifting commercial and geopolitical headwinds,” said Carnegie. “As we look ahead to the coming years, we know we have a duty to not only navigate these changes with our clients, but to drive change ourselves – through inventive approaches to client service and real sector leadership.”

Carnegie assumed her role in July 2020 from Rob MacDonald, who retired at the end of December following an accomplished 40-year career. Widely recognized for his depth of expertise and significant contributions to IP practice, MacDonald was widely regarded among the top practitioners in his field. In March 2020 he received the Lifetime Achievement Award at the Managing Intellectual Property America Awards. 

Over the past five years, he has worked tirelessly to forge a truly global IP service offering following the formation of Gowling WLG in 2016 – modernizing, focusing and future-proofing the practice’s client service delivery in the process. The firm thanks him for the remarkable dedication, creativity, and foresight that he brought to his role. 

Here are some additional details about our recent IP leader appointees:

Described in the World Trademark Review as “one of the best lawyers anywhere around the world,” Carnegie has extensive experience helping her local and international clientele clear, protect, commercialize, and enforce their trademark rights at home and abroad.

John Coldham is a leading IP practitioner across all types of intellectual property strategy and litigation. Based in London, John's priority is to help clients to maximise the return on their investment in their IP, through strengthening their portfolio and strategically enforcing it against infringers. John has MIP’s “IP Star” status in both trademarks and designs and WTR 1000 notes that “John’s extreme efficiency and litigation prowess”, is well recognised.

Based in Toronto, Laurent Massam focuses his practice on all areas of IP litigation.  He advises on trademark, patent and copyright matters as well as trade secrets, including advising on enforcement, protection and litigation strategies.  He is ranked by MIP as a "Copyright Star" and won the 2019 Lexpert Zenith award, “Change Agents in Law” in recognition of his achievements in the areas of diversity & inclusion and pro bono.

Martha Savoy focuses her practice on trademark and copyright enforcement, litigation and prosecution. WTR 1000 notes this of Savoy: “There are a variety of skills an effective attorney must possess, and she exceeds these in every aspect. Even among the best, she is a cut above.”  She is based in Ottawa.

Gowling WLG is a full-service firm comprising 1,400 professionals with strength across all areas of business law and litigation. With leading IP practices in Canada, China, the UAE, the UK and Europe, Russia and Singapore, and a network of trusted agents worldwide, we help IP owners overcome complex obstacles and optimize new opportunities – wherever business takes them. Learn more about our global IP team