(l-r) Host, broadcaster Leanne Manas; Gaelyn Scott, head of IP; awards judge Legal Week's James Booth; and Otsile Matlou COO practice integration and head of mining (l-r) Host, broadcaster Leanne Manas; Gaelyn Scott, head of IP; awards judge Legal Week’s James Booth; and Otsile Matlou COO practice integration and head of mining

Finalists: Aluko & Oyebode; Bowmans (highly commended); KISCH IP

ENSafrica’s precedent-setting work on a complex intellectual property ownership case helped it win the IP Team of the Year gong.

The firm was engaged to assess an offshore-based client’s IP assets and to ensure any IP assets created via service relationships with entities in South Africa were transferred to the client, making it the legal owner of all relevant IP assets and allowing the client to secure further investment funding.

That process involved an extensive analysis of a range of contractual arrangements, amending several agreements, as well as pursuing a complex exchange control approval application with the South African Reserve Bank to regularise the transfer of those IP assets.

The confidential deal called on ENSafrica to advise on transfer pricing, exchange control regulation and shareholder matters through its corporate commercial, tax and IP departments (key project staff included Waldo Steyn, Jens Brodbeck and Lawrence Helman).

The deal set a precedent on how to resolve the regularisation of complex IP ownership matters and provide clients and investors with certainty regarding IP ownership. It also highlighted ENSafrica’s ability to bring together a number of specialist skills and provide strategic guidance beyond regular IP filing and litigation advice, setting the firm apart from its competitors.