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Charlotte May QC


Year of call: 1995
Year of silk: 2014

Charlotte May QC has a broad practice across all areas of intellectual property, but with particular focus on patents, copyrights, trade marks and passing off. She has a niche practice in SPCs, with a wealth of experience in this area that is second to none. She also has a strong reputation for media and entertainment work, with a loyal client base.

Charlotte is a talented advocate who is “always up for the fight, but also sensible in her approach”. She is commended by the legal directories for her “sharp eye for detail” and “exceptional client skills”. Charlotte is known to work particularly well leading a team and for devising litigation strategies commensurate with clients’ commercial objectives.

Charlotte appears regularly before the High Court and Court of Appeal; and she continues to represent clients before the Trade Marks Registry and Patent Office in difficult cases. She also has significant experience of references to the CJEU, where she has represented commercial clients and the UK Government on numerous occasions.

Charlotte is a contributor to Laddie Prescott and Vitoria on the Modern Law of Copyright and Designs.

Trade Marks and Passing Off

Charlotte has a wealth of experience in cases involving allegations of trade mark infringement and passing off. Of recent note, Charlotte successfully represented the claimant in Thomas Pink v Victoria Secret, leading to the defendant changing the name of its stores across the UK from PINK to Victoria Secret Pink. She also appeared in Cartier v Sky, representing all of the ISPs against an application for an order that they should block internet access to various websites offering counterfeit goods for sale.

Example recent cases

Cartier International AG & Ors v British Sky Broadcasting Ltd & Ors
[2014] EWHC 3354 (Ch); [2016] EWCA Civ 658

Thomas Pink Ltd v Victoria's Secret UK Ltd
[2014] EWHC 2631 (Ch)

Specsavers International Healthcare Ltd & Ors v Asda Stores Ltd
(Rev 1) [2014] EWCA Civ 1294 (Oct 2014)

REVOLVO trade mark application O/142/14
(April 2014); O/061/15 (Jan 2015); O/263/15 (June 2015)

  • What the Directories Say
  • "She has amazing experience for someone of her call and a good rapport with judges. She is a good advocate with a nice way of presenting things." "She is very thorough and very strong technically. She has an excellent manner with clients"
    Chambers & Partners (Intellectual Property) 2017

    "We rate her very highly and would be quick to turn to her for assistance with advertising and media disputes"
    Chambers & Partners (Media & Entertainmenty) 2017

    "She is an outstanding advocate with wonderful client handling skills"
    Legal 500  (Intellectual Property)  2017

    "Bright, interested and an advocate who gets the court's ear"
    Legal 500  (Intellectual Property)  2016

    "Her expertise in the patents field is equalled by her depth of knowledge and experience of trade mark work. Her attention to detail and authoritative advocacy really impress."
    Chambers & Partners (Intellectual Property) 2016

    "Straight-talking, commercial and appreciative of client needs."
    Legal 500  (Intellectual Property)  2015

    "Exceptionally capable, she's always charming, but never gives an inch" "A doughty opponent"
    Chambers & Partners (Intellectual Property) 2015

    "She's very careful and very methodical, and she has a fantastic way with clients. She has the ability to command the client's respect and at the same time help them undertsand what the best option is for them"
    Chambers & Partners (Media & Entertainment) 2015