This is a boutique firm with a strong emphasis on intellectual property (“IP”) and related issues and was founded in late 2005 by Ron Wheeldon, who, after 25 years with large firms and having been a partner and head of department at South Africa’s largest firm, decided that a small, focused group in the Bohemian surroundings of Greenside would be a decidedly more pleasant existence than the pressured environment of large law firms and permit him to spend more time doing the work and a lot less managing people.
Ron has a passion for IP and has been involved in committee work for the International Trade Mark Association (INTA) since 1993, at one time chairing the Public Education Committee of the Brand Names Education Foundation (BNEF) which is related to INTA, and he is currently chair of the regional sub-committee of INTA for Africa, the Middle East and South Asia on well knowntrade marks and dilution. Ron writes frequently for numerous publications and won, in South Africa, the Butterworths prize for the best legal article in 2001. Ron is the current chair of the trade mark subcommittee of the Standing Advisory Committee for IP established under the Copyright Act to advise the minister of trade and industry.
He is assisted by a team of highly experienced non-attorney professionals who attend to the high administrative workload of an IP practice.
The firm is really two concerns in one. The South African attorney’s firm which deals with matters of legal practice in South Africa and Brandsman, which is the division of the firm engaged in international management of trade mark portfolios for global clients.
Ron obtained a Bachelor of Law (Hons) degree from the University of Rhodesia (as it then was) in 1976, and completed the same University’s one year practical training course in advocacy the following year. Commencing trademark practice in South Africa in 1982, he became familiar with the IP Laws of the African continent and today under Ron’s stewardship, the firm deals with all aspects of trade mark and copyright work on the continent and further afield. Ron’s interest in the jurisprudence of IP law is balanced by keeping a practical perspective through appearing frequently in the courts in litigious matters ranging from domain name disputes, through counterfeiting issues to conventional infringement and trade mark registrability issues.