Leanne is a partner in the Technology, Media, Telecommunications and Intellectual Property Practice at Webber Wentzel.
Leanne's practice focuses on all transactions involving intellectual property. She has significant experience in advising in respect of complex, high value contracts relating to the exploitation of intellectual property rights, such as licensing, joint venture, research and collaboration, technology transfer, investment and franchise agreements. She has considerable experience in advising on the intellectual property aspects of corporate and finance transactions including international acquisitions and disposals, public offerings and corporate reorganisations across a broad range of industries and sectors.
Leanne advises on international structures and exchange control issues pertaining to intellectual property. She also advises on all aspects relating to the protection, management and exploitation of intellectual property.
Leanne has contentious experience in the field of trade marks, copyright and unlawful competition and passing-off. She conducts trade mark searches, trade mark applications and manages trade mark portfolios locally and internationally.
Since 2001, Leanne has been lecturing the full-time, part-time and executive MBA students at the University of Cape Town’s Graduate School of Business on protecting business ideas. She has presented at many conferences as the guest speaker on various aspects of intellectual property, including intellectual property management and commercialisation.
Areas of expertise
All commercial transactions involving intellectual property
Licence, joint venture, technology transfer, investment and franchise agreements
Intellectual property structuring advice
Exchange control issues relating to intellectual property
Strategic advice relating to the protection, management and monetisation of intellectual property rights
Securitisation of intellectual property
Trade mark registrations (local and international) and trade mark portfolio management
Trade mark and copyright litigation
Unlawful competition and passing-off
Acted as lead IP attorney for a consortium including Actis, RMB, RMB Ventures and MIC Investment Holdings (Proprietary) Limited in relation to the acquisition of Tracker Investment Holdings (Proprietary) Limited (DealMakers' Private Equity Deal of the Year 2011).
Lead intellectual property attorney for Walmart in its offer to purchase a majority stake in the South African company Massmart (DealMakers' Deal of the Year 2010).
Acted as lead IP South African counsel for CVC Capital Partners in the acquisition of a controlling interest in Virgin Active.
Advising Anglo American on the disposal of its portfolio of zinc assets in Namibia and South Africa.
Acting for De Beers in the disposal of the Finsch Diamond Mine and the Namaqualand Mine.
Acting for Danone in the disposal of the Danao brand to Clover.
International and local trade mark prosecution and litigation on behalf of a local wine estate relating to the WATERFORD ESTATE trade mark against Waterford Wedgwood Plc. In May 2009, the European Court of Justice gave an order in favour of our client.
Represented a United States entity in relation to its acquisition of a South African laser technology company.
Represented a foreign entity in relation to its acquisition of a majority stake in the munitions business of South African weapons manufactured by Denel (Proprietary) Limited.
Represented the sellers relating to the sale of shares in two local biotechnology companies to an offshore purchaser.
Represented a local technology company in relation to a major global licensing transaction.
International franchise arrangements and structure advice and trade mark protection for an internationally well known real estate business.
Listed in the 1st edition of Intellectual Asset Management (IAM) Patent 1000 - The World's Leading Patent Practitioners 2012
Listed by Legal Experts EMEA 2012 - 2013 as an expert in her field
Featured in Legal 500 2012
Listed as one of the top 250 Intellectual Property lawyers globally in the Intellectual Asset Management magazine's 1st (2010) and 2nd (2011) editions of IAM Licensing 250 – The World’s Leading Patent and Technology Licensing Practitioners
Recommended in 2011 and 2012 Managing Intellectual Property publication relating to a World Intellectual Property Survey
JUTA Prize for Top Intermediate Year Law Student
Jimmy Gordon Memorial Prize for Top Final Year LLB Student
Connor Memorial Prize presented by the Natal Law Society for the Top Final Year Law Student
Headed Mallinicks' intellectual property department for eight years