East Alton, Ill.
The English High Court may be a long way from East Alton, Ill., but Simmons Hanly Conroy continues to make its mark in the legal industry, most recently winning a high profile intellectual property suit with its London affiliate, Simmons Hanly Conroy Andrew LLP, against George Lucas and Lucasfilm of Star Wars fame.
In the English High Court case of Lucasfilm v Ainsworth, Simmons Hanly Conroy Andrew represented the prop designer who made the Stormtrooper helmets and armour for the 1977 Star Wars film. Lucasfilm was attempting to prevent Ainsworth from selling replicas of the helmets, but the High Court last week dismissed the majority of Lucas’ claims.
“Our firm has a storied history of taking on corporate giants,” said Paul Lesko, intellectual property lawyer for Simmons Hanly Conroy’s U.S. practice. “Because of this ruling, Mr. Ainsworth will be able to rightfully sell his product throughout most of the world. It’s not only a victory for him. It’s a victory for prop designers throughout the film industry.”
“We took on the infamous Death Star and lived to tell about it,” said Chris Messina, Simmons Hanly Conroy’s president of International Litigation. “The goal of our business and intellectual property practices always has been to give entrepreneurs and small businesses a voice to protect their legal rights. To see that success play out on the international stage like this is truly gratifying.”
Three years ago, Simmons Hanly Conroy decided to expand beyond its well established asbestos litigation practice into intellectual property and business-to-business litigation. Moving away from traditional fee structures, the firm strategically chose to offer legal representation on a contingency basis, affording individuals and smaller businesses the ability to take legal action against companies with deeper pockets.
The Simmons Hanly Conroy then began to form international relationships with other like minded firms, such as Simmons Hanly Conroy Andrew.
“As more U.S. businesses expand globally, working with affiliate firms in other countries expands our ability to help those businesses resolve legal disputes regardless of location,” Messina said.
Learn more about Simmons Hanly Conroy’s intellectual property litigation practice.
Learn more about Lucasfilm v Ainsworth.