Matthew Harris

Joint Head of Intellectual Property and Dispute Resolution

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One of the most respected UK solicitors in his field, Matthew undertakes a wide range of intellectual property and information technology work; with a focus on litigation.

He advises and represents clients that range from small and medium-sized enterprises (SME’s) through to large multinational companies.

Matthew handles the full range of IP disputes, including:

  • High Court trade mark and passing off disputes.
  • Design right and copyright cases.
  • Various patent disputes (particularly in the agrochemical, mechanical engineering and software sectors).
  • IT-related commercial disputes.
  • Contentious data protection work.

Matthew is also an internationally recognised expert in domain name law and practice. He has been appointed by the World Intellectual Property Organization, Nominet and the Czech Arbitration Court to decide hundreds of domain name disputes.

While he works for clients in all business sectors, his most recent notable cases have been in the following areas:

  • Consumer products
  • Fashion
  • Toys
  • Gaming Equipment
  • Agrochemicals
  • Automotive
  • Software products and services
  • Online retail
  • Transport

The Chambers UK Guide has been highlighting Matthew’s achievements since 2014. It has called him an experienced, first-class litigator and a skilled negotiator and strategist with excellent commercial judgement. Chambers has repeatedly named him as a leading individual in IP law. It has described him as “an excellent IP solicitor with the ability to undertake demanding pieces of litigation”. The most recent edition of Chambers says: “Matthew Harris has an almost paranormal command of IP law and an extremely good eye for detail. He has vast experience handling trade mark litigation for clients in a wide range of industries.’’

The Legal 500 first recognised Matthew’s patent law expertise in 2006. It has repeatedly praised his client skills and responsiveness to the needs of a case. The 2022 Legal 500 says he is “quick, sharp and thoughtful’’ with “an outstanding knowledge of IP law’’. World Trademark Review 1,000 has praised his preparation and eye for detail, adding that “knowing that he is on the other side of a case causes opponents to up their game.”

Matthew joined Waterfront in December 2008. He sits on the Law Society’s Intellectual Property Law Committee and the International Trademark Association’s Amicus Committee. He is also on the London Solicitors Litigation Association list of supervising solicitors.

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Matthew Harris

Joint Head of Intellectual Property and Dispute Resolution

Recent Work

  • Acting for PMS in numerous IP disputes; including the last-ever English High Court case to refer to the CJEU (Court of Justice of the European Union) in an IP dispute prior to Brexit.
  • Advancing trade mark counterclaims for a gaming equipment business in High Court proceedings relating to activities in the UK, China and the European Union.
  • Acting for an Austrian agrochemical manufacturer in a four- week Commercial Court trial involving patent issues.
  • Representing the UK’s leading provider of prescription eyewear and contact lenses in copyright and trade mark disputes.
  • Acting for a US defendant in High Court trade mark proceedings, which formed part of litigation simultaneously taking place in the UK, Canada and the United States.
  • Acting in separate disputes for purchasers and suppliers of alleged faulty IT systems.
  • Representing UEFA in a high-profile domain name dispute.
  • Law Society’s Intellectual Property Law Committee
  • International Trademark Association
  • Intellectual Properly Lawyers’ Association
  • Matthew Harris has an almost paranormal command of IP law and an extremely good eye for detail. He has vast experience handling trade mark litigation for clients in a wide range of industries. Chambers 2022
  • His attention to detail stands out – he is always on top of the details of cases. Chambers 2021
  • Extremely knowledgeable about IP law… an inventive thinker and a delight to work with. Chambers 2021
  • Vast experience handling trade mark litigation with notable experience in copyright and patent disputes. Chambers 2021
  • He is a solicitor with an extraordinary eye for detail, but he never loses sight of the big picture either. Knowing that he is on the other side of a case causes opponents to up their game. WTR 2020
  • Attracted praise for ‘doing a lot of the heavy lifting and analysis’ in his litigation matters. Chambers 2020
  • Very responsive. Legal 500 2019
  • An extremely capable lawyer with a keen technical understanding of the field, excellent commercial perspective and good client skills. Chambers 2019
  • Extremely personable and engaging. Legal 500 2015
  • Praised for clarity and straightforward manner. (Chambers 2015)
  • Accomplished lawyer very bright, and exhibits a strong sense of business knowledge. (Chambers 2014)
  • Visiting lecturer in intellectual property law at the Eidgenössische Technische Hochschule in Zürich, 2000-2010.
  • General editor of the International Trademark Association’s (INTA) Annual International Review of Trademark Jurisprudence and the INTA Trademark Law Handbook, 2007-2011.
  • Author of the UK chapter of “Enforcement of Intellectual Property Rights in the EU Member States”, published by Intersentia, 2019.
  • Author of “Brexit: equivalent rights and continued influence of CJEU case law” – part of “EU marks a quarter of a century”, a collection of 10 essays marking 25 years of the EU trade mark, published by Intersentia, 2022.
  • Matthew Harris has an almost paranormal command of IP law and an extremely good eye for detail. He has vast experience handling trademark litigation for clients in a wide range of industries.
    Chambers 2022
  • His attention to detail stands out - he is always on top of the details of cases.
    Chambers 2021
  • He is a solicitor with an extraordinary eye for detail, but he never loses sight of the big picture either. Knowing that he is on the other side of a case causes opponents to up their game.
    WTR 2020