Griffith Hack has maintained its status as a Tier 1 firm for patent prosecution in the IP STARS 2021 rankings, with principals Amanda Stark and Janelle Borham named as Patent Stars.

The results highlight Griffith Hack’s standing as a leader in patent work both within Australia and internationally.

Earlier in 2021, Griffith Hack was also named as a Tier 1 firm for trade mark prosecution by IP STARS, with Anne Makrigiorgos recognised as a Trade Mark Star.

Published by Managing IP, IP STARS recognises firms and senior practitioners who have been identified as leaders in their fields and is considered one the most comprehensive and widely respected guides in the IP profession.

Griffith Hack is pleased to congratulate Janelle Borham on being named president of the Institute of Patent and Trade Mark Attorneys of Australia (IPTA).

Janelle, a principal in Griffith Hack’s ChemLife group, has been a member of IPTA’s Council for 15 years and previously held the position of vice president.

As Australia’s peak professional body for patent and trade mark attorneys, IPTA aims to promote improvements in patent, trade mark, design and plant breeder’s rights laws and regulations; maintain by-laws and a code of ethics for patent and trade mark attorneys; and to encourage communication and knowledge sharing between members.

Janelle steps into the presidency with the aim of supporting and uniting the IP profession, and progressing IPTA’s core mission.

“An objective of my presidency is to restore harmony and balance to the profession, and help all individual members feel supported and proud of their profession,” said Janelle.

“I look forward to taking on an enhanced management role within the organisation, including responding to more sensitive member questions and concerns, working with IP Australia to improve IP laws and their administration, working with IPTA staff, and engaging with Council members and IP Australia.”

Janelle has introduced several progressive initiatives into IPTA’s framework, including an industry-leading program of continuing professional development webinars that are available to the organisation’s membership base of over 900 practitioners.

“IPTA members rely on our Institute for high-quality education and training, so ensuring they have access to frequent and wide-ranging professional development opportunities is an important objective for me.”

Janelle originally started at Griffith Hack in 1994. She provides strategic IP advice to large corporations locally and overseas with a particular focus on food sciences, pharmaceuticals, energy technology and polymers. She is recognised as a leading practitioner by World IP Review, World Trade Mark Review, IAM Patent 100 and IP Stars.

Griffith Hack managing director Aaron LePoidevin commented, “On behalf of everyone at Griffith Hack, we are delighted to see Janelle named president of IPTA. As our industry’s peak professional body, IPTA plays an exceptionally important role in enhancing collaboration, communication and knowledge sharing amongst IP professionals. Janelle’s elevation to president is recognition of her significant contribution to IPTA and the confidence her fellow council members have in her ability to unify and advance the profession.”


Further demonstrating Griffith Hack’s depth of expertise and excellence across patent, trademark and IP law, seven Griffith Hack principals have been individually recognised in this years’ World Intellectual Property Review (WIPR) Leaders Guide – an increase of five listings for the firm since the 2020 guide. We are thrilled not only for the listed IP professionals, but the example they set as high-performing senior female leaders.

Janelle Borham

Janelle is a member of Griffith Hack’s specialist Life Sciences team and Vice President of the Institute of Patent & Trade mark Attorneys of Australia (IPTA). Janelle has over 20 years’ experience providing clients strategic IP advice, with a particular interest in polymers, energy technology, food technology and pharmaceuticals. See Janelle’s full profile here.

Anne Makrigiorgos

Anne Makrigiorgos is the National Practice Group Leader for Griffith Hack’s Trade marks team and a former IPTA President. For over 30 years Anne has advised clients on trade marks, copyright, designs, consumer protection and IP agreements. See Anne’s full profile here.

Dr Kathryn Morris

Kathryn’s area of specialty is patents, including everything from drafting patent specifications to providing advice on patent term. Kathryn’s clients range from small companies and research institutions to large companies both locally and overseas, and span the full chemistry spectrum. See Kathryn’s full profile here.

Emma Mitchell

Emma’s expertise includes commercial contracts (including in relation to licence), supply, export, manufacturing, collaboration, research and development, branding and sponsorship. Emma has extensive experience in both contentious and non-contentious intellectual property matters in many sectors including consumer goods, fashion, design, and manufacturing. See Emma’s full profile here

Leanne Oitmaa

As part of Griffith Hack’s IP law team, Leanne has specific expertise in the areas of telecommunications, optical and photonic technologies, internet applications, e-commerce and mechanical devices. As both a lawyer and qualified patent & trade marks attorney, Leanne draws on her unique skillset to the benefit of the clients she advises. See Leanne’s full profile here.

Nicola Scheepers

Nicola provides strategic advice on a wide range of trade mark issues for banking, FMCG, food service, fashion, pharmaceutical and SME clients, with extensive experience in Australia and internationally. Nicola is renowned for her thorough, straightforward advice and in-depth trade mark issue understanding– particularly the varying requirements of different countries around the world. See Nicola’s full profile here.

Amanda Stark

Amanda started her career in the UK as an IP manager in a biotech start-up and in addition to her Australian credentials, is qualified as a UK patent agent and a European Patent Attorney. Amanda has particular experience in human and animal health and plant biotechnology, lecturing in Australia and overseas on issues around biologics and biosimilars as well as patent strategy. See Amanda’s full profile here.

What is WIPR leaders?

According to its publishers, the WIPR Leaders (the guide) is unique; not “ just another rankings project” and created due to industry demand for an impartial editorial-led guide as to the best of the best in today’s IP industry. Put simply, WIPR Leaders is a one-stop guide to the world’s leading IP practitioners. The directory lists over 1,700 IP professionals across patent, trademark, and copyright practices. Stemming from a four month nomination period which includes views from 12,000 IP professionals, the WIPR research team vetted every nominated professional for suitability.

Griffith Hack is thrilled to once again be recognised at both the firm and individual practitioner level in IAM’s 9th Patent 1000 edition.

The IAM Patent 1000 distinguishes firms and individuals deemed outstanding in this area of practice and has been compiled following an extensive research process over 5 months involving approximately 1,800 interviews. 

IAM’s editors write: “Well respected and great at their jobs, Griffith Hack exemplifies a smart and targeted approach to patenting issues. Griffith Hack attorneys have deep knowledge and expertise and can understand the thinking in the inventor’s head; taking that on board in their advice to maximise IP ownership and value is very cost-effective.”

Firm achievements

Acknowledged for excellence across all three of IAM’s nominated practice areas (Prosecution, Litigation and Transactions), Executive General Manager David Madigan indicated the announcement confirms Griffith Hack’s position as one of Australia’s preeminent specialist IP firms. 

“We are obviously pleased with IAM’s endorsement which reinforces what has always been the hall mark of our approach; a laser-like focus on commercial outcomes, outstanding client service and deep technical knowledge,” Madigan said.  

  • Firms: Prosecution – High Recommended
  • Firms: Transactions – Recommended 
  • Firms: Litigation – Recommended 

Individual achievement 

In addition to the firm’s overall recognition, a number of high-performing practitioners have been highlighted for their outstanding contribution to excellence in IP. From this years’ publication, the editorial team draws attention to the following Griffith Hack personnel:

  • “National practice group leader for electricals, information technology and physics, Nick Mountford is au fait at overcoming examiners’ objections to patent applications for computer-implemented inventions.” 
  • “Cambridge University physics PhD holder Derek Baigent leads the national IP law practice. Most recently, in a Federal Court dispute with two Russian nationals, he obtained an interlocutory judgment in favour of Sony Interactive Entertainment.” 
  • “Engineering dynamo David Hughes is sought after by a leading medical devices company”
  • Janelle Borham is the name to note on the life sciences and chemistry side. She serves local and international clients equally well, focusing especially on organic chemistry, food technology, energy technology and ionic liquids”, and
  • Leanne Oitmaa is a key adviser in patents, designs and trademarks.”

“Although these people would be amongst the first to acknowledge the importance of high-performing teams and the collective effort required to deliver outstanding client outcomes, individual accolades of this nature serve as a reminder of the depth and calibre of talent within the firm. With the full integration of Watermark into Griffith Hack, we hope to see further industry recognition like this into the future” stated Madigan.