Canada’s Intellectual Property Firm

Smart & Biggar wins big with 17 leading lawyers and agents recognized in Who's Who Legal: IP 2023

Smart & Biggar is proud to announce that 17 of our practitioners have been listed in the third edition of Who’s Who Legal: IP 2023 which recognizes the world’s leading lawyers and agents in trademarks and patents. Additionally, four of our Principals were recognized among the world’s leading IP practitioners as “Global Elite Thought Leaders”.

Global Elite Thought Leaders

Leading the rankings, Principals Steve GarlandMark Evans and Philip Lapin, and Managing Director of the Firm Matthew Zischka were each identified as “Global Elite Thought Leaders” in their respective fields by Who’s Who Legal. These individuals are lauded for being truly outstanding practitioners and among the very best lawyers and agents in the field of IP worldwide.

Patents (Litigation)

Smart & Biggar sees six Principals recognized for their incredible skill and success in patent litigation.

  • Steven Garland is described in the guide as “a truly outstanding litigator,” with over 30 years of experience advising and representing major domestic and multinational companies.
  • François Guay is “very renowned” for his “patent prowess backed up by over 35 years in the intellectual property sector.”
  • Sheldon Hamilton is held in high esteem by sources as a “top advocate,” listed as “one of the top names for life sciences litigation in Canada who regularly advises the major international companies on all IP-related matters.
  • Yoon Kang is a "top-drawer life sciences litigator who wins plaudits for her counsel of international pharmaceutical companies on patent matters.”
  • Nancy Pei is identified as a “very good patent litigator” who has established herself as a leader in the life sciences sphere.
  • Urszula Wojtyra harnesses advanced technical expertise, incisive courtroom advocacy skills and effective long-term strategic planning of complex litigation matters.

Patent Agents and Attorneys (Prosecution)

Smart & Biggar sees six Principals recognized as patent law specialists who are experienced in assisting domestic and international clients in portfolio management and licensing, across a range of sectors, from life sciences and pharmaceuticals to mechanical and electrical engineering.

  • Matthew Zischka, firm Managing Director, “is a top choice in the market” who is extensively experienced in managing patent prosecutions and transactions for clients in the technology sector, including the AI and fintech areas.”
  • John Knox, Vancouver based Principal is a “favourite among peers and clients alike for his top-tier patent application advice in the electronics and software areas.”
  • Daphne Lainson, Ottawa based Principal, “stands out for her in-depth knowledge of patent regulations and advises clients across the chemical and life sciences sectors.”
  • David Schwartz, Ottawa based Principal is an experienced IP leader who advocates for biotech clients in complex patent prosecution on leading scientific innovations.
  • Alistair Simpson, Calgary based Principal, offers sophisticated insights that help his clients build, exploit and defend their IP assets, with over 30 years of diverse IP experience.
  • Oliver Stone, Ottawa based Principal brings over 30 years of patent drafting and prosecution expertise, and experience practicing before UK, European, U.S. and Canadian IP offices.


In Smart & Biggar’s exemplary trademark practice, six Principals are acclaimed for their outstanding work with the world’s leading brand owners.

  • Christian Bolduc is praised by market sources as “excellent, knowledgeable, and highly responsive [who] stands out for his top-tier work in trademark issues.”
  • Mark Evans is described in the guide as “highly recommendable” and “an excellent lawyer” for his work on numerous high-profile cases in Canada.
  • François Guay is included in this group in addition to his recognition within patents (litigation), harnessing a precedent-setting record backed by 35 years of focused experience in IP.
  • Graham Hood, firm Trademarks Practice Group Leader, is trusted by clients for his actionable and business-minded advice, with over a decade of experience advising brand owners.
  • Philip Lapin is noted as a “key name in Canada” with an “excellent track record of IP-related mandates and is highly recommended by his peers for his work on trademark opposition and cancellation proceedings in particular.”
  • Kohji Suzuki is renown for his 25 years of experience creating sophisticated IP strategies for both top-tier multinational corporations and mid-sized innovative companies.

Who’s Who Legal: IP is an in-depth guide to the international intellectual property legal market and recognizes the foremost patents, trademarks and copyright lawyers around the world who stand out for their excellence when it comes to both contentious and transactional matters, with expertise covering a wide range of industry sectors.

Congratulations to each of our recognized lawyers and agents. The results in Patents (Litigation), Patent Agents and Attorneys (Prosecution) and Trademarks are available to view online.

About Smart & Biggar

Smart & Biggar is widely recognized as Canada’s leading intellectual property firm, with offices in Montréal, Ottawa, Toronto, Vancouver and Calgary. We are leaders in intellectual property and have been serving clients for over a century. Smart & Biggar operates as part of the IPH Limited group, under its own brand and independent from other IPH member firms.