Rafi Azim-Khan is head of the law firm’s Data Privacy practice in Europe and leads the firmwide Marketing Law Team. He is a Partner in the Intellectual Property and Information Technology practices. He was previously an IP Partner in the London office of major UK firm Wragge & Co, where he was head of the E-Business and Marketing Law groups. Prior to that, he was an IP Partner at McDermott Will & Emery and head of E-Commerce.
Mr. Azim-Khan has considerable experience of advising on a wide range of EU and international IP, regulatory and commercial matters for over 20 years, particularly new product launches or entry into new markets, IP protection/disputes, data protection, marketing law, regulator dealings and contracts. Sector experience includes IT, media, fmcg, food, healthcare, travel, automotive and defense. He has built a leading reputation (listed as a “leader” in brand and advertising law since 1994 and as one of the UK’s “Digital Dozen” e-commerce and data protection specialists) for his high level, strategic and cutting edge advice (on a UK and international basis) for many well-known multinational clients including GE, GM, Ford, Jaguar, Land Rover, Aston Martin, Freeserve, Motorola, British Bankers’ Association, Adaptec, Coca-Cola, Cadbury Schweppes, Shell, Camelot, Virgin, British Airways, Delta Airlines, News International, Energizer, Wilkinson Sword and Starbucks.
Described below are some of Mr. Azim-Khan’s areas of practice:
Intellectual Property: Mr. Azim-Khan regularly advises on a wide range of IP issues, particularly relating to new brands, products or new technology. He has advised on numerous high profile intellectual property issues during the past two decades (both litigation and commercial), including leading matter experience of passing off (including the “Jif” lemon House of Lords case), copyright (James Bond 007 franchise, photographic, music, TV, film, Guinness “Dancing Man” case, deep linking), trademark/brand issues (Easy Jet domain disputes, the rebrand of Daewoo as Chevrolet), London 2012 Olympics rights (including advising city of London on new law and IOC dealings); creation/protection of IP (convergence, TV and software patents & TM portfolios for the UK National Lottery/Camelot), ECJ “Bubbles” case O2 v 3 (exploring the boundaries of the EU TM and Comparative Advertising Directives) and database rights (Formula 1).
Marketing & Advertising Law: Mr. Azim-Khan is ranked in the highest band (Band 1) by Chambers Directory and has been ranked a leader for almost 20 years in marketing law. He is also Chair of the Advertising Law Group. He has considerable experience advising both advertisers and agencies on best strategy to compete or launch products, contracts, commercial issues, overcoming difficult regulator problems (ASA, OFT, Trading Standards), “clearance“ of materials and marketing law and regulation both above and below the line. He has also advised, on a wide range of sale promotions and sports related deals (e.g., France ‘98 World Cup, London 2012 Olympics), prize competitions, lotteries, newspaper and-television promotions (e.g. UK’s: first £1 million prize promotions), formats, terms and conditions. Mr. Azim-Khan has particular experience in global and pan-EU marketing campaigns, new brand/product launches and comparative advertising disputes (e.g. global launch of Wilkinson Sword/Schick Quattro razor and successful conclusion of multi country disputes with Gillette, launch of new airline websites and services such as for British Airways and Delta Airlines).
Commercial & Contracts: On the outsourcing, procurement, government contracting and commercial contracts side, Mr. Azim-Khan has significant experience, including advising BAE Systems on numerous outsourcing and data protection issues relating to the creation and operation of the Xchanging JV and its global HR and IT sourcing, as well as advising Shell on sourcing and commercial contracts aspects of a new business model. He has substantial public procurement experience of selling to and contracting/dealing with government (e.g. DOH, MOD, Catalist, OGC Buying Solutions) and has also advised on numerous agency, distribution, services, publishing and other agreements and trading/end user terms and conditions. On the defence side he also has experience of dealings with the U.S. Defense Dept, DSCC, security clearances, international aspects of foreign ownership and control and on the EU side the specific procurement rules and authorisation requirements.
Mr. Azim-Khan is a prolific writer on the subjects of IP, data protection, e-business and marketing and a regular speaker and columnist (contributed to the FT, Evening Standard, Bloomberg, Electronic Business Law, PLC and Commercial Lawyer).
Mr. Azim-Khan is not admitted to practice in California.
- Chambers UK , Media & Entertainment: Advertising and Marketing—National and London (1994-2016)
- Chambers Global, E-Commerce (2002)
- Legal 500 UK, Leading Individual, Telecom, Media & Technology (1998-2014); Brand Management (2014-2015); Data Protection (2015)
- Legal Experts, Brand Management (1998-2014)
- PLC Which Lawyer?, TMT: Technology—UK (2009-2012)
- Insiders Guides: Digital Dozen leaders ranking: E-Commerce & Data Protection (1999, 2000)
- Super Lawyers, Computers & IT Law (2013, 2014)
E-Commerce Law Group, Advertising Law Group (Chair), IBA, Law Society, British American Business (Chair Law Forum)
UK Privacy Office Fines Pro-Brexit Campaign Company for 500,000 Spam Texts (bylined article by Rafi Azim-Khan and Steve Farmer), Bloomberg’s World Data Protection Report, June 2016
UK Investigatory Powers Bill – New Draft Published Yet Concerns Remain (bylined article by Rafi Azim-Khan and Steve Farmer), Bloomberg’s World Data Protection Report, April 2016
Art. 29 Party Opinion Update Provides Guidance on the Application of EU Privacy Law to Non-EU Companies (bylined article by Rafi Azim-Khan and Steve Farmer), Bloomberg’s World Data Protection Report, February 2016
The UK’s Draft Investigatory Powers Bill: Intensifying the Debate over Privacy versus National Security (bylined article by Rafi Azim-Khan and Steve Farmer), Bloomberg’s World Data Protection Report, December 2015
UK’s New Data Retention and Investigatory Powers Act 2014, Bloomberg’s World Data Protection Report, 2014
Data Laws Update – Further Changes For International Businesses To Note, British American Business’ Network, 2014
Personal Data Transfers from the European Economic Area: Binding Corporate Rules, Bloomberg’s World Data Protection Report, 2014
IT & Data Protection – Catching Up With Change, Legal Week, 2013
A Perfect Storm of Data Law Changes: Are You Ready for a 2% of Global Turnover Fine? BritishAmerican Business’ Network, 2012
ICO's First Authorisation of BCRs Using Mutual Recognition Policy, Bloomberg‘s World Data Protection Report, 2009
Safer Internet: EDPS Opinion on Protecting Children, Data Protection Law & Policy, 2008
Ad Law, IPA, 1st, 2nd and 3rd Editions, Co-Authored, 2005, 2008 and 2016
E-Business—The Practical Guide to the Laws, Spiramus, 2nd Edition, Co-Authored, 2008
Encyclopedia of E-Commerce Law, Sweet & Maxwell, Co-Authored, 2006
International Sales Promotion Manual, PLC Cross Border, Co-Authored, 2002
E-Commerce from Cradle to Grave, City and Financial, Co-Authored, 2001
A Practitioner's Guide to Regulation of the Internet, City and Financial, Co-Authored, 2000