"Gabriela Kennedy is on the frontlines; a prominent figure on the Asian IP scene, the strategic thinker has any number of innovative approaches up her sleeve."World Trademark Review 1000 (2016)
"Sources commend Gabriela Kennedy as a 'quality all-round lawyer in both IP and TMT matters'. 'She knows her practice areas inside out' and working with her is a 'consistently positive experience'. Her 'impressive intellect 'and 'ability to think laterally' are cited as chief amongst the reasons why she commands high respect in the market.'. 'She is very experienced and gives very practical advice- she gives insights and creates strategies'. Clients value her 'wealth and spectrum of experience, which enables her to provide insight into issues across the board'.. and regard 'Gabriela Kennedy as a leading figure in the China TMT market'"
Chambers Asia Pacific (2009, 2011, 2014 and 2015)
Gabriela Kennedy is a partner of Mayer Brown and head of the Asia IP and TMT group. She is also co-leader of Mayer Brown’s global Intellectual Property practice. She is based in Hong Kong, practising intellectual property, media, information technology and telecommunications law. She handles the full spectrum of intellectual property work from litigation to licensing, strategic advice and portfolio management. Gabriela advises extensively on technology and data protection issues in Hong Kong and throughout Asia, particularly in relation to business processing outsourcing, the cross-border transfer of data, data compliance, data breaches and cybersecurity issues. She has handled a number of data breach complaints filed with the Privacy Commissioner in Hong Kong and has conducted in-depth data audits and drafted/devised privacy manuals and procedures for the Asia operations of a number of multi-national companies. On the information technology side, Gabriela's particular expertise includes advising on complex IT transactions and projects, IT outsourcing, cloud-computing, mobile payments, smart card projects, the regulation of encryption technology, software licensing, and disputes stemming from failed IT projects. She has been involved with a number of international organisations in discussions involving standard setting for the cross-border transfer of data and the formulation of strategies to deal with cyber-security.
Gabriela has been involved in a number of high-profile media transactions and litigation including signal piracy litigation during the last three FIFA World Cups on behalf of cable operators and free-to-air licencees, and litigation relating to ‘must-carry’ and re-transmission rights under the Copyright Ordinance. She has advised collecting societies in relation to licensing deals and disputes involving royalty fees.
Gabriela has extensive experience advising on regulatory and transactional telecommunications matters in Asia. She has advised incumbent operators in Asia on the impact of the introduction of regulation and liberalisation of their respective markets and has substantive experience dealing with the anti-competition provisions in the telecoms law in Hong Kong.
Gabriela has been listed in many directories as a leading lawyer in the fields of intellectual property, technology media and telecoms as well as data protection, e-commerce and the Internet and has received a number of client and other awards.
Gabriela is on the editorial board of Computer Law & Security Report to which she has contributed a regular Asia-Pacific column since 2007. She is also the Asia editor of Computer and Telecommunications Law Review and is on the editorial board of Global Data Review.
A former theoretical linguist Gabriela speaks a number of European languages including English, French, Spanish, Italian, Romanian and Portuguese.
- Acted for a well-known international food and beverage company on all intellectual property aspects of the dissolving of its joint venture in Indonesia.
- Acted for a well-known celebrity hair stylist in Asia on all aspects of his joint venture arrangement for the development of his brand and related hair care products.
- Advised a listed property developer on a dispute with one of its licensors in relation to the operation of award winning of restaurants in Hong Kong.
- Acted for a Hong Kong-based retail company on a parallel import claim in relation to a global cookies brand.
- Acted for a well-known non-profit organisation in HKIAC proceedings involving the breach of a licensing agreement.
- Advised a major Hong Kong media and telecoms company on all aspects relating to their global branding strategies, portfolio management and IP enforcement actions.
- Advising a major cosmetics brand on trademark matters and assisting with enforcement actions in particular in relation to tackling on-line infringement.
- Advised a major sports clothing and footwear company on brand enforcement in Asia, handling a number of trademark infringement High Court Actions proceedings in Hong Kong and assisting with licensing disputes.
- Advised a US coffee company on franchise agreements, licensing agreements and trademark issues. Handling domain name matter for them in China, Hong Kong, Taiwan and Macau.
- Acted for a global multinational supply chain manager in drafting and negotiating several agreements with a European clothing brand for the manufacture and distribution of clothes throughout Asia.
- Advised an established American whiskey brand on trade mark enforcement actions, oppositions and cancellations in Greater China.
- Co-ordinated customs actions for a number of clients including a sports apparel company, a leading toy manufacturer, a global lifestyle brand, an established American whiskey brand and a safety consulting and certification company.
- Handled over two dozen Anton Piller cases (search and seizure orders) for a German multinational sports apparel company and developed enforcement and branding strategies for a number of clients in a wide range of industries such as toys, sports goods, alcoholic beverages, gaming, electronic goods, video-games, across Asia.
- Lobbied on behalf of a music collecting society at the time that the Copyright Ordinance was passed before the handover and represented them in Legco.
- Lobbied for all subsequent amendments to the Copyright Ordinance on behalf of a number of clients and technology and media industry associations.
- Led on a number of cases involving online infringements and negotiated MOUs with online platforms.
- Successfully advised, in the High Court of Hong Kong, in a landmark damages copyright case for a Hong Kong agency that protects the music copyright of its members.
- Advised a number of music publishers on complex music copyright issues.
- Handled a number of High Court cases involving mod-chips and circumvention of technical protection measures (represented a market-leading software, services and solutions provider and several video gaming companies in a landmark case).
- Devised the solution to the company hijacking problem in Hong Kong (invoking UK Court of Appeal case Halifax). These cases led to the formation of the IP Practitioners Liaison Committee with Registrar of Companies (Gabriela was one of the first IP practitioners invited to join this committee) and the eventual changes to the Companies Ordinance which made the enforcement of court orders for the change of name of a company much easier.
- Advised a leading US brewing company on brand protection strategies and enforcement actions against brand cloning companies in Hong Kong and China.
- Advised a major television broadcaster and its group company on public complaints in relation to the breach of the television programme code. The complaint concerned an infotainment programme which discussed the free-to-air TV licence controversy in Hong Kong.
- Advised a free-to-air broadcaster in judicial review proceedings stemming from a decision and sanctions issued by the broadcasting regulator in relation to advertising standards.
- Advised a media industry association in Hong Kong in relation to set up a new administrative process to achieve site blocking.
- Advising an American multinational media corporation on the courses of action for linking websites and streaming content, and dealing with set-top boxes under the existing Copyright Ordinance versus proposed amendments to the Copyright Ordinance.
- Providing advice to a music publisher on the impact of licensing schemes following the disbandment of collecting bodies for karaoke music licensing.
- Providing advice to a music collection society in relation to disputes over licensing fees and copyright infringement.
- Advising a provider of music streaming services in Asia in a dispute over provision of copyright works by way of apps in Hong Kong.
- Handled signal piracy cases for the exclusive licencee for FIFA World Cup broadcasts for the past three Football World Cups.
- Advised a major music publisher on the acquisition of the recorded music catalogue and artist roster of one of the largest independent music companies in Greater China.
- Handled broadcasting litigation (disputes with TELA regarding the calculation of licence fees for pay TV operators; disputes relating to credit ratings results; defamation cases; and a landmark case which tested in court for the first time the anti-competition provisions in the Broadcasting Ordinance).
- Handled anti-competition complaints filed with the then Broadcasting Authority and appeals from such decisions to the Chief Executive-in-Council.
- Advised leading TV channels on strategies for dealing with unauthorised streaming of content and dealing with illegal set top boxes.
- On the transactional side, Gabriela has been involved in a few major media deals and has advised on channel agreements, distribution agreements and many licensing deals for a few foreign channels in Asia and for local TV stations.
- Acted for a multinational luxury goods conglomerate in relation to the review of an e-wallet payment services agreement.
- Advised a retail company on the application of the Hong Kong money service operator licensing regime in relation to the collection of money through the use of a QR code on a mobile app.
- Advised an airport operator on a contract relating to a tender for the acquisition of a video analytics system that utilizes artificial intelligence.
- Advised an airport operator on the adoption of an e-tendering system and on private/public certificates; migration to an electronic system, review of terms and conditions and all related IT advice during the development of the project. Prepared their standard form IT contracts and ran training sessions for over 100 of their IT workforce.
- Advised an international resource-based group on the establishment of a sustainability consortium platform with other industry players, and the use of a blockchain solution to trace the production and sourcing of materials.
- Advised a China-based listed e-commerce giant on several matters concerning the telecommunication licensing, data privacy and unsolicited electronic messaging requirements in relation to the client’s international SMS messaging service, SIP voice line services, cloud services and other value added services. They concerned the cross-border nature of telecommunications services, and the related licensing and data privacy issues.
- Acted for a property management and development company in the drafting of a template IT procurement agreement to cover the general licensing and/or acquisition of software and hardware solutions.
- Advised a Hong Kong-based insurtech startup on insurance regulatory issues arising from distribution of insurance products through mobile phone applications.
- Advised a leading media and information company in the outsourcing of facilities management services, and assisted in amending the local agreements and data protection agreements to ensure compliance with local data privacy laws for Hong Kong, China, the Philippines, South Korea, Japan, Taiwan, Thailand, Indonesia, India, Malaysia, Singapore, Australia and New Zealand.
- Advised on the outsourcing of IT services for end-user and network support throughout Asia as well as on an outsourcing agreement between the client and a telecom services provider for the provision of data connection services in Greater China.
- Represented a major investment bank in the outsourcing of facilities management services, and assisted in amending the local agreements and data protection agreements to ensure compliance with local data privacy laws for Hong Kong, China, the Philippines, South Korea, Japan, Taiwan, Thailand, Indonesia, India, Malaysia, Singapore, Vietnam, Australia and New Zealand.
- Acting for a leading Asian airline in relation to two data centre services agreements for the provision of a data centre solution for the airline’s critical, core system, including drafting and negotiating the agreement.
- Advised a major Hong Kong property developer in relation to the adoption of back office Software as a Service solution for the management of lease agreements and advising on data privacy issues relating to the transaction.
- Advising a French luxury brand on IT and Data Centre Agreements for a data centre in Hong Kong.
- Advised a global multinational supply chain manager on all IP and IT aspects relating to the acquisition of an e-commerce platform.
- Advised a leading insurance company on a transitional services agreement and software licence agreement, as part of a large share purchase acquisition.
- Acted for leading gaming company on the drafting and negotiation of a consultancy services agreement with a global IT company for the development of a data management system.
- Advised a leading media and information company on the outsourcing of IT services for end-user and network support throughout Asia.
- Advised on an outsourcing agreement between a leading media and information company and a telecom services provider for the provision of data connection services in Greater China.
- Led on a number of high profile IT deals including an international banking group's online, end-to-end trade platform – B2BeX (a UK£54 million project which ran for three years), Pan-Asian outsourcing deals (for Goldman Sachs, Noble Group, and Prudential to name a few).
- Advised on cybersecurity issues, payment platforms, encryption issues (including securing membership to Identrus for a number of banks).
- Advised on cloud contracting – white paper for software house on adoption of cloud services by customers; drafted and negotiated SaaS and PaaS licences and advised on related data protection issues.
- Advised a leading Asian retail group on the application of the China Cybersecurity Law and the EU GDPR in relation to the use of outsourced third party service providers to provide payroll and attendance record services.
- Advised a German multinational materials manufacturer on Hong Kong data privacy laws and the China Cybersecurity Law with respect to their employee share programme.
- Advised an international luxury hotel group on the collection and use of personal data in light of the China Cybersecurity Law.
- Provided advice to a financial, software, data, and media company on a data privacy breach involving a service provider.
- Advised an international financial institution on the laws and regulations governing client data and personal data across 14 Asia Pacific jurisdictions, covering personal data privacy laws, outsourcing regulations and banking regulations.
- Acted for a hospitality client in a data breach caused by human error leading to the loss of hundreds of personal records. Co-ordinated investigation of the incident and review of internal procedures; suggested and articulated new procedures; handled advocacy before privacy regulator; co-ordinated notification to affected parties.
- Acted for a hospitality client in a data breach caused by an cyber attack on a third party provider offering booking services. Co-ordinanted investigation of the incident, review of internal procedures and suggested mitigating steps; providing response to privacy regulator.
- Advised a sovereign wealth fund established by the Singapore government on cross-border data transfer requirements with respect to their cloud service.
- Advised statutory bodies in multiple jurisdictions in Asia on data sovereignty issues concerning data collected and controlled by them out of their home jurisdiction.
- Advised a leading insurance company on the transfer, processing, retention, storage and use of personal data by an IT service provider company outside of Hong Kong.
- Conducted an Asia Pacific data privacy audit for global alternative asset manager to ensure that its policies and procedures are in compliance with data privacy laws on the collection, use, disclosure, transfer and processing of personal data of job applicants and employees.
- Conducted a data privacy audit for a luxury leather goods company covering Hong Kong, Malaysia, Singapore, Taiwan and South Korea.
- Advised a leading business and data analytics company on the risks posed under Hong Kong law in relation to the collection of personal data from public records which are then used in business reports and marketing activities.
- Advised a leading oil and gas company on amending and reviewing their application form, personal information collection statement and terms and conditions in relation to its discount card membership program.
- Advised a leading luxury Italian fashion brand on their handling of customers’ personal data for direct marketing purposes in Hong Kong.
- Assisted an internationally renowned Italian luxury brand with its compliance with data access requests under the Hong Kong data privacy laws.
- Advised a leading Italian luxury fashion and cosmetics brand on their handling of customers’ personal data for direct marketing purposes in Hong Kong.
- Advised a leading Italian luxury footwear and handbag brand on the cross border transfer of personal data in compliance with data privacy laws across 7 jurisdictions.
- Advised a leading financial institution on the outsourcing of facilities management services, and assisted in amending the local agreements and data protection agreements to ensure compliance with local data privacy laws for Hong Kong, China, the Philippines, South Korea, Japan, Taiwan, Thailand, Indonesia, India, Malaysia, Singapore, Australia and New Zealand.
- Advised a leading media and information company on the outsourcing of facilities management services, and assisted in amending the local agreements and data protection agreements to ensure compliance with local data privacy laws across 13 jurisdictions.
- Led data audits for clients, review of policies and writing of data protection manuals.
- Handled a number of complaints to the Privacy Commissioner including a much publicised data breach against a leading video-game company (and successfully argued that no investigation should be initiated against the client).
- Handled and led many Pan-Asian data protection projects (mostly for banks, relating to data processing, cross-border transfer issues and disclosure of information to overseas authorities).
- Advised a major sports clothing and footwear company on domain name strategies for .vn and dealing with online infringement.
- Advised the Hong Kong Domain Name Registration Company Limited on issues relating to phasing out old contracts with customers.
- Advised a leading Chinese e-commerce platform on their domain name strategy and recovered over 400 domain names for them through litigation in many jurisdictions (China, Russia, Ukraine, Kyrgyzstan), and through domain name dispute resolution procedures (UDRP, various local DRP and URS procedures in many jurisdictions including China, Hong Kong, India, Spain, Australia, Greece, Turkey, Russia, Ukraine, England and US).
- Panellist with WIPO and HKIAC and adjudicated on more than 200 cases (some of which have been cited and discussed in the international press). Drafted and filed more than 400 domain name complaints on behalf of clients (UDRP, DRP and URS); one of 100 panellists with WIPO for Legal Rights Objections (LRO) in relation to new gTLD domains.
- Drafted the current domain name agreements, policy and rules for the Hong Kong domain name registry.
- Drafted and advised on the dispute resolution policy of HKIAC and led on a similar project for the Singapore registry.
- Drafted the agreements and policy for a new Chinese language gTLD.
- Advised a Chinese state-owned company on their investment in a telecommunications infrastructure and civil engineering business to fund the construction and deployment of a new telecommunication infrastructure to 600 villages in Hong Kong, in order to be able to provide the residents in the villages with broadband services. Provided advice on the type of telecommunication permits and licences (including the unified carrier license) that need to be obtained in order to operate in the business of construction of telecommunications infrastructure in Hong Kong.
- Advised a cloud computing company on the offer of voice services as part of its services and applied for telecoms licences in Hong Kong.
- Advised a major car manufacturer on issues relating to connected car communications from a telecoms regulatory point of view.
- Advised a financial software, data, and media company on the provision of "click-to-dial" services on its platform, which is an emerging method of communication which does not fit squarely into the existing regulatory framework.
- Advised on an industry code to be followed by content service providers (CSPs) and mobile network operators (MNOs) in Hong Kong. The industry code sets out guiding principles for compliance by CSPs and MNOs to ensure that appropriate procedures and processes are put in place to protect consumers.
- Advised on regulatory matters since the mid 1990s and drafted all types of agreements (interconnect; wayleave; equipment lease) and advised on anti-competition issues (including in judicial reviews against the regulator relating to VOIP issues).
- Advised on all types of licensing issues in Asia.
- Advised on the regulatory side in due diligence part of M&A transactions.
University of Strathclyde, LLM (Information Technology and Telecommunications Law), with distinction
The University of Hong Kong, PCLL, with distinction
Manchester Metropolitan University, CPE (Commendation)
- England and Wales
- Hong Kong
- Board Member, Hong Kong Ambassadors of Design Ltd
- Member of Editorial Board, Global Data Review
- Member of Professional Board, Computer Law & Security Report
- Asia editor, Computer and Telecommunications Law Review
- Member, DotTrademark Policy Committee
- Board Member of the International Institute of Communications (Hong Kong Chapter)
- Legal Advisor, Communications Association of Hong Kong Limited
- Co-chair, IP Committee, American Chamber of Commerce in Hong Kong
- Board Member and Member of Executive Committee, ITechlaw (premier association of technology lawyers)
- Member of Global Board, International Women’s Forum
- Asia Patent Attorneys Association
- International Trademark Association (INTA)
- Hong Kong Institute of Trademark Practitioners
- Domain name panellist, WIPO (including for Legal Rights Objections and Trademark Post-Delegation Dispute Resolution Procedure) – more than 100 decisions rendered so far in a number of languages
- Domain name panellist, Hong Kong International Arbitration Centre and Asian Domain Name Resolution Centre (including for Uniform Rapid Suspension Procedure)
- Arbitrator, Panel of Arbitrators for Intellectual Property Disputes, HKIAC
- Best in TMT – Euromoney Legal Media Group Asia Women in Business Law Awards (2011, 2012, 2015, 2018)
- Best in Privacy and Data Protection – Euromoney Legal Media Group Asia Women in Business Law Awards (2017)
- Woman Lawyer of the Year – Asian Legal Business Hong Kong Law Awards (2017)
- TMT Lawyer of the Year – Asia Legal Awards (2017)
- Best in IP Litigation – Euromoney Legal Media Group Asia Women in Business Law Awards (2016)
- Winner of the Intellectual Property category – Lawyer Monthly Women in Law Awards (2015)
- Winner of the IT & Internet category for Hong Kong – Client Choice Awards (2015)
- Influential Woman in IP – World IP Review (2019)
- Notable Practitioner – Hong Kong – IFLR1000 (2018, 2019)
- Global Elite Thought Leader – Data Privacy and Protection – Who’s Who Legal: Data (2019)
- Expert – Who’s Who Legal: Trademarks (2019)
- Expert – Data Privacy and Protection – Who’s Who Legal: Data (2018, 2019)
- Expert – Data Security – Who’s Who Legal: Data (2018, 2019)
- Expert – Information Technology – Who’s Who Legal: Data (2015-2019)
- Expert – Telecoms & Media – Who’s Who Legal: Data (2015-2019)
- IP Star - Top 250 Women in IP – Managing IP (2016-2018)
- Leading Individual in Intellectual Property – Chambers Asia Pacific (2008-2019)
- Leading Individual in Information Technology – Chambers Asia Pacific (2008-2019)
- Leading Individual in Telecommunications & Broadcasting – Chambers Asia Pacific (2015-2019)
- Leading Individual – Intellectual Property: Foreign Firms (China) - The Legal 500 Asia Pacific (2019)
- Leading Individual – Intellectual Property (Hong Kong) – The Legal 500 Asia Pacific (2015-2019)
- Leading Individual – TMT (Hong Kong) – The Legal 500 Asia Pacific (2013-2019)
- Leading Individual in Intellectual Property (China-International Firms) – Chambers Global (2014-2019)
- Leader – WIPR Leaders (2015, 2017, 2018)
- Leading Lawyer in Media & Entertainment – Asia IP Experts (2014-2018)
- Leading Lawyer in IT & Telecoms – Asia IP Experts (2014-2018)
- IP Star for Trade Mark Filing & Prosecution – Managing IP (2014-2018)
- IP Star for Trade Mark Office Proceedings – Managing IP (2014-2018)
- IP Star for Trade Mark: Strategy & Counseling – Managing IP (2014-2018)
- IP Star for Trade Mark: Litigation – Managing IP (2014-2018)
- IP Star for Copyright – Managing IP (2014-2018)
- IP Star for IP Transactions – Managing IP (2014-2018)
- Gold Band - Trademark Enforcement and Litigation (Hong Kong) – World Trademark Review 1000 (2015-2019)
- Recommended – Patent: Litigation and Transactions (Hong Kong) – IAM Patent 1000 (2012-2019)
- Thought Leader – Who’s Who Legal: Data (2018, 2019)
- Top 100 lawyers for China – The A-List 2017 – China Business Law Journal (2017)
- Expert - Best of the Best (Global) – Expert Guides (2017)
- Expert - Technology, Media & Telecommunications – Expert Guides (2014-2017)
- Leading Lawyer in Sports and Entertainment – Who's Who Legal: Sports & Entertainment (2015-2017) and Who’s Who Legal – Compendium Edition (2016, 2017)
- Expert - Women in Business Law – Expert Guides (2015, 2016)
- Recommended Lawyer in Intellectual Property – The Legal 500 Asia Pacific (2015, 2016)
- Recommended Lawyer in TMT – The Legal 500 Asia Pacific (2015, 2016)
- Expert - Patent – Expert Guides (2014-2016)
- Expert - Trade Mark – Expert Guides (2014-2016)
- Listed as one of two Hong Kong IP Litigators in Asia IP "50 IP Litigators in Asia" (2013)
- “Highly regarded IT lawyer with expert and broad-based knowledge of outsourcing, transactions as well as disputes” – Who’s Who Legal: Data (2019)
- "A perspicacious brand strategist with whetted enforcement skills – and a leading light on alternative dispute resolution – she is an IP doyenne." – World Trademark Review 1000 (2018)
- "Recognised as a leader in IP in the technology space. One respondent says, “she is technically strong and up to date, and she really works hard to get ahead of the curve.”" – Who’s Who Legal: Data (2018)
- "Gabriela Kennedy is the lynchpin of the practice and provides ‘very insightful advice’ to clients across a range of TMT matters including data privacy, cloud computing and fintech." – The Legal 500 Asia Pacific (2018)
- "It was no surprise to any industry lawyer in Hong Kong to see the TMT Lawyer of the Year go to Gabriela Kennedy, head of Asia IP and TMT at Mayer Brown JSM. Her unrivalled expertise in regional cybersecurity and information protection issues, crossborder data transfers, fintech and IT software attracts a diverse range of clients and projects" – The Asian Lawyer's Asia Legal Awards (2017)
- "Clients appreciate: 'She has so much experience and listens very precisely, it was really extraordinary. I felt completely comfortable working with her.'" – Chambers Asia Pacific (2017)
- "Gabriela Kennedy is a towering figure in the TMT market, and possesses extensive expertise in data protection matters and domain name issues. She serves an impressive list of high-end clients, covering matters such as data privacy, cloud services and technology agreements as well as e-commerce work. One client declares: "The service she provides knocks your socks off! She is fast-responding and fantastic. She is an expert in her field and is really dedicated." – Chambers Asia Pacific (2016)
- "Gabriela Kennedy is on the frontlines; a prominent figure on the Asian IP scene, the strategic thinker has any number of innovative approaches up her sleeve." – World Trademark Review 1000 (2016)
- "a leading expert in this field, providing excellent service in terms of quality and efficiency” and “sharp and decisive” – Managing IP (2015)
- "Kennedy is one of the most well-known lawyers in the market” and with one client describing her as “sharp and decisive” – Managing IP (2014)
- "A highly respected IP and IT lawyer, Gabriela Kennedy is considered a major driver of the Hong Kong practice" – Chambers Asia Pacific (2013)
- "Sources commend Gabriela Kennedy as a 'quality all-round lawyer in both IP and TMT matters'. 'She knows her practice areas inside out' and working with her is a 'consistently positive experience'. Her 'impressive intellect' and 'ability to think laterally' are cited as chief amongst the reasons why she commands high respect in the market" - Chambers Asia Pacific (2009, 2011).