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John Wilks


John Wilks has extensive experience in a range of domestic and international intellectual property issues, advertising and marketing law, breach of confidence and data protection work.

While he has acted for a broad range of clients, John's practice has a particular focus on the media, sport and entertainment and consumer goods, food and retail sectors. He has acted for national broadcasters and newspaper publishers, major sports leagues, and a number of well-known consumer brands.

John’s advertising work includes campaign clearance, litigation, regulator complaints work, international prize promotions, and direct marketing campaigns.

He has also advised widely on domain name issues, including re the gTLD programme, and what this important development means for brand owners. He has also advised clients on acquisition of version 4 IP addresses.

Areas of FocusIntellectual Property
Professional QualificationsSolicitor of the Senior Courts of England and Wales


  • Representing the Premier League on its market-leading anti-piracy programme, including managing a large number of copyright infringement proceedings, taking action against the streaming piracy ecosystem, advising on copyright policy developments, and co-ordinating international copyright enforcement in various territories.
  • Representing one of the world’s largest motor manufacturers on a series of trade mark acquisitions and on global trade mark registration programmes.
  • Advising a UK copyright collecting society on all aspects of its copyright strategy, including on licensing, enforcement, and Copyright Tribunal regulation.
  • Acting for Football Dataco Limited and others in relation to various proceedings relating to copyright and database rights in football fixtures and data (High Court, Court of Appeal, CJEU).
  • Acting for a global motor manufacturer in successful UK High Court proceedings, and in the Court of Appeal, making new law on parallel import trade mark infringement.
  • Advising a major international theme park and tourist attractions brand on numerous image rights, advertising compliance and prize promotions matters.
  • Representing numerous clients before the UK’s advertising regulator the ASA and in negotiations with Clearcast, including on comparative claims (as complainant and respondent), online targeting of age-restricted ads, sustainability/ ESG claims, HFSS food claims, and hi-tech product performance claims.
  • Preparing influencer agreements for various major international brands.
  • Advising a major global food brand on engaging with the UK government on its proposed changes to the law on advertising HFSS foods.
  • Advising a major clothing brand on a range of issues relating to electronic marketing, and handling of personal data in a marketing context.
  • St Peters College, Oxford University, BA (Hons): English Law with French Law 2:1, 1998
  • College of Law, London, LPC, 2000
  • University Nottingham Trent, Diploma in Commercial IP, 2006


  • Chambers and Partners 2020 said John “is an IP enforcement and advertising expert called upon by leading brands to ensure compliance of their campaigns with guidelines and rules. He is also an experienced litigator who regularly defends regulatory complaints and copyright infringement actions for media and sports clients”.
  • Legal 500 2020 describes John as a “name to note” for advertising and marketing work, and as an IP and media expert who is a leading name for copyright and trademark work.
  • John is commended in the World Trademark Review’s “The World's Leading Trademark Professionals 2020” for his trademark enforcement and litigation work.


  • John authored the data protection chapter of the book Ad Law, published by the Institute of Practitioners in Advertising.
  • John is editor of the highly successful Prize Promotions Around the World guide, which covers 35 jurisdictions; and the DLA Piper IP Rights in Data publication.
  • John is also a UK contributor to DLA Piper’s Influencer Marketing Guide, and its Trade Mark Laws of the World Guide.

Prior Experience

  • 2005 to date: DLA Piper
  • 2000-05: London based international law firm