Allison Williams

Head of Intellectual Property, South Africa
Norton Rose Fulbright South Africa Inc

South Africa
T :+27 31 582 5655
South Africa
T :+27 31 582 5655

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Allison is an intellectual property and commercial lawyer based in Durban.

She has extensive experience in intellectual property law of all kinds and descriptions, including the registration and enforcement of trade marks globally, copyright, passing off and unlawful competition, franchising, domain name dispute resolution, advertising complaints and transactional IP work, such as M&A deals containing IP elements or aspects, due diligences, licensing, assignments and, in particular, IP structuring. Also has also had significant experience in social media take downs involving IP infringements, including on Facebook, WhatsApp, LinkedIn and YouTube, as well as through the Internet Service Providers' Association of South Africa (ISPA).

Allison has practised in the field of intellectual property law for 25 years.  She has managed the global trade mark portfolios for a number of local clients and has filed and enforced trade marks locally for a number of global clients.  She is listed as a recommended intellectual property lawyer in the Legal 500 for the years 2015, 2016 and 2017, whilst she was a director of the firm.

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Allison also specialises in general commercial and corporate law, black economic empowerment (BEE), consumer protection and data protection law.  Allison was part of the team that assisted with the drafting of the first BEE Codes of Good Practice that became effective in 2007 and she has practised in this area of law ever since.  Allison has also given extensive advice on the Consumer Protection Act and the Protection of Personal Information Act to a wide range of clients in a number of industries.  She has also given seminars and training in these areas of law and has assisted clients with the amendments of their terms and conditions and policies to ensure compliance with these pieces of legislation.

Allison was selected as one of the 3 finalists in the Business Women's Association's 2015 Regional Business Achiever Awards in Kwazulu-Natal (professional category).

Allison has been a fellow of the South African Institute of Intellectual Property Law (SAIIPL) since 2002.  She has served on the SAIIPL's trade mark and copyright law committees.  She has also been a member of the International Trade Mark Association and Licensing Executives Society for many years.

Allison has written articles for the China Law Journal and has authored the South African Chapter for "Getting the Deal Through".  Allison was also mandated by LexisNexis to author various Practical Guidance chapters for intellectual property and consumer law during 2015 and 2016.

Allison completed her BCom LLB degrees at the University of Natal, Durban in 1994.  She started her articles in the Durban office of Deneys Reitz (the predecessor to Norton Rose Fulbright South Africa) in 1995.  Allison was admitted as an attorney in 1997, when she started specialising in intellectual property law.  She qualified as a trade mark practitioner through the SAIIPL in 2000, after passing specialist exams.  Allison was appointed as a director of Deneys Reitz in 2001 and worked in the Johannesburg office until she resigned at the end of 2008.  She pursued her career as a director and head of intellectual property in other Johannesburg law firms, before joining Norton Rose Fulbright as a senior equity partner in January 2014.  Allison resigned as a partner of Norton Rose Fulbright in December 2016, but continued to work closely with the firm on an on-going basis for 5 years.

On 1 December 2021, Allison was appointed as the Head of IP for Norton Rose Fulbright South Africa and she re-joined the firm as a director.