Allen & Overy’s global IP Litigation practice continues on its path to expand its capabilities in tech and life sciences through the promotion of three patent litigation specialists to partner. Effective from 1 May 2023.


  • Charles Tuffreau, Paris
  • Denise Benz, Munich
  • Grace Wang, New York

These promotions follow on from A&O’s immense growth in tech and life sciences capabilities over the last two years, which saw the hires of tech patent litigator Lisa Nguyen and a five-strong life sciences litigation team consisting of Elizabeth Holland, Bill James, John Bennett, Nick Mitrokostas and Daniel Margolis in February 2022; and also the hire Sapna Palla and an eight partner team consisting of Adam Chernichaw, Alex Touma, Bijal Vakil, Daren Orzechowski, David Tennant, Eric Lancaster, Noah Brumfield and Shamita Etienne-Cummings in 2021 on the East and West coast of the US. The firm also strengthened its offering in a key market, Germany, through the hire of patent expert Stephan Neuhaus also in 2021.

Global head of IP, David Stone said: “These promotions complement our lateral hires and reflect our commitment to investing in the areas of technology and life sciences, where we see significant opportunities to advise our clients on complex and high-stakes patent litigation matters. Each of our new partners brings a wealth of experience, expertise and client focus to our practice. I congratulate Charles, Denise and Grace on their well-deserved promotions.”

Charles TuffreauCharles Tuffreau:

Charles’s unique dual qualification as a European Patent Attorney and as an Attorney at law makes him particularly fit for handling complex patent litigation before both French Courts and the Unified Patent Court. He has developed a cutting-edge expertise in dealing with validity and infringement issues, and is mastering all strategic and procedural aspects of patent litigation (in particular cross-border litigations, preliminary injunction proceedings, and infringement seizures).

His practice focuses on representing innovative pharmaceutical companies to secure monopolies for their blockbusters and prevent the launch at risk of generic products. More generally, his engineering background and prior experience as a patent attorney enable him to be particularly at ease with handling patent litigation in the Medtech and Tech fields.

Charles co-heads the UPC section of the French Bar association for IP lawyers (AAPI). He was also recently recognized as one of four “Ones to Watch” patent litigators on the French market and a “Recommended Individual” by Juve Patent.

Denise BenzDenise Benz:

Denise advises technology companies in relation to their IP rights, especially in the context of complex patent disputes across a range of industries. Clients turn to her as a trusted business advisor and legal counsel for her technical and legal expertise and her client-centric practical strategic approach.

Denise offers advice to clients in advance of litigation and represents clients in court, in particular in patent infringement proceedings before all patent litigation chambers and in validity proceedings before the Federal Patent Court (including appeal proceedings before the Federal Supreme Court) and the European Patent Office as well as in arbitration proceedings. Her expertise covers a wide range of industries and technologies, in particular mechanical engineering, telecommunications and IT (including software), electronics, and semiconductors. Denise regularly acts in litigation concerning standard-essential patents (SEP) and specializes in the interface of patents and antitrust law (FRAND). She is also frequently involved in complex cross-border patent disputes, coordinating proceedings in multiple jurisdictions.

Denise is featured as “One to Watch” and as a “Recommended Individual” in Patent Litigation by JUVE and JUVE Patent (2022), Rising Star by Managing IP (2019, 2020, 2021 and 2022), by The Legal 500 (2021 and 2022) and by the LMG Media Group Expert Guides (2022). World IP Review has recognized her as one of 20 female global Trailblazers and Best Lawyers are listing her as “One to Watch” in 2023.

Grace WangGrace Wang:

Grace’s practice focuses on patent litigation in the International Trade Commission and district court, post-grant proceedings, as well as patent validity, infringement, freedom to operate, and due diligence analyses. Grace has experience with a wide range of technologies, including medical devices, signal processing, data analytics, integrated circuits, semiconductor devices, disease diagnostics, network biology, genetic risk assessment, communications systems and networks, and cloud computing.  Grace’s doctoral research focused on neural coding of complex auditory signals.





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