Rouse names new deputy CEO and China lead ahead of growth push

London-based IP firm underlines importance of Chinese market to growth plans
Headshots of Linda Chang and Hatty Cui

Linda Chang and Hatty Cui

UK Intellectual property outfit Rouse has shuffled its senior leadership team, appointing current China general manager Linda Chang as deputy CEO and China trademark lead Hatty Cui as head of its China business.  

Chang takes over as deputy CEO from Nick Redfearn after a decade in the China general manager role. The appointment will see her relocate from Shanghai to Rouse’s London headquarters, from where she will continue to work with clients, advising European and other global businesses looking to expand in the Chinese market.  

For his part, Redfearn will remain with Rouse as global head of the firm's enforcement service and leader of its ventures programme.

Cui, meanwhile, will continue as head of the firm’s trademarks group in China while also taking on the role of China general manager.

Rouse chief executive, Luke Minford, described China as a “hugely important” part of the firm’s business and growth plans. 

“[Chang] has unparalleled knowledge of IP legislation, strategies and issues in China and we are delighted that, with her appointment to the role of deputy CEO, she will be joining the team at headquarters, bringing this expertise to our global business decision-making and sharing it with our clients seeking to enter China, ” he said. 

Chang joined the firm in 1999 as an IP consultant and was promoted to general manager of the China arm in 2010. She works with clients to navigate IP complexities and advises on IP strategies and commercialisation in China, with particular expertise in solving complex trademark disputes.  

“I’ve witnessed the firm’s fast growth in China in the past 20 years. Now, with our strategic expansion plan in service capabilities and geographic regions, we’re expecting its growth in the next three to five years to be phenomenal,” Chang said. 

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Beijing-based Cui has been with Rouse as a principal for just over a decade and has been credited as a significant contributor to the firm’s rapid growth in China during that time. US-qualified, she was earlier a contract attorney at Morgan Lewis & Bockius in California. Her practice centres on trademark acquisition, portfolio management, prosecution and enforcement. 

Minford said Cui’s more than 20 years’ experience practising IP law and her understanding of China’s IP landscape made her a “natural choice” to replace Chang as head of the firm’s China business. 

“Our country teams regularly navigate challenging market complexities on behalf of local and international clients. For this reason, we find that local or long-embedded talent, who know the country’s IP landscape inside out, can be extremely valuable in senior management positions,” he said. 

The two appointments come nearly three decades after Rouse set up shop in China as one of the first foreign firms to enter the country’s IP market. Since then, it has expanded its regional business to include offices in Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou, Shenzhen and Hong Kong. 

China’s rise as an IP powerhouse saw it overtake the US as the global leader in IP applications filed through the World Intellectual Property Organization in 2019, ending four decades of American dominance.

A number of other firms have been expanding their IP outfits in China recently, among them Dutch firm Houthoff, which in April named Yang Wan as its Greater China representative to develop its cross-border work with businesses in the region. 

And in June, UK firm Taylor Wessing launched a specialist IP and trademark business, Beijing Tailun IP Agency, under the stewardship of partner Thomas Pattloch. Pattloch was previously the IP Officer of the EU Delegation to China. 


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