Maria Smith heads Baker McKenzie's Hong Kong and Regional Brand Protection and Enforcement team, which handles contentious, non-contentious and commercial intellectual property matters, with a focus on trade marks and copyright. Maria has been recognized as a leading lawyer in her field by Chambers Asia Pacific for eight consecutive years.
Maria is heavily involved in the Firm's Diversity Initiatives and champions the Hong Kong office's BakerWomen Group.
Maria's practice comprises of global and regional IP portfolio management and brand protection. She has solid experience advising clients on brand selection, brand clearance before product launch or market entry, as well as overall protection strategies. She has successfully assisted clients in numerous administrative proceedings and other contentious and enforcement matters. Her specialty also includes advising on IP audits and acquisitions as well as other commercial IP matters.
- Leading Lawyer (Intellectual Property – International Firm, China/Hong Kong) – Chambers Greater China Region (2022)
- Leading Lawyer (Intellectual Property – International Firm, China/Hong Kong) – Chambers Asia Pacific (2009-2011, 2013-2021)
- Trade Mark Star (Trade Mark Litigation, Hong Kong) – Managing IP: IP Stars (2020)
- WIPR Leader (Intellectual Property, Hong Kong) – World IP Review (2020, 2016)
- Notable Practitioner (Hong Kong) – IFLR 1000 (2020, 2019)
- Trade Mark Star (Trade Mark, Hong Kong) – Managing IP: IP Stars (2019)
- Top 250 Women in IP (Hong Kong) – Managing IP (2019)
- Gold Tier (Prosecution and Strategy, Hong Kong) – World Trademark Review 1000 (2019, 2018, 2016)
- Leading Individual (Hong Kong) – World Trademark Review 1000 (2011-2016)
- IP Star (Hong Kong) – Managing IP (2019, 2018, 2015, 2014)
- Leading Trade Mark Practitioner – Managing Intellectual Property (2010-2012)
- Leading Trade Mark Lawyer – Asia IP Experts (2013-2015)
Professional Associations and Memberships
- Marques - Association of European Trademark Owners
- Hong Kong Institute of Trade Mark Practitioners
- INTA - Committee Member, Brands and Innovation
- South Africa (1992)
- University of South Africa (LL.B.) (1992)
- (B.A.) (1983)