Vanessa Ferguson

Anti-Counterfeiting and Trademark Attorney

One of the leading anti-counterfeiting specialists in Africa with extensive experience in trademark and related IP enforcement.

About Vanessa Ferguson

Vanessa is an experienced trademark attorney and specialises in IP protection and enforcement, with a specific focus on anti-counterfeiting and associated enforcement measures. Vanessa is a partner at Von Seidels.

For more than two decades, Vanessa has been assisting clients from all industries and areas in respect of both traditional and non-traditional IP protection and enforcement, both in South Africa as well as key African territories, with a strong focus on regional and cross-border enforcement measures.

With a strong passion and belief in education and capacity building, Vanessa works closely with government bodies and industries in South Africa and is actively involved in the training programs for law enforcement, customs and other role players in anti-counterfeiting and intellectual property enforcement measures.

Vanessa is the co-author of Enforcement of Intellectual Property Rights in Africa (published May 2020 by Oxford University Press), the leading textbook on IP enforcement and anti-counterfeiting in Africa. She co-authored the Africa Chapter of the Research Handbook on Cross-Border Enforcement of Intellectual Property (published 2014 by Edward Elgar Publishing Limited).

She currently serves on the International Trademark Association’s (INTA) Unreal Campaign Committee.

Best Lawyers recognises Vanessa Ferguson as a leading lawyer in intellectual property law (2021).

Managing Intellectual Property recognises Vanessa Ferguson as a ‘Notable Practitioner’ (2021).


Focus areas

  • Anti-counterfeiting
  • Civil and criminal anti-counterfeit proceedings
  • Trade Mark prosecution
  • Trade Mark enforcement
  • Copyright
  • Domain name disputes
  • Unfair competition
  • Advertising complaints
  • Contractual and Transactional IP issues
  • Regulatory IP issues
  • Due diligence


  • University of Port Elizabeth, B.Juris (1993)
  • University of Port Elizabeth, LLB (1995)
  • South African Institute of Intellectual Property Law, Qualified Trade Mark Practitioner (2000)

Affiliations and accolades

  • Attorney of the High Court, South Africa
  • Fellow, past President, South African Institute of Intellectual Property Law (SAIIPL)
  • Member, Anti-Counterfeiting, Education and Trade Mark Liaisons Committees (SAIIPL)
  • Member, International Trademark Association (INTA)
  • Member and Past Chair, International Trademark Association (INTA) Middle East & Africa Anti-Counterfeiting Committee
  • International Trademark Association (INTA) Unreal Campaign Committee (2021)
  • .za Domain Disputes Adjudicator
  • Notable Practitioner, Managing Intellectual Property (2021)

Featured in

Von Seidels Awarded

“Patent Firm of the Year – South Africa” recognition during Managing Intellectual Property’s awards ceremony held last night in London.

World AC Day 2022

Today is World Anti-Counterfeiting Day. This day was established to raise awareness around the impact of counterfeit goods…

Mandatory ACA recordal

Kenya has taken a robust approach to anti-counterfeiting by putting specific legislation in place that will be implemented by…

INTA AM 2022

Our INTA team is excited to be flying to Washington D.C. for the in-person INTA Annual Meeting. We really look forward to reconnecting with our…