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Who we are

The ACG is accountable to its members who represent brands from across the world.

Founded in 1980, the Anti-Counterfeiting Group (ACG) is an international association respected as one of the world’s leading specialists in the fight against the growing global trade in counterfeit goods.

ACG is a not-for-profit trade association, committed to representing our members, in the UK, EU and on the global stage. Together, our members own over 3,000 of the world’s most prestigious brands and help to contribute over 45% (13 million) jobs and £650 million to the UK economy. Across Europe IP industries contribute 42% to the EU Economy (5.7 trillion Euros) and 28% of all jobs (60 million)

We are governed by an elected Board of up to 14 Directors, who are full ACG members. The Board is responsible for the overall control and strategic direction of the ACG.

New directors are elected at the Annual General Meeting and existing directors stand for re-election after three years. The Board elects ACG's officers, the Chair, Vice-Chair and Company Secretary.


ACG Team

ACG Director-General and Company Secretary

Phil has been engaged in intellectual property enforcement since 2001 when he became the UK’s Senior Policy Advisor on IP Crime. Based at the UK Intellectual Property Office, Phil was responsible for developing and leading on the UK’s first National IP Crime Strategy. He was also the UK IP enforcement representative at G8 level and a member of the Northern Ireland Organised Crime Task Force.

As part of his international portfolio Phil chaired the United Nations Advisory Group (UNECE) on IP protection and enforcement and was an adviser to the Interpol Action Group. He also led a number of EU Commission IP Peer Review Teams, assessing IP infrastructures and enforcement capacities in a range of EU succession and candidate countries.

In 2008, Phil became Senior National Expert at the EU Commission, where he helped develop the Commission’s strategy against counterfeiting and piracy. He was also responsible for conceiving and developing the EU Observatory on IP Infringements of IP Rights, which has become the pivotal European network of experts engaged in shaping more effective IP enforcement policies and strategies. Since retiring from public service at the end of 2014, Phil worked as Policy and Strategy Adviser to the ACG until July 2018 when he was appointed Director-General of the ACG.

Phil is also a senior adviser on range of EU IP Enforcement Twinning projects, producing studies and key assessment reports on countries such as Serbia, Ukraine and Macedonia. In 2014, Phil was awarded the Global Anti-Counterfeiting award for individual achievement. In 2022 Phil was awarded the IP Champion Award by the Alliance for IP members for his tireless campaigning against counterfeiting.

If you would like to get in contact with Phil, please email phil.lewis@a-cg.com or call 01494 449165.


Matthew Knowles
ACG Intelligence and Strategic Initiatives Manager

Joining the ACG team in 2022, Matthew brings a wealth of experience in intelligence led enforcement and brand protection knowledge. Prior to joining the ACG, he spent 16 years with Trading Standards, undertaking varied roles including Accredited Financial Investigator, Senior Investigator and Team Manager, before becoming a private contractor specialising in IP crime in Camden and Manchester, while undertaking project work for National Trading Standards. Matthew holds a Masters in Counter Fraud, Counter Corruption and Intelligence, and his research thesis focused on counterfeiting in Strangeways, Manchester. 

Matthew is tasked by the ACG Intelligence & Enforcement Steering Committee which monitors physical and online counterfeit threats and develops prevention, enforcement and disruption strategies related to these threats. A key part of his role is co-ordinating, analysing and sharing intelligence received from ACG members and developing strong partnerships with external stakeholders, to support multi-agency and wider ACG strategic goals aimed at stamping out IP crime and the global trade in fakes. He also helps to co-ordinate the varied and engaging ACG law enforcement training events and webinars to ensure members are kept up-to-date with the very latest brand protection issues.

Working closely with a range of government and enforcement agencies, Matthew helps to raise the profile of ACG members. Notable examples are the Intellectual Property Office (IPO), National Trading Standards (NTS), Police IP Crime Unit (PIPCU), Government Agency Intelligence Network (GAIN), Regional Organised Crime Units (ROCU), National Trading Standards e-Crime Team (NTSeCT), National Trading Standards Intelligence Team (NTSIT), UK Border Force (UKBF), Local Authority and Regional Trading Standards teams, plus Police authorities including Police Service Northern Ireland (PSNI) and Police Scotland. 

If you would like to get involved, need support, or to share information (confidentially) please contact Matthew on matthew@a-cg.com or 01494 449165.


ACG Board of Directors 

Director, Brand Protection - LIVERPOOL FOOTBALL CLUB

Paul began his career as a Customs Officer in the UK, before moving into corporate investigations and IP investigations management roles. Prior to joining Liverpool Football Club in 2016, Paul worked in brand protection roles in-house with New Era in the UK, and Fossil Group in Switzerland. Paul joined the ACG Board in November 2022.


IP Protection Manager, Corporate Compliance Department - EPSON EUROPE BV

Nicola has worked in Brand Protection for over two decades, starting her career with Reebok International and then moving to Harley-Davidson Europe and ghd. She is a graduate in European Economics from Middlesex University, England and Nantes University, France and has been a Director of ACG since 2001.


Strategy & Transformation Director, Intellectual Property Legal at Unilever

Mark’s extensive experience in IP enforcement and anti-counterfeiting strategies spans private practice, where he has worked in IP specialist law firms, such as Field Fisher and Rouse, to senior corporate roles for Coca-Cola and the Harley-Davidson Motor Company, leading on trademark enforcement and anti-counterfeiting programmes across Europe, the Middle East and Africa.
In 2018 Mark was rewarded for his work when he became European Intellectual Property Individual of the Year. He has also been part of award wining teams for Tommy Hilfiger, Coca-Cola and Harley Davidson.


Global Head of Brand Protection - DIAEGO

Louise joined Diageo in 2016 as Head of Brand Protection Europe, moving into the global role in 2017.
Prior to joining Diageo, Louise practised as an IP lawyer with an international IP firm, where she ran brand protection programmes on behalf of a number of clients. Louise trained as a solicitor with a leading corporate firm in Dublin. Louise joined the ACG Board in November 2022.


Global Brand Protection & Investigations Manager, JAGUAR LAND ROVER

Darshak is responsible for Jaguar Land Rover's worldwide Brand Protection Programme.

Darshak is responsible for both online and offline investigation and is involved in litigation support for the wider business with a huge focus on safety.

Prior to joining Jaguar Land Rover in 2018, Darshak was a Trading Standards Officer at Warwickshire County Council and the London Borough of Camden.


Global Brand Protection Operations, Senior Director - PROCTER & GAMBLE

Mark has worked for the P&G Company for some 20 years initially as Head of European Security based in Geneva for 13 years.
In 2013 Mark Joined the P&G Legal Team taking over Brand Protection for Europe and progressing to a lead Global Operations role managing numerous resources around the world and delivering the P&G Brand Protection Strategy to the business. Mark joined the Board as an interim Director in 2021 and was formally appointed in November 2022.


Global Brand Protection Director - RECKITT

Claire has 20+ years of experience in IP and prior to Reckitt in 2006, spent a number of years working in private practice in both Ireland and the UK. Claire was recognised as a leading corporate trademark professional in the 2022 World Trademark Review’s WTR 300. Claire joined the ACG Board in November 2022.



Our main mechanism for accountability to our members is the annual general meeting (AGM), usually held mid-year.


We operate under a Memorandum of Association and an Articles of Association

About ACG

ACG represents more than 3,000 brands affected by this influx of fakes into the UK and delivers an international network of information, advice and contacts on all aspects of IP protection. Working with Government and law enforcement agencies since 1980, ACG is focused on providing an effective and sustained response to counterfeiting.

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Join now!

Membership with the ACG is the best way to work with government and enforcement bodies to protect your brand. Our Roadshows and training days help you reach out to police, trading standards and border force officers and tell them about your genuine products.

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