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Who Represents Who

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Eversheds Sutherland (International) LLP has a team of expert IT and corporate lawyers that acts for established and fast-growth businesses around the technology cluster of Cambridge, as well as national financial institutions and corporates such as the John Lewis Partnership. Transactional technology lawyer and team head Simon Crossley acted for a global bank on its market data licensing arrangement with Thomson Reuters. Crossley and principal associate Michael Loffler, who is part of the company commercial team and specialises in IT and outsourcing, advised National Grid on setting up a new smart meter business. They also assisted global sustainability data reporting services provider Cr360 with a major strategic customer agreement. Other highlights included advising a global bank on the procurement of networks and communications services from BT, and assisting a multinational industrial company with a US parent on procedures for secure intra-group data transfer. Liz Fitzsimons is one of the UK’s leading practitioners for data privacy matters and jointly leads the firm’s global privacy team. IP specialist Adrian Toutoungi (who ‘always seeks to maximise his client’s advantage’) is also recommended.

Mills & Reeve LLP’s IT practice is handling a growing workload for central government agencies such as Defra and the Department of Education, in addition to acting on landmark NHS technology projects. The firm also provides advice to established and fast-growth technology businesses based in Cambridge and handles strategic project work for regulatory bodies and charities. Firm-wide head of technology and life sciences, Kevin Calderhas a very strong background in procurement law and always goes the extra mile to help’. Clients also remark that IT and data protection specialist Peter Wainmanprovides excellent advice, often at short notice, on complex technology contracts’. Wainman and principal associate Sophie Burton-Jones are among the lawyers who regularly advise multinational semiconductor and software design company ARM. In one recent matter they helped the company to negotiate IT contracts with key suppliers including NetApp and SAP. Calder, Wainman and Burton-Jones advised the Department of Health (DoH) on the procurement of technologies to deliver its Future Operating Model programme. Principal associate and senior health technology lawyer Sean Earnshaw also regularly works with the DoH. Head of IP Alasdair Poore is also recommended.

Taylor Vinters has a strong focus on innovative and entrepreneurial clients, which has seen it grow an enviable client base of fast-growth and multinational technology companies based around Cambridge. IP specialist Patrick Farrant leads the firm’s multidisciplinary technology group, in which Tom McGuire is regarded as one of the region’s most experienced IT specialists. He handles technology licensing deals for multinationals such as Google and Microsoft. Senior associate and rising star Chris Keen advised high-growth technology business Featurespace on the drafting of a major licensing agreement with global payments company TSYS and a $9m fundraising initiative led by venture capital firm TTV Capital. Keen also acted for Funderbeam on its attempt to build a stock exchange for start-ups based on blockchain technology and on a $2.6m fundraising initiative led by Draper Associates, Thomson Reuters and IQ Capital. Senior associate and software licensing specialist Alison Smith is also recommended. The firm’s other clients include Audio Analytic, which develops audio detection systems, and genome-based diagnostic technology developer Congenica. Rhys Williams left for an in-house role as general counsel at Optima.

Birketts LLP’s ‘very highly rated’ practice ‘gets things done when it says they will be done’, according to clients who praise the firm’s ‘breadth of knowledge, pragmatic advice and willingness to put across its client’s points in negotiation’. The firm handles complex IT transactions for UK and international businesses ranging from start-ups to multinationals. Head of team Quentin Golder is ‘very approachable and good at explaining the consequences – he really delivers’. Golder advised internal security software provider BullGuard Limited on software development and licensing agreements, website terms and conditions, data protection and distribution contracts. He also acted for utility meter and cloud-based billing services company Ista Energy Services on customer service agreements. Associate Kitty Rosser assisted CRM system provider Time for Advice on new arrangements with customers to handle its new modular technology solution.

Greenwoods Solicitors LLP is ‘very responsive and has a good level of knowledge and experience, particularly in software licensing’. The team ‘actively takes the legal lead, putting forward firm professional positions that clients can use’. Duncan Walker and senior solicitor Mark Williams are ‘very knowledgeable and respond to tight deadlines’, and corporate partner David Woodsprovides good advice that is fit for purpose, as well as quick turnaround times’. Highlights included acting for the sellers of auction house software provider Pacts Auction Systems on its disposal to US company Bidpath, and acting for Green City ICT Holding Limited as the buyer of Quest Cloud Solution Limited. Woods and solicitor Ollie Flowers also advised German software company protelhotel on its strategic investment in a UK business.

Hewitsons is known for the high quality of its IT-related advice and has a client base that includes Microsoft Corporation and other household names in the technology sector. Bill Thatcher is ‘extremely diligent, cool-headed and clear thinking; his well-reasoned, considered advice is always of the highest quality’. One client notes that ‘he has the rare and uncanny ability to clarify the complex and has an impressive grasp of clients’ businesses’. Head of technology Andrew Priest is highly experienced in IT outsourcing and technology licensing deals. European Molecular Biology Laboratory and The Leys and St Faith’s Schools Foundation are all clients of the firm. Recent highlights include advising a US-headquartered global company on research and development collaborations involving complex IT and IP issues.

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