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Who Represents Who

Find out which law firms are representing which Overview clients in London using The Legal 500's new comprehensive database of law firm/client relationships. Instantly search over 925,000 relationships, including over 83,000 Fortune 500, 46,000 FTSE350 and 13,000 DAX 30 relationships globally. Access is free for in-house lawyers, and by subscription for law firms. For more information, contact


The Brexit vote has created uncertainty amongst the IP community as it has in many other sectors. The impact remains the subject of much debate, particularly relating to the Unified Patent Court (UPC). It is still not known what the UKā€™s departure from Europe will mean in practice, but it is clear that the move will have long-term implications for UK businesses, including their IP and legal rights.

The term ā€˜fintechā€™ has entered mainstream parlance only recently; however, firms have long been working at the intersection between financial services and technology. As a result, all the major areas of fintech ā€“ digital payments and money transfers, peer-to-peer lending, ā€˜insurtechā€™, robo-advice, crowdfunding, digital currencies, distributed ledger technology and blockchain, and ā€˜regtechā€™ (software solutions for the regulatory difficulties faced by financial institutions) ā€“ are comprehensively covered by the London legal market. The best practices have deep, broad offerings: assisting major financial institutions with regulatory and commercial technology work, advising long-established, high-profile technology companies on their financial services or cooperation with financial service providers, and comprehensively handling cutting-edge fintech start-upsā€™ legal requirements are all hallmarks of premier practices. Fintech companies are desirable targets for investors, and given their increased presence in the market are kept busy on the commercial side; in terms of regulatory work, the law is still catching up with the sectorā€™s rapid pace of development, which may explain why there has been little fintech litigation so far. Whether or not Brexit will harm Londonā€™s status as a global fintech hub remains to be seen. But Payment Services Directive II is due to be enforced in the UK from 2018, regardless of Brexit, and there has been plenty of regulatory work for firms advising global financial players on the technological implications of this.

The life sciences sector faces many challenges across a vast range of areas. The line between life sciences and technology sectors are becoming increasingly blurred with the ever expanding area of digital health facing increased scrutiny from regulators with growing competition in the industry to provide solutions for digital customer and consumer engagement. This rapid expansion also brings a series of commercial and legal challenges, particularly in the data protection and cyber security space. These new routes of engagement with patients and healthcare providers also raise several regulatory concerns. The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) which comes into force in May 2018 has also kept firms very busy in assisting with the analyses of existing regimes together with implementing certain requirements under the GDPR to ensure compliance when the regulation comes into force. On the IP side, a significant proportion of recent patent cases in the UK involved a claim to revoke an SPC reflecting the fact that the protection conferred under the SPC regulation is vital and valuable to pharmaceutical companies.

The new Code for Sports Governance, which was introduced in October 2016 and became mandatory six months later, has been keeping sports lawyers busy on the regulatory side. The main changes it heralded were tighter safeguarding regulations, in the context of the high-profile revelations of systemic abuse taking place particularly in football; and greater structural transparency for the sake of sporting integrity. On the corporate and commercial side, international media rights work continues apace, and foreign money (Middle Eastern and Chinese in particular) is still hungry for UK football clubs. The burgeoning e-sports sector and the increasing role of data in sport have seen more technology and IP lawyers getting involved in the sector. Anti-doping and corruption across a variety of sports have yielded much work for litigators and arbitrators.

The media industry has been rapidly changing and developing over the last five years, driven by technological and regulatory change. The way in which we consume news and entertainment has changed dramatically, creating both challenges and opportunities for traditional broadcasters and entertainment companies. Social Media is revolutionising the way that businesses operate; employers are more conscious of the internal and external influences and for the need to manage employeesā€™ use of social media.

Brand management

Index of tables

  1. Brand management
  2. Leading individuals
  3. Next generation lawyers

Next generation lawyers

  1. 1

Who Represents Who

Find out which law firms are representing which Brand management clients in London using The Legal 500's new comprehensive database of law firm/client relationships. Instantly search over 925,000 relationships, including over 83,000 Fortune 500, 46,000 FTSE350 and 13,000 DAX 30 relationships globally. Access is free for in-house lawyers, and by subscription for law firms. For more information, contact


Baker McKenzie attracts praise for its ā€˜seamless combination of IP expertise with a multi-jurisdictional outlook and wide global footprint that matches multinational clientsā€™ needsā€™; the team provides ā€˜a multi-country solution and thinking combined with a single relationship pointā€™. It has an excellent track record handling high-stakes trade mark enforcement and litigation, as well as big-ticket transactional mandates, and the teamā€™s ā€˜user-friendly approach to legal services and willingness to adapt to client needs is highly valuedā€™. Practice head Michael Hart is assisting a fashion brand with a number of actions against third parties concerning infringements of its copyright and design right protected garments. Other key figures include Ben Allgrove, who acts for Google on regulatory, consumer and data protection issues in relation to its content products; and Michelle Blunt and Paul Rawlinson, who are advising a global consumer goods company on a series of brand acquisition and disposal mandates. On the trade mark front, Jessica Le Gros (who is singled out for her ā€˜accurate, prompt and very business-oriented adviceā€™) focuses on global brand clearance and trade mark disputes; Gros and Blunt assisted a building material company on its global rebranding project, which involved advising on trade mark clearance, commercial risk and strategy. Of counsels Helen Brown and Julia Hemmings, who are experienced at handling consumer transactions with an emphasis on the retail fashion sector, are other names to note. Eli Lily, HSBC, Kurt Geiger, Virgin Media and L'OrĆ©al are also clients.

Bird & Bird LLP has a well-known reputation in the brand management area, particularly on the brand-owner side, and is praised for its ā€˜good industry knowledge and excellent legal expertiseā€™. The practiceā€™s expertise spans trade mark and design portfolio management, traditional and online marketing and advertising strategies and global brand expansion transactions. Contentious trade mark matters are a key area of strength; recent highlights include successfully representing Merck in a High Court dispute arising from breach of contract and trade mark infringement with US-based Merck Sharp & Dohme in the High Court. The highly regarded Peter Brownlow and Felicity Reeve continue to act for Monster Energy on a number of trade mark matters, including acting in 60 European Union Trade Mark (EUTM) oppositions or European Union Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO) board of appeal cases, as well as acting on a series of trade mark appeals in The General Court. Reeve also acted for Chelsea FC on the negotiation of a long-term sponsorship agreement with Nike. Katharine Stephens and Allan Poulter are representing Philip Morris International in four EUIPO appeal cases involving invalidity actions brought by British American Tobacco. According to one client, dual-qualified trade mark attorney and solicitor Mark Holah is ā€˜one of the best trade mark lawyers in Londonā€™; he is assisting House of Fraser with more than 500 trade mark registrations and related oppositions, cancellation actions and comparable actions globally. Litigator Phil Sherrell is ā€˜extremely personable, sharp and responsiveā€™. Tom Snaith and Nick Aries are also recommended.

Bristows LLP further strengthened its already well-respected brand management capability with the recruitment of IP litigator Simon Clark and trade mark specialist Ian Gruselle, along with six other practitioners from Berwin Leighton Paisner LLP. The ā€˜professional, strategic and commercialā€™ team is particularly strong at advising major brands and agencies on the legality of advertising campaigns and sales promotions as well as comparative advertising and contentious matters. Paul Jordan, who heads the advertising and marketing practice, is acting alongside Paul Walsh for WPP on the management of its worldwide trade mark portfolio; in 2016, they assisted on clearance searches regarding a global rebranding and handled trade mark infringement and domain name disputes. Jordanā€™s other highlights included advising Paramount Pictures on music licensing requirements and copyright issues relating to live streamed and online availability of movies; advising British American Tobacco on its compliance with the UKā€™s e-cigarette advertising restrictions relating to the promotion of its new e-cigarette product, Pebble; and assisting Royal Mail Group with advertising copy clearance issues. IP disputes specialist Jeremy Blum focuses on brand and IP enforcement. Senior associate Sacha Wilson has notable experience in sponsorship, digital advertising, ad-tech developments and associated regulatory issues. Associate Andrew Butcher and Remya Jayakkar are ā€˜knowledgeable and commercially-mindedā€™.

CMS takes ā€˜active steps to understand the clientā€™s businessā€™ and ā€˜provides expert advice without losing sight of the commercial risks and benefitsā€™. It significantly enhanced its brand management offering when it merged with Olswang LLP and Nabarro LLP in 2017, creating a brand management powerhouse that advises on the full range of issues, from registration and enforcement of trade marks to the exploitation and promotion of brands through advertising. Key figures within the sizeable team include Iain Stansfield, who focuses on transactional and advisory work for a client base comprising several well-known names in the advertising and marketing, publishing and retail sectors; head of advertising and marketing Susan Barty ,who is ā€˜client focussedā€™ and singled out for her ā€˜solid industry and legal expertiseā€™. Also recommended are the ā€˜commercially-mindedā€™ Tom Scourfield, who heads the IP group, which includes contentious IP specialist and ā€˜trusted adviserā€™ David Parrish; Joel Barry, who specialises in the media sector; and Guy Heath and Louise Gellman, who focus on protection, exploitation and enforcement of trade mark rights. Recent highlights include advising Sky on the protection, enforcement and management of more than 3000 trade mark portfolios in over 150 countries; acting for British Olympic Association on infringement and settlements in relation to ambush marketing; and assisting new client eBay with a series of trade mark opposition cases relating to ā€“BAY formative marks. Japan Tobacco International, Levi Strauss, Marks & Spencer and Microsoft are also clients.

According to one client, Lewis Silkin LLP is ā€˜one of the best in terms of agility and efficient use of resourcesā€™. Brinsley Dresden, Dominic Farnsworth and Jo Farmer jointly lead the cross-departmental practice, which has an extensive track record in the brand management space spanning advertising regulation, corporate transactions, commercial contracts and IP issues. The firm is the sole UK representative in the Global Advertising Lawyers Alliance, which acts as a hub for clients requiring advertising law advice and covers more than 80 jurisdictions. Dresden advises a number of leading brands and advertising agencies on a wide range of issues covering all aspects of advertising law and regulation. Farnworthā€™s particular areas of expertise include sponsorship, endorsements, image rights, domain name disputes and unauthorised use of famous personalities in commercials and other media formats. Farmer (ā€˜a star in terms of pragmatism, efficiency and co-ordination of the firmā€™s resourcesā€™) advised Wieden + Kennedy on its advertising and creative services contract and commercial agreement with Sainsburyā€™s. Simon Morrissey focuses on the converging areas of advertising and technology law, and has specialist expertise in data protection. On the contentious side, Giles Crown handled a number of comparative advertising disputes, including for BT Group, which it represented in its dispute with Sky relating to broadband claims made in Skyā€™s television advertising. Legal director Geraint Lloyd-Taylor advised an international advertising agency regarding its work on a supermarket chainā€™s advertising campaign. IP practitioner Alex Kelham is ā€˜great on sports and sponsorship-related mattersā€™.

Many consider Osborne Clarke LLP to be a market leader in sponsorship, advertising and marketing. The firm is also singled out for its expertise in ad-tech and marketing-tech matters; recent highlights include advising on privacy, advertising and contractual issues associated with ad-tech, programmatic advertising, customer audience segmentation and targeting. Representative clients in this space include YuMe, Sonobi and Integral Ad Science. The team was further bolstered with the arrivals of reputation management specialist Ashley Hurst from Olswang LLP, as well as IP litigator Arty Rajendra and trade mark attorney Mark Foreman, both of whom joined from Rouse IP Limited. In other highlights, practice head Nick Johnson is advising L'OrƩal on prize promotions, as well as a range of advertising and marketing activities, and continues to assist Facebook with advertising, marketing and brand issues; Tom Harding is advising Bose on brand exploitation issues, including its sponsorship of the Mercedes F1 team; Anna Williams is advising new client Yahoo! on advertising and privacy issues and on internal policies relating to matters such as sensitive ad targeting and customer segmentation; and Robert Guthrie is advising a private members club on the exploitation of the brand internationally and the management of its trade mark portfolio.

Taylor Wessing LLP is singled out for its ā€˜excellent level of serviceā€™ and its ā€˜rounded, commercial and creative approach to brand portfolio and managementā€™, which enables the team to provide ā€˜practical suggestions to enhance brand portfoliosā€™. The group acts for a broad range of clients including Inditex, Cisco, Hard Rock Holdings and GEMS, and handles a steady flow of advertising pre-clearance and disputes work, as well as sponsorship and endorsement deals. Recent work includes assisting Orange with its global trade mark portfolio, which amounts to more than 4500 marks in over 190 jurisdictions; defending the developer of a dating app in High Court proceedings concerning allegations of trade mark infringement and passing off; advising Godiva Chocolatier on its brand protection strategy relating to new brands and products; representing Property Renaissance in successful High Court and Intellectual Property Enterprise Court (IPEC) proceedings against Titanic Spa regarding the use of the name Titanic; and successfully acting for a leading media and entertainment provider in defending and settling trade mark opposition proceedings and threatened High Court litigation against one of its flagship brands. Within the team, practice head Roland Mallinson and Timothy Pinto are singled out for their ā€˜legal knowledge, and pragmatic and timely approachā€™. IP and media group head Mark Owen specialises in copyright, trade mark and design law. France Delordā€™s approach is ā€˜always practical and pragmaticā€™ and is ā€˜a pleasure to work with; she takes great pride in her work and in building relationships with clientsā€™. Also recommended are Charles Lloyd and Jason Rawkins, who are praised for their ā€˜commercial awareness and technical abilityā€™, and senior associate Adam Rendle, who specialises in trade marks, copyright and media-related issues.

Allen & Overy LLP significantly enhanced its soft IP offering with the recruitment of David Stone from Simmons & Simmons, who is ā€˜one of the most gifted lawyers in IPā€™. He leads the global brands group, which is now regarded as one of the leading IP practices in London. It has wide-ranging expertise covering the life sciences sectors, and has one of the most highly regarded non-patent groups. Stone is a ā€˜real design guruā€™ and is ā€˜able to lead a large litigation team with great skill and tactical nousā€™. He is ably assisted by ā€˜very creative and commercialā€™ trade mark specialist Neville Cordell, who is ā€˜a versatile litigator who is well-known for both trade mark and heavy duty patent cases alikeā€™; and Nigel Parker and Jim Ford, who are highly recommended for big-ticket sponsorship mandates. Recent highlights include advising Fox Entertainment on all of its UK and EU brands and designs; assisting Tradeweb Europe with a trade mark infringement and passing-off claim against Finsa Europe; and acting for one of the worldā€™s most famous football clubs on a global template franchise agreement.

DLA Piper is regularly called on to advise major international clients on global brand management issues spanning trade mark clearances and disputes, sponsorships, and advertising and promotional campaigns, with a notable emphasis on sport, gambling and digital media. Nick Fitzpatrick and Patrick Mitchell count Baku Games, The National Basketball Association and The Premier League as clients, while John Wilks, Duncan Calow and Claire Sng advise brands including Amazon, Panasonic and Alcatel Lucent on advertising and marketing issues, including handling complex compliance projects and issues relating to digital and ad-tech. It is advising Aviva on privacy compliance issues relating to behavioural and targeted advertising, social media marketing, and use of big data for advertising and marketing purposes. The team is also assisting a number of clients on multi-jurisdictional marketing promotion reviews, and has handled trade mark filings, oppositions, portfolio management and online and offline infringement issues for Papa Johnā€™s. In another key highlight it is advising Rakuten on its ā‚¬220m sponsorship of the Futbol CLUB Barcelona. The team is led by well-regarded IP practitioner and litigator Ruth Hoy and includes consultant SiĆ¢n Croxon and media and entertainment specialist Duncan Calow.

Fieldfisherā€™s ā€˜top-notchā€™ 13-partner team regularly advises on advertising and marketing, as well as sponsorship mandates and IP portfolio management matters. David Bond leads on sponsorship matters and highly regarded trade mark specialist Leighton Cassidy leads the IP protection group. It acts for an impressive array of clients, from start-ups to high-profile international household names. A cross-departmental team is assisting Dixons Carphone with its trade mark portfolio, including advising on trade mark and patent protection and enforcement. Cassidy and Richard Hing regularly act for Take Two Interactive Software, and are advising on 30 pending trade mark oppositions and related appeals, non-use revocation actions and customs seizures across the European Union. Paul Barton advised Ensighten on international data protection and privacy matters as well as on a series of transactions relating to the supply of its enterprise tag management system and related digital marketing products. Litigator Nick Rose acted for Karen Millen Fashions and Mosaic Fashions US in a high-profile dispute in the High Court against the individual Karen Millen regarding the rights in Karen Millenā€™s trade mark outside Europe with a focus on China and the US. Senior associate Mark Smith has notable knowledge in the ad-tech space, as well as considerable experience in managing international compliance projects and advising on Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) investigations. Hastings Guise is praised for his ā€˜ability to get to the crux of the issue effectively and efficiently, and provide practical, client-friendly adviceā€™. Sonal Patel is also recommended.

Gowling WLG handles multi-jurisdictional brand management and advertising matters for clients in food and drink, automotive, retail and technology sectors; representative clients include Weetabix, Mothercare, Oxfam and Volkswagen Group. The group is primarily an advertising and marketing practice, with considerable experience in intellectual property management and enforcement. Recent highlights include assisting A Nelson & Co with trade mark enforcement and protection issues across a number of jurisdictions; advising Baker Tilly International on its global brand licensing project; and acting for Carlsberg on the successful defence of an ASA complaint regarding its YouTube advertisement. Key contacts include advertising expert Dan Smith and Kate Swaine, who specialises in the enforcement and clearance of brands, advertising and designs; they are supported by George Sevier, who has particular expertise in online brand management, covering issues involving the use of trade marks in keyword advertising, domain name recovery matters, and removing infringing products from online stores. Mathilda Davidson has particular expertise in food and fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG) marketing and charity promotions.

Harbottle & Lewis LLP continues to make its mark in sponsorship and has enhanced its trade mark and brand-related portfolio management offering with the recruitment of trade mark practitioner Georgy Evans, who joined from Bristows LLP. The arrival of sports marketing specialist Andy Korman from Couchmans LLP strengthened the firmā€™s sports practice, which continues to act for major global brands on sports marketing matters and their advertising campaigns. Other areas of expertise include protecting brand owners from defamatory statements by competitors, broadcasters and the public via social media, and area in which the firm has ā€˜a first-class reputationā€™. Notable highlights included assisting with advertising clearance matters for a range of domestic and international clients; advising Infiniti, the luxury division of Japanese automaker Nissan, on its partnership and technical collaboration with the Renault Sport F1 team; and acting for celebrities including Kate Moss and David and Victoria Beckham on the management of their global trade mark portfolios as well as brand protection and exploitation. Andy Millmore leads the team, which includes Kostyantyn Lobov, who advises brands and advertising agencies on regulatory and clearance issues, including handling of investigations by the ASA; and Daniel Tozer, who advises agencies on their commercial contracts and counts Droga5 as his client. Also recommended are Bob Mitchell, consultant Dalton Odendaal and Michael Lister, who have notable experience advising on sponsorship matters; and IP litigators Jeremy Morton and Shireen Peermohamed.

Hogan Lovells International LLP handles a range of brand protection and branding strategy matters, from issues arising from M&A transactions to trade mark filings, disputes and exploitation of brands through advertising, sponsorship and endorsement. The team also regularly advises its US clients on copy clearance issues arising from their advertising in the UK. Richard Welfare and Sahira Khwaja heads the team, which includes Charlie Winckworth, who is ā€˜a commercially-minded IP lawyerā€™ and ā€˜works hard to achieve the right result for his clientsā€™. Also recommended are senior associate Anneka Dalton, who focuses on advising high-profile bands on trade mark and domain name issues, and has a track record handling trade mark disputes; and counsel Jane Summerfield, whose experience covers labelling and compositional legislation, and defending challenges by regulatory authorities to products and advertising materials. Highlights included advising Mars on its advertising campaigns, promotional activities and on brand enforcement matters in the UK; assisting Merck Sharp and Dohme with the UK trade mark aspects of a dispute against Merck KGaA concerning the use of the name Merck; acting for a multinational manufacturing company in trade mark opposition proceedings; and assisting Eos with its actions against infringing copy products ranging from small high street operations to large industry players.

RPC strengthened its media and information law and contentious data protection with the recruitment of Nicola Cain, who joined as legal director from an in-house role in February 2017. Its wide-ranging expertise spans traditional and new media publishing, IP, data protection, advertising, competition and corporate media work. Recent highlights include assisting PizzaExpress with all aspects of its advertising and marketing campaigns and brand protection and enforcement matters. Highlights for Oliver Bray included assisting Google with its pan-European advertising campaigns, including advising on TV, online and in-store point of sale advertising campaigns for new Google product launches, and acting for YouTube on clearance issues in relation to videos and materials created for a variety of YouTube advertising campaigns. IP specialist Jeremy Drew represented Louis Roederer in its successful trade mark claim against J. GarcĆ­a CarriĆ³n regarding its infringement of Cristal champagne. David Cran advised Sports Direct on the sale of the Dunlop brand to Sumitomo Rubber Industries, which involved the acquisition of Dunlopā€™s trade mark portfolio and its sporting goods and licensing business. Paul Joseph acted for the BBC in a dispute with Take-Two Interactive regarding marketing materials for the TV drama The Gamechangers. Ben Mark and recently promoted partner Ciara Cullen are also names to note.

Reed Smith LLPā€™s recent highlights include advising a global cosmetics company in the negotiation of a multibillion-dollar media agency agreement, and acting for BBC Worldwide on an application to the Commercial Court for declarations in connection with a contractual dispute over music archives. Michael Skrein and senior associate Huw Morris are the main contacts; Morris has notable experience in copy clearance, regulatory investigations, advertising sales and contractual matters. Emma Lenthall and Gregor Pryor are also recommended for advertising-related disputes.

Squire Patton Boggs covers the full spectrum of brand management matters and is widely recognised for its specialist advertising expertise; clients include major brands and ad agencies, which the firm advises on contract drafting, enforcement, and regulatory matters. Key strengths include clearing international advertising campaigns and prize promotions. Robert Wegenek advises on advertising clearance and production issues involving sponsorships and branded content, while technology lawyer Carlton Daniel handles contentious and non-contentious matters for clients in the advertising, marketing and media sectors. Recent highlights include advising on a range of commercial and advertising regulatory matters; acting for Hobbs on copyright, trade mark and design right infringement and franchising arrangements; assisting Chelsea FC with its sponsorship deal with Samsung; and advising agencies within the WPP group on high-profile global agency appointments and advertising campaigns. Florian Traub is recommended for pre-filing trade mark clearance and infringement matters, and recently acted for a leading healthcare and cosmetic retailer on all aspects of trade mark protection and enforcement including clearance and litigation.

Bates Wells Braithwaite attracts praise for its ā€˜excellent response times, solid business advice, great value for money and superbly attentive and personal serviceā€™. The highly regarded Rupert Earle is advising the ASA on a number of advertising cases involving UK and EU law issues and threats of judicial review. The group also has niche expertise advising charity sector clients on a range of trade mark issues; in an illustration of its capability in this area, Rosamund McCarthy is advising the charity Girl Effect on branding, advertising, IP rights and governance matters, and trade mark attorney Mathew Healey is assisting a household charity on its international portfolio of registered trade marks and pending applications spanning more than 40 jurisdictions.

Browne Jacobson LLP is singled out for its ā€˜high level of commercial acumenā€™, ā€˜appropriate adviceā€™ and ā€˜extremely fast response timesā€™. The team was joined in February 2017 by IP litigator Cerryg Jones from Gowling WLG; he splits his time between the firmā€™s Birmingham and London offices. The team continues to act for the London Taxi Corporation on a trade mark infringement and passing-off action against Frazer-Nash Research and Ecotive related to 3D trade marks in the shape of the British London black cab. It is also assisting a large fashion brand on a number of trade mark opposition matters. Key figures include Declan Cushley, who is ā€˜very commercialā€™ and gives ā€˜pragmatic legal advice and solutionsā€™; Bonita Trimmer, who has a particular focus on brands and designs disputes; IP litigators Giles Parsons and Mark Daniels, who are praised for their ā€˜strategic adviceā€™; and Alex Watt, who is recommended for transactional trade mark work and advertising and marketing deals.

Cooley (UK) LLPā€™s brand management capability spans a wide range of sectors, with a particular focus on technology and life sciences. Nicholas Bolter heads the practice, which which saw the arrival of patent attorney Colm Murphy from Venner Shipley LLP in May 2016. Bolter is assisting Twitter with a trade mark filing and disputes relating to the launch of the Periscope platform, and is acting for a multinational corporation on IP, advertising and marketing issues within Europe and a range of commercial agreements including sponsorship, agency agreements and outsourcing. Special counsel Claire Lehr is also recommended. Akash Sachdeva joined Keystone Law.

Specialist sports law firm Couchmans LLP focuses on assisting sports sector clients with a wide range of matters, including sponsorship, IP, advertising and marketing. Chairman Nic Couchmanā€™s clients include International Olympic Committee, Formula 1 Management, Nike, Nokia and News International. Nick White advises sports personalities including Mo Farah and Chris Hoy; governing bodies including FIFA and Basketball England; and brands such as Rapha and Skins. Fraser Reid focuses on providing sports marketing and sponsorship advice to a number of sports agencies and brands. Andy Korman joined Harbottle & Lewis LLP in 2016.

Mishcon de Reya LLP advises on a broad spectrum of contentious and non-contentious brand management mandates, and its team handles trade mark and design filing, prosecution and enforcement matters. David Rose is acting for Sky in a dispute with an IT cloud company trading in the UK and Europe by reference to the name SkyKick, which involves management of proceedings in the UK courts, and at UKIPO and EUIPO. In another highlight Sally Britton is representing Charlotte Olympic Holdings on a number of disputes in China with serial bad faith filers. Ray Black handles Ralph Lauren's UK and EU trade mark portfolio, in particular in relation to a large number of ongoing UK and EUTM trade mark oppositions and registered design actions at first instance and appeal level relating to the client's polo player device and POLO marks. Jeremy Hertzog heads the team which also includes Lewis Cohen who specialises in commercial and IP arrangements.

At Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman LLP, practice head Rafi Azim-Khan represented Velvet in disputes with Kimberly Clark via the ASA regarding unfair competitor claims, and acted for the same client on product descriptions, consumer test programmes and product claims, as well as handling social media, website marketing and e-commerce issues. Azim-Khanā€™s other highlights included assisting Sysorex with next generation consumer tracking, profiling and targeted advertising in the UK and issues arising from the commercialisation of big data; and advising a US technology company on comparative advertising issues. Counsel Steven Farmer is particularly experienced at advising on ASA complaints and investigations, comparative advertising issues and other IP disputes in an advertising context. The Clorox Company, Burtā€™s Bees, Slimfast and Norwegian Airlines also feature on its client roster.

Simmons & Simmons has wide-ranging brand management expertise spanning portfolio management, litigation, and brand-related transactional instructions including sponsorship and advertising issues. The group is particularly experienced in the finance, fintech, TMT, FMCG and life sciences sectors, and advises clients including Hugo Boss, The TJX Companies, Theravance Biopharma and Imperial Brands. Adrian Smith (who is ā€˜one of the safest pairs of handsā€™ according to clients) specialises in clearance, protection and enforcement of rights, and commercial brand exploitation arrangements, while managing associate Darren Mealeā€™s level of legal expertise and organisational skills are ā€˜very impressiveā€™; he is ā€˜a real pleasure to work withā€™. The team is advising Fontem Ventures on its trade mark and design portfolio and is handling a large number of disputes, including trade mark opposition and enforcement matters. David Stone joined Allen & Overy LLP in November 2016.

Wiggin LLP is known for its high-tech copyright and media sector expertise. Practice head Simon Baggs is ā€˜a real starā€™; according to one client, he is ā€˜the outstanding solicitor in the field of ISP liabilityā€™. Baggs and Rachel Alexander represented Richemont in an appeal before the Court of Appeal brought by five major ISPs, challenging two granted website blocking orders. Practice head Gurminder Panesar continues to advise Perform Group on trade mark portfolio management and proceedings at the UKIPO and EUIPO, and is advising Hiscox Group on its worldwide trade mark portfolio. Other clients include BBC Worldwide, UCAS, Imaginarium Studios and Playtech.

Addleshaw Goddardā€™s team includes Paul Bentham in Manchester and London-based Emma Armitage, who focus on non-contentious and contentious trade mark matters, respectively. The team has notable retail and consumer sector expertise, and is particularly experienced at handling brand and design disputes. It advises a large number of household names on trade mark searches, filing and prosecution of applications, and third party trade mark disputes, trade mark renewals and brand audits. Primark, Harrods, Associated British Foods and Liverpool Football Club are all clients. Highlights included advising an independent school on an agreement to license its name, trade mark, uniforms and operating procedures to set up a franchise school in the Middle East. The Manchester-based James Whittaker is also recommended.

Bond Dickinson LLPā€™s brand management group ā€˜blends a number of practitioners with different skillsetsā€™ and is ā€˜very client-focused, with a strong understanding of both the what and the why of what it is asked to reviewā€™. Consultant Nicky Strong ā€˜seeks a sensible balance between the commercial goals and the regulation, and is genuinely collaborative in her approachā€™. Strong continues to advise Post Office on all advertising and marketing materials across its entire product portfolio, and recently assisted with its telecoms comparative advertising campaigns. She is also representing Colgate Palmolive on multiple competitor disputes in relation to advertising claims. On the trade mark side, a team led by Patrick Cantrill advised Middlesbrough Football Club on clearance searches, as well as the filing and management of its trade mark portfolio. Clients also single out trade mark attorney Rachel Hearson, who is praised for her ā€˜good communications and pragmatic approachā€™.

Brabners LLP is ā€˜happy to go the extra mile when needed and has a very realistic, pragmatic and solutions-focused approach taking into account relevant commercial and industry specific knowledge and expertiseā€™. Nik White is rated for providing ā€˜a consistent high level of service in keeping with his own efficient, effective and client-focused approach to legal serviceā€™. The team advises a number of sporting entities on brand protection and enforcement issues, and in 2016 assisted the Wayne Rooney Foundation with its agreements with Manchester United and Everton. Other highlights included acting on a series of broadcasting and sponsorship agreements, and assisting a number of domestic and international clients with domain name disputes. Colin Bell counts Groupon, Ideal Industries and Celimmune as his clients, which he assists on trade mark filing and opposition matters.

Charles Russell Speechlys LLP fields a ā€˜well-oiled, highly professional legal teamā€™ led by Mary Bagnall, who impresses with her ā€˜unfailing efficiency, professional knowledge, sensible advice, and calm and courteous attitudeā€™, and Ian Wood. Trade mark attorney Kate Oā€™Rourke is also recommended. Bagnallā€™s recent instructions include representing Cadbury in validity proceedings on appeal from the UKIPO relating to its trade mark of the colour purple, and assisting Drake Star Partners with brand clearance searching and trade mark protection. Oā€™Rouke represented Actis in an ongoing dispute with the owner of a Chinese character mark involving cancellation and invalidation proceedings to enable Actis to secure trade mark registration and its ability to use the mark in China. Dogs Trust, Wagamama, Gulf Air and Paddy Power are also key clients.

Andrew Terry at Eversheds Sutherland (International) LLP advises The Coca-Cola Company on a broad range of advertising and promotional campaigns across its entire product range, as well as assisting with sponsorship and IP protection and exploitation in relation to major sporting events. He is also acting for Avon Cosmetics in a High Court trade mark and comparative advertising dispute with Clarins. Other highlights included advising a social media company on advertising and technical agreements relating to the launch of its platform in the UK and other jurisdictions, and representing a luxury fashion brand in a pan-EU brand protection and anti-counterfeiting programme. The team also includes dual-qualified solicitor and trade mark attorney Kate Ellis and IP litigator Adrian Toutoungi.

Herbert Smith Freehills LLPā€™s Joel Smith handles contentious and non-contentious work for clients spanning the consumer, retail, media technology and energy sectors. In 2016, Smith advised Love Productions on trade mark infringement and passing-off issues relating to the company's rights to the mark Great British Bake Off, and acted for Sky in IPEC copyright infringement proceedings against publicans broadcasting Sky football games through the use of domestic viewing cards. The team also advises on comparative advertising issues involving complaints of trade mark infringement before the High Court or complaints to the ASA, and on online behavioural advertising.

K&L Gates LLP is singled out for its ā€˜well-reasoned and comprehensive adviceā€™. The team is particularly strong in handling cross-border brand and technology licensing transactions, trade mark protection and enforcement actions. Practice head Arthur Artinian (ā€˜a top-quality adviser with great business awarenessā€™) he advised Belkin International on global IP management and enforcement actions covering a portfolio of more than 2000 trade marks and designs, and represented TripAdvisor on a dispute relating to its logo together with a number of trade mark infringement and opposition actions against third parties. It also acts for a number of fashion and luxury goods sector clients on design infringement claims and counterfeiting issues. Sports lawyer Warren Phelops is recommended for sponsorship, licensing, media and endorsement matters.

Lee & Thompson LLP has ā€˜a thorough understanding of the issues surrounding brand protection, not only on the protection side, but also on the policing and enforcement sideā€™. The team has ā€˜broad yet in-depth knowledge and experience of all aspects of brand management, providing clear, accurate and client-specific adviceā€™. Gordon Williams is recommended, as is Mark Stafford; both are ā€˜very capable lawyers, providing no-nonsense and high-quality advice that is straightforward, accurate and easy to understandā€™. Dominic Bray, who focuses on advertising and marketing matters, is also recommended. In 2016, the team assisted marketing agency group Engine Group with major campaigns clearance issues, and advised on a number of endorsement and sponsorship mandates. Julian Ward joined from Hamlins LLP in May 2017.

IP boutique firm Redd Solicitors LLP manages trade mark and designs portfolios of household fashion brands, as well as FMCG, technology and pharmaceutical companies. Simon Chalkley focuses on commercial IP transactions, while the highly regarded Anna Carboni and Sara Ashby specialise in IP litigation. In 2016, the team advised Microsoft on trade mark matters relating to Skype; assisted a fashion designer with the management of its worldwide trade mark portfolio and rebranding of the label; and advised Ceviche on brand clearance, protection and strategy for the restaurant brands, as well as on enforcement against third parties. *Following publication of the 2017 edition, the firm merged with Wiggin LLP.

Media law boutique Sheridans advises on the protection and exploitation of IP rights, including trade mark, copyright, moral rights and sui generis database rights. Its client list features advertising agencies, production companies, industry bodies and celebrities. Recent highlights include advising a video game developer and publisher on its response to the ASA regarding the alleged misleading advertising of the game prior to its release. Tahir Basheer, Alex Chapman, Peter McInerney, Jeremy Roberts are the main contacts.

At Swan Turton LLP, advertising and marketing specialist Charles Swan advises J Walter Thompson London on advertising issues and ASA complaints; assisted The Hershey Company on its UK advertising and marketing strategy; and advised a US-based fashion and lifestyle media company on advertising and marketing. Stuart Barry specialises in media and music rights, with a particular focus on digital formats.

Wedlake Bell LLPā€™s ā€˜commercially-mindedā€™ team is ā€˜particularly good with clients and always gives advice with an eye to the end goalā€™. The team advises a range of well-known brand owners including fashion brands, sports and charitable bodies, as well as multinational retailers. Adrian Heath-Saunders recently advised Surrey County Cricket Club on the variation to and extension of a naming rights sponsorship agreement relating to the Kia Oval; Michael Gardner is representing Lacoste in an opposition proceeding to a trade mark application made by Chanel. Other highlights for the team included advising Independent Sports Media on digital marketing and sponsorship arrangements in relation to the Hyper Tygers digital comic book and video game sports series. The ā€˜very thorough and responsiveā€™ Jonathan Cornthwaite is also recommended.

The team at Clintons is led by the highly recommended Philip Stinson and includes Stephen Joelson who, in 2016, assisted Calibre Brands with a range of advertising and marketing matters, including labelling, use of promotional material and trade marks; and Tom Frederikse, who advised a major online retailer on its online influencer campaigns. The group also has notable experience assisting advertising groups in their negotiations with clients and acting for agencies in respect of agreements with celebrities.

Collyer Bristow LLP has a substantial presence in the sport sector, and recently advised on a number of sizeable cross-border sponsorship deals. Other representative clients include Aldo, Mercury Music Prize, Sanrio and Vitol. Patrick Wheeler and Charles Braithwaite are the names to note for contentious and commercial matters, respectively.

DWF is known for advising on comparative advertising in the retail and consumer goods space. Dominic Watkins and Hilary Ross are the key contacts; their clients include Lidl, Marks and Spencer, Adidas and Haribo.

Fox Williams LLP primarily focuses on fashion and technology sector clients, which the group advises on a broad range of IP matters; it also specialises in patent protection, designs, copyright and trade mark issues arising from the fintech sector. The ā€˜knowledgeable and responsiveā€™ Simon Bennett and trade mark attorney Sarah Redmond are assisting SuperGroup with its trade mark filing strategy and EU and UK opposition proceedings and settlements. Other clients include Space Ape Games, DKH Retail and Glanbia Performance Nutrition.

Gordon Dadds LLP is singled out for its ā€˜comprehensive and clearly formulated advice and responsivenessā€™. The team is now led by trade mark specialist Matthew Hiscox following the departure of Jim Dennis to Simkins LLP in January 2017. The team is advising Usborne Publishing on passing-off, copyright, trade mark and domain name issues, and is assisting a number of clients including Rude Health, Sportpesa and The Mole Clinic with their worldwide trade mark portfolios.

Hamlins LLPā€™s team has particular expertise in protecting and exploiting IP rights within the music, entertainment and media sectors, including copyright and design rights, passing-off, licensing and anti-counterfeiting. Representative clients include PRS for Music, Phonographic Performance Limited (PPL) and Bravado International Group.

Keystone Law further strengthened its brand management offering with the hire of Lucy Blick-Jones from BBC Worldwide, Sarah Needham from DC Thomson, Suzy Schmitz from Kemp Little LLP, and Vanessa Barnett from Charles Russell Speechlys LLP. Recent highlights saw Anthony Misquitta advising Guthy-Renker UK on IP and advertising law issues; Ian Down advising a fast food chain on a broad range of advertising, promotions and campaigns; and Schmitz assisting a consumer goods company with comparative advertising and third party trade mark issues.

At Penningtons Manches LLP, Anna Frankum manages Levi Rootsā€™ international trade mark portfolio and in 2016, advised on defending an opposition in Canada. She also assisted CHT R. Beitlich on filing oppositions against trade marks filed at the UKIPO and EUIPO by a Chinese competitor. IP litigator Alex Fox is also a key contact.

Simkins LLP enhanced its IP litigation capability when it recruited Jim Dennis from Gordon Dadds LLP in January 2017. Since joining the firm, Dennis acted for Frank Recruitment Group in a trade mark dispute with Pearson, and is acting for KPMG and Mechatronics on a number of trade mark oppositions. Caroline Copeland and Nick Eziefula are ā€˜excellent commercial lawyers and great team playersā€™; their recent highlights include advising a large advertising and marketing agency on a series of master service agreements with a number of blue-chip companies.

Simons Muirhead & Burtonā€™s client roster features a number of well-known luxury and high street retailers. The ā€˜super-experienced and extremely knowledgeableā€™ Maninder Gill recently assisted Rubis International on its global trade mark and branding strategy, and assisted a retail company with advertising issues including pre-advertising clearance and compliance. Gill is ā€˜particularly astute in relation to copyright infringement litigation, having a very commercial perspective and mindful of the wider reputational aspectsā€™. Associates Anne Rogers and Caroline Subedi are also recommended.

TLT advises high tech start-ups and international brand owners on the full range of trade mark issues and domain name registrations. James Touzel and Nick Fenner are recommended. Touzel recently advised a financial services company on advertising issues relating to its social media campaign.


Index of tables

  1. Fintech
  2. Leading individuals

Who Represents Who

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Drawing from a deep pool of financial services regulatory experts, the team at Hogan Lovells International LLP acts for start-ups from a wide range of fintech areas, including insurtech, robo-advice, payments, blockchain and peer-to-peer lending. Rachel Kent, who heads the group, assisted fintech industry body Innovate Finance with the development of its "regulatory accelerator" tool; the initiative has the aim of assisting fintech companies with securing FCA authorisation and reducing the barriers to their entry to market. Retail and commercial banking regulatory expert Jonathan Chertkow advised digital mortgage broker Habito on strategic, commercial and regulatory matters, including its successful application for FCA authorisation. Emily Reid, who specialises in fintech, acted for peer-to-peer platforms Landbay and Zopa on product design, customer documentation and regulatory compliance. Roger Tym acted for the operator of a cryptocurrency dependent on blockchain infrastructure on the currencyā€™s development and application. Fintech specialist John Salmon, who is particularly active in advising financial institutions on technology and digital projects, joined from Pinsent Masons LLP in August 2016. He advised Open Banking ā€“ the entity set up as a result of the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA)ā€™s order to create open APIs in the UK retail banking industry ā€“ on various strategic, regulatory and contractual matters. PayPal and Paysafe are additional fintech clients.

Technology boutique Kemp Little LLP began advising financial institutions on regulatory matters in earnest in 2014. Its fintech practice counts payments, cryptocurrencies, data, regtech and trading platforms as strengths; it is also active in biometrics and acts for high-profile banks and technology companies ranging from start-ups to established global payments providers. Senior associate and fintech specialist Sophie van Wingerden is dual qualified in the UK and the US; she acted alongside technology and outsourcing expert Andrew Joint for WorldRemit on regulatory and compliance matters. On the corporate and investment side, M&A expert Andy Moseby acted for digital banking platform Monese on its $10m Series A fundraising, and acted alongside fintech practice head Chris Hill for paperless payments start-up Flux Systems on fundraising and its participation in the Techstars accelerator programme. In the e-wallets sector, Hill assisted Momentum International with SkiPass+, an app that allows customers to buy passes for numerous ski resorts using a card that doubles as a multi-currency payments card; specifically, Hill advised it on cross-border agreements with multiple parties, including payment providers, foreign exchange providers and the app developers themselves, and on revenue-sharing agreements with ski resorts. Other clients include Credit Benchmark, SmartCharts and AxeTrading. Financial regulatory expert Ralph Lovesy counts financial institutions and fintech start-ups among his client roster.

Linklaters LLP fields a sophisticated financial regulatory practice and an excellent technology group; accordingly, its fintech practice benefits from impressive strength-in-depth. Blockchain, payments work and data matters for exchanges have been keeping the team particularly busy: financial regulatory expert Harry Eddis and structured securities and derivatives specialist Paul Lewis acted for Clearmatics Technology Solutions and UBS, the leader of a bank consortium, on the development of a mechanism to access central bank reserves and transfer funds using a blockchain-supported Utility Settlement Coin (USC). This involved both regulatory advice and assistance with the commercial agreements governing the design and build of the blockchain platform. More generally in the regulatory space, the team advises financial institutions on the implications of Payment Services Directive II and MiFID II, and how to most advantageously work with technology companies around these regulations. On the corporate side, Savi Hebbur and Hugo Stolkin advised Emerging Markets Investment Fund 1A on its ā‚¬326m sale of Indian fintech company Hermes I-Tickets Private to Wirecard Sales International. Banking and technology expert Julian Cunningham-Day, who has experience in advising banks on digitisation and financial data, heads the firmā€™s global fintech practice jointly with Eddis and Lewis.

Simmons & Simmons fields a ā€˜very knowledgeableā€™ department that is ā€˜amazing on all frontsā€™; it provides ā€˜great partner serviceā€™, is ā€˜available 24/7ā€™ and ā€˜genuinely adds valueā€™. Since the firm counts financial institutions, asset management, investment funds and technology as key sector focuses, the strength of its fintech practice is unsurprising. It handles significant work for noteworthy clients in all fintechā€™s major areas: peer-to-peer lending, robo-advice, payments, crowdfunding, regtech, digital currencies and blockchain. The group also handles a wide range of other fintech-related matters, including securitisation, investment, technological development, regulatory advice, commercial contracts and data protection. The ā€˜incredibleā€™ Angus McLean is a ā€˜key member of the fintech communityā€™; he is noted for his ā€˜remarkable commitment to the fintech sceneā€™ and demonstrates ā€˜a passion that can move mountainsā€™. He was instructed by the government-owned British Business Bank, a development bank created to assist struggling SMEs, on assessing the suitability of certain finance platforms. Banking and finance partners Michael Lorraine and James Bresslaw advised Funding Circle on a Ā£129m Deutsche Bank-arranged securitisation backed by loans originated through its online lending platform. The departmentā€™s other clients include MarketInvoice, Worldpay, Osper, Suade, Hargreaves Lansdown and, on the investment side, Augmentum Capital. ā€˜Commercial, responsiveā€™ financial services regulatory partner Penny Miller ā€˜really knows her stuffā€™. TMT-focused managing associate George Morris has ā€˜excellent outsourcing capabilitiesā€™, and ā€˜reliable, practical and very commercialā€™ banking expert Alistair Hill ā€˜gets things done promptlyā€™. Bristol-based financial services regulatory partner Mahrie Webb is also recommended.

The ā€˜really supportive, knowledgeableā€™ team at Slaughter and May provides ā€˜superb serviceā€™ with ā€˜very quick response timesā€™, and is ā€˜willing and able to involve lawyers from other practice areas to address matters holisticallyā€™. Particular areas of activity are blockchain, payments and data analytics; the team also has experience advising on "deep learning" artificial intelligence technology. Its clients include major banks, well-established fintech companies and start-ups. Ben Kingsley has a ā€˜huge depth of experience in financial services mattersā€™ and is a ā€˜very safe pair of handsā€™; he jointly heads the department with technology, outsourcing and data expert Rob Sumroy. Kingsley advised Euroclear on the potential implementation of blockchain technology in the settlement and clearing industry, including Euroclearā€™s avoidance of disintermediation by the new technology. The team also acts for fintech start-ups: Kingsley and Sumroy advised DPactum on its partnership with several major London-based financial institutions to develop a blockchain-dependent derivatives clearing and collateral management platform. This involved advice on investment, technology licences, IP and contracts. Enforcd instructed Kingsley, Sumroy and ā€˜unflappable, straightforward and humorousā€™ corporate partner Sally Wokes on its corporate capital and management structure, the protection of its fintech IP, and agreements with customers. The team also handles complex corporate work: Kingsley, Sumroy and data protection and privacy specialist Rebecca Cousin advised VocaLink on its divestment of the LINK Scheme ā€“ the network that connects the UKā€™s cash machines ā€“ and the renegotiation of its processing contract with the LINK Scheme. Other clients include Stripe, Standard Chartered, Tide and, in the insurtech space, Open GI.

The ā€˜strong team of lawyersā€™ at Bird & Bird LLP, a firm well known for its technology expertise, provides ā€˜commercial, pragmaticā€™ advice, particularly to established financial institutions and challenger banks. Commercial partner Christian Bartsch jointly heads the group with Trystan Tether, who has strong experience in e-banking, electronic cash and payment mechanisms. Technology and EU procurement specialist Roger Bickerstaff is also prominent in the space. On the regulatory side, the team advises authorised institutions with their regulatory obligations in relation to new fintech products, and assists nascent financial institutions with obtaining Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) authorisation. It also acts for financial service providers on negotiating contracts with commercial partners that support the provision of fintech services. Financial services clients include Wirecard and Fidelity. On the corporate side, the practice acts for investors and investees; clients have included Smedvig Capital and Crowdcube. Payment and crowdfunding platforms also feature prominently among the firmā€™s client roster, as do financial institutions in need of cybersecurity assistance. Privacy and data protection expert Guadalupe Sampedro joined in January 2017 from in-house at PayPal in Luxembourg; she is primarily based in London, but also handles work out of the Madrid office. Jonathan Emmanuel and Ali Ramadan made partner in May 2016; Emmanuel is a commercial partner with significant expertise in outsourcing and IT contracts, while Ramadan is a corporate expert with cross-border experience and a focus on digital business. Commercial partners Graeme Maguire, Ian Edwards and Simon Shooter are also recommended, especially for their outsourcing capabilities.

IT and outsourcing expert Anthony Day heads DLA Piperā€™s practice jointly with structured finance and capital markets specialist Martin Bartlam. In addition to its work for financial institutions and funds looking to invest in fintech companies, the team handles technology implementation and outsourcing for established financial players, also advising these clients on compliance and regulatory matters. Day acted for Lloyds Banking Group on its Ā£100m digital transformation project with McKinsey and Sapient Nitro, involving the wholesale redesign of its online offerings to customers, and the development of online products and apps to enhance customer experience. In an illustration of its work for fintech companies, Bartlam assisted Luther Systems with ongoing financing for its capital requirements. He also acted for Finnish financial services provider Euroloan Group on the ā‚¬60m financing of its fintech consumer finance business, based on receivables sourced through its cloud-based consumer lending engine. On the regulatory side, Bartlam advised Future Finance Loan, which uses loan origination technology to help students obtain loans, on various regulatory matters, including whether or not the company could use receivables originated on the platform as security for its funding model. On the corporate and investment side, Luca Gori advised Aviva Ventures on its financial services partnership with digital accelerator Founders Factory. Other clients instructing the practice on in-depth fintech work include RBS and AinFin.

Herbert Smith Freehills LLPā€™s practice is noted for its strength in depth and its broad range of expertise. As well as its prominent M&A, private equity and large-scale IT outsourcing workload, the team assists fintech start-ups and challenger banks with navigating fundraising, growth and regulations. Crowdfunding, peer-to-peer lending, financial data and payments are particular areas of expertise. The ā€˜excellent, reliableā€™ Alex Kay, who is a financial institutions M&A expert, is ā€˜great to deal withā€™; he heads the group jointly with TMT M&A specialist Nicholas Moore and Nick Pantlin, a technology and outsourcing expert with a fintech sector focus. Pantlin, financial services regulatory specialist Andrew Procter and corporate partners Greg Mulley and Caroline Rae acted for ClearBank on its establishment, on regulatory matters and on the drafting of commercial agreements with parties including financial institutions; ClearBank is the UKā€™s first clearing bank in over two and a half centuries. Pantlin also advised TSB Bank and Banco de Sabadell on TSBā€™s migration from its existing IT services platform to the one provided by Sabadellā€™s in-house IT services company Sabadell Information Systems. IP and cybersecurity expert Andrew Moir acted for Cyber Defence Alliance, a joint venture between several high-profile international banks, on numerous issues, including IP, data protection, competition and governance. The practice was joined by of counsel Aaron White, who specialises in corporate technology and telecoms transactions, from Ashurst in March 2017. TMT and outsourcing expert David Coulling was promoted to partner in May 2017.

Mayer Brown International LLPā€™s practice is noted for its experience acting for fintech start-ups, investors in fintech and high-profile financial institutions such as HSBC. Blockchain, insurtech, cryptocurrencies, e-wallets and assisting banks with their cloud migration projects are particular strengths. IP specialist and group head Mark Prinsley is strong in IT projects and outsourcing; he advised one bank on the renegotiation of Ā£25m-worth of its worldwide arrangements with a major software and cloud provider, and acted for a large European bank on its software licensing and support arrangement with a financial software provider. In the insurtech space, Prinsley advised AllLife on its collaboration with a UK insurance company to deliver a technological insurance product for diabetics. Asset-based lending expert Alex Dell advised a fintech start-up on its development of an invoice finance platform. He also acted for a major European investment manager on its joint venture with a fintech company to create an online platform for providing businesses with short-term working capital. IP and IT expert Oliver Yaros, who made partner in January 2017, is strong in IT outsourcing and systems procurement, e-commerce, data protection and data privacy. Regulatory partner Guy Wilkes, who joined in April 2016 from in-house at the FCA, is recommended for contentious matters.

Norton Rose Fulbrightā€™s ā€˜detail-orientedā€™ department attracts praise for its ā€˜very quick feedback and rapid turnaroundsā€™, and benefits from the firmā€™s strong cross-border capabilities. Although it is active in a wide range of fintech areas ā€“ including peer-to-peer lending, robo-advice and financial services outsourcing ā€“ it is particularly singled out for its expertise in distributed ledgers, including blockchain. In keeping with the firmā€™s longstanding expertise in insurance, insurtech is also an area of notable activity. Clients range from emergent and well-established fintech players to high-profile banks and insurers. The practice is headed jointly by corporate partner Sean Murphy and fintech regulatory experts Imogen Garner and Hannah Meakin. Victoria Birch, who has recently promoted to the partnership, is noted for her experience in smart contracts and distributed ledger technology. Fintech procurement expert James Russell and ā€˜highly experiencedā€™ structured finance specialist David Shearer are also recommended. Private equity and venture capital expert David Marshall joined from RPC in October 2016.

Payments and IT outsourcing are the fintech areas Osborne Clarke LLPā€™s ā€˜well-resourcedā€™ practice is best known for, though peer-to-peer lending and cloud services are also areas of experience. The ā€˜experienced, creativeā€™ team is commended for its ā€˜deep industry knowledgeā€™. Payments and consumer finance specialist Kate Johnson acted for Wirecard on its launch of Supercard, a pre-paid card whereby domestic bank accounts are loaded onto the Supercard app enabling the app to be used for all foreign transactions. Wirecard also instructed Johnson on the transfer of its merchant acquiring business from Germany to the UK. On the corporate side, Johnson advised iZettle on its acquisition of intelligentpos. Johnson also acted alongside Bristol-based corporate partner Mark Wesker for digital banking service provider Advanced Payment Solutions on obtaining a settlement account with the Bank of England, with a bond issuance and with obtaining Ā£20m-worth of loans from Shawbrook Bank. Other clients include Tech Mahindra Fintech Holdings, J.P. Morgan, Terra Payments Services and, in the insurtech space, Admiral Group. The ā€˜adaptable and considerably knowledgeableā€™ Paul Anning is an expert in payments; commercial and outsourcing specialist Mark Taylor is also recommended. The team was joined in Bristol by commercial partner Will Robertson, an expert in technology and privacy, from Bond Dickinson LLP in May 2016; and in London by financial regulatory specialist Nikki Worden from Addleshaw Goddard in June 2017.

Counting several major UK clearing banks among its client roster, Addleshaw Goddardā€™s practice is particularly strong in payments-related fintech work. As well as assisting these banks with implementing new technological payments systems, the team provides them with strategic advice, including procurement and contractual matters; it is commended for its ā€˜high-quality drafting skillsā€™. ā€˜Experienced, very well-informedā€™ corporate and commercial partner William James, who heads the firmā€™s payments practice and ā€˜keeps level-headed in high-pressure situationsā€™, acted for one high street bank on a multi-jurisdictional peer-to-peer payments matter. Nationwide Building Society is another financial institutions client. Fintech start-ups also comprise much of the departmentā€™s client list: regulatory expert Amanda Hulme advised one on launching its account information services in the UK. Hulme also assisted Bill Hub, a technology platform that intermediates between shared householders and utility providers, with structuring its business model, including the use of a third-party payments service provider. Other fintech clients include Swiss mobile banking company Centralway Numbrs. Practice head Fiona Ghosh, who has been instrumental in bringing such payment solutions as ApplePay and Android Pay to market, acted for Card Processing Advisory Services on the procurement aspects of its provision of fintech services to county councils and local authorities. The team also handles corporate work: James advised GVC Holdings on the Ā£29m sale of its payments business Kalixa Group to Senjo Group, and Nathan Pearce acted for Pollen Street Capital on its acquisition, through subsidiary company Cashflows, of online payment solutions provider iCheque Network. In January 2017, financial regulatory expert and legal director Richard Evetts joined from in-house at American Express.

CMSā€™s practice, which already had excellent financial regulatory capabilities, was strengthened by its absorption of Olswang LLPā€™s ā€˜brilliantā€™ team of technology and finance experts, in which ā€˜innovativeā€™ TMT finance specialist Charles Kerrigan was a key player. Particular areas of expertise for Kerrigan include digital money, payments and blockchain; he has advised both financial institutions and regulators on these matters. Most of the departmentā€™s clients are large-scale financial institutions, though it also acts for a number of fintech start-ups. Technology outsourcing expert Dominic Dryden advised Nationwide on the implementation of a new technology platform involving two technology vendors: Murex and Deloitte. Kerrigan, IP partner Joel Vertes and structured finance expert Ruth Marken acted for Big Innovation Centre, a London hub for up-and-coming entities that include fintech start-ups, on various commercial and IP matters. Marken also advised Telit Communications, an AIM-listed "Internet of Things" player and machine-to-machine wireless technology provider, on obtaining $40m-worth of a total of $75m of cross-border financing with HSBC. ClearScore is another client. For corporate work, M&A expert Louis Glass, who has particular experience in technology, internet and e-commerce transactions, is recommended. Elle Todd is the key contact for data protection matters.

The team at Charles Russell Speechlys LLP is involved in a wide range of fintech areas, including but not limited to blockchain, crowdfunding, robo-investment, peer-to-peer lending and financial data control. Though it is particularly active on the regulatory side, the practice often assists fintech start-ups with commercial and fundraising matters. The ā€˜thoughtful, personable and holisticā€™ William Garner, who heads the department jointly with technology expert Mark Bailey, has ā€˜deep commercial experienceā€™; his longstanding expertise in broking and trading makes him a reliable adviser to technology companies active in these areas. SETL Development, which uses blockchain for payments and for clearing and settling financial transactions, instructed Garner on all its legal matters, including regulatory advice and its application to use the FCAā€™s regulatory sandbox. Garner is also increasingly active in advising clients on Initial Coin Offerings (ICOs), a form of private fundraising by entities using token issuances. Financial services regulatory expert Kate Troup, who is noted for her experience in banking and investment management, acted for OneRagtime Platform on establishing a crowdfunding investment platform that would allow angel investors to invest in technology start-ups. Troup also advised a high-profile European bank on its robo-investment advice platform for UK clients. Bailey assisted SourceCards, a payments system for the socially disadvantaged, with assorted regulatory advice. Duco and Conferma are additional clients on the regulatory and commercial side.

Cooley (UK) LLPā€™s practice benefits from the firmā€™s excellent technology capabilities. Its clients mostly comprise fintech companies and investors, particularly on the venture capital side; the team also has experience advising financial institutions on outsourcing and technology procurement. Practice head Chris Coulter is a technology and IP partner with significant commercial expertise in fintech; along with managing partner and corporate expert Justin Stock, Coulter acted for Receipt Bank on its Ā£7m Series A financing by Kennet Partners IV. Investor clients include Omidyar Network, which instructed technology M&A specialist and senior associate Aaron Archer on a Ā£10m Series B investment in Tandem Bank; and Allianz Digital Corporate Ventures, which instructed Archer on a $7m Series B investment in digital wealth-management platform MoneyFarm and a Ā£500,000 Series A investment in QuanTemplate Technologies. Coulter also assisted the National Farmers Union Mutual Insurance Society with various outsourcing, licensing and technology procurement contracts, and advised the same client on its cyber-risk programme. Other clients include MoneyFarm, ShieldPay and Mastercard. M&A expert David Bresnick and financing specialist John Clark are recommended for their technology focus; Mark Deem is recommended for commercial litigation and arbitration in the sector.

Eversheds Sutherland (International) LLPā€™s ā€˜deeply experienced, flexibleā€™ department provides ā€˜first-class adviceā€™, ā€˜always on time and on budgetā€™. Commended for its ā€˜industry expertiseā€™, it has a strong line in acting for fintech start-ups on regulatory and commercial matters, though it also advises high-profile financial institutions on fintech-related matters. Practice head Matthew Gough, who counts as a longstanding client, is based in Cardiff; he leads a team that includes London-based individuals Andrew Henderson, a financial services regulatory expert, and funds specialist Ronald Paterson, who advised Nivaura, the developer of a platform that uses automation and blockchain for the issuance and management of private placement securities, on its regulatory authorisation and entry into the FCA sandbox. Along with financial services expert Julian Brown, Henderson and Paterson acted for WealthKernel, a robo-advice company, on its application for FCA authorisation, and advised it on its regulatory obligations and commercial strategy. On the bank side, banking and finance partner Jonathan Master assisted HSBC with its trial in the FCA sandbox of a fintech app that uses scraps of customersā€™ account information to hone automated money-saving algorithms. The department also handles investment in fintech: M&A expert Paul Pugh advised Castle Trust on its Ā£26m acquisition of Omni Capital Retail Finance, and acted for Finance Wales on its investment in fintech player Vizolution.

The team at Fieldfisher, which benefits from the firmā€™s technology sector focus, has experience in a range of fintech areas; peer-to-peer platforms, crowdfunding, blockchain and payments have been areas of particular activity in the last several years. The team, which is praised by clients for its ā€˜innovative solutions, very fast response times, personable serviceā€™ and bench strength, has expanded significantly in the last couple of years: recent hires include director Marsili Hale, a specialist in loan origination, securitisation and alternative finance, who joined from LCN Legal in October 2016; technology and outsourcing expert James Walsh, who arrived from King & Wood Mallesons in January 2017; and financial services specialist Stephen Moller, who joined in June 2017 from K&L Gates LLP. Hale and structured finance expert Alex Campbell acted for UK Bond Network on corporate bond issuances executed through its online auction process. Simon Briskman advised Deutsche Bank on its use of a software platform to calculate bankersā€™ bonuses across the bankā€™s retail network, and on its in-house implementation of SmartStreamā€™s fintech solutions. On the corporate side, David Wilkinson and Tim Bird acted for Currencies Direct on the corporate and regulatory aspects of the Ā£200m sale of its foreign exchange payments business to Palamon Capital Partners and Corsair Capital. The practice also handles contentious work: litigator Tony Lewis defended Paysafe Group against claims brought by an affiliate regarding unpaid commissions due on digital wallet payments.

Particularly strong on the regulatory side, Maclay Murray & Spens LLPā€™s department also handles joint ventures, outsourcing and other commercial arrangements. Although it handles crowdfunding and peer-to-peer work, its core strength is in payments; many of its clients are payments institutions and e-money issuers. Corporate and financial regulatory expert Guy Norfolk heads the team jointly with financial services director Ian Benson; Benson advised consumer credit app PayItSimple (now called Splitit) on various strategic and regulatory matters. He also acted for challenger bank Private & Commercial Finance Group on regulatory and commercial matters, including drafting its payment and savings account terms and conditions for customers. In the virtual cloud sector, Benson assisted Currency Cloud with preparing and negotiating various distribution, partnership and white-label agreements with high-profile banks and financial institutions. Arex European Clearing, which helps buyers and sellers with assuring the settlement of cash payments between them, instructed Benson on various regulatory matters, especially with regard to payment services and safeguarding and administering investments. Other clients of the practice include Euronet and FreeAgent Holdings.

Paul Hastings LLPā€™s ā€˜excellentā€™, ā€˜refreshingly commercialā€™ department has a very strong line in advising high-profile technology companies on the financial endeavours in which they are increasingly involved. This is usually regulatory advice, though it often has commercial and contractual aspects, and tends to be payments-related. ā€˜Amazingly skilfulā€™ financial services expert Ben Regnard-Weinrabe (who is ā€˜very knowledgeableā€™) is especially experienced in payments; recent highlights include advising Facebook on its plans to roll out various financial services across Europe. He also assists financial institutions, including Lloyds Banking Group, with technology matters, and acts for fintech companies including Paysafe Group, Hyperwallet and Moneygram. Regnard-Weinrabe and senior associate Nikki Johnstone advised UK-based bitcoin exchange Coinfloor on regulatory matters and on the launch of several fintech products. Other highlights for the team included acting for for Edenred and PrePay Solutions, providers of retail gift cards and pan-Europe e-money programmes, on regulatory matters and on joint venture arrangements with a US fintech company with a view to launching payments processing services in Europe. Payments expert Ronan Oā€™Sullivan is also recommended. Ashley Winton joined McDermott Will & Emery UK LLP.

Pinsent Masons LLPā€™s practice benefits from the firmā€™s strong technology practice, and accordingly advises several high-profile technology companies on financial matters. It also has excellent bank-side capabilities, advising several major financial institutions on their technological products, payments services and IT outsourcing as well as on regulatory issues. Group head Yvonne Dunn, who is a fintech specialist, advised Otonomos (UK), which uses distributed ledger technology to simplify corporate governance, on its successful application to the FCA sandbox. She also assisted digital voucher network i-Movo with various regulatory matters regarding a proposed cryptocurrency payments system. In the lender space, technology expert Angus McFadyen, who specialises in data assets and emerging technology, acted for ING Bank on the development of its consumer money management app, Yolt. Dunn advised Tesco Bank on the development of its digital wallet project, and on an associated joint venture with MasterCard. She also acted for Allied Irish Banks on the procurement of new software for its business banking platform from Dutch software supplier Backbase. TMT M&A expert Andrew McMillan joined from Simmons & Simmons in May 2016. Legal director Luke Scanlon is also active in the space.

Commended for its ā€˜personalised serviceā€™ and ā€˜sensible, commercial adviceā€™, the ā€˜partner-ledā€™ practice at Travers Smith LLP ā€˜knows the payments area inside-out, including regulatory standardsā€™. Other areas of fintech experience include insurtech, e-commerce, blockchain and technology outsourcing. Louisa Chambers, who made partner in July 2016, specialises in IT and data protection; along with consultant Alistair Wilson, she advised the Association of British Insurers on prototype software, being developed by 17 insurers including Aon and Aviva, to enable savers to see all their pension savings in one online place. This involved agreements with each insurer regarding their contribution, as well as the design, build and implementation of the prototype system by six fintech companies. ā€˜Excellentā€™ IP and technology senior associate James Longster advised CaffĆØ Nero on its development of a new e-wallet app in conjunction with Yoyo Wallet. Corporate finance expert Richard Spedding and private equity specialist Lucie Cawood acted for Ebury Partners, a fintech start-up that works with small businesses that have international trade networks, on an $83m investment by Vitruvian Partners. The team also acts on the other side of investments: private equity partner Paul Dolman assisted TA Associates with its purchase of a 33% stake in Czech payments start-up W.A.G. payment solutions. New client Brooks Macdonald instructed IT expert and fintech group head Dan Reavill on an agreement with JHC, an outsourced provider of cloud-based fintech services, for Brooks Macdonaldā€™s front and back office systems. Payments expert Mark Evans is ā€˜extremely helpfulā€™.

Counting global payments services and high-profile banks among its client roster, the practice at Baker McKenzie assists clients with robotic automation work, outsourcing payments agreements and regulatory and commercial disputes; it also advises on data privacy matters and establishing supply chain finance platforms. Litigator Jonathan Peddie, who is especially active in the financial services regulatory space, represented global payments and foreign exchange service provider AFEX in proceedings brought against Newstar Garments regarding an unpaid debt that arose from a margin call agreement. Google is another client of the practice. Steve Holmes and group head Harry Small are IT experts active in financial services; Holmes has advised a large UK broadcaster on its financial technology transformation programme. Arun Srivastava is a non-contentious regulatory expert in the financial services space.

Bond Dickinson LLPā€™s department acts for high-profile financial institutions, listed challenger banks and retailers offering financial services; it is also active in the insurtech sector. Investment, commercial contracts, outsourcing and regulatory compliance are particular strengths: corporate partner Ben Butler advised Atom Bank, the UKā€™s first mobile app-based bank, on an Ā£85m fundraising, including a Ā£45m investment by Spanish bank BBVA for a 30% stake. Sainsburyā€™s Bank instructed Andrew Barber on the review of its financial promotions and products, and on ongoing financial services regulatory compliance. IP specialist Patrick Cantrill and commercial expert Joanna Riley acted for Ā£500m venture capital fund Cocoon Networks on the launch of its multimillion-pound tech incubator in London. Claire Coleman, who has experience in cloud computing, digital media, data analytics and telematics, heads the team jointly with Bristol-based technology specialist Alastair Mitton; Coleman and Bristol-based corporate partner Tom Fitzpatrick advised Mogo Holdings, developer of the MOGObankconnect app, on its restructuring and capital raise, on its arrangements with Callcredit, and on licensing agreements regarding its appā€™s patented technology. Barber assisted the same client with financial regulatory compliance. The firmā€™s transatlantic capabilities were strengthened by its merger with Womble Carlyle Sandridge & Rice in October 2017.

Burges Salmon LLPā€™s practice attracts praise for its ā€˜good value for moneyā€™. It is active in several fintech areas, especially insurtech, payments and consumer credit, and acts for challenger banks as well as smaller fintech start-ups. The team also assists high-profile clients with fintech matters: insurance expert Kari McCormick and transport specialist Chris Jackson advised AXA on the development of a legal and insurance liability scheme for connected and driverless vehicles. ā€˜Knowledgeableā€™ senior associate Adrian Shedden, who is commended for his ā€˜fast turnarounds and strong sense of perspectiveā€™, heads the group; an asset management regulation expert, he also has experience in consumer credit, payments, crowdfunding and bitcoin. On the regtech side, Snedden advised the Financial Conduct Authority on setting up its Call for Input, a regtech roundtable intended to help shape the development of the regtech sector throughout 2016 and 2017. The team is also acting for R3CEV, which leads a worldwide consortium of financial institutions, on the development of smart contract templates using blockchain. Nationwide and AppDynamics have also featured on the firmā€™s client roster for fintech work. TMT and outsourcing expert Andrew Dunlop, IP specialist Jeremy Dickerson and data protection senior associate Lucy Pegler are also recommended.

Fox Williams LLPā€™s department is ā€˜well versed in market developmentsā€™ and provides ā€˜very good regulatory and commercial adviceā€™ to fintech start-ups. ā€˜Astute, commercialā€™ and ā€˜extremely effectiveā€™ practice head Jonathan Segal is a ā€˜fintech guruā€™ who is ā€˜always a pleasure to work withā€™, and has an ā€˜in-depth understanding of the peer-to-peer lending sectorā€™. He advised Match the Cash, trading as guarantormyloan, on various structuring and regulatory matters, including complying with FCA peer-to-peer and outsourcing regulations. He also acted for Scalable Capital on investment management regulatory advice. The ā€˜pragmaticā€™ Nigel Brahams has ā€˜deep commercial experienceā€™, especially in e-trading and blockchain; he and technology expert Nigel Miller acted for Clearmatics Technologies on its agreement with a consortium of high-profile lenders, including Deutsche Bank, BNY Mellon and Santander, concerning its development of the Utility Settlement Coin (USC), an asset-back digital cash instrument. The team also advises clients on the regulatory implications of corporate transactions, as well as handling corporate transactions directly: Peter Wright advised Balderton Capital on the regulatory aspects of its $7m investment in Revolut, and Segal and Andrew Woolf acted for Cymba Technologies on its sale to Factset. Plexhub and Neyber are additional clients on the regulatory and commercial side.

Best known for its work for venture capital funds, Gowling WLGā€™s practice also acts for fintech start-ups. Private equity specialist Ian Piggin acted for Neyber, a fintech company that operates a consumer lending platform, on its Series A fundraise and on various loan note subscriptions. Director and regulatory expert Penny Sanders advised the same client on the structuring and regulatory aspects of the peer-to-peer platform it operates as a lender of record. She and Birmingham-based corporate partner Baljit Chohan advised Spinhood on the launch of its app of the same name, a platform where users win in-game credits for use in selected restaurants; this also included regulatory advice. Additionally on the regulatory side, senior associate Richard Ellis supported Birmingham-based asset finance expert Greg Standing in advising peer-to-peer platform Lending Works on its operation and the drafting of its template documents. Venture capital and private equity clients include Route 66 Ventures; Crowdcube, Radius Payment Solutions and TransferGo are additional fintech clients. Capital markets expert David Brennan heads the group.

K&L Gates LLPā€™s practice acts for a wide range of clients, including start-ups, established technology companies, financial institutions and investors; payments, crowdfunding and risk analytics are particular areas of activity. The team, which has excellent cross-border capabilities, is especially strong on the regulatory side, where the ā€˜adaptable and considerably knowledgeableā€™ Jacob Ghanty is the name to note; his clients include Wells Fargo. ā€˜Empathetic, strategic and reassuringā€™ corporate finance expert Tom Wallace, who counts financial services and technology as sector focuses, acted for Tax Systems on its Ā£108m reverse takeover of Tax Computer Systems. On the regulatory side, Wallace advised Swedish payment service provider Billhop on its proposed UK bill payment business. He and Ghanty also assisted Drover, an app that puts drivers together with cars they can hire and drive as Uber taxis, with the regulatory aspects of the vehicle hire process. UP Investments, a consolidator platform connecting investors to various crowdfunding marketplaces, instructed Wallace and Ghanty on all its legal issues, including formation, financing, operation and FCA authorisation. Judith Rinearson, who specialises in fintech and has experience in payments, virtual and cryptocurrencies, ACH and cheque processing, joined from Bryan Cave LLP in the summer of 2016; she is based across New York and London, and co-heads the firmā€™s global fintech practice. IP senior associate Andrew Gilchrist is noted for his focus on digital mandates.

The ā€˜highly competentā€™ team at Mills & Reeve LLP provides ā€˜exceptionally good service, making every effort to keep clients abreast of progress, and warning of likely costs well in advanceā€™. Primarily Cambridge-based, the practice is led by senior associate Simon Warburton, who specialises in fintech. Corporate, commercial and investment matters are the teamā€™s calling cards. Corporate finance expert Stephen Hamilton, who is an equity capital markets expert, has numerous well-established fintech clients: he acted for AIM-listed secure payment-products provider Eckoh on its Ā£8m purchase of Klick2Contact EU, and assisted mobile payments company Bango with its $4m acquisition of BilltoMobile. ā€˜Indefatigable, unflappable and very reliableā€™ Norwich-based partner James Hunter is also recommended for corporate matters. IT and data protection expert Peter Wainman advised innovation foundation Nesta on its administration of a bank consortium-supported prize process to encourage the development of a technological solution for SMEs to compare banking products. He also acted for commodity-trading software business Brady on customer contracts and reseller arrangements. The FCA continues to instruct Wainman on IT matters; in 2016 he advised the body on the procurement of a contract to develop and implement a system for processing financial market data. Scorpeo and Crowdsurfer are additional fintech clients. Norwich-based Zak Virginā€™s corporate banking capabilities are ā€˜very goodā€™.

Although its chief strengths are corporate and investment work for investors and business owners, Squire Patton Boggsā€™ department also husbands start-ups through their establishment, development, financing and regulatory compliance, and provides high-profile clients with technological regulatory advice. Corporate expert Robert Bray assisted Citibank with its investment in FX post-trade processing network Cobalt, which is heavily involved in blockchain technology. Corporate partner Paul Lewis advised Broadridge Financial Solutions on its purchase of 4sight Financial Software. Private equity specialist Tim Hewens acted for Jamie Waller, CEO of Hito, on the sale of his stake in the company to Outsourcing Inc. Bray advised Wonga Group on the ā‚¬61m sale of its German business BillPay to Swedish payments company Klarna. The practice also acts for high-profile financial institutions on technological innovations: Bray and Leeds-based financial services regulatory expert Paul Anderson acted for a consortium of banks, including BBVA, Barclays, Santander and SociĆ©tĆ© GĆ©nĆ©rale, on its formation of Neptune Networks, a fixed income pre-trade data information network. This included drafting contracts with third-party IT providers and Neptune Networksā€™ terms of use for customers. Together with competition expert Francesco Liberatore, who joined from Jones Day in August 2016, Anderson advised data portability company TrueLayer, a player in the open banking space, on its establishment and its $1m seed financing, as well as on regulatory matters.

The ā€˜outstandingā€™, ā€˜holisticā€™ team at Browne Jacobson LLP ā€˜exceeds even high expectationsā€™ with its ā€˜clear, sound adviceā€™, ā€˜flexibilityā€™ and ā€˜particularly fast responsesā€™. It is especially active in providing a full service to start-ups that are active across a range of fintech areas, most notably e-payments, insurtech, robo-advice and virtual currencies. ā€˜Fantasticā€™ practice head Declan Cushley lead the team, which advised Monizo, developers of an app that helps freelancers manage their bank accounts, on e-payments regulations, contracting out its payment services, drafting customer-facing documents, handling trade mark infringement and obtaining early-stage funding. He also led assistance to Insure A Thing with its application to use the FCA sandbox and with company formation and investment. Other start-up clients include Telleroo (which provides APIs for bank transfers), Clever Adviser Technology (a robo-advice investment service), Sweatco (the developers of virtual currency Sweatcoin) and Chip In (which uses gamification and peer-to-peer savings targets to help consumers reach their personal savings goals). Financial institution-facing fintech client WiseCrowd, a platform that assists institutions with meeting their risk, compliance and governance obligations, instructed a team led by Cushley on corporate, commercial and regulatory matters. Corporate finance and M&A expert Jon Snade is ā€˜highly recommendedā€™; he joined in March 2017 from Irwin Mitchell, and has a focus on technology and digital business. ā€˜Extremely helpful, understandingā€™ consultant David Henderson is ā€˜a pleasure to work withā€™.

Clifford Chance fields five partners that focus the majority of their time on fintech matters, and can call on a further a further seven partners with expertise in this area. The practice largely acts for high-profile financial institutions, multinational corporations and major start-ups. It has experience in a range of fintech areas, especially blockchain and payments, and is most active in handling corporate, finance, competition and IP work in the fintech sector. Jonathan Kewley, who made partner in May 2017, is the key contact: he is a data privacy and cybersecurity expert with a strong line in complex financial technology projects. On the corporate side, technology and outsourcing specialist AndrĆ© Duminy was part of the team advising BBVA on its Ā£45m purchase of a 30% stake in Atom Bank, the UKā€™s first mobile app-based bank. Duminy, Kewley and corporate partner Steven Fox advised ICAP on the Ā£1.4bn merger of its global hybrid voice-broking and information business with Tullett Prebon. Alongside competition partner Greg Olsen, Duminy acted for Mastercard on the competition aspects of its Ā£700m purchase of VocaLink, a company that provided necessary infrastructure to Bacs, Faster Payments and LINK, three crucial UK payments systems. Other key partners include financial regulatory experts Caroline Meinertz, Simon Crown and Simon Gleeson. Financial regulatory senior associate Peter Chapman is also recommended.

In addition to its strong cross-border capabilities, Latham & Watkinsā€™ department has longstanding experience in financial regulatory matters, financial products and fintech market infrastructure. Core strengths include providing strategic advice to investors; regulatory, commercial and investment work for technology companies; and assistance to bank consortiums forming utility platforms. On the cross-border investment side, private equity expert Kem Ihenacho acted for TA Associates on its investment in Nigerian fintech business Interswitch; in capital markets, Olof Clausson advised Deutsche Bank, Morgan Stanley & Co and Nordea as underwriters on the $2.4bn IPO of Nets, Scandinaviaā€™s largest payments processor. Group head Andrew Moyle acted for a major natural resources company on its global paying services contract with a major bank, involving software that allows the clientā€™s suppliers to interface with the bank rather than with the client for invoices and payments. Moyle and Gail Crawford advised two high-profile banks on their migration to the cloud. The practice expanded significantly in 2016, with financial regulatory experts Rob Moulton and Nicola Higgs arriving from Ashurst. Senior associates Fiona Maclean, Christian McDermott and Stuart Davis are also recommended.

The ā€˜responsive, knowledgeableā€™ team at Macfarlanes LLP has ā€˜sound commercial judgementā€™, and ā€˜extensive experience in fintech outsourcingā€™. It also handles capital markets and (primarily investor-side) M&A in the fintech space, and advises financial institutions on technology matters. The ā€˜pragmaticā€™ Rupert Casey is ā€˜always a pleasure to deal withā€™, and ā€˜knows technology outsourcing inside-outā€™; he advised WH Ireland on the outsourcing of its core wealth management and associated technology services to SEI Investments. He also acted for 10x Future Technologies on its agreement with Virgin Money to develop a digital banking platform. Commercial partner Jeremy Courtenay-Stamp acted for Tilney Bestinvest on its fintech partnership with IRESS, involving a transition to the latterā€™s wealth management platform. On the corporate side, Luke Powell acted for J.C. Flowers & Co on its Ā£60m purchase of a majority stake in online trading and investment platform Interactive Investor, and on financing its own purchase of TD Wealth Holdings UK and TD Bank International from Toronto Dominion Bank. Alex Edmondson assisted Schroders with its purchase of a two-thirds stake in technology and advisory business Benchmark Capital, and advised Ivaldi Capital on its investment in a UK challenger bank. The team also acts for fintech start-ups: Robert Boyle acted for lease-finance provider ThinkSmart on its introduction to the AIM. On the blockchain side, Casey advised Sucden Financial on the trial of messaging and risk-management software using blockchain technology developed by Cobalt.

Known partly for its strength in technology and IP, Wiggin LLPā€™s department acts mostly for technology companies, advising start-ups on all aspects of their development and acting for well-established, high-profile technology players on regulatory, strategic and technological matters. It is active in various areas of fintech, including cryptocurrencies, financial data, payments and insurtech. Technology expert David Naylor, who arrived from Fieldfisher in March 2016, heads the practice jointly with Shaun Lowde, who specialises in commercial transactions in the technology space; Naylor assisted insurtech company and new client RightIndem with all its legal requirements, including global commercial contracts, privacy and data protection, and financing. Gurminder Panesar advised iPipeline, another insurtech player, on its deal with Royal London Mutual for the provision of integrated online services to replace the insurerā€™s manual paper-based processes. He also advised the client on IP protection. Thomson Online Benefits, a software provider for automated employee benefits administration and tools for financial education and money management, instructed Lowde on technology licensing, service agreements with customers, data protection and strategic joint ventures with the likes of US payroll company ADP. Parity Technologies, iGo4 and Worldpay are all clients. Ciaran Hickey is recommended for corporate and investment matters.


Index of tables

  1. Franchising
  2. Leading individuals
  3. Next generation lawyers

Leading individuals

  1. 1

Next generation lawyers

  1. 1

Who Represents Who

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Bird & Bird LLP fields an ā€˜extraordinaryā€™ team that regularly handles international franchising mandates, and disputes arising out of franchise agreements. It advises many of the worldā€™s leading brands on their global expansion strategies, and has deep industry expertise in the sectors traditionally active in using franchising as a means of expansion. It also has significant experience advising clients in the healthcare, education and green energy spaces; recent work includes advising more than 40 schools on the establishment of schools in overseas markets. In another highlight, Mark Abell is advising Hamleys on the negotiation of multiple international franchise and development arrangements and associated compliance with local law requirements. Victoria Hobbs is a popular contentious franchising practitioner, particularly for clients in the retail, hotel and leisure and food and beverage sectors. Hobbs advised a well-known beverage sector client on a contentious termination of a multi-store franchise, and assisted with the negotiation of renewal agreements with another multi-store franchisee following a dispute over the territorial rights which the franchisee obtained. Graeme Payne is ā€˜a very good sounding board, providing calm and pragmatic adviceā€™; he acted alongside legal director Shelly Nadler for PizzaExpress on its overseas franchise expansion, as well advising the client on dispute avoidance, risk management issues and the termination of a franchising agreement. Associate Nick Green is ā€˜very attentive and quick to pick up commercial issuesā€™.

Fieldfisher is ā€˜a top franchising law firmā€™ with a solid track record in domestic and international franchising mandates; according to one client, it is ā€˜one of the few firms that is able to go past delivering just legal input and guidanceā€™ to ā€˜give advice with a very commercial perspectiveā€™. Its expertise covers a wide spectrum of industry sectors, including retail, food and beverage, hospitality, education and healthcare. Highlights included advising longstanding client Arcadia Group on a number of matters including the renewal and registration of its franchised brands in Vietnam and Philippines; the grant of franchise rights in Romania and China; the launch of corporately-owned stores in Germany; and wholesale supply agreements to e-tailers in Europe and China. The team also advised easyHotel on its domestic and international expansion and successfully represented the same client in a franchise dispute with a former franchisee in South Africa and a dispute with a current franchisee in the Czech Republic. It also assisted Burger & Lobster with its international franchise roll-outs, and advised Harvey Nichols on franchising arrangements in India, USA and Qatar. David Bond and Chris Wormald jointly lead the team; the ā€˜dependableā€™ Bond attracts praise for his ā€˜extensiveā€™ franchising knowledge and ā€˜down-to earth-style, which goes down well with clientsā€™, and Wormald is ā€˜highly experienced and highly regardedā€™. Andrew Dodd and James Seadon focus on disputes arising from the franchising agreements. Senior associate Gordon Drakes is ā€˜a rising starā€™ who is ā€˜extremely smart and sharpā€™.

Hamilton Pratt handles contentious and non-contentious franchising matters, and advises a large number of members of the British Franchise Association. Representative clients include Boots Opticians Professional Services, Mail Boxes, Snap Fitness and Premier Education Group. Demonstrating its deep market penetration, the team assisted Belvoir Property Management with the franchise aspects of the acquisition of Northwood Estate Agency, advised Interlink Franchise Association on its withdrawal from franchising, and represented a manufacturing company in a dispute with one of its franchisees. Key figures within the ā€˜small but excellentā€™ team include John Pratt, who is ā€˜practical, responsive and knowledgeableā€™; James Barrett, who specialises in franchise disputes; and Emma Lusty, who is particularly experienced at assisting franchisor and franchisee clients in franchising resale transactions.

Dentons is singled out for its ā€˜ability to deliver quality advice under a tight time frameā€™. The team is a popular choice among blue-chip clients, which it advises on franchise agreements and on the use of franchising as part of their international expansion strategies. Leveraging its global footprint and its strong retail sector expertise, the firm advises a broad range of retail clients such as DFS, Cath Kidson, SK:N and John Lewis Partnership. The team also acquired several new clients in 2016, including Godiva Chocolatier, Charlotte Tilbury and Whittard of Chelsea. Babette MƤrzheuser-Wood ā€˜knows the franchise world inside outā€™, and continues to advise Starwood Hotel and Resorts Worldwide on its European hotel expansion, including advising on the Sheraton Offenbach Hotel, two projects in Paris, a new hotel in Cyprus, A Sheraton in Krakow Poland, a new Westin hotel in Sarajevo, and a Sheraton in Slovakia. Another highlight saw the team handling the termination of a franchise agreement and the subsequent enforcement of the post-termination obligations, as well as on renewals and the grant of new franchise agreement in more than 35 countries. Senior associate Robert Bedford has notable experience of handing franchise disputes. Associate Emma Bowman is also recommended.

Owen Whiteā€™s six-lawyer team is led by Jane Masih and advises both franchisors and franchisees on the full range of non-contentious and contentious franchising matters, including advising on UK and EU competition law. Masih advises franchisors on master licence agreements and on the sale and purchase of franchise businesses and IP matters. Russell Ford acts for household names in the franchising industry on franchise disputes including representing groups of franchisees conducting High Court litigation and mediations. It also has particular expertise in securing injunctions to enforce non-competition terms in franchise agreements. Andrew Hayward attracts praise for his ā€˜practicable adviceā€™.

Stevens & Bolton LLP is praised for its ability to ā€˜turn around work quickly without compromising on the qualityā€™. It advises both franchisors and franchisees on a wide spectrum of franchising matters, including using franchising model for both domestic and international expansion. It also handles disputes and advises on the termination of franchise agreements, as well as trade mark protection and domain name protection issues. It is particularly active in the casual dining, retail and healthcare sectors. Nicola Broadhurst is ā€˜very personable and easy to communicate withā€™; her knowledge of franchise is ā€˜very evidently outstandingā€™. In 2016, Broadhurst assisted a UK clothing company on its cross-border franchise and distribution operations involving Czech Republic, Singapore, Indonesia, India and Australia. She also advised a provider of children entertainment on data protection issues arising out of the collection of data from its franchise network. Sarah Murray and Andrew Quick are highly recommended for disputes, with quick singled out for his retail sector focus.

Ashtons Legal is ā€˜excellent all roundā€™ ā€“ the team is praised for its ā€˜excellent franchising knowledge, prompt response and competitive pricingā€™. It is best known for advising franchisors, master licensees and franchise developers, primarily in the food and beverage, retail and service sectors, and is particularly experienced at advising clients in North America and Australia on their entry into the UK. Highlights included advising Refresh Renovation on its entry into the UK market, and assisting an Irish restaurant chain with its agreement with a US fast food chain regarding the use of each partyā€™s trade marks within Europe. Harry Ramsdenā€™s, Monkey Puzzle Day Nurseries and Trend Transformations also feature in its client list. The highly regarded Damian Humphrey heads the Norwich-based team which includes associate Tracy Williamson and consultant John Chambers.

Birketts LLP significantly enhanced its franchising offering with the recruitment of Edward Savory to head the practice alongside associate Vicki Mitman; both joined from Leathes Prior in May 2016. Savory specialises in international franchising and domestic and international franchise resales, while Mitman focuses on franchising, licensing and brand protection matters. Senior associate Robert Tiffen handles commercial litigation with a particular specialism in franchise disputes. Recent highlights include representing a car valeting company in a dispute with a franchisee regarding breach of contract and post-termination restrictions; assisting an app development company with the termination of a franchise agreement with an existing franchisee; and advising a service provider company on launching a new master franchise in Norway.

Blake Morgan LLPā€™s team is ā€˜able to be innovative and to assist in maintaining a streamlined and on time completion of workā€™. Practice head Sheilah Mackie is singled out for her ā€˜sound management of a diverse group, which is capable of communicating well, providing value for money whilst at the same time showing a keen interest to be involved in the long-term interests of the clientsā€™. Mackie and Jill Bainbridge focus on non-contentious and contentious franchising matters respectively, and the practice acts for franchisors and franchisees with multiple franchised business. Recent highlights include advising a home care provider on setting up a trial franchise for its visiting care and live-in care business, and representing a letting agency on an alleged breaches of the franchise agreement.

CMSā€™s impressive client roster includes Hakkasn, Hark Rock International, J. Barbour & Sons and Nickelodeon, which the group advises on a broad range of non-contentious and contentious domestic and international franchising matters. Recent highlights include representing Surround Care in ongoing High Court franchising litigation with Caremark involving four defendants, and acting for Thomas Pink on litigation arising from the termination of an existing franchisee, as well as the negotiation of a new master franchisee agreement with Global Brands Group in China. Joel Vertes heads the team, which includes Edinburgh-based William Anderson, who joined from Owen White in October 2016 and is a key name for franchise disputes.

Leveraging its strong international network of offices, DLA Piper is ā€˜great for international franchising transactions in multiple jurisdictionsā€™, primarily in the retail, hospitality, leisure and food and beverage sectors. The team is particularly experienced at advising clients on establishing franchise systems, as well as advising existing franchisors on the international expansion of their franchise systems, and on disposals of franchised operations. Iain Bowlerā€™s recent mandates include advising a private equity vehicle which owns a multi-unit franchise of a high street retail brand on the renewal of the franchise, and assisting a UK-based online retailer with the development of a global franchise system including a new online trading platform to support franchiseesā€™ businesses. Bowler was also part of a cross-border team that assisted a private equity and venture capital firm on the acquisition of healthcare sector franchises.

Harper Macleod LLP is a ā€˜go-to firm for franchising serviceā€™, with notable expertise in the retail sector, particularly in the food retail space, where it acts for Project Pie, Hotcha and German Doner Kebab. The team excels in ā€˜delivering commercial agreements that meets clientsā€™ needsā€™. It also has a track record advising clients on the acquisition of master franchise rights. The team gained a number of new clients in 2016, including Refresh & Revive, Nine Twenty Recruitment and Swipii Labs. Recent highlights include assisting Elan Fitness with the acquisition of the UK master franchise rights to operate and sub-franchise the operation of CycleBar; advising Chicken Cottage on its international expansion into Bangladesh, Nigeria, Malaysia and the Gulf Cooperation Council States; and advising The Kitchen Depot Holdings on a series of matters in relation to the operation of its franchise network including a dispute with a franchisee. David Kaye is a ā€˜brilliant commercial lawyerā€™, and associate Andrew Fraser is a ā€˜young but very bright practitionerā€™ whose ā€˜technical skills combined with approachability and commercial sense makes him stand out amongst his peersā€™. Both individuals are based in the firmā€™s Glasgow office.

Mishcon de Reya LLPā€™s strength lies in the fashion retail sector where it acts for clients including La Senza, Hawes & Curtis, River Island and JKC Retail on their international expansion. Lewis Cohen heads the international franchising and brand extension group, which includes managing associate Simon Leaf, who joined from Berwin Leighton Paisner LLP in February 2017. Cohen continues to advise Tesco on its international franchise arrangements for its F&F clothing and accessories concept, and assisted Landmark Group with its purchase of the intellectual rights relating to the Fitness First business in 13 countries, which included the termination of the current franchise arrangement.

Simons Muirhead & Burtonā€™s client roster features a number of internationally renowned brands as well as emerging brands. The team includes practitioners with in-depth fashion and retail in-house experience, which makes the firm a popular choice to advise clients in the fashion and retail sectors on their international expansion. Practice head Maninder Gill also has particular expertise advising publishing sector clients on franchising matters, and counts Dennis Publishing as a client. Natalie Wright and Peter Weiss are also names to note. Riverford Organic Foods, Lucy Choi London and Miss Mila are new clients.

TLT advises a number of high-profile domestic and international franchise mandates. The highly recommended Perran Jervis is advising WHSmith on its nationwide roll-out of a new convenience store using franchising model as a way of expansion, and is assisting with obtaining accreditation from the British Franchise Association. Bill Hull is advising a major supermarket chain on a franchising and wholesale agreement with a large petrol station owner and operator, and Manchester-based Pauline Cowie recently assisted a luxury childrenswear brand and a British household retailer on their expansion in Europe. Merlin Entertainments, Jane Norman International and Peacocks Stores are also clients. All individuals mentioned above are based in Bristol unless stated otherwise.

Travers Smith LLP has a solid record in both domestic and international franchising with Ben Chivers and Dan Reavill at the fore. Reavill and senior associate James Longster advised Pret a Manger on a new franchise arrangement with Welcome Break to expand its offering to motorway service stations; assisted new client Mathnasium, a US-based provider of private tutorial services, on the launch of its franchise network in the UK; and advised CaffĆØ Nero on its network of overseas franchises, including a new franchise arrangement with BTA in Croatia. Chivers counts Pinewood Shepperton, LK Bennett and Gaucho among his franchising clients.

Franchising boutique firm David Bigmore & Co in Association with Goodman Derrick LLP is representing a number of franchisees and franchisors in misrepresentation and breach of contracts claims, and is advising a broad range of companies using franchising as a means of international expansion. Representative clients include The Shell Petroleum Company, Spaghetti Maths, Bluestone Logistics and Prime Healthcare Services. David Bigmore is the main contact.

Norwich-based firm Leathes Prior advises franchisors operating across the UK and internationally, and advises franchisees on all aspects of matters relating to their entries into franchise agreements. Its recent highlights include advising Bens, a Budgens Retailer franchisee, on the sale of two stores, and acting for Even More Thought for Food on the sale of its store and renewal of two of its other stores with Budgens. Mike Barlow heads the team and has notable experience in franchising disputes. In 2016, Barlow assisted a sports school with a range of regulatory issues concerning its franchise network, and advised on multiple franchise acquisitions and a series of contractual disputes. Consultant Jonathan Chadd is ā€˜calm and sensible, with a vast knowledge of franchise lawā€™.

IT and telecoms

Index of tables

  1. IT and telecoms
  2. Leading individuals: Information technology
  3. Leading individuals: Telecoms
  4. Next generation lawyers

Leading individuals: Information technology

  1. 1

Leading individuals: Telecoms

  1. 1

Next generation lawyers

  1. 1

Who Represents Who

Find out which law firms are representing which IT and telecoms clients in London using The Legal 500's new comprehensive database of law firm/client relationships. Instantly search over 925,000 relationships, including over 83,000 Fortune 500, 46,000 FTSE350 and 13,000 DAX 30 relationships globally. Access is free for in-house lawyers, and by subscription for law firms. For more information, contact


Baker McKenzieā€™s team has ā€˜great industry knowledgeā€™ and ā€˜a client-focused attitudeā€™, and focuses on contentious and non-contentious matters. It acts for high-profile clients, including Three UK, and Emerson Electric. ā€˜Exceptionally talentedā€™ practice head Steve Holmes is ā€˜quick to turn things aroundā€™ and ā€˜provides true strategic value-added adviceā€™; he primarily handles transactions, and has particular expertise in cloud, licensing and systems integration. Recent work includes assisting Tesco Mobile with the outsourcing of its call centres to Capita, and advising several clients on the provision of VoIP services. Harry Small is highly regarded for his work on technology and outsourcing contracts, and acts for clients including Oracle and UBS. Ben Allgrove works across a number of different areas, but is best known for his work on copyright matters, Duncan Reid-Thomas focuses on commercial contracts and business process outsourcing, and David Halliday handles contentious issues relating to technology projects and outsourcing. Senior associates Charlotte Harrington and Nick Wloch are experienced in advising on IT and commercial agreements.

Bird & Bird LLPā€™s team is ā€˜very responsiveā€™ and has ā€˜sound industry knowledgeā€™. Practice head Graeme Maguire, who is highly regarded for his work in technology and outsourcing, is also ā€˜well-versed in telecoms mattersā€™, and recently advised BroadSoft on telecoms-related regulatory issues. Roger Bickerstaff specialises in technology and EU procurement law, and recently advised JDA Software on licensing and technology-related disputes. Christian Bartsch focuses fintech, open source and open data, among other areas. Graham Smith has significant experience in internet and cyber law. Transactional lawyer James Mullock is noted for his expertise in data protection and cyber law. Commercial lawyer Ian Edwards, who stands out for his technology, outsourcing and communications expertise, advised Oxford University Press on a global IT outsourcing deal with Cognizant. Outsourcing agreements expert Jonathan Emmanuel stands out for his ā€˜sound knowledgeā€™ and ā€˜business acumenā€™. Satellite specialist Joanne Wheeler recently advised Effective Space Solutions, which provides life extension services to satellite operators, on regulatory issues.

Bristows LLP handles a range of matters in the IT and telecoms space, and acts for clients including IBM, Capgemini and Sony. Toby Crick, who focuses on technology, communications and outsourcing matters, and commercial IT head Mark Watts, who is an expert on IT, outsourcing and data protection matters, are advising Bupa on its ongoing digital transformation strategy. Myles Jelf has core strengths in telecoms technology litigation, he defended Google and Samsung in a high-profile dispute with Unwired Planet pertaining to alleged patent infringement. Adrian Sim specialises in multi-jurisdictional deals, frequently advising Capgemini. Anna Cook, who recently made partner, is a key name for complex IT litigation. Robert Bond is an expert in data protection matters and Kevin Appleton leads the commercial disputes group and has a strong track record in IT-related litigation.

CMSā€™ recent merger with Olswang LLP and Nabarro LLP has significantly strengthened its IT and telecoms offering. The team is ā€˜always prompt in its turn-around timesā€™ and has ā€˜a great ability to listen to its clients and tailor its resourcing to meet the needs of its clientā€™. Recent work includes advising HP on its purchase of Samsungā€™s printing business. Communications law expert Chris Watson is head of the TMC group and John Armstrong heads the IT practice and is highly regarded for his expertise in business process outsourcing (BPO) and information technology outsourcing (ITO) transactions. Commercial contracts specialist Emma Burnett is someone ā€˜who you will also see in the trenches with you when the negotiations are underwayā€™. Clive Gringras handles contentious and non-contentious matters for clients including Microsoft, Facebook and Airbnb, and Selina Potter focuses on media technology and digital distribution matters. Anthony Waller and Dominic Dryden are best known for their work on technology-related transactions. Other clients include , BT, Orange, the National Grid, the Post Office, VimpelCom and Lloyds Bank.

DLA Piperā€™s team handles the full spectrum of work in this space, and acts for clients including Samsung and Cisco. Kit Burden, who is the head of the firmā€™s international technology and sourcing group, is a key name for technology transactions and has considerable experience working with clients in the financial services sector. Telecoms expert Mike Conradi has core strengths in outsourcing contracts, and recently advised VimpelCom on outsourcing the management of a mobile network in Russia.Anthony Day is best known for his work on large-scale software licensing, data analytics and systems implementation arrangements. Cloud computing specialist Mark Oā€™Conor has worked with clients including Bank of America and JP Morgan.

Dentonsā€™ practice is ā€˜responsiveā€™ and ā€˜easy to work withā€™. Andy Lucas is head of the technology, media and telecoms department, and is particularly known for his advice on public sector IT procurements. He recently assisted the Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs with a complex ICT outsourcing programme. Dan Burge heads the TMT sector group, and has a strong reputation for his work on technology transactions and sourcing projects in the retail, financial services and energy sectors. Recent work of his includes advising Home Retail Group on a major outsourcing contract with Wipro. Data processing expert Scott Singer is ā€˜a good person to pick up the phone to on difficult issues on IT contractsā€™, and has recently handled technology projects for Sainsburyā€™s and Royal Mail. Martin Fanning is highly regarded for his work on technology projects, where clients include Virgin Atlantic and IntraLinks. Jan Willem van den Bos, who heads the telecoms group, recently advised the West Indian Ocean Cable Company on The Eastern Africa Submarine Cable System. He also advised Gulf Bridge International on a major sub-sea cable telecoms network connectivity project. Other clients include Argos and Homebase.

Fieldfisher has a highly regarded practice. Robert Shooter heads the technology, outsourcing and privacy group, and is highly regarded for his work on large-scale procurements and outsourcings; he recently advised Vodafone on the launch of its Cloudstore product. Simon Briskman, who specialises in outsourcing, technology and telecoms matters, advised Philip Morris International on network outsourcing in Indonesia. James Buckingham is a key name for technology and communications matters, and has advised various government departments. Paul Graham, who is a specialist in commercial and regulatory issues, advised Three on several deals with mobile virtual network operators and various bulk messaging operators. John Worthy has core strengths in outsourcing and international projects, and also heads the firmā€™s satellite and space projects team. Phil Lee has particular experience advising on European data protection laws, and international data governance and Antonis Patrikios heads the firmā€™s cyber security law practice. Director John Brunning has experience in outsourcing, procurement and acquisitions. Deutsche Bank, the BBC and Samsung are also clients.

The ā€˜excellentā€™ team at Kemp Little LLP provides ā€˜outstanding serviceā€™ and ā€˜innovative solutionsā€™. Head of commercial technology Calum Murray handled various matters for online luxury clothing retail platform Farfetch. Emma Wright focuses on telecoms and cybersecurity, and works with B2B and B2C telecoms companies on their customer and wholesale arrangements, as well as assisting other infrastructure providers. Andrew Joint, who has core strengths in cloud technology, complex technology contracting and transformational IT systems, recently advised Accenture on multiple IT deals. Paul Oā€™Hare heads the firmā€™s outsourcing practice, and recently advised Dealogic on a master services agreement with Masergy regarding global data and video network services and managed IT services. Other key figures include Paul Hinton, who heads the firmā€™s financial services practice, and fintech specialist Chris Hill. Accenture, Expedia and Principality Building Society are also clients.

Pinsent Masons LLPā€™s team provides ā€˜first-classā€™ advice, and its impressive client roster includes Fujitsu and Transport for London. Simon Colvin, who is the global head of the firmā€™s TMT practice, is noted for his transactional expertise, particularly in the public sector. Head of telecoms Diane Mullenex, who is ā€˜always at the forefront of industry developmentsā€™, is advising BTā€™s Middle East operations on telecoms, ICT and regulatory matters. She also assisted the Communications Regulatory Authority of Qatar with drafting a decision and order against Qatarā€™s incumbent telecoms operator Ooredoo. David Isaac is global head of the firmā€™s advanced manufacturing and technology sector, and recently advised Transport for London on its surface intelligent transport system programme. Angus McFadyen focuses on financial services technology, and acts for clients including Aviva, Aegon, AXA and Tesco Bank. Technology disputes specialist Ian Birdsey was recently made partner and David McIlwaine handles contentious matters in the TMT sector. Senior associate Anthony Fielding, who is ā€˜extremely responsiveā€™, ā€˜personableā€™ and ā€˜articulateā€™, is an expert in technology and telecoms deals, particularly in the Middle East. Legal director Chris Breen specialises in IT disputes and is ā€˜dedicatedā€™ and ā€˜extremely thoroughā€™.

Berwin Leighton Paisner LLPā€™s impressive client list includes Tesco, the National Grid, The Co-operative Bank and Barclays. IT and outsourcing specialist Mark Lewis, who heads the practice, recently advised Retirement Advantage on a complex outsourcing arrangement with Equiniti. Usman Wahid, who focuses on business critical IT outsourcing programmes. Marcus Pearl has expertise in outsourcing and technology transactions; he advised PRS for Music and Phonographic Performance on the creation of a joint venture that will focus on serving all PRS for Music and PPL UK public performance licensing customers through a single company. Ian De Freitas heads the firmā€™s data practice and IT and outsourcing litigation team; his clients include Tata Consulting, T-Systems and Cisco.

Herbert Smith Freehills LLPā€™s group is highly regarded for its ā€˜business acumenā€™ and provides ā€˜creative suggestions which help keep a deal to often tight timetablesā€™. Praised for his ā€˜tough but personableā€™ approach, Nick Pantlin heads the firmā€™s technology sector group and the UK and European IT and outsourcing practice. He led a team assisting TSB Bank and Banco Sabadell on a complex project pertaining to the migration of TSBā€™s IT services to a new platform provided by Sabadell Information Systems. Nicholas Moore heads the TMT M&A practice, and recently advised TelefĆ³nica on its proposed disposal of O2. Mark Robinson handles telecoms-related matters, and has particular expertise in emerging markets. David Coulling, who is an expert on telecoms issues, is ā€˜effortlessly efficientā€™. Of counsel Aaron White, who is a key name for telecoms transactions, was a new arrival from Ashurst. Sky and the Ministry of Defence are also clients.

The ā€˜excellentā€™ team at Hogan Lovells International LLP is praised for its ā€˜industry knowledgeā€™ and ā€˜business acumenā€™. Peter Watts, who is co-global head of the TMT practice, has ā€˜a commercialā€™ and ā€˜pragmaticā€™ approach. He recently advised Sepura on refinancing and capital restructuring. Don McGown has expertise in M&A and restructuring in the telecoms sector and consultant Quentin Archer is an expert in IT law, primarily handling transactions. John Salmon, who is highly regarded for acting for financial services sector clients, provided strategic and regulatory advice to Open Banking. Counsel Susan McKiernan specialises in IT contracts. Charlie Hawes joined Clifford Chance in 2017.

Linklaters LLPā€™s ā€˜excellentā€™ team provides ā€˜very good response timesā€™ and has ā€˜good business and industry knowledgeā€™. Richard Cumbley has core strengths in commercial and regulatory IP matters. He recently advised UBS on a private virtual currency used to settle financial transactions. Julian Cunningham-Day is best known for handling IT procurement, outsourcing and offshoring issues. John Crozier is an expert on outsourcing and commercial transactions; Marly Didizian specialises in outsourcing and commercial IT agreements; and Georgina Kon has experience in commercial and regulatory IT issues. Other clients include BT and Sainsburyā€™s.

Milbank, Tweed, Hadley & McCloy LLP provides a ā€˜Rolls-Royce serviceā€™, and acts for clients including AstraZeneca and Barclays. Laurence Jacobs, who is head of the firmā€™s IT practice, advised T-Systems, part of Deutsche Telecom, on several telecom and network services agreements. Sean Keaton is known for his work on transactions and IT renegotiations. Julian Stait and Tom Canning are highly regarded for disputes in the IT sector. John Dewar and Sean Keaton jointly head the telecoms practice. Dewar advised O3b Networks and SES on the refinancing of O3bā€™s senior and junior project finance facilities and assisted O3b with its acquisition by SES. Joel Harrison has particular expertise in data protection and information security, and recently advised the International Health Terminology Standards Development Organisation on SNOMED, the global standard for healthcare IT.

The ā€˜excellentā€™ team at Osborne Clarke LLP acts for clients including Vodafone and KPMG. Mark Taylor and John Buyers, who has ā€˜a robust approachā€™, specialise in commercial outsourcing and IT. Buyers advised Vodafone on outsourcing projects relating to its HR and Enterprise IT services, and assisted Micro Focus with international software licenses and IT implementation agreements. Jon Fell heads the telecoms team and has notable expertise in commercial transactions; he serves as the firmā€™s relationship partner with EE. Consultant Simon Rendell is a key name for mobile payments and cyber security matters, and Marcus Vass has a particular focus on Asia and significant experience in outsourcing and data protection. Senior associate Ian McKenzie handles non-contentious IT and technology matters. Will Roberston, who specialises in IT outsourcing and procurement, was a new arrival from Bond Dickinson LLP and Nina Cummins re-joined the firm from an in-house position at Facebook.

Simmons & Simmons has ā€˜deep industry knowledgeā€™ and ā€˜good communicationā€™ skills. Tom Wheadon heads the ICT group and Alexander Brown heads the global TMT team and is highly regarded for his work on outsourcing and commercial ICT contracts. James Cotter is a key name for transactions in the telecoms sector; he recently advised TelefĆ³nica on the governmentā€™s smart meter implementation programme, and assisted SAGE with its procurement transformation project. Hinal Patel has expertise in technology transactions, and is ā€˜absolutely unflappable in negotiationsā€™. Angus McLean is noted for transactional matters in the fintech sector. Associate Joanna Amess is ā€˜a perfectionistā€™ who is ā€˜very detail orientedā€™. Samsung and Virgin Media are also clients.

Slaughter and Mayā€™s ā€˜excellentā€™ and ā€˜very commercialā€™ team acts for clients including Ericsson and CSR. Rob Sumroy heads the technology and outsourcing team, and has core strengths in the fintech sector. He recently advised Ericsson on its recent digital transformation deal with VimpelCom, and assisted DPactum with a project that involves smart contracts utilising block chain technology. David Ives, who is an expert in fintech, digital, data, outsourcing and software matters, advised Carillion on its contract with Wipro concerning a facilities management IT solution. Cathy Connolly handles licensing arrangements and IT-focused transactions; Roland Turnill, who heads the telecoms practice, has expertise in public takeovers, private acquisitions and disposals; and competition practice head Philippe Chappatte handles the competition aspects of telecoms disputes.

Taylor Wessing LLPā€™s ā€˜excellentā€™ team provides ā€˜frequent contact at partner levelā€™. Chris Jeffery heads the IT, telecoms and competition group, and has particular expertise working with US firms looking to expand into Europe. Head of the communications practice, Angus Finnegan, has significant experience in transactions and regulatory issues; he advised Globetouch on its international expansion. Graham Hann has a key focus on online business models and emerging technologies; he acted for Magic Pony Technology prior to the clientā€™s acquisition by Twitter. SiĆ¢n Skelton handles commercial contracts and data protection. Other key figures include Glyn Morgan who is an expert on commercial and regulatory matters, and outsourcing expert Martin Cotterill.

Addleshaw Goddardā€™s team has ā€˜good industry knowledgeā€™ and provides a ā€˜range of commercial optionsā€™. Outsourcing specialist Michael Lowry heads the practice. Damon Rosamond-Lanzetta has expertise in IT and outsourcing transactions, particularly in the financial services, public sector and retail sectors. Fiona Ghosh is handles outsourcing matters predominantly in the banking and insurance sectors. Managing associates Jenny Te and Robert Garwood both have experience in IT and outsourcing matters. David Futter joined Ashurst.

Allen & Overy LLPā€™s team provides ā€˜comprehensiveā€™ advice and has ā€˜a good understanding of industry mattersā€™. The firmā€™s telecoms practice has a strong reputation for its transactional expertise, where it acts for clients including Telenor, VimpelCom and Deutsche Telekom. Tom Levine heads the firmā€™s global telecoms sector group and has worked on telecoms projects in multiple jurisdictions and Jim Ford specialises in non-contentious IT matters. Simon Toms, who focuses on technology transactions, assisted HP with the sale of its market optimisation business to OpenText Corporation. Nigel Parker, who is an expert in data protection and commercial contracts issues, is ā€˜responsiveā€™ and ā€˜quick to understand issuesā€™. Parker advised interdealer broker Tullett Prebon on its combination with ICAP. Charles Buckworth joined RPC.

Arnold & Porter Kaye Scholer LLPā€™s team is headed by Rob Bratby following his recent arrival from Olswang LLP. Bratby is highly regarded for handling corporate and regulatory matters in multiple jurisdictions, and recently served as global regulatory counsel to AT&T on its purchase of Time Warner. Richard Dickinson advises on commercial contracts in the telecoms and IT sectors. The ā€˜intelligentā€™ Michael Bywell, who primarily handles contractual disputes in the technology and telecoms sectors, has ā€˜extremely sound judgementā€™. Tata Communications is also a client.

Ashurstā€™s team acts for clients including BP and Hewlett Packard Enterprise. Nick Elverston, who heads the digital economy group, stands out for his ā€˜understanding of the impact of the latest trendsā€™. He recently advised TelefĆ³nica UK on its tender for one of the lots in the Home Officeā€™s emergency services mobile communications project. Amanda Hale, who specialises in telecoms law and stands out for her ā€˜grasp of the detailsā€™, assisted Virgin Media with a wholesale supply arrangement for its mobile virtual network operator business. David Futter, who was a recent arrival from Addleshaw Goddard, is best known for his expertise in fintech and digital payments matters and provides ā€˜exceptional advice and serviceā€™. Christopher Bates is an expert on technology and outsourcing matters, and Mark Lubbock handles contentious and non-contentious issues.

Browne Jacobson LLPā€™s clients include Hiscox and the National Trust. Anthony Nagle, who co-heads the practice, acts for clients in the financial services, insurance and public sectors. He assisted the Crown Prosecution Service with the break-up of major parts of an existing large-scale complex IT services contract with CGI. Associate Joe Oā€™Callaghan, who was previously senior counsel at Burberry, has notable expertise in the retail sector, advising on technology-related issues such as data protection and cyber security.

Charles Russell Speechlys LLPā€™s ā€˜excellentā€™ group provides a service that ā€˜feels like an extension of an in-houseā€™ team. TMT co-head Mark Bailey has notable expertise in IT-related contracts and a particular focus on the financial services sector. Fellow TMT co-head Mark Howard focuses on corporate transactions, cloud computing and managed services. Mark Moncreiffe, who is head of communications, has considerable expertise handling cross-border transactions. Paul Stone, who is a specialist in EU and UK competition law, acted for Gamma Telecom in a dispute with BT over ported calls. Litigator John Sykes focuses on the technology sector, and senior associate Jaclyn Wilkins handles commercial IT matters. Other clients include Carrenza, Lombard Group and Westfield.

Eversheds Sutherland (International) LLP acts for clients including HSBC and De Beers. IT practice head Simon Gamlin is best known for advising on system development transactions, ERP projects, system integrator matters and complex software licensing. He advised Oxygen Finance on its contracts with local authorities. Craig Rogers, who specialises in cross-border IT and outsourcing arrangements, advised the Energy Networks Association on the launch of the new three-digit emergency number for power outages. Head of the telecoms team Simon Cloke stands out for his commercial and regulatory advice. Other highlights include advising Vodafone on the transition of certain business critical services from a managed hosting environment to a co-location based service for Vodafoneā€™s client Ladbrokes. Other clients include Nokia and Nationwide Building Society.

The ā€˜excellentā€™ and ā€˜very client-focusedā€™ team at Halebury stands out for its ā€˜depth of knowledgeā€™ on outsourcing matters, as well its ā€˜general business acumenā€™. BT, Sky and Virgin Media are clients. Janvi Patel and Denise Nurse jointly head the practice. Consultant Polly Grieff handles domestic and international matters. Consultant Richard Dalby assisted with a contracts management system project. Edward Rea is an expert in drafting, reviewing and negotiating technology-related contracts. Simon Phillips left the firm in March 2017 for an in-house position at National Grid.

Jones Dayā€™s practice handles contentious and non-contentious technology matters. Jonathan Little has expertise in outsourcing deals, telecoms transactions, and network service arrangements. Elizabeth Robertson is an expert in technology transactions, and has significant experience in software licensing matters. Rhys Thomas specialises in litigation.

Latham & Watkins has a particular focus on cross-border mandates, and also has significant presence in the financial services sector. Clients include Aviva and Credit Suisse. Team head Andrew Moyle is highly regarded for outsourcing, strategic sourcing functions and transformation initiatives. He recently advised a medical device manufacturer on extending its finance and accounting services agreement with Genpact International. Gail Crawford is the chair of the firmā€™s data privacy committee and co-chair of the technology transactions group and the internet and digital media industry group. She recently advised VimpelCom on the development of its digital platform Veon. Senior associate Fiona Maclean, who has experience in multi-jurisdictional IT, outsourcing and business processing transactions, advised Credit Suisse on its venture with Palantir Technologies, Signac, which will use software to assist financial institutions with identifying unauthorised trading and fraudulent activity. Senior associate Christian McDermott assists with large-scale outsourcings, complex technology transactions and payment infrastructure systems.

Mayer Brown International LLPā€™s team provides ā€˜an excellent quality of serviceā€™ and stands out for its ā€˜depth and qualityā€™. It acts for clients including HSBC, PwC and Mandarin Oriental Hotel Group. The group is best known for handling contentious and non-contentious matters in IT and outsourcing. Practice head Mark Prinsley has ā€˜excellent industry experienceā€™ and is a ā€˜robust but balanced negotiatorā€™. Oliver Yaros, who was recently promoted to the partnership, is an expert in IT outsourcing and procurement. Andrew Stewart specialises in complex commercial transactions. Senior associates Katherine Woods and Megan Paul are also noted; Woods focuses on corporate matters in the IT and telecoms sector and Paul is experience in transactional and corporate work in the telecoms sector.

Morrison & Foerster (UK) LLPā€™s ā€˜incredibleā€™ team is ā€˜highly responsiveā€™, provides ā€˜a high level of guidance and counselā€™, is ā€˜very pragmaticā€™ and ā€˜reasonable in its contract negotiationsā€™. Clients include SoftBank, AIG Europe and Novartis. Practice head Alistair Maughan has a strong track record advising on commercial contracts and technology-based projects. His recent highlights include advising UPS on technology contract and compliance issues in the UK and across Europe; handling the implementation of a flexible benefits platform for insurer Police Mutual; and assisting video game development platform specialists Unity with its UK data centre arrangements. Of counsel Sue McLean has experience in outsourcing, cloud computing and technology procurement matters.

Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman LLPā€™s practice head Tim Wright has particular expertise in IT procurement and outsourcing, cloud computing, system implementations and software licensing. Mike Pierides, is highly regarded for his IT and business process outsourcing experience, recently advised Fujitsu on the HMRC / Aspire (now Columbus) IT services contract. Pierides also assisted Equiniti with a multi-tower IT and business process outsourcing agreement with Retirement Advantage. Samuel Pearse is an expert in complex corporate and securities transactions in the technology sector. Of counsel Steven Farmer focuses on companies wishing to expand in Europe, and of counsel Simon Lightman specialises in outsourcings and procurements.

RPCā€™s ā€˜outstandingā€™ team is headed by Jeremy Drew and is praised for its ā€˜detailed analysis'. Mark Crichard, who is head of commercial technology, has ā€˜a calm demeanourā€™; he handled key IT projects for Hachette Book Group. Senior associate Charles Buckworth, who was a new arrival from Allen & Overy LLP, focuses on commercial and outsourcing matters. Legal Directors Georgia Davis and Sarah Hill specialise in IT disputes. Legal director Philip Tansley advises insurance clients on technology-related issues; he defended cyber security consultancy Nettitude against allegations of negligent cyber security and payment card industry compliance advice. Other clients include BBC Worldwide, CGI and Daily Mail General Trust.

Reed Smith LLPā€™s client list includes Channel 4, BT, Sky and Microsoft. Cynthia Oā€™Donoghue, who heads the practice, is best known for advising on technology, data, cyber and commercial law. Technology transactions specialist Sakil Suleman focuses on IT outsourcing, software development and licensing, and cloud computing. Gregor Pryor is known for his work in the media sector and working with tech start-ups. Counsel Philip Thomas is a technology and outsourcing specialist. Sachin Premnath, who was recently promoted to the partnership, is an expert in content and technology issues. Senior associate Louise Berg specialises in disputes in the technology sector.

Squire Patton Boggsā€™ practice has a particularly international focus, and acts for clients including Cable Bahamas and the Regulatory Authority of Bermuda. Ann LaFrance, heads the European and Middle East communications law practice, recently assisted a cable company headquartered in the UK with an indefeasible right of use agreement matter, and advised on an international regulatory analysis for a development consortium pertaining to the creation of a digital hub for data centres. Andrew Wilkinson heads the European commercial IP and IT group. Digital communications specialist Francesco Liberatore joined the firm from Jones Day in 2016; he recently advised a private equity company on the regulatory aspects pertaining to the possible acquisition of an African telecoms company, and assisted TrueLayer with the creation of an online banking aggregation platform.

Stephenson Harwood has a broad IT practice, but core strengths in areas including outsourcing, software licensing and data protection. Jonathan Kirsop is a key name for advising on IT framework agreements, software development and mobile apps and Dan Holland has significant experience in the outsourcing of IT and BPO services; the duo jointly head the team. Senior associate Naomi Leach advises clients in multifarious sectors on IT-related transactions. The team has particular expertise advising on projects connected to Iran: it recently advised Melli Bank on the drafting of standard form BPO and IT services agreement, and assisted Persia International Bank with the procurement and implementation of core IT banking systems. Other highlights include advising on the procurement of IT software and support services for EasyHotel, and acting for Ryanair on an agreement for the provision of a tailored software system to manage the training records of pilots.

TLTā€™s practice is headed James Touzel, who recently advised C. & J. Clark on an e-commerce platform with Accenture. Daniel Lloyd, who is able to draw on his previous experience in-house with BT, and associate Juliet Mason, who specialises in IT transactions, are also noted. Sainsburyā€™s, the Metropolitan Police Service and Merlin Entertainments are also clients.

Technology Law Allianceā€™s ā€˜pragmaticā€™ team provides ā€˜an exemplaryā€™ service and has ā€˜a wealth of industry knowledgeā€™. The ā€˜outstandingā€™ Jeremy Newton ā€˜understands technologyā€™ and, according to one client, is ā€˜somebody you would like to be by your side in a negotiationā€™. Newton advised Grafton Group on a major contract with Six Degrees Group regarding WAN and internet connectivity managed services, and assisted BMO Global Asset Management with several contracts with IT and data suppliers. Gavin Wakefield advised Capgemini on the legal and contractual aspects of the aspire replacement programme, and acted for Broadridge Financial Solutions on software contracts with several financial institutions. Shazanna Safdar-Karim was recently made partner. Hitachi Data Systems is also a client.

Waterfront Solicitors LLPā€™s team provides ā€˜consideredā€™, ā€˜focusedā€™ and ā€˜professionalā€™ advice. Practice head Alison Berryman is a key name for commercial contracts relating to the supply or procurement of technology, and recently advised healthcare technology company Caradigm on public procurement deals and compliance. The ā€˜pragmaticā€™ Jean-Marc Pettigrew, who is an expert in drafting and negotiating commercial contracts, assisted London & Partners with the technology and itinerary for the and websites. David Newton has experience in IT-related contractual and regulatory legal issues. Racing Post is also a client.

Wiggin LLPā€™s impressive client list includes Disney, Lebara and PokerStars. Shaun Lowde, who has a particular focus on technology acquisitions, protection and licensing matters. David Naylor, who jointly heads the team with Lowde, has considerable experience acting for clients in the technology, media and communications sectors. David McLeish has significant experience in the gambling sector; he advised Playtech on the acquisition of Swedish game studio Quickspin, and handled William Hillā€™s purchase of Grand Parade. Ciaran Hickey, who focuses on corporate transactions in the technology sector, is also noted.

Blake Morgan LLPā€™s team provides ā€˜excellent response timesā€™ and ā€˜appropriate adviceā€™. It has a strong reputation for its work in the financial services sector, where it advises on technology procurement, data privacy and outsourcing, among other matters. Practice head Simon Stokes has a strong skillset in outsourcing and cloud services. Legal director Chris Williams, who recently joined the firm from Russell-Cooke LLP, specialises in IT disputes. Solicitor Charles Mallows has experience in IT outsourcing and data protection.

Bond Dickinson LLP is a popular choice for companies in the financial services sector, and acts for clients including AIG and TSB, but also has notable expertise in the retail and energy sectors. Alastair Mitton heads the TMC practice nationally and Claire Coleman leads the London TMC team. Highlights for Coleman included advising DS Smith on its global hosting arrangements with T-Systems, and on licensing and consulting services agreements with softcore company SAP; and assisting Mogo with ongoing advice pertaining to its authentication and verification app, including advising on arrangements with its distributor and handling financial services regulatory compliance matters.

Burges Salmon LLPā€™s team acts for clients including Coca-Cola, Royal London and Thomson Reuters. Practice head Andrew Dunlop advised Welsh Water on its second generation outsourcing of IT infrastructure services, and assisted The Exeter with outsourcing the operation of its technical platform to TCP. Mark Paterson has expertise in technology, infrastructure and defence matters; he recently advised the Ministry of Defence on outsourcing the build of two classes of submarines.

Clifford Chance LLPā€™s transactions-focused team has considerable expertise in the technology and telecoms sectors. TMT practice head Joachim Fleury is a key name for technology and communications transactions; he has historically advised Deutsche Telekom and T-Mobile on the merging of their business with Orange.

Cooley (UK) LLPā€™s group focuses on technology transactions. Chris Coulter, who heads the team, has core strengths in technology and telecoms transactions. His recent highlights include advising NFU Mutual on outsourcing, licensing and technology procurement contracts, and assisting Ogury with a research and development arrangement and cross-border licensing pertaining to its expansion into Italy, Spain and the US. Mark Deem handles disputes pertaining to privacy, data protection and cyber-security issues. He recently advised Ciber and its UK subsidiary, Ciber UK, on a SAP software-related dispute with Sanctuary Housing. IT specialist Sarah Pearce also handles technology-related transactions. Special Counsel Brian Chadwick is experienced in the digital media, entertainment and gaming sectors. Odeon & UCI Cinemas Group and Nikon Europe are also clients.

Covington & Burling LLP is also ranked.

DAC Beachcroft LLP primarily acts for technology suppliers, and acts for clients including Crimson Tide, Solutions and Evalue. Practice head Tim Sewart advises on new technology and technology transactions, and recently advised Transversal on drafting and negotiating a contract with a major customer.Robin Fry is an expert in acting for corporate clients and public bodies in license audits undertaken by global software sellers. Fry assisted The Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales with a strategic deal for the hosting, development and support of a web-based service. Legal Director Prakash Kerai, who specialises in technology and data licensing deals, and Tim Sewart, advised Tandem Bank on outsourcing its digital banking and mobile platforms to Fiserv.

DMH Stallard LLP focuses on outsourcing, procurement, cloud computing and software licencing. Anthony Lee, who is an expert in outsourcing, cloud computing, data protection and data security matters, advised Locpin on complying with UK data protection laws. Lee also handled software licencing and regulatory and compliance matters for PerfectData, and assisted Underscore with its software development agreement with Maana. James Orloff has experience in IT-related commercial contracts and corporate transactions. Recent arrivals include Mark Harden, who joined from Thrings LLP and handles corporate transactions in the TMT sector.

Edwin Coe LLPā€™s team acts for clients including Kingā€™s Cross Central and Babylon Health. Nick Phillips has expertise in data protection, e-commerce, domain names and internet-related issues. Simon Miles, who advises on IT-related contracts and contractual and copyright infringements, assisted the Association of Accounting Technicians with its agreement with the South African Institute of Chartered Accountants pertaining to the transition of IT services. Senior associate Charlie White is experienced in advising on agreements and data protection issues.

Gowling WLGā€™s technology team is spread across the firmā€™s London and Birmingham offices, and has strengths in IT and outsourcing. Clients include Marks & Spencer and the London Borough of Croydon. Sally Mewies heads the team, and has considerable experience handling technology contracts-related matters. Patrick Arben, who focuses on contentious issues in the technology sector, recently acted for Sanctuary Housing in a SAP software implementation dispute with Ciber UK. Sarah Sasse has expertise in IT and outsourcing, most notably in the public sector, and is handling a significant procurement project for the University of Leeds. Vanessa de Froberville is a data protection specialist.

HFWā€™s group has ā€˜a practicalā€™ approach and key expertise in the insurance, logistics, shipping and aviation sectors. Anthony Woolich, who heads the practice and has ā€˜an accessibleā€™, ā€˜practicalā€™ and ā€˜business-orientedā€™ manner, has core strengths in software and outsourcing agreements, and data protection. Craig Neame focuses on IT outsourcing and procurement; Nick Hutton is an expert in commercial and corporate matters pertaining to technology and telecoms; and Daniel Martin is noted for his regulatory expertise, including assisting with international trade sanctions, export controls, customs and anti-corruption. Paul Wordley joined EC3 Legal

Harbottle & Lewis LLPā€™s team is ā€˜very responsiveā€™ and ā€˜extremely commercialā€™. Practice head Daniel Tozer is an expert in complex technology transactions. His recent highlights include advising Virgin on its app-based members club Virgin Red, and handling various technology deals for Telenor. Tony Ballard, who heads the telecoms practice, has significant experience in broadcasting law. Ballard advised Route Research on contracts for the funding and commissioning of a six-year research project, and assisted Telenor Satellite with an agreement between satellite operators that would make available satellite Ka-band capacity and its integration into a lesseeā€™s own satellite infrastructure. Senior Associate Rebecca Collard specialises in disruptive technology.

ilaw is a technology-focused boutique, which focuses on contentious and non-contentious matters, and has significant strengths in data protection and fundraising issues. Justin Ellis is an expert in technology contracts, particularly in software, outsourcing and data protection matters. Mark Culbert specialises in IT contract disputes and data protection matters. Associate Alex Hall has experience in IT and software-related disputes, and Solicitor Zoe Kelly handles IT-related contracts and corporate transactions.

Kemp IT Lawā€™s ā€˜excellentā€™ team is ā€˜very responsiveā€™ and provides ā€˜invaluable adviceā€™. The ā€˜very knowledgeableā€™ and ā€˜helpfulā€™ Richard Kemp leads the practice. Highlights included advising consulting firm BearingPoint on the contractual issues concerning its digital ecosystem management platform Inofnova R6 SaaS, and handling CSCā€™s acquisition of Fixnetix, a low latency connectivity provider for financial trading. Other work includes assisting Microsoft with public sector cloud operations. Solicitor Deirdre Moynihan was a recent arrival from Morrison & Foerster (UK) LLP, and focuses on IT law with a particular interest in artificial intelligence. Nooreen Ajmal joined the team in 2016.

Lewis Silkin LLPā€™s ā€˜very professionalā€™ team has ā€˜strong knowledgeā€™ in the space and ā€˜fast response timesā€™. The group acts for clients including Facebook and HP. James Gill is head of the commercial and technology practice and an expert in technology-related transactions. Nathalie Moreno specialises in data protection and cyber security issues.

Michelmores LLPā€™s ā€˜excellentā€™ team has ā€˜a practical approachā€™, and is ā€˜efficientā€™ and ā€˜flexibleā€™. Tom Torkar is ā€˜incredibly knowledgeableā€™ and has a flexible approach. Torkar advised the Metropolitan Police Service on the procurement of a national framework for the delivery of IT solutions, and assisted Pay4Later with its contracts with the retailers that use its cloud-based platform. Associate Emily Timmins has ā€˜a calm approachā€™.

Mills & Reeve LLPā€™s team is highly regarded for handling public sector and healthcare technology projects, and acts for clients including the Department for Education and NHS Property Services. Kevin Calder, who leads the technology team, advised Great Ormond Street Hospital on an electronic patient record procurement, and assisted the Security Industry Authority with its key outsourcing contracts. Peter Wainman specialises in IT and data protection, with a particular emphasis on health technology. Wainman recently assisted University College London Hospitals with its digital transformation, including handling procurement issues and drafting contracts, and advises the Financial Conduct Authority on its supplier relationship with Fujitsu. Principal associate Sophie Burton-Jones is also noted.

Norton Rose Fulbrightā€™s ā€˜very knowledgeableā€™ team provides ā€˜excellent response timesā€™ and stands out for its ā€˜depthā€™. Clients include Orange and McLaren Racing. Mike Rebeiro, who is the firmā€™s global head of technology and innovation, advised a global professional services firm on the global licensing of a SAP ERP system. Sean Murphy heads the firmā€™s technology sector group in EMEA and has particular expertise in the fintech sector; he acted for the founding shareholders of Sabio on the sale of the business. Oliver Stacey, who is a key name for technology and telecoms transactions, advised Orange on the sale of its interest in EE to BT. Mark Simpson, who is a specialist in antitrust and competition matters and specialises in the telecoms sector; acted for Vodafone in dispute pertaining to a claim brought against the suppliers of smart chips.

Preiskel & Co LLPā€™s ā€˜very smart and friendly teamā€™ provides ā€˜an excellent level of serviceā€™. Practice head Daniel Preiskel and Ronnie Preiskel handle commercial and regulatory matters in the telecoms sector and are praised for their ā€˜attention to detailā€™. Highlights included advising the Government of the Falkland Islands on revamping its regulatory regime. Tim Cowen, who is an expert in competition and telecom regulatory matters, is representing CityFibre in a dispute with Ofcom pertaining to the latterā€™s dark fibre pricing. Jose Saras has experience in telecoms, technology and data protection law.

PricewaterhouseCoopers Legal LLPā€™s practice head Juan Crosby has particular expertise in ICT and business process sourcing arrangements, and is also highly regarded for his expertise in areas including enterprise software licensing, open-source software and e-commerce. James Castro-Edwards joined the firm from Wedlake Bell LLP.

Shepherd and Wedderburnā€™s team acts for clients including BT, Vodafone and AT&T. Gordon Moir focuses on regulatory and anti-trust support issues; he is acting for the European Competitive Telecommunications Association in defending a challenge brought by Orange Polska pertaining to a substantial fine imposed for abuse of dominance. Paul Carlyle heads the media and technology team. Joanna Boag-Thomson, who has significant experience in outsourcing matters, advised Skills Development Scotland on the procurement options pertaining to its multi-sourced IT/IS solution, and assisted VServ with a virtual betting services agreement with Vermantia concerning a virtual football game. John MacKenzie has significant experience in commercial litigation in the IT sector.

Stevens & Bolton LLPā€™s practice head Beverley Whittaker, who has significant experience in IT contracts, and Gary Parnell, who is an expert in IT and outsourcing matters, advised on hosting, maintenance and data sharing issues for TGI Fridays. Whitaker also assisted Land Securities with its IT procurement requirements and Parnell advised the UK Medicines Verification Organisation on the appointment of an IT supplier. Beverley Flynn has notable expertise in IT supply and procurement contracts. Samsung is also a client.

Travers Smith LLPā€™s ā€˜excellentā€™ team provides ā€˜fastā€™ and ā€˜accurateā€™ advice, and acts for clients including Orange, the Trainline and Ambassadors Theatre Group. Practice head Dan Reavill advised Micro Focus on its merger with Hewlett Packard Enterpriseā€™s software business, and assisted Essentra with outsourcing its IT support functions to corporate IT services firm Mindtree. Recently promoted partner Louisa Chambers specialises in IT and data protection law and senior associates James Longster and Ashley Avery advise on all aspects of IT and telecoms law.

Wallace LLPā€™s team provides ā€˜an amazingā€™ service. Highlights included advising Competitive Capabilities International on licensing its software to EY, and handling the regulatory aspects of the Excel Group of Companiesā€™ expansion, including advising on upstream supply contracts with mobile telephone providers and managed service agreements. Practice head Frank Jennings has a strong track record advising on cloud technology; John Woodhouse is an expert in acting for entrepreneurial growth companies; David Judah is a key name for M&A in the space; and Craig Thompson focuses on contentious matters in the technology and communications sectors.

Wedlake Bell LLPā€™s clients include Tesco and Spire Healthcare. Adam Edwards, who heads the IT group, assisted Reed Exhibitions with the drafting and negotiation of complex IT agreements with its international service providers, partners and suppliers. He also advised Spire Healthcare on the IT aspects of its new two-storey specialist cancer centre with a two-bunker radiotherapy facility. Jonathan Cornthwaite focuses on drafting and negotiating all types of commercial agreements and cybersecurity expert James Castro-Edwards was a new arrival from PricewaterhouseCoopers Legal LLP. Senior associates Adam Betts and Harry Jupp provided IT, IP and data security advice to retail app Ubamarket.

White & Case LLPā€™s ā€˜excellentā€™ team acts for clients including Facebook, Google and Afrimax Vodafone. Jonathan Langley, who has ā€˜a strong M&A backgroundā€™ and ā€˜expertise that is unparalleledā€™, jointly heads the team with Eric Michailov, who also specialises in M&A and corporate issues, and has a considerable focus on Russia. Langley advised HSBC on the sale of certain shares in O3b to SES, and handled Digital Realtyā€™s acquisition of eight European carrier-neutral data centres across Europe. David Eisenberg is an expert in acquisition and joint ventures in the telecoms sector.

Intellectual property

Index of tables

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Bird & Bird LLPā€™s practice is ā€˜responsive, brief and commercialā€™, and acts for high-profile clients such as Dr. Reddyā€™s Laboratories and EE. Morag Macdonald, who is the firmā€™s international IP practice co-head, is renowned for her work on cross-border patent litigation; her clients include Baxter, Velocys and ConvaTec. The London IP team is led by Katharine Stephens and Robert Williams. Litigator Stephens handles patent, trade marks and design matters, most notably for Nokia and Philip Morris International. Patent litigator Williams acts for clients including BT, The Dow Chemical Company and Allergan. Peter Brownlow leads the trade mark, copyright and designs practice; he recently represented Merck KGaA in a trade mark and breach of contract claim against Merck, Sharp & Dohme. Jane Mutimear is a key name for IP disputes, handling work for clients including Nandoā€™s and LloydsPharmacy. The ā€˜extremely personable, sharp and intelligentā€™ Phil Sherrell successfully acted for De Beers Group in a domain name dispute before the World Intellectual Property Organisation. Patent litigator Mark Hilton specialises in the life sciences sector, frequently acting for key client Actavis. Trade mark specialist Mark Holah is also noted and has advised clients including 7-Eleven, FabergĆ©, and Claireā€™s. Other key figures in the team include Tom Snaith, who focuses on transactional and commercial IP law, and former vice president and head of litigation at Nokia Richard Vary, who joined the firm in 2016. Recently promoted partner Ewan Grist specialises in cross-border patent litigation.

Bristows LLPā€™s team is ā€˜top of the field in all IP mattersā€™. The firm has a highly diverse IP practice and focuses predominantly on the life sciences and TMT sectors. It is known for its ā€˜hands-on approachā€™, and its impressive client roster includes AstraZeneca, Novartis, and Samsung. Brian Cordery is ā€˜energeticā€™ and ā€˜hugely respected among clients, competitors, barristers and the judgesā€™; he jointly heads the IP litigation team with Myles Jelf, who is ā€˜a leading lightā€™ in the TMT sector. The team has ā€˜a wealth of experienceā€™ in patent litigation, and includes ā€˜exceptionally able litigatorsā€™ Robert Burrows, who is ā€˜highly intelligentā€™ and ā€˜well- placed to handle complex and difficult litigation in the life science sectorā€™, and the ā€˜extremely brightā€™ and ā€˜absolutely committedā€™ Andrew Bowler. Patent litigator Liz Cohen also specialises in life sciences, where her clients include Celltrion and Smith & Nephew. Matthew Warren, who is head of commercial IP, has particular expertise in emerging technology. Head of brands Paul Walsh, alongside Jeremy Blum, recently represented Mondelēz in opposing NestlĆ©ā€™s application to the UK trade marks registry to register the four finger shape of the KitKat as a trade mark. Laura Anderson and Fiona Nicolson specialise in transactional IP.

Powell Gilbert LLPā€™s team is ā€˜absolutely superb in every wayā€™ and its IP litigation practice acts for clients including Actavis, Sony and Illumina. High-profile cases include defending smartphone manufacturer Huawei in a patent case brought by Unwired Planet and Ericsson, and representing Actavis in a dispute with Warner-Lambert (Pfizer) pertaining to an alleged patent infringement. The group also acted for Biogen in litigation pertaining to a biosimilar for AbbVieā€™s prescription drug Humira. Practice head Penny Gilbert predominantly handles IP litigation and advisory work in the life sciences sector. Simon Ayrton specialises in IP dispute resolution, but also handles parallel import and repackaging, and anti-counterfeiting matters. IP litigator Zoe Butler is best known for her patent expertise, but also covers copyright, trade marks and design right matters. Ari Laakkonen, Tim Powell and Tim Whitfield are other names to note. Bethan Hopewell and Peter Damerell were recently promoted to partner.

Allen & Overy LLP recently transformed its practice, adding four new partners from Simmons & Simmons: Marc Dƶring, who is ā€˜a superb all-round litigator and a master tactician who has a complete understanding of patent litigation' and ā€˜a calm litigatorā€™, fellow patent litigators Marjan Noor, who has considerable expertise in the life sciences sector, and Mark Heaney, who is a key name for clients in the technology sector, and trade mark and design expert David Stone, who is ā€˜a solicitor with the mind of a judge who is able to lead a large litigation team with great skill and tactical nousā€™. Stone represented Fox Entertainment Group in a high-profile trade mark case pertaining to the television series Glee. Patent litigator and practice head Nicola Dagg is ā€˜a fantastic rainmaker with a large followingā€™; she and Mark Ridgway, whose ā€˜attention to detail is second to noneā€™ and who focuses on contentious IP in the telecoms and pharmaceutical sectors, represented Warner-Lambert (a Pfizer company) in a dispute pertaining to the enforcement of a second medical use patent pertaining to the drug Lyrica. IP litigator Neville Cordell, alongside Dagg, are advising Regeneron Pharmaceuticals on its global enforcement strategy pertaining to its transgenic mouse technology, which includes representing the client in patent infringement proceedings before the Court of Appeal. Jim Ford leads on commercial IP, his clients include GlaxoSmithKline and Asahi Breweries.

Baker McKenzie has a diverse IP practice, which covers all aspects of IP. Practice head Michael Hart handles contentious and non-contentious matters, with a particular emphasis on copyright, designs, trade marks and trade secrets; his clients include HSBC and Sony. Ben Allgrove primarily focuses on regulatory and contentious issues, mainly relating to digital media; he acts for clients including Google, Hit Entertainment and Pinterest. Michelle Blunt heads the transactional and commercial IP practice. Hiroshi Sheraton specialises in patent litigation, mainly in the life sciences sector; he was part of a team handling several matters for Basilea Pharmaceutica, including advising on the exclusive licence of a drug product in certain jurisdictions to a pharmaceutical company, and assisting with the re-purchase of a product from a major pharmaceutical company. Paul Rawlinson, who serves as the global chair of the firm, leads on advice to Eli Lilly and Company on the clientā€™s global anti-counterfeiting programme, recent work includes handling anti-counterfeiting actions for Elanco, Eli Lillyā€™s animal health company.

CMSā€™ team provides ā€˜excellent service in all areasā€™, and its recent three-way merger with Olswang LLP and Nabarro LLP has significantly boosted its capabilities. Tom Scourfield, who is ā€˜a fountain of knowledgeā€™, recently represented NestlĆ© in opposition proceedings brought by Mondelēz pertaining to the clientā€™s UK trade mark application to register the shape of a four finger KitKat. He also advises BT on the enforcement of its IP rights on its BT Sport channels, which has included developing an online and offline enforcement strategy. The ā€˜very professionalā€™ and ā€˜knowledgeableā€™ Poonam Majithia, specialises in the sport, TMT and consumer products sectors. Guy Heath, who was formerly head of Nabarro LLPā€™s practice, focuses on IP transactions and trade mark law. Joel Barry, previously head of Olswang LLPā€™s IP practice, covers a wide range of IP matters, but is best known for his expertise in brand protection.

Gowling WLGā€™s team acts for various high-profile companies, including Dyson, Unilever, and Aston Martin. Highlights included advised Fujifilm Kyowa Kirin Biologics on clearing the way to launch a biosimilar to the Humira drug, which includes representing the client in litigation pertaining to the revocation of certain patents. Practice head Gordon Harris has particular expertise in patent disputes in the engineering and technology sectors. David Barron heads the technology patent litigation team; he led a team representing InterDigital in two high-profile patent disputes with Nokia. Patent litigator Alexandra Brodie, who has a particular focus on telecommunications technology, recently represented Marks & Spencer in pursuing a claim pertaining to an alleged patent and unregistered design right infringement against Asda regarding a school shirt cuff design.Nick Cunningham is an expert on copyright and patent disputes, specifically in the telecoms sector. Other key names include brands and designs expert John Coldham and Matt Harvey, who specialises in patent law disputes.

Herbert Smith Freehills LLPā€™s team, which consists primarily of individuals with engineering and scientific backgrounds, acts for clients including AbbVie and Unilever. Practice head Mark Shillito has core expertise in the life sciences sector. Joel Smith, who has a strong track record acting for clients in the media, technology and retail sectors, recently represented Sky in copyright infringement proceedings against publicans that broadcast Sky football on commercial premises through domestic viewing cards. Patent law specialist Sophie Rich is best known for her work in the pharmaceutical sector. Sebastian Moore, who also focuses on the pharmaceutical sector, recently acted for Gilead Sciences in multiple patent disputes with Idenix (now owned by Merck) concerning a hepatitis treatment drug. Patent law expert Andrew Moir focuses on the technology sector, and recently defended Unilever against a compensation claim brought by a former employee regarding inventions made during his employment. Complex patent law specialist Rebekah Gay recently joined from the firmā€™s Sydney office. Christopher Sharp joined Pinsent Masons LLP and David Wilson joined Carpmaels & Ransford LLP.

Hogan Lovells International LLPā€™s team stands out for its ā€˜strengthā€™ and ā€˜depthā€™, and it handles all aspects of IP for an impressive list of clients including Mars, Merck Sharp & Dohme, and Vodafone. Patent litigator Stephen Bennett has a ā€˜sensible head on his shouldersā€™ and provides ā€˜practicalā€™ and ā€˜sensible adviceā€™. Daniel Brook is ā€˜technically very competentā€™ and ā€˜gets the ins and outs of even the most complex piece of patent litigationā€™. Paul Brown also focuses on patent litigation, mainly for medical devices and electronics clients. Trade mark and brand specialist Sahira Khwaja is ā€˜very knowledgeableā€™ and has ā€˜a particular eye for detailā€™. Trade mark expert Charlie Winckworth, who recently advised Ford on a number of technology projects, is ā€˜experienced with a strong client baseā€™ and ā€˜works hard to achieve the right result for his clientsā€™. Patent specialist Paul Brown focuses on the electronics and medical devices sector, and recently represented Vodafone in a fair, reasonable, and non-discriminatory terms licensing dispute with Intellectual Ventures. Sarah Turner specialises in trade secrets and transactions. ā€˜Excellentā€™ senior associate Anneka Dalton is ā€˜extremely thorough and clearly passionate about her workā€™ and associate Laura Whiting is ā€˜a no-nonsense litigatorā€™.

Taylor Wessing LLPā€™s expertise in this space spans a number of sectors, but it is particularly strong in technology, media, pharmaceutical and consumer goods. The practice is led by Niri Shanmuganathan, who specialises in soft IP and has strong expertise in the media and publishing sector. Nigel Stoate heads up the patent litigation team, and focuses heavily on the life sciences and technology sectors. He represented Hospira / Pfizer in litigation pertaining to the launch of biosimilar drug Trastuzumab. Mark Owen is an expert in copyright, trade mark and design law, particularly in the media sector; he recently advised Casual Dining Group on the protection of its brand portfolio, which includes Bella Italia, Belgo and CafĆ© Rouge. Kathleen Fox Murphy joined the firm from Brown Rudnick LLP.

DLA Piper has a diverse IP practice and acts for high-profile clients such as Amazon and Lloyds Bank. Simon Levine, who is the global co-chief executive officer and managing partner of the firm, is well known for his work in contentious IP, particularly in the media, sport and technology sectors. The London team is led by Ruth Hoy, who also co-chairs the firmā€™s fashion team, has particular strengths in trade mark and copyright matters. Adam Cooke focuses primarily on litigation in the life sciences and technology sectors; he recently represented Novo Nordisk in a patent dispute against Regeneron. Soft IP specialist John Wilks specialises in the media, technology and sport sectors, and recently advised Emirates Airline on infringements and unauthorised use of the clientā€™s brands, which included handling trade mark, copyright and domain name issues. He also advised British Airways and Unilever on IP strategies for exploiting and protecting commercially valuable data. Wilks, Simon Levine and Ruth Hoy, have handled various matters for the Premier League concerning the clientā€™s copyright enforcement programme.

Fieldfisher has traditionally been best known for its soft IP expertise, but has recently strengthened its patent litigation practice with the additions of Diana Sternfeld, Nicole Jadeja and Rebecca Baines from Rouse IP Limited's patent litigation group. Sternfield brings ā€˜huge energy and commitment to every projectā€™ and stands out for her ā€˜confidenceā€™ and ā€˜prowessā€™ in the space. Nicole Jadeja is ā€˜astuteā€™, ā€˜very good technicallyā€™, and ā€˜hardworking, responsive and extremely personableā€™. Recent highlights include representing GlaxoSmithKline in a patent litigation dispute with Pfizer regarding Meningitis B vaccines. Nick Rose leads the IP and technology litigation group; his recent work includes acting for the Karen Millen clothing retailer in a trade mark dispute with its founder and eponym Karen Millen. Leighton Cassidy, who heads the IP protection team, recently advised Dixons Carphone on its trade mark portfolio.

Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLPā€™s practice works across a number of different areas. Avril Martindale focuses on IP transactions, and recently advised on AB InBevā€™s acquisition of SABMiller. Giles Pratt, who specialises in transactions, disputes and data privacy, recently represented the tobacco company JTI in its application for a judicial review of the governmentā€™s decision on plain packaging rules for certain tobacco products. He also advised Tesco on its sale of several of its businesses, including restaurant chain Giraffe, Dobbies Garden Centres and coffee shops Harris + Hoole. In another highlight, the team acted for Sony Pictures Entertainment in the European Commissionā€™s investigation of pay-TV licensing arrangements between six major Hollywood studios and Sky.

Harbottle & Lewis LLPā€™s team is renowned for its work in the technology, media and entertainment sections, with clients including Invictus Games Foundation. Known for his particular expertise in the technology sector, Jeremy Morton is ā€˜an extremely skilled lawyerā€™, who stands out for his ā€˜swift turn aroundā€™ of work and ā€˜responsiveā€™ approach. Shireen Peermohamed is known for her work in contentious IP, with experience in handling litigation and ADR. Other key figures include contentious IP expert Andy Millmore, broadcasting specialist Tony Ballard and trade mark expert Georgy Evans. Recent work highlights include handling trade mark and copyright matters for the estate of Sir Terry Pratchett, and advising Warpaint Cosmetics on its branding, packaging and product design. New clients include independent games publisher System 3 Software and the online messaging platform Emoticast.

Lewis Silkin LLP stands out for its ā€˜excellently integrated IP workā€™, particularly in the soft IP space. Giles Crown, who is ā€˜knowledgeableā€™, ā€˜pragmaticā€™, ā€˜proactiveā€™ and ā€˜efficientā€™, focuses on trade marks, copyright and designs. It frequently handles high-profile matters, including advising Nissan on the use of its IP by Vote Leave and Business for Britain during the Brexit referendum campaign; the implication was that Nissan supported these organisations when it had not. Dispute resolution head Simon Chapman is a key name for the protection and enforcement of IP rights. Highlights included defending House of Fraser in a dispute with Jack Wills, pertaining to the pigeon logo associated with its Linea garments, which allegedly infringed upon the pheasant logo associated with Jack Wills.Jeremy Summers focuses primarily on the media, entertainment and sports sectors. Nick Walker handles contentious IP, particularly on copyright and trade mark matters. Jo Farmer heads the brands and IP practice, who recently advised (founded by on a wearable technology watch.

Linklaters LLP handles contentious and non-contentious IP, representing clients such as Johnson & Johnson, Intel and Novartis. Litigator Ian Karet, who heads the IP practice, is, according to one client, ā€˜the person you want in your corner if things become contentiousā€™. He recently advised NestlĆ© on its agreement with PAI Partners to create Froneri, a new ice-cream, frozen food and chilled dairy company. He is also representing Merck & Co in a high-profile trade mark dispute with Merck KgaA. Richard Cumbley is the global head of TMT/IP and the transactional IP practice is led by Nemone Franks who is ā€˜hugely personable and brilliant to have on your side in negotiationsā€™. Other key figures include IP litigator Nigel Jones and of counsel Yohan Liyanage, who acted for Johnson & Johnson in a patent revocation case brought by Eli Lilly concerning an antibody to treat Alzheimerā€™s disease. Associate Isabelle Guyot has ā€˜an amazing intellectā€™ and is ā€˜one to watchā€™.

Marks & Clerk Solicitorsā€™s team covers all aspects of IP, and is particularly known for its ā€˜client-focused approach to litigationā€™ and ā€˜timely, proactive, focussed and effectiveā€™ advice. The group stands out for its ā€˜excellenceā€™ at partner level, and level of ā€˜technical expertiseā€™ at associate level. Practice head Mike Gilbert, is a key name for patent litigation in the life sciences sector, and is ā€˜great at client careā€™. The ā€˜very effectiveā€™ William Cook specialises in patent litigation and licensing and Graham Burnett-Hall is also a prominent patent litigator. Kirsten Gilbert heads the trade mark and brand protection practice, Michael Moore handles patent and design rights, most notably in the technology sector, Charlie Balme advises on patent disputes and trade mark and commercial IP matters and Dafydd Bevan is ā€˜very conscientious and hard-workingā€™. Of counsel Vicky Butterworth is ā€˜an excellent lawyerā€™ and ā€˜a great team playerā€™. John de Rohan-Truba is ā€˜bright, thoughtful and hard-workingā€™, and fellow associate Chris Pratt is ā€˜good at technical mattersā€™.

Mishcon de Reya LLP focuses on all aspects of IP, and has a strong reputation for its patent litigation work. Microsoft, Pfizer and Tesco are longstanding clients of the practice, while Sky and News Corp are new clients. Practice head Jeremy Hertzog, handles various IP matters; he recently represented Jack Willis in a dispute with House of Fraser concerning a pigeon logo on a clothing line. David Rose, who was a new arrival from King & Wood Mallesons, has a strong reputation for contentious matters. He recently defended Dr Reddyā€™s Laboratories in a patent infringement claim brought by Warner-Lambert / Pfizer regarding its second medical use patent for the epilepsy drug Pregabalin, and handled trade mark protection and enforcement issues for Sky. Other key names include Ray Black, Sally Britton, Lewis Cohen, Martyn Hann and Peter Nunn.

At Osborne Clarke LLP, the team covers a number of different areas of IP, and has gained a reputation for its cross-jurisdictional advice. The team recently received a significant boost, hiring four partners from Rouse IP Limited, including IP litigator Arty Rajendra, trade marks specialist Mark Foreman, senior associate Richard May and chartered trade mark attorney Leanne Gulliver. Clients include Facebook, the European Commission and Ubisoft, while Toni & Guy, Motorola and Hays are new clients. Practice head Lorna Brazell is conducting market analysis for the European Commission in a study pertaining to how IP laws affect data. Robert Guthrie joined from King & Wood Mallesons, and is known for his work in contentious IP. Nick Johnson focuses mainly on marketing and advertising law issues. Other key names include commercial transactions specialist Paul Gardner, life sciences and healthcare expert Janita Good and John Davidson-Kelly, who has particular expertise in content acquisition and licensing.

Pinsent Masons LLP has a multi-disciplinary IP practice that provides ā€˜high-qualityā€™, ā€˜timelyā€™ and ā€˜relevantā€™ advice. The team is led by the ā€˜phenomenally successfulā€™ Clare Tunstall, who is noted for her patent litigation expertise. Iain Connor specialises in IP disputes, and recently represented Interflora in a keyword advertising dispute with Marks & Spencer. Adrian Murray heads the patent and trade mark attorney team and has ā€˜quality industry expertiseā€™ in the pharmaceutical sector. Litigator Charlotte Weekes is ā€˜fantastic with clientsā€™ and has ā€˜superb judgementā€™. Deborah Bould is known for her work handling patent disputes and Allistair Booth advises on transactions in the life sciences sector. Patent specialist Catherine Drew joined from Olswang LLP, and senior associate Christopher Sharp, who is ā€˜technically very soundā€™ and is ā€˜excellent to work withā€™, was a new arrival from Herbert Smith Freehills LLP. Associate Tamsin Cornwell is ā€˜extremely down to earthā€™ and ā€˜fantastic with the details of a caseā€™.

Redd Solicitors LLPā€™s team focuses primarily on the retail, consumer goods and financial services sectors. Practice head Anna Carboni has a strong reputation for contentious soft IP matters, particularly in the life sciences, technology and retail sectors. Simon Chalkley has a strong track record in transactional IP, and considerable experience acting for fashion and luxury brand clients. Litigator Sara Ashby is also a key figure and Michael Browne, who was recently made partner, also has particular expertise in litigation. Associate director John Colbourn is experienced in litigation and soft IP and senior associate Victoria Gyles handles contentious and non-contentious matters regarding patent and trade mark law. The team recently acted for Gilead Sciences in a trade mark dispute with Taiwan Liposome Company concerning an anti-fungal drug containing amphotericin B in a liposomal preparation. The firm has also advised Gucci on trade mark registry matters before the UKā€™s IPO, and advised Microsoft on trade mark matters. *Following publication of the 2017 edition, the firm merged with Wiggin LLP.

ā€˜Amazing on all frontsā€™, the group at Simmons & Simmons provides ā€˜Magic Circle advice at a much cheaper priceā€™. The team is highly regarded for its work in the life sciences and technology sectors, and acts for clients including GlaxoSmithKline and Morgan Stanley. The practice is headed by patent litigator Rowan Freeland. Kevin Mooney is known for his expertise as a patent litigator in the life sciences sector. Michael Gavey also has considerable strength in the life sciences, most notably in patent and technology licensing; he recently advised the Institute of Cancer Research on the sale of a portion of the royalty entitlement for the sales of the drug Zytiga to Drug Royalty III. Patent litigator Scott Parker works closely with pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies and represented ViiV Healthcare in its high-profile dispute with Teva pertaining to anti-HIV drug Kivexa. Marc Dƶring, Mark Heaney, Marjan Noor and David Stone joined Allen & Overy LLP.

Arnold & Porter Kaye Scholer LLPā€™s team provides ā€˜clearā€™ and ā€˜practicalā€™ advice. The practice is headed by transactions expert Richard Dickinson, patent litigator Christopher Stothers, who is ā€˜excellentā€™ and ā€˜easy to get along withā€™, and Michael Bywell, who was a new arrival from MinterEllisonRuddWatts in New Zealand. Stothers, who has considerable expertise in the life sciences sector, recently represented medical technology company Heraeus Medical in a trade secrets dispute with bone cement manufacturer Biomet, and also advised Karen Millen on restrictions to trading under her own name after selling off her eponymous brand in 2004. Other key names include technology-focused litigator Michael Bywell and associate Paul Abbott.

Carpmaels & Ransford LLP acts for clients including Biogen Idec and Crawford Healthcare. The ā€˜excellentā€™ Jonathan Day heads the firmā€™s trade mark practice. Jake Marshall, who is head of transactions, recently advised Orphan Europe (part of the Recordati Group) on a patent licence and collaboration agreement pertaining to a drug candidate. Ian Kirby, who heads the disputes practice, is defending Align Technology in a claim brought by Your Smile Direct alleging infringements of multiple patents regarding teeth aligner technology. Patent litigator Camilla Balleny, who is ā€˜astuteā€™ and ā€˜a delight to deal withā€™, handled a complex patent litigation case for Cubist. David Wilson, who is a new arrival from Herbert Smith Freehills LLP, is ā€˜an impressive litigatorā€™ and has a ā€˜wonderful client mannerā€™. Senior associate Sarah Johnson focuses on multi-jurisdictional litigation, and senior associate Jennifer Antcliff is particularly focused on the biotech and pharmaceutical sectors.

Charles Russell Speechlys LLP covers all aspects of IP law, acting for clients including Cadbury, Debenhams and Harcourt Developments. The IP practice is jointly headed by Mary Bagnall, who specialises in soft IP and has expertise in brand protection strategies for start-ups and acquisitions, and Ian Wood, who has significant experience in contentious IP and IP strategy implementation. He recently represented Deepak Nitrite in a patent revocation case relating to complex chemicals used for brightening/lightening paper, and acted for The Big Bus Company in a dispute with Ticketogo pertaining to an alleged patent infringement relating to ā€˜print at homeā€™ ticket technology. Other recent highlights include acting for Stanley Dock Hotel and Titanic Trademark in a dispute over the name ā€˜Titanicā€™. Jennifer Pierce, who leads the commercialisation and transactional IP practice, recently advised on the sale of Inventive Medical, a wholly owned trading subsidiary of Uclh Charity. Kate Oā€™Rourke, who heads the trade mark portfolio strategy and prosecution practice, is also noted.

Cooley (UK) LLP has a diverse IP practice. Team head Nick Bolter is known for his expertise in trade mark and designs; he recently represented Twitter in various disputes relating to its Periscope platform, and advised Timberland on the protection of its iconic wheat yellow boot. Life sciences patent specialist Colm Murphy was a new arrival from Venner Shipley LLP. Sarah Pearce focuses mainly on the technology sector, primarily handling transactions and Chris Coulter is a key name for technology and telecommunications transactions. Special counsel Claire Lehr, who is noted for her trade mark and design rights expertise, advised YouMedical (a subsidiary of Trimb Healthcare) on its trade mark of the word ā€˜wartieā€™ for body and skincare products. European and chartered patent attorney David Wraige is also a key figure. Tesla Motors is another client. Akash Sachdeva joined Keystone Law.

D Young & Co LLP has expertise in trade mark, patent and copyright law, particularly in contentious matters. The team acts for clients including Procter & Gamble, Johnson & Johnson, Rolex and Skechers. Ian Starr covers all aspects of IP, and is well-known for his work in the FMCG, broadcasting and pharmaceutical sectors. Richard Willoughby, who is a highly regarded patent litigator, recently acted for Takeda in an opposition against its patent for the type two diabetes drug Alogliptin. Antony Craggs is a recent arrival from Gowling WLG; his highlights include representing EVVA Sicherheitstechnologie in a patent infringement dispute with Fresh Collection concerning a key for a cylinder locking system pat, and acting for beauty products company Paris Presents in pursuing a claim against Lifestyle Products concerning the alleged infringed of its make-up brush designs. Trade mark and design specialist Tamsin Holman is also noted.

Dechert LLP has a strong track record handling contentious IP on an international scale. Highlights included representing Alibaba in IP disputes across various jurisdictions, and advising Thomas Cook on its international trade mark portfolio and the rebranding and launch of two new brands. Other work includes advising restaurant brand Dishoom on copyright, infringement and worldwide brand protection, and defending online retailer Asos in trade mark opposition proceedings brought by Roger Maier. Practice head Paul Kavanagh, who has a full-service IP practice, provides ā€˜commercially astute adviceā€™. Senior associate Kate Norman has particular expertise in trade mark and IP transactions, most notably in the life sciences sector and senior associate Nathan Smithā€™s practice is going ā€˜from strength to strengthā€™.

Dentons has an intentional practice that covers a wide range of IP issues. Clients include Virgin, Nokia and the Ministry of Defence. John Linneker, who is the practice co-head, has a strong track record handling contentious IP matters. Patent litigator Campbell Forsyth and patent prosecution expert Justin Hill were new arrivals from King & Wood Mallesons and Olswang LLP respectively. Forsyth acted for Resolution Chemicals in a dispute before the High Court, concerning Astra Zenecaā€™s drug Crestor, and represented Positec in a dispute with Husqvarna before the High Court; the court declared an infringement patent invalidity against Husqvarna. Andy Lucas is also noted.

EIP has made waves for its work in hi-tech patent litigation, and acts for clients including Unwired Planet, Visa Europe and Amgen. Practice head Gary Moss has ā€˜fantastic judgementā€™ and ā€˜can summarise even the most complex situation conciselyā€™. Patent litigator Matt Jones has particular expertise in the technology sector, and is ā€˜sound on the technical detailsā€™. Robert Lundie Smith focuses on contentious and non-contentious IP matters and patent law expert Andrew Sharples focuses mainly on the life sciences sector. Recent highlights include acting for Unwired Planet in a dispute with Samsung and Huawei pertaining to the licensing of its telecoms patent portfolio, and acting for Clear Correct in patent infringement proceedings brought by Align Technology concerning four of Alignā€™s patents. Other work includes acting for Immunex, a subsidiary of Amgen, pertaining to a claim brought by Aventis regarding the revocation of a patent owned by Immunex.

Jones Day has a broad international practice that has ā€˜a particularly good international angle on disputesā€™. The firm has a strong track record in the life sciences sector, working with companies such as Merck & Co in patent litigation. Other high-profile clients include American Apparel, and Wikimedia Foundation. ā€˜Superbā€™ practice head Alastair McCulloch is ā€˜technically very ableā€™ and ā€˜a good tacticianā€™; he recently represented Idenix Pharmaceuticals in a patent dispute with Gilead Sciences regarding a hepatitis C drug. He is also representing the Royal Academy in a dispute pertaining to opposition proceedings pertaining to the UK trade mark application ā€˜RAā€™; the case is currently at the appeal stage. Rebecca Swindells has significant experience in trade mark and copyright law.

Norton Rose Fulbrightā€™s ā€˜commercially awareā€™ team has expertise in contentious and non-contentious IP; it acts for clients including Carlsberg and Orange. Mike Knapper heads the firmā€™s Europe, Middle East and Asia IP practice, and has particular expertise handling commercial arrangements. His recent work includes advising Reckitt Benckiser on acquiring the K-Y brand from Johnson & Johnson, and advising Permasense on the sale of its patented wireless corrosion monitoring technology. Jonathan Ball, who heads the London IP practice, specialises in big-ticket patent litigation, but recently compiled and filed applications for copyright registration in China for McLaren Racing. Huw Evans, who has a full-service IP practice, recently acted for Saab Seaeye in a patent litigation dispute regarding two key Atlas patents. Of counsel Clare Jackman specialises in trade mark law.

At RPC, the ā€˜client- and business-mindedā€™ team predominantly handles trade mark and copyright litigation, and transactional matters. Practice head Jeremy Drew, who stands out for the ā€˜sharpness and clarityā€™ of his advice, acted for Louis Roederer in a trade mark infringement and passing off claim against J Garcia CarriĆ³n (JGC) concerning Cristal champagne and JGCā€™s Cristalino. Paul Joseph and David Cran are ā€˜excellent lawyersā€™, and have expertise in contentious and non-contentious IP matters. Paul Joseph recently defended Sports Direct against claims brought by Beverly Hills Polo Club alleging trade mark infringement and inducing breach of contract. David Cran recently defended The States of Jersey Development Company against a copyright infringement claim brought by Hopkins Architects. IP and technology litigator Ciara Cullen, who was recently made partner, advised Pernod Ricard on endorsements and brand ambassador contracts for its various brands. Other key figures include legal directors Ben Mark and Georgia Davis, and senior associates Henry Priestley and Louise Morgan. Google and the BBC are also clients.

Reed Smith LLPā€™s team is jointly headed by Gregor Pryor and Stephen Sessa.The ā€˜experiencedā€™ Carolyn Pepper is ā€˜a very safe and comforting presenceā€™. Michael Skrein, who is an expert in copyright, trade mark and trade secrets disputes, is representing the UKā€™s five major internet service providers in a trade mark test case; luxury group Richemont has brought an application to use the internet service providersā€™ IP address and URL blocking systems to prevent access to websites that allegedly infringed upon its brands. Jonathan Radcliffe heads the patent practice and is noted for his experience in the life sciences and technology sectors; Stephen Edwards is an expert in copyright, especially in issues relating to broadcasting; and senior associate Louise Berg specialises in soft IP matters.

Slaughter and Mayā€™s practice handles contentious and non-contentious IP issues. Highlights included advising GlaxoSmithKline on Galvani Bioelectronics, a joint venture with Verily Life Sciences (formerly Google Life Sciences), for the research and development of bioelectronic medicines, and assisting Acetlion with Johnson & Johnsonā€™s offer to acquire the company. David Ives heads the practice and has particular expertise in commercial IP arrangements. Head of non-contentious IP Cathy Connolly acts for clients including Virgin, Rolls-Royce and Ineos. Susie Middlemiss, who also heads the firmā€™s contentious IP offering, is noted for her patent and technology expertise, and for handling IP litigation. Rob Sumroy is a key name for advising on major technology and telecoms integration agreements.

Squire Patton Boggsā€™s team stands out for its ā€˜business acumenā€™ and ā€˜very good adviceā€™. The team is representing Process Components Limited in a dispute with a former licensee concerning infringement of copyright, industrial design and trade marks, and misuse of confidential information. Other work includes managing the trade mark and design rights portfolio for global footwear brand Clarks, homeware company Cath Kidston and music management and promotion company Live Nation. Carl Rohsler is best known for his litigation expertise but covers the full-spectrum of IP advice; he advised energy drinks company Carabao on its sponsorship deals with Reading FC and London Fashion Week. Practice head Andrew Wilkinson focuses on advising on the IP aspects of transactions; Robert Wegenek advises on commercial contracts, IP licensing, joint ventures and corporate governance, among others; and Florian Traub leads the firmā€™s European trade mark and designs practice, and is ā€˜highly responsiveā€™ and ā€˜balances legal advice with the practicalities of businessesā€™.

The ā€˜excellentā€™ team at Stephenson Harwood has ā€˜superb legal skillsā€™ and is ā€˜easy to deal withā€™. It has strong expertise in sectors including life sciences, retail and luxury, and oil and gas and acts for clients including GlaxoSmithKline, Cell Medica and MoĆ«t-Hennessy. The team is led by ā€˜formidable litigatorā€™ Eifion Morris, who is known for his skillset in cross-border IP litigation. Alexandra Pygall handles commercial matters and litigation, and has ā€˜an excellent and commercial legal mind-setā€™. Peter Taylor handles contentious and non-contentious matters, but has a particular focus on litigation. Rob Jacob, who was recently promoted to the partnership, specialises in the life sciences and oil and gas sectors. Recent work include representing GlaxoSmithKline in a claim against Sandoz, a subsidiary of Novartis, which spans 30 countries. The firm also advised Lego on brand enforcement on copycat products.

Wiggin LLPā€™s team has a strong reputation for protecting IP rights online, and represents major media companies, including NBCUniversal and BBC Worldwide. Practice head Simon Baggs is adept at advising major film studios on actions to require internet service providers to block access that infringes copyrighted content. He and Rachel Alexander, who specialises in online IP, represented luxury group Richemont in a case against five UK internet service providers regarding the blocking of access to websites selling counterfeit goods. Alexander also represented PRS for Music in proceedings concerning the use of music in gaming machines, and acted for XL Media in a domain name dispute. Gurminder S. Panesar heads the brand management team, and recently worked with ad-tech business mporium Group on the IP regulatory aspects concerning its second-screen, mobile marketing solution.

WilmerHaleā€™s practice was bolstered by the arrivals of highly regarded patent litigator Justin Watts and associate Matthew Shade, who joined from Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP. Recent work included acting for BMS in a patent dispute with Merck & Co concerning an anti-PD-1 immunotherapy cancer drug. IP litigator Anthony Trenton has particular expertise in patent litigation.

Addleshaw Goddardā€™s team is particularly active in the consumer and retail sector, with clients including Primark, Sainsburyā€™s and beverage company Diageo. Practice head Emma Armitage is a key name for brand and design disputes; she and managing associate Rachel Cook recently defended Primark in two separate copyright infringement disputes. David Engel specialises in online rights and reputation matters; recently promoted partner Georgina Powling focuses on contentious and non-contentious IP matters; and Damon Rosamond-Lanzetta specialises in complex commercial and IT transactions.

Baker Botts (UK) LLPā€™s practice head Neil Coulson has particular expertise in contentious IP ā€“ handling patent litigation and trade mark disputes ā€“ particularly in the oil and gas, chemicals and electronics sectors. He represents domestic and international clients, and has a particular focus on Russian matters.

Briffa is a full-service practice that has a strong reputation for working with fashion designers and product designers, as well as acting for SMEs and start-ups. Clients include The Aga Khan University, Fig & Bloom and Honeycomb Project Management. Margaret Briffa and Ralph Wehrle, who focus on contentious IP matters, are the practice co-heads.

Brandsmithsā€™ team handles a range of IP matters, from handling anti-piracy issues in the UK and across Europe for Microsoft, assisting with design right and trade mark infringement actions for automotive companies such as Rolls-Royce, BMW and Mini, through to handling the IP portfolios of well-known brands such as Ministry of Sound as well as up-and-coming names. Partner Adam Morallee primarily focuses on copyright and trade mark issues, and is ably assisted by senior associates Andrew Lee, who is noted for his expertise in complex trade mark and passing-off matters, and Rob Foote, whose track record covers a range of commercial agreements in the automotive, media and sports sectors. Recent highlights include advising Dee Management on its strategy for its new fashion business The Modist, and representing Beverly Hills Polo Club in a dispute with Sports Direct pertaining to alleged trade mark infringement. In another key mandate, Morallee, Lee and associate Hayley Griffin are representing DAKS Simpson Group in High Court trade mark infringement proceedings concerning the clientā€™s DAKS trade mark and its check trade mark.

Brown Rudnick LLPā€™s team has notable expertise acting for clients in the luxury, retail and technology sectors, and clients include Clearcast, Lyst and Gina shoes. Alexander Carter-Silk is experienced in contentious and non-contentious issues, and senior associate Claire Blewett is a key name for disputes, particularly in the technology sector. Steven James is noted for his expertise in trade mark, patent and copyright matters. He recently advised the Consumers' Association and its brand ā€˜Which?ā€™ on brand licensing matters for major projects and collaborations.

Browne Jacobson LLPā€™s practice is headed by Declan Cushley, who is a key name for trade mark matters. Alex Watt specialises in non-contentious commercial transactions, while the firmā€™s patent litigation practice was boosted by the recent addition of Kathleen Fox Murphy from Taylor Wessing LLP. Recent highlights include representing Ericsson, as co-counsel, in its dispute with Unwired Planet. The team is also acting for the London Taxi Corporation in pursuing infringement and passing off claims; the case is currently on appeal. The firm also works in partnership with patent and trade mark prosecution practice Barker Brettell LLP. Lloyds Bank is also a client.

Burges Salmon LLPā€™s team is a popular choice for US companies. Recent highlights include assisting Starbucks with UK and EU trade mark infringement matters and proving clearance advice on new brands, logos and slogans. The group assisted Victoriaā€™s Secret with obtaining protections protection for its brands Pink and Bombshell, and advised Waitrose on IP licences in supplier relationships. The team handles brand protection matters for Harrods, which includes advising on trade mark infringements and issues with copyright and counterfeiting in the UK and internationally. Practice head Jeremy Dickerson is best known for handling contentious IP and Helen Scott-Lawler focuses primarily on transactional IP and commercial exploitation. At associate level, Emily Roberts and Georgina Shaw specialise in contentious IP, and Chris Morris is an expert in brand protection. The Discovery Channel is also a client.

Clifford Chance LLP has increased its ā€˜presenceā€™ in this space, following the recent arrival of the ā€˜charming but toughā€™ Stephen Reese from Olswang LLP; he has considerable expertise in the life sciences sector and the ā€˜confidence to listen to views from the whole teamā€™. Reese recently acted for Astex in a dispute with AstraZeneca regarding an Alzheimerā€™s drugā€™s clinical development. Brands specialist Vanessa Marsland, who focuses on the technology, media and consumer goods sectors, recently advised MondelĆ©z on the sale of various Australian brands, including Vegemite. Leigh Smith is experienced in handling soft IP, and fellow senior associate Anna Blest advises on transactional and contentious IP.

Clyde & Co LLPā€™s team is, according to one client, ā€˜one to watch over the next few yearsā€™. Recent highlights include defending the The Doctors Laboratory and TDL Genetics against patent infringement proceedings brought by Illumina and Sequenom. The team is also representing the AA in pursuing claims against several former, which includes alleged breach of confidence claims, copyright infringement proceedings and an application for an interim injunction. Practice head David Wilkinson has expertise in disputes and transactions; ā€˜excellentā€™ legal director Rebecca Costen is a key name for IP litigation and brand protection; and Ralph Cox is an ā€˜outstanding patent litigatorā€™, who also handles trade mark and design rights disputes. Other key figures include legal director Don McCombie and senior associate Isabel Ost. Fameccanica is also a client.

Collyer Bristow LLP acts for clients from a range of sectors. Patrick Wheeler, who is an expert in soft IP, recently represented Nigel Wooley, as the owner of the trade mark ā€˜Henleyā€™, in defending an invalidation claim before the EU General Court. Tim Bamford handles IP litigation and Karen Fong is experienced in the fashion and beauty sectors.

Edwin Coe LLPā€™s team provides ā€˜prompt and pragmaticā€™ advice. Simon Miles, who has expertise in both contentious and non-contentious IP work, and senior associate Karen Lee have ā€˜an excellent knowledgeā€™ of trade mark law and provide ā€˜sound, practical adviceā€™. Senior associate Charlie White is also noted. Recent highlights include advising The Copyrights Group and Paddington and Company on protecting the IP rights of brands including Paddington Bear, The Country Diary of an Edwardian Lady, Fungus the Bogeyman and Greenwich Polo Club. The firm also advised Silvergate Media on brand protection matters pertaining to the childrenā€™s book and television series Octonauts.

Eversheds Sutherland (International) LLPā€™s ā€˜excellentā€™ team provides ā€˜timely, well considered and pragmaticā€™ advice. Neil Mohring handles copyright, sponsorship and trade secret matters, and recently advised Apple Corps on the launch of The Beatles catalogue onto streaming platforms. The ā€˜excellentā€™ Andrew Terry has expertise in trade marks, copyright and sponsorship matters; he recently advised Coca-Cola on its advertising and sponsorship campaigns, and acted for Avon in an advertising dispute with Clarins. Patent litigator Adrian Toutoungi, who has a particular focus on the technology sector, advised BAE Systems on a new aerospace engine class called Sabre. Trade mark attorney Kate Ellis manages the trade mark portfolios of household brands, including John Lewis, Waitrose and Littlewoods.

Fox Williams LLP focuses primarily on the fashion and technology sectors, and acts for clients including Superdrug, Glanbia, Vivienne Westwood and Fenix. Simon Bennett, who is the practice co-head, recently represented Bebe Clothing in a dispute with Primark, regarding breach of confidence and copyright infringement claims. Co-head Stephen Sidkin specialises in cross-border trade mark and design licensing and Nigel Miller has notable expertise in new technologies, IT and data protection.

IP boutique Hansel Henson primarily handles soft IP matters. Name partners David Hansel and Tom Henson jointly head the team. Other key names include Justine Flockhart and associate Sarah Wells, who has notable expertise in copyright law. Recent highlights include providing brand protection advice to Future Games of London concerning its app Hungry Shark, and representing digital type foundry Berthold Types in a dispute pertaining to ā€˜freeā€™ font websites that were infringing on its software. The group also assisted novelty gifts company NPW with clearing new product names and advised on products in development.

Howard Kennedy LLPā€™s team focuses on soft IP matters and predominantly acts for clients in the media, retail and arts sectors. Practice head Robert Lands handles commercial and contentious IP issues; Mark Stephens has notable expertise in contentious IP, and a particular focus on the arts and culture sector; and consultant Jonathan Sellors is experienced in copyright, design rights and trade marks issues. Associate Alex Meloy is also noted. Clients include Pandora, Bloomberg and the Tate.

Irwin Mitchellā€™s practice head Georgie Collins is ā€˜empatheticā€™ and ā€˜incredibly good at her jobā€™. The group advises Capita on the protection, management and enforcement of its IP rights, consisting of over 650 trade marks, and serves as sole UK counsel for ImageRights. The Conan Doyle Estate is also a client.

Kemp Little LLPā€™s IP practice is ā€˜well informedā€™ and ā€˜practicalā€™. The team is led by the ā€˜highly astuteā€™ Paul Garland, who has ā€˜a strong commercial instinctā€™. IP litigator Rebecca Halford-Harrison is well known for her work in the life sciences and food technology sectors and Jeremy Harris handles contentious and non-contentious work for clients including Coca-Cola and Thomson Reuters. Mark Lewis joined the team from Penningtons Manches LLP, and has particular expertise in technology disputes. Sony and Ferrari are also clients.

Locke Lord LLP handles a wide range of IP matters. John Olsen has a strong track record handling trade mark matters and senior counsel Paolo Andreottola also specialises in trade mark law. Other key individuals include disputes associate Ellen Hughes-Jones and trade mark law associate Ben Hitchens. Associate Theresa Castle joined from Bird & Bird LLP.

Penningtons Manches LLPā€™s client list includes Levi Roots and AllSaints. Recent highlights include advising Leon Restaurants on licencing and franchising issues, and assisting RocketSpace, a technology incubator for Uber and Spotify, in expanding its presence in the UK. Anna Frankum, who primarily focuses on non-contentious IP, is ā€˜highly professionalā€™ and ā€˜efficientā€™.

PriceWaterhouseCoopers Legal LLPā€™s team is led by Latika Sharma, who has notable experience in acting for early-stage and fast-growth businesses. The team is well known for advising on international IP licensing and transactions, and acts for clients including Bupa, Tantalum, Just Eat, Chemical Intelligence, Thunderhead, Hindawi Publishing Corporation and Su-N Technologies. Mark Lewis joined the firm Kemp Little LLP.

Stevens & Bolton LLP has a broad IP practice, handling trade mark, patent, copyright and design rights. Practice head Tom Lingard recently defended Bakkavor against a claim made by Kerry concerning the alleged misuse of confidential information in food processing. Charlotte Tillett acted for Acro Aircraft Seating in a patent dispute with Recaro Aircraft Seating, and advised fragrance company Puig on trade mark and licensing arrangements with Roja Dove. Gary Parnell, who focuses on IT, and licensing specialist Nicola Broadhurst are also noted.

TLTā€™s team covers a wide range of IP issues for clients including include Barclays and Merlin Entertainments. Practice head Nick Fenner has particular expertise in technology disputes. Daniel Lloyd joined the firm in 2016 from an in-house position with BT. Recent highlights include advising BGL on Compare the Market and its related brands, as well representing BT Sport in a dispute pertaining to the broadcasting of its TV channel without a license.

Waterfront Solicitors LLP is best known for handling IP disputes, and acts for clients including Kuhn Audureau and Hydro International. ā€˜First-rate litigatorā€™ Piers Strickland, who is ā€˜robust and tough when necessaryā€™, and Matthew Harris are the practice co-heads. Associate Anna Ward is ā€˜a rising starā€™. Associate Lucy Marlow joined the team from Thomas Eggar LLP. Highlights included defending agrochemical company GAT Microencapsulation against contractual and misrepresentation claims made by agrochemical conglomerate Rotam, and representing Banijay Rights in a copyright infringement dispute regarding an international television format.

Wedlake Bell LLPā€™s clients include Tesco, Jaeger and Jumeirah Group. Practice head Michael Gardner represented Lacoste in successfully opposing Chanelā€™s application to registering the trade mark 11.12, and is acting for Which? in a dispute with the owners of Which Law pertaining to the alleged infringement of a trade mark. Adrian Heath-Saunders advised design consultancy PearsonLloyd on a design and royalty agreement with furniture design and manufacturing business Teknion. Jonathan Cornthwaite is assisting BJU International with the administration of an international portfolio of trade mark applications and registrations. Other key figures include senior associate Harry Jupp and associate Sarah Mountain, who specialise in contentious IP matters.

Media and entertainment (including media finance)

Index of tables

  1. Media and entertainment (including media finance)
  2. Leading individuals: Media and entertainment
  3. Leading individuals: Media finance
  4. Next generation lawyers

Leading individuals: Media and entertainment

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Leading individuals: Media finance

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Next generation lawyers

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Who Represents Who

Find out which law firms are representing which Media and entertainment (including media finance) clients in London using The Legal 500's new comprehensive database of law firm/client relationships. Instantly search over 925,000 relationships, including over 83,000 Fortune 500, 46,000 FTSE350 and 13,000 DAX 30 relationships globally. Access is free for in-house lawyers, and by subscription for law firms. For more information, contact


Bird & Bird LLP provides a ā€˜strong level of service, reactivity and commitmentā€™ and handles a range of instructions across the music, film, TV, games, social media and interactive content sectors. Clients include PRS for Music, British Academy of Songwriters Composers & Authors, Amalgamated Racing, Frontier Developments, Canyon Studios and Exposure. Phil Sherrell heads the firmā€™s international media, entertainment and sport sector group and has ā€˜strong expertiseā€™ in litigation in the music, publishing, broadcast and advertising sectors, handling trade mark and copyright infringement litigation, defamation and privacy disputes and complaints to the UK media regulators. The ā€˜exceptionalā€™ David Bintliff is experienced in digital media matters and is advising a leading Latin American media company on the launch of an OTT platform across Europe. Felicity Reeve has ā€˜vast experienceā€™ and handled several sponsorship deals in the sports sector, including advising Chelsea FC on its sponsorship deal with Nike, and advising Arsenal FC on several of its international sponsorship agreements. Craig Giles is also focused on the sports sector and advised the Football Association on the renewal of its domestic media rights agreements for The FA Cup. Howard Rubin has longstanding experience in acting for computer games companies. Recently promoted partner Nick Aries is noted for IP matters. In 2016 Richard McMorris joined from Wiggin LLP, and Ali Ramadan was promoted to the partnership.

CMS has unrivalled breadth of industry knowledgeā€™ and ā€˜vastā€™ expertise spanning film and TV financing and production, as well as broadcasting, advertising, publishing, music and digital media matters. In the film and television space, it acts for both producers (such as BBC, ITV and NBCUniversal) and financiers of content (including Bank Leumi, Anton Capital and the Doha Film Institute). The team has advised on the establishment of new production companies founded by high-profile TV executives, and advised all3media on its acquisition of Two Brothers Pictures. It acts for major UK and international broadcast groups (including Amazon Prime Video and BBC) on carriage negotiations. Advertising expertise includes adtech, clearance work for brands, ASA compliance, as well as talent, social media and endorsement deals. Gaming, social media and interactive content is a key focus of the team and it handles IP, transactions and advisory work. In the music space it advises major record companies (such as Universal Music and Warner Music) as well as music publishers and music users on contentious and non-contentious matters; recent highlights include advising Ministry of Sound Group on the sale of its label Ministry of Sound Recordings to Sony Music UK. The media finance team, is led by the ā€˜exceptionalā€™ Charles Kerrigan and acts for a range of lender, borrower and sponsor clients such as Bank of Ireland, Wells Fargo and Lloyds Bank. Paul Guite is ā€˜technically excellentā€™ and co-heads the media team with Victoria Gaskell who has ā€˜an innate understanding of the briefā€™. Selina Potter, Mark Bertram, Steven Corney, John Enser (ā€˜unfazed by any difficultyā€™), and Jacqueline Hurt are also key figures in the media and entertainment space, while Ruth Marken is noted for media finance. Rebekah Hayes is also recommended.

Noted for its ā€˜partner-led serviceā€™, Clintons provides ā€˜extremely intelligent and reliable adviceā€™ and handles contentious and non-contentious matters in the music industry, as well as film and TV, digital media and theatre sector mandates. The film and TV team is led by the ā€˜very experiencedā€™ Kami Naghdi and handles complex rights transactions for both sellers and buyers; complex multi-party media finance transactions; and virtual reality production and exploitation. It advised Little Lion Entertainment on a co-production deal for a TV special of The Crystal Maze. Tom Frederikse heads the digital media team, which acts for established players in the licensing of digital content. Andrew Sharland and David Griffiths head the music litigation team, which advises clients such as Sony Music Entertainment UK, Universal Music, Kobalt Music and Syco/Simco Ltd. It is acting for six leading bookmakers in a case brought by PRS, regarding the alleged unlicensed public performance by the bookmakers of musical copyrights owned by PRS via gambling gaming machines situated in the retail premises. Andrew Myers is ā€˜quick, bright and results orientatedā€™ and heads the non-contentious music team, which includes Peter Button, Berkeley Edwards and Nicky Stein (who splits his time between London and Los Angeles). James Jones and John Cohen have ā€˜in-depth expertiseā€™ in the theatre sector; highlights included advising New Adventures on the acquisition of the rights to adapt The Red Shoes film for Matthew Bourneā€™s new dance show, which included securing the right to use Bernard Hermannā€™s music for the show. Also recommended are Philip Stinson, Charles Gerada and Karim Bouzidi.

DLA Piperā€™s expertise spans film, television, advertising, marketing, gaming, social media, interactive content, publishing and theatre-related matters. It is advising the Football Association Premier League on the reshaping of its commercial programme; advised on the international sale of audio-visual rights to the Premier League competition for the 2016/17 to 2018/19 football seasons; and is also advising on a copyright enforcement programme. Other key clients include Discovery Communications, which the firm advised on its pan-European acquisition of rights to the Summer and Winter Olympic Games for 2018-2024, and on the creation of a long-term partnership with BAMTech; VICE Media, which the firm advised on VICELAND, a series of linear television channels. Laurence King Publishing, Copyright Licensing Agency, National Basketball League (NBA), Universal Studios, Bank of America Merrill Lynch, Comerica Bank and Sony Pictures are also clients. Duncan Calow is noted for his expertise in the publishing sector, and is also active across theatre, video games, interactive content and social media. John Wilks handles a range of advertising, marketing and promotions issues. Nicholas West advises on the broadcasting and audio-visual exploitation of content and is active in the sports sector. Global co-chair of the media, sport and entertainment sector Nick Fitzpatrick, global co-CEO of the firm Simon Levine, M&A co-chair Jon Kenworthy and international corporate group head Bob Bishop are also key figures, as are recently promoted partners John Cloke and Patrick Mitchell. Chris Hanson joined Wiggin LLP in 2017.

The ā€˜hugely knowledgeableā€™ team at Farrer & Co is ā€˜outstanding on publishing mattersā€™, and acts for international broadcast production and rights companies including leading news generators and syndication houses, as well as several radio, film and sports clients, with expertise in non-contentious and contentious matters. Team head Henry Sainty is ā€˜well versedā€™ in the publishing sector and continued to advise Bauer on the infrastructure contracts supporting its print and digital supply chains, and also negotiated software licence and support agreements. Peter Wienand advises The Economist Group on IP, regulatory, commercial and reputation management matters. Paul Jones advised The British Library on the St Pancras Transformed development project. Sage Publications, Telegraph Media Group, The Conversation, Associated Board of the Royal Schools of Music and Eton College are also clients. Richard Lane heads the corporate media practice, and recently promoted partner Michael Patrick is noted for contentious TMT matters.

Fieldfisher provides ā€˜pragmatic and pro-active adviceā€™ and has ā€˜good strength-in-depthā€™. It has an ā€˜outstanding media finance practiceā€™ and is also noted for its ā€˜broad experience on matters across the media sectorā€™. It advised Tre VƤnner Produktion on life story rights issues in relation to new film Borg v McEnroe, continues to advise Digital UK and Freeview on the Ā£100m Freeview Play project, and advised McGraw-Hill Education on an edTech deal with VitalSource for the distribution of MHE's eTextbooks and educational content using the VitalSource digital learning platform. It also acted for Channel 4 on the latest financing round for The RightsXChange. Of counsel Tom Guida, who joined from Levine Plotkin & Menin LLP in 2016, heads the media and entertainment practice and Tim Johnson heads the TMT group. Corporate head Andrew Blankfield; tax head Derek Hill; Carlton Durrant who is active on JVs, M&A and fundraising matters; corporate finance specialist Christine Phillips; and Paul Barton who advises a range of publishers, are also recommended. Senior associates Emily MacKintosh, Chris Eastham, and associate Melissa Fish are other key figures in the practice.

Harbottle & Lewis LLPā€™s ā€˜commercially awareā€™ team delivers ā€˜swift responsesā€™ and is noted for its expertise in video games, film and television, music and publishing, as well as media finance matters. Headline film work includes acting as production counsel for Amblin Partners for the film Entebbe; and advising Marv Films on the financing and production of Kingsman: The Golden Circle. In the music sphere, it advised artist Floating Points on signing an exclusive publishing deal with BMG, while its publishing team advises Hachette UK Publishing Group on contentious and non-contentious copyright issues. Theatre highlights included advising the producers of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child on rights, financing and contractual issues. Microsoft, The PokĆ©mon Company International, Paramount Pictures, Universal Music Group and New Sparta Films are also clients. Publishing head Shireen Peermohamed handles contentious and non-contentious matters, and is assisted by senior associate Alex Hardy. Video games lawyer Mark Phillips and Alan Moss, who specialises in the financing of video games (and is also active in the film sector), co-head the interactive entertainment team. Jonathan Berger (noted for his ā€˜excellent negotiating skillsā€™) heads the film and TV department where media finance head Abigail Payne advises on film and television development, production, financing and distribution. Recently promoted partner Sarah Lazarides is also recommended on the film and TV side. Music head Chloe Forsyth is ā€˜incredibly hardworkingā€™ and provides ā€˜commercial and clear adviceā€™. Other key figures include ā€˜theatre expertā€™ Neil Adleman, Charles Leveque, who is noted for media finance work, and senior associates Michael Lister and Rebecca Collard.

Lee & Thompson LLP ā€˜combines a high degree of industry-specific knowledge and legal expertise with a very practical, commercial and strategic approach to problem solvingā€™. Its expertise spans music, film, television, marketing, advertising, digital media, theatre and book publishing. It advises the BPI on a range of digital privacy matters against internet service providers (ISPs). It also advises Cornerstone Films on film acquisitions as well as distribution deals, and acts for Coutts on film and TV financing arrangements. Sony ATV, Channelflip, The Fyzz Facility, Engine Group, Queen, Harry Styles and Little Mix are also clients. Key figures on the music front include group head Lawrence Engel, who is ā€˜exceptionalā€™, and Kieran Jay, who acts for music artists. Head of dispute resolution Andrew Forbes delivers ā€˜robust straightforward legal adviceā€™; contentious music specialists Dominic Free and Gordon Williams are also noted. Mike Brookes ā€˜leaves his ego at the door and gets the result the client wantsā€™; he heads the reputation protection group. Also recommended are music and entertainment litigator Martyn Bailey, who is ā€˜first-rateā€™; Will Everitt, who is active on theatre and music matters and ā€˜is incredibly thorough in his thinking around a subjectā€™; Mark Ashelford, who heads the digital media practice; Dominic Bray, who has ā€˜great advertising industry knowledgeā€™; Richard Lever, who heads the TV group; and film head Christos Michaels, who is ā€˜superbā€™. Managing partner Reno Antoniades is also noted for film work, while Sam Tatton-Brown handles media finance and the ā€˜practical, straightforward and solution-orientedā€™ Nicki Parfitt specialises in film and TV sales and distribution work. Lee Stone, Malcolm Murray, Jeremy Gawade, Mark Stafford and Andrew Thompson are also singled out, as are senior associates Simon Goodbody and Tim Fowler.

Lewis Silkin LLP fields an ā€˜agileā€™ team with expertise spanning advertising, marketing, theatre, publishing, film, TV, music, gaming, social media and digital matters. Highlights included advising Royal Albert Hall Development Limited on commercial and IP matters and negotiated several licences with Disney to stage live productions; it also continues to advise Nullarbor Productions, the producers of Priscilla Queen of the Desert on a range of matters, and acted for Haymarket Media Group on the sale of its motorsports division to Motorsport Network. Vevo, Deezer, Syco, United Agents, Time Out, Association of Independent Festivals (AIF), Regal Press, Electric Shadow Company and Freemantle Media are other clients. Media and entertainment head Jeremy Summers is noted for contentious theatre and music matters. Phil Rymer acts for clients in film and television production, finance and distribution. David Deakin handles IP and digital media matters. Cliff Fluet is experienced in non-contentious music matters and handles broadcasting, radio, content and new media matters. Simon Entwistle heads the publishing team. Nick Walker is noted for disputes. Simon Morrissey is experienced in advising on the online use of personal data, particularly in the financial services, publishing, retail and leisure and marketing communications sectors. Also recommended are head of the brands and IP group Jo Farmer, who is a ā€˜starā€™; senior associate Alan Hunt; and consultant J Alan Davis, who joined from Act Productions.

Osborne Clarke LLP is ā€˜always contactable and is able to turn around high-quality commercial advice at very short noticeā€™. Its digital business team is active across advertising, marketing, TV, gaming, social media, interactive entertainment, publishing and digital platforms. It advised Dovetail Games on a fundraising and various related strategic IP and contractual matters. It also acted for Gram Games on the opening of a London office and the acquisition of a game from another developer. Other highlights included advising Time Inc (UK) on its acquisition of digital creative advertising business, Collective Europe, from Collective Inc. Robot Wars, Vodafone, AdTech, Expedia and Yahoo! are also clients. Paul Gardner is experienced in computer games, and has a particular focus on the interactive entertainment and media industries. Other key figures include Adrian Bott, who heads the digital business sector group; Chris King, who heads the advertising and marketing services team; Nick Johnson, who is ā€˜great on advertising and marketing, and is very pragmatic and approachableā€™; John Davidson-Kelly, who is ā€˜very commercial, always contactable and is able to give a common-sense viewā€™ and is noted for TV work; Tim Birt, who advises marketing, media and technology-focused businesses; and corporate partner Mathias Loertscher. Ashley Hurst, who is active in disputes and recently joined from CMS. Associate director Anna Williams is also noted.

The team at RPC is noted for its strength in publishing matters, particularly when it comes to defending clients in contentious matters. It also provides non-contentious advice on pre-publication, regulatory matters and agreements, and handles issues arising from marketing, gaming, social media and interactive entertainment. ā€˜Advertising expertā€™ Oliver Bray leads on advertising, social media and interactive content; he advised Ubisoft on the transfer of its e-commerce function in-house. Publishing head Keith Mathieson has a ā€˜fantastic reputationā€™ and is defending Times Newspapers in a privacy and data protection claim relating to an article published in The Sunday Times. Key publishing clients also include Financial Times, Trinity Mirror, Associated Newspapers, Bloomsbury, Hachette Random House, and The Spectator. It also acts for media insurers such as Hiscox, AXIS Pro Europe and Chubb. Paul Joseph is ā€˜excellentā€™ on contentious and non-contentious IP matters. Gaming clients include Betfred and Square Enix, while Twitter is a key client in the social media and interactive content space. Legal director Nicola Cain joined from the BBC and associate Rupert Cowper-Coles joined from Withers LLP. Senior associates Kim Waite and Louise Turner are also recommended in the publishing arena.

The team at Reed Smith LLP is ā€˜efficient, smart and easy to deal withā€™; ā€˜exceptional on film financingsā€™, the practiceā€™s expertise spans film, TV, radio, music, advertising, marketing, social media, and interactive content. Global co-chair of the entertainment and media industry group Gregor Pryor is an ā€˜exceptional talentā€™ and advised Hub TV on the production and distribution of its new reality TV show; Pop Up Start Up. The ā€˜unflappableā€™ Michael Maxtone-Smithis ā€˜thorough, efficient, aware of what matters to clientsā€™ and represents banks and other financiers in film and television financing transactions; recent highlights include advising Bank Leumi on the financing of The Children Act, which involved a high-value revolving credit facility with Icon. Maxtone-Smith also advised Pinewood and the Welsh government on the financing of the films Showdogs and Journeyā€™s End. BBC and BBC Worldwide, Soundcloud, Channel Four Television Corporation, McDonaldā€™s and Netflix are also clients. Other standout individuals include Stephen Edwards, who is noted for copyright matters; Michael Skrein, who handles contentious work; Askandar Samad, who advises on film finance and distribution; and Philip Taylor, who handles media-related corporate and commercial work. Music lawyer James Sully, who is based in London and Los Angeles, joined from Sheridans. Recently promoted partner Sachin Premnath and senior associate Huw Morris, who is UK head of advertising, are also recommended, as is consultant Nick Swimer, who handles broadcasting mandates. Richard Philipps recently retired and Laura Crowley joined Sister Pictures Limited.

A ā€˜leading light for music industry expertiseā€™, Russells Solicitors acts for a range of high-profile clients in the music industry including record companies, publishers and producers, and agencies and artists on the full range of matters including live events, sponsorship, recording and publishing agreements, TV appearances, show agreements, private client, real estate, employment, disputes and corporate matters. Chris Organ represented Roger Waters of Pink Floyd on the negotiations surrounding his global music publishing deal with BMG. Steven Tregear advised Parlophone on its dispute with Radiohead concerning digital royalties. Brian Howard advised Duran Duran on a dispute with Gloucester Place Music over the US rights to its first three albums. Gavin Maude heads the artist department and advised Coldplay on negotiations surrounding its deal with the US NFL to perform the half-time show at the NFL Super Bowl. Jo Brittain is a specialist in working with new and up-and-coming artists and advised Clean Bandit on negotiations surrounding the clearance of the performer rights on the single Rockabye. Mark Sinnott is ā€˜one of the most experienced and knowledgeable music law advisers in the industryā€™ and advised Universal Music on the negotiation of the original soundtrack album rights licence from Universal Pictures in relation to the film Bridget Jonesā€™s Baby. Team head Simon Esplen is an ā€˜excellent commercial music lawyer who fights very hard for his clientsā€™; John Reid is also noted for contentious mandates. Chris Gossage is a ā€˜hugely experienced corporate lawyer who has the rare advantage of fully understanding the music industryā€™. Senior associate Ryan Vince is also recommended.

Sheridansā€™ ā€˜approachableā€™, ā€˜enthusiasticā€™ and ā€˜extremely commercialā€™ team ā€˜listens to the clientā€™ and is ā€˜always availableā€™. Its expertise spans broadcasting and digital carriage, film, TV, music, theatre, and media finance, and video games, where clients single it out as ā€˜hugely knowledgeableā€™. Film, TV and broadcasting head Peter McInerney advised Bend It TV on the establishment of the independent television production company and financing arrangements with Fremantle Media. Jeremy Roberts, who heads the broadcasting and digital carriage group with McInerney, advised A+E Networks UK on the launch of new channel, BLAZE, on Freeview and Sky; and Robin Hilton advised Plante Productions on the acquisition of its catalogue of programmes, formats and scripts by all3media, and on a first-look agreement with Lynda La Plante for future projects. Computer games head Alex Chapman is applauded for his ā€˜insight into the commercial reality and practical side of any advice sought or givenā€™. Media finance head James Kay ā€˜combines a razor-sharp intellect with a strong EQā€™ and ā€˜relishes breaking new groundā€™; he advised Cloud Eight Films and DNA Films on the financing of T2 Trainspotting. Nigel Jones heads the Music team and advised Kylie Minogue on her recording agreement with BMG. Howard Jones heads the theatre group, John Haggis is active in the advertising sector, Tahir Basheer heads the brands group, and Russell Roberts is experienced in music-related corporate matters. Associate Nick Mahara is active in film and TV mandates.

Simkins LLPā€™s ā€˜extremely commercialā€™ team provides ā€˜reliable adviceā€™, has ā€˜great industry knowledgeā€™ and delivers a ā€˜partner-led serviceā€™ across the music, TV, film, theatre, digital media, publishing, and advertising and marketing sectors. Team head and managing partner Euan Lawson is a ā€˜highly experienced music lawyer who can also advise authoritatively on corporate and tax mattersā€™; he advised Bruce Springsteen and Neil Young on their European 2016 touring arrangements. Jonathan Blair handles film, TV and financing matters, and is advising JK Rowlingā€™s production company, Bronte Film and Television, on the development, financing and production of a TV series. Ed Baden-Powell is ā€˜excellent for corporate music work and has an unparalleled commitment to his clients and dealsā€™; his recent highlights include advising has advised BMG Rights Management on its acquisition of the Roger Waters catalogue of Pink Floyd songs. Also recommended are disputes head Paddy Gardiner, who advised PRS for Music on a copyright tribunal dispute with ITV; Nick Eziefula, who advised Play Consulting on funding applications and legal issues around the development of a gamification platform; James Harman, whose clients include Mark Knopfler and Russell Brand; Caroline Copeland and Giao Pacey, who handle corporate media work; Lisa Logan, who is advising The Elf Factory on the production of Peppa Pig Series 4; recently promoted partner Tom Iverson; and associate Ed Weidman, who handles non-contentious music mandates.

Taylor Wessing LLPā€™s team has ā€˜first-rateā€™ expertise spanning publishing, broadcasting, advertising, music, interactive entertainment, games and gambling. It is noted for its expertise in music and publishing rights, and is focused on the tech sector and digital economy. Highlights included advising News Corporation and News Corp UK & Ireland on a Ā£220m recommended cash offer for Wireless Group; advising Sky on its $45m investment into iflix, a South East Asian streaming TV service; and acting for Magic Pony on its acquisition by Twitter. It also advised Activision Blizzard on the international launch of various games and products. Key figures include Mark Owen, who heads the UK technology, media and communications group, as well as the IP and media practice; Mike Turner, who heads the UK corporate technology team and is international head of the technology, media and communications group; and Graham Hann, who heads the technology industry team and leads the games and e-gaming practice alongside senior associate Neil Hawley. Publishing head Timothy Pinto is also recommended, as are Niri Shanmuganathan (an ā€˜exceptional litigatorā€™), Charles Lloyd and Andrew Davis.

Wiggin LLP fields a ā€˜very commercial and pragmaticā€™ team that ā€˜really specialises in media and entertainment lawā€™, and is ā€˜undoubtedly a tier-one practiceā€™. It handles a range of TV and film mandates and is rated ā€˜excellent on film financeā€™. As well as acting for artists, its music team focuses on rights protection, digital music rights, and advises international music licensees such as broadcasters and film producers. Publishing, defamation, privacy, digital, technology, ad tech, betting and gaming are also mainstays of the practice. Film and TV partner Charles Moore advised Paramount Pictures on the production aspects of the latest entry in the Mission: Impossible film franchise. Neil Gillard advised on the production and financing aspects of Eleventh Hour's drama series New Blood. David Quli is ā€˜outstandingā€™ and advised Bank Leumi on the financing of British television series Black Mirror. Ross Sylvester is ā€˜able to turn work around in very short timeframesā€™; his recent highlights include advising Virgin Media on a deal with Viacom for the distribution of the Channel 5, MTV, Comedy Central and Nickelodeon channels throughout the UK and Ireland. Sean James advised CBS Studios on its output deal for Showtime titles with Sky across the UK and Ireland, Germany and Italy. Rachel Alexander is representing PRS for Music in High Court proceedings against UK bookmakers concerning the unlicensed public performance of music on gaming machines. Alexander Ross heads the non-contentious music team and advises Soundmouse on a range of key contracts. Medwyn Jones (ā€˜tough but balancedā€™) advised Blueprint Television on its investment deal with Sony Pictures Television alongside Michael Brader. Caroline Kean (ā€˜a stalwartā€™) handles defamation and privacy matters as well as publishing work.

Baker McKenzie specialises in technology and digital media matters, acting for a range of tech and media content clients. It advises Sovereign Films on film and investment agreements, acts for Google on a range of matters including complex e-commerce, consumer, regulatory and data protection issues. It is also defending Associated Newspapers in a data protection and privacy claim brought by Ashton Kutcher and Mila Kunis against MailOnline. Take-Two Interactive, Virgin Media and BBC Trust are also clients. Steve Holmes, who handles non-contentious media matters and has a focus on major transactions for media companies, and Ben Allgrove, who focuses on cutting-edge issues in the digital media space, jointly lead the team. Joanna Ludlam is noted for contentious matters, while Helen Brown and Julia Hemmings (both of counsel) are joint heads of the consumer and commercial advisory practice. Of counsel Nadia Banno advises on crisis response, media handling and risk management relating to sensitive investigations and litigation, public inquiries and select committee hearings. Senior associate Julia Dickenson is also recommended.

Bates Wells Braithwaiteā€™s ā€˜professional, efficient, knowledgeable and friendly teamā€™ provides ā€˜thoughtful and helpful adviceā€™ and its ā€˜response times are impressiveā€™. It is noted for its expertise in theatre, film, TV, marketing and advertising, as well as its strength in advising charities and not-for-profit clients in the arts sector. It is advising Akram Khan Dance Company on its group restructuring, registration for charitable status, IP rights and contractual matters, and is advising Pallant House Gallery and Friends of Pallant House Gallery on the restructuring of the gallery and related organisation. Royal Albert Hall, The Space CIC, Advertising Standards Authority (ASA), Committee of Advertising Practice and Broadcast Committee of Advertising Practice and British Council are also clients. Head of media and arts Lawrence Simanowitz has ā€˜in-depth expertise in the sectorā€™. Other key figures include Rupert Earle (ā€˜an excellent communicator and deals well with clientsā€™), who is noted for his advertising and marketing expertise. Recently promoted partner Erica Crump is ā€˜first-rateā€™ and co-leads the firmā€™s culture and creative team with Simanowitz, solicitor Molly Waiting and associate Tom Pratt.

Media and entertainment boutique Bray & Krais, Solicitors handles IP, media and entertainment including; recording, publishing, management and merchandising agreements. Its clients include artists, record labels, producers and managers. The firm also has a growing sports law department. It advised The Rolling Stones on contracts for its US tour. Take That, First Access Entertainment and Gorillaz are also clients. The team is headed by Richard Bray, who represents high-profile artists, performers, managers, labels, publishers and senior executives, and Mark Krais, who has extensive expertise in international branded live events. Simon Dixon advises on the development and exploitation of IP rights, and has considerable experience in theatrical projects. Consultant Alan Lander is also recommended. Sports team head Udo Onwere recently joined from Farrer & Co.

ā€˜Plugged into the media sectorā€™, Bristows LLP has wide-ranging expertise in contentious and non-contentious matters covering copyright, trade mark, advertising, marketing, gaming, music, publishing, film, TV, social media and interactive media. It is advising Paramount Pictures on music licensing and copyright in relation to music played over Paramountā€™s live streamed film premieres of the latest Star Trek and Jack Reacher films. It is also defending Google in litigation against a group of internet users related to alleged tracking activity and targeted advertising. The team also handles advertising compliance matters for Guardian Media Group. WPP, Sony Interactive Entertainment Europe, Blizzard Entertainment and BBC are also clients. Key figures include Myles Jelf, who acts for a range of computer games and media clients; Paul Jordan, who is experienced in advertising, marketing, publishing and TV; Iain Redford, who handles advertising and marketing sector mandates; and senior associate Sacha Wilson, who has ā€˜great technical understandingā€™ and handles advertising and digital media matters.

Charles Russell Speechlys LLP advises clients within the advertising, marketing, gaming, film and TV sectors on a range of commercial, competition and dispute matters. The team advises Nike European Operations Netherlands on a range of matters and successfully defended Nike on complaints to the Advertising Standards Agency regarding an advertising campaign. Westfield Europe, NCSOFT, YouView, ITV and wagamama are also clients. Mark Howard and Mark Bailey head the TMT practice. Jon Walters handles commercial and regulatory work, with particular expertise in advertising and marketing matters. Paul Stone handles EU and UK competition work. Commercial team head Jason Saiban has expertise spanning the sports, retail and leisure sectors. Senior associate Jaclyn Wilkins is also recommended.

Dentons acts for a number of global media companies and has expertise across the film, TV, advertising, marketing, music, publishing, gaming, social media and interactive content sectors. It advised Lions Gate Entertainment on the English law aspects of the $4.4bn merger of Orion Arm Acquisition and Starz. Ingrid Silver heads the media and entertainment team and advised the shareholders of Essence, alongside Jeremy Cohen, on its sale to WPP. Darren Acresā€™ ā€˜advice is always practical, clear and conciseā€™; he advised ole! Media Management on its acquisition of UK-headquartered rights management group Compact Media from Lyceum Capital. Managing associate Alex Haffner handles regulatory issues and ā€˜replies swiftly and promptly with clear and practical adviceā€™. TMT head Andy Lucas is also recommended. England and Wales Cricket Board, Tribune Media Services and Virgin Media are also clients.

Goodman Derrick LLP is active across mandates in the advertising, marketing, film, TV and publishing sectors. Team head Paul Herbert advises Digital 3 + 4 on DTT broadcasting activities and regulatory matters, and advised We Are Fearless on contractual agreements with NestlƩ. Tanya Shillingford advises BBFC on a range of classification, policy and commercial issues. Edward Hoare advised Guardian Media Group and Caledonia Investments on the disposal of a majority interest in Seven Publishing Group. North One Television, Portland Television and Digital UK are also clients.

Herbert Smith Freehills LLPā€™s ā€˜pragmaticā€™ team handles transactional, operational, regulatory, competition and disputes work; music, sport, gaming, advertising, live events, film, TV, interactive content, channel and digital platforms, social media and rights management are all areas of expertise. The team acts for Tabcorp on its white label partnership with News UK to launch an online wagering and gaming business in the UK and Ireland. It is also advising Moby Media Group on its partnership with Vice Media to launch Vice into the Middle East. It is also advising Sky on Twenty-First Century Fox's proposed Ā£11.7bn acquisition of Sky, and advised STV in relation to the renegotiation of its advertising sales agreement with ITV. Global head of media and entertainment Stephen Wilkinson stands out for his ā€˜knowledge, gravitas and cool under pressureā€™. Also recommended are Gavin Davies, who handles corporate and M&A transactions in the sector, Alan Watts, who handles disputes, Joel Smith, who is noted for rights issues, and Stephen Wisking, who is experienced in competition matters in the sector. Senior associate Hayley Brady is ā€˜bright, has bags of stamina, and is a great problem solverā€™. Nick Elverston joined Ashurst in 2016.

The ā€˜innovativeā€™ team at Howard Kennedy LLP is ā€˜the team you want to go to if you have a high-profile and very sensitive media caseā€™. Its expertise spans the music, publishing, film and TV sectors, advising on contentious and non-contentious matters spanning corporate, financing, international broadcasting, online content, IP, regulatory compliance, financing, employment and defamation. It acts for a number of North American media outlets including Washington Post, CNN, Thomson Reuters and New York Times. It also acts for UK-based media outlets including Express Newspapers. Mills & Boon, The Old Vic and Ingenious are also clients. The team is jointly headed by Mark Stephens, who is ā€˜second-to-none on strategyā€™ and is experienced in international comparative media law and regulation, and IP, publishing, entertainment and media specialist Robert Lands. They are ably assisted by Jane Amphlett, who handles employment matters, Tim Bignell, who handles disputes in the sector, senior associate Elizabeth Morley, who also handles dispute resolution and is ā€˜quietly charming, but with a steely coreā€™, and consultant David Hooper, who joined from RPC in 2016 and ā€˜brings endless knowledge, expertise and wisdomā€™.

Tech-sector specialist Kemp Little LLP is ā€˜always quick to respondā€™ and is praised for its ā€˜ability to marry knowledge of the law with technical understandingā€™. Highlights included advising Anthony Ganjou, the founder and owner of Curb Media, in respect of a sale of part of his shareholding in Curb Media, which involved Chime/CMS taking a stake in other businesses co-founded and co-owned by Anthony Ganjou. Buzzfeed, British Interactive Media Association, Ericsson Media, Thomson Reuters and Turner Broadcasting are also clients. Calum Murray, Paul Garland and team head Andy Moseby are ā€˜seasoned veterans of their tradeā€™. Consultant Susan Biddle advised William Hill Online on the evolution of its supply arrangements with Playtech Software, including the extension of strategically important agreements for the supply of casino, poker and bingo software and services for use on its website and in the UK, Italian and Spanish markets. Senior associate Deborah Angel handles corporate matters.

Simons Muirhead & Burton is ā€˜fast to respondā€™ and has ā€˜strength-in-depth, especially in media lawā€™. Louis Charalambous and Razwana Akram are advising i-D magazine (owned by Vice Media) on its brand partnership collaboration with Chanel to create a new online platform celebrating women in the creative industries, and also advised Vice on the launch of its new TV channel VICELAND. Richard Baskindand consultant Alasdair George, who joined from Edge Investment Management in 2016, advised Pete Tong on the commercial, corporate and legal aspects of his agreements with The Heritage Orchestra, Jules Buckley and Chris Wheeler regarding live performances at the O2, as well as negotiating the related recording deal with Universal Music. Virgin Media, Great Point Media, talkSport and Econet are also clients. The ā€˜first-rateā€™ Simon Goldberg heads the practice, which includes Marc Sobol, who leads on sports and broadcasting, Stephen Shotnes, who leads the TV and film disputes team, and Charles Law, who handles music and digital media matters. Also recommended are Martin Soames, who is ā€˜excellentā€™ on publishing matters, and senior associate Jonny Petch, who handles music matters and is ā€˜a star of the futureā€™.

Swan Turton LLP is ā€˜quietly professional, with deep knowledge and extensive experienceā€™, and has ā€˜particular niche expertise across the entertainment industry as a wholeā€™. The team also has ā€˜vast experience, particularly in the music industryā€™. It advised Street Cat Film Distribution on all legal matters, including handling the soundtrack, to the feature film A Street Cat Named Bob; advised Rick Smith of Underworld on his agreement for the creation of original music for the film T2 Trainspotting; and advised

Madness on the recording and publishing deals for their current album. Music team head Julian Bentley acts for artists and key players in the music industry as well as comedians. Stuart Barry has ā€˜in-depth music industry knowledgeā€™ and Julian Turton acts for a number of music artists; he also utilises his expertise in music publishing, advising authors on book publishing matters. Stuart Barry is also a key figure in the music team. Charles Swan is ā€˜a person of considerable knowledge and experienceā€™ and heads the advertising and marketing team. Antony Gostyn leads the film and TV team. Consultant Lawrence Harrison joined from independent business affairs consultancy, Lawrence Harrison, while Carolyn Burbridge joined William Grace and Ann Harrison joined SSB Solicitors.

Allen & Overy LLPā€™s expertise spans advertising, content production, licensing, IP, branding, network distribution and technology, and the team is particularly applauded for its M&A and antitrust expertise in the sector. It is advising 21st Century Fox on its Ā£18.5bn takeover offer for Sky, is advising UBM on its $485m acquisition of Allworld Exhibitions, and advised Shanghai Giant Network Technology on its $4.4bn consortium-led acquisition of Playtika, the online social and mobile gaming arm of Caesars Entertainment. Virgin Media, 888 Holdings, Thomson Reuters, MGM, Facebook, News Corporation and WPP are also clients. Antonio Bavasso is global head of media. Corporate specialist Simon Toms is also recommended. Global head of brands David Stone joined from Simmons & Simmons.

Collins Long handles a range of matters across music, theatre, TV and film for managers, artists, bands, producers, songwriters, writers and composers. Simon Long and James Collins are key figures.

Eversheds Sutherland (International) LLPā€™s ā€˜responsive and commercialā€™ team is best known for its music practice, as well as its general media practice which advises clients in the film, television and computer games industries, acting for blue-chip corporate clients on advertising, marketing and sponsorship issues, and handling media finance and banking transactions. It advised Apple Corps on all aspects of The Beatles film, Eight Days A Week, advised Empire Cinema Group on its Ā£94m sale of five cinemas to Cineworld Group, and advises Coca-Cola on advertising and promotional campaigns across their entire product range. Experience Hendrix, Sir Elton John, PRS for Music, U2 and Live Nation are also clients. The team is headed by Neil Mohring and Andrew Terry, who specialises in IP issues, brand protection, reputation management and media-related work.

Primarily based across its London, Exeter and Bristol offices, the team at Foot Anstey is ā€˜great for publishing mattersā€™ and also for its handling of film, TV, music, marketing and advertising matters. Matthew Stoate advised Silvergate Media on its investment from Los Angeles-based private equity firm Shamrock Capital Advisors, while disputes partner Peter Singfield, who leads the marketing team, led advice for Trinity Mirror on journalist Gareth Daviesā€™s appeal against a Police Information Notice that was issued while investigating a story relating to fraud. Tony Jaffa leads the editorial and regulatory media team; he has a ā€˜fantastic reputationā€™ for publishing matters and has been appointed by Mirror Group Newspapers to give pre-publication advice to, and has been instructed by the Independent and Evening Standard to provide editorial and litigation legal support, and daily pre-publication advice. Warner Brothers Studios, Aardman Animations, Ministry of Sound and Sky UK are also clients. Key figures include employment specialist Richard Neary, who heads the media and technology team; commercial lawyer Martin Cuell, who heads the technology team; and Neil Parkes (ā€˜commercial, pragmatic and sensibleā€™), who is noted for disputes and heads the TV, film and music team. Senior associate Alexandra Leonidou joined from Warner Bros. Entertainment and Jennifer Agate (also a senior associate) joined from Farrer & Co.

Hamlins LLP is ā€˜pre-eminent in the area of protecting the public performance rights of musicians and record labelsā€™. The team acted for PRS For Music and Phonographic Performance Limited in a case against CGK Trading and others seeking an injunction, damages and additional damages for copyright infringement. Head of media, entertainment and IP Christopher Hutchings is noted for his expertise in defamation and privacy, and also advises a wide range of media clients on commercial issues and image rights. Recently promoted partner Martin Ochs focuses on contentious music and copyright litigation and is ā€˜tenacious, well-organised, hardworking and intelligentā€™. Video Performance Limited (VPL), TRAP (Trademark & Rightsholders Against Piracy), Bravado International Group, Laurence Aston and Red Hot Chilli Peppers are also clients. Julian Ward joined Lee & Thompson LLP in 2017. Senior associate Hayley Devlin is also recommended. Former team head Laurence Gilmore has retired.

Hogan Lovells International LLP acts for a range of global media and entertainment groups and advertisers and its expertise spans IP, regulatory, advertising, marketing, corporate matters, financing and restructuring, litigation, competition and antitrust. It is advising Mars on advertising campaigns and on promotional activities and advised the British Paralympic Association on brand enforcement issues in the build-up to, during, and following the 2016 Paralympic Games in Rio. It is also advising STIM on its joint venture with PRS for Music and GEMA on the creation of a multi-territory music licensing hub. Team head Peter Watts advises on complex networks of contracts and innovative commercial structures. Richard Welfare handles regulatory work, including advertising and marketing, copy clearance, promotional activities and product compliance.

Latham & Watkins provides ā€˜top-notch commercial adviceā€™. It handles transactional matters including financing, investment, individual production financing and slate co-financing arrangements for film and television productions. Other areas of expertise include licensing deals, first look arrangements, content venture agreements and corporate sales and acquisitions. The ā€˜outstandingā€™ Lisbeth Savill advised Dasym Investment Strategies on the sale of the Hammer film library, advised EuropaCorp on co-production and licensing arrangements for the television series Taken, and advised Moon River Features on a first look producer deal with Entertainment One. International Olympic Committee, Moose Entertainment, Open Road Films and MGM are also clients. Counsel Sarah Caughey handles the financing of independent British film productions, as well as slate co-financing arrangements and television content ventures between advertising agencies and broadcasters.

The ā€˜first-classā€™ team at Mayer Brown International LLP acts for content owners in the

music, publishing and broadcasting arenas, and also advises major corporate and financial institution clients on advertising and social media matters. It advised Village Roadshow on its Ā£30m acquisition of 100% of the share capital of Countrywide Property Investments (UK). Hachette, Perrigo, Entertainment One, Royal Institute of International Affairs, Modern Times Group, HSBC and Publishers Association are also clients. The ā€˜very experiencedā€™ Miles Robinson has ā€˜a calm and methodical approach to large-value and high-profile litigation claimsā€™. Robert Hamill is an ā€˜excellent lawyer with a calm demeanorā€™ and handles corporate finance, mergers and acquisitions and joint ventures. Richard Page, who advises on corporate finance and transactional matters, is also recommended.

Travers Smith LLP is ā€˜very responsiveā€™, has ā€˜great industry knowledgeā€™ is ā€˜technically great and also very commercialā€™. The team advises on media sector transactions, as well as regulatory matters in the sector. Film, TV, broadcasting and publishing are core areas of focus, and it also handles theatre and new media matters. It advised Wireless Group on several matters including the Ā£100m sale of its television business to ITV, and on the clientā€™s Ā£220m sale to News Corp UK & Ireland. Other highlights included advising Exponent on its acquisition of the Racing Post from a consortium of private investors. Pinewood Shepperton, TES Global and Genesis Films are also clients. Richard Brown heads the team, which includes Ben Chivers, who specialises in joint ventures, strategic alliances and commercial contracts. Corporate partners Ian Shawyer and Andrew Gillen, and senior associate Sonny Mallet, who handles commercial matters, are also noted.

Weil, Gotshal & Manges (London) LLP regularly advises on high-value transactions and financings, as well as complex contractual and licensing disputes, and trade mark, copyright and other IP issues. It represented eight partnerships operated by Ingenious Media on a Ā£1bn dispute with HMRC, and advised Vonage Holdings Corp on its $250m acquisition of Nexmo. It also advised Ardian on the acquisition of Envision. Yahoo!, Facebook, eBay and Oracle are also clients. Technology and IP transactions head Barry Fishley is recommended, as is Hannah Field-Lowes, who handles contentious IP instructions.

Boutique firm ACK Media Law LLP acts primarily for financiers and producers of feature films and TV productions. It also provides script-content advice for film and television productions, advising on a range of defamatory and reputational concerns arising out of production. It provides ongoing content and brand management advice on Fifty Shades Darker, and also advises on matters relating to the Fifty Shades of Grey books. It also advised Lupus Films on legal, production, finance and commercial matters relating to the animated feature Ethel & Ernest. Sue Charles handles defamation, privacy and compliance issues and Nick Miller heads the film and TV group.

Arnold & Porter Kaye Scholer LLP is active across the broadcasting, production, publishing, digital content, advertising and TV industries. Western Digital, ITV, Digital Entertainment Content Ecosystem (DECE), Disney Interactive, Viacom and Barnes & Noble are clients. Transactional media and entertainment practice head Richard Dickinson acts for major broadcasters and producers, as well as advertising agencies. Contentious media partner Christopher Stothers advises on technology and online content, and handles copyright and trade mark disputes. Michael Bywell handles contentious matters in the technology sector and Rob Bratby, who joined in 2017 from Olswang Asia, advises on corporate, commercial and regulatory matters for clients in the telecoms, media, and technology sectors.

The ā€˜strong teamā€™ at Collyer Bristow LLP does ā€˜excellent work in the field of media and entertainmentā€™. Its expertise covers non-contentious matters such as commercial agreements, event management and sponsorship agreements, marketing and agency agreements, and recording, publishing and live performance agreements. On the contentious side, the team acts for claimants and defendants on libel, breach of privacy, breach of contract, copyright and trade mark infringement cases, and is ā€˜particularly good on phone hacking claimsā€™. Howard Ricklow is advising David Julyan recently advised on the soundtrack for the 2017 film The Crucifixion. Ambache Charitable Trust, David Arnold, Josephine Halbert, Into Film and Patrick Wolf are also clients. Steven Heffer has ā€˜a wise head and only ever does the best for his clientsā€™; he heads the media and privacy team and the arts and culture group.

Cooley (UK) LLPā€™s digital media and entertainment team advised MTB Ventures on its 2016 Tie Break Tens event ahead of the ATP Vienna Open, which included broadcasting negotiations and negotiations with sports rights agencies. It also advised two shareholders in Finnish mobile game company, TicBits, on the sale of 100% of their shares to Hong Kong-based mobile publisher Animoca Brands. Guardian Media Group, Odeon & UCI Cinemas Group, Nikon Europe, Warner Music International and Twitter are also clients. The team is headed by commercial and IP lawyer Chris Coulter, who has a particular focus on technology and telecommunications transactions. Other key figures include Nicholas Bolter, who handles IP matters; Becket McGrath, who advises on EU and UK competition law; Mark Deem, who specialises in TMT litigation; and Sarah Pearce, who advises on technology-related transactions. Special counsel Brian Chadwick is experienced in the digital media, gaming and entertainment industry and handles cross-border M&A, corporate finance, and private equity matters.

DWFM Beckman acts for professional musicians, songwriters, actors and television production companies, as well as independent record producers, music publishers, artistsā€™ managers and booking agents. Highlights included advising ArtAxis Music on the preparation and review of various agreements, and acting for Harvey Goldsmith on the negotiation of a complex joint venture agreement between Holding-On Rights, John Lewis and OnBlackheath relating to a music festival. Primary Talent International, Panjabi MC and One Dance UK are also clients. Irving David heads the team.

Gowling WLG is best known for acting for global brands, providing national and international brand management and advertising advice. It advised Nomad Foods on the consolidation and re-tendering of its pan-European media account, and advises Weetabix on IP matters, as well as international advertising law issues. Director Dan Smith is noted for his expertise in advertising law. Carlsberg and Mothercare are also clients. Birmingham-based Kate Swaine is head of brands and specialises in the enforcement and clearance of brands, advertising and designs.

The ā€˜superbā€™ team at Hansel Henson is ā€˜always reachableā€™ and focuses on digital media and IP law, advising on bringing apps and computer software to market, as well as on the publishing and broadcasting of content via the internet, TV and mobile networks. The team also handles brand communication for clients with interactive media demands and is noted for its expertise in handling international mandates. It advised Delinquent Interactive (now MAG Interactive) on MAGā€™s initial investment in Delinquent and its subsequent sale, and provides ongoing advice to MAG Interactive on IP, data protection and contract matters. It is also advising Future Games of London on the take down of other apps published on platforms such as the App Store and Google Play that infringe the rights in one of its games. Hutch Games, Another Place Productions, Fin London and Inca Productions are also clients. Tom Henson ā€˜has a good eye in helping the client pick the right battle during contract negotiationsā€™ and ā€˜always communicates very clearlyā€™; he heads the team with David Hansel. Richard Barnett joined the Science Museum Group in 2016.

Norton Rose Fulbrightā€™s cross-departmental team is active across the broadcasting, publishing, film, live entertainment, online media, social media, music, sports and advertising sectors. Areas of expertise include handling disputes, regulatory, corporate, IP, brand and reputation management, and financing matters. It advises McLaren Racing and McLaren Applied Technologies on the management of its global IP portfolio, and recently advised on the Ā£4.5m sale of its catering business, Absolute Taste, to One Event Management. Arqiva, Avesco Group, Econet Media, Pancho Music and Trinity Mirror are also clients. Mike Knapper heads the team and is adept at non-contentious IP instructions. Other key figures include Ian Lopez, who advises corporates within the media sector; Chris Pearson, who handles corporate finance transactions and M&A; and Jonathan Ball, who co-heads the IP disputes practice.

Onside Law Limited is active across the sports, fashion and media sectors providing corporate, commercial, regulatory and dispute resolution advice. Jamie Goldberg handles corporate, commercial and regulatory matters, and the ā€˜greatā€™ Adam Leadercramer specialises in technology, digital media, broadcasting and sport.

IP firm Redd Solicitors LLP is noted for its expertise in the digital and social media, computer games, software, and emerging technologies sectors. It acted for Deutsche BÓ§rse and Market News in a copyright infringement and breach of contract action in the High Court against Realtime Analysis & News. It also advises Microsoft on trade mark matters. Simon Chalkley handles transactional IP matters; Anna Carboni is noted for her litigation expertise, particularly in relation to trade marks, designs and copyright, and is also noted for brand protection matters; Sara Ashby handles IP disputes and is active across brand protection and enforcement mandates. Recently promoted partner Michael Browne is also recommended. *Following publication of the 2017 edition, the firm merged with Wiggin LLP.

Sound Advice (Legal) LLP is a ā€˜dynamic specialist music practiceā€™ that focuses on representing artists, songwriters and producers, and also represents artist management companies and live agency companies. It handles contracts in the music and entertainment sphere, and also has expertise in IP and copyright law. Clients include Jonas Blue, Snarky Puppy, TMS, Naughty Boy and UB40. Sonia Diwan is ā€˜devoted to her clientsā€™ and Robert Horsfall has ā€˜outstanding deal-making abilitiesā€™; ā€˜both are totally absorbed in the music industryā€™.

Weightmans LLP is noted for its expertise in the gaming sector, advising on a raft of instructions including major video game development agreements, licensing, talent, image rights, exploitation and recording agreements. It advised Playground Games on a video game development with a major global publisher, and is advising Side (UK) on a variety of voice talent and motion capture agreements for the provision of voice talent services for major video game titles. Secret Sorcery, Nomad Games and The Independent Game Developers Association (TIGA) are also clients. Sean Crotty heads the team and managing partner John Schorah is also recommended. Both are based in Liverpool.

Ashurstā€™s cross-departmental team has a focus on the digital economy, and supports clients in the development of digital strategies. It handles channel distribution, the creation and launch of new services, rights acquisition, licensing and audits, as well as joint ventures, M&A, regulation and antitrust matters. It advised Japan Broadcasting Corporation on its co-production, The Tokyo Trials, which is streaming on Netflix, and advised Virgin Media on its complaint that the arrangements by which the FA Premier League sells the audio visual rights to the Premier League infringe competition law. It also advised Johnston Press on its acquisition of the business and certain assets of the i newspaper from Independent Print, and assisted Johnston Press with its disposal of 13 publishing titles and associated websites in East Anglia and the East Midlands to Iliffe Media. In 2016, Nick Elverston, who has ā€˜great industry knowledge, is very personable and is a real lateral thinkerā€™, joined from Herbert Smith Freehills LLP alongside Amanda Hale. Duncan Liddell is also recommended.

Publishing boutique B M Nyman & Co advises on contracts for publishers, literary agents and authors. It also handles IP and defamation matters. Bernard Nyman is the sole partner.

Bindmans LLP is noted for its work for claimants and defendants in defamation and reputation management matters, and it also acts for publishers in providing pre-publication, copyright and libel advice. It advised film company Undercovers on privacy, libel and copyright issues relating to the script of a drama series, and advised IMPRESS on its application for recognition as an independent press regulator by the Press Recognition Panel. Media and entertainment team head Tamsin Allen is ā€˜superbā€™ and specialises in defamation, privacy, data protection, phone hacking claims and press regulation. Kate Goold handles criminal matters for journalists and media organisations and defends high-profile individuals accused of crimes. Martin Rackstraw and Katie Wheatley are also noted.

Fladgate LLP handles soft IP litigation across the media and sports sectors, with particular expertise in publishing and e-publishing. The team also advises on data protection and security, e-commerce, digital media and social media. It acted for Monster Energy on a number of marketing and advertising campaigns. Digital Cinema Media, Odeon Cinemas and Parkway Cinemas are also clients. IP, technology and commercial specialist Eddie Powell heads the team. James Earl, who joined from Pinsent Masons LLP in 2016, leads the sports group; corporate lawyer David Robinson handles capital markets and M&A in the technology and publishing sectors. Commercial lawyer Alan Wetterhahn is also noted.

The corporate, IP, antitrust and finance teams at Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP handle mandates in the media sector. Clients include digital content creators and broadcasters. David Aitman, Martin McElwee and Giles Pratt are leading Sony Pictures Entertainment (SPE) on the European Commissionā€™s investigation of pay-TV licensing arrangements between six major Hollywood studios and UK broadcaster Sky. Head of corporate Simon Marchant is also noted.

GSC Solicitors LLPā€™s main focus is in the music industry, although the firm also handles publishing, advertising and digital media matters. Its clients include music industry licensing body PPL (Phonographic Performance Limited), for which it handles a raft of enforcement actions. It acted for PRS on public performance enforcement work. Clive Halperin leads on non-contentious matters, and Justin Goldspink is noted for contentious matters.

Healys LLP is praised for its ā€˜entrepreneurial approachā€™ and advice on IP, disputes, licensing, commercial matters and rights protection in the media and entertainment sector. David Schollenberger acts for broadcasters, production companies, social media websites, musicians, actors, content suppliers and authors on commercial matters, agreements and licences. Nicholas Taylor ā€˜has great instinct for the strengths in casesā€™ and specialises in media law, including defamation, IP and rights protection. Martin John handles non-contentious media matters and Andrew Sparrow is noted for his expertise in internet and digital commercial instructions.

St Albans-based Himsworths Legal Ltdā€™s ā€˜level of service is fantasticā€™; its ā€˜industry knowledge is second-to-none and it provides practical advice that is always grounded in commercial common senseā€™. The team is ā€˜well versedā€™ in digital media, and often advises on social media policies; ā€˜in a fast-moving area of the law, the response times are very quickā€™. It is well established in the sports industry, where it acts for a raft of clients including sports organisations, as well as individual players, managers and athletes such as James Haskell and Stan Collymore. It also acts for non-sports clients, and has advised a number of start-up companies and digital enterprises. Managing director Matthew Himsworth ā€˜is an expert; personable, highly efficient and delivers excellenceā€™, he ā€˜displays highly proficient organisational and communication skillsā€™.

Mathias Gentle Page Hassan LLP is active across media entertainment and the arts sectors and advises on a range of matters including recording and music publishing, as well as acting for artists, writers, producers and managers. It also acts for art galleries, painters and sculptors. David Gentle and Bob Page are the key contacts.

Memery Crystal LLP is active in digital media production and distribution, and also advises businesses in traditional print media. Its expertise spans digital media, print and electronic publishing, social media, rights, licensing and syndication, on-demand services, games and interactive applications. It advises Guardian Media Group on a range of IP and transactional matters, and acts for Bigballs Media on IP and commercial contracts. Seven Publishing Group, Wyndeham Press Group, Electric Word and Seven Publishing Group are also clients. Key figures include Tim Ryan, who heads the commercial, media and technology team, consultant Stephen Milne, and Jonathan Riley, who joined from Gowling WLG in 2016.

PATMA: Patent attorneys

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Boult Wade Tennant excels in ā€˜competence, responsiveness and costā€™. It has a team of individuals with ā€˜valuable expertise in various areas of technologyā€™, and has ā€˜a high degree of competence in patent drafting and prosecutionā€™. The 26-partner practice is divided into four groups: Nick McLeish heads the high-tech and electrical group, which includes Nigel Tucker, who is ā€˜very good at grasping technical issues quicklyā€™, Victoria Russell, who is singled out for her ā€˜high standard of workā€™, and networks technology patent specialist Simon Kahn, who gives ā€˜practical, down-to-earth and economical solutionsā€™; consultant Claire Baldock, Nina White and Matthew Spencer focus on advising a range of life sciences sector clients (including SMEs and university start-ups) on filing strategy and opposition and appeal proceedings; Adrian Hayes heads the chemical and materials group, which includes Rohan Setna (who is strongly recommended for opposition), as well as the ā€˜diligent and pragmaticā€™ Daniel Weston and Michelle Pratt; and Tessa Bucks heads the engineering and designs group, with the support of Paul Hicks, Neil Thomson and Tony Pluckrose. Highlights included successfully defending a patent jointly owned by Services PĆ©troliers Schlumberger and WesternGeco Seismic Holdings in opposition proceedings before the EPO; filing more than 100 new UK and European patent applications for The Boeing Company; and successfully representing a biotechnology company in an opposition appeal.

A top-quality firm of patent attorneys, Carpmaels & Ransford LLP provides ā€˜exceptional, on-point and enlightening guidance and adviceā€™ in an ā€˜extremely timely fashionā€™. The life sciences, chemistry and medical devices team, which is widely recognised as one of the leading groups in Europe, handles a large number of high-profile opposition and appeal proceedings. The attorneys are also supported by a growing team of highly regarded IP litigators who are active in both opposition and appeal proceedings and patent litigation. In 2016, the team represented GlaxoSmithKline in the successful defence against an appeal by Pfizer relating to an earlier EPO decision to uphold a patent owned by GlaxoSmithKline covering a key antigen in meningococcus B vaccines; acted for Janssen in the opposition defence hearing for its Zytiga product, involving fifteen opponents; defending Cristal in oppositions against four of Cristalā€™s key European patents; and representing Novartis in patent prosecution, supplementary protection certificate (SPC) filing strategy and contentious matters. Hugh Goodfellow, Edward Oates, Chris Tunstall, Susan Kirsch and James Warner are the main contact from its life sciences group; Also recommended are John Brunner, who specialises in IT and telecoms sector mandates, engineering and IT group head Gary Small, litigators Ian Kirby, David Wilson and Camilla Balleny, and transactional IP specialist Jake Marshall.

Clients value D Young & Co LLPā€™s ā€˜efficient conduct of patent prosecution and maintenance, and its swift, relevant and in-depth responsesā€™. The sizeable team has specialist expertise in mechanical and manufacturing engineering space covering technologies ranging from medical devices to marine technologies, with particular expertise in assisting high-tech companies with patent applications with regards to microprocessor-related technologies. In the pharmaceutical space, a team of solicitors and patent attorneys including David Alcock, Garreth Duncan and Richard Willoughby successfully represented Takeda Pharmaceuticals before the EPO in relation to an opposition against its patent for Alogliptin. Other notable matters include assisting a research institution on a patent licensing dispute concerning genetically modified plants, and advising Canbex Therapeutics, a spin-out of University College London, on drafting and prosecuting patents relating to its lead compound VSN16R. The team won a number of high-profile new clients including TomTom, Xim Technologies, STS Defence and The Francis Crick Institute. Anthony Albutt, James Turner, David Horner and David Meldrum are key names to note from its electronics, engineering and IT group, while Charles Harding, Catherine Mallalieu, Simon Oā€™Brien and Zƶe Clyde-Watson are notable biotechnology and life sciences attorneys. Ian Harris and Nigel Robinson retired as partners but the latter continues to act as a consultant.

Dehns is particularly recommended for handling European patent opposition and appeals and providing litigation support for worldwide infringement conflicts through its well-regarded litigation practice led by Robert Jackson. Clients include European organisations, primarily from the UK and Scandinavia, as well as a large number of US Fortune 500 clients and a significant amount of instructions originating in Asia. In 2016, it assisted a vitamin and supplement manufacturer with the successful grant of its US patent; acted for Cancer Research Technology on patent portfolio management and protection following its acquisition of a significant patent portfolio; and advised Oxford Flow on the filing and management of patent portfolios for its recently improved industrial pressure regulator. Mark Bell is singled out for his ā€˜ability to understand novel new physics related inventions and quickly transpose them into a clear and understandable documents, ready for patent filingā€™. Clients entrust Philip Webber with ā€˜producing high-quality patent applications for pharmaceutical, biological and biotechnological companies that lead to successful prosecution in a timely fashionā€™. Also recommended are Laura Ramsay, who is ā€˜excellent at drafting and prosecutionā€™, Adrian Samuels, who is ā€˜excellent in opposition proceedingsā€™, and Alexander PiĆ©sold, Christopher Davies, Philip Towler and Hanna Dzieglewska.

J A Kemp is ā€˜a premium, top-tier, European patent firmā€™ that is singled out for its ā€˜excellent response times and appropriate adviceā€™. The team is ā€˜knowledgeable and current on EPO practice and fully understands the industry-relevant aspects of clientsā€™ inventionsā€™. Its impressive client roster includes Gilead Sciences, Oxford University, Life Technologies Corporation, Nippon Steel & Sumitomo Metal Corporation and Sony Corporation. Recent work includes assisting a US research university with the grant of a European patent, the successful defence of an opposition against the patent, and obtaining European-wide SPC based on the patent; successfully acting for Thermo Fisher in obtaining revocation of a key patent at opposition oral proceedings at the EPO; and advising Lā€™Oreal in preserving freedom to operate from a competitor seeking a granted patent in the UK in the hair coloring space. Key figures in the sizeable team, which comprises more than 60 patent specialists, includes biotechnology and life sciences head Patrick Campbell, who handles patent prosecution for life sciences companies and is recommended for EPO oppositions; Mark Roberts, who is rated for his particular expertise in the areas of medical devices and high-strength materials; and Chris Milton, who is ā€˜technically gifted in the chemical spaceā€™. Ravi Srinivasan, John Leeming, Andrew Bentham, Sarah Roques, Amanda Simons and Graham Lewis are also highly recommended.

Kilburn & Strode LLP is a recognised ā€˜market leader in patent prosecution and enforcementā€™. The team achieved notable growth in portfolio management and EPO matters, and further strengthened its offering for clients in the US and Asia with the opening of its Munich office. Kristina Cornish heads the ā€˜truly outstandingā€™ life sciences and chemistry group, which experienced an increased flow of oppositions before the EPO. Nick Bassil is experienced at all stages of patent matters and is particularly recommended for stem cells and regenerative medicine related matters. Jennifer Harris and Elizabeth Crooks are noted for their ā€˜clear advice and ability to anticipate clientsā€™ needsā€™. Peter Haleā€™s electrical group advises UK-based SMEs and large multinationals, with particular strength in hanlding large filing and opposition portfolios. Gareth Fennell has a particular reputation for handling computer software cases before the EPO and UK IPO, and counts BlackBerry, Amazon and Yahoo! as his clients. In 2016, highly regarded patent attorney Gwilym Roberts assisted new client Cisco with a large number of European patent prosecutions. The ā€˜practical and helpfulā€™ Jim Miller and Robin Lloyd co-head the mechanical group. Tim Copsey is a key name in the chemical engineering space, and manages the portfolios for a number of international clients including Topcon and Elkem, as well as a number of clients in the oil and gas sector. The team was expanded with the hire of one senior associate, three associates and four attorneys.

Marks & Clerk Solicitors has a ā€˜highly professionalā€™ team of patent attorneys across its eight offices, which was expanded with one senior associate, three associates and Steven Gurney, who joined from an in-house role at Mylan. It is ā€˜a very responsive organisation fully able to cope with the fast paced world of start-upsā€™, and has ā€˜good understanding of the pressures on small businesses and a willingness to adapt its processes to accommodateā€™. Clients also particularly value ā€˜its steady professional approach to challenging situationsā€™. Among its impressive and diverse caseload, Sheila Wallace continues to assist key client Gilead Sciences with filing and prosecution of patent and SPC applications as well as defending against EPO oppositions for its Hepatitis C and cardiovascular patents and SPC portfolios. Mark Dauncey is advising Arvia Technology on its multi-jurisdictional patent portfolio management. Robert Lind defended a European patent for Owen Mumford relating to an auto-injector pen against an opposition from a competitor. Paul Chapman assisted a biotechnology company with defending UK and DE revocation actions involving filing and managing SPC applications throughout Europe. Philip Martin and senior associate Rhyan Probert are ā€˜consummate professionals with excellent abilities in drafting patent applicationsā€™. Julian Asquith and Peter Roberts are also recommended.

Mathys & Squire LLPā€™s ā€˜absolutely first class teamā€™ is ā€˜proactive with advice, but responsive to clientsā€™ needs and requirementsā€™. The group is ā€˜very knowledgeable, both from a scientific as well as a business point of viewā€™ and ā€˜proactively safeguards clientsā€™ interestsā€™. In 2016, the team successfully defended British Gas against a Ā£30m infringement claim by MeterTech and Vanclare, and successfully represented Abbott Diabetes Care in an opposition proceeding relating to a continuous glucose monitoring device. Martin MacLean has ā€˜a good breadth of knowledge in the life sciences fieldā€™, ā€˜a deep understanding of the law and the procedures at the EPOā€™, and ā€˜excellent track record of handling very difficult casesā€™. MacLean has been assisting Public Health England, MicroPharm and Oxford University with the protection of the vaccine against the Ebola virus. Ilya Kazi is noted for his ā€˜great knowledge of the medical device sector; he gives suggestions instead of just taking instructionā€™. Paul Cozens ā€˜combines excellent technical skills with good business acumen and pragmatismā€™. James Wilding and of counsel Annabel Hector are experienced in EPO prosecution and handle opposition and appeal work. Attorneys Dani Kramer, Chris Hamer and Harvey Adams are also recommended, as are senior associates Aymeric Vienne and Craig Titmus, who are ā€˜excellent patent attorneys with strong technical backgrounds and highly developed legal skillsā€™.

ā€˜An excellent firm for handling complex life sciences patent portfoliosā€™, Mewburn Ellis LLPā€™s ā€˜highly knowledgeableā€™ team is singled out for its ā€˜competent and detailed support and understanding of clientsā€™ commercial needsā€™. The 35-partner team features ā€˜attorneys with technical knowledge of the various technology fields who are able to make good use of the knowledge accumulated within the team to fulfil clientsā€™ needsā€™. The team amply demonstrated these qualities by advising University of California, Berkeley on the platform filing for Crispr-Cas9 gene editing technology, securing the first two patent grants in the world for these filings before the UKIPO. Other highlights include assisting Cambridge Enterprise with filing patent applications covering a new treatment for haemophilia, and successfully defending a European patent for Sandvik AB concerning a twist drill. Key figures include the ā€˜thorough, well-prepared and responsiveā€™ Richard Clegg; Stephen Carter and associate Emma Graham, who are ā€˜good on the detailsā€™; Simon Kiddle and associate Sarah Brearley, who are ā€˜efficient and reliableā€™; and Simon Kremer, Graeme Moore and Robert Watson.

A.A. Thornton & Co.ā€™s level of service is ā€˜outstandingā€™ ā€“ ā€˜timeliness and appropriateness of advice are a constantā€™ according to clients, who rate the level of scientific knowledge displayed by the partners and associate lawyers as ā€˜excellentā€™. The team is highly experienced in European and UK patent prosecution and EPO oppositions and appeals, and following the arrival of IP litigator Geoff Hussey, who joined from Bird & Bird LLP, the team is increasingly handling high-stakes contentious patent cases. Highlights included successfully representing RSR in patent infringement proceedings in Germany relating to a medical diagnostic kit; acting for a well-known British tea company on assessing and mitigating the legal risks associated with a new product launch, which involved infringement analysis of a number of third party patents; and assisting a US multinational corporation with the defence of EPO opposition proceedings relating to licensed technology used in the oil & gas industry. According to clients, Craig Turnerā€™s main strength is ā€˜his ability to quickly understand complex applicationsā€™ in the fields of chemistry, chemical engineering, pharmaceuticals and biotechnology. Also recommended are Mike Jennings, for his ā€˜technical competence and ability to understand and explain complex argumentsā€™; Marianne Privett and Lawrence King, who are ā€˜very knowledgeable both in Chemistry and in IP lawā€™; mechanical engineering specialist Adrian Bennett, Christian Reinders and Christopher Burnett are further names to note.

Barker Brettell LLP has a reputation in the higher education sector, working with many Russell Group universities and a number of US universities. The team is assisting longstanding client Nottingham University with a range of patent matters including filing and prosecution, renewals, portfolio management, freedom to operate searches and patentability. The physics and materials group, led by John Lawrence, assisted a provider of equipment and services for electric power systems with an opposition proceeding. Other key highlights included Andy Tranterā€™s advice to TRW Automotive on its worldwide patent portfolio, which involved filing a large number of patents in Europe, US, China and Japan; and David Pearceā€™s assistance of NXP Semiconductors with prosecuting its European patent applications. Also recommended are Jennifer Atkinson, who acts for a wide range of clients, from start-ups and spin-outs to multinational companies, and Yvonne Johnson, who is highly experienced in chemistry related technologies.

Clients of CMS rate the firm for the ā€˜consistency of advice and its timelinessā€™. The team focuses on advising technology giants such as Western Digital, Raytheon and Imagination Technologies, as well as life sciences sector clients including Abbott Laboratories, Dexcom and Silence Therapeutics. Microsoft remains a key client, which the team is assisting with more than 1200 live applications in prosecution. Robert Stephen heads the patent attorney practice and jointly heads the life sciences group. Kevin Cordina is ā€˜a strong IP lawyer, who can make good suggestions and offer practical assistance in electronics and medical devices related patent mattersā€™. Legal director Helen Wallis is ā€˜always professional and diligentā€™ and specialises in software and computing hardware. Stephen successfully defended Kymabā€™s granted European patent at EPO opposition proceedings with oppositions filed by three opponents, and is representing it in an appeal against Regeneronā€™s patent at the EPO. Cordina is advising Acelity on oppositions at the EPO, freedom to operate clearances as well as transactional work for a number of acquisitions.

EIPā€™s ā€˜extremely responsiveā€™ team is praised for ā€˜combining deep understanding of technologies with a commercial approachā€™. It is particularly known for its strength in electronics and digital technology; in 2016 the firm assisted Unwired Planet International with ongoing patent validity and infringement litigation against Samsung, Huawei and Google. Practice head Jerome Spaargaren attracts praise for his ā€˜extensive technical capability, which enables him to understand core aspects of technical matters at handā€™. Other key figures include Heather McCann, who is noted for her ā€˜tremendous technical knowledgeā€™; the ā€˜responsive and diligentā€™ Laurence Brown; and Andrew Sharples, who focuses on life sciences matters. Also recommended are Darren Smyth, who in 2016 assisted a major medical device manufacturer in 10 oppositions at the EPO; and Iain Russell, who is recommended for his ā€˜attention to detail and thorough understanding of telecommunicationsā€™. Imperial Innovations, Airbus, Visa Europe and British American Tobacco are also clients.

Gill Jennings & Every LLPā€™s clients include businesses ranging from early-stage and spin-out companies and SMEs, through to multinationals. The team has been particularly active in growing its Scandinavian client base, for which managing partner Peter Finnie is the main contact and counts Fjell Technology Group and Norwegian University of Science and Technology as clients. It has notable strength in patent oppositions, led by Arnie Clarke who has particular expertise in small molecule pharmaceutical chemistry, and Lucy Samuels, who acts for clients in both defence of their patents and in opposition to those of their competitors. Demonstrating its capability in the space, Clarke represented Mylan in the high-profile revocation of Bristol-Myer Squibbā€™s European patent relating to the anti-cancer drug dasatinib; Michael Lord successfully defended Joseph Vƶgele in the revocation action brought by Caterpillar; and Finnie assisted Focusrite Audio Engineering with the negotiation settlement in the alleged patent infringement claim brought against it before the US courts. Peter Arrowsmith is particularly experienced at advising on computer implemented inventions, assisting clients in the digital rights management, cloud computing and social networks sectors. Henry Hunt-Grubbe joined J A Kemp in May 2017.

With 11 offices in the UK and three further offices in Europe, HGF Limited is well positioned to handle Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT) filings, opposition and appeal proceedings and portfolio management for a healthy mix of domestic and multinational clients. Representative clients include AstraZeneca, Smith & Nephew and Lucideon. Matthew Dixon is advising Q-bot on the management of its patent portfolio and succeeded in a European patent opposition for Bespak against Scandinavian Health resulting in the revocation of Scandinavian Healthā€™s European patent relating to an auto injector device. In other highlights, Mike Nelson is assisting Raptor Pharmaceuticals with its European patent portfolio, and Gary Wilson is advising a global materials science company on its global portfolio management and on the prosecution of its patents globally. Chris Moore heads the opposition and appeal group and has solid track record in defending and opposing patents at the EPO. Further names to note include Harry Hutchinson, Jonathan Atkinson and Andrew Wells.

Keltie enhanced its pan-European practice with the establishment of its first overseas office in Galway, Ireland. The ā€˜pragmatic and proactiveā€™ team is assisting MasterCard and its subsidiaries with its European patent filing and prosecution and oral proceedings at the EPO. Joanne Hopley has successfully defended a number of automotive-related patents in opposition and appeal proceedings at the EPO. Shakeel Ahmad leads the software practice and is a recommended fintech practitioner; he acted alongside Luigi Distefano for Certicom Corp in defending an opposition to its key standards patent by Infineon Technologies. Head of life sciences Devanand Crease and Mark Richardson are ā€˜very knowledgeable partners who understand how to provide business-focused adviceā€™. Crease acted for Shell in opposing two competitor matters at the EPO, successfully securing the clientā€™s freedom to operate. Peter Kent, who specialises in renewable technologies, was promoted to the partnership in 2016 and is also recommended.

Nottingham-based Potter Clarkson LLP has undergone rapid expansion in Europe with the opening of offices in Stockholm and Lund in 2016, and in Munich in February 2017. Alongside its ā€˜first-classā€™ patent filing, prosecution and opposition practice, 2016 saw the launch of its dispute resolution and commercial department, enabling the firm to handle the full range of litigation and non-contentious commercial advice. The team is praised for providing ā€˜business-relevant and highly pragmatic advice in a timely mannerā€™. Key figures include Stephanie Pilkington, who is rated for her ā€˜knowledge of technology, approachability, willingness to listen and to take on board suggestionsā€™; Ray Charig and Charlotte Crowhurst, who ā€˜bring their extensive IP experience along with a rigorous scientific expertiseā€™ and are ā€˜very adept at dealing with academic inventors and the challenges posed by commercialisation of university researchā€™; and Ian Dee, who ā€˜can always be relied upon to give the quality and style of advice that allows clients to make informed decisionsā€™. Richard Bassett, Saiful Khan, Michael Pears, Robert Pugh and Simon Curtis are also recommended. Recent highlights include assisting a global biotechnology company with 11 EPO opposition and appeal hearings, and successfully defending GalĆ”pagos NV in an appeal of the EPO opposition divisionā€™s decision to revoke The Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisationā€™s European patent which GalĆ”pagos NV had previously opposed.

Well known for its highly regarded capability in the electronics space, Reddie & Grose LLP also has solid experience advising on the patentability of computer software. It has been particularly active in handling contentious matters including oppositions and revocations, as well as handling a steady flow of PCT application filings. Phil Bates continues to act for Ferring Pharmaceuticals on filing and prosecuting patents as well as on prosecution in relation to SPCs; he also successfully defended the same client in an opposition by Merck Serono concerning a key patent. Patrick Lloyd won an opposition appeal at the EPO Board of Appeal for Vestas Wind Systems against a patent owned by Siemens. Aidan Robson and Robert Sackin are assisting Xiaomi with the management of its European patent portfolio. Simon Goodman counts Oval Medical Technologies and 8power (a University of Cambridge spin-out company) as his clients.

Venner Shipley LLP has a strong reputation of handling opposition and appeal proceedings before the registries; the contentious offering was further enhanced in May 2016 when it established a litigation practice with the recruitment of James Tumbridge and Paul Harris from Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman LLP, followed by the arrival of IP barrister Ashley Roughton from Nabarro LLP. Its patent prosecution practice acts for a large number of high-profile clients, including British American Tobacco, Google, Nokia and Sanofi-Aventis. Recent highlights include assisting Twitter with due diligence and patent portfolio assessment following its purchase of Magic Pony Technology. The firm also continues to assist Samsung with its European patent prosecution and filing strategy. Tim Jump is highly recommended for opposition proceedings and successfully represented Kingspan in an appeal against the opposition of a patent relating to insulation foam owned by Adahi Kasei. Jan Walaski and Ian Grey head the electronics and mechanical teams, respectively.

Abel & Imray retains a strong reputation for UK and European patent prosecution work, as well as defending, enforcing and licensing the granted patents for clients including Airbus, Norgine, Honeywell and IBM. The team includes patent specialists in all areas of technology, with particular strengths in life sciences, aerospace and defence and industrial chemistry. Jim Pearson, James Ford and Emily Teesdale are the key names in its aerospace and defence team; Jim Denness has particular expertise in petrochemical and polymer chemistry; Paul Brady is recommended for handling due diligence, portfolio management and SPCs; and Tom Burt is experienced in the fields of software and mathematical applications. The team recently assisted Sun Chemical with licensing negotiations with a major competitor, including preparing draft claims for revocation proceedings before the UK courts.

Appleyard Lees stands out for its ā€˜professionalism and work standardsā€™. With the arrival of software expert Julia Gwilt and life sciences specialist Barbara Fleck, both from Marks & Clerk Solicitors, it has established its fifth office in Cambridge. Recent work includes assisting UMUIP with filing and prosecution relating to Graphene; handling more than 200 foreign filings for VMWareā€™s subsidiary company Nicira; advising Innospec on the management of its worldwide patent portfolio; and representing a UK-based healthcare company in high-profile opposition and appeal proceedings at the EPO. Clients are ā€˜deeply impressedā€™ with David Walshā€™s capabilities ā€“ his ā€˜exemplary depth of preparation before patent oppositions, licence negotiations and freedom to operate discussions ensures the best possible outcomesā€™, and his ā€˜excellent thinking skills and technical knowledge guarantees the strongest possible patent portfolio is ultimately achievedā€™. Ean Davies is ā€˜very good in capturing new technologies and understanding client needsā€™. Senior associate Terry Instone has ā€˜an excellent grasp of technical matters and patent law and a good feel for patent litigation procedure in the English courtsā€™. Jennifer Delaney, Anthony Brierley and senior associate Kate Hickinson are ā€˜very customer focusedā€™. Further names to note are Richard Bray, who specialises in the physics and engineering space, and Dick Waddington, who has particular expertise in imaging and printer technology.

Beck Greenerā€™s nine-partner team of ā€˜genuine problem solversā€™ is adept at handling opposition and appeal proceedings at the EPO. Work highlights saw John Raynor and Anna Hatt assisting multinational chemical companies in oppositions to third party patents and successfully defending their patents against third parties at the EPO. The team also successfully acted for a medical devices company in an appeal in the US, and assisted a Fortune 500 company with filing, prosecuting and managing its European patent portfolio. In another highlight the team is providing a freedom to operate opinion in respect of pharmaceutical and biological products for a leading Indian biopharmaceutical company. Dr James Stones has ā€˜a deep understanding of pharmaceutical technology and patent lawā€™, which enables him to ā€˜negotiate complex patent issues effectivelyā€™. Dr Stones is also singled out for his ā€˜brilliant presentation at oral hearingsā€™. Avi Freeman specialises in computer hardware and software and Ben Muir focuses on the chemical engineering and life sciences sectors.

Cleveland Scott York advises on all aspects of patent protection and has a wealth of expertise drafting and prosecuting UK and European patent applications, in addition to advising on opposition and appeal proceedings as well as validity issues. Key figures include Andrew Mackenzie, who ā€˜combines great knowledge and experience in both European and overseas IP mattersā€™; Sophie Maughan, who has ā€˜a very keen eye for detail, grasping everything very precisely and accurately translating it into the documentationā€™; Tom Faulkner, who is ā€˜both knowledgeable in IP law and an excellent physicist, enabling him to understand ideas and concepts quickly whilst also being able to best structure patent specifications for maximum protection and likelihood of grantā€™; and Adrian Bradley, who is ā€˜a creative problem solver and a star in patent prosecution and with SPCsā€™.

Elkington + Fife LLP is singled out for its ā€˜timely response and exceptional knowledge of the pharmaceuticals businessā€™. Practice head Richard Gillard is ā€˜undoubtedly a leader for opposition and pharmaceutical clearance workā€™; his ā€˜high attention to detail, outstanding advocacy skills and calm under pressureā€™ are all singled out for praise by clients. Oliver Kingsbury has ā€˜very good business acumen and understands pharmaceutical sector clientsā€™ business needsā€™; his ā€˜calm and pragmatic approachā€™ makes Kingsbury ā€˜a strong partner for opposition work and SPC filingsā€™, according to clients. The team was strengthened when Glyn Truscott and associate Henrietta Rooney joined from Carpmaels & Ransford LLP in June 2016. Truscott has ā€˜a sophisticated understanding of the biotech industry and provides canny insight into options and strategies in Europeā€™; he is ā€˜able to achieve results that often go beyond expectationsā€™. In the electrical and mechanical group, James Anderson ā€˜gives sound advice in freedom to operate matters and understands complex business and legal issues in the medical devices areaā€™; Nick Ertl, Rob Oā€™callaghan and Rob Zijlstra are also key names to note. Representative clients include Actavis, IBM, Fujifilm, Teva and Samsung.

Forrestersā€™s 12-partner team has been particularly active in handling opposition and appeal proceedings at the EPO. Recent highlights include successfully defending Nevro Group in oppositions against Medtronic and Boston Scientific Neuromodulation Corporation, and representing Intertape Polymer Group in defending an opposition against a German competitor. Its impressive client roster also feature Huawei, Vax, Waters Technologies and Tarmac. Jenny Donald, Matt Barton and Jon Gowshall are names to note in the firmā€™s life sciences and chemistry group. Within its technology and engineering team, the ā€˜highly skilledā€™ Andy Harding is ā€˜always willing to go beyond the original scope of the projectā€™, while Tim Ashton is ā€˜very knowledgeable and straight-talkingā€™.

With overseas offices in Germany, The Netherlands and China, IP boutique Haseltine Lake LLP is well placed to advise a diverse range of clients on multi-jurisdictional filing and prosecution, and opposition proceedings. The firm acts for a sizeable international client base, including Cisco Systems, Chevron, King's College Hospital NHS Trust and Fuji Xerox. Frances Wilding, a former patent examiner at the EPO, is recommended for opposition and portfolio management, while David Brown is particularly experienced at handling oral proceedings at the EPO including parallel opposition and litigation proceedings. Of counsel Tim Stebbingā€™s clients include multinational electronics and computer companies. Ashley Giles heads the engineering and energy team, and Andrew Dowling is recommended for patent box matters.

With offices in London, Munich and Freiburg, Maucher Jenkins is uniquely placed to advise pan-European patent filing and prosecution and opposition and appeal proceedings at the EPO. It acts for a global client base and a number of FTSE 250 companies, including British Airways and Sky UK, as well as US Fortune 500 companies including Qualcomm. In 2016, life sciences and medical technology specialist Reuben Jacob advised a medical devices company on the worldwide protection strategy for its new products; Hugh Dunlop assisted a software innovation company with filing and prosecution of its patents; and Felix Rummler (who splits his time between London and Munich) is advising a semiconductor manufacturing company on its global filing strategies. Practice head James Cross specialises in managing hi-tech patent portfolios.

Murgitroyd is singled out for its ā€˜highly responsive support, pragmatic advice and effective communicationā€™. The groupā€™s presence in Munich is ā€˜very helpful with resolving issues at the EPOā€™. Oil and gas is a particular strength in their Aberdeen office; attorneys James Brown and Wendy Crosby have ā€˜good in-depth experience of the sectorā€™. Demonstrating this, it is assisting Corex with patentability assessment for an invention including searching, drafting, filing and prosecution of patent applications before the UKIPO. Graham Murnane is ā€˜an outstanding European patent attorney, with particular expertise in representing clients in European opposition and appeal proceedingsā€™. In 2016, Murnane successfully defended a US technology companyā€™s European patents against third party oppositions at the EPO. Material science and mechanical engineering specialist Peter Wilson and chemistry and life sciences group head Russell Thom are also names to note.

Clients of Slingsby Partners LLP appreciate its ā€˜appropriate and commercial adviceā€™. It advises a mixture of UK and European technology companies in the fields of engineering, electronics and physical sciences, and is particularly experienced at assisting European technology companies with patent disputes in the US. The firm also has a successful track record in opposing and defending patents at the EPO. Founding partner Philip Slingsby has a wealth of knowledge and experience in both patent procurement, licensing and litigation. Other standout attorneys are Rosalind Fenwick, Sarah Binham, Paul Roberts and senior associate Nikki Davy, the last of which joined from Olswang LLP in April 2017. Representative clients include Huawei, Imagination Technologies, UltraSoc Technologies and Sirius Minerals.

Urquhart-Dykes & Lord LLPā€™s team is praised for its ā€˜ability and willingness to dedicate resource when required to support urgent issuesā€™ and for its ā€˜extremely highā€™ level of service. It acts for a mixture of universities and multinationals in the biotechnology, hi-tech and chemistry and engineering spaces, and has particular expertise in blockchain technology. In 2016, Andrew Alton successfully defended a medical devices company in oppositions against two European patents for surgical planning software, while Simon Raynor acted for Kverneland Group Kerteminde on the filing of patent for a machine used to harvest and process crops. Other key figures include Martin Neilson, who has ā€˜good technical understandingā€™; senior patent attorney Simon Mitchell, who is singled out for his ā€˜in-depth scientific knowledge, pragmatic advice and flexibilityā€™; and Cerian Jones, who ā€˜excels in communicating complex patent topics in a manner that business executives and scientists can understandā€™. Garry Stuttard, Alan Jones and Nick Burton are also recommended.

IP prosecution and litigation firm WP Thompson regularly handles global patent portfolio issues, from clearance through to registrations and renewals. David Gill successfully represented AMO Development in a hearing at the EPO resulting in the grant of a European patent relating to a refractive eye surgery invention; and Julian Potter assisted M-I with its opposition to a granted European Patent for a triple deck shale shaker. Other highlights saw the team advising Nerudia on its global IP strategy, which included drafting patent applications. Nicholas Manley is also recommended.

Wilson Gunn acts for a mixture of technology companies, academic institutions and global brand owners, for which it provides ā€˜commercially astute adviceā€™. It is particularly strong in the automotive space, advising a number of leading automotive and supply chain companies. The team continues to advise Bentley Motors on a range of patent and design matters. Biochemist Michael Douglas heads the five-partner team, which includes engineering specialist James Robey, who is praised for his ā€˜depth of knowledge and experience and excellent communication skillsā€™. Mark Goodwin counts Mondelez International and Clear Edge Group as his clients, while David Slattery is recommended for advising on high-tech physics and electronics patents. Newly promoted partner Ben Appleton and senior associate Simon Church are further names to note.

Withers & Rogers is praised for its ā€˜excellent serviceā€™ ā€“ ā€˜great with clients, very practical yet technical, and always quick to respondā€™. Recent highlights include successfully representing a US technology company in a high-stakes opposition appeal, and assisting Mirriad with the successful grant of its first European patent. Key figures include Dave Croston, who heads the advanced engineering group; Karl Barnfather, whose group has experience in electronics, computing and physics; and David Elsy, who is a name to note for life sciences and chemistry matters. Sheffield-based John-Paul Rooney and Paul Foot are ā€˜very personable, practical and commercialā€™, and are particularly recommended for software and engineering matters, respectively.

Ablett & Stebbingā€™s team is praised for its ā€˜deep knowledge of pharmaceutical formulation technologyā€™ and its ability to ā€˜obtain the broadest possible patent protection, both during prosecution and oppositionā€™. The group has presence in London and Dundee and the majority of the team splits its time between the two offices. Among them, Paul Williams is recommended for EPO oppositions and appeals; and Tom Gaunt is ā€˜a highly intelligent patent lawyer, who takes time to understand clientsā€™ needs and always delivers a practical, effective and good value serviceā€™. In 2016, it handled a number of EPO oppositions and appeals for Johnson & Jonson, and successfully represented Biosensor International in opposition proceedings against multiple opponents.

Adamson Jones IP Ltd is traditionally strong in the life sciences space, but is increasingly active in the fields of chemistry, mechanical engineering and advanced physics. The group was reshaped in 2017 when Steve Jones retired from partnership; he remains as a consultant, and the team is now led by Simon Cooper. Highlights included assisting a university spin-out with its patent filing, and advising Intersurgical on a freedom to operate opinion in respect of a number of new products including an innovation which is being developed in collaboration with a US doctor. Nicholas Ferrar is also recommended.

Chapman IP is ā€˜responsive and adaptive to clientsā€™ needsā€™. The team has particular expertise in material science and is experienced in managing IP rights for UK and international companies. Key clients include Saint-Gobain Gyproc, which it advises on the management of its global patent portfolio. Helga Chapman and Vicky Pugsley are singled out for their ā€˜complete competence, reliability and diligenceā€™. Catherine Bonner was promoted to director in 2016. The ā€˜very knowledgeableā€™ Huw Evans is also recomended.

According to one client, Swindell & Pearson Ltd is ā€˜ideal for any university wanting to capitalise on its in house IP and knowhow in the field of medical engineeringā€™. The group is particularly active in the automotive, electronics and mechanics industries, which it assists with patent filing and prosecution, management and EPO oppositions. Practice head Paul Higgin ā€˜brings sanity and a path forward to a sometimes chaotic and constantly changing landscapeā€™; he is assisted by Martin Terry, who provides ā€˜excellent, professional, and timely serviceā€™; and Scott Harrison and Robert Sales, who are ā€˜very knowledgeable of the patent systemā€™.

PATMA: Trade mark attorneys

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For some, Boult Wade Tennant is ā€˜the bestā€™ ā€“ its team has ā€˜a winning combination of knowledge and commercial nous, and is an absolute pleasure to work withā€™. Emma Pitcher advised Newton Investment Management and Walter Scott & Partners on their worldwide trade mark portfolios, which involved performing due diligence and advising on ongoing oppositions at the EUIPO; she also acted for Regis Corporation on a bad faith opposition action in the UAE in which the client does not hold any registered trade marks. Other highlights included John Wallaceā€™s advice to Talley Group on a number of EUTM oppositions; Charlotte Dulyā€™s advice to Soap & Glory on the prosecution of its applications, dealing with oppositions to third party applications and due diligence aspects arising from the clientā€™s acquisition by Boots; and Tony Pluckroseā€™s work for Wild Bunch media on the registration of a womenā€™s running trade mark in the UK. The ā€˜extremely professional and knowledgeableā€™ Catherine Wolfe is noted for her specialist knowledge of Chinese trade marks.

Carpmaels & Ransford LLPā€™s longstanding experience in trade marks makes it a top choice for a diverse range of clients, which it advises on the full range of trade mark matters. Highlights included assisting Xeros and 4D Pharma with their trade mark portfolios; representing a global pharmaceutical company in a global trade mark and unfair competition dispute involving trade mark oppositions and cancellation actions; and advising Shire Pharmaceuticals on EU trade mark matters. Furthermore, litigator Jonathan Day assisted Biogen with settling a dispute with a German company regarding the use of the name in one of Biogenā€™s key products, and is advising The Walt Disney Company on a number of EU trade mark matters, including trade mark clearance, registrations and disputes matters. The ā€˜pragmatic and knowledgeableā€™ Roger Lush continues to represent Bear Grylls Ventures on clearance, filing, prosecution, opposition and contentious matters. Litigator Ian Kirby and associate Lara Elder are also recommended. Paul Howard retired in 2016.

D Young & Co LLPā€™s ā€˜very professional and responsiveā€™ team acts for a large number of British super brands across a broad range of industry sectors. It handles the full range of matters including development and clearance of new brands, registration strategy and use and exploitation, as well as enforcement. It also has notable experience of domain name disputes and community design registration. Key figures within the ā€˜very professional, very approachable and helpfulā€™ team include Jeremy Pennant, who successfully represented an internationally known luxury fashion brand in opposing a company on the use and registration of a similar mark; and Matthew Dick, who is ā€˜responsive and knowledgeable, and combines an excellent understanding of trade mark law with just the right amount of assertiveness to support clients, whether in the course of prosecution or dispute resolutionā€™. Dick is acting for a US fashion retailer in a number of trade mark matters, including overcoming registration objections at the UK registry, opposition proceedings before the EUIPO and multiple infringement and counterfeiting matters. Dick is also advising new client Hard Rock International on trade mark oppositions, litigation and filings within the UK. Tamsin Holman and Jackie Johnson are ā€˜very good at responding to clientsā€™ queries and requests very promptly, and always find the best commercial solutions possibleā€™. Also recommended are Flora Cook, Anna Reid and Gemma Kirkland, who was promoted to the partnership in 2016 and counts a number of household multinationals as well as start-up companies as clients. All named individuals are based in London and Southampton.

Dehns assists clients with the protection of their UK and overseas trade marks, and advises on company names, domain names, registered designs and unregistered design rights. Practice head Roberto Calamita counts Pret a Manger among his longstanding clients; he advises the client on its global IP strategy and oppositions at the EUIPO and the General Court of the European Court of Justice (CJEU). Calamita is also assisting a large pharmaceutical company and its subsidiaries on filing and prosecution as well as opposition proceedings. Elaine Deyes and Alison Hague in London, Philip Towler in Oxford, and Brighton-based Joseph Letang and Clare Mann are also recommended.

J A Kemp is singled out for its ā€˜excellent technical knowledge, strength in depth, commercial awareness and responsivenessā€™. It is increasingly recognised as one of the go-to firms for complex trade mark advice and trade mark related litigation, with growing caseload in the pharmaceutical and med-tech sectors. Practice head James Fish, who is based in Cambridge, ā€˜offers plenty of relevant advice early on to stop clients going down blind alleys and guides through the process with customary charmā€™. Key figures include Oxford-based Ben Mooneapillay and London-based Tom Albertini, who is ā€˜an excellent adviserā€™; their clients include household names in the luxury goods, film, sporting equipment, foot and fashion sectors, as well as SME clients in the retail, automotive, drinks, charity and trade association sectors. Recent highlights include assisting Gain Capital UK with its global trade mark prosecution, portfolio management and multi-jurisdictional litigation, advising Intrexon and its subsidiary Oxitec on its adoption of the trade mark Friendly Aedes, and advising Electronic Arts on trade mark filings and prosecutions, as well as a number of contentious matters.

Kilburn & Strode LLP continues to be sought out for its expertise in handling trade mark filing and prosecution, global portfolios and complex and often multi-jurisdictional disputes. Its trade mark opposition practice is highly regarded and its client list includes BlackBerry, NBC Universal, DreamWorks Animation and Geneva Laboratories. The team is led by the ā€˜responsive and personableā€™ Carrollanne Lindley, who is experienced in all aspects of trade mark prosecution and enforcement both in the UK and abroad. In 2016, Lindley and Ryan Pixton assisted easyGroup with its worldwide trade mark portfolio of around 900 marks covering the groupā€™s high-profile ventures including easyJet, easyHotel, easyGym and easyFoodstore. Iain Stewart is particularly experienced in handling trade mark opposition and dispute resolution. Stewart recently assisted La Perla Global Management (UK) with trade mark portfolio management consisting of approximately 800 trade marks. Dual-qualified patent and trade mark attorney Jim Miller is recommended for his ā€˜solid technical knowledgeā€™. The team was further expanded with the arrival of senior associate Cara Baldwin, who joined from Maucher Jenkins in January 2017.

Marks & Clerk Solicitorsā€™s sizeable trade mark team is ā€˜absolutely first classā€™. It is ā€˜quick to pick up instructions and has great processes to ensure nothing slipsā€™. The highly regarded Matthew Sammon is advising a supermarket chain on its expansion into Asia, including advising on filing and strategy regarding adoption of marks suitable for local markets and subsequent registration strategy. Edinburgh-based Campbell Newell ā€˜knows his onionsā€™; he continued to act for Harris Tweed Authority on the registration of trade marks to expand its brand portfolio, assisted with revoking conflicting third party marks, and acted alongside Burness Paull LLP on enforcement of its trade mark rights. Newell also assisted Wood Group, an energy service provider, with its brand portfolio and trade mark strategy for its recent rebranding project, including filing 39 trade mark applications across eight jurisdictions. Alison Melling is advising a British retailer on its international portfolio and oppositions. Aidan Clarke is also a name to note. Associate Erika Coccia joined from Reddie & Grose LLP in January 2017.

Maucher Jenkins, formed through the combination of RGC Jenkins & Co and its longstanding German partner firm Maucher Bƶrjes Jenkin, is a pan-European IP firm that advises a range of clients spanning start-ups to FTSE 250 companies and Fortune 500 corporations including Black Entertainment Television, SocietĆ© des Produits NestlĆ©, Tinder, Paramount Pictures Corporation and Brainloop. Katie Cameron has notable experience in handling opposition proceedings before the EUIPO. She is recommended alongside solicitor and chartered trade mark attorney Angela Fox and attorney Tim Pendered, whose practice areas include trade marks, designs and copyright, domain names and who are ā€˜excellent litigatorsā€™.

Nottingham-based Potter Clarkson LLP handles all aspects of branding and trade mark clearance, protection and enforcement. In an illustration of the depth and breadth of its capability, Sanjay Kapur is assisting a manufacturer of computer gaming equipment in nine EUTM oppositions, and successfully defended Mariage FrĆØres in an opposition against its Casablanca trade mark application in the UK. In other highlights, John Peacock advised King Features Syndicate and Fleischer Studios on counterfeiting and unauthorised use and applications of Popeye and Betty Boop trade marks, and assisted Authentic Brands Group on trade mark oppositions and domain name disputes. Senior associate Lucy Mills has particular expertise in UK and CTM oppositions, and in negotiating co-existence agreements. Mills and Peacock count Hanesbrands as their client; in 2016 they assisted it with trade mark and design portfolios in the UK and the EU following its recent acquisition of three further portfolios of brands.

Boutique trade mark firm Stobbs IP is singled out for its ā€˜fresh, modern twist on trade mark agentsā€™. Established in 2013, the ā€˜very classy outfitā€™ is ā€˜excellent across every categoryā€™ and to some, is ā€˜right at the top of the marketā€™. Key figures within its highly regarded team include Julius Stobbs, who ā€˜gives great advice that is both practical and honestā€™; ā€˜knowledgeable and experiencedā€™ senior attorney Emma Pettipher, who has particular expertise in CTM proceedings and procedure, especially in contentious CTM proceedings and settlement negotiations; Claire Sugden, who is highly experienced at trade mark clearance, and ā€˜works hard to deliver results in a form that is succinct, commercial and usefulā€™; Harriet Berridge, who is ā€˜very dedicated and always keen to tailor her advice and ways of working to clientsā€™ needsā€™; and Jessica Wolff and Louise Goodsell, who represent ā€˜excellent value for moneyā€™. Geoff Weller and Claire Jenkins are also highly recommended. Recent instructions include assisting Nomad Foods Europe with filing and prosecution matters, as well as opposition and enforcement issues and a review of its filing strategy; representing Springer-Verlag in a series of cancellation and non-use invalidity actions at the EUIPO in respect of the mark BirkhƤuser; and assisting ASOS in contentious trade mark proceedings and filing and prosecution matters. Other clients include Faber & Faber, Yahoo!, Barclays, Nike and Tesco.

2016 saw A.A. Thornton & Co.ā€™s team handle a large volume of trade mark matters for longstanding and a number of new clients. The firm is praised for its ā€˜good level of industry knowledge and serviceā€™ and for its ā€˜extremely professional approachā€™. Ian Gill successfully represented eHarmony in its opposition to the registration of the Matchedharmony mark, while Vanessa Lawrence is assisting a British designer clothing brand on the trade mark aspects of the establishment of a new brand. Rachel Havard is representing a UK-registered charity in trade mark oppositions and negotiations in multiple jurisdictions and, in a separate matter, successfully defended against a non-use cancellation application at the EUIPO cancellation division for a well-known US brewery. Another highlight saw litigator Geoff Hussey and Gill successfully assist an international fashion retailer with defeating an invalidity action at the EUIPO and in the General Court. Senior associate Sarah Darby is another name to note.

According to clients, Appleyard Leesā€™s team comprises ā€˜a lovely bunch of people that delivers highly professional and commercial adviceā€™. The team has a strong track record managing large international portfolios and complex multi-jurisdictional disputes for clients including Samsung Electronics, Multibrands International and PUMA. Robert Cumming is an excellent trade mark attorney and IP solicitor; the ā€˜commercially focusedā€™ Cummingā€™s recent highlights include representing a manufacturer of a consumer product in a dispute involving eight simultaneous sets of opposition proceedings before the EUIPO and two in Germany, and acting for a gaming software client on a multi-jurisdictional copyright dispute. David Moy, who is qualified in both patent and trade mark matters, is singled out for his expertise in handling contentious proceedings including oppositions and appeals. IP litigator Chris Hoole is also highly recommended, as is Olivia Gregory, who is ā€˜one to watch for the futureā€™.

Birmingham-headquartered Barker Brettell LLP won 78 new trade mark clients in 2016, including Keller Group, Domino Printing and Perry Ellis International. As well as advising on the full breadth of trade mark matters, the ā€˜communicative and professionalā€™ team also has experience in domain names, customs applications and Companies House queries, and is praised for its ability to ā€˜think ahead on how the IP strategy of the company needs to develop, anticipating needs and suggesting ways to better protect clientsā€™ trade marksā€™. In 2016, the ā€˜pragmatic and solution-orientatedā€™ Catherine Wiseman assisted IMI with its trade mark filing strategy for the new IMI brand and the new brands of the subsidiary business, which involved filing more than 20 marks in 60 countries; and Lucy Walker handled a trade mark infringement matter for a well-known automotive manufacturer. Sarah Lait heads the trade mark team, which includes Rosalyn Newsome, who is ā€˜very prompt in her responses and accommodating to the needs of every matterā€™, and Tracy Arch, who has particular experience advising on protection strategies around trade dress issues.

Bristows LLP further enhanced its trade mark capability with the hire of three trade mark attorneys from Berwin Leighton Paisner LLP, including Ian Gruselle, who has notable experience in handling global portfolio management. It has a fully-integrated team of trade mark attorneys and solicitors, enabling the group to advise on the full range of trade mark work, with particular expertise in contentious issues including trade mark registry disputes and litigation. Paul Walsh heads the ā€˜excellentā€™ team, which includes litigators Paul Jordan and Jeremy Blum. Jordan continues to manage the UK trade mark portfolio for McDonaldā€™s, and is acting in a trade mark opposition against The Scottish Salmon Company, which has applied to register the mark MacSalmon; he is also assisting Royal Mail Group with its worldwide trade mark portfolio. Walshā€™s recent highlights include assisting a British-headquartered multinational on UK and EUTM clearance searches, and on a number of EU design invalidation actions arising from a dispute with a major competitor.

CMS, which merged with Olswang LLP and Nabarro LLP in 2017, acts for an impressive client list that includes ITV, Sky, W Chump & Sons and Hakkasan, for which the sizeable team handles the full range of trade mark matters. Sarah Wright assisted W Chump & Sons with clearance searches to secure trade mark protection of the name The Grand Tour across Europe and six additional jurisdictions, and continues to act for Microsoft on its European trade mark prosecution and opposition work. Joel Barry is ā€˜strategically brilliant, and is able to advise on all aspects of prosecution and litigationā€™. Barry and Wright have been assisting Sky with its worldwide trade mark protection and enforcement strategy, which involves handling 600 oppositions, revocations or invalidity actions, as well as managing pending litigation. Kelly Clarke is ā€˜an attorney clients trust to get things done with sound technical abilityā€™. Another name to note is Tom Scourfield, who focuses on IP enforcement work and on the consumer products, life sciences, energy and TMT sectors.

In April 2017, IP firms Cleveland IP and Scott & York IP merged to form Cleveland Scott York, with offices in London, Reading, St Albans and Brussels. The well-regarded trade mark team advises on all areas of brand protection, including domain names, company names and designs. Recent highlights include assisting an internet company with negotiating the settlement of a CTM opposition, and representing a global pharmaceutical company in UK trade mark opposition proceedings. Key figures include Jonathan Clegg, who specialises in contentious matters, including handling oppositions and appeals across a number of jurisdictions; Sophie Maughan, (a qualified patent and trade mark attorney) advises clients on all aspects of IP protection and enforcement relating to trade marks and designs; and Imogen Wiseman, who advises on trade mark and design prosecutions, and is particularly experienced in UK and EU opposition and validity proceedings. Lorna Hobbs is a further name to note.

Elkington + Fife LLPā€™s team is ā€˜clearly at the top of its game; always available, quick to acknowledge instructions and quick to turn around responsesā€™. The team has handled a large number of trade mark applications, oppositions and other disputes in several jurisdictions for BASF and its subsidiaries; in 2016 it acted as the lead counsel in relation to worldwide opposition and cross-cancellation proceedings involving more than 40 jurisdictions. Another highlight saw the team assisting PANalytical with its clearance and registration of new product trade marks and existing trade marks in new territories, as well as conducting opposition and cancellation actions in the UKIPO and EUIPO. The ā€˜very knowledgeable and savvyā€™ Chris McLeod (a former ITMA president) is ā€˜a trusted adviser and industry expertā€™; according to on client, ā€˜there is little (if anything) that he hasnā€™t seen or advised upon beforeā€™. Sevenoaks-based Peter Charlton is also recommend, as is associate Daniel Sullivan, who is singled out for his ā€˜client-focused serviceā€™.

Gill Jennings & Every LLP has significant experience across a wide range of sectors and acts for leading brand owners including World Wrestling Entertainment, MasterCard, Pfizer, Under Armour and Yamaha. Key figures include trade mark specialist Rowena Price, who is praised for her ā€˜superb manner and fantastic knowledge, always delivering on-point, strategic adviceā€™, and Alasdair MacQuarrie, whose expertise includes brand portfolio management, oppositions and revocation actions as well as on infringement and anti-counterfeiting matters. MacQuarrie represented Sinclair Pharmaceuticals on the IP aspects of the disposal of its non-aesthetics business to Alliance Pharma, while Price continues to assist Premier Foods Group on clearance searches and filing programmes in a number of jurisdictions, as well as on passing-off and infringement matters related to copycat products.

HGF Limited has a wealth of experience in oppositions and appeals, as well as IP litigation. The Leeds-based David Potter heads the 10-partner team, which includes Antony Gold, who impresses with his ā€˜non-confrontational but firm approach, which keeps legal grandstanding to a minimum without portraying weakness and assists in orderly discussions to reach satisfactory settlementā€™. Lee Curtis is ā€˜experienced, practical and solution-orientedā€™. Curtis manages the trade mark and IP portfolio of Laura Ashley globally, which includes handling more than 1000 trade mark registrations, and has advised on a number domain name disputes. Halfords Group and Dunlem Group are also Curtisā€™s clients. Richard Wylie is regularly called on to manage the trade mark portfolios of clients including high streets retailers, household names and leading entertainment and publishing companies. London-based Stephanie Loeffler-Reading is also highly recommended.

Keltieā€™s trade mark expertise covers the full lifecycle of trade marks, from searching and filing through to opposition and litigation. The four-partner team acts for a variety of clients globally including London Taxi, Ocean Trawlers, RBS and Fever-Tree. The ā€˜helpful and knowledgeableā€™ Rosemary Cardas recently acted for Mediatek on the invalidation of the Gambling Commissionsā€™ crossed fingers logo. Manuela Macchiā€™s client base covers a broad spectrum of industries, with an emphasis on pharmaceuticals, fashion and sports. In 2016, Macchi represented a manufacturing company in a design infringement against an Italian jewellery company. The highly recommended Alistair Gay has considerable experience in enforcement and the management of international trade mark portfolios. Ben Britter has particular experience in managing worldwide search programmes, as well as handling due diligence exercises in support of mergers and acquisitions. Director Azhar Sadique, whose practice spans trade mark, copyright and design, is also a name to note.

Mathys & Squire LLP is singled out for its ā€˜technical ability, prompt responses, excellent client service and broad and in-depth industry knowledgeā€™. Clients also praise its ā€˜ability to think laterally and create excellent, forward-thinking trade mark strategiesā€™. The team is led by Manchester-based Gary Johnston and is supported by a number of highly regarded attorneys, including dual-qualified solicitor and trade mark attorney Margaret Arnott, who has notable experience of filing and prosecuting trade mark and design applications, as well as managing large portfolios of trade marks; the ā€˜highly personableā€™ Emma Reeve, who demonstrates ā€˜great aptitude in exploring IP issues overseas, recommending appropriate stepsā€™; the ā€˜diligent and pragmaticā€™ Robert Hawley, who is assisting new client MĆ¼ller on its UK and Ireland trade mark portfolio management; and Laura West, who is ā€˜very clear in communicating and very quick at getting back to clientsā€™. Other recent highlights include assisting British Gas with oppositions against trade marks filed by Ecotricity Group for the marks British Green Gas and Green British Gas.

Key figures in Mewburn Ellis LLPā€™s Bristol office include Sofia Arenal, who is recommended for complex opposition and other contentious work as well as handling large trade mark portfolios; the ā€˜commercially-mindedā€™ Edmund Harrison, who is noted for his experience in clearance searches, filing applications and prosecuting oppositions; and Michael Foster, who is ā€˜concise in the expert guidance he providesā€™. Cambridge-based Stephen Hodsdon ā€˜displays evidence of his very good background knowledge of the respective industryā€™; his written and presentational work is ā€˜of a very high standardā€™. Other key figures include London-based Andy King, who is ā€˜very reliable and forward thinkingā€™. It acts for a wide range of international blue-chip companies, as well as SMEs, universities and research institutions; representative clients include Axon, Dotcom Retail, Citymapper and Greggs. The team recently assisted TauRx Therapeutics with a number of international trade mark portfolios, and represented a fast food restaurant chain in trade mark oppositions.

Key figures at Reddie & Grose LLP include Aidan Robson, who handles prosecution and opposition matters and regularly represents clients at hearings before the EPOā€™s Technical and Appeal boards; Alice Findlay, whose expertise covers clearing marks for use, through to filing and inter partes issues pre- and post-registration; Simon Goodman advises a wide range of clients in patent, trade mark and design matters; Tom Sharman is recommended for filing oppositions and settlement negotiations, as well as online infringement of trade marks and designs; and Helen Wakerley gives ā€˜very comprehensive advice with a commercial viewpointā€™. In 2016, the team assisted Gift Universe with trade mark clearance, registration of own-label product names and logos and filing strategy abroad, and advised an automotive company on UK and CTM opposition and trade mark infringement matters. Erika Coccia joined Marks & Clerk Solicitors, while Dale Carter joined from Rouse IP Limited.

Urquhart-Dykes & Lord LLPā€™s ā€˜excellentā€™ team is praised for its good business acumen and industry knowledge, and for its ā€˜clear understanding of the way clients use trade marks, which enables it to deliver commercially focused and sensible adviceā€™. 2016 saw the team undertake an increasing number of clearance searches for pharmaceuticals companies, in addition to handling a steady flow of UK and EUTM trade mark filings and prosecutions. It acts for more than 800 UK and overseas clients in relation to their trade mark and brand strategy matters; representative clients include Toyota Motor Corporation, JD Sports Group, Ministry of Sound and the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds. The team is co-led by Alison Simpson and Alan Fiddes (ā€˜an excellent trade mark attorneyā€™) from its London and Leeds offices, respectively. Simpson has particular expertise in trade mark searches, freedom to use matters and oppositions. Also recommended are Gareth Price, who ā€˜responds quickly and is concise with his adviceā€™; Anna Szpek, who demonstrates ā€˜an excellent degree of emotional intelligence when dealing with cases of potential infringementā€™; and Ian Byworth, who is ā€˜excellent, providing practical and well-thought-out adviceā€™.

The ā€˜fantasticā€™ team at Wilson Gunn acts for a number of large technology companies, academic institutions and global brand owners, and has an extremely active trade mark filing practice. The team, which is spread across the firmā€™s Manchester, London and Birmingham offices, features a number of key individuals, including Mark Goodwin, who is advising a global beverage company on a trade mark opposition against another household company; and Michael Douglas, who is ā€˜exceptional ā€“ user friendly, pro-active, responsive and always provides commercial adviceā€™. Douglas has particular expertise in the fields of sports and entertainment, fashion and industrial products, and counts Manchester United as a client, which he assists with trade mark prosecution and portfolio management. James Robey, who ā€˜always gives straightforward advice, clearly laying out the strengths and weaknesses of the clientā€™s positionā€™; he continues to act for key client Jacobson Group on managing its brand portfolio, which includes a number of well-known fashion footwear brands. Also recommended are the ā€˜pro-active and pragmaticā€™ David Slattery, and Tim Rose, who was promoted to the partnership in 2016.

Abel & Imrayā€™s team features ā€˜individuals who are not only very knowledgeable and professional, but also down to earth and friendlyā€™. It is co-led by London-based Simon Bentley and Caroline Brooks, who splits her time between Bath and Cardiff, and is particularly recommended for defending and opposing trade mark registrations in the UK and Europe, with an emphasis on the pharmaceuticals, media and electronics sectors. Brooks is ā€˜an absolute pleasure to work with ā€“ very attentive and accommodating to clientā€™s needs and strategies when it comes to IP filings, searches and oppositionsā€™. Bentley is ā€˜good at explaining complex matters in a simple way without excessive use of legal jargonā€™. Senior associate Danielle Cooksley ā€˜manages to blend a highly professional service with an easy-going approachā€™. Active clients include The Assa Abloy Group, Bayer, Fontem Venture and Cipla.

Leveraging its extensive global footprint and broad industry coverage, Baker McKenzieā€™s trade mark practice spans UK and EU trade mark prosecution, global portfolio management and disputes. Jessica Le Gros heads the trade mark registration and global portfolio team and specialises in global brand clearance and trade mark disputes. Recent highlights include advising British American Tobacco on enforcing its Vype trade marks against a number of third party infringers, and assisting L'OrĆ©al with actions for trade mark infringement, passing-off and copyright infringement. Senior trade mark attorney Rachel Wilkinson-Duffy is praised for her ā€˜great tenacity and focused, practical adviceā€™. Global firm chair Paul Rawlinson is also recommended.

Beck Greener is singled out for its ā€˜excellent, personalised serviceā€™. It is among the top filers of both UK and EU trade mark applications, and has an equally active opposition and enforcement practice. Practice head Ian Bartlett is praised for his ā€˜in-depth experience and practical approach to trade marksā€™; he is ably assisted by Rowland Buehrlen, who is particularly experienced in European CTM filings, and in trade mark opposition and infringement proceedings; and Duncan Morgan, who is noted for his ā€˜excellent attention to detailā€™. Highlights included advising a large retailer of beauty supplies on the prevention of parallel imports by a major high street retailer; acting for Tiffany & Co in a cancellation action in relation to its Lucida trade mark, and assisting ArƧelik, a global domestic appliance and consumer electronics company, on prosecuting trade mark applications for its new logo.

Clients of Bird & Bird LLP praise the firm for its ā€˜understanding of their requirements and business needsā€™. The team has ā€˜excellent base knowledge coupled with technical brilliance, enabling it to provide helpful, tailored and accurate advice delivered in a commercial mannerā€™. 2016 highlights included handling a multi-jurisdictional freedom to operate project for a large pharmaceutical company and acting for Kingfisher and Philip Morris International on their new products. It also handled a large number of opposition and cancellation actions before the EUIPO for clients including Facebook, Cotton Traders, EE, Tempur Sealy and Associated Newspapers. Allan Poulter assists with the full range of trade mark matters, and licensing issues regarding third party designs and infringement disputes. Dual-qualified solicitor and trade mark attorney Mark Holah is ā€˜very pro-active and clearly understands the retail sectorā€™. Peter Brownlow has ā€˜a calm and sensible approachā€™, and is ā€˜a robust negotiatorā€™. Also recommended are Patricia Collis, who is experienced at handling contentious matters at the UKIPO and the EUIPO, and Sau Lin Haouache, who is praised for her ā€˜consistent and pragmaticā€™ advice.

Fieldfisherā€™s clients include Dixon Carphone, for which it advises on trade mark protection and enforcement, and for which it has successfully represented the client in a domain name complaint and trade mark disputes involving key brands such as Advent and Honeybee. It is also assisting Take Two Interactive Software on 30 pending trade mark oppositions and related appeals, non-use revocation actions and customs seizures. Google, EY, CaffĆ© Nero Group and TES Global are also key clients. Leighton Cassidy heads the IP portfolio management team, and has a wealth of experience advising clients on clearance, filing and prosecution and contentious registry proceedings. He is assisted by Harriet Seymour, Hastings Guise and senior associate Richard Hing.

Clients of Forresters rate its practice as ā€˜extremely helpful, fast to respond and providing a first-class level of industry knowledgeā€™. Its strong trade mark team handles portfolio protection and management issues, in addition to having expertise in registered designs, design rights and copyright. In 2016, Janette Hamer assisted The Sargeant Partnership with the successful registration of Handmade Burger Co., which was previously refused on the basis of lack of distinctive character; and Liverpool-based Kate Cruse assisted a global nutrition company with the transfer of a .com domain name from a third party which registered the domain name in bad faith. Diane Wardley retired in 2016.

Mishcon de Reya LLP advises clients across a wide range of sectors on issues arising from trade mark and related rights including design and domain name. Sally Britton is advising Capital & Countries on its trade mark portfolio, in particular on the management and enforcement of the Covent Garden brand following its acquisition and redevelopment of the estate. She also advised a social networking app developer on the management of its global trade mark portfolio, and acts for Grant Thornton on trade mark filing, prosecution and management issues. IP litigator David Rose is representing a property manager on enforcement activities against third parties including filing and defending trade mark oppositions, and responding to third party company name infringements. Jeremy Hertzog is another name to note; he acted for a supermarket chain in relation to an invalidity application filed against its EUTM registration.

Murgitroyd is ā€˜quick to respond with well-reasoned and commercial adviceā€™. Clients also find the advice to be ā€˜clear and efficientā€™. 2016 saw the team handle a steady flow of filings and prosecutions, opposition proceedings, and cancellation actions for clients in the food and beverage, fashion and financial services sectors. Oil and gas is a particular strength; its Aberdeen office features a team with ā€˜good in-depth experienceā€™ of this area, including practice head Jamie Allan, who is praised for his ā€˜brilliant attention to detailā€™; the ā€˜hugely impressiveā€™ Mike Vettese, who is ā€˜a fountain of knowledge on trade mark law and practice, and always on-the-ball strategicallyā€™; and Wendy Crosby and James Brown, both of whom are ā€˜extremely experiencedā€™ according to clients. London-based trade mark practice head Mark Hickey and Glasgow-based director Jacqueline McKay are singled out for their ā€˜superior knowledge and experience of UK and European trade mark law; they demonstrate a diplomatic and tactful approach to client careā€™.

Venner Shipley LLP enhanced its trade mark offering with the recruitment of senior associates Gloria Parmesan and Camilla Sexon from Wildbore & Gibbons in August 2016; and the hire of James Tumbridge and Paul Harris from Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman LLP. They join a team that includes David Birchall and Yoann Fouquet, who assisted My Healthcare Clinics on filing non-use cancellation actions against a third partyā€™s three UK registrations, resulting in the subsequent cancellation of another partyā€™s trade mark registration. Other highlights included conducting due diligence on behalf of a pharmaceutical company in relation to its proposed acquisition from third parties of various worldwide trade mark portfolios. Julia McFarlane is also recommended.

Specialist IP prosecution and litigation firm WP Thompson acts for a mix of domestic and international clients, and has a strong track record in contentious registry proceedings. The team is also experienced at assisting clients in obtaining, exploiting and enforcing trade mark protection in countries outside Europe. In 2016, the team assisted a plant protection product company on parallel imports as part of its EU and trade mark infringement strategy, and represented a provider of diagnostics products in US trade mark opposition proceedings. Rigel Ross McGrath and Nicholas Manley are UK and European trade mark attorneys and are experienced in both High Court and IPEC cases. Graeme Murray is also recommended.

Bond Dickinson LLP is praised for its ā€˜good response times and practical approach to resolving disputesā€™. The team ā€˜communicates in language that can be understood easily and considers the issue from a business rather theoretical perspectiveā€™. The team has solid expertise in the protection, enforcement and exploitation of trade marks and designs, as well as domain name management, registration and disputes before Nominet and ICANN. Patrick Cantrill and Rachel Hearson count Petrofac as their client, which they are assisting with global trade mark portfolio matters, as well as filing and prosecuting trade mark applications and actions before the trade mark registries. The team is also representing Belmond Group in two trade mark invalidity and opposition matters before the General Court, and is assisting Bellway on its trade mark filing strategy, domain name registration and copyright issues. Will Sander joined Keystone Law in July 2017.

Chapman IP is recommended for trade mark registration, portfolio management and opposition proceedings. Clients span start-up companies, owner-managed businesses, SMEs and multinationals including Hoover, Alpha Coatings, Pitts & Lake and Bomb Cosmetics. Trade mark specialist Rebecca Dobson has significant experience in working with foreign attorneys in UK, European and foreign trade mark filing applications for multinationals. Dual-qualified patent and trade mark attorneys Helga Chapman and Huw Evans are also recommended.

EIP attracts praise for its ā€˜excellent client serviceā€™. The combination of trade mark attorneys and specialist IP litigators places it in a good position to handle all stages of trade mark protection and rights enforcement in Europe and the US, including cross-border litigation in the UK and Germany. Paula Flutter, Laura Foster, Carissa Kendall-Windless and Sharon Daboul are ā€˜approachable, professional and quick with responsesā€™. Recent instructions include assisting Octo Telematics with trade mark clearance issues and a number of third party oppositions, advising SPX Corporationā€™s UK subsidiary on trade mark management issues and opposition proceedings, and acted for HEMA on filing and prosecuting trade mark applications in ten jurisdictions.

Lewis Silkin LLP is singled out for its ā€˜good technical knowledge, commercial approach and responsivenessā€™. Dominic Farnsworth heads the trade mark and IP portfolio management group, which assists clients with securing trade marks, design rights as well as business names and domain names. According to one client, trade mark counsel Steven Jennings is ā€˜one of the best trade mark attorneys around; his qualities include vast experience and great client careā€™. Representative clients include Harvey Nichols, Aston Martin, Saga Group and EDF.

Novagraafā€™s recent highlights include advising a UK-based oilrig safety equipment manufacturer on extending its trade mark protection in South America, and acting for a leading professional football club on its trade mark registration strategy. Its client list features fashion, food and retail sector clients which it assists on trade mark clearance, registration and licensing matters; it also advises on copyright and unregistered design rights. The team includes Nora Fowler, who focuses on advising pharmaceuticals companies and universities, with notable experience handling oppositions before the EUIPO and UKIPO; andMichael Freeman, who is recommended for guiding clients through the early stages of the trade mark selection and registration process. *Tom Farrand joined Marks & Clerk Solicitors in October 2017.

Osborne Clarke LLP made a strong push into the market with the recruitment in February 2017 of a team of four trade mark specialists from Rouse IP Limited. The firm advises a large number of clients from a diverse range of industry sectors, with wide-ranging expertise covering filing and prosecution, portfolio management and enforcement and litigation. Highlights included assisting Qualtex UK and Amec Forest Wheeler with their global trade mark portfolios, and representing Sapphire Brands and TPad in defending a cancellation action against the TPAD device mark by Deutsche Telekom. Toni & Guy, Fred Perry, Stanley Black &Decker and PA Consulting Group are also clients. Mark Foreman, IP litigator Arty Rajendra, Richard May and Leanne Gulliver are the main contacts.

Swindell & Pearson Ltd has notable strength in trade mark prosecution and litigation. Kieron Taylor has ā€˜an overall excellent grasp of trade mark matters in the UK and the EU as a wholeā€™ and is able to ā€˜provide well-rounded advice when requiredā€™; he ā€˜takes a sensible, commercial approach and understands litigation and litigation riskā€™. Nicholas Womsley and associate Katy Fuggle are ā€˜very good at communicating legal terminology into easily understood English and explain everything clearly and precisely, without ambiguityā€™. Robert Sales ā€˜has the ability to pick up the technical details of the invention very quickly and therefore save valuable time in the application processā€™. Recent instructions include assisting a client with injunctive action, infringement and validity issues against a supermarket chain, and representing a clothing company in a series of oppositions, revocations, and cancellation actions at the UKIPO and EUIPO, as well as a High Court action.

Wildbore & Gibbons specialises in the management and protection of trade mark portfolios and designs. It handles the full range of trade mark matters, including searching, registration, licensing, cancellations, infringements and passing-off. It also manages domain name portfolios and acts for clients in domain name arbitrations and proceedings in the Company Name Tribunal. Representative clients include Elemis, Pinewood Studios, Odeon Cinemas, The Economist and Rayne Shoes. Janella Barr, Stephen Kinsey, and newly promoted partner Sarah Talland are the key names to note. Gloria Parmesan and Camilla Sexon joined Venner Shipley LLP in July 2016.

Pharmaceuticals and biotechnology

Index of tables

  1. Pharmaceuticals and biotechnology
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Next generation lawyers

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Allen & Overy LLP significantly enhanced its patent litigation and regulatory practice in 2016 when Marc Dƶring and Marjan Noor joined from Simmons & Simmons; the result, according to one client, is that it is now ā€˜one of the top city firms in the pharma areaā€™, with Noor and Dƶring marked out as ā€˜superb all-round litigators who combine top-level litigation nous with boundless charmā€™. The team is co-led by IP litigator Nicola Dagg (ā€˜an excellent strategic thinker with a global strategic viewā€™) and Jim Ford who specialises in non-contentious transactions. The firmā€™s clients include a number of leading global pharmaceutical companies, including Warner-Lambert, for which it is handling patent litigation relating to its blockbuster drug Lyrica, including acting in infringement proceedings against numerous generic suppliers and validity proceedings against Mylan and Actavis. In other highlights, the team acted for Merck in High Court and appeal proceedings concerning the revocation of two patents owned by Ono Pharmaceutical and Bristol-Myers Squibb related to anti-PD-1 antibodies for the treatment of cancer; and advised Life Healthcare on its Ā£800m acquisition of Alliance Medical Group. Notable IP litigators include Mark Ridgway, who is ā€˜massively bright and thoroughā€™; and Neville Cordell, who is ā€˜a versatile litigatorā€™ and well known for both trade marks and heavy duty patents cases. The firm also has an ā€˜impressive and formidableā€™ raft of talent outside of partner level: Rafi Allos, Shohta Ueno and Tom Edwards are all recommended.

Noted for its ā€˜deep and broad understanding of the life sciences sectorā€™, Arnold & Porter Kaye Scholer LLP particularly excels in pharmaceutical regulatory matters. Its practice acts for a number of multinational pharmaceutical companies on complex and high-stakes regulatory matters, transactions and litigation. IP litigator Christopher Stothers is acting for Heraeus in a multi-jurisdictional trade secrets dispute with Biomet, involving parallel proceedings in the US and across Europe; Jeremy Willcocks advised on the UK corporate, regulatory and employment aspects of Diversis Capital's acquisition of the majority assets of Caligor RX; Lincoln Tsang is assisting a client with an internal cross-border investigation arising from interactions with healthcare professionals. It also defended a number of major product liability actions, including multi-party group actions, unitary claims and actions arising from clinical trials. Demonstrating this, product liability specialist Ian Dodds-Smith is defending GrĆ¼nenthal in a class action claim arising from allegations that the prescription of thalidomide to pregnant women during the 1950s and 1960s resulted in birth defects; and Adela Williams successfully defended Bristol-Myers Squibb in a claim alleging that a compulsive gambling addiction arose from the use of its product Abilify, which was prescribed for the treatment of schizophrenia. Other highlights included handling an arbitration in relation to the termination of collaboration and licence agreement due to breaches of good clinical practice, and assisting a pharmaceutical company with securing EU product approval and positive pricing and reimbursement approval, as well as developing EU-wide policy on compliance with advertising and promotional rules. Alison Brown is highly regarded for handling class-action proceedings and is experienced in European regulatory compliance matters and internal investigations. Also recommended are Tim Frazer, who is particularly experienced in handing pharmaceutical public procurement matters, and Jacqueline Mulryne, Kathy Osgerby and Ewan Townsend, who are all ā€˜excellent and highly knowledgeable lawyersā€™.

A ā€˜go-toā€™ firm for pharmaceutical and biotechnology clients, Bird & Bird LLPā€™s clients single out the team for its ā€˜pragmatic, commercial and solution-oriented approachā€™ and for its ability to handle highly complex patent litigation. The practice is regularly called on to advise innovators and generics clients on regulatory, corporate and commercial, data protection and competition matters. In an illustration of its track record advising multinational pharmaceutical clients in high-stakes matters, the team acted for Polpharma on the patent revocation proceedings against Biogen regarding its patent for a dosage regime for natalizumab; successfully represented Merck in a High Court breach of contract and trade mark dispute against US-based Merck Sharp & Dohme Corporation; and assisted Chiesi Pharmaceuticals with a series of multi-jurisdictional patent licensing transactions with The Medicines Company and AstraZeneca. Practice head Mark Hilton and newly promoted partner Tim Harris also acted for Dr Reddyā€™s Laboratories in patent infringement proceedings brought by Napp Pharmaceuticals in respect of its patent for a buprenorphine transdermal patch. Other key figures within the 27-partner team include Robert Williams, who is noted for providing ā€˜sound and practical advice in a timely fashionā€™; ā€˜seasoned patent litigatorsā€™ Neil Jenkins, Morag Macdonald, Jennifer Jones and Patrick Kelleher; and Sally Shorthose and Simon Allport, who are the key names to note for IP transactions, and public and private M&A transactions, respectively. Associate Simon Llewellyn is recommended for his ā€˜deep knowledge and excellent organisational skillā€™.

According to one client, Bristows LLP is ā€˜the complete packageā€™. The firms advises on the full remit of IP, with an emphasis on patent litigation, as well as transactional, regulatory, competition and contentious matters for high-profile clients across the pharmaceutical, biotechnology and medical devices indistries. It also has particular expertise advising charities and other not-for-profit organisations on fundraising, collaborations, licensing transactions and corporate governance. Leveraging its strong expertise in the areas of IT, digital communications and data privacy, the firm is regularly called on by clients to advise on matters at the intersection between life sciences and technology; highlights included advising a number of med-tech companies on new collaborations, product launches and regulatory compliance. In another illustration of its reputation in the market, the team continues to assist Novartis with the enforcement of patents for its blockbuster medicines. I also assisted biosimilar manufacturer Celltrion with its action to revoke three European and UK patents belonging to Biogen, F Hoffman La Roche and Genentech, relating to the use of a chimeric anti CD20 antibody for the treatment of chronic lymphocytic leukaemia and rheumatoid arthritis; and advised AstraZeneca on the sale to Avara of its pharmaceutical manufacturing business and facility in Avonmouth, Bristol. Laura Anderson is an ā€˜excellent negotiator and influencer and a pleasure to work withā€™ and jointly heads the group with patent litigator Liz Cohen. Maria Manley is ā€˜a tenacious litigator who always strives to obtain the best for her clientsā€™. Corporate partners Mark Hawes and Marek Petecki, competition specialist Pat Treacy, Unified Patent Court (UPC) expert Edward Nodder and associate Rachel Mumby are also recommended.

CMS significantly enhanced its healthcare practice when it merged with Olswang LLP and Nabarro LLP in May 2017. The combined team now covers the full spectrum of life sciences matters, with particular strength in handling patent litigation and big-ticket M&A transactions. In an illustration of its track record in the patent space, it is advising a leading global pharmaceutical company on potential patent infringement claims against generic companies, and is advising a pharmaceuticals company on the challenges to SPC validity (including the validity of paediatric extensions to SPCs) concerning a number of different pharmaceutical products. Other mandates included assisting Convergence Pharmaceuticals on the Ā£524m sale of the company to Biogen Idec, advising CooperSurgical on the acquisition of the business and assets relating to the Wallace product line from Smiths Medical International, and representing GlaxoSmithKline in its appeal to the Competition Appeal Tribunal against infringement findings and penalties imposed by the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) following a reverse patent settlement competition investigation in the UK. Key figures include Niall McAlister, David Day, Sarah Hanson and Carina Healy, who are the names to note for corporate and commercial transactions; patent attorney Robert Stephen, who is highly recommended for his opposition and appeal experience at the EPO; Shuna Mason, who is singled out for regulatory, compliance and product liability cases; Brian Sher and Caroline Hobson, who focus on EU and UK competition matters; and patent litigator Gareth Morgan, ā€˜a super starā€™ with notable experience of acting in IP trials concerning patent entitlement, patent validity and infringement, SPCs and the interpretation of IP licences. Patent specialist Jane Hollywood has been heavily involved in securing European patent protection for the high-profile CRISPR-Cas9 gene-editing tool. Other representative clients include Medtronic, Bayer, Eli Lilly, Boston Scientific and Sandoz.

Simmons & Simmons is a market leader for global patent, regulatory and transactional matters. The team is led by the highly regarded Michael Gavey, who ā€˜always responds promptly to correspondenceā€™, ā€˜has a superb knowledge of the industryā€™ and ā€˜provides clear and concise adviceā€™. He is also ā€˜able to call upon a large team of specialists providing tax and corporate finance advice, which he is able to access seamlesslyā€™. Gavey advised GlaxoSmithKline on the establishment of the Ā£40m Apollo Therapeutics joint venture fund (a collaboration with Johnson & Johnson Innovation, AstraZeneca and the technology transfer offices of Imperial College London, University College London and the University of Cambridge), and advised the Institute of Cancer Research on a royalty monetisation mandate concerning its product Zytiga. Charles Mayo advised Venture Life Group on its acquisition of Periproducts as well as its fundraising, and assisted Alzheimerā€™s Research UK on its investment in UK Dementia Research Institute. Rowan Freeland is a ā€˜brilliant litigatorā€™ who is noted for his ā€˜excellent understanding of how the court worksā€™; he is handling a number of high-stakes patent disputes for a number of industry giants. Scott Parker was part of a multi-jurisdictional team that represented ViiV Healthcare in major litigation against Teva across Europe relating to the patent of anti-HIV drug Kivexa, which is owned by ViiV. Lydia Torne and Amy Crouch are singled out for their ā€˜deep technical understandingā€™.

Baker McKenzie continued to act for leading global pharmaceutical and biotechnology sector clients on non-contentious issues and in high-stakes patent litigation. In 2016 Jane Hobson and Julian Thurston were part of a sizeable multi-disciplinary team that advised Baxter International on the spin-off of its biopharmaceutical division, creating new company Baxalta. In other highlights, Ben Allgrove is advising a technology company on its collaborations with NHS trusts, which involves handling data protection issues, medical devices regulations and Freedom of Information Act issues, while IP litigator Hiroshi Sheraton represented a global pharmaceutical company in multi-jurisdictional patent litigation. Joanna Ludlam leads the compliance and investigations group and represented Biogen in a claim against a distributor regarding unpaid invoices, including advising on competition law and reputational risks. The team also assisted a pharmaceutical company with an internal investigation following a set of allegations made internally by a whistleblower in connection with alleged breaches of regulatory, competition and anti-bribery laws. Regulatory specialist Julia Gillert provides ā€˜excellent-value adding advice in a timely fashionā€™. Product liability defence specialist John Leadley and commercial lawyer Duncan Reid-Thomas are also names to note.

Covington & Burling LLP is also ranked.

Fieldfisher is singled out for its ā€˜strong market knowledgeā€™ and its ability to ā€˜always be one step ahead in horizon-scanning and flagging up future developments that are likely to have on impact on clientsā€™ businessā€™. It is also praised for ā€˜providing clear strategic adviceā€™ and ā€˜executing plans with excellence and ensuring excellent communication with the clients, barristers and lawyers in other jurisdictionsā€™. The patent litigation practice was further strengthened when it hired three patent litigators from Rouse IP Limited in May 2016: the ā€˜very experiencedā€™ Diana Sternfeld is singled out for her ā€˜exceptional client careā€™, Nicole Jadeja is praised for her ā€˜exceptional technical abilitiesā€™, and Rebecca Baines is ā€˜thorough and unflappableā€™. The practice is acting for GlaxoSmithKline in a multi-jurisdictional patent dispute with Pfizer relating to vaccines against Meningitis B, and is representing Sandoz and Hexal in a dispute with G.D. Searle and Janssen Sciences Ireland UC concerning the interpretation of SPC regulation. Alison Dennis has particular expertise in medical devices, advising a number of global companies on regulatory issues including pricing and promotions matters. Other key clients include Align Technology, which it advised on compliance and regulatory matters, as well as on its patent and trade mark enforcement strategy in the UK and Europe. Regulatory and public law partner Sarah Ellson is ā€˜exceptional in her approachā€™. Neil Matthews and Dominic Gurney-Champion are the key names to note in the corporate space. Data privacy expert Hazel Grant is also recommended.

Gowling WLG has ā€˜a very responsive and strong team with a wealth of experience in delivering practical and reliable adviceā€™. The team, which includes highly regarded patent litigators Paul Inman and Luke Kempton, has had a knockout year; highlights included successfully represening Fujifilm Kyowa Kirin Biologics in patent litigation regarding the validity of certain Humira dosing regiments against AbbVie. Patrick Duxbury heads the life sciences practice from its Birmingham office, and is assisted by London-based corporate lawyer Ian Piggin, who is ā€˜a very strong, business-oriented and creative negotiatorā€™. The team handles a steady flow of collaboration transactions in 2016, as well as a number of corporate and investment mandates; highlights included assisting Heptares Therapeutics with its $3.37bn agreement with Allergan, advising Crescendo Biologics on its collaboration with Takeda Pharmaceutical Company for the development and commercialisation of therapeutics aimed at cancer indications with a high unmet medical need, and acting on the collaboration deal and commercialisation of Argenxā€™s preclinical-stage human antibody ARX-115 with AbbVie.

Herbert Smith Freehills LLPā€™s client roster features a healthy balance of global innovator pharmaceuticals and generics companies. Sebastian Moore has ā€˜the expert touchā€™ in patent litigation, having acted for blue-chip multinational clients including Roche, Genentech, Biogen and Sanofi Pasteur. In 2016, Moore successfully defended Gilead Sciences in a patent infringement case brought by Idenix Pharmaceuticals (a subsidiary of Merck) and counterclaimed for revocation of Idenixā€™s European patent; in a separate matter, it is defending the same client in a revocation action initiated by Teva UK in the English Patents Court relating to a SPC protecting Gileadā€™s HIV medicines. Moore and Andrew Moir are also representing Ariosa Diagnostics in patent proceedings brought against it in the English High Court in relation to its Harmony non-invasive prenatal test. Alan Montgomery is highly regarded in the public and private cross-border M&A space, and co-heads the pharmaceuticals sector M&A team with Robert Moore. The corporate team advised Claris Lifesciences on the $625m sale of its injectable business to Baxter International, and is handling Genusā€™ partnership deal with Hermitage Genetics. Other highlights included advising a pharmaceutical company on an antitrust complaint arising from abuse of dominance issues and a subsequent settlement arrangement; and assisting a number of pharmaceuticals companies with data protection and security issues. Howard Watson is a key name to note for product liability, health and safety and high-value personal injury related matters. Highly regarded patent litigation specialist Sophie Rich and senior associate Jonathan Turnbull are recommended for multi-jurisdictional litigation.

Hogan Lovells International LLP fields ā€˜a superb team with excellent partners and very high-quality associatesā€™, which excels in assisting innovators in the pharmaceuticals, biotechnology and medical devices arenas. According to one client, it has ā€˜the best patent group in Londonā€™, while another client consider it to be ā€˜a go-to firm for English and EU product liability law adviceā€™, as demonstrated by its excellent record in high-value pharmaceutical disputes in the High Court and the Supreme Court. It is defending Merck Sharp & Dohme in an action brought by Shionogi against its HIV medicine Isentress and is appealing the UKIPOā€™s refusal of Merckā€™s application for an SPC on the combination cholesterol product Atozet. Other highlights included acting for Zimmer Biomet and its European subsidiaries on personal injury claims concerning Biomet's all-metal prosthetic hip replacements, and assisting with a number of big-ticket M&A mandates for leading pharmaceuticals companies. Within the ā€˜excellentā€™ team, John Meltzer is ā€˜particularly good at understanding the clientā€™s objectivesā€™, and leads the product liability team with ā€˜great authority and skillā€™; Stephen Bennett is particularly experienced at representing innovator companies in litigation with generics companies and advising on extension of patent rights through SPCs and paediatric extensions; highly experienced consultant Caroline Moore has an extensive advocacy track record, giving her ā€˜a natural forensic awareness which allows her to understand how points will play out in courtā€™; Matthew Felwick ā€˜combines a sharp intelligence with strong commercial awarenessā€™, and has forged a particular niche in the new technology sector. Also recommended are Sahira Khwaja, who is noted for her ā€˜experience and keen eye for detailā€™; the ā€˜commercially mindedā€™ Charlie Winckworth; Richard Welfare, who focuses on regulatory compliance matters; and patent litigators Daniel Brook and Paul Brown.

Pinsent Masons LLP is praised for its ā€˜high level of competence and responsivenessā€™. It regularly handles big-ticket transactions and fundraisings for life sciences sector clients, as demonstrated by its work for Teva Pharmaceutical Industries on the Ā£603m sale of its UK and Ireland business Actavis Generics to Accord Healthcare. Other highlights included advising Oxford Sciences Innovation on a series of spin-out transactions from Oxford University Innovation, and assisting The Binding Site with its collaboration with the Mayo Foundation. The team also handles product liability claims relating to medical implants, assisted a UK-based pharmaceutical company with a parallel import trade mark infringement case, and acted for Actavis in appeal proceedings against Novartis before the EPO. Clare Tunstall and patent and trade mark attorney Adrian Murray jointly lead the team, which enhanced its regulatory practice when it hired patent litigator and life sciences regulatory specialist Catherine Drew from Olswang LLP in 2017. Allistair Booth handles commercial transactions including licensing, collaboration and partnering transactions; criminal regulatory lawyer Zoe Betts has ā€˜excellent client and presentational skillsā€™; Charles Waddell advises on financings, M&A transactions and joint ventures. Senior associate Christopher Sharp joined from Herbert Smith Freehills LLP.

Powell Gilbert LLP has a market-leading reputation in the IP litigation space, covering patent litigation, SPCs, and contractual disputes relating to technology contracts and patent licences. 2016 has been another prolific year; highlights included successfully defending Actavis at the Court of Appeal in Pfizerā€™s patent infringement claim against it relating to the blockbuster drug Lyrica, and representing Biogen in proceedings at the UK High Court against AbbVie relating to biosimilars to AbbVieā€™s blockbuster drug Humira. Penny Gilbert, Tim Powell and ZoĆ« Butler have ā€˜exceptional technical background combined with a real understanding of litigation and litigation tacticsā€™. Also recommended are Alex Wilson and Tim Whitfield are ā€˜superior thinkers and executersā€™. Peter Damerell and Bethan Hopewell were promoted to the partnership in 2016.

Taylor Wessing LLP advises a broad range of clients including pharmaceutical, biotech, medical device, diagnostics and research tool companies, as well as service providers. Cambridge-based Malcolm Bates heads the 19-partner life sciences group, and Tim Worden leads the regulatory group. Charles Lloyd advises on filing and prosecution strategy and IP licensing transactions. Patent litigators Simon Cohen and Nigel Stoate are also highly recommended; Cohen handles patent infringement and validity and regularly co-operates with lawyers conducting parallel litigation in the US and other European jurisdictions. Corporate lawyers David Mardle and Mark Barron (who splits his time between Silicon Valley and London) are other key names to note. Recent highlights include handling a multibillion-pound acquisition, advising Kymab on its $100m Series C financing and assisting the same client with a collaboration and cross-licence agreement with EpimAb Biotherapeutics.

Cooley (UK) LLP is particularly strong in the transactional space, where it advises on regulatory, competition, IP and contentious matters. Highlights included advising Apollo Therapeutics on a joint venture between three global pharmaceutical companies (AstraZeneca, GlaxoSmithKline and Johnson & Johnson) and three universities (Imperial College London, the University of Cambridge and University College London), assisting F-Star with its collaboration agreement with Denali to research and develop antibodies for the delivery of medicines across the blood-brain barrier into the central nervous systems, and representing Illumina in a number of high-value patent oppositions and appeals. The firmā€™s London office has expanded significantly since its establishment in 2015, most recently welcoming patent attorney Colm Murphy and special counsel Tanya Heare-Rowlands from Venner Shipley LLP and ā€˜experiencedā€™ corporate partner Stephen Rosen from Olswang LLP. According to one client, John Wilkinsonā€™s industry knowledge is ā€˜among the best in the pharma fieldā€™; he is ā€˜great to deal withā€™, according to another. Nicola Maguire and Ed Lukins are particularly known for their experience in M&A transactions, joint ventures, collaboration agreements and other commercial transactions. Associate Tom Goodman is singled out for his ability to ā€˜understand and articulate complex issuesā€™.

DAC Beachcroft LLP is ā€˜one of the market leaders in product liability claimsā€™, with ā€˜in-depth medical and pharma-industry experienceā€™. Its client roster features pharmaceutical companies as well as medical device manufacturers and their insurers. It is handling a number of high-profile product liability cases involving PIP breast implants and metal-on-metal hip replacement products. The team is representing BMI Healthcare Group and Spire Healthcare in High Court group litigation relating to the silicone gel in breast implants manufactured by PIP, and is acting for Novartis International and its subsidiary Alcon in a claim arising out of a phase 2 clinical trial for a drug being tested for the treatment of myelofibrosis. The practice is led by consultant Simon Pearl and includes Alison McAdams, who has ā€˜extensive and in-depth knowledgeā€™, and senior associate Olya Melnitchouk.

DLA Piper stands out for its expertise in the IP and competition space; it is advising clients on appeals to the European Commission concerning its decisions in the perindopril and citalopram cases. Other recent highlights include advising Ascendis Health on its ā‚¬335m acquisition of Remedica, and acting for Merck in its appeal to the Competition Appeal Tribunal (CAT) of the CMAā€™s decision in the GlaxoSmithKlineā€™s Paroxetine case, in which the CMA imposed fines of Ā£45m. Practice head Bonella Ramsay is assisting two biotechnology companies with a series of global collaborations relating to diagnostics businesses, including advising on IP licensing as well as distribution and co-branding matters. Other clients include AbbVie, West Pharmaceutical Services, Brainomix and International Stem Cell Corporation. Competition specialists Sarah Smith and Alexandra Kamerling are highly recommended. Adam Cooke retired from the partnership but remains a consultant.

Linklaters LLP has ā€˜extensive experience and knowledge in the healthcare sectorā€™. The team amply draws on its expertise in all areas of corporate finance, M&A, banking, IP, data protection and outsourcing, product liability, regulatory and antitrust projects; according to one client, it demonstrates ā€˜extraordinary commitment and responsiveness to overcome challenges that clientsā€™ businesses face within the industryā€™. Recent highlights include acting for Accord Healthcare on its successful Ā£603m acquisition and related financing for Allerganā€™s former pharmaceutical generics business in the UK and Ireland from Teva Pharmaceutical Industry; acting for Sanofi and Regeneron Pharmaceuticals as co-defendants in a high-value patent litigation action brought by Amgen relating to a new class of medical treatments for lowering the level of cholesterol; and assisting US-based Merck & Co with the defence of a trade mark infringement claim brought by Merck. New York-based competition expert Thomas McGrath, corporate partner Aisling Zarraga and TMT specialist Marly Didizian co-head the global healthcare practice. Didizian is ā€˜highly commercial, a pleasure to work with and a trusted adviserā€™. Ian Karet focuses on handling the IP aspects of acquisitions and disposals, as well as patent and trade mark disputes. IP litigator Nigel Jones and counsel Yohan Liyanage are also highly recommended.

IP specialist Marks & Clerk Solicitors has deep knowledge of the life sciences sector and strong experience of representing biopharmaceutical companies in patent litigation concerning biosimilar monoclonal antibody therapeutics. The practice also advises on SPC filing and litigation strategy and handles commercial IP transactions. Demonstrating this, it acted for Pfizer in multiple disputes with GlaxoSmithKline regarding the infringement of patents concerning Meningitis B vaccines; assisted Amgen with an action brought by Pfizer to invalidate an Amgen patent concerning anti-PCSK9 therapeutics antibodies; and represented AbbVie Biotechnology and AbbVie in the defence of a claim brought by Fujifilm Kyowa Kirin Biologics relating to Humira. Mike Gilbert is ā€˜quickly able to pick up complex mattersā€™ and ā€˜prepared to go the extra mile to understand his clientā€™s needsā€™. Will Jamesā€™s ā€˜scientific backgroundā€™, ā€˜wealth of experience at the coal face of some of the biggest patent litigation casesā€™, ā€˜natural ability in and appetite for the fight, but also his ability to step back and see things from a commercial perspective and in the roundā€™ make him ā€˜a fearsome and highly respected patent litigatorā€™. Trevor Crosse is ā€˜able to delve into and understand the fine detail of a matterā€™. William Cook ā€˜provides solid advice, always with a view to the business perspectiveā€™. Graham Burnett-Hall, who heads the medical devices practice, is another name to note.

Mills & Reeve LLP specialises in advising higher education bodies, start-ups and spin-outs on a range of matters. In 2016, it acted for Mercia Technologies on funding a spin-out from Warwick University specialising in commercialising the transdermal pain relief Tepi patch; advised Bupa on the sale of Bupa Home Healthcare to Celesio UK; and represented a group of hospitals on threatened patent infringement proceedings relating to diagnostics tests for cancer. In another highlight, venture capital specialist Zickie Lim advised IQ Capital on its investment in Fluidic Analytics, a University of Cambridge spin-out, as part of a Ā£5.3 Series-B fundraising. Alasdair Poore and Kevin Calder co-head the practice.

Norton Rose Fulbrightā€™s ā€˜professionalā€™ team is singled out for ā€˜providing timely and quality advice in a practical mannerā€™. It continues to assist Horizon Pharma with the development and commercialisation of its products in the UK and Ireland; is acting for Oxford Nanopore Technologies in a patent infringement claim brought by Pacific Biosciences; and handled Reckitt Benckiserā€™s acquisition of the K-Y brand from Johnson & Johnson. IP litigator Huw Evans heads the life sciences and healthcare group, which includes Mike Knapper, who specialises in transactions involving the exploitation of IP rights, Jonathan Ball, whose recent work includes a patent and trade mark infringement and invalidity case, and of counsel George Cameron, who is ā€˜always very responsiveā€™. Associate Inga-Marlene Pietsch is also recommended.

Slaughter and Mayā€™s transaction-led practice is supported by substantial contentious capability and is praised for its ā€˜deep expertise and responsivenessā€™. On the M&A front, David Johnson and Simon Nicholls led a team, which included IP and antitrust specialists, advising Actelion on a $30bn takeover by Johnson & Johnson; Martin Hattrell assisted Shire with its combination with Baxalta; and Nilufer von Bismarck advised GE Healthcare on the acquisition of Biosafe Group. Johnson is ā€˜a great business negotiatorā€™ with ā€˜unparalleled expertise in constructing joint venturesā€™, and IP litigator Susie Middlemiss is ā€˜outstanding for her depth of knowledge, tactics and acute commercial understanding of the implications of a caseā€™. ā€˜Bright and very hardworkingā€™ associates Anthony Doolittle and Claire Jackson are also recommended.

Squire Patton Boggs advises a large number of global leading pharmaceuticals and medical devices companies on the full range of regulatory issues, from early research and development to marketing and advertising. The team assisted a medical devices client with the cessation of manufacture of its product portfolio and advised a pharmaceutical company on issues relating to internal and external controls and policies relating to publication of clinical work and research developments. Commercial lawyer Andrew Wilkinson heads the team, which includes consultant Adrian Spooner, who is particularly skilled at ā€˜analysing complex areas of new and future regulation in a way that supports business planning and risk evaluationsā€™. Director Paul Jinks is also recommended.

Ashurstā€™s team is led by Mark Lubbock and advises a range of clients including clinical and non-clinical service providers, pharmaceuticals companies, universities and university spin-outs, and medical devices companies on high-value corporate and commercial transactions. Lubbock also regularly advises on data protection and IP aspects of M&A, management buyouts and joint venture transactions. In 2016, it advised LGC Group on the acquisition of BRC Global Standards, assisted Kinnevik with its investment in Babylon Health, and handled Universal Health Serviceā€™s Ā£377m acquisition of Cambian Groupā€™s adult services division (a provider of specialist behavioural health services). Eric Stuart is recommended for international capital markets and M&A transactions.

Carpmaels & Ransford LLP is noted for its ā€˜strong handling of litigation successfully and efficiently against even the biggest playersā€™. Its ability to field a specialist team of patent attorneys makes it a popular choice among global pharmaceutical companies, for which it handles the full range of IP mandates. Recent highlights include defending Crawford Healthcare in High Court patent infringement and trade mark infringement proceedings and parallel EPO opposition proceedings; and handling a global trade mark and unfair competition dispute. Hugh Goodfellow heads the life sciences team and focuses on prosecution and opposition proceedings, including appeals. Other key figures include Camilla Balleny, who is ā€˜an experienced IP litigator with excellent judgement and a wonderful client mannerā€™; Ian Kirby, ā€˜a no nonsense litigator who tells it like it isā€™; and David Wilson, who is ā€˜a hugely experienced patent litigator with superb technical knowledge and good judgementā€™. Other names to note include patent attorney Cameron Marshall, who is noted for his ā€˜excellent quality of work and advocacyā€™, Jake Marshall, who specialises in transactional matters involving IP and technology, and ā€˜thorough and diligentā€™ senior associate Jennifer Antcliff.

Clyde & Co LLPā€™s recent highlights include representing TDL Genetics in the defence of patent infringement proceedings brought by Illumina and Sequenom relating to pre-natal diagnostic tests for Downā€™s syndrome and the determination of the sex of a foetus; assisting a pharmaceutical manufacturer of baby feed with a series of product liability disputes; and advising on the IP aspects of acquisitions and collaboration mandates. Simon Gamblin and Ralph Cox head the practice; they specialise in corporate and patent litigation, respectively. Claire Petts and Erika Rainger specialise in product liability litigation and drug trials. IP group head David Wilkinson is another name to note.

Dechert LLP specialises in handling M&A, private equity and capital markets transactions for multinationals and emerging biotechnology companies, with capability extending to IP, litigation and competition. In 2016, practice head Graham Defries and Andrew Harrow acted for the shareholders of Ziarco Group (a Pfizer spin-out) on the sale of the company to Novartis. Other highlights included advising Bicycle Therapeutics on its collaboration with Cancer Research UK to trial a new therapy for advanced solid tumors; representing Norgine in a dispute regarding the licence and supply agreement in the US with Salix Pharmaceuticals; and acting for Advent Ventures Partners on the sale of Specialty European Pharma. Patrick Lyons specialises in stock exchange listings, IPOs and flotations.

Eversheds Sutherland (International) LLPā€™s practice spans regulatory, IP transactions and litigation, as well as competition and commercial transactions. It is active in the mHealth space, which it advises on drug administration, monitoring and delivery. Its recent instructions include advising on compliance with advertising rules in relation to the launch of a new medical device, representing Aspen in defending a High Court claim brought by distributor Perrigo Israel Agencies concerning Eltroxin, and assisting Horizon Pharma with its $800m acquisition of Raptor Pharmaceutical. Simon Crossley heads the global health and life sciences group, and specialises in IP licensing and regulatory matters. Adrian Toutoungi, Mark Davenport and Robin Johnson are also recommended.

Jennifer Bethlehem heads the global healthcare group at Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP; she advises on M&A and capital markets transactions. Recent highlights include advising Novartis on its inter-conditional strategic transaction with GlaxoSmithKline, and advising Cancer Research UK on the consortium arrangements behind The Francis Crick Institute. Jonathan Isted and Andrew Austin handle multi-jurisdictional product liability cases and sensitive internal and regulatory investigations.

Kemp Little LLP particularly excels in the area where life sciences intersects with digital technology. The team advises on IP strategy and litigation, regulatory issues, data protection and other corporate transactions. It recently assisted a multinational pharmaceutical company with its procurement process to comply with new requirements under the Falsified Medicines Directive (FMD), represented a NYSE-listed biotechnology company on the enforcement of its patents as well as opposition and appeal proceedings at the EPO, and advised a Fortune 500 company on medical regulatory issues in a number of EU jurisdictions. Highly regarded patent litigator Rebecca Halford-Harrison heads the team, which includes Calum Murray, Charles Claisse, Glafkos Tombolis and Nicola Fulford.

Marriott Harrison LLP added a strong life sciences capability when it merged with Denoon Legal, which resulted in the arrival of Alexander Denoon and Julian Hitchcock in 2017. It is praised for its ā€˜excellent industry knowledgeā€™, ā€˜responsivenessā€™, and ā€˜proportionate, practical and commercial adviceā€™. It continues to handle regulatory, licensing and commercial matters for a large number of clients including Boehringer Ingelheim, CellNovo, Omixy and Renishaw, and advised a French medical devices company in a potential judicial review against a UK body regarding its decision to issue a suspension notice in respect of its medical devices. Denoon and Hitchcock are highly recommended for pharmaceuticals regulation, medical devices and advanced therapy medicinal products, as well as commercialisation of IP.

Mishcon de Reya LLP handles a range of contentious and non-contentious IP matters, with strong corporate and competition expertise. ā€˜Hugely experiencedā€™ IP litigator David Rose is representing Dr Reddyā€™s Laboratories in defending a patent infringement claim brought by Warner-Lambert in relation to its second medical use patent for pregabalin, and assisted Dr Reddyā€™s Laboratories with the counterclaim for revocation of the patent. Competition lawyer Sarah Houghton is assisting a pharmaceutical company with a CMAā€™s investigation into alleged abuse of dominance in its drug pricing. Other highlights included handling a breach of contract claim involving issues of tempering with the manufacture and production of pharmaceutical products; acting for Lupin in proceedings against Gilead relating to the validity of Gileadā€™s SPC; and advising a R&D service provider on a series of disposals. IP partners Martyn Hann and Jeremy Hertzog are also key names to note.

Morgan, Lewis & Bockius UK LLP excels in handling high-profile regulatory matters; the team, which includes Frances Murphy, Pulina Whitaker and Paul Ranson, regularly advises on pricing, distribution and data protection issues; it also advises on collaborations as well as licensing and corporate and venture capital mandates. Murphy is advising a medical device company on an EU Commission investigation regarding an alleged anti-competitive agreement. Whitaker and Ranson advised Teva Pharmaceutical Industries on the regulatory and compliance aspects of its acquisition of Actavis Generics, while Matthew Howse advised AmerisourceBergen on its international data privacy compliance. Tim Corbett assisted Replimune with the formation of the company and its Series A financing. Corbett and Tom Cartwright jointly lead the nine-partner team, which also includes antitrust specialist Omar Shah.

Osborne Clarke LLP is particularly strong in the transactional space, as illustrated by its advice to Actavis UK and Ireland on its Ā£603m divestment by Teva Pharmaceutical Industries to Intas Pharmaceuticals. It is also assisting with a number of CMA investigations, and acted for a biopharmaceutical company in an EPO opposition against the grant of a competitorā€™s patent relating to a change of dosage regime for a blockbuster cancer drug. Transactional lawyer Janita Good is ā€˜a very good communicator with a great deal of experience in the industry and a very client-oriented approachā€™. Lorna Brazell heads the patent litigation group, and has notable experience advising on IP licensing, global patent portfolio management, opposition and appeal proceedings, as well as litigation. Competition lawyers Simon Neill and Marc Shrimpling have notable experience in handling merger control and abuse of dominance matters. Ben Goodger left for an in-house role at ASLAN Pharmaceuticals in November 2016.

RPC is known for assisting medical device companies with product liability claims, and advising US manufacturers of medical devices on UK and EU regulations. It is also experienced in all coronial investigations and advising on liability, regulatory and PR concerns associated with inquests. Practice head Dorothy Flower and senior associate Peter Rudd-Clarke are advising Corin on the metal-on-metal hip implant litigation and are representing Clover Leaf Products in PIP implant litigation. The team also handles clinical trial claims, and recently advised the insurers of a clinical trial with regards to a pre-action claim. It also assisted a pharmaceutical company following the death of a clinical trial participant. Other representative clients include BioPoly, Nonin Medical and Abbot Laboratories.

For some, IP specialist Redd Solicitors LLP is ā€˜the most experienced team in the UK for trade mark matters in the context of parallel traded pharmaceutical productsā€™. 2016 highlights included a high-profile trade mark dispute, a trade mark infringement and passing-off dispute against a third party, a collaboration mandate, and patent validity and infringement disputes. Sara Ashby is regarded as ā€˜one of the leading experts on parallel trade in Europeā€™, and Anna Carboni is highly recommended for trade mark, designs and copyright disputes. John Colbourn ā€˜consistently provides in-depth opinionsā€™. Duncan Ribbons left for an in-house role in Celixir, and patent litigator Rebecca Lawrence became a consultant. *Following publication of the 2017 edition, the firm merged with Wiggin LLP.

Sidley Austin LLPā€™s team in London regularly works alongside its US offices to advise on big-ticket transactions in the life sciences arena. Highlights included assisting BioClinica with EU regulatory aspects of its acquisition by private equity firm Cinven, and advised Johnson & Johnson with EU data protection issues including the interpretation of provisions in the EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). Other highlights saw practice head William Long advise Myokardia on EU data privacy in the context of clinical trials, and cross-border M&A partner Mark Thompson acting for Mid Europa Partners on the sale of Alpha Medical to Unilabs.

Stephenson Harwoodā€™s recent highlights include advising Cell Medica on a research collaboration with UCL for the development of modified T cell receptor products, handling a series of commercial contracts for UCB and new client Astellas Pharma, and advising BTG in a patent licensing dispute with Genzyme relating to antibody technology. IP specialist Alexandra Pygall is singled out for her ā€˜excellent sense for litigation strategyā€™ and ā€˜deep commercial knowledge of the pharma sectorā€™. Pygall and Andrew Edge recently advised Shield Therapeutics on its admission to trading on AIM with a market capitalisation of Ā£162m. Corporate and commercial partner Anthony Clare, who is particularly experienced in the life sciences and technology space, joined from Ashurst in April 2016.

Stevens & Bolton LLPā€™s practice is led by Charlotte Tillett, who specialises in IP licensing, joint venture, IP restructuring and transactional work, as well as contentious matters. Tillettā€™s recent highlights include representing a biopharmaceutical company in a patent infringement claim, and advising on regulatory, data protection and SPC rights related to its orphan drug. The team also handled patent licensing transactions, advised on the IP and competition aspects of M&A transactions, and acted for the UK subsidiary of an international life sciences company concerning claims for breach of contract regarding marketing and promotion of a branded drug. Other names to note include Gustaf Duhs, who focuses on competition and regulatory, Beverley Flynn, who specialises in commercial transactions and data protection, and Michael Frisby, who handles litigation and arbitration.


Index of tables

  1. Sport
  2. Leading individuals
  3. Next generation lawyers

Leading individuals

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Next generation lawyers

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The ā€˜high-calibreā€™ full-service practice at Bird & Bird LLP is well known for its ā€˜market-leadingā€™ commercial and contentious capabilities, its ā€˜in-depth industry knowledgeā€™ and its very strong regulatory experience. It also stands out for its ā€˜unambiguous, practical advice that is easy to understand and followā€™. Group head Jonathan Taylor, who has experience in high-profile arbitration and regulatory work across a variety of sports, is noted for his ā€˜approachability and preparednessā€™. He represented the International Tennis Federation (ITF) in proceedings brought against Maria Sharapova following her positive test for meldonium, and advised the International Paralympic Committee on its decision to suspend the Russian Paralympic Committeeā€™s membership after it failed to meet its anti-doping obligations. Craig Giles, who has ā€˜excellent broadcasting industry knowledgeā€™, made partner in May 2017; he assisted the All England Lawn Tennis Club, the Football Association (FA) and Six Nations Rugby with media rights negotiations with various high-profile broadcasters. Max Duthie, who along with Taylor is ā€˜exceptionally goodā€™, advised the British Horseracing Authority (BHA) on the ongoing effects of the disciplinary proceedings brought by trainer Jim Best, who successfully appealed his four-year suspension. Felicity Reeve, who acted for the Rugby Football Union (RFU) and Chelsea Football Club on various contractual and commercial matters, is also recommended, as are of counsel Huw Roberts, barrister Elizabeth Riley and senior associate Robert Turner. Commercial and media expert Andrew Danson joined from K&L Gates LLP in May 2017; he has particular experience in the gambling and gaming sectors.

Charles Russell Speechlys LLPā€™s team has excellent strength in depth and ā€˜significant market presenceā€™. It has core strengths acting for governing bodies and handling corporate and commercial mandates, but also assists with private client and family work for high-profile athletes. Jonathan Ellis, who jointly heads the practice with Ian Lynam, advised the Independent Review Panel ā€“ a commission set up by various global tennis governing bodies, including the ATP, Tennis Australia and the French Tennis Federation ā€“ on its review of integrity in tennis, following high-profile media allegations of match-fixing. Indeed, Ellis has a strong line in investigations: he acted for the FA throughout the Hillsborough Inquests. The practice also has strong contentious capabilities: James Eighteen, who made partner in May 2016, defended the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) against the appeals brought against it by three individuals who were handed lifetime bans from athletics for having allegedly extorted money from Lilya Shobukhova for covering up her failed doping tests. Following a successful tender, Eighteen is advising the BHA on redrafting its Rules of Racing manual, and he and Jason Saiban are acting for the Greyhound Board of Great Britain on all its contentious, regulatory and disciplinary matters. On the corporate and commercial side, Lynam and Saiban are handling various sports-related contracts for Nike, including its 15-year kit deal with Chelsea FC, and Lynam acted for Farhad Moshiri on his acquisition of a 49.9% stake in Everton FC. Other clients include Paddy Power Betfair, Premiership Rugby and Cesc Fabregas. Litigator and regulatory equestrian specialist Edward Craig, commercial and regulatory expert Jon Walters, corporate partner Keir Gordon and employment expert Michael Powner are also recommended.

Sports boutique Couchmans LLP fields an impressive sports and media-dedicated team, led by commercial and IP expert Nic Couchman. The team is active in numerous sports, from football and tennis to mixed martial arts, yoga and mass participation events. Jody MacDonald, who counts data, IT and digital matters as core strengths, advised the Association of European Professional Football Leagues on various official sports data partnership deals, and acted for the ITF on the exploitation of its sports data. On the corporate and commercial side, Satish Khandke assisted CSM Active with the creation of a new mass-participation sports company, and advised Ascot Racecourse on its shareholder rights and obligations as well as on its proposed new commercial ventures. Sports IP is a significant strength; Couchman and Nick White advise numerous high-profile clients such as Mo Farah and Gareth Bale on trade mark and branding matters. The duo acted for Anthony Joshua on his personal endorsement agreements with Beats by Dre, Lucozade and Lynx; assisted Brighton & Hove Albion FC with advertising sales agency agreements and e-commerce matters; and advised LagardĆØre Unlimited on its sponsorship of the ITU World Triathlon Series. Other areas of expertise include sporting integrity issues, sports events, e-gaming and talent representation. Steven Burton moved to an in-house position with Genius Sports in August 2016. Daniel Lowen and Fraser Reid left to establish sports media boutique Level Law.

Brabners LLPā€™s ā€˜very responsive and knowledgeableā€™ team is ā€˜excellent value for moneyā€™, and has impressive strength in depth. Key areas of expertise include handling commercial agreements, employment issues, governance matters, media rights and providing strategic advice to high-profile clients; it is also increasingly active in defamation. ā€˜Empathetic, responsive and highly capableā€™ practice head Lydia Edgar, who is particularly experienced in employment and human resources, advised Basketball England on various commercial, governance, employment and financial regulatory matters. Commercial expert Jason Smith advised Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI) on its cooperation with Olympic Channel Services, a global multi-platform entity aiming to promote the Olympics and its values; the collaboration involves future broadcast and distribution agreements, inter alia. Colin Bell acted for Chester Race Company on its five-year commercial agreement with Premier Gateway International to provide wagering services at the Chester and Bangor-on-Dee racecourses. Litigation head Paul Lunt handled various non-contentious matters for International Sport Management, including assisting with the staging of an Arena Golf event at Wembley Stadium (which involved sponsorship and trade mark agreements), and advising on various image rights and merchandising deals involving high-profile sportsmen such as Darren Clarke and Michael Vaughan. Commercial litigator Phil Steele, who made partner in October 2016, advised one EFL Championship team on The Telegraphā€™s investigation into corruption in football; he is also an active arbitrator. Simon Taylor, who has particular experience in motorsports, joined from Kennedys in April 2017. Senior partner Maurice Watkins is widely recommended for his longstanding experience, especially in football.

Sports boutique Centrefield LLP has strong contentious and non-contentious capabilities, and experience across a wide range of sports, though it is best known for its football work: it counts more than half of the Premier League clubs as clients. Edward Canty, David Bentham and Stuart Baird assist the Professional Footballersā€™ Association with corporate, commercial, employment, charity and defamation work, as well as representing it in litigation. On the commercial side, Bentham acted for Leicester Tigers on its new sponsorship agreement with Holland & Barrett, and advised on the renewals of existing deals with sponsors. In another high-profile matter, Bentham acted for the Rugby Playersā€™ Association on the RFUā€™s new Elite Player Squad agreement, covering the terms on which rugby players play for England at senior, second-team and under-20 levels. On the transactional side, the practice acted on over Ā£400m-worth of football player transfers during the 2016 summer transfer window. Canty assisted various high-profile sportspeople with obtaining financial compensation and formal apologies from News Group Newspapers and Mirror Group Newspapers following the media groupā€™s breach of the clientsā€™ privacy and confidence. Football expert Matthew Bennett, who has experience in regulatory, governance, disciplinary and litigation work, is also recommended. Baird made partner in January 2017.

DLA Piperā€™s practice is best known for international media rights work for sports industry clients, but also has notable expertise in commercial partnerships and stadium finance. Practice head Nick Fitzpatrick and IP specialist John Wilks, acted for beIN Sports on the infringement of its copyright and the breach of its exclusive rights to broadcast live sports events. This involved actions against infringers in various territories, including Germany, Iran, Qatar and the US as well as the UK. On the sponsorship side, Fitzpatrick assisted the Badminton World Federation (BWF) with appointing Infront Sports & Media as sales service provider for media and sponsorship rights regarding the BWF tournaments to be held between 2017 and 2025; advised Hamad International Airport on new sponsorship agreements with FC Bayern Munich; and assisted Unicef with its agreement with ITV and Endemol regarding the organisation and promotion of the Soccer Aid charity football match. On the regulatory side, Fitzpatrick advised the BHA on its funding arrangements and on its Authorised Betting Partners scheme; the firm also assists the NBA with regulatory issues. The department has a strong presence in the corporate and finance space: development finance expert Paul Gray acted for Stadio TDV on the ā‚¬30m financing of various pre-development costs of the Stadio della Roma project. Other clients include the RFU, ESPN and the Football League. John Cloke, who advises sports clients on commercial, copyright and regulatory issues, is an expert in digital distribution. Patrick Mitchell, who assists clients with media rights transactions, sponsorship and sporting events, made partner in May 2017.

Governance, integrity and safeguarding are the core strengths of Farrer & Coā€™s department, making it well placed to handle the recent changes to UK Sportā€™s new Code for Sports Governance. It is a popular choice for governing bodies. Litigator Julian Pike heads the practice. Commercial litigator Kate Allass defended the International Canoe Federation in appeal proceedings in front of the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) relating to the allocation of athlete quotas for Rio 2016. Henry Sainty, a data protection expert who handles complex commercial contracts for sports rights holders, acted for UK Athletics on the staging of the IAAF World Athletics Champio