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The Legal 500 Hall of Fame Icon The Legal 500 Hall of Fame highlights individuals who have received constant praise by their clients for continued excellence. The Hall of Fame highlights, to clients, the law firm partners who are at the pinnacle of the profession. In the United Kingdon, the criteria for entry is to have been recognised by The Legal 500 as one of the elite leading lawyers for eight years. These partners are highlighted below and throughout the editorial.
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United Kingdom > North West > TMT (technology, media and telecoms) > IT and telecoms > Law firm and leading lawyer rankings

Editorial

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Index of tables

  1. IT and telecoms
  2. Hall of Fame
  3. Leading individuals
  4. Next generation lawyers

Hall of Fame

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Next generation lawyers

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Who Represents Who

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Addleshaw Goddard  ’s ‘well-established’ team is specifically noted for its purchaser-focused advice in both the public and private sectors. It is well-equipped to handle high-profile and high-value IT projects and has considerable cloud expertise. It is also skilled at acting for clients that are outsourcing their IT and business processes. Head of department James Whittaker  has an ‘excellent reputation’. The strong team continues to advise EFL Digital (a wholly owned subsidiary of the Football League) on the re-tendering of its contracts for its digital service offerings. In addition the team is advising the Co-Operative Group on a significant business transformation programme. On this deal the practice is advising on the multiple IT procurements of a new retail food IT system from SAP and JDA, together with systems integration services from TCS, SAP and other suppliers. Other important clients include household names such as Matalan and Diageo.Paul Bentham  is well regarded for his advice to clients on major systems implementations and outsourcing projects (including ERP implementations), cloud solutions and ICT outsourcing. Phil McGough  is another key member of the team and has extensive experience of advising on the full range of technology matters from system development and implementation to IT infrastructure agreements.

DLA Piper UK LLP's team acts for major domestic and international clients with diverse requirements including cloud computing, complex IT and business process outsourcing and insourcing, ERP/CRM procurements, systems integration and complex service transitions. It has particular experience in supporting Agile procurements. Blue-chip clients include Axis Bank, Department for Transport/DVLA, Liverpool Football Club, JD Williams Limited as well as Next. Lee Brierley is an ‘outstanding lawyer, hugely experienced, technically first-class and commercially astute’. Peter Brook  is also recommended along with Sarah Bell who advises key public and private sector clients on IT related procurements. Stephen Wright  is ‘quick to grasp the issues and genuinely has got extensive knowledge of IT projects’.

DWF   fields a ‘competent team’ under the leadership of Craig Chaplin  that ‘scores 10/10 all round. The team produces work on time and at a competitive rate’. Key figures include the ‘extremely diligent and technically excellentJames LonsdaleAndrew Whalley, who has considerable experience in managing telecoms disputes and has acted for a number of leading domestic and international telecoms operators and resellers; and Aassociate Richard Meehan. The team regularly advises clients on large and complex IT projects of regional and national significance. It has a broad range of sector expertise with considerable experience in IT and outsourcing projects in the financial services and insurance sectors. Clients include Telefonica UK Ltd (o2), Poundland and WM Morrisons Supermarkets. The group acted for Utiligroup in connection with its supply to utility companies of software and a managed service for Smart Metering. Utiligroup is a provider of innovative software as a service and provides managed service solutions to utilities in addition to handling data for over four million customer registrations. Senior associate Debra Coady advises on a range of IT and outsourcing matters such as telematics services and web-based consumer services as well as on data protection and security issues in a cloud computing context.

The team at Brabners LLP  is ‘always available, flexible and is very responsive. It provides advice that is pitched at the right level’. Head of team Nik White  ‘understands the balancing act of keeping us ‘safe’ but also providing commercially viable advice’ .Matt Brown  has the ‘ability to explain complex principles in ‘plain English’ and understands the need for balanced/risk based advice. He does not try to spin out lawyer-to-lawyer discussions over points that are largely moot’. Its client base includes businesses that specialise in biometric technology, commodity trading software, technology systems for financial market information as well as artificial intelligence technology and multi-channel retail systems and solutions. It also has notable expertise in acing for companies operating in the computer software games industry. The group has advised a variety of local and international clients on website/ecommerce related issues on matters such as preparing and negotiating documents relating to website terms and conditions, privacy policies and IT security policies. It also has a number of clients in the fintech sector. The group advised Chase de Vere on a range of contracts relating to the wholesale upgrade of its IT system.

Clarke Willmott LLP  is one of the ‘leading departments outside of London in this practice area and is equal to any department in London’. The ‘extremely responsiveSusan Hall  is ‘quick to turn things around and has an unrivalled experience of this area and an ability to master the technical detail. You want her on your side’. Hall has considerable expertise in data protection, social media and cyber security issues. Senior associate Andrew Stone  has an ‘incredible ability to master the technical detail which clients are very impressed with’. Highlights included advising the Berkeley Group (a large FTSE company) in carrying out an ongoing programme of technology refresh and replacement. This is a rolling programme and involves several major and high-value contracts in core infrastructure. Meetoo, Devon and Cornwall Housing and Informed Solutions Limited are also clients.

Fieldfisher provides a ‘fantastic service’. The ‘very proactive’ Rob Sheldon  is ‘very business-minded and is able to add value through his understanding of his clients’ business and the broader issues. He provides practical advice based on his clients’ business needs and is very solution-focused’. Both Sam Jardine  and associate Liam Corrigan ‘impress with their responsiveness, proactive nature and sound commercial advice. They show a good understanding of the industry and how any issues can affect us’. Sheldon has been leading the advice to Trilliant Networks UK on a diverse range of matters. Trilliant is a major smart-meter provider and supplies British Gas with smart meters. In other highlights Jardine has been leading the advice to the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) on various matters relating to the SRA's flagship Solicitors Qualifying Examination (SQE), part of the SRA's Training for Tomorrow initiative.

The ‘extremely brightPeter Budd at Gateley Plc  is a ‘great tactician who really understands the technology sector’. Budd is skilled at advising on all types of non-contentious information technology work especially those relating to data flows (and international data flows), cloud computing and large scale IT procurement. He has particular expertise in financial services. The group's clients include Odeon Cinemas, Bibby Financial Services, Ladbroke, Lookers and Giacom Networks.

Pannone Corporate LLP's team is headed by the ‘very sensible’ Amy Chandler, who ‘impresses with her knowledge, drafting skills and general good humour under pressure’. The team advises on a broad range of issues but is best known for its work on IT software and website development and implementation and other areas such as hosting arrangements and outsourcing. The team has significant experience advising e-commerce businesses particularly in the retail sector on their online presence for clients such as boohoo.com and Franke. Highlights included supporting its corporate colleagues in advising the management shareholders on the sale of Bollington Insurance Brokers to a newco backed by Inflexion Private Equity (the buyer). In this matter the IT team advised on various issues and helped with matters such as ownership and licensing of domain names and websites. Victoria Dolan has left the firm for an in-house position.

Pinsent Masons LLP  has a strong digital and online practice and is praised for its ‘quick and pragmatic advice’. It regularly advises on the development, procurement and licensing of digital platforms, online trading and on the collection and use of personal data. It is also skilled at advising on the exploitation of big data and online security compliance. The ‘very experienced’ Samantha Livesey and newly promoted partner Claire Edwards  both ‘provide informed, knowledgeable and commercial advice to a high standard’. The team is adept at advising on strategic data privacy projects for clients seeking to collect, own and exploit huge datasets of personal data on an international basis for fan and customer engagement. It has also been busy advising both public and private sector clients on how to respond to cyber security breaches. An impressive roster of clients includes Celtic Football Club, Bonmarché Holdings, Silentnight and the Hanson Group.

TLT is well known for its work on transformational IT projects covering telecoms, outsourcing, software development, SaaS, systems integration and Cloud. It also has a strong practice in the financial services and fintech sectors as well as public sector. It advises a number of national retailers. David Gardner  is recommended. Clients include a national leading UK clearing bank, Close Brothers and Elavon Financial Services.

Weightmans LLP's team is headed by Sean Crotty, who is experienced in drafting and negotiating major IT contracts in the private and public sectors. Crotty also has vast experience of the video games industry. Highlights included advising the Motor Insurers Bureau on the IT aspects and data sharing arrangements between it and the DVLA in relation to the MyLicense Project. The MyLicense Project is a major data sharing scheme between HM Government and the insurance industry designed to combat insurance fraud. The team also advised Playground Games Limited on a multi-million pound game development between it and a major global publisher in relation to a major AAA title together with the development of related DLC.

DAC Beachcroft LLP has an ‘excellent team that really knows its subject; it has a strong breadth of knowledge and provides balanced and commercial advice in order to allow clients to assess the business risks’. The ‘excellent Harald Loeffler  specialises in handling complex and often high-value IT disputes. Legal director Andrew Rankin  garners considerable praise for the ‘excellent service he provides’. Rankin and associate Nick Spearing  are ‘both responsive, knowledgeable and commercially balanced in their approach to risk management and business value’. The IT practice reflects the firm’s focus on healthcare and insurance but is also increasingly focusing on the wider private sector. Major clients include TechUK (the UK’s technology industry trade body with 900 member companies), Moorfields Eye Hospital NHS Foundation Trust and Intellifo.

Eversheds Sutherland (International) LLP  specialises in major IT projects, outsourcing contracts and disruptive technology and acts for both suppliers and customers. It has a broad range of sector expertise with particular experience in the technology, consumer, automotive and public sector. Tom Bridgford  leads the North West technology team. Nick Stubbs  divides his time between Leeds and Manchester and specialises in IT and business process outsourcing agreements, financial services distribution and affinity agreements as well as IT licensing and procurement. The team advised Santander on a deal to enable it to participate in the roll-out of a new, image-based cheque clearing system. In another major matter it acted for Computer Sciences Limited (part of DXC Technology, a leading independent end–to-end IT services company) on a new five-year deal with the London insurance market to provide back-office processing of insurance premiums and claims. Other significant clients include Vodafone and AstraZeneca.

Mark Fitzgibbon heads the IT and Information Governance team atHill Dickinson LLP  . New joiner Tracey Sheehan  from Dentons  heads the telecoms team. Sheehan brings with her a wealth of experience in respect of European telecommunications regulation, competition and state aid. The group advises on a wide range of IT matters from IT procurements to software and hardware contracts as well as other matters such as IT audits, data protection and freedom of information issues. Key clients include National Express, Trinity Mirror Group, MySupermarket.com as well as Bibby Line Group.

Mills & Reeve LLP  provides ‘very good response times and well-presented and appropriate advice that is easy to follow’. The ‘very pragmatic’ Paul Knight ‘delivers solutions and negotiates well’. Knight has particular expertise in software licensing and development and data security. His sector expertise lies in EdTech and FinTech with key clients such as the British Council and Nesta. The team continues to advise the Higher Education Academy on various matters such as on an IT dispute with an online platform provider and on the appropriate terms to incorporate into all its contracts where some personal data is being processed as part of the GDPR.

Carla Murray   at Myerson Solicitors LLP  is ‘very adept at identifying the crux of the issue and then provides clear and concise plans on how to get a solution’. Philip Ball  was promoted to senior solicitor. The team continues to advise a diverse range of clients from individuals to owner managed businesses, SME’s and public limited companies on a variety of IT matters including outsourcing contracts as well as software development and licensing agreements ( such as cloud computing). The team has gained substantial experience in FinTech and RegTech matters. Major clients include CDL Production Services, Customs Connect and Atlantic Commerce Solutions.

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