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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 > Scotland > TMT (technology, media and telecoms) > IT and telecoms > Law firm and leading lawyer rankings



Index of tables

  1. IT and telecoms
  2. Leading individuals
  3. Next generation lawyers

Leading individuals

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Next generation lawyers

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Who Represents Who

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Noted for its ‘good industry knowledge’, the team at CMS specialises in handling complex IT projects in the financial services industry, as well as having a strong profile in Scottish public and education sector projects. It is also handling several significant GDPR compliance mandates. Laurence Ward is advising NHS National Services Scotland (NSS) on procurement contracts for a system replacing NHS Scotland’s mainframe systems for the Community Health Index; this mandate involves multiple bidders and a complex technical specification. ‘Pragmatic and commercial’ Alan Nelson is assisting NSS and the Scottish public sector with contractual aspects of the Scottish Wide Area Network (SWAN), intended as the main IT service delivery contract for the public sector in Scotland. Nelson also advised a banking institution on all contractual aspects of a significant outsourcing arrangement with an IT services provider. ‘Knowledgeable and thorough’ senior associate Caroline Connolly is another key contact, with experience in transactions with a multi-jurisdictional element.

DLA Piper Scotland LLP is noted for its work on major IT, outsourcing and data projects across a range of sectors. Practice head John McKinlay is described as ‘very good’, while Ross McKean represented Goldman Sachs in negotiations with Google in relation to its global Data Processing and Security Terms. The group currently leads on competitive procurement for Viridian Group, which involves parallel negotiations with a number of significant software vendors in relation to a payment procurement system. It is also assisting Scottish Water with the re-procurement of its core IT and telecoms infrastructure. Legal director Ishbel MacPherson has particular expertise in technology transfer matters. Senior associate John McGonagle is recommended for his experience in complex IT outsourcing deals.

Pinsent Masons LLP is ‘a market leader in Scotland’ for IT procurement and outsourcing in the financial services, education and energy sectors both in Scotland and throughout the UK. In addition to a strong transactional offering, the group also has a significant contentious practice. Legal director David Woods is acting for David MacBrayne in an action for breach of contract against ATOS IT Services UK in relation to the provision, by ATOS, of a new ticketing system and reservation IT system for the Calmac ferry network. Mhairi Mival leads on all IT contracts entered into by Westfield Europe in the UK. Joanne McIntosh advised the University of Edinburgh on the procurement of high-end animal scanning technology from Siemens. ‘Star lawyer’ Chris Martin is recommended for his expertise in the energy and education sectors. An expert in IT outsourcing work in the financial services sector, Yvonne Dunn leads the practice.

Shepherd and Wedderburn ‘compares favourably with City firms’ and is noted for its ‘strong commercial acumen’ in relation to IT and outsourcing mandates. The practice is co-led by Gordon Moir, who specialises in regulatory support in the TMT sector, and Paul Carlyle, whose focus is IT investment in the financial service industry. Moir is acting for European Competitive Telecoms Association (on behalf of the European Commission) in relation to an appeal brought by Orange Polska against the Commission’s decision to fine the company for abuse of its dominant position. Joanna Boag-Thomson advised Water Plus on a major IT infrastructure procurement project. She is also advising Satellite Solutions Worldwide on the negotiation of its distributor arrangements with Euro Broadband Retail in relation to its expansion into markets in Sweden, Norway, Poland, France, Ireland and the UK. John MacKenzie represented Calsoft in relation to a claim raised by Bayonette in the Technology and Construction Court in London concerning alleged breaches of a contract to provide residential virtual consumer premise equipment and router software to the claimant; an action that was settled by negotiation. Associates Alison Rochester and Ashley McLean are noted for their ‘clear communication skills’.

Addleshaw Goddard is a strong new entrant in the Scottish IT and telecoms market, following the firm’s merger with HBJ Gately. The group, led by David Anderson, is most noted for advising suppliers of IT systems and services into the financial services industry; and utility companies, consultancy businesses, sporting organisations and charities, in connection with the procurement of IT services. The group advised FNZ on its master services agreement with respect to the provision of an investment transaction and administration outsourcing services to Old Mutual Wealth, which involved negotiation of all aspects of the contract that related to the client’s service delivery and on-going services to be provided. Highlights for Helena Brown included advising Celtic Football Club on a range of online consumer contracts for ticket and hospitality sales, and for the procurement of Wi-Fi services. She also conducted a detailed review of legal agreements for Edinburgh Airport concerning the client’s IT systems and service delivery. The group is currently assisting Clydesdale Bank with a major renegotiation of supply contracts, driven by the need for GDPR compliance. Ross McKenzie joined the team from Burness Paull LLP in February 2018, and leads on privacy matters.

Brodies LLP has ‘a strong team of associates who display commendable independence’ and ‘excellent knowledge of the telecoms sector and general market practice’. The practice is co-led by the ‘approachable and friendly’ Grant Campbell and ‘insightful’ Martin Sloan, who specialise in data protection and outsourcing, respectively. The firm also stands out for its IT litigation practice, with particular experience in English law matters as well as mediation. The group advised Sainsbury’s Bank on the strategic transformation of its insurance business, which centred on a new outsourced technology platform from CDL. It also advised Abellio Scotrail on a managed service arrangement with Cubic Transportation Systems for the provision of enterprise integration and an account-based ticketing service. In another highlight, the group acted for Sykes Enterprises on GDPR compliance matters.

Burness Paull LLP’s clients span tech businesses, financial service providers, oil and gas companies and public sector entities. The practice is led by the ‘professional and approachable’ Callum Sinclair, who is noted as ‘particularly helpful in crisis situations’. The group has been appointed as sole legal advisers to Oil & Gas Technology Centre and continues to advise ScottishPower on its GDPR compliance, data retention issues and updates to its data and security policies. Sinclair and Walter Clark advised on the UK IT and IP aspects of Weir Group’s acquisition of Singapore-based KOP Surface Products, as well as an IT transitional services agreement in relation to the transaction, and a renegotiation of its IT outsourcing arrangements with Cognizant. David Goodbrand is also recommended for fintech matters.

Dentons is marked out by its contentious IT practice, which focuses on dispute resolution in technology-related matters. The non-contentious team has expertise in IT outsourcing, hosted and online services as well as system procurement and implementation. Team leader Alison Bryce advised Ecometrica on its proprietary Service as a Software (SaaS) agreement and on various data protection compliance issues. Ross Nicol advised The Restaurant Group on all of its IT requirements, including the negotiation of an agreement with Get Grab, which enables pre-ordering of food and drink at airports.

Harper Macleod LLP has particular expertise in public and third sector IT and telecoms projects and mainstream IT contracts. Tom Thomas leads the team and specialises in high-value technology contract work in the public sector as well as having niche expertise in sports sector work. Thomas advised Fintry Renewable Energy Distribution on the technology, corporate and commercial aspects of a smart energy project. Scott Kerr advised Construction Industry Solutions on negotiations for all bespoke software development, licensing and hosting contracts for its clients. He is currently supporting Ideagen’s contract team in negotiating and drafting bespoke contracts for development and licensing of its products.

MacRoberts LLP handles a mixture of IT procurement, managed service agreement, hardware supply, service-level agreements and GDPR advice. The group is led by David Flint who has particular expertise in encryption and technology policy issues. Flint assisted Fidra Software with on-licensing to UK and international customers. David Gourlay specialises in large outsourcing projects in both the public and financial sectors. He is currently advising the Digital Directorate of the Scottish Governmnet on the second phase of its CivTech project. Julie Hamilton advised the Executive Agency of the Scottish Government on its ongoing Court of Session commercial action against a global IT contractor arising from the termination of a contract after the contractor’s default.

‘A truly valued strategic partner’, Thorntons Law LLP’s ‘fantastic team’ has ‘a broad range of knowledge and a wealth of experience’ in the IT and outsourcing space. It is led by ‘thoroughly professional’ Liam McMonagle, who has a particular focus on information security and data protection compliance. Alastair Lang is a specialist commercial legal advisor who works predominantly with IT companies in relation to corporate structures, governance, growth and exit strategies. Associate Gemma Kelly is recommended for IT disputes and pre-action matters.

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