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

Editorial

Other

Index of tables

  1. IT and telecoms
  2. Leading individuals: Hall of Fame
  3. Leading individuals
  4. Next Generation Partners
  5. Rising stars

Leading individuals: Hall of Fame

  1. 1

Leading individuals

  1. 1
    • Martin Cuell - Foot Anstey
    • Will Robertson - Osborne Clarke
    • James Touzel - TLT

Next Generation Partners

  1. 1
    • Daniel Read - TLT
    • Charlie Wedin - Osborne Clarke

Rising stars

  1. 1

Burges Salmon LLP's practice is going from strength to strength, with the firm undertaking a large volume of high-value, complex technology outsourcing transactions. It has also won a number of new clients, including The National Trust and Southern Water. The firm has a particularly strong presence in the transport, utilities and energy sectors. In addition to advising clients on IT projects, the group handles commercial IT work, procurement, outsourcing, joint ventures (for new product development) and corporate IT deals. Sarah Kenshall is a key figure in the team, which is led by Andrew Dunlop.

Practice head(s):Andrew Dunlop

Other key lawyers:Marcus Clayden; David Varney; Yunzhe Tsang

Testimonials

'Experienced IT team'

'Flexible approach'

'Involves the right skills at appropriate levels'

'Andrew Dunlop has a great view for key issues'

Key Clients

BMI Healthcare

Southern Water

The National Trust

St Modwen Properties PLC

CAPITA PLC

Coca-Cola HBC

Dwyr Cymru Welsh Water

Exeter Friendly Society

Thomson Reuters

ALTRAN Technologies SA

Work highlights

  • Advised Welsh Water on complex IT outsourcing, incorporating the design and build of a new customer service centre and desktop platform.
  • Acted for St Modwen Properties Plc on its outsourcing of group payroll and associate HR functions.
  • Advised Bud Systems on its suite of template IT customer contracts and on the use of these templates in live negotiations with customers.

Foot Anstey acts for both customers and providers of technology solutions. It supports clients on major technology projects, large-scale procurement and the implementation/exploitation of new technologies. Key clients (which include regional and international companies) come from the energy, fintech, retail and transport sectors. An area of recent growth for the practice has been blockchain technology and cloud-based solutions. Team head Martin Cuell has experience of working with City firms on technology matters. Senior associate Alexandra Leonidou specialises in privacy and data protection, digital media and advertising contracts, and has led the growth of the firm's strategic data practice. In 2018, managing associate Annalisa Checchi joined from Constituency Management Group. Will Foulkes was hired from FIDAL.

Practice head(s):Martin Cuell

Other key lawyers:Annalisa Checchi; Alexandra Leonidou; Francesca Pole; Mark Searle; Will Foulkes

Key Clients

Sky UK Limited

Weston College

British Solar Renewables (BSR)

South West Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust (SWASFT)

TI Media

Flo Group Limited

Ultumus Limited

MooD International

BlueVenn Limited

Work highlights

  • Assisting Weston College with its application to become one of the government-backed Institutes of Technology.
  • Advising British Solar Renewableson services agreements for the support and maintenance of data collation
  • Supporting South West Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust in relation to procurement process for a new electronic patient care record and monitor system.
  • Advising Flo Group Limited on business arrangements, namely a blockchain agreement for supply chain solutions and a systems integration solution using new technology.

Osborne Clarke's team in Bristol has an enviable market presence in the South West, as is evidenced by its work for clients based in the region. It also handles matters at national and international level. It provides the full spectrum of services to clients in the digital business space, including advice on complex IT contracts, adtech data protection, finance and corporate matters. It also assists clients with IT-focused litigation. Will Robertson leads the team, which is particularly strong in IT-related outsourcing and the procurement of innovative technologies. Beyond acting for clients from the technology and digital business sphere, the firm also generates work from entities active in the energy, financial services and retail arenas.

Practice head(s):Will Robertson

Other key lawyers:Mark Wesker; Tom Harding; Elliott Prentiss; Charlie Wedin

Key Clients

CookPad

Airbus

Homebase

Dell Emerging Markets (EMEA) Limited

MyLife Digital

London & Country Mortgages

Cloud IQ

Dassault Systèmes

Western Power Distribution

Work highlights

  • Supporting Cloud IQ's development of new technologies, and negotiating contracts with third parties for service provisions.
  • Provide ongoing legal tech support to Homebase, including data centre negtotiations, software procurement and contracts.
  • Supported Western Power Distribution on a number of tech projects to improve service to customers.
  • Represented Airbus in the client's 'Wing of the Future' project, primarily negotiating multi-party contracts for development of technologies.
  • Advising CookPad on the commercial and IT aspects of the expansion of its global recipe sharing platform.

TLT works with national and international companies, and fast-growth businesses, on the development of technologies. Although the team is principally led from the Bristol office, clients also count on the expertise of practitioners in the firm's London, Manchester and Glasgow offices in relation to projects, outsourcing, software development, systems integration and business change programmes. The firm recently launched a new digital consultancy practice to provide regulatory advice to telecoms companies; this is led by recent hire Stuart Murray, who was previously director of regulatory affairs at BT. James Touzel, who is experienced in procurement and outsourcing, leads the team.

Practice head(s):James Touzel

Other key lawyers:Daniel Read; Peter Jackson

Testimonials

'They've got a really good team - a great blend of talents for different deals and negotiations'

'Real experts in the team, particularly James Touzel and Dan Read in IT, and Dan Lloyd in telecoms'

'Their approach is really engaged, inquisitive right from the start, engaged with the whole project, interested in the wider business and determined to get good results'

'It's always seemed more like having an add-on to the in-house team rather than using a distant law firm who you have to keep bringing up to speed'

'James Touzel is responsive, supportive, and most importantly pragmatic'

'Dan Read is a completely safe pair of hands on any deal'

'They stand out from the competition by working as a team'

'It's like dealing with a top City firm'

Key Clients

ARRIS International Plc

5NINES

J Sainsbury's Plc

The Co-operative Group

BGL Group

C & J Clark

Imperial Brands PLC

Mayor's Office for Policing and Crime

WHSmith PLC

Conviviality Plc

Close Brothers Limited

Elavon Financial Services DAC

learndirect Limited

BT

Telegraph Media Group

JD Sports

Ashfords LLP handles a wide range of work both within and outside of the South West region. It has particular expertise in national projects, data protection, software development, payment services technology, and SaaS products and deployment to cloud-based infrastructure. It also assists fast-growing start-up businesses with strategic issues and legal due diligence, and has recently launched an online platform to support private clients with non-contentious legal advice. Team head Chris Dyson acts for clients such as regional businesses, national technology investors and global funds. Senior associate Suzie Miles specialises in IT transformation, outsourcing and software licensing.

Practice head(s):Chris Dyson

Other key lawyers:Andy Braithwaite; Gary Mackay; Rory Suggett; Suzie Miles

Testimonials

'Strength and depth, and an emphasis on client service'

'Andy Braithwaite is peerless, and manages expectations very well'

'Andy is savvy with his use of time, and uses it well for the client's benefit'

'I wouldn't want to deal with another firm'

'Charlotte Smith knows what she's doing'

'Chris Dyson gets the key matters quickly and understands what needs to be done to ensure progress is made'

Key Clients

Xylem Inc

CreditCall Limited

Holloway Friendly - The Original Holloway Friendly Society Limited

FireAngel Safety Technology Limited

Notion Capital

Altus Limited

Form3 (Back Office Technology Limited)

BGF Ventures

Post Office Limited

HelloFresh (Grocery Delivery E-Services UK Ltd)

Work highlights

  • Advised CreditCall Limited on payment solutions services, payment gateway services and licensing arrangements.
  • Advised Notion Capital Partners LLP, Eden Ventures Limited and BGF Ventures LP on the sale of cloud service company NewVoiceMedia to Vonage.
  • Negotiated and drafted commercial agreements on behalf of Back Office Technology Limited (Form3) for partnership with third parties to provide financial services IT infrastructure.

BPE Solicitors LLP advises on complex IT and technology projects for clients nationally, with work coming from those in the technology, security, cyber and IT sectors. The team works closely with the commercial practice to act for scientific and technological institutions (including fast-growing STEM companies) on commercial, contractual and IT regulatory matters. Iain Garfield is knowledgeable about IT, technology  and e-commerce law. Recent arrival Emma Hickson, who joined as a senior associate from Charles Russell Speechlys LLP, is recommended for her IT outsourcing expertise.

Practice head(s):Iain Garfield

Other key lawyers:Dianne Devlin; Robert Bryan

Key Clients

Totally Plc

Lightwave RF Plc

Oliver Wight EAME LLP

M and M Direct Ltd

Agria Pet Insurance Ltd

Outdoor & Cycle Concepts Ltd

Cortex Ltd

Innovise Ltd

Datum RPO Ltd

Work highlights

  • Assisted Totally Plc with negotiating a license and SaaS arrangement with Raintree Systems for a patient administration system.
  • Reviewing and negotiating a master services agreement between Agria Pet Insurance Limited and an IT services consultancy.
  • Assisted Oliver Wight EAME LLP with a review of a framework IT services agreement between the client and a management consultancy for technical development and support services.
  • Assisted MandM Direct with reviewing and negotiating a SaaS agreement between the client and payroll providers. In addition, reviewed IT security in relating to GDPR compliance.
  • Assisted Cortex with reviewing and negotiating a license and reseller agreement between the client and a global IT consultancy.

DAC Beachcroft LLP advises clients ranging from scale-ups to international listed companies on large technology projects, digital business, software development, data analytics, eCommerce and licensing. It has built up a particularly notable client base centred on the financial services and healthcare sectors, for whom the team handles business-critical IT issues of both a contentious and non-contentious nature. Team head Alan Pratt is experienced in advising on large-scale telecoms infrastructure projects and the IT elements of complex corporate transactions.

Practice head(s):Alan Pratt

Other key lawyers:James Warburton; Sarah Hopton; Giles Taylor

Key Clients

Royal Mail Group

Ultrahaptics

Coventry Building Society

Spire Healthcare

Pure International

Cushman & Wakefield

Ecclesiastical Insurance

Knight Frank

Equifax

Enterprise Rent-a-Car

Work highlights

  • Assisted Coventry Building Society with a transformation programme to replace core server rooms with cloud infrastructure, and negotiated contracts for IT system infrastructural projects.
  • Supported Spire Healthcare on GDPR implementation.
  • Advising Ecclesiastical Insurance on IT outsourcing and core claims management system replacement.
  • Advising Pure International on GDPR compliance, and also on software developments relating to new product ranges.
  • Advising Ultrahaptics Limited on cross-border licensing deals.

Michelmores LLP has a well-established reputation in the South West technology arena, where it works with longstanding clients in major new projects. The firm has seen a notable increase in instructions from new and existing fintech clients, as well as gig economy and disruptive technology clients; many use cloud-based platforms and crowd-sourced expertise to service customers. It has advised a number of UK and international clients on data protection, including GDPR audits, documentation and general compliance. Tom Torkar heads up the group.

Practice head(s):Tom Torkar

Other key lawyers:Freya Lemon; David Thompson

Testimonials

'Good quality, responsive and pragmatic advice'

'Tom Torkar is technically great and very responsive'

'Tom Torkar is superb; his attention to detail and doggedness is first class.'

Key Clients

Met Office

Limitless Technology Limited

Landmark Information Group Limited

Triodos Bank NV

Mayor's Office for Policing and Crime (Metropolitan Police Service)

Devon and Cornwall Police

Deko (Pay4Later)

Jessops Europe Limited

Linn Systems Ltd

TESM Limited

Work highlights

  • Advising Limitless Technology Limited on the launch and global expansion of its customer service SaaS platform.
  • Advised Jessops Europe Limited on arrangements with Fujifilm for managed services, including eCommerce and licensing.
  • Advised Deko on its cloud-based platform, including third-party contract terms.
  • Assisting OATS Limited with multiple IT and data-driven service agreements, primarily in the oil and gas sector.
  • Advising Triodos Bank NV on the launch of its crowd-funding platform.

Womble Bond Dickinson (UK) LLP's team has key capabilities in the financial services, retail and public services sectors; it is on a number of technology panels for clients in these areas. Its recent work included a number of high-profile procurement matters, as well as the negotiation of a high volume of telecoms licenses and authorisations. Alastair Mitton heads up the practice from the Bristol office, and is particularly renowned for large-scale technology implementation and outsourcing projects.

Practice head(s):Alastair Mitton

Other key lawyers:Gareth Jones; Laura Coombes

Testimonials

'Alastair Mitton is held in high regard, he really knows what he's doing'

'Womble Bond Dickinson are particularly good in this space and stand out from the competition'

Key Clients

BT

Post Office Limited

AIG

TSB Bank

Quilter (previously Old Mutual Wealth)

Ministry of Justice

Liverpool Victoria Friendly Society

Highways Agency

FACTON GmbH

Transport System Catapult

Kingfisher plc/Kingfisher Information Technology Services

Work highlights

  • Advised Network Rail on a strategic procurement exercise for WiFi provision at rail stations nationwide.
  • Acted for the Post Office on the procurement of a prime contractor for systems integration and a further subcontractor for banking services.
  • Advising the Ministry of Justice on the Criminal Justice System Common Platform project, a collaborative initative between the MoJ and CPS to establish a platform and database for the administration of the criminal justice system.

Clarke Willmott LLP has an excellent reputation acting for landowners in disputes with telecoms operators; practice head Kary Withers has a first-rate reputation in this space. In addition, having played a significant role in the government's consultation on the new Electronics Communications Code (which came into force in 2017), the firm has handled litigation connected with the new legislation. Also notable is that the group works closely with the commercial practice to assist IT clients with contractual matters.

Practice head(s):Kary Withers

Other key lawyers:Beverley Pike; Aimee Davies;

Testimonials

'They are all extremely personable and build good working relationships with clients'

'Prompt and reliable in responding to queries, and always offer a helpful and friendly response'

'The individuals at the firm stand out because they take a genuine interest in their clients'

'Simon Day and Kary Withers are particularly reliable, especially when working to tight deadlines, which are always met'

Key Clients

The PG Group

Pinnacle Towers Limited

The Guinness Partnership

PETROC

The Berkeley Group

ACCA

Onecom Group Limited

Eris Media Solutions Limited

The Student Room Group Limited

LiveWest (part of ASW Framework)

Lewisham Homes Limited

Mapeley Estates

Work highlights

  • Successfully acted for PG Lewins Limited in a dispute with a telecoms operator under the Electronic Communications Code.
  • The firm continues to advise the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants on variety of IT matters, including subscription agreements for cloud-based operations and GDPR matters.
  • Advising Onecom Group Limited on commercial and technology contracts; recently negotiated with a sporting venue for installation of Wi-Fi and prepared template terms for software applications for customer use.
  • Assisted The Student Room Group Limited with negotiating and drafting a SaaS Agreement with a supplier for the provisions of data collection and processing, as well as advising on GDPR compliance.

Royds Withy King advises engineering, technology and IT businesses on IT contracts, software, outsourcing, cloud computing and data protection. The firm also works with clients who install voice, data and mobile telecommunications systems. Philip Banks-Welsh is the key contact in Bath.

Practice head(s):Philip Banks-Welsh

Led by Swindon-based practice head Kate Westbrook, Thrings LLP's team focuses on acting for mid-sized and high-growth businesses. It handles commercial IT matters, licensing and data issues, large technology projects, outsourcing and procurement. Graeme Fearon in Bristol is experienced in the e-commerce and retail sector.

Practice head(s):Kate Westbrook

Other key lawyers:Graeme Fearon;

Key Clients

Optimal Industrial Technologies Limited

CybSafe Limited

TrueSpeed Communications

Elcome

Altus

Metex Online Limited

Bonsai Tiger

Benefex

Essilor

Excalibur Communications Limited

Winscribe

Martin Lock Associates

Elecosoft

People Risk Solutions

Teleperformance

Anthony Best Dynamics

Lovehoney

Folli Follie and Links of London

Awareness Technologies Inc.

Malcolm Hollis

National Deposit Friendly Society (National Friendly)

Procentia

Proctor & Stevenson

Targett Business Technology

Work highlights

  • Represented the client in agreements to supply its software and related services to multinational companies in the pharmaceuticals and consumer goods sectors.
  • Negotiated and drafted SaaS agreements for the supply of the client's sales and marketing technology to the Financial Times.
  • Assisting the client on a range of commercial matters, including the roll-out and provision of new client-facing software.
  • Regularly representing the  client in preparation of template agreements, data protection arrangements and client negotiations.
  • Supporting the client on contractual matters for FinTech products and advising the IT consultancy business.

Keystone Law in Bristol advises an array of businesses, including start-ups and large companies, on IT contracts and data protection issues. The firm retains strong links with businesses in the local area, supporting new companies and SMEs on technology acquisitions and licensing requirements. Both practice head Jessica Bent and Charlie White are recent arrivals to the firm, joining from Royds Withy King and Edwin Coe LLP respectively.

Practice head(s):Jessica Bent

Other key lawyers:Charlie White

Key Clients

Adam Matthew Digital Limited

Nevaya Limited

Ecotricity Group Limited

Work highlights

  • Assisted Adam Matthews Digital with drafting contracts for its new software platform, including SaaS agreements, and licenses for customer use.

Commercial law boutique Pritchetts Law undertakes the full range of TMT work, with a particular specialism in data protection. It advises clients in the public and private sectors, including UK-based corporations, international companies, local SMEs and charities. Stephanie Pritchett is the main contact in Bristol.

Practice head(s):Stephanie Pritchett

Other key lawyers:Ben Wootton; Al Goodwin

Key Clients

Unison

Northumbrian Water Limited

DFS Furniture Limited

Westfield Europe Limited

The University of Melbourne

PDP Companies Limited

Newcastle Building Society

Link Maker Systems Limited

NAMCO UK Limited

Launchpad Recruits Limited

Vitaccess Limited

Symmetry Limited

Work highlights

  • Advised UPP Group Limited on a GDPR compliance programme and related contract arrangements.
  • Advised the University of Melbourne on compliant marketing and assessed risks associated with GDPR compliance.
  • Updated Link Maker Systems Limited's privacy policy and standard contracts for GDPR, and refreshed specific client arrangements.

Roxburgh Milkins Limited generates work from start-ups and scale-ups, as well as established public and private companies. The firm often works alongside larger law firms and in-house legal teams on sizeable cross-border transactions. Ian Grimley, who heads up the commercial practice, advises both providers and users of technology and digital services. In addition to being knowledgeable about intellectual property, Grimley assists clients with the IT-related aspects of commercial contracts and data protection. Associate Carl Spencer rejoined the firm from Creditsafe.

Practice head(s):Ian Grimley

Other key lawyers:Charles van der Lande; Carl Spencer; Helen Naylor

Key Clients

TransFICC

EnSilica

Blu Wireless

MyLife Digital

Travel Assets Group

Invitation Digital Ltd

Elektraglide

Paxport

Peak Ryzex

EthiXbase

VQ Communications

Daredevil (Duel)

Work highlights

  • Assisting TransFICC with various deals and agreements, including licensing agreements with new clients.
  • Drafting and negotiating new contractual arrangements for Perceiv, in addition to an enterprise license agreement with a partnership company.
  • Advice to Elektraglide on terms and conditions, licensing support for SaaS agreements and customer contracts.
  • Advising Daredevil on putting the necessary agreements in place with its customers and updated the terms and conditions in line with GDPR regulations.
  • Supported River Cottage with various licensing and sponsorship agreements.

Stephens Scown LLP's practice is deeply embedded within the digital innovation community in the South West, with its team acting for clients based in the region, and also maintaining contact with organisations such as Tech Exeter. It also advises clients located further afield. Although the firm has traditionally tended to act for IT development businesses, its roster of clients increasingly includes non-IT companies looking to develop IT capabilities for their businesses. As part of an ongoing trend, the team continues to see a significant increase in SaaS and MSA work, of which Exeter-based Ben Travers has vast experience.

Practice head(s):Ben Travers

Other key lawyers:Thomas Chartres-Moore; Kathryn Heath; Jowanna Conboye

Key Clients

Bluegrass Group Limited

Francis Clark LLP

Nexus Open System Limited

Crowdsourcer.IO Limited

Swankyapple Limited

Validatum (UK) Limited

Switch Systems Ltd

Inventive Print Solutions Ltd

Swan Retail Ltd

Precision Dipping’s Manufacturing Limited

Work highlights

  • Advised Bluegrass Group Limited on website compliance, privacy policy, cookie policy and terms and conditions of website use.
  • Advised Francis Clark LLP on software development and IT licensing arrangements.
  • Reviewed Nexus Open Systems' current managed services agreement and developed an improved agreement.
  • Advised Switch Systems Limited on a software development agreement in addition to assisting the client on development of a mobile app.
  • Assisted Swan Retail Limited with the development of terms and conditions of service and licensing terms.

Laceys advises clients in the Dorset area on licensing agreements, software arrangements and data privacy compliance. Luke English has previous experience of working as an in-house lawyer at Walt Disney, BBC and Sony Music. English works with Brendan Herbert.

Practice head(s):Sam Freeman

Other key lawyers:Luke English; Brendan Herbert

Key Clients

Mr Lees Pure Food Limited

Work highlights

  • Representing Mr Lees Pure Food Limited in drafting and negotiating software development agreements with third parties.

Steer & Co primarily acts for clients in the emerging technologies arena, where it works with AI voice recognition providers, software services and data analytics providers. The team advises clients at all stages from early access through to product launch and services roll-out. Its wide-ranging expertise includes technology licensing, distribution, support, outsourcing and manufacturing. Name partner Rebecca Steer is the main contact.

Practice head(s):Rebecca Steer

Other key lawyers:Nic Ruesink-Brown

Testimonials

'Rebecca Steer has vast experience.'

'The team is easy to talk to and get things done. They are knowledgeable in the field.'

'Nic Ruesink-Brown is very thorough in dealing with supplier contracts. He keeps the suppliers honest with very well voiced arguments.'

Key Clients

Graphcore

Moortec

XMOS

Orenko

We Predict

Great State

Dengro

Work highlights

  • Assisted Graphcore with negotiating and drafting collaboration agreements between the client and overseas customers for AI products and software, in addition to drafting an Early Access Agreement.
  • Provide legal advice to Moortec on customer contracts and licensing agreements.

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