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Intellectual property

Index of tables

  1. Intellectual property
  2. Leading individuals
  3. Next generation lawyers

Leading individuals

  1. 1

Next generation lawyers

  1. 1

Who Represents Who

Find out which law firms are representing which Intellectual property clients in Yorkshire and the Humber 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


As ‘a firm that sits very comfortably in the top tier’, DLA Piper UK LLP has ‘developed and maintained a real strength in IP litigation’ alongside its expertise in anti-counterfeiting, brand launches and IP licensing. Leigh Martin and Richard Taylor head the team from Leeds and Sheffield respectively; Martin recently rejoined the firm from Clarion and is ‘a superb litigator who works swiftly and tirelessly for his clients’, and Taylor is ‘highly knowledgeable and commercial in his approach’. Recent highlights for the practice include assisting Heineken with its trade mark portfolio, advising the University of Sheffield on its global trade mark portfolio and acting for Ardagh Group on trade mark issues including pre-filing and clearance advice, filings and prosecutions. GE Healthcare, Spin Master, British Airways, the Coal Authority and Tata Steel are also clients. Legal director Rebecca Piper regularly handles contentious IP work, trade mark matters and transactional-related IP issues; and senior associate Jim McDonnell has ‘excellent legal knowledge’. Chris Tulley retired.

Boutique firm James Love Legal ‘has IP expertise in abundance’ under the leadership of ‘industry doyen’ and name partner James Love. Clients also single out registered trade mark attorney Lindsey Wrenn, who is ‘very responsive and willing to work flexibly in partnership with clients towards strategic and practical solutions’; and senior consultant Isabel Davies, who is ‘a key name for IP litigation’. Recent highlights include advising Alexander Duckham & Co on its global trade mark portfolio, acting for Hangzhou Arts Industrial Corporation in the enforcement of its IP rights, and representing Bestival in multiple trade mark disputes. Other clients include H&M, TomTom, Rightmove Group, Drayton Manor Theme Park and Tetra Pak.

With ‘an excellent boutique IP offering and a personalised high-quality service’, Kempner & Partners LLP ‘sets the bar very high and is a class above the majority of its competitors’ thanks to ‘great in-depth knowledge, proactive response times and a thoughtful approach’. Senior partner Richard Kempner provides ‘a service that is tailored to the needs of the clients and is quick to adapt to any issue thrown at him’; he is recognised for his IP litigation expertise and recently represented Ansell in a High Court patent infringement action. Other key individuals include managing partner Jason Dainty, who is ‘a class act’ and advised Nomad Foods Group on its global trade mark portfolio; Martin Delafaille, who assists brand owners with the registration and exploitation of trade marks and designs; Matthew Sammon and litigator Stuart Jackson.

Addleshaw Goddard handles the full spectrum of IP work for a client base in the financial services, retail, consumer and digital services sectors; examples include Limitless Digital, Pure Collection and British American Tobacco. Georgina Powling leads the department and handles a mixture of contentious and non-contentious mandates including transactional support, commercial agreements, trade mark and design right infringement disputes and software licensing litigation. The group’s recent work includes advising Mark Millar on the IP elements of the sale of Millarworld to Netflix and assisting Bibby Line Group with a transactional trade mark licence related to a group restructuring. Ryan Gracey joined Gordons LLP.

Clarion ‘stands out as having an organic, energetic and responsive culture and refreshingly informal approach that makes clients feel relaxed and cared for in the best possible way’. Practice head Esther Kirwan ‘has the ability to offer clear and pragmatic advice’, legal director Sue Streatfield is ‘level headed with good person-facing skills and a calm demeanour’, and associates Sarah Molloy and Jemma Green are ‘excellent communicators and clients feel comfortable with their guidance’. Recent work includes assisting Hard Rock International with its anti-counterfeiting efforts, advising Fujifilm Diosynth Biotechnologies on IP licences, services agreements and collaboration agreements, and acting for DFS on asset purchases including trade marks, domain names, design rights and databases. Icelandic Seafood, Card Factory and Hermes Parcelnet are also clients.

Boutique firm HGF Law is recognised for its IP litigation strength alongside transactional expertise with notable experience in the healthcare and retail sectors. In a recent highlight, the group represented Accord Healthcare in a substantial pharmaceutical patent litigation relating to a patent for anti-convulsant medication. Other work includes advising Rocket Games on its anti-counterfeiting program, assisting the Robin and Lucienne Day Foundation with trade mark and copyright licensing and enforcement, and acting for Superbrand in litigation brought by SuperDry relating to the use of the mark SUPER. Patent litigator Martyn Fish leads the group; his clients include international companies, universities and SMEs.

Louise Fullwood heads Pinsent Masons LLP’s practice, which handles national and cross-border IP transactions particularly in the public and infrastructure sectors. Recent mandates include advising Zurich Group on the IP elements of its disposal of its workplace pensions and savings business, assisting Westfield Europe with a contractual arrangement with virtual reality company The Void on the IP management issues surrounding the establishment of its Star Wars hyper-reality experience in two London retail spaces, and acting for Angle on an option agreement with Queen Mary University of London for an exclusive global licence for the use of its megakaryocyte IP. The team also acts on hard and soft IP litigation with experience in the European Patent Office and the European Union Intellectual Property Office. Victoria Bentley focuses on IP disputes with particular expertise in patent litigation and life sciences issues.

Womble Bond Dickinson (UK) LLP  has ‘some excellent individuals who are fantastic at solving any issue put in front of them’. Team head Patrick Cantrill splits his time between the firm’s Leeds, Newcastle and London offices and ‘is impressive with his old-school thoroughness and commercial acuity’ and ‘is a genius litigator who goes straight for the jugular and cuts through any excessive jargon’; he recently represented Jemella Group, the manufacturer of ghd hair straighteners, in multiple IP disputes including international trade mark infringement cases and anti-counterfeit issues. Cantrill also advised fancy dress costume supplier Smiffy’s on the management of its global trade mark and design portfolio, acted for Decathlon Group in several trade mark and copyright infringement disputes and handled multiple copyright infringement disputes for Immediate Media Company. Managing associate and chartered trade mark attorney Rachel Hearson is also a name to note.

3volution Limited ‘never ceases to please its clients’ with ‘a personal and bespoke service that combines an attentive approach, excellent market knowledge and a willingness to see how things can be done differently’. Department head Louise Handley is ‘a go-to person’ for non-contentious IP work including commercial IP and film agreements; she recently advised Zoo Digital, the creator of a voice actor software program, on the assignment of voice actor IP rights and cross-border IP issues, and filed multiple trade mark applications for Kings Security Systems. Sara Ludlam also receives praise for her ‘thorough and reliable approach’; she acted for a UK subsidiary of Macopharma in trade mark and patent infringement issues.

Irwin Mitchell’s department is led by Alex Newman, who specialises in contentious and advisory IP work. Other key individuals include transactional expert Joanne Bone, senior associate Emma Yates, who handles IP litigation and defamation issues; and associate Steve Murphy, who focuses on trade mark disputes. Recent highlights include defending RN Ventures in a claim alleging it had infringed on L’Oreal’s patent and registered designs, managing Natural Instinct’s trade mark portfolio and handling related trade mark infringement work, and assisting Gravity Fitness with its branding strategy and trade mark filings. SKA Organisation, Lhasa and Callcredit Information Group are also clients.

Lupton Fawcett’s group provides ‘a fantastic personal service and includes individuals who are always available and provide clear and pragmatic solutions’. Led by Clive Lawrence, who is ‘diligent, handles the details well and easily gets to the route of a problem and finds the most desired solution’, the practice includes litigator Simon Lockley, who ‘gives concise commercial advice’, and John Sykes, who is ‘enjoyable to work with’. The team recently acted for J & J Ormerod in a design infringement case, represented a Campaign for Fairer Gambling campaigner in a libel claim against the Association of British Bookmakers and its chief executive relating to a Channel 4 News debate, and acted for Smiles Powder in a trade mark infringement dispute and related passing off issues. Senior associate Ben Clay rejoined the firm from an in-house position.

Keith Benton leads the department at Rollits LLP, which is noted for its expertise in the food, manufacturing and charity sectors. In a recent highlight, Benton represented Seachill in opposition proceedings relating to an application for The Saucy Fish Company filed by a competitor. The group also assisted Hull City Tigers with the renewal of its agreement with the University of Hull for it to be the club’s official training partner, acted for the Ron Dearing University Technical College on its sponsorship agreement with its partners and handled trade mark registrations for an internationally renowned poker player. Fenner, Cranswick, The Deep and the Institute for Strategic Dialogue are also clients. other key figures include Andrew Digwood, who is the key name for IP disputes, and associate James Peel, who advises clients on agreements involving the creation, licensing and use of IP rights.

Squire Patton Boggs’ recent work includes defending Easylife Group in a trade mark infringement and passing off action, representing Rondol Technology in copyright infringement, design right infringement and breach of confidence litigation, and acting for Zipwall in a patent infringement dispute. Other clients include London Taxi, MOBA Mobile Automation, Magnomatics, Avantia and Lantor are also clients. Andrew Clay leads the team, which has a particular specialism acting in IP infringements and disputes including patent actions, breach of confidence issues or design right infringements.

Virtuoso Legal’s ‘truly excellent’ team is praised for its ‘responsive and commercial approach’, with practice head Elizabeth Ward singled out for her ‘consistently brilliant advice’. Other key individuals include Kirsten Toft, who is ‘technically exceptional and has a personal approach to client service’; she is recommended for non-contentious work. Recent mandates for the group include advising NOCN on the management of its trade mark portfolio including international trade mark filings and trade mark infringement matters, assisting Rader International with licensing issues, and acting for Moordale Foods on the management and protection of its key brands and handling international trade mark filings. VideraBio, Thebigword Group, New Era Property Solutions, the Institute of Export and Be The Best You are also clients.

Walker Morris LLP ‘adds good value in terms of strategic and commercial advice beyond simply the technical issues and handles matters in a quick and efficient way’. The department, which is particularly active in contentious work, is headed by James Crayton and includes senior associate Alan Harper and Heather Williams, who leads the trade mark team and is a registered trade mark attorney. The team counts Karro Foods and Dakota Stores as clients; Harper represented the latter in a brand infringement dispute. Other work includes acting for several football clubs including Leicester City FC and Everton FC in a trade mark infringement case brought by O2 Worldwide relating to its Priority rights and defending Burnley College in a copyright infringement claim brought by Vero Software relating to an alleged infringement of its software. Former practice head Rupert Bent joined Eversheds Sutherland (International) LLP.

Berwins ‘really takes the time to understand its clients’ needs, operations and expectations from both a legal and commercial perspective’ and ‘uses its insight and experience to reach the best possible outcome’. Paul Berwin is ‘prompt, effective and practical’ and leads the team, which focuses on trade mark applications and licensing matters, particularly on the contentious side. Clients include Gap Systems, TwentySix, Black Sheep Brewery and Anthony Hodges Consulting.

At Gordons LLP, Stephen McVey handles IP and media litigation including patent and trade mark infringement cases and domain name disputes. The practice also assists with celebrity endorsement issues, research and development agreements, brand exploitations, licensing work and franchise agreements. Clients include Young’s Seafood, Goldenfry, Pavers and Timothy Taylors. Andy Brian is also a name to note and is experienced in the retail, food and drink, manufacturing and logistics sectors. Ryan Gracey joined from Addleshaw Goddard.

Shulmans LLP is ‘an excellent firm with a strong and talented IP practice that is making its mark in the region’ and fields a team, which ‘is a delight to work with thanks to a friendly and pleasant manner and a clear dedication to its clients’. Department head Rob Lucas ‘provides timely, thoughtful and commercially relevant advice while remaining adaptable and responsive to the client’s needs and expectations’; he is particularly prominent in the audio, packaging, fragrance and retail sectors. Lucas recently advised Audio Technica on brand development and brand protection issues, assisted ACT Response with the launch of a new global brand strategy, and acted for Beaverfit on a licensing deal with an Italian gym equipment supplier.

James Phinn leads Gosschalks’ non-contentious IP practice while Phil Osborne focuses on contentious work with support from Will Buckenham. Phinn focuses on the engineering, food, service and IT sectors and regularly handles IP advisory work, contract issues and transactional mandates. Osborne’s expertise encompasses copyright and design infringement, brand enforcement issues and patent disputes. Key clients include Massarella Catering Group, BSN Medical, Air-Weigh Europe, Fluid Power Design and Scientific Laboratory Supplies.

LCF Law handles trade mark advice including licencing and portfolio management issues for a range of clients including owner-managed businesses, online retailers, biocide companies, franchises and businesses in the software and IT space. Clients include AGR Racking, XL Joinery, Hygiene Supplies Direct and Go Media. James Sarjantson leads the commercial and IP team which sits in the wider corporate department; his work encompasses contentious and non-contentious IP rights and IT contract advice. Susan Clark is also a name to note for transactional work.

Clients of McCormicks ‘are spoilt at all levels thanks to the truly excellent service that the firm provides’. Jon Healey, who joined from Walker Morris LLP in 2018, leads the department which is prominent in the sport and media sectors. In a recent highlight, the team advised the Premier League Charitable Fund on data protection issues, trade mark licences and a sponsorship agreement with Barclays Bank. Other work includes acting for Harrogate International Festivals on multiple sponsorship agreements with its lead sponsors Theakston and WHSmith, assisting the Premier League with operational and IP issues surrounding the company’s website including the Fantasy League facility, and handling trade mark registrations for Cleveland Process Designs. Leeds United FC, Rudding Park and Plantagenet Media are also clients.

At Mills & Reeve LLP, team head Mark Pearce joined the practice from Womble Bond Dickinson (UK) LLP in 2017 and has notable experience in the technology and education sectors. His recent work includes advising Tekmar Energy on a possible infringement of its patent by one of its competitors relating to a cable protection system; handling an international trade mark filing campaign for Nuchido; and assisting Meir Australia with its establishment in the UK and related European brand protection. Other clients include Centre for Process Innovation, the University of West London and Premia Solutions.

Dai Davis is the key contact at Percy Crow Davis & Co, which handles patents, trade marks, designs and copyright issues across IP acquisitions and sales, licensing work and IP litigation.

Recent mandates for Ward Hadaway’s group include assisting Eurocamp with its global trade mark portfolio including monitoring infringements and handling trade mark licensing issues, advising SAP on the protection of its IP rights relating to its software products and acting for Brainwave Drinks on the protection of its drinks brands internationally. Communisis, Hisense and Sage are also clients. Bill Goodwin leads the team and has notable expertise in trade mark and design work and assists clients in the manufacturing and technology sectors. Other key individuals include Gareth Yates, who advises on software licensing issues, development contracts and IT disputes; and Newcastle-based Alex Shiel, who is noted for his expertise acting on the IP issues associated with new technology.

IT and telecoms

Index of tables

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

Leading individuals

  1. 1

Next generation lawyers

  1. 1

Who Represents Who

Find out which law firms are representing which IT and telecoms clients in Yorkshire and the Humber 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


Addleshaw Goddard ‘gains the trust of its clients instantly’ thanks to ‘a professional and highly pragmatic team of experts in the field’ who have ‘an excellent ability to wade through negotiations and achieve the best possible outcome in the toughest of circumstances’. Team head Michael Lowry focuses on significant IT procurements, outsourcings, data centre and cloud issues, and software arrangements. Other key individuals include consultant Ian Sampson, who is ‘a pleasure to deal with’, litigator Bill Gilliam and Simon Lofthouse, who advises clients in the financial services, industrials, retail, health and digital sectors. Recent highlights include advising Blue Octopus Recruitment on its restructuring and updating its standard terms and conditions and defending Diageo in a software licensing case against SAP alleging unauthorised use of its software by Diageo’s customers and sales representatives. Other clients include Associated British Foods, Primark, SSE, Arriva and Microsoft. Ryan Gracey joined Gordons LLP.

Key names in DLA Piper UK LLP’s ‘technically brilliant’ practice include Mark Vipan, who heads the Leeds intellectual property and technology group; Roger Gough, who leads the Sheffield non-contentious team; Simon Kenyon, who is head of the technology disputes practice; and Sheffield-based litigation and regulatory head Richard Norman. In a recent highlight, Vipan advised Haven Power on a major IT transformation including drafting and negotiating supplier contracts; he also assisted Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust with software licensing agreements, the procurement of a service desk provision and handled its proposed IT services collaboration with Leeds City Council. Andrew Dyson is head of the cyber and data privacy practice while recently promoted partner Amanda Pilkington is the key name for outsourcing work; Dyson recently advised Aviva on its GDPR programme and Pilkington acted for the Department for Work and Pensions on the supply contracts for its IT, telephone and network service infrastructure. Senior associate James Watson is also a key contact.

Eversheds Sutherland (International) LLP is highly regarded in the region for its technology outsourcing, IT system procurement and software licensing dispute experience at a regional, national and international level. It recently advised Sellafield on its outsourcing of IT systems, acted for a retail bank on the renegotiation and consolidation of its contract catalogue and handled the renegotiation of a licensing suite for a global manufacturer. James Hyde leads the group’s TMT disputes practice and Nick Stubbs, who moved from the firm’s Manchester office in 2017, is the key name for non-contentious commercial work with particular expertise in the retail and financial services sectors. Further names to note include senior associate John Wilson, who focuses on technology transactions; senior associate James Ruane, who is recommended for his data protection expertise; and senior associate Ed Williams, who handles IT disputes. Other work includes Stubbs acting for a financial services institution on the replacement of its IT platform and advising Arco on the contractual arrangements for the implementation of a new commerce platform.

Walker Morris LLP’s team of ‘down-to-earth individuals and incredible communicators are exceptionally easy to engage with’ thanks to ‘an approachable and transparent approach combined with an outstanding work ethic’. James Crayton leads the group and regularly handles commercial contract work regarding IT and technology arrangements; his recent mandates include advising Marketing Lab on the development of its template contractual documentation and assisting Amscreen with the extension of its relationship with Clear Channel. Malcolm Simpson is the key name for IT disputes, Daniel O\'Gorman focuses on transactional work and Jeanette Burgess handles regulatory and compliance issues; Burgess recently acted for Age Partnership on its arrangement with Nationwide Building Society relating to the distribution of equity release products and partnered with Crayton to assist The Phoenix Partnership with the data protection issues surrounding its SystmOne clinical records system.

Matthew Hattersley and Dominic Higham jointly lead Clarion’s practice and specialise in non-contentious and contentious mandates respectively. In a recent highlight, Hattersley assisted Ligentia with its negotiations with John Lewis for the use of its Ligentix software platform. Other work includes Higham representing InterSystems in a Commercial Court claim regarding alleged delivery issues relating to the implementation of a patient records system in a Saudi Arabia-based hospital, David Cunningham advising Card Factory on the replacement of its electronic point of sale systems and Cunningham acting for InterSystems on its successful bid to provide an electronic patient records management system to three Liverpool NHS Trust hospitals. Other key individuals include senior associate Fiona Marr, who focuses on the drafting and negotiation of contracts, and associate Florence Maxwell.

DAC Beachcroft LLP is noted for its experience in the fintech and healthtech sectors acting for financial services clients, public sector bodies and technology companies. Recent highlights include assisting Transport for Greater Manchester with IT issues relating to its smart ticketing project, acting for Zurich Insurance on its contractual negotiations with TCP LifeSystems for the implementation of a new software system, and handling negotiations for AIG regarding access to a software-as-a-service (SaaS) solution. The Department of Health, Royal Mail Group, Cornerstone Communications and Bupa are also clients. Technology specialist Michael Peeters leads the group, which also fields Richard Watkinson, who handles technology outsourcing and system integration projects; legal director Emilie Yates and legal director Kay Chand, who joined from Womble Bond Dickinson (UK) LLP in 2018.

Keys areas of expertise for 3volution Limited include software licensing, e-commerce, data protection, IT litigation, implementation and development projects, domain name disputes and cloud computing. The ‘approachable and proactive’ Louise Handley leads the team, which also includes Sara Ludlam and associate Heather Simpson. Clients include CGF Marketing Services and SkinViva; Ludlam led advice to the latter on data protection issues and GDPR compliance. Other mandates include assisting Redline Assured Security with a software service agreement for the provision of a computer-based training system, handling multiple IT agreements for Control F1 and updating IT agreements for Receptive Software. SureCore, The Data Shed and Beverley Building Society are also clients.

Joanne Bone leads the department at Irwin Mitchell, which has considerable experience in data protection and privacy issues including GDPR compliance, IT contract work, master service arrangements, cloud-related solutions and IT litigation. In a recent highlight, Bone advised Lowell Group on data protection and GDPR compliance issues; she also assisted Lhasa with the drafting and negotiation of international licensing terms and acted for ResearchBods Online on the drafting of IT contracts for multiple online access panels and platforms. Alex Newman is the key name for contentious matters and senior associate Emma Yates is recommended for commercial IT litigation.

Pinsent Masons LLP’s ‘excellent’ department provides ‘an outstanding client service paired with broad knowledge and expertise that allows it to deliver its advice professionally and diligently’. The ‘highly experienced’ Andrew Masterson leads the contentious work while legal director Lisa Harley is the key name for non-contentious advice following Martin Priestley’s departure to Mills & Reeve LLP. Masterson handles IT disputes in the government and private sectors; his clients include Leeds Bradford Airport, Newcastle Building Society and Northgate Information Solutions. Harley advises on government outsourcing and IT projects with experience in the education sector; she recently assisted the University of Sussex with its procurement of a new student administration and records system. James McBurney regularly handles technology disputes and associate Laura Wilson is experienced in strategic projects and IT outsourcing mandates.

Shulmans LLP ‘stands out for its ability to provide clients with appropriate and realistic advice that is both knowledgeable and clear’. Mark Lumley leads the IT practice and is ‘trusted implicitly by clients for his positive and calm manner that is truly unflappable and brings an almost therapeutic quality to his advice’; he is supported by commercial contract and technology specialist Emma Roe. Michael Watson is head of the telecoms team; he ‘never lets clients down and provides comprehensive advice and assistance no matter the issues’. In a recent highlight, the group advised Brookfield on the removal of five telecoms operators from a building rooftop for a redevelopment. Commercial Estates Group, Saint Gobain, Apeiron Capital and the University of Northampton are also clients. Associate Luke Maidens is also a name to note for telecoms work.

At Ward Hadaway, practice head Gareth Yates ‘gives very commercially aware advice with an excellent grasp of the clients and the fields in which they operate’; his expertise encompasses software licensing and development contracts, service agreements, IT disputes and channel sales strategies. Other noteworthy individuals include Bill Goodwin, who advises customers and suppliers on the development, licensing and implementation of IT systems; education tech specialist Frank Suttie and associate Nathan Bilton. Clients include Animalcare, Communisis, For Fusion, Hisense and Technology Services Group.

Berwins ‘provides an excellent and comprehensive service that utilises its insight and experience and responds in an effective and proactive manner’. The group specialises in advising software companies and digital marketing agencies; Trimble UK and Anthony Hodges Consulting are examples. Paul Berwin leads the department and ‘provides prompt and practical guidance to clients thanks to his depth of knowledge and ability to make proactive suggestions that hit all the points clients require’; he specialises in digital law. Clients also praise recently promoted director Mike Patterson, who is ‘highly experienced in commercial agreements’ and ‘excellent’ litigation-focused senior associate Andrew Mawdsley.

The ‘high-quality, quick and efficient service’ provided by McCormicks is led by Jon Healey, who joined from Walker Morris LLP in 2018, and includes the ‘always fabulously reassuring’ Peter McCormick. Clients are primarily based in the sport, media and entertainment sectors with examples including the Premier League, Leeds United FC and Plantagenet Media. The team has IT retainers with Welcome to Harrogate and the Premier League Charitable Fund; it also advised Cleveland Process Designs on the licensing of multiple software programs, assisted P4 Software with its acquisition of rights in bespoke shipping and logistics software and represented Gareth Harris Limited in a dispute relating to a partnership agreement, website URL ownership and database rights. Lewis Goodwin joined Blacks Solicitors LLP.

Percy Crow Davis & Co advises buyers and sellers of IT systems at a regional and national level. On the buyer side, the firm handles IT system procurements, hardware and software acquisitions, cloud computing purchases and IT outsourcing solutions. In its work for sellers, the team acts for specialised IT software providers, web designers and software developers. Dai Davis is the key contact.

Keith Benton leads the department at Rollits LLP, which is experienced in the charity and education sectors advising clients on substantial IT projects. Recent highlights include advising on cloud computing contracts, assisting with software licensing issues and representing clients in IT litigation. Thinprint, Cranswick, Family Fund Trust and Fenner are example clients. Benton’s expertise encompasses agency, distribution, supply and contract manufacture arrangements regularly with an international element. Associate James Peel handles IT agreements, website terms and conditions, privacy policies and regulatory work.

Schofield Sweeney is highly regarded for its IT contract expertise including software development work, hosted service arrangements, support contracts and IT system purchasing and outsourcing. Luisa D\'Alessandro leads the team, which also includes IT-focused associate Karen Crutchley. The group’s recent work includes advising Instem on the overhaul of its standard form agreements in preparation for GDPR, assisting Shearings Leisure Group with its arrangements with two IT providers and acting for Optima Energy Systems on its contractual arrangements, software licenses and hosted service arrangements. Search Laboratory, High Seat, JBA Consulting and Circle Leasing are also clients.

Clients praise Shoosmiths LLP’s ‘excellent, highly responsive and understanding team’ led by Alex Kirkhope, who ‘quickly develops an extremely positive working relationship with his clients with a personable approach that adds a pragmatic and human dimension to what can otherwise by dry legal work’. Kirkhope joined from DLA Piper UK LLP in 2017 and regularly handles IT and technology-focused procurements in the financial services, healthcare, retail and automotive sectors. His recent work includes advising OneSavings Bank on its procurement of an online portfolio management lending software platform, producing IT service contracts and reviewing commercial technology contracts for Honda Motor Europe, and assisting Twenty7Tec Group with its mortgage brokering platform including agreements with lenders, brokers and other intermediaries. JP Buckley is recommended for data protection and privacy work; he also joined from DLA Piper UK LLP in 2017.

Wake Smith Solicitors Limited’s department is led by director John Baddeley, whose experience encompasses IP licensing work, IT contracts and commercial agreements. Baddeley also regularly assists e-commerce and IT solution providers; his recent work includes assisting Gala Technology with the licensing of its new payment system and acting for Embody Orthopaedic on the licensing of its hip plant technology agreements. Key sectors for the team include the manufacturing, games development, digital media, health and telecoms sectors.


Index of tables

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

Leading individuals

  1. 1

Next generation lawyers

  1. 1

Who Represents Who

Find out which law firms are representing which Sport clients in Yorkshire and the Humber 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


McCormicks ‘sits at the top of the list for a reason’ thanks to the ‘unparalleled experience’ of Peter McCormick ; ‘the god of sports law’ according to clients, McCormick is ‘totally unflappable and commercially astute’ with ‘a wealth of knowledge and experience in the football world that simply can’t be matched’. The Premier League is a key client for the team; recent work includes advising it on the approvals process in applying the Owners’ and Directors’ Test when a club takeover or acquisition occurs, defending it in litigation against Doyen Sports relating to allegations that the league’s banning of the third party ownership of players is anti-competitive, and assisting it with West Ham United’s move to the London Stadium. The department also assisted Leeds United FC with contractual arrangements with its manager and coaching team, acted for the Premier League Charitable Fund on multiple sponsorship contracts, and handled governance issues, sponsorship work and commercial transactions for the Isthmian Football League. The firm also acts for The Ryman League, McLaren Formula One, Yorkshire County Cricket Club, Leeds Rhinos RLFC and a number of shoot proprietors. other key figures include Philip Edmondson, who is the key name for litigation, and corporate specialist Jon Healey, who joined from Walker Morris LLP in 2018.

‘A leading firm in Yorkshire for sport law’, Walker Morris LLP provides ‘a superior service with high-grade individuals who have a strong reputation in the market’. Clients single out team head David Hinchliffe as ‘a standout lawyer who is incredibly streetwise and knows how to put a deal together and deliver a completion’. The ‘knowledgeable, approachable and pragmatic’ Hinchliffe focuses on football work and advises various clubs and investors; he recently advised NF Football Investments on its purchase of Nottingham Forest Football Club, acted for Renhe Sports Management on its purchase of a 75% stake in The Reading Football Club and assisted Nigel Travis and Eagle Investments 2017 with its purchase of a majority stake in Leyton Orient Football Club. The team also handled sponsorship and fight agreements for Amir Khan relating to his career comeback in 2018. Director Alistair McHenry and senior associate Liz Coley are rated as ‘a pair of first-rate litigators’. Also recommended are senior associate Katie Reed (‘an outstanding young lawyer’) and 'excellent' associate Geoff Cunningham, who is ‘attentive to clients' needs’.

Recent highlights for Clarion's David Cunningham included advising Yorkshire County Cricket Club on a sponsorship agreement with Emerald Group for the naming rights to Headingley Stadium. The cross-department team also includes senior corporate partner Richard Moran, whose expertise encompasses the purchase, sale and funding of football and rugby clubs, stadium acquisitions and brand issues; insolvency specialist Ryan Millmore; litigators Simon Young and Dominic Higham; and commercial lawyer Matthew Hattersley.

Blacks Solicitors LLP is ‘truly committed to the sector’ and is a key name in the region for assisting sportsmen and women with contract reviews, immigration issues and disciplinary matters. Other clients include sports clubs, sports associations, sports manufacturers and retailers. Managing partner Chris Allen leads the group, which includes David Paterson and solicitor James Farad. Andrew Boyde joined Consilia Legal in 2017.

HLW Keeble Hawson's cross-departmental team primarily acts for sports clubs and counts Chesterfield FC and Doncaster Knights RUFC as key clients. Giles Searby leads the group and regularly handles issues in the football and rugby sectors. Other key individuals include Barry Warne, who provides employment and contract advice to professional footballers; and associate Andrew Broadbent, who focuses on contentious work. Recent highlights include advising Sheffield Sports Stadium on its trainer retention agreements for its greyhound trainers. Mallorca Bike Hire is also a client.

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