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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 > Yorkshire and the Humber > TMT (technology, media and telecoms) > Law firm and leading lawyer rankings



IT and telecoms

Index of tables

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

Leading individuals

  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


Michael Lowry heads Addleshaw Goddard’s Leeds commercial IT team and specialises in large-scale IT procurement, outsourcings and software-as-a-service (SaaS) arrangements, acting for major corporates such as, Morrisons and Arriva. For one client, he is ‘by far and away the best IT lawyer across the UK’. Lowry is assisted by commercial litigation partner Bill Gilliam on the contentious side, who is ‘straight talking’ and has acted for Diageo plc defending a claim by SAP (UK) Limited for alleged breach of contract and potential copyright infringement concerning additional software licensing fees amounting to around £55m. Recently promoted Simon Lofthouse acts for a number of private sector clients, such as Celesio, Bupa, Carphone Warehouse and 2sisters group, on major IT and IT-enabled projects. For Carphone Warehouse Limited, the team has been advising on its arrangements to implement a new consumer product with finance provider ThinkSmart, which allows customers to lease mobile phones rather than purchase them outright. Associate Ryan Gracey joined from 3volution Limited.

The Leeds intellectual property and technology practice at DLA Piper UK LLP is ‘highly skilled and technically able’ and is consistently ‘adaptable to the demands placed on it’. Practice head Mark Vipan leads on major public sector IT projects, most recently advising iDirect UK Limited on its proposal to the European Space Agency for participation in its ARTES 3-4 programme. Simon Kenyon is recommended for litigation and has been advising NHS Digital on the exit of the Department of Health from its national contract with BT for voice and data services across England to be replaced with a number of contracts for a Health and Social Care Network. Roger Gough leads the team in Sheffield, which focuses on the non-contentious side, providing advice on IT contracts to technology suppliers as well as customers of technology providers in the manufacturing, retail and student accommodation services. Sheffield litigation partner Richard Norman manages technology clients such as Telefonica O2, Verizon and Tata Communications and is an ‘absolute pleasure to work with’.

James Crayton has taken over as head of the IT and commercial department at Walker Morris LLP following Michael Stevens’ retirement. The practice advises on a range of commercial contracts relating to IT and technology arrangements and has clients in both the public and private sector. The ‘knowledgeable, time-efficient and pragmatic’ Crayton has been leading advice to Dart Group plc (Jet2) in the procurement of a technology infrastructure platform and to Amscreen Group Limited in several transactions relating to its digital advertising screens, including a partnering agreement, and a development and supply agreement with Clear Channel. Senior associate David Laville regularly advises on IT and technology related matters and supports Crayton on key matters for the practice.

The IT department at Clarion is headed by Matthew Hattersley, who advises on all manner of IT and telecoms arrangements, including outsourcing and service and software agreements. The team has particular strength in non-contentious matters, but is able to lean on its disputes lawyers to assist with contentious matters; Dominic Higham, a partner in the commercial disputes team, has a particular strength in IT and outsourcing matters. Recent highlights for the team include advising Card Factory on the legal and wider commercial aspects of replacing its payment systems, and assisting InterSystems with its bid to supply a community health software solution to the NHS in Scotland. The team also has an exclusive UK retainer with Asics and covers IT contracts ranging from software procurement and managed services to advice in relation to digital retail operations.

Leeds-based Michael Peeters heads the northern technology team at DAC Beachcroft LLP and works with a range of suppliers and users of IT. The team has been advising the Department of Health during a competitive public procurement procedure to acquire new management software that will include finance, peer-to-peer, HR and payroll functions, and has been supporting Cornerstone Telecommunication Infrastructure Limited with a bid to the City of London Corporation to upgrade and make available telecoms infrastructure in public spaces, including enhanced mobile cellular infrastructure and WiFi. Emilie Yates was promoted to legal director and has been leading the advice to Bupa on an IT outsourcing matter involving appointing KCOM to replace BT for its call centre telephony and call recording telecoms services. Richard Watkinson was promoted to the partnership in May 2016 and specialises in technology-related outsourcing and system integration projects.

Eversheds Sutherland (International) LLP’s northern technology practice provides an integrated procurement, dispute resolution and data service approach, with James Hyde heading up the contentious side of the practice. Recent highlights include advising Vodafone on contracts to acquire rights to use technology for a new ‘smart’ service and mobile WAN services, and in connection with a new suite of customer contracts to enable the delivery of these services to corporate customers. Jones has also been advising Maplin on a number of strategic IT projects, most notably a new payment services contract with Worldpay to process all card payments for the client. On the contentious side, Hyde has been defending Peninsula Community Health in its dispute with BT Cornwall relating to alleged material breaches of a £260m ICT shared services agreement; this resulted in the judgment that Peninsula and other public sector parties were entitled to terminate the agreement with BT. Simon Jones joined Squire Patton Boggs.

Martin Priestley and Andrew Masterson head up the non-contentious and contentious sides of Pinsent Masons LLP’s Leeds TMT practice respectively. Priestley specialises in major sourcing projects, particularly for government clients and universities, whilst Masterson handles a wide range of high-value government and private sector IT disputes. On the non-contentious side, the team has been advising the University of Sussex on its transformation project for the procurement of a new student administration and records system and associated integration services in a matter worth up to £6m. Legal director Lisa Harley has also been advising JD Wetherspoon on the development of a master IT services agreement for use with third-party resellers of software and hardware. On the contentious side, the team has been acting for an IT and outsourcing solutions company in relation to the failure of its customer to meet a year one revenue target under a service agreement.

Louise Handley heads the TMT department at 3volution Limited in Leeds, which assists a wide range of clients with various IT matters, including implementation and development of projects, e-commerce, social media and software licensing. Recent highlights include advising Bloom Media - alongside the firm’s corporate department - on licence agreements and ongoing IT services agreements between joint venture partners. The team was also involved in the sale of Conexus Limited, an IT-based business, to PFSweb, reviewing the IT contracts and assisting with due diligence. The IT team also sits on the Morrisons plc legal panel for IT. Sara Ludlam works with a range of clients, advising on software contracts and compliance with data protection law.

The IT team at Irwin Mitchell is ‘very commercial with excellent industry knowledge’ and is led by Joanne Bone in Leeds. Bone specialises in IT contract advice and acts on complex outsourcing arrangements, master service agreements and cloud arrangements, as well as sets up suites of standard contractual documents. Recent highlights include advising key client Interchange and Consort Hotels Limited on IT agreements, including booking terms, licence terms and a website agreement, and advising Lhasa Limited on standard documentation and the drafting and negotiation of complex international licensing terms with pharmaceutical companies.

Head of Ward Hadaway’s IT team Gareth Yates is highly experienced in the IT sector and provides advice on matters including software licensing and development contracts, services agreements, disputes and channel sales strategies in both the private and public sector. Yates has been leading litigation regarding multimillion-pound disputes over expired software licenses, while Bill Goodwin, another key figure in the Leeds team, has been advising clients with software licensing negotiations and customer agreements.

Name partner Paul Berwin heads the commercial and digital division of Berwins in Harrogate and has a knowledge of IT law which ‘stands out head and shoulders above other legal firms in the IT sector’. Berwin and James Talbot advise corporate clients on their IT and telecoms issues, as well as technology providers with integration agreements and licence documentation. The team continues to act for the UK buildings division of Trimble in its technology contracts and for Gap Systems in contract negotiations for its product, a market-leading workflow system for the packaging industry.

Recently promoted Lewis Goodwin heads the department at McCormicks in Harrogate and acts for a broad range of clients, including SMEs, private investors, high-net-worth individuals, corporates, charities and sports sector clients in connection with technology matters. The firm has been retained by Welcome to Harrogate Limited to advise on all IT matters, and most recently has been advising on an e-tourism platform. It has also been advising various clients on licensing rights, software development and partnership agreements and, for key client the Premier League, it has been advising on IT usage policy and data protection.

Specialist IT lawyer Dai Davis heads the IT practice at boutique Leeds firm Percy Crow Davis & Co, which focuses on IT, IP and product safety. The ‘very responsive’ Davis acts for technology suppliers, which are mainly owner-managed businesses, as well as buyers and is recommended for his ‘business acumen, technical knowledge and mathematical skills’. He also advises on data protection and Freedom of Information on behalf of further and higher educational institutions, shopping centres, local authorities and limited companies. On the technology side, he works with numerous clients in relation to cutting-edge technologies and IT solutions, as well as cloud computing and social networking, and is experienced advising on safety-critical IT systems and European technology regulations.

Keith Benton heads the IT department at Rollits LLP in Hull, which has a particular focus on advising charities, colleges and other education providers that undertake significant IT projects. Recent highlights include advising Ideal Standard in relation to an agreement with Logicom Computer Services (UK) to use Logicom’s virtual reality software. Benton has also been advising an educational fund trust on a project to move its grant-making software to a cloud-based provider, and assisting a retailer with advice on e-commerce and data protection in respect of its website.

At Shulmans LLP, Mark Lumley leads on IT matters, while the telecoms side is headed by Michael Watson, who has ‘seen it all, litigated it all and is completely unflappable – a real class act’. Recent highlights for the team - which is noted for its ‘fast, knowledgeable turnaround’ - include acting for Redfern Travel Limited in its sale process, which included assisting with complex contracts for IT services and joint ventures for its technology platform. The team also has considerable expertise in assisting with the removal and review of telecoms apparatus across clients’ portfolios and has the ‘leading landowner representatives in telecoms disputes’. Luke Maidens, ‘a real rising star’, and Richard Robinson are also highly recommended.

Director John Baddeley heads the department at Wake Smith Solicitors Limited and is experienced advising manufacturing, games development, digital media, health and telecom sector clients on IT agreements and e-commerce solution contracts. Recent highlights include acting on behalf of Gala Technology in connection with its licensing of a new payment system. Baddeley has also been instructed by an online clothing retailer in connection with potential passing off issues with branding and identity.

The commercial and IT practice at Schofield Sweeney is headed by Luisa D’Alessandro, who spends time in both the Leeds and Bradford offices. The team predominantly handles non-contentious work and has been providing support to coach tour operator Shearings in connection with a number of IT contracts, including reviewing and negotiating terms with a replacement software supplier. It has also been advising a higher education client on its contractual position with an IT software and services provider. Assistant solicitor Rosa Waters-Brown joined the team in 2016 from Addleshaw Goddard.

Paul Jinks heads up the Leeds intellectual property and technology team at Squire Patton Boggs and was promoted to director at the start of 2017. The team advises major corporate IT users on day-to-day IT matters, as well as offering data protection expertise. Recent work includes assisting clients with software agreements, data protection and privacy law compliance, ad-hoc contract and compliance queries, and the drafting and negotiation of IT deals. Clients for the team include credit union Retail Cure, SME Liquid Voice, EDF, CTI Travel and financial comparison service Eclipse Financial.

Intellectual property

Index of tables

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

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


Bond Dickinson LLP is ‘one of the top firms in IP in the UK’, according to one client. Patrick Cantrill leads the overall IP team, with Rachel Hearson heading up the integrated trade mark and design unit. The team is recommended for ‘always understanding the commercial as well as the legal drivers’, and has a range of national and international clients. It is particularly strong on the litigation side, and Cantrill has recently been representing Jemella Group, the manufacturer of ghd hair straighteners, in a parallel imports claim in the High Court against a Chinese manufacturer and retailer to prevent it infringing the client’s rights. Other representative clients include Princess Yachts International, Middlesborough Football Club, Belmond Group, Immediate Media, Deckers/UGG Boots (USA) and Decathlon SA (France), as well as a well-known supermarket chain and a large drinks brand.

DLA Piper UK LLP’s Leeds office saw the arrival of Leigh Martin from Clarion, who takes over team leadership duties from Chris Tulley. Richard Taylor, who ‘advises with real authority and gravitas’, heads up the Sheffield group, which operates alongside the Leeds office as part of a wider team. Managing trade mark portfolios is one strength of the practice, with Heineken a key client in this regard. The team also provides corporate support work and acts for clients involved in disputes. Contentious highlights included High Court litigation in the UK for a toy company regarding registered designs and trade marks. The team also represents clients in multi-jurisdictional litigation, as well as assisting with Europe-wide anti-counterfeiting seizures and actions. Rebecca Piper was promoted to legal director in the Leeds team in 2016. Clients include household names such as Nike, Avon Cosmetics and Portakabin.

Name partner James Love heads the boutique firm James Love Legal, which is recommended for its ‘technically and strategically sound’ IP expertise. Love is assisted by registered trade mark attorney Lindsey Wrenn, who is ‘responsive and offers rational and sound advice’, and senior consultant Isabel Davies on trade mark filings and assignment projects as well as various contentious matters. Recent highlights for the team include advising Alexander Duckham & Co on the purchase of the Duckhams oil company and associated brands from BP, and advising pottery group Denby Brands on its multinational trade mark portfolio, including Denby, Burleigh, Burgess & Leigh, and Middleport.

Kempner & Partners LLP is a specialist IP firm in Leeds, headed by founding partner Richard Kempner. The team advises the likes of Costcutter, Farrow & Ball, JD Sports, various restaurant groups, the Manor Formula One team and the Civil Aviation Authority. The practice is also instructed by foreign law firms on behalf of their clients when UK legal advice is needed relating to IP. The team is the main provider for all of Asda’s pre-launch new product clearance and contentious IP work; a recent highlight was defending the client in a claim in the Patents Court brought by Marks & Spencer for patent infringement and unregistered design rights relating to children’s clothing. The team also acted for regarding the recovery of five domain names acquired by a developer setting up a rival travel service, as well as in related trade mark infringement and passing off proceedings.

The IP department at 3volution Limited handles various IP work for clients, including licensing deals, trademarking, and litigation arising from patents, design, copyright and trade marks. The team, which is led by Louise Handley, is particularly well known for advising clients in the baby product industry and was recently appointed by the national Baby Products Association to advise on a range of IP matters. It also advises the universities of Leeds, Bradford and Huddersfield, high-profile brands such as Hurlingham Polo and film production companies. Recent highlights include advising a Canadian company, which recently acquired a prestigious brand of guitar amplifiers, on brand protection, and assisting Leisurewear International Limited with its numerous trade marks, including its ‘RESPECT’ mark.

Recently promoted Georgina Powling heads up the Leeds IP offering at Addleshaw Goddard, which is described as ‘good if not big’ by one client. Powling is ‘efficient, commercial, very astute and bright’ and acts for major blue-chip and FTSE-listed companies such as Saga, for which she has been advising on a range of IP issues, including software license terms and trade mark portfolios. The team is recommended for its ‘good turnaround times and excellent availability’ and has recently been assisting Travelodge plc in relation to its image rights library and database by drafting agreements for contributors and users. Other active clients include SSE Contracting Limited, Diageo plc and British American Tobacco Sweden Holding AB. Associate Ryan Gracey joined from 3volution Limited.

Esther Kirwan now heads the IP team at Clarion, following the departure of Leigh Martin to DLA Piper UK LLP. Kirwan and Sue Streatfield bring their expertise in litigation to the IP practice, an example being their work for Hard Rock to try and prevent the dissemination of counterfeit products, including working with UK Border Force and Trading Standards in actions against parties dealing in counterfeit goods. Streatfield was also appointed to Clingen Group plc’s legal panel in 2016 to advise on various aspects of IP protection, enforcement and commercialisation. The team is also strong on the branding side and manages client’s trade mark portfolios.

The specialist practice at HGF Law focuses on contentious and transactional IP matters, and is particularly strong in IP litigation in the healthcare and retail sectors. Representative healthcare clients include Glenmark Pharmaceuticals Europe and Accord Healthcare. Recent highlights include acting for Warwick University in defending a patent entitlement action at the UK IPO brought by a former employee, and acting for Logitech in an action for a declaration of non-infringement and a claim for groundless threats brought by Tech21 in relation to the design of electronic device cases. In the retail sector, it has been devising a strategy for Rocket Games, creator of the Pie Face Game, for dealing with counterfeit products, including direct action.

Pinsent Masons LLP’s IP team is led by Louise Fullwood in Leeds, and draws upon its national network of IP specialists to advise clients across the country. One area of expertise is advising corporates and public sector bodies on the IP aspects of major projects. In an example of cross-border work, Fullwood has also been leading advice to the European Organisation for Nuclear Research (CERN) on the structuring of a tender for the establishment of a hybrid cloud platform, which involved drafting documents reflecting differences in IP laws, and has also been assisting the Department for Work and Pensions with licensing for the use of copyrighted material relating to a programme created by an American academic. She has also been advising House of Fraser on the acquisition of the ISSA fashion brand in connection with international trade marks, design and fabric archives as well as design licenses from designers. Victoria Bentley leads on contentious IP matters and has been assisting Fullwood in the renegotiation of a patent licence during preparations for the sale of Aflex Hose to Watson-Marlow Fluid Technology Group.

Keith Benton heads the commercial IP team at Hull-based Rollits LLP and is ‘able to listen to potentially complex issues around branding and IP while delivering uncomplicated counsel’. Benton advises on the non-contentious side, including contract preparation. The team also includes Andrew Digwood, who litigates any contentious IP matter, and associate James Peel. Peel has been advising football club Hull City Tigers on its sport sponsorship agreement with Sport Pesa, and on an agreement with the University of Hull to be the Club’s official training partner. Representative clients also include food manufacturers such as Icelandic Group UK (The Saucy Fish Co) and AAK (UK). It also advises Proton Cars in Malaysia on all of its design and trade mark work. The team is able to file trade marks in-house and advises on all aspects of brands, trade marks and patents, including portfolio management.

Consultant Andrew Clay, who was recently appointed by the Lord Chancellor as one of the two Deputy Chairmen of the Copyright Tribunal, heads the ‘fully competent and pragmatic’ IP practice at Squire Patton Boggs. A highlight for the team has been assisting Scuff Gaming in multiple litigation cases across Europe regarding trade mark infringement of its gaming controllers, which are used by more than 95% of elite gamers. Another highlight has been its representation of MOBA Mobile Automation in an ongoing patent infringement claim against Snorkel Products relating to overload sensors.

The ‘fantastic’ IP practice at Virtuoso Legal specialises in the protection, enforcement, management and commercialisation of IP and gives ‘concise, practical and commercially orientated advice’. Recent highlights include acting for Argos in the High Court in a landmark decision regarding online trade mark infringement in relation to banners and Google advertisements. The team is also on the panel for all general matters for General Electric, and for the Royal Free Hospital is handling IP commercialisation strategy and negotiating with Google Deep Mind over the licensing of patient data. Elizabeth Ward leads the team, which also includes vice principal Kirsten Toft, who is ‘always happy to muck in with the real work’, and very sound litigator’ Philip Partington.

Walker Morris LLP expanded its trade mark and designs offering with the additions of senior associate Jennifer Good and associate Beverley Robinson, both of whom are registered trade mark attorneys. Rupert Bent, who is ‘friendly and approachable whilst being professional and knowledgeable’, heads the IP department in Leeds, with senior associate Heather Williams heading the new trade marks practice. The team advises clients such as Crystal Palace FC, Leeds Building Society, Harry Ramsden’s and Deckers Europe Limited on all IP-related matters. For Deckers, the team assists with the protection of its IP rights, particularly regarding its UGG brand, which it has been defending in disputes with Groupon and BHS Limited respectively concerning infringement. Bent has also been representing Landis+Gyr in patent litigation brought against British Gas and others over smart energy meters.

The ‘consistently excellent’ IP team at Berwins focuses on trade mark applications and licensing, particularly on the contentious side, and is led by head of commercial and digital Paul Berwin, who is ‘friendly and approachable’. The Harrogate team advises commercial clients on various IP and licensing matters, and has recently been assisting Trimble UK with contract negotiations to protect IP software rights, and with the renewal of trade marks relating to portfolio companies in the UK and US. Associate solicitor James Talbot also advises on IP and data protection issues.

Stephen McVey leads the team at Gordons LLP, which advises the firm’s retail clients on intellectual property matters. McVey is an ‘excellent litigator who takes a commercial view when advising the client’, and along with Catherine Woodward focuses on the contentious side; Andy Brian advises on the non-contentious. A recent highlight for the practice has been assisting Victorian Plumbing regarding a trade mark infringement action brought against it by Victoria Plum. Other representative clients include Bull Brand, Nisa Retail and Goldenfry Foods.

Alex Newman heads the IP practice at Irwin Mitchell in Leeds, as well as heading the anti-counterfeiting and piracy group. Representative work for the team included defending R N Ventures in patent and registered design right infringement proceedings issued in the High Court by L’Oreal relating to the client’s Magnitone face brush range. It has also been advising SKA Organisation in relation to the IP strategy of its radio telescope project. The practice overlaps with the IT team, headed by Joanne Bone, and is advising independent games company Team17 on its international branding strategy.

The ‘competent all-rounder’ IP team at Lupton Fawcett LLP is now headed by Clive Lawrence, following John Sykes’ decision to transition into a consultancy role. Commercial litigator Lawrence leads on contentious matters alongside dispute resolution director Simon Lockley, with a recent highlight being the representation of J & J Ormerod in a design right case against a rival selling a similar product. Sykes has been representing clients in trade mark disputes and opposition cases, and has been giving advice on patenting and ‘freedom to use’ new technology. The team also manages clients’ brand and design portfolios.

Percy Crow Davis & Co’s practice is led by founding partner Dai Davis, who has been an IP specialist for more than three decades. The firm’s client base includes universities and charities, as well as companies and individuals, as licensors and licensees of IP. The practice specialises in non-contentious IP projects and advisory work. Recent highlights for Davis, who has ‘in-depth knowledge of IP contracts and technology’, include advising Park Signalling on a major IP licensing project, and advising Bournemouth University on data protection and Freedom of Information matters.

Andrew Jackson Solicitors LLP’s commercial and IP department advises clients on areas such as registration and protection of trade marks, design rights, copyright, patents, domain names, branding, brand strategy and IP infringement. The Hull-based firm has a number of plc clients that it assists with IP and data protection issues. Marie Kell heads the team.

The cross-departmental team at Gosschalks is headed by James Phinn on the non-contentious side, and Phil Osborne in contentious matters. Osborne has been advising clients in various disputes, including Air-Weight Europe in an action brought by VPG Systems UK in the Intellectual Property and Enterprise Court concerning its alleged infringement of VPG’s patent. Phinn heads up the firm’s project team and has been using his expertise in commercial and IP agreements to assist clients with licensing as well as production and supply agreements. Key clients include Massarella Catering Group, Kingstown Works, Modular Space Ltd and Heat Recovery Solutions.

James Sarjantson heads up LCF Law’s commercial and IP unit in Leeds, which sits within the wider corporate department. The firm provides portfolio management services and has been advising clients on a range of trade mark and patenting matters, including licensing agreements, patent infringement and design right infringement. Clients for the firm include AGR Racking, XL Joinery and Hygiene Supplies Direct.

The IP team at McCormicks advises its sports clients, including The Premier League and The Premier League Charitable Fund, on data protection issues and the licensing of trade marks and other IP rights. The team has also been advising Harrogate International Festivals on the preparation and negotiation of sponsorship agreements with WHSmith and Waterstones for writing festivals, and has been assisting Cleveland Process Designs with software development agreements and licenses to be entered into with Jupiter Insurance as well as the registration of trade marks for brand protection. Recently promoted Lewis Goodwin heads the team in Harrogate.

At Shulmans LLP, the intellectual property practice is led by Rob Lucas, with support from Emma Roe, who heads the commercial IP sub-division following her arrival from DWF in 2016. The team is particularly active advising clients in the chemicals, packaging and electronics sectors, as well as clients that supply specific products to larger brands. The team has been advising clients on brand protection and exploitation, licensing and trade mark infringement. On the contentious side, a highlight for the team was acting for Transdek UK in a claim for unregistered design right infringement in relation to the design of lorry trailers replicated by four rival companies. The team expanded with the addition of new associate Helen Goldthorpe, who advises on the data side of intellectual property in the technology sector.

John Baddeley heads the IP department at Wake Smith Solicitors Limited and has expertise in licensing, contracts and commercial agreements. Sheffield-based Baddeley acts for a range of national and regional e-commerce and IT solution providers. Recent highlights include acting for Gala Technology regarding its licensing of a new payment system, and assisting an online retailer with potential passing off issues in connection with branding and identity. The team has also been advising The Neurology Academy, a medical course trainer, with copyright issues and trade mark registrations.


Index of tables

  1. Sport
  2. Hall of Fame
  3. Leading individuals
  4. Next generation lawyers

Hall of Fame

  1. 1

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


Godfather of sports law’ Peter McCormick heads the sports department at Harrogate firm McCormicks and is ‘vastly experienced, savvy and has the ear of The Premier League’. Recent highlights for his key client include advice in relation to the continuing financial difficulties of Portsmouth FC, representing the League in the landmark challenge to the football creditor rules brought against it by HMRC, which ultimately led to a claim dismissal and costs award, and advising and drafting broadcasting and media access rules following the broadcast deal that came into effect in August 2016. Other football clients include the Premier League Charitable Fund and Leeds United FC. The firm also acts for shoot proprietors and assist members of the public and shoots with applications for shotgun and firearms certifications, including appeals. Both Lewis Goodwin and Philip Edmondson were promoted to the partnership in August 2016.

The sports department at Walker Morris LLP is particularly strong regarding football and has been involved in a number of club takeovers in recent times. As an example, the team advised Eleonora Sport Limited on the purchase of shareholdings in Leeds United FC and assisted Inner Circle Investments with the purchase of Bolton Wanderers FC. Finance expert David Hinchliffe leads the team and is ‘well connected’, ‘shrewd and a problem-solver’. A contentious highlight for the team was advising Crystal Palace Football Club in its dispute with former manager Tony Pulis for leaving at the start of the 2014-15 season, in which a Premier League Tribunal decision to award the Club damages of £3.77m plus costs was upheld on appeal. The team has also been advising a Premier League club on a large kit supply dispute. Senior associate Katie Reed and associate Geoff Cunningham also come recommended.

Chris Allen leads the sports team at Blacks Solicitors LLP in Leeds and is a ‘consummate professional and a concise lawyer with a fine eye for detail’. The team provides full legal services to sports clients in matters ranging from civil and commercial cases and disciplinary matters to ancillary relief and immigration. It represents individual sportspeople as well as clubs, academies and other corporations with involvement in the sector. Assistant solicitor Andrew Boyde is highly recommended as a ‘go-to’ for clients across the sports sector, but as a former professional rugby union player has ‘insight to the game that gives him an edge over competitors’. Recent highlights for the team include negotiating the exit of a manager from a football club, negotiating broadcast, filming and production agreements, advising on settlement agreements and reviewing representation agreements.

The cross-department team at Clarion is led by Richard Moran, who has considerable experience advising on the purchase, sale and funding of football and rugby clubs, stadium acquisitions, commercial agreements and sponsorships. A highlight for the practice in 2016 was successfully defending Silverstone Circuits against a later abandoned claim for alleged breach of contract relating to the provision of catering services at the racing circuit, which threatened the client’s ability to continue hosting the British Grand Prix. Esther Kirwan has been representing various sports clients in trade mark and brand protection matters. The private client and family team continues to represent high-profile sportsmen and women, while the banking and finance team has been acting for sports clients in relation to a debt reorganisation and refinance.

Richard Cramer heads the niche sports firm Front Row Legal and specialises in dispute resolution matters for high-profile clients. The firm acts for individuals and companies in a range of matters, from commercial, regulatory and disciplinary issues to media and entertainment and arts law matters; the latter includes IP, privacy and image rights matters as well as specific sports law disputes arising in venues such as the Court of Arbitration for Sport. Based in Leeds, the team also comprises Robina Hussein, who specialises in dispute resolution, employment and business law.

Giles Searby heads the multidisciplinary sports team at HLW Keeble Hawson, whose client base includes Southampton FC, Chesterfield FC and Doncaster Knights RUFC. The department provides litigation advice and defence, corporate support and advice on commercial property and human resources. The team has recently been advising two England test cricketers with property acquisitions and continues to provide general legal support to Doncaster Knights, and general commercial support to Chesterfield FC.

Leeds-based Shulmans LLP’s sports department is headed by Rob Lucas and advises multinational sports brands, football clubs and local sports clubs. Lucas has been leading matters for sports clients relating to media and entertainment law and intellectual property, including advising Setteo, a start-up social network for racket sports, on establishing a UK base for future development and growth internationally, and assisting a sportswear brand with potential trade mark infringement proceedings. The team has also been advising Blackburn Rovers FC on utility charges by telecoms companies.

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