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Bird & Bird LLP

12 NEW FETTER LANE, LONDON, EC4A 1JP, ENGLAND
Tel:
Work 020 7415 6000
Fax:
Fax 020 7415 6111
DX:
119 LONDON CHANCERY LANE
Web:
www.twobirds.com

London: Corporate and commercial

Commercial contracts
Commercial contracts - ranked: tier 1

Bird & Bird LLP

Bird & Bird LLP excels in large business transformation projects, complex outsourcing projects and procurement arrangements, and long-term strategic alliances, among other high-end mandates. Andrew Renton, legal director Carol Cloughley and others recently acted for Purfleet Centre Regeneration Limited in the negotiation of a development agreement with Thurrock Council over the regeneration of Purfleet Centre. Another notable practitioner is Graeme Payne, who is advising Casual Dining Group on the international roll-out and franchise expansion of its brands. Mark Abell, legal director Shelley Nadler and associate Nick Green assisted Hamleys with negotiating multiple international franchise and development arrangements. Abell and Nadler also worked with members of the Hong Kong office to advise Westminster School on a deal with Hong Kong Melodious Education Technology Group Limited to establish six schools in China. Simon Shooter and Ronald Hendrikx jointly lead the team, which also includes Christian Bartsch, Ian Edwards and Jonathan Emmanuel. In 2017, Stuart Cairns was hired from Pinsent Masons LLP, while Andrew Danson and Guadalupe Sampedro joined from K&L Gates LLP and Paypal respectively.  Recently promoted partners Craig Giles and Gabriel Voisin are also names to note.

Leading individuals

Mark Leach - Bird & Bird LLP

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Corporate tax
Corporate tax - ranked: tier 6

Bird & Bird LLP

Bird & Bird LLP's team specialises in IP tax, owner-managed business tax issues and employment-related tax law matters. It also has a significant venture capital client base. The group is led by¬†Mat Oliver, whose highlights include advising Office Depot on the tax aspects of the ‚ā¨2bn sale of its European business to Aurelius. He also advised the Gates Corporation on its acquisition of UK-based GTF Engineering and Services; and in a separate matter, advised a major technology company on the UK shareholder tax aspects of a potential restructuring.¬†Zoe Feller¬†assisted Canada-based Altus Group on its ¬£36.3 acquisition of the UK-based Commercial Valuers & Surveyors. Legal Director¬†Ben Holloway¬†advised a US-based technology group on the establishment of a UK headquarters.

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EU and competition
EU and competition - ranked: tier 6

Bird & Bird LLP

Peter Willis co-heads the practice at Bird & Bird LLP with Brussels-based José Rivas . Willis advises on investigations by competition authorities and regulators, cartel leniency applications, sector enquiries, complaints and merger filings, with particular expertise in the energy and utilities sector. Richard Eccles has experience in the life sciences, IT, electronic communications, postal services, broadcasting and public service sectors. Associate Ariane Le Strat is recommended.

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Flotations: small and mid-cap
Flotations: small and mid-cap - ranked: tier 3

Bird & Bird LLP

In 2017, Bird & Bird LLP made a significant investment in its practice by hiring new group head Clive Hopewell and Adam Carling from Charles Russell Speechlys LLP. In addition, legal director Nick Heap joined from Fieldfisher. At associate level, Sharon O’Donnell and Youichi Iisaka joined from Locke Lord LLP and Bircham Dyson Bell respectively. The expanded team has successfully wonAIM and Main Market mandates from companies and financial advisers/NOMADs; the work has spanned sectors such as energy and natural resources (particularly mining and oil and gas), technology, and healthcare and life sciences. Hopewell, Heap and O'Donnell recently acted for Liberum Capital as NOMAD and broker to Phoenix UK fund in its £12m AIM fundraising, and in its related acquisition of model train and toy group Hornby Plc. In another matter, Hopewell and Simon Allport assisted AIM-listed mining company Asiamet Resources Limited with a £6m placing. Hannam & Partners, Canaccord Genuity, Alpha FX Group and RhythmOne Plc are among other clients.

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M&A: lower mid-market deals, £50m-£250m
M&A: lower mid-market deals, £50m-£250m - ranked: tier 2

Bird & Bird LLP

TMT, energy, transport and logistics are sector strengths of¬†Bird & Bird LLP¬†'s¬†practice, which has strong multi-jurisdictional capabilities. Group head¬†Neil Blundell¬†focuses on the technology and communications and media industries; in 2017 he handled ¬£31m of ARM‚Äôs acquisition of Simulity Labs and advised Finish telecoms company, Elisa, on its entry into an agreement to acquire Starman‚Äôs Estonian business for ‚ā¨151m.¬†Simon Allport¬†has strong public and private M&A experience, particularly in the financial services, healthcare and life sciences sectors; Allport advised Secret Escapes on its acquisition of Slevomat Group and represented Stanley Gibbons Group on a restructuring involving a series of disposals, a formal sales process under the City Code and the placing into administration of an operating subsidiary. Media sector expert¬†Simon Fielder¬†acted for Toronto-listed Kew Media on its acquisition of Content Media Corporation for ‚ā¨67m.¬†Matt Bonass¬†is strong in the energy & utilities and sport sectors; he advised Abbey Renewables on the sale of 14 wind farms across England and Scotland for ¬£44m and advised The Bunker Secure Hosting on its sale to private equity firm Palatine.¬†Clive Hopewell¬†and¬†Adam Carling¬†both joined the team in July 2017 from¬†Charles Russell Speechlys LLP.

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Venture capital
Venture capital - ranked: tier 1

Bird & Bird LLP

Deeply embedded in the venture capital ecosystem and regularly instructed by investors and investees across all stages of the funding cycle,¬†Bird & Bird LLP¬†'has in-depth knowledge of venture capital transactions and quickly gets on top of novel or complex issues'.¬†Able to leverage the firm's premier IP expertise, the team is well-equipped to advise on transactions involving cutting-edge technologies, where clients benefit from a 'very commercial and holistic service' across both equity and debt investments, as well as on the initial fund formation front.¬†Geraint Lloyd¬†continues to handle a raft of work for leading institutional investor, Albion Ventures, including advising it on the Series A financing of Quantexa and its ¬£4.6m investment in G.Network. As well as his venture debt expertise, which recently saw him advise Kreos Capital on its provision of a $70m credit line to Sound Cloud,¬†Struan Penwarden¬†also regularly handles equity investment work for investors and investees including recently advising Macquarie Group on its multimillion-pound investment in UK-based Connected Energy as joint investor with Engie New Ventures. 'Exceptional and hardworking' associate¬†Mark Rundall¬†is developing a strong reputation among technology clients¬†including AccsysTechnologies Group which he recently advised on its ‚ā¨68m financing package through a combination of equity investment from BP Technology Ventures, Medite, the UK Business Growth Fund and Volantis Capital, together with a new debt facility from RBS and a simultaneous ‚ā¨14m public market offering. The team is rounded out by the 'incredibly bright, efficient and hardworking'¬†Shing Lo, who excels at advising on deals involving emerging and disruptive technology businesses.¬†¬†Richard Eaton, who had particular expertise advising US clients on venture capital transactions, left in September 2018 to join Darktrace as GC.

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London: Crime, fraud and licensing

Fraud: civil
Fraud: civil - ranked: tier 2

Bird & Bird LLP

Bird & Bird LLP¬†provides ‚Äėin depth knowledge and tactical expertise in a complex and rapidly changing area‚Äô. It acts internationally in commercial fraud cases in both litigation and arbitration forums. The firm recently acted for Global Energy Horizons Corporation in relation to a cross-border damages enquiry worth around $600m. It continues defend Banca Nazional Del Lavoro (BNL) in the court of appeal against a negligence claim brought by Playboy Club casino worth ¬£1.2m. ‚ÄėPowerhouse‚Äô Sophie Eyre¬†heads the team, she combines ‚Äėenergy and enthusiasm for her cause with a tactical nous that gains the upper hand for her clients‚Äô. Michael Brown¬†is ‚Äėa very experienced litigator with an encyclopaedic knowledge of all aspects of civil fraud‚Äô. Ludovic de Walden¬†left the firm for Charles Russell Speechlys LLP¬†.

Leading individuals

Sophie Eyre - Bird & Bird LLP

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Gaming and betting
Gaming and betting - ranked: tier 2

Bird & Bird LLP

Bird & Bird LLP has expanded its gaming practice following the arrival of Andrew Danson  and Elizabeth Dunn. Recent work highlights include advising on a range of general commercial agreements for the Gamesys group, operators of the Jackpotjoy, Caesars Bingo, Heart Bingo, Virgin Games, Starspins, and Monopoly Casino brands. The firm also advised on the drafting and negotiation of licence agreements with third party licensors such as NetEnt and Endemol. GVC, SkyBet and Zeal Network are also clients.

Leading individuals

Andrew Danson - Bird & Bird LLP

Next generation lawyers

Elizabeth Dunn - Bird & Bird LLP

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London: Dispute resolution

Banking litigation: investment and retail
Banking litigation: investment and retail - ranked: tier 4

Bird & Bird LLP

Bird & Bird LLP acts in large, highly complex disputes in sectors such as technology and communications, energy and financial services. The team represented Property Alliance Group (PAG) in its claims against RBS, including mis-selling of interest rate swaps, unlawful mistreatment of PAG while it was within RBS’ discredited global restructuring group, and unlawful manipulation of LIBOR. The matter included assessing the duties owed by banks and financial institutions when marketing and entering into derivatives with their customers. Michael Brown represents clients in investigations and enforcement actions by the financial regulators and Jeremy Sharman is also highly rated.

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Commercial litigation
Commercial litigation - ranked: tier 4

Bird & Bird LLP

Bird & Bird LLP acts in large, highly complex disputes across a full range of sectors, including financial services, energy and technology, and communications. Jeremy Sharman and Sophie Eyre co-head the UK dispute resolution group. The team represented Property Alliance Group (PAG) in its claims against RBS, which included mis-selling of interest rate swaps; RBS' unlawful mistreatment of PAG while it was within RBS' discredited global restructuring group; and RBS' unlawful manipulation of LIBOR. The case assessed the duties owed by banks and financial institutions when marketing and entering into derivatives with their customers. Bryony Hurst was made partner, while Ludovic de Walden  left for Charles Russell Speechlys LLP.

Leading individuals

Jeremy Sharman - Bird & Bird LLP

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International arbitration
International arbitration - ranked: tier 5

Bird & Bird LLP

Bird & Bird LLP is handling an increasing number of large and complex arbitrations and its team is increasingly focusing on both commercial and investment treaty arbitration. The team regularly acts in arbitrations in the energy, technology and communications, financial services, life sciences and sport sectors as well as fraud-related matters. Garreth Wong is 'an excellent advocate who is able to get to grips with large, complex cases quickly'. Sophie Eyre is also highly regarded.

Leading individuals

Garreth Wong - Bird & Bird LLP

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London: Finance

Asset finance and leasing
Asset finance and leasing - ranked: tier 4

Bird & Bird LLP

Praised for its 'deep knowledge of the aviation sector', Bird & Bird LLP's four-partner team provides a 'very commercial service' to airlines (AirAsia, easyJet), lessors (Avolon, Aviation Capital Group) and banks (JP Morgan, Standard Chartered Bank). The 'calm and measured' Jim Bell provides 'very practical advice' across a broad range of financings within the sector including his recent representation of the ECAs (BPIFrance and SACE) and the lender (Santander) in the financing of two ATR 72-600 aircraft for Air Senegal. Bell also recently acted for Engine Lease Finance Corporation on its financing, by Wells Fargo, of a portfolio of 6 engines. Team head Paul Briggs has close ties with numerous airlines including Emirates, which he recently advised on the sale-and-leaseback of the 100th Airbus A380-842 aircraft delivered into its fleet. Consultant Robin Hallam handles both aviation and shipping finance matters.

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Bank lending: investment grade debt and syndicated loans
Bank lending: investment grade debt and syndicated loans - ranked: tier 6

Bird & Bird LLP

The 'responsive and knowledgeable' team at Bird & Bird LLP provides 'business-oriented and creative solutions' to conventional commercial banks and development banks on emerging markets financing. The 'incredibly sharp and knowledgeable' Andrew Hallgarth has a 'wealth of experience' advising multilaterals and development banks engaged in acquisition, asset, project and general financing transactions in emerging markets.

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Corporate restructuring and insolvency
Corporate restructuring and insolvency - ranked: tier 8

Bird & Bird LLP

Bird & Bird LLP acts for a diverse array of stakeholders including banks, corporates and IPs on corporate restructuring matters and formal insolvencies. Team head Joss Hargrave has handled a significant amount of work emanating out of the Monarch Airlines insolvency, recently acting for DVB Bank (as an aircraft lessor) and Luton Airport on the ramifications of the airline's demise. Hargrave has also developed a particularly strong track record handling complex financial services insolvencies and continues to represent Menzies as the liquidator of two Wonga-style lenders Lodhi Finance and First Action.

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Emerging markets
Emerging markets - ranked: tier 3

Bird & Bird LLP

Bird & Bird LLP is 'very responsive, commercial and flexible, providing solutions for innovative commercial terms, and it is very good value for money'. Its banking and finance practice in London acts for commercial and development banks in finance transactions in the CEE, the CIS and Southeast Europe, and has continued to expand its presence in deals involving Asia and North Africa. It is particularly active for both borrowers and lenders in aviation, asset finance, energy and sports finance. Andrew Hallgarth leads the practice, which handled 50 transactions in emerging markets during 2017; he has 'deep knowledge and understanding of his clients, especially international financial institutions'. The firm's highlights included Hallgarth's advice to a development finance institution on a facility to support local banks in the CEE region in renewable energy projects. Banking partner Isabel Evans also plays a key role in the practice, as does senior associate Jennifer Bird, who handles acquisition finance, asset finance, development bank work, property finance and insolvency and restructuring matters.

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London: Human resources

Employee share schemes
Employee share schemes - ranked: tier 5

Bird & Bird LLP

Bird & Bird LLP's incentive expertise encompasses executive and all-employee share plans, plan structuring, design and implementation mandates, compliance work and international arrangements. Colin Kendon leads the group and acts for a variety of international and domestic companies; his recent work includes advising the management team of Beach on the share aspects of its sale to Acrisure Holdings and acting for Strategy & Investment Partners on its establishment of an EMI plan.  Legal director Fleur Benns is also a name to note; she recently handled the rollout of restricted stock unit awards to Church & Dwight's employees in 13 jurisdictions. Dan Sharman joined Osborne Clarke LLP.

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Employment: employers and senior executives
Employment: employers and senior executives - ranked: tier 3

Bird & Bird LLP

Ian Hunter and Elizabeth Lang jointly lead Bird & Bird LLP's employment team; Lang recently defended Jet2.com in the Court of Appeal in proceedings brought by the British Airline Pilots' Association relating to collective bargaining and acted for Larsen & Touboro Infotech in defence of injunction proceedings brought by NIIT Technologies regarding its recruitment of NIIT's then COO. James Froud is also a highly regarded member of the team and has notable expertise in trade secret matters including restrictive covenants, team moves and injunctions; his recent work includes advising Sony Electronics on the employment elements of the reorganisation of its facilities management services in the UK and Europe, and assisting WD-40 with employment contracts, recruitments and terminations. Legal director Penny Hunt is also recommended. Lenovo and British Lions are also clients.

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Immigration
Immigration: business - ranked: tier 4

Bird & Bird LLP

Bird & Bird LLP’s business immigration offering acts for a range of multinational companies and sports governing bodies in addition to advising high net-worth individuals, and media and entertainment personalities. The team is noted for its experience in advising clients on their HR, talent and mobility strategies. Nuance Communications UK, Jet2.com, Truphone, WD-40 Company, Danfoss and Cadence Design Systems are clients. Key figures include associate Yuichi Sekine, who joined in 2017 from Magrath Sheldrick LLP  and is UK head of business immigration; and 'excellent' senior associate Jonathan Goldsworthy.

Next generation lawyers

Jonathan Goldsworthy - Bird & Bird LLP

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London: Insurance

Product liability: defendant
Product liability: defendant - ranked: tier 3

Bird & Bird LLP

Bird & Bird LLP's product liability team is led by Jonathan Speed, who is praised for his ability to ‚Äėsynthesize complex legal issues in ways that are easily digestible for clients‚Äô. Senior associate¬†Russell Williamson¬†is also recommended. The team has developed expertise in advising on and managing product liability risks that arise out of new and disruptive technologies ‚Äď including Internet of Things (IoT) and cloud services and autonomous technology for cars and drones. Related work in this area includes advising a multinational technology company, a global automobile manufacturer and a semi-conductor/software design company. Russell's recent experience includes acting for¬† a global technology company, in relation to a worldwide recall of defective laptop computers, and for an international producer and supplier of gardening equipment, in relation to a recall of defective chainsaw products.

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London: Projects, energy and natural resources

Infrastructure (including PFI and PPP)
Infrastructure (including PFI and PPP) - ranked: tier 4

Bird & Bird LLP

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Mining and minerals
Mining and minerals - ranked: tier 5

Bird & Bird LLP

Bird & Bird LLP recently welcomed new mining practice head and equity capital market expert Clive Hopewell and corporate partner Adam Carling from Charles Russell Speechlys LLP , legal director Nicholas Heap from Fieldfisher and senior associate Sharon O’Donnell from Locke Lord LLP . This brand-new team recently acted for Asiamet Resources on a placing of new shares to raise capital for a definitive feasibility study and drilling operations, and Jangada Mines instructed the group to oversee its admission to the AIM and an associated fundraising of £2.5m. Peter Knight advised an African government on amendments to its mining law, and Carling represented Mwana Africa in a dispute with its controlling shareholder.

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Oil and gas
Oil and gas - ranked: tier 4

Bird & Bird LLP

Bird & Bird LLP 'is increasingly regarded as an important oil and gas practice in London', according to one client. The 'very organised and cohesive' team 'has a strong set of dispute resolution partners and some outstanding senior associates'. In recent highlights, 'excellent advocate' and arbitration specialist Garreth Wong teamed up with Peter Knight to settle a dispute against Shell, Total and Mitsui for Vopak and Energas with regards to an LNG terminal in Mexico. Andrew Renton is currently advising Gazprom on the refurbishment and extension of the Pancevo refinery complex in Serbia, and Tom Snaith acted for Gates Corporation in its strategic acquisition of Techflow - a fully integrated engineering, manufacturing and commercial operation. Other key names include international co-head of the energy and infrastructure group Matt Bonass , securities and equity capital markets expert  Clive Hopewell and Adam Carling - both of whom recently joined from Charles Russell Speechlys LLP .

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Power (including electricity and renewables)
Power (including electricity and renewables) - ranked: tier 3

Bird & Bird LLP

Bird & Bird LLP 'provides a very high level of service'; the 'responsive and dedicated' power lawyers 'care almost about the business of their clients as the clients themselves' and differentiate themselves through a 'genuine understanding of the sector'. Renewables sector head Elizabeth Reid and Matt Bonass  - described by one client as 'a cool customer who works extremely well under pressure' - continue to jointly advise investment fund Bluefield on a number secondary market deals, and acted for Abbey Renewables in its disposal of 14 wind farms across the UK. In the biogas and anaerobic digestion space, Michael Rudd represents funders in all contractual and financing arrangements. Other highlights include handling the negotiation of a long-term contract for the procurement of a combined heat and power plant, counselling the EBRD on the implementation of an enabling legal framework for energy performance contracting in Ukraine, and high-value mandates in the solar power space for clients such as Capital Stage, Green Hedge and Unisun.

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London: Public sector

Education: schools
Education: schools - ranked: tier 5

Bird & Bird LLP

The team at Bird & Bird LLP advises a wide range of schools and colleges, particularly those in the independent and private sectors. It also has an established expertise in international matters; it advised the Westminster School on its dealings with the Hong Kong Melodious Education Technology Group concerning the establishment of six schools in China. Practice head Mark Abell has substantial expertise in this area - he assisted Wellington College and its prep school, Eagle House, in setting up an additional school in China. 

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Healthcare
Healthcare - ranked: tier 2

Bird & Bird LLP

Bird & Bird LLP  ’s healthcare expertise spans international healthcare projects, public/private partnerships, eHealth, and healthcare M&A. Mark Hilton , Simon Shooter  and Ian Edwards  jointly lead the 26-partner healthcare and life sciences department which was joined by Stuart Cairns  from Pinsent Masons LLP in August 2017. Shooter regularly advises healthcare providers on all aspects of outsourcing and commercial operations in emerging markets; recently highlights include advising Great Ormond Street Hospital NHS Trust on establishing a department in an existing Women's and Children's' Hospital in Abu Dhabi. Cairns and associate Chris Murray have acted for The Christie NHS Foundation Trust to deliver patient information and entertainment system - only the third Innovation Partnership to be procured within the EU. Edwards advises clients Guy's & St Thomas's NHS Foundation Trust on a range of technology and commercial procurement matters. David Ayers' extensive industry experience includes running large scale transformational projects for public and private sector organisations, such as for North Middlesex University Hospital NHS Trust on the outsourcing of its pathology services to a joint venture between University College London Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, Royal Free London NHS Foundation Trust and The Doctors Laboratory. Associate Ben Woodfield regularly assists Ayers and Edwards and is also recommended.

Next generation lawyers

Ben Woodfield - Bird & Bird LLP

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London: Real estate

Commercial property
Commercial property: hotels and leisure - ranked: tier 3

Bird & Bird LLP

Bird & Bird LLP has a track record of handling IP and licensing matters in the hotel and leisure sector, but has significantly strengthened its hotel practice with the addition of Karen Friebe from Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner LLP. A true leisure-sector specialist, Friebe has significant experience negotiating hotel management and service agreements, and is also instructed by major hospitality groups. Since moving to the firm, Friebe has continued to advise well-known operators on hotel management issues, and has also acted for a client in relation to a restructuring of its interest in a London property, where it owns hundreds of leasehold apartments, a premier hotel asset and various restaurants and other interests. Further, Friebe has continued to attract instructions from new clients and a variety of property investors and hotel owners.

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Environment
Environment - ranked: tier 5

Bird & Bird LLP

Associate Joanna Ketteley heads the team at Bird & Bird LLP. Recent work includes advising on the operational risk of Gates' acquisition of GTF Engineering and Services.

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Property finance
Property finance - ranked: tier 4

Bird & Bird LLP

'The level of service is excellent' at Bird & Bird LLP and the team is 'knowledgeable, friendly, approachable and professional, with the required depth of knowledge and support, providing good value for money'. Recent highlights include Russell Dellar, who leads the practice and is 'personable, does not over complicate issues and has a knack of cutting through to the main crucial points', advising Santander on the £44m refinancing of a property portfolio; Jonathan Baker ('a very sound lawyer with good commercial judgement') acting for OakNorth in relation to the financing of the acquisition of an office building and its redevelopment into residential flats; and Joss Hargrave, who is praised for his 'response times, efficiency, attention to detail and patience', acting for Shawbrook Bank on the £18.2m acquisition and development financing of a large mixed-use property. Islamic finance matters also make up a key part of the team's workload. Isabel Evans is also noted.

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London: Risk advisory

Data protection privacy and cybersecurity
Data protection privacy and cybersecurity - ranked: tier 1

Bird & Bird LLP

The 'practical and commercially-minded'privacy and data protection group at Bird & Bird LLP is highlighted for its 'speedy responses' and 'value for money'. It was instructed by Domino's Pizza on a substantial GDPR compliance project, acting both on the audit of processes and implementation of solutions. This substantial project included consideration of GPS tracking technologies embedded in vehicles and online advertising techniques. The team is headed up by 'standout' lawyer Ruth Boardman who has led complex and substantial GDPR projects for companies such as the Football Association. With a 'good depth of knowledge' and 'client management skills' Gabriel Voisin has experience acting for clients on compliance issues, as well as on cyber security, cookies and tracking technology threats.

Leading individuals

Ruth Boardman - Bird & Bird LLP

Next generation lawyers

Gabriel Voisin - Bird & Bird LLP

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London: TMT (technology, media and telecoms)

Brand management
Brand management - ranked: tier 1

Bird & Bird LLP

Bird & Bird LLP¬† continues to maintain its reputation as a leading full-service multi-jurisdictional IP practice; the sizeable team handles trade mark and design portfolio management, brand protection, enforcement and commercial exploitation through¬†marketing and sponsorship. Key figures in the ‚Äėresponsive and commercial‚Äô¬†group jointly-led by Peter Brownlow¬† and Phil Sherrell¬†include Felicity Reeve, a specialist in brand commercialization.¬†¬†Allan Poulter¬† continues to act for Prosecco in multiple oppositions before the UKIPO. Mark Holah¬† is ‚Äėwell versed in the relevant legislation and trademark law‚Äô continues to assist Faberg√© with over 2500 trade mark and design applications and registrations in multiple jurisdictions, and acts for Marv Film in relation to protecting the KINGSMAN and STATESMAN trademarks in connection to a recently released film. Contentious IP is a key strength of the practice; Brownlow has recently assisted Merck KGaA in the UK Court of Appeal in respect to its trade mark and breach of contract claim against Merck, Sharp & Dohme and represented Associated Newspapers in a settlement with Bauer Media over the registration of METRO trade mark. The ‚Äėextremely personable, sharp and intelligent‚Äô Sherrell acts for several technology industry clients, he recently represented The Perform Group in a claim against SciSports for the scraping and reproduction of substantial parts of a database owned by the Group. Ewan Grist¬† and Bryony Hurst¬†¬†have been promoted to partner.

Leading individuals

Peter Brownlow - Bird & Bird LLP

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Fintech
Fintech - ranked: tier 2

Bird & Bird LLP

Bird & Bird LLP's practice is especially strong in payments, crowdfunding, open banking and blockchain; it advises clients on corporate, commercial and regulatory matters, including data protection, and often handles cross-border mandates. Commercial partner¬†Christian Bartsch, who is especially active in financial services and technology, heads the group jointly with finance expert¬†Trystan Tether; Tether and senior associate¬†Gavin Punia, a financial services regulatory expert who arrived from¬†Norton Rose Fulbright¬†in October 2017, acted alongside the firm's Brussels office on assisting Stripe with payments-related regulatory issues. Authenteq instructed¬†Shing Lo¬†on its ‚ā¨1.5m seed financing by Initial Capital, Draper Associates and Cavalry Ventures, and¬†Guadalupe Sampedro¬†advised at least two global payments companies on GDPR matters. Other clients include Fidelity and Tink. Commercial partner¬†Jonathan Emmanuel¬†is noted for his expertise in outsourcing and IT contracts; technology and procurement specialist¬†Roger Bickerstaff¬†is also active in the space. Corporate technology expert¬†Ali Ramadan¬†left to join¬†Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe (Europe) LLP.

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Franchising
Franchising - ranked: tier 1

Bird & Bird LLP

Bird & Bird LLP  has a strong reputation in both contentious and non-contentious matters. Mark Abell  leads the team and focuses primarily on the consumer and education sector. He recently advised Westminster School on its arrangement with Hong Kong Melodious Education Technology, which will set up set up six schools in China. Graeme Payne  is also a key figure and is notably strong in the consumer sector.  Recent work highlights of his include advising The Mothercare Group on restructuring deals in Russia, Indonesia and Ukraine, in relation to its Mothercare and Early Learning Centre brands. He also assisted Casual Dining Group on rolling out two of it brands in the Republic of Ireland. Legal director Shelley Nadler regularly works with Costa on its franchising arrangements across the UK.  Victoria Hobbs, who focuses on franchising disputes, and associate Nick Green are also recommended.

Leading individuals

Mark Abell - Bird & Bird LLP

Next generation lawyers

Nick Green - Bird & Bird LLP

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IT and telecoms
IT and telecoms - ranked: tier 1

Bird & Bird LLP

With 'great strength in depth' Bird & Bird LLP 's significant technology and communications sector team boasts 'a deep understanding of the IT market'. Graeme Maguire heads up the 'proactive' practice which attracts praise for 'identifying solutions rather than simply risks'. The group represented Nokia in several disputes including  global patent and antitrust litigation against Apple and ICC arbitration proceedings with LG Electronics concerning FRAND royalty rates for Nokia’s cellular SEP portfolio. The department also acts for BT on state aid, public procurement and contractual matters relating to its agreement with Broadband Delivery UK. Names to note include Roger Bickerstaff  (who is singled out for his 'industry knowledge and commercial contracting strategy') the 'very pragmatic and commercial' Ian Edwards  and Ronald Hendrikx, particularly for IT-related matters in the energy sector.

Leading individuals

Graeme Maguire - Bird & Bird LLP

Next generation lawyers

Ian Edwards - Bird & Bird LLP

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Intellectual property
Intellectual property - ranked: tier 1

Bird & Bird LLP

The intellectual property practice at Bird & Bird LLP excels in complex disputes, often with multi-jurisdictional elements. The group boasts an impressive client roster that includes Teva Pharmaceuticals, Monster Beverage Company and Qatar Airways. The group represented Actavis in litigation before the Supreme Court in a dispute with Eli Lilly, which resulted in the high-profile judgment introducing the doctrine of equivalence in patent law. Co-head of the firm's international intellectual property practice, Morag Macdonald, and recently promoted partner Ewan Grist acted for Fisher & Paykel Healthcare on the successful revocation of three patents owned by ResMed for the design of CPAP masks for the treatment of sleep apnoea. The team also continues to be noted for its strength in the tech sector, with Jane Mutimear and Richard Vary leading representation of Nokia in a global patent and antitrust dispute with Apple Inc and its subsidiaries. In this matter the London-based partners coordinated the litigation, leveraging the firm's international office network to act for the client across nine jurisdictions. Katharine Stephens and Robert Williams head up the practice which includes trade mark, copyright and designs expert Peter Brownlow. Brownlow was instructed by Merck in a complex trade mark and breach of contract dispute against Merck, Sharp & Dohme at the Court of Appeal. Eleanor Root was promoted to the partnership.

Leading individuals

Morag Macdonald - Bird & Bird LLP

Next generation lawyers

Ewan Grist - Bird & Bird LLP

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Media and entertainment (including media finance)
Media and entertainment (including media finance) - ranked: tier 1

Bird & Bird LLP

Bird & Bird LLP’s practice handles the full spectrum of media law, with expertise across advertising, marketing, music, film, TV, publishing, gaming, social media, interactive content and gambling. Phil Sherrell, who heads the media, entertainment and sport sector group and focuses on litigation in the music, publishing, broadcast and advertising sectors, is defending Tune-In in a digital copyright dispute with Sony Music and Warner Music regarding claims that aspects of its service infringe the copyright of various record companies represented by IFPI.  Simon Fielder advised Kew Media on several transactions including its $67m acquisition of Content Media Corporation and its acquisition of TCB Media Rights for £6m. Craig Giles advised The FA on the award of its international media rights to IMG and Pitch and acted for Six Nations Rugby on the award of its international media rights to the Six Nations Championship to NBC Universal in the US and Pitch in other international territories. David Bintliff, who is experienced in digital transformation and the interplay between content and technology, advised Perform Group on the acquisition of a range of sports media rights for its DAZN OTT service, including rights for the English Premier League in Japan, and the acquisition of the Fight Network, FNTSY Sports Network and PAC-12 Network of channels in Canada. PRS for Music, Providence Equity, RhythmOne and Marv Films are also clients. Other key figures include Richard McMorris, who handles complex transactions and projects in the media and sports sectors; Felicity Reeve, who regularly acts for sports sector clients on marketing rights, sponsorship, advertising and merchandising issues; and Nick Aries, who regularly acts for media businesses on IP issues. Craig Giles and Bryony Hurst have been promoted to the partnership and Andy Danson recently joined from K&L Gates LLP. Ali Ramadan  joined Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe (Europe) LLP in 2017.

Leading individuals

Phil Sherrell (Music; broadcasting; advertising) - Bird & Bird LLP

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PATMA: Trade mark attorneys
PATMA: Trade mark attorneys - ranked: tier 2

Bird & Bird LLP

Bird & Bird LLP is a popular choice for international brands in this space, with a client roster that includes Allianz, 7-Eleven and Bank of England. Allan Poulter is a key figure whose recent mandates include assisting ConvaTec with the design of two of its negative pressure wound therapy products and advising on prosecution and clearance matters for The Perform Group's global trade mark portfolio. Another key figure is Mark Holah, who recently advised on the global trade mark portfolios for Fabergé and House of Fraser. He also assisted Marv Films with with protecting the trade marks 'Kingsman' and 'Statesman' following the release of Kingsman: The Golden Circle in October 2017. Also recommended are Peter Brownlow, who advised Monster on its trade mark prosecution and enforcement plan for Europe and Asia, and Patricia Collis.

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Pharmaceuticals and biotechnology
Pharmaceuticals and biotechnology - ranked: tier 1

Bird & Bird LLP

Bird & Bird LLP provides IP as well as corporate and commercial advice for clients such as Merck, ConvaTec and Amgen. Practice co-head Mark Hilton has extensive experience in patent litigation and provides 'strategic' and 'practical' advice'. He recently defended Actavis in its patent litigation with Eli Lilly regarding alleged infringement of the latter's anti-cancer drug pemetrexed disodium and, alongside Neil Jenkins, acted for Teva against Synthon which sought patent revocation actions against the client's MS drug glatiramer acetate. Sally Shorthose focuses on commercial and transactional IP and acted for Chiesi in its purchase of the rights to PROCYSBI and QUINSAIR from Horizon Pharma. Robert Williams is also an expert in patent law and adopts 'a pragmatic and solution-oriented approach to complex matters'. Morag Macdonald is 'a very good strategist who provides clear, practical advice' and is 'definitely someone you want on your side'. She represented Fisher & Paykel Healthcare in the revocation of three of ResMed's patents pertaining to the design of CPAP masks, which is used to treat sleep apnoea. Also recommended are Jennifer Jones, who represented Actavis in revoking two of Eli Lilly's patents relating to its erectile dysfunction drug Tadalafil, and patent litigator Tim Harris.

Next generation lawyers

Tim Harris - Bird & Bird LLP

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Sport
Sport - ranked: tier 1

Bird & Bird LLP

The 'exceptional' team at Bird & Bird LLP provides 'outstanding service'; it is noted for its superb commercial and media expertise, though given its 'peerless breadth of knowledge' it also has excellent regulatory capabilities and is often active in dispute resolution. Active across a range of sports, the department is increasingly experienced in e-sports. 'Brilliant' 'heavyweight' Jonathan Taylor QC, who heads the group, has 'a breadth of expertise that is second to none'; he defended the International Cricket Council (ICC) in arbitration filed by the USA Cricket Association following the latter's expulsion from ICC membership. The 'calm, assured' Max Duthie provides 'considered advice on complex work' and 'is aware of the legal issues as well as the business context' of the matters he handles; the Premier League instructed him on a pricing dispute with Hull City FC, and in disciplinary proceedings against Manchester City FC and Liverpool FC. Longstanding clients include the International Tennis Federation (ITF), the International Olympics Committee (IOC) and Arsenal FC. 'Whip-smart, energetic' associate Edwina Haddon 'has a very bright future'. Barrister Elizabeth Riley left to go in-house at the International Paralympic Committee.

Leading individuals

Felicity Reeve - Bird & Bird LLP

Jonathan Taylor QC - Bird & Bird LLP

Max Duthie - Bird & Bird LLP

Next generation lawyers

Craig Giles - Bird & Bird LLP

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London: Transport

Aviation
Aviation - ranked: tier 3

Bird & Bird LLP

Bird & Bird LLP is active across regulatory matters, commercial work, disputes and transactions in the aviation space. Highlights include advising V&M Aviation and Vistajet in a claim for breach of contract against Air X Charter; advising Hitit Computer Services on its bid for a potential software agreement with Philippines Airlines. Air Asia, easyJet, Virgin Atlantic and Westminster Group are also clients. Department head Paul Briggs handles commercial matters; Sophie Eyre heads the aviation disputes team; and of counsel Simon Phippard is active across commercial, contentious, insurance and regulatory issues. Commercial head Ronald Hendrikx and international outsourcing group head Mark Leach are also key figures, as are associate Lucinda Richmond-Wigg, who handles competition and regulatory matters, and senior associate Lucy England, who handles commercial matters.

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Travel
Travel: regulatory and commercial - ranked: tier 2

Bird & Bird LLP

Bird & Bird LLP’s multidisciplinary international travel group acts for a range of travel companies, airlines, hotels and online travel agents on a range of commercial and regulatory matters, and is noted for its experience in technology, IP, employment and competition law mandates. It advises Airbnb on a range of commercial, data protection and IP matters. easyJet and Secret Escapes are also clients. Of counsel Simon Phippard regularly handles regulatory disputes for aviation sector clients, Gabriel Voisin handles data protection issues, and Elizabeth Lang handles employment matters. Associate Lucinda Richmond-Wigg is active on EU and competition regulatory work. Paul Briggs is joint head of the firm’s international aviation group which features associate Lucy England.

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Legal Developments by:
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