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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 has a first-rate reputation acting for customers and suppliers in cutting-edge domestic and international technology and BPO projects, with particular strengths in sectors such as healthcare, communications and financial services. Jointly led by Simon Shooter and Ronald Hendrikx, the group also advises clients on a range of other commercial agreements, including supply and manufacturing contracts, distributorship and franchise arrangements, and strategic partnerships. Ian Edwards is working with members of the Hong Kong office to advise eZono on agreements centred on the use of the client’s guiding procedural ultrasound technology in the products of key international partners. Edwards was also the lead adviser to Oxford University Press on a global IT outsourcing deal with Cognizant. In another highlight, Shooter and Helen Gavin-Brown were part of a multi-disciplinary cross-border team advising KCH Management (the commercial arm of King’s College Hospital NHS Trust) on the commercial aspects of the establishment and operation of a hospital in Dubai, and also various clinics across the Gulf region. International outsourcing practice head Mark Leach is a key contact, as are Christian Bartsch, the ‘very responsive and friendly’ Jonathan Emmanuel, Roger Bickerstaff and David Ayers. Barry Jennings, who made legal director in 2016, is increasingly instructed by technology start-up clients, and also acts for banks, public sector organisations and aerospace companies.

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 tax department regularly acts for the firm’s hi-tech and venture capital-backed client base, and has particular specialisms in international-facing IP tax, employment and shareholder tax and the taxation of solar energy projects. Practice head Mat Oliver has acted for a number of renewable energy developers, such as Bluefield Partners, in relation to their UK solar energy developments. Colin Kendon specialises in employee and shareholder taxation and has experience of group reorganisations and management buyout transactions. Past clients have included Tomorrow London, Altus UK and Axio Data Group.

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EU and competition
EU and competition - ranked: tier 5

Bird & Bird LLP

Peter Willis heads the practice at Bird & Bird LLP, which counts The Football Association, EirGrid, and Sanofi Pasteur among its clients. Richard Eccles advised Wilhelmsen Maritime Services on the merger control aspects of the sale of its maritime safety business to Survitec, which involved securing clearances in multiple jurisdictions including in the UK. Eccles also provided competition law and state aid advice to the European Space Agency on proposals for new satellite-based commercial operations. Other key matters include providing compliance advice and dawn raid training to Kaspersky Lab UK, and assisting Fujifilm with the competition law aspects of an IP dispute with a competing business. Associate Ariane Le Strat is also recommended.

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

Bird & Bird LLP

Bird & Bird LLP’s AIM work is weighted towards the TMT and various other technology-driven and IP-rich sectors, such as financial services, life sciences and IT. Simon Fielder, who has particular experience working with Asia-based companies, and co-heads the firm’s India strategy group, acted for online Halal verification service DagangHalal on its AIM IPO in 2016. Richard Eaton has a strong track record advising US clients seeking access to the UK’s capital markets. Simon Allport is also recommended.

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M&A: mid-market, £50m-£250m
M&A: mid-market, £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 and TMT expert Neil Blundell acted for Finnish telecoms company Elisa on its €151m purchase of Starman’s Estonian business, and advised BT on its acquisition of Pelipod. He also assisted AXIO Data Group with its sale of Vidal Group to Japanese-listed medical tech company M3, as well as advising it on its portfolio company TechInsights’ acquisition of Chipworks. Simon Allport has strong public and private M&A experience, particularly in the financial services, healthcare and life sciences sectors, though he is active in other sectors too: he advised Alternative Networks on its €165m takeover by Daisy Intermediate Holdings. Chris Barrett acted for Wilhelmsen Maritime Services on its merger with Survitec Group, the resulting company having an annual revenue of approximately £400m. Other clients of the group include Fosun Group, Just Eat, Tech Mahindra and Nokia Solutions and Networks. The practice is increasingly active in solar energy M&A; representative clients include Push Energy, TGC Renewables, Goldbeck Solar and Solar Power Developments. Technology M&A expert Struan Penwarden, energy specialist Matt Bonass, media, energy and utilities specialist Simon Fielder and healthcare and TMT expert Helen Gavin-Brown are also recommended.

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Venture capital
Venture capital - ranked: tier 1

Bird & Bird LLP

The ‘client-focused and cost-effective’ team at Bird & Bird LLP has ‘in-depth knowledge of the venture capital market’ and ‘quickly gets on top of novel or complex issues’. Leveraging the firm’s pre-eminent reputation for intellectual property issues, the team is able to act as a one-stop-shop across the lifecycle of a transaction, from seed and Series A funding through to exit strategies. The ‘excellent’ Geraint Lloyd handles a significant amount of work for Albion Ventures, including recently advising it on a £6.2m Series B financing (alongside several other investors) for data science and technology company, Black Swan Data. The ‘very knowledgeable, responsive and practical’ Struan Penwarden is a leading practitioner in the venture debt space and continues to advise Kreos Capital on numerous transactions, including on the provision of debt to Wonga Group and Dreamlines. The ‘commercial and pragmatic’ Ali Ramadan is ‘highly knowledgeable about the real world of funding and company growth’ and recently advised Just Eat on its £3.5m Series B investment into Flypay and on the launch of a food tech accelerator. The ‘commercial, incredibly bright, efficient and hardworking’ Shing Lo is ‘technically brilliant and a safe pair of hands on difficult transactions’, particularly in relation to emerging technology businesses. Other clients include Smedvig Capital, Darktrace, Horizons Ventures and Beringea Ventures.

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London: Crime, fraud and licensing

Fraud: civil
Fraud: civil - ranked: tier 2

Bird & Bird LLP

Bird & Bird LLP is known for its arbitration expertise in relation to civil fraud matters, and has a strong track record across various sectors including aviation, oil and gas, financial services and construction. The team recently represented Property Alliance Group in a £32m claim against a bank which had allegedly mis-sold four interest rate swaps and breached a customer agreement. It also defended Banca Nazional Del Lavoro (BNL) in the Court of Appeal against a claim brought by the Playboy Club casino, who alleged negligence with regards to a banker’s reference for the solvency of a customer. Practice head Sophie Eyre has significant experience in domestic and international arbitration, and Ludovic de Walden specialises in art-related cases, acting for a mix of galleries, museums and dealers.

Leading individuals

Sophie Eyre - Bird & Bird LLP

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Gaming and betting
Leading individuals

Andrew Danson - 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’s ‘strong, pragmatic and commercial practice’ increasingly acts in large, highly complex disputes across a range of sectors. The team represented Property Alliance Group, as claimant property investor and developer, which alleged that the defendant bank had mis-sold four interest rate swaps, acted improperly in relation to fixing LIBOR, and breached a customer agreement regarding the transfer and management of its banking relationship to another legal entity within the bank. Michael Brown advises on collateralised debt obligation and derivative disputes; syndicated facilities and the enforcement of security; electronic payment and clearing disputes; mis-selling and misrepresentation claims; and trade finance disputes. Jeremy Sharman is a key contact and Sophie Eyre has Russia and CIS and Middle East-related fraud experience. Steven Baker departed for Cadwalader, Wickersham & Taft LLP.

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Commercial litigation
Commercial litigation - ranked: tier 4

Bird & Bird LLP

Bird & Bird LLP was particularly active in disputes involving the financial services, technology and communications and energy sectors; it also acted on very large procurement disputes. The team represented Property Alliance Group, as claimant property investor and developer, which alleged that the defendant bank had mis-sold four interest rate swaps; acted improperly in relation to fixing LIBOR; and breached a customer agreement, regarding the transfer and management of its banking relationship to another legal entity within the bank. Jeremy Sharman’s contentious matters often have an international element and are in a number of the firm’s key sectors, including banking and financial services, and technology and communications; and Sophie Eyre’s practice has particular emphasis on civil fraud and international asset tracing and preservation. Former international disputes practice head Steven Baker departed for Cadwalader, Wickersham & Taft LLP.

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International arbitration
International arbitration - ranked: tier 6

Bird & Bird LLP

Bird & Bird LLP’s ‘service is excellent, and the team has very good in-depth knowledge of clients’ businesses, the legal questions, and the arbitration rules’. The practice regularly acts in disputes in the firm’s core strengths of technology, telecoms, life sciences and energy. Garreth Wong ‘has excellent knowledge and is an excellent strategist’; and Sophie Eyre is highly rated. Former international disputes practice head Steven Baker departed for Cadwalader, Wickersham & Taft LLP

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London: Finance

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

Bird & Bird LLP

The ‘knowledgeable and responsive’ five-partner aviation finance practice at Bird & Bird LLP provides a ‘deep product suite at a competitive price’ to an increasingly balanced array of clients including airlines (Air Asia, Etihad) and lessors (Aviation Capital Group, Avolon). The arrival in May 2016 of the ‘very commercial, bright and talented’ Jim Bell from Allen & Overy LLP has brought about instructions on the lender side from the likes of JP Morgan; ‘genuinely one of the very rare aviation lawyers who combines strong technical expertise with an acute business sense’, Bell recently worked alongside lawyers in the firm’s Frankfurt office on the representation of emp structured assets, as arranger and bookrunner, on a sale and leaseback with Emirates which involved a complex financing structure including an innovative blend of both commercial debt and multi-tranched capital market notes. The ‘very responsive and experienced’ Brett Hailey is also recommended, as is the ‘very commercial’ Paul Briggs, who is noted for his ‘strong advice on the practical aspects of operating leases’. The ‘very experienced’ Robin Hallam recently joined as a consultant from Hogan Lovells International LLP.

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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

Praised for its ‘very high standard of service and cost-effective approach’, Bird & Bird LLP has a particularly strong reputation advising conventional commercial banks and development banks on emerging markets financings. The ‘responsive, patient and innovative’ Andrew Hallgarth has ‘vast experience across sectors, jurisdictions and financing instruments’. Recommended for her borrower side emerging markets work, Isabel Evans recently advised The Greater Amman Municipality in Jordan on an innovative €102m infrastructure-related loan provided by the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development. Team head Trystan Tether handles a mix of both lender and borrower side work.

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

Bird & Bird LLP

The ‘user friendly and commercial’ team at Bird & Bird LLP has a focused approach to restructuring work which is aimed in particular at key industry sectors including financial services, energy, real estate and sport. The ‘exceptionally talented’ and ‘personable’ team head Joss Hargrave provides ‘highly commercial advice’ to a range of stakeholders including lenders, debtors and IPs and has developed a strong reputation for handling complex investment bank insolvencies. In this context, Hargrave continues to represent the special administrators of Hartmann Capital regarding a misfeasance claim against a director of the investment bank.

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Emerging markets
Emerging markets - ranked: tier 4

Bird & Bird LLP

Bird & Bird LLP remains an active player in finance transactions in the CEE, the CIS and Southeast Europe, and it has expanded its coverage to include deals in North Africa and Asia. The ‘responsive, innovative, sharp, business-oriented and very patient’ Andrew Hallgarth is the lead partner; clients describe him as ‘incredibly knowledgeable, having vast experience across sectors, jurisdictions and financing instruments’. Hallgarth and banking partner Isabel Evans advised Elisa OYJ as lender on the forward funding arrangements for the €151m acquisition of Estonian cable TV operator AS Starman. Evans also advised the Greater Amman Municipality in Jordan on an innovative €102m loan structure provided by the EBRD to fund the development of an eco-friendly city. Another key deal saw the team act for Beechbrook Capital in a €17m investment in a Bulgarian target company.

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London: Human resources

Employee share schemes
Employee share schemes - ranked: tier 5

Bird & Bird LLP

Bird & Bird LLP’s incentives and benefits team is ‘always available’ and ‘has a very good depth of knowledge’. ‘Excellent’ practice head Colin Kendon advised Nitro Digital on a growth share plan for all employees, involving complex valuation, regulatory, tax and reporting issues across a number of jurisdictions. Legal director Fleur Benns advised Alternative Networks on the employee incentives aspects of its £165m acquisition by Daisy Intermediate Holdings. Associate Dan Sharman is ‘very approachable and pragmatic with his advice’, and ‘a really good solution finder’.

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

Bird & Bird LLP

Considered ‘a genuine business partner’ among clients, Bird & Bird LLP’s employment group ‘provides a very high level of service’ for both domestic and foreign clients across the full range of employment work. Group head Ian Hunter has been assisting Truphone with various cross-border issues, including immigration and contract reviews, while the well-regarded James Froud has been advising Salesforce on a number of high-value Employment Tribunal claims, as well as an international compliance project across multiple jurisdictions. Froud also advised Ciber on proceedings regarding unlawful competition and theft of confidential information. Elizabeth Lang continues to act for Jet2.com on various disputes, as well as day-to-day, outsourcing and training matters. Legal director Penny Hunt is also recommended. Other clients include Deliveroo, Honeywell and Lenovo.

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Immigration
Immigration: business - ranked: tier 4

Bird & Bird LLP

Bird & Bird LLP provides ‘fast, effective and commercially focused advice’ and advises clients on business immigration as well as wider employment law issues such as global mobility and international HR strategies. It also drafts and negotiates immigration provisions relating to large commercial transactions. The team acts for a range of multinational companies in the energy, insurance, media, technology, telecoms and sports sectors, as well as high-profile individuals in the entertainment industry, and high-net-worth individuals. Senior associate Jonathan Goldsworthy, who heads the UK business immigration team, ‘understands the commercial picture and is able to balance this with all the various pieces of legislation and provide practical solutions to issues’.

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London: Projects, energy and natural resources

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

Bird & Bird LLP

Bird & Bird LLP’s power practice is praised for its ‘in-depth industry knowledge’. Clients single out Andrew Renton and legal director Carol Cloughley as ‘devoted professionals with extensive experience and great communication skills’. Highlights included acting for numerous solar energy clients – including Solarig, Greencells and PS Renewables – on disposals, secondary market transactions and new-build projects in the UK and abroad. Michael Rudd acted for funders such as Ingenious Infrastructure on the acquisition of several gas-to-grid plants across Europe, while Elizabeth Reid handles supply agreements, regulatory issues and lender arrangements for DS Smith with regards to the construction of its CHP plant at Kemsley Mill. Also recommended are Peter Willis, who is assisting two national regulators with their efforts to align their practices with new EU regulations; practice head Matt Bonass, who is assisting a private equity client with its proposed investment into a smart water meter company in Asia; and Peter Knight and Morag Macdonald, who handle contentious matters.

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London: Public sector

Education: schools
Education: schools - ranked: tier 5

Bird & Bird LLP

Bird & Bird LLP’s group specialises in education technology matters and consultancy services and also has considerable experience advising British schools on overseas expansion projects, it has a strong track record managing school ventures into the Middle East and Far East. Practice head Mark Abell led a team assisting Mount Kelly with the establishment of a school in Hong Kong, which included handling due diligence issues and document drafting, and resolving regulatory issues. The group is also advising an education client on restructuring its school in South Korea, as well as assisting with the launch of schools in Abu Dhabi, Dubai and Singapore, and is advising EduReach on various overseas schools projects for UK independent schools. Other work includes handling the commercial and regulatory aspects of the establishment of a school in Malaysia for Christ College Brecon.

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Healthcare
Healthcare - ranked: tier 2

Bird & Bird LLP

At Bird & Bird LLP, the group’s expertise spans international projects, data protection, PPP, corporate matters, financing and investment, and transformational projects, as well as advising NHS trust boards and suppliers on their operations and long-term commercial strategies, frequently with an international element. Simon Shooter is assisting King’s College Hospital NHS Foundation Trust’s commercial entity KCH Management with its joint venture with Ashmore Investment Management for the establishment of King’s Healthcare, a private hospital and several clinics in the Gulf states. Commercial partner Ian Edwards is advising Guy’s & St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust on software agreements for the Biomedical Research Centre and the diabetic eye screening programme. The group also handled the restructuring of Home Instead Senior Care’s businesses in the UK, China and Hong Kong and is advising Great Ormond Street Hospital for Children NHS Foundation Trust on its licensing agreements and collaborations. Other work included advising Tinnitus Clinic on its international expansion, and Mark Abell assisting South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust with projects including international contracting arrangements with the Health Authority of Abu Dhabi. David Ayers is also recommended.

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London: Real estate

Commercial property
Commercial property: general - ranked: tier 6

Bird & Bird LLP

The technology and energy sub-sectors are particular specialist areas at Bird & Bird LLP, and the team has considerable experience in advising on data-centre transactions. In one recent highlight, Ben Henry advised Cardiff Data Investments on its £25m acquisition of a data centre at Celtic Gateway in Cardiff Bay. Henry was also active in the corporate occupier sub-sector and advised Sony Mobile Communications Management on its relocation from Hammersmith to Building 10 in Chiswick Park, London. Jonathan Baker heads the team and advised Nando’s on its purchase of 37 Battersea Square in London.

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Environment
Environment - ranked: tier 5

Bird & Bird LLP

Bird & Bird LLP’s team provides ‘a reliably prompt service’ under the leadership of associate Joanna Ketteley, whose ‘professionalism is matched by a friendly, easy and helpful disposition’. Ketteley focuses on product compliance and producer responsibility, but also handles energy management work and corporate transactional matters. Other areas of expertise include advising on environmental legislation registers and analyses for clients.

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Property finance
Property finance - ranked: tier 4

Bird & Bird LLP

Bird & Bird LLP’s ‘impressively dedicated’, ‘commercially minded’, ‘well-resourced’ and ‘knowledgeable’ team is very strong in development finance and in advising lenders, though it also has excellent borrower-side capabilities and handles acquisition finance, Islamic finance and cross-border mandates. Joss Hargrave advised longstanding client Santander UK on a £12m loan to easyHotel Group for refinancing existing debt and for financing potential future expansion. Jonathan Baker, who heads the department jointly with Russell Dellar, acted for Titlestone Property Lending on financing Kingmead’s £15m purchase of 27 office units near Ealing Green, London. Other clients include Svenska Handelsbanken, Byblos Bank Europe and Munoz Group. Dellar and senior associate Stephanie Robinson have ‘in-depth knowledge’, are ‘very responsive and fun to deal with, and ‘get deals completed in record time’. Isabel Evans is also recommended.

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London: Risk advisory

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

Bird & Bird LLP

Bird & Bird LLP’s ‘highly impressive’ five-partner team ‘stands out from the crowd’ as ‘an obvious leader in the field’ and is led by ‘industry doyen’ Ruth Boardman, who ‘has her finger on the pulse and exceptional insight into the industry and its workings’. General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) work has been prominent for the team, with recent highlights including advising Treatwell on a GDPR compliance programme. The group is also highly regarded for its expertise in the advertising, financial services, pharmaceutical, health and technology sectors; its impressive client roster includes the European Digital Advertising Alliance, Adobe, Associated British Foods, and Time. Consultant Francis Aldhouse specialises in information law and policy-related issues; James Mullock’s expertise encompasses data protection, freedom of information and cyber law; and Graham Smith acts for a range of telecoms and internet clients and has substantial experience in the field of state surveillance. Clients also single out Gabriel Voisin (who made partner in 2017), senior associate Elizabeth Upton and Heledd Lloyd-Jones.

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 has a well-known reputation in the brand management area, particularly on the brand-owner side, and is praised for its ‘good industry knowledge and excellent legal expertise’. The practice’s expertise spans trade mark and design portfolio management, traditional and online marketing and advertising strategies and global brand expansion transactions. Contentious trade mark matters are a key area of strength; recent highlights include successfully representing Merck in a High Court dispute arising from breach of contract and trade mark infringement with US-based Merck Sharp & Dohme in the High Court. The highly regarded Peter Brownlow and Felicity Reeve continue to act for Monster Energy on a number of trade mark matters, including acting in 60 European Union Trade Mark (EUTM) oppositions or European Union Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO) board of appeal cases, as well as acting on a series of trade mark appeals in The General Court. Reeve also acted for Chelsea FC on the negotiation of a long-term sponsorship agreement with Nike. Katharine Stephens and Allan Poulter are representing Philip Morris International in four EUIPO appeal cases involving invalidity actions brought by British American Tobacco. According to one client, dual-qualified trade mark attorney and solicitor Mark Holah is ‘one of the best trade mark lawyers in London’; he is assisting House of Fraser with more than 500 trade mark registrations and related oppositions, cancellation actions and comparable actions globally. Litigator Phil Sherrell is ‘extremely personable, sharp and responsive’. Tom Snaith and Nick Aries are also recommended.

Leading individuals

Peter Brownlow - Bird & Bird LLP

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Fintech
Fintech - ranked: tier 2

Bird & Bird LLP

The ‘strong team of lawyers’ at Bird & Bird LLP, a firm well known for its technology expertise, provides ‘commercial, pragmatic’ advice, particularly to established financial institutions and challenger banks. Commercial partner Christian Bartsch jointly heads the group with Trystan Tether, who has strong experience in e-banking, electronic cash and payment mechanisms. Technology and EU procurement specialist Roger Bickerstaff is also prominent in the space. On the regulatory side, the team advises authorised institutions with their regulatory obligations in relation to new fintech products, and assists nascent financial institutions with obtaining Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) authorisation. It also acts for financial service providers on negotiating contracts with commercial partners that support the provision of fintech services. Financial services clients include Wirecard and Fidelity. On the corporate side, the practice acts for investors and investees; clients have included Smedvig Capital and Crowdcube. Payment and crowdfunding platforms also feature prominently among the firm’s client roster, as do financial institutions in need of cybersecurity assistance. Privacy and data protection expert Guadalupe Sampedro joined in January 2017 from in-house at PayPal in Luxembourg; she is primarily based in London, but also handles work out of the Madrid office. Jonathan Emmanuel and Ali Ramadan made partner in May 2016; Emmanuel is a commercial partner with significant expertise in outsourcing and IT contracts, while Ramadan is a corporate expert with cross-border experience and a focus on digital business. Commercial partners Graeme Maguire, Ian Edwards and Simon Shooter are also recommended, especially for their outsourcing capabilities.

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Franchising
Franchising - ranked: tier 1

Bird & Bird LLP

Bird & Bird LLP fields an ‘extraordinary’ team that regularly handles international franchising mandates, and disputes arising out of franchise agreements. It advises many of the world’s leading brands on their global expansion strategies, and has deep industry expertise in the sectors traditionally active in using franchising as a means of expansion. It also has significant experience advising clients in the healthcare, education and green energy spaces; recent work includes advising more than 40 schools on the establishment of schools in overseas markets. In another highlight, Mark Abell is advising Hamleys on the negotiation of multiple international franchise and development arrangements and associated compliance with local law requirements. Victoria Hobbs is a popular contentious franchising practitioner, particularly for clients in the retail, hotel and leisure and food and beverage sectors. Hobbs advised a well-known beverage sector client on a contentious termination of a multi-store franchise, and assisted with the negotiation of renewal agreements with another multi-store franchisee following a dispute over the territorial rights which the franchisee obtained. Graeme Payne is ‘a very good sounding board, providing calm and pragmatic advice’; he acted alongside legal director Shelly Nadler for PizzaExpress on its overseas franchise expansion, as well advising the client on dispute avoidance, risk management issues and the termination of a franchising agreement. Associate Nick Green is ‘very attentive and quick to pick up commercial issues’.

Leading individuals

Mark Abell - Bird & Bird LLP

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IT and telecoms
IT and telecoms - ranked: tier 1

Bird & Bird LLP

Bird & Bird LLP’s team is ‘very responsive’ and has ‘sound industry knowledge’. Practice head Graeme Maguire, who is highly regarded for his work in technology and outsourcing, is also ‘well-versed in telecoms matters’, and recently advised BroadSoft on telecoms-related regulatory issues. Roger Bickerstaff specialises in technology and EU procurement law, and recently advised JDA Software on licensing and technology-related disputes. Christian Bartsch focuses fintech, open source and open data, among other areas. Graham Smith has significant experience in internet and cyber law. Transactional lawyer James Mullock is noted for his expertise in data protection and cyber law. Commercial lawyer Ian Edwards, who stands out for his technology, outsourcing and communications expertise, advised Oxford University Press on a global IT outsourcing deal with Cognizant. Outsourcing agreements expert Jonathan Emmanuel stands out for his ‘sound knowledge’ and ‘business acumen’. Satellite specialist Joanne Wheeler recently advised Effective Space Solutions, which provides life extension services to satellite operators, on regulatory issues.

Leading individuals: Information technology

Roger Bickerstaff - Bird & Bird LLP

Leading individuals: Telecoms

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

Bird & Bird LLP’s practice is ‘responsive, brief and commercial’, and acts for high-profile clients such as Dr. Reddy’s Laboratories and EE. Morag Macdonald, who is the firm’s international IP practice co-head, is renowned for her work on cross-border patent litigation; her clients include Baxter, Velocys and ConvaTec. The London IP team is led by Katharine Stephens and Robert Williams. Litigator Stephens handles patent, trade marks and design matters, most notably for Nokia and Philip Morris International. Patent litigator Williams acts for clients including BT, The Dow Chemical Company and Allergan. Peter Brownlow leads the trade mark, copyright and designs practice; he recently represented Merck KGaA in a trade mark and breach of contract claim against Merck, Sharp & Dohme. Jane Mutimear is a key name for IP disputes, handling work for clients including Nando’s and LloydsPharmacy. The ‘extremely personable, sharp and intelligent’ Phil Sherrell successfully acted for De Beers Group in a domain name dispute before the World Intellectual Property Organisation. Patent litigator Mark Hilton specialises in the life sciences sector, frequently acting for key client Actavis. Trade mark specialist Mark Holah is also noted and has advised clients including 7-Eleven, Fabergé, and Claire’s. Other key figures in the team include Tom Snaith, who focuses on transactional and commercial IP law, and former vice president and head of litigation at Nokia Richard Vary, who joined the firm in 2016. Senior Associate Ewan Grist specialises in cross-border patent litigation.

Leading individuals

Mark Holah - Bird & Bird LLP

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 provides a ‘strong level of service, reactivity and commitment’ and handles a range of instructions across the music, film, TV, games, social media and interactive content sectors. Clients include PRS for Music, British Academy of Songwriters Composers & Authors, Amalgamated Racing, Frontier Developments, Canyon Studios and Exposure. Phil Sherrell heads the firm’s international media, entertainment and sport sector group and has ‘strong expertise’ in litigation in the music, publishing, broadcast and advertising sectors, handling trade mark and copyright infringement litigation, defamation and privacy disputes and complaints to the UK media regulators. The ‘exceptional’ David Bintliff is experienced in digital media matters and is advising a leading Latin American media company on the launch of an OTT platform across Europe. Felicity Reeve has ‘vast experience’ and handled several sponsorship deals in the sports sector, including advising Chelsea FC on its sponsorship deal with Nike, and advising Arsenal FC on several of its international sponsorship agreements. Craig Giles is also focused on the sports sector and advised the Football Association on the renewal of its domestic media rights agreements for The FA Cup. Howard Rubin has longstanding experience in acting for computer games companies. Recently promoted partner Nick Aries is noted for IP matters. In 2016 Richard McMorris joined from Wiggin LLP, and Ali Ramadan was promoted to the partnership.

Leading individuals: Media and entertainment

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

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PATMA: Trade mark attorneys
PATMA: Trade mark attorneys - ranked: tier 3

Bird & Bird LLP (London)

Clients of Bird & Bird LLP praise the firm for its ‘understanding of their requirements and business needs’. The team has ‘excellent base knowledge coupled with technical brilliance, enabling it to provide helpful, tailored and accurate advice delivered in a commercial manner’. 2016 highlights included handling a multi-jurisdictional freedom to operate project for a large pharmaceutical company and acting for Kingfisher and Philip Morris International on their new products. It also handled a large number of opposition and cancellation actions before the EUIPO for clients including Facebook, Cotton Traders, EE, Tempur Sealy and Associated Newspapers. Allan Poulter assists Made.com with the full range of trade mark matters, and licensing issues regarding third party designs and infringement disputes. Dual-qualified solicitor and trade mark attorney Mark Holah is ‘very pro-active and clearly understands the retail sector’. Peter Brownlow has ‘a calm and sensible approach’, and is ‘a robust negotiator’. Also recommended are Patricia Collis, who is experienced at handling contentious matters at the UKIPO and the EUIPO, and Sau Lin Haouache, who is praised for her ‘consistent and pragmatic’ advice.

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Pharmaceuticals and biotechnology
Pharmaceuticals and biotechnology - ranked: tier 1

Bird & Bird LLP

A ‘go-to’ firm for pharmaceutical and biotechnology clients, Bird & Bird LLP’s clients single out the team for its ‘pragmatic, commercial and solution-oriented approach’ and for its ability to handle highly complex patent litigation. The practice is regularly called on to advise innovators and generics clients on regulatory, corporate and commercial, data protection and competition matters. In an illustration of its track record advising multinational pharmaceutical clients in high-stakes matters, the team acted for Polpharma on the patent revocation proceedings against Biogen regarding its patent for a dosage regime for natalizumab; successfully represented Merck in a High Court breach of contract and trade mark dispute against US-based Merck Sharp & Dohme Corporation; and assisted Chiesi Pharmaceuticals with a series of multi-jurisdictional patent licensing transactions with The Medicines Company and AstraZeneca. Practice head Mark Hilton and newly promoted partner Tim Harris also acted for Dr Reddy’s Laboratories in patent infringement proceedings brought by Napp Pharmaceuticals in respect of its patent for a buprenorphine transdermal patch. Other key figures within the 27-partner team include Robert Williams, who is noted for providing ‘sound and practical advice in a timely fashion’; ‘seasoned patent litigators’ Neil Jenkins, Morag Macdonald, Jennifer Jones and Patrick Kelleher; and Sally Shorthose and Simon Allport, who are the key names to note for IP transactions, and public and private M&A transactions, respectively. Associate Simon Llewellyn is recommended for his ‘deep knowledge and excellent organisational skill’.

Next generation lawyers

Tim Harris - Bird & Bird LLP

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Sport
Sport - ranked: tier 1

Bird & Bird LLP

The ‘high-calibre’ full-service practice at Bird & Bird LLP is well known for its ‘market-leading’ commercial and contentious capabilities, its ‘in-depth industry knowledge’ and its very strong regulatory experience. It also stands out for its ‘unambiguous, practical advice that is easy to understand and follow’. Group head Jonathan Taylor, who has experience in high-profile arbitration and regulatory work across a variety of sports, is noted for his ‘approachability and preparedness’. He represented the International Tennis Federation (ITF) in proceedings brought against Maria Sharapova following her positive test for meldonium, and advised the International Paralympic Committee on its decision to suspend the Russian Paralympic Committee’s membership after it failed to meet its anti-doping obligations. Craig Giles, who has ‘excellent broadcasting industry knowledge’, made partner in May 2017; he assisted the All England Lawn Tennis Club, the Football Association (FA) and Six Nations Rugby with media rights negotiations with various high-profile broadcasters. Max Duthie, who along with Taylor is ‘exceptionally good’, advised the British Horseracing Authority (BHA) on the ongoing effects of the disciplinary proceedings brought by trainer Jim Best, who successfully appealed his four-year suspension. Felicity Reeve, who acted for the Rugby Football Union (RFU) and Chelsea Football Club on various contractual and commercial matters, is also recommended, as are of counsel Huw Roberts, barrister Elizabeth Riley and senior associate Robert Turner. Commercial and media expert Andrew Danson joined from K&L Gates LLP in May 2017; he has particular experience in the gambling and gaming sectors.

Leading individuals

Felicity Reeve - Bird & Bird LLP

Jonathan Taylor - 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

The team at Bird & Bird LLP is ‘excellent to work with’ and delivers ‘top-quality advice’ through ‘quick response times’. It handles regulatory, commercial, competition, employment, technology and transactional matters as well as dispute resolution, with an emphasis on legal issues relating to unmanned aerial systems (UAS). The firm acts for easyJet on slot agreements, commercial agreements, and regulatory matters in relation to data protection and passenger information. Virgin Atlantic Airways, Sri Lankan, North Air, Air Asia and Emirates are also clients. Team head Paul Briggs advises on commercial mandates, and Sophie Eyre handles aviation-related commercial litigation and arbitration. ‘Knowledgeable’ of counsel Simon Phippard advises on insurance and regulatory issues.

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Further information on Bird & Bird LLP

Please choose from this list to view details of what we say about Bird & Bird LLP in other jurisdictions.

United Arab Emirates

Offices in Abu Dhabi and Dubai

Australia

Offices in Sydney

Belgium

Offices in Brussels

China

Offices in Beijing and Shanghai

Czech Republic

Offices in Prague

Germany

Offices in Munich, Dusseldorf, Frankfurt, and Hamburg

Denmark

Offices in Aarhus and Copenhagen

Spain

Offices in Madrid

Finland

Offices in Helsinki

France

Offices in Paris and Lyon

Hong Kong

Offices in Hong Kong

Hungary

Offices in Budapest

India

Italy

Offices in Milan and Rome

London

Offices in London

Netherlands

Offices in The Hague

Poland

Offices in Warsaw

Sweden

Offices in Stockholm

Singapore

Offices in Singapore

Slovakia

Offices in Bratislava

Legal Developments by:
Bird & Bird LLP

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    Earlier this month, we reported that the list of gTLD applications would be published on 13 June 2012. "Reveal Day" has arrived and the list of gTLD applications has been published on ICANN's website. Please click here to download a PDF copy of this list for your review.
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