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Addleshaw Goddard has an outstanding track record in large-scale business process outsourcing (BPO) and IT outsourcing transactions, and also handles procurement, payment services contracts, technology transfer and joint ventures. The team also advises on data protection and intellectual property issues associated with commercial contracts. Jonathan Davey, who splits his time between Manchester and London, leads the 45-strong commercial team. Fintech expert Fiona Ghosh has recently advised financial institutions on bringing payment solutions such as Apple Pay and Android Pay to market. In 2016, Leeds-based Simon Lofthouse acted for Carphone Warehouse in the launch of a cutting-edge product, which involves customers leasing mobile phones, rather than purchasing them outright. Damon Rosamond-Lanzetta led the advice to Lloyds Banking Group on the commercial aspects of its acquisition of MBNA from Bank of America. Andrew Smith has experience of acting for clients such as British Airways and Diageo. Paul Bentham, Phil McGough and James Whittaker are names to note in Manchester. Michael Lowry and managing associate Robert Garwood are also recommended.

Baker McKenzie’s group has expertise in a wide variety of commercial contracts, including supply, distribution and services agreements, and BPO transactions, as well as public and private sector procurements. Duncan Reid-Thomas and others assisted Unilever with negotiating and drafting supply chain documents associated with the sale of the AdeS drinks business in Latin America to Coca-Cola. Regulated sectors, such as telecommunications and healthcare, generate a significant amount of work for the practice; in 2016, Steve Holmes worked with senior associates Nick Wloch and Charlotte Harrington to advise Tesco Mobile on the outsourcing of its call centres to Capita. Another highlight for the firm involved assisting Arqiva with the commercial contracts aspects of the sale of its WiFi business to Virgin Media. Other areas of industry expertise include the retail fashion sector, digital/new media, and pharmaceuticals and medical devices. Other key figures include Harry Small, Ben Allgrove, of counsel Julia Hemmings, Helen Brown, and senior associate Michelle Bawn.

Berwin Leighton Paisner LLP’s team regularly handles BPO and IT outsourcing projects, as well as advising on a broad spectrum of commercial contracts involving sectors such as retail and hotels, financial services, retail and energy/natural resources/utilities, among many others. In the advertising/marketing arena, senior associate Charlotte Pham advises clients on media-buying arrangements and the procurement of creative agency services. Pham also has expertise in the online and retail sectors. In 2016, Mark Lewis and senior associate Benjamin Wheeler acted for MGM Advantage Services (trading as Retirement Advantage) in a £40m life and pensions outsourcing arrangement with Equiniti. In another highlight, Richard Shaw and senior associate Melissa Manski were part of a cross-practice team that advised BCA Marketplace on the outsourcing by Lex Autolease Limited of its vehicle remarketing operations. Shaw is ‘an exceptionally safe pair of hands’. Elsewhere, Marcus Pearl counselled UBM on marketing arrangements concerning its brands, and also its digital marketing presence. Associate director Mimi Curran is also recommended. Data protection specialist Kate Brimsted recently joined from Reed Smith 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.

DLA Piper’s UK-wide and international reach sees it handle all aspects of domestic and multi-jurisdictional commercial contracts, distribution transactions and other complex arrangements for notable clients such as Molson Coors, Tata Steel, Intercontinental Hotels Group and Kraft Foods, among others. The team’s knowledge spans a wide range of matters, including joint ventures and strategic alliances, service level agreements, and research and development (R&D) agreements. Global practice co-head Iain Bowler recently led a team advising Merseytravel on the £600m procurement of a new fleet of 52 electric trains. In another 2016 highlight, Bowler and senior associate Michiko Jo were part of a cross-border team that advised New Look on commercial advertising and regulatory aspects of a prize promotion associated with the client’s ‘Model Squad’ campaign. Kit Burden is a global co-chair of the firm’s technology sector group, and has a wealth of experience of IT outsourcing and transformation projects. Mark Dewar has focus on consumer products, particularly in the food and drink sector, and is knowledgeable about UK and cross-border supply chain contracts and product launches.

Dentons’ strong credentials in the commercial contracts sphere are underpinned by the firm’s international footprint, and its wide sector coverage, which includes energy, retail, healthcare, education, financial services and aviation. The diverse workload covers large-scale IT and business process outsourcings and procurements, technology projects, sale of goods agreements, franchise agreements, distribution agreements and joint ventures, among other areas. Andy Lucas, Dan Burge and Scott Singer jointly head the standalone practice, which generates mandates of significant scale and complexity from blue-chip clients such as Royal Mail Group, EDF Energy and ASOS. Scott Singer, John Woolley, Martin Fanning and others assisted longstanding client Sainsbury’s with a number of matters in 2016, including the renegotiation of its merchant acquiring agreements with Worldpay and Barclaycard for their Visa and Mastercard payment systems, and separately, on a facilities management agreement with Argos. In another highlight, Fanning, Singer and Richard Macklin led the advice to John Lewis Partnership on its commercial joint venture with Clipper Logistics for a click-and-collect service for customers, as well as a next-day delivery service at its high street stores across the UK. In addition to acting for private sector companies, the team generates work from public sector bodies; Lucas and Catherine Bingham are experienced in advising central government departments and agencies on outsourcing and technology projects. Babette Märzheuser-Wood and of counsel Tatiana Kruse are other notable individuals in the team.

Fieldfisher’s diverse practice spans outsourcing agreements, sponsorship contracts, franchising and concession agreements, joint ventures and strategic alliances, and data and privacy contracts, among a multitude of other areas. David Bond heads the specialist brand development group, while Robert Shooter leads the technology and outsourcing side of the practice. A team including Shooter, Nick Rose and senior associate James Corlett is advising Karen Millen Group on various matters associated with its international expansion, including the establishment of franchise arrangements in several countries and the management of its global intellectual property portfolios. In another highlight, Simon Briskman and Kate Pickering recently acted for the BBC on the procurement of a new system to manage linear TV and on-demand content. Nick Holland, Sonal Patel and others have assisted Abercrombie & Fitch Company with ensuring that its digital and e-commerce strategy is data protection compliant. Director Nick Ball specialises in advising domestic and international clients on various types of technology-related contracts. Also recommended are Paul Barton, Sam Jardine and Rob Sheldon. The team demonstrates ‘excellent industry knowledge and a pragmatic approach to concluding deals effectively and efficiently’. James Walsh joined from King & Wood Mallesons.

Hogan Lovells International LLP’s London-based team, which operates within a wider global network of commercial contracts lawyers, provides standalone advice to clients in sectors such as financial services, TMT, automotive, transport and logistics. Its extensive expertise spans strategic alliances, outsourcings, sponsorship and advertising agreements, among other matters. Paul Joukador has particular knowledge of cross-border supply and distribution arrangements. Andrew Skipper has a wealth of experience advising clients in the sports, life sciences and consumer sectors, and also heads the firm’s Africa practice. Food sector specialist Richard Welfare works with senior associate Jane Summerfield and others to advise Mars on advertising campaigns and promotional activities, as well as distribution, warehousing arrangements and various other types of commercial contracts. Other recent work includes Peter Watts and associate Helen McGowan assisting Brown Forman with establishing an e-commerce platform for selling Jack Daniel’s whiskey products online, directly to consumers. Counsel Penny Powell, and senior associates Oliver Wilson and Helen Kimberley, are other notable individuals, as are Derek Meilman and senior associate Oliver Wilson.

Pinsent Masons LLP acts for public and private sector entities in transformational BPO and IT/technology outsourcing and procurement, as well as projects involving distressed companies. Simon Colvin leads the team, which is particularly strong in matters associated with advanced manufacturing and technology, as well as the financial services sector. It is also increasingly active in projects connected with the infrastructure sector, particularly where there is an interplay with technology. David Isaac, Justin Chan and others are assisting Transport for London (TfL) with its groundbreaking Surface Intelligent Transport System outsourcing programme. In a separate matter, in 2016, Chris Martin led the advice to the University of Birmingham on the procurement of a cloud-based suite of new back-office systems. The Ministry of Justice, Heathrow Airport, Serco and Capita are other key clients. Other key figures include Yvonne Dunn, who leads the fintech practice, Tim Roughton, who is experienced in acting for suppliers and customers in outsourcing transactions in the life and pensions industry, Diane Mullenex, and recently promoted partners Natalie Trainor and Alison Eckford.

RPC’s team combines extensive expertise in a wide range of commercial contracts with specialist in-depth knowledge of associated issues such as data protection, intellectual property and technology. Reflective of the first-rate reputation of the group, which is led by Oliver Bray, it acts for high-calibre clients such as AIG Europe Limited, Google, Sports Direct, RSA and Coca-Cola European Partners. Bray and legal director Robert Johnson assist PizzaExpress with managing its full contract portfolio; a recent mandate involved advising the client on its partnership with Deliveroo for the provision of food delivery services in the UK and Ireland. In 2016, the ‘fast and efficient’ Johnson led the advice to online publisher Unbound on a publishing agreement with writer Shaun Usher concerning "Speeches of Note", and also on a partnership and profit-share agreement with Penguin Random House over the international publishing rights to the book. Mark Crichard, who leads the firm’s technology practice, has nearly 25 years of commercial contracts experience. Sanjay Pritam and senior associate Andrew Crystal are other key contacts. Senior associate Charles Buckworth joined from Allen & Overy LLP.

Travers Smith LLP’s specialist team acts on a broad cross-section of complex, business-critical commercial agreements, including joint ventures and strategic partnerships, outsourcings, agency and distribution agreements, among other matters. Illustrative of the group’s strengths in bespoke arrangements, recent highlights include Tom Purton’s advice to Shepherd Neame on the brewing, marketing and European distribution of Sam Adams, Asahi Beers and Angry Orchard Cider. Richard Brown acted for Bannatyne Fitness on its long-term arrangements over the funding and installation of solar panels and other energy-saving measures at its premises across the UK. Brown combines ‘excellent legal and industry knowledge’ with ‘the leadership skills needed to ensure that projects are completed’. In another matter, Purton is leading the advice to Gist on a £3.5bn 12-year warehousing and logistics agreement with Marks & Spencer. Other notable clients include Pinewood Shepperton, Oikos Storage and Ambassador Theatre Group. Ben Chivers, who is particularly knowledgeable about large-scale joint ventures and outsourcings, is also recommended, as are Dan Reavill and recently promoted partner Louisa Chambers, who advise on intellectual property and IT issues connected with commercial contracts.

Allen & Overy LLP’s team, which is praised for its ‘stunning’ level of service, has a strong track record in high-value standalone, cross-border projects. It also provides assistance with the commercial contracts aspects of M&A and joint venture deals; Nigel Parker is leading the advice to Computer Sciences Corporation on the IT and outsourcing aspects of the client’s £11bn merger with Hewlett Packard Enterprise Company’s services business through a Reverse Morris Trust transaction. In another highlight, Jane Finlayson-Brown assisted Aegon with formulating data protection provisions in transaction documents, as well as ad hoc commercial issues, in connection with its acquisition of Blackrock’s UK defined contribution platform and administration business. Jim Ford handles intellectual property and IT issues arising from corporate and finance transactions, and has particular sector expertise in areas such as biotechnology, media and pharmaceuticals. Tom Levine, who is global head of the telecommunications practice, is also recommended, as are senior associates Karishma Brahmbhatt and Andrew Kenning.

CMS handles the gamut of issues arising from strategically complex, cross-border agreements (often involving multiple parties), where it acts for clients active in a wide range of industries, such as financial services, life sciences, oil and gas, consumer products, and TMT. The team advises on BPO and IT/technology outsourcing deals, franchising and licensing, strategic collaborations and distribution agreements, among other matters. Sarah Hanson is assisting Futura Medical with commercialising its CSD500 medical device, which recently involved handling multiple cross-border distribution agreements for the client. Another recent highlight involved Ian Stevens advising fintech company Clearscore on the expansion of its business. John Armstrong, who has more than 25 years of commercial contracts experience, acts for clients such as Value Retail, BP and DKNY. Paul Silver and Duncan Turner recently made partner. Following the firm’s recent merger with Nabarro LLP and Olswang LLP, the newly amalgamated practice now benefits from the expertise of highly regarded practitioners who were formerly at Olswang LLP, such as Dominic Dryden, Matthew Bennett, Laurence Kalman and Alex Dixie.

Gowling WLG’s team has expertise in a wide variety of commercial agreements, such as those centred on BPO and IT outsourcing, sales and marketing, direct and distance sales, and agency and distribution. A hallmark of the practice is its broad sector coverage, which spans automotive and travel, food and beverage, healthcare, life sciences and retail, among many others. Practice head David Lowe leads the advice to Marks & Spencer on various national and international logistics contracts concerning the transport and delivery of its general merchandise and food and wine products purchased by its customers via its website. Lowe, Sally Mewies and others also counsel Nomad Foods Europe Limited on a wide range of contracts, with recent work including advice on procurement systems and processes, as well as market research agreements, and PR and design services agreements. Sarah Sasse and Vanessa de Froberville are also recommended. Other clients include The Rugby Football Union, Molson Coors and Vaillant.

Latham & Watkins particularly excels in complex transactions involving disruptive technologies. In the financial services sector, the firm’s regulatory, intellectual property and technology sector expertise sees it handle cutting-edge fintech matters for financial institutions and emerging companies. In 2016, the team in London acted alongside colleagues in New York to advise Credit Suisse on a joint venture with Palantir Technologies to form Signac, a provider of big data analytics tools and financial services. The firm is also a strong choice for advice on other complex business-critical projects and commercial agreements in the industry. Elsewhere, the practice generates work from clients active in other sectors, such as energy and healthcare; in 2016, Andrew Moyle led a cross-border team advising medical device manufacturer Zimmer Biomet on the extension of a multi-jurisdictional finance and accounting services agreement in the Asia Pacific region with Genpact International. Aviva, Deutsche Bank and Axoni are also clients. Gail Crawford is particularly knowledgeable of data privacy and data protection (and their associated regulatory and compliance issues) in the context of large-scale outsourcings and other commercial arrangements. Senior associate Christian McDermott is another key contact, as is recently promoted partner Deborah Kirk.

Milbank, Tweed, Hadley & McCloy LLP is regarded by clients as ‘the go-to outsourcing firm in the UK; it has this segment cornered’. The group, which is led by Laurence Jacobs, not only has a standout reputation in global BPO and IT outsourcing transactions, but also excels in advising on complex strategic alliances and joint ventures, among various other commercial arrangements. Noted for its ‘profound market knowledge’, the team acts for clients such as Astellas, Northern Trust, WPP and Kantar. The ‘commercially minded and very bright’ Sean Keaton is praised for his ‘long-term view of client relationships’ and ‘ability to resolve very difficult negotiations in a way that satisfies all parties’. Joel Harrison is ‘a brilliant lawyer with deep knowledge of the financial services industry’.

Norton Rose Fulbright handles the full range of commercial agreements, and its expertise in this area is complemented by extensive knowledge of issues related to data protection and privacy, intellectual property and IT/technology. Reflective of its first-rate reputation, it acts for clients in sectors such as energy, life sciences and healthcare, transport and finance, among others. In 2016, James Russell worked with senior associates Lucy Lillywhite and Lara White, and associate Zayed Al Jamil, to advise Liverpool Victoria on the £100m replacement of its policy administration system, which involved contracting with multiple vendors for different components of the system. Reckitt Benckiser, Domino’s Pizza, McLaren, Energizer and Carlsberg are other key clients. The firm also provides Pfizer with commercial contracts advice through its place on the client’s Legal Alliance global panel. Other areas of expertise include collaboration agreements, manufacture and supply agreements, and consultancy and services agreements.

Slaughter and May is recommended for cutting-edge, strategically complex UK and cross-border outsourcing projects (where it acts for suppliers and customers), as well as other high-value business-critical matters. Rob Sumroy leads the team, which is particularly skilled in handling matters at the intersection of business transformation and digital technology, and the impact of robotics and artificial intelligence on BPOs. Sumroy, newly promoted partner Duncan Blaikie and others are assisting Ericsson with delivering a three-year IT transformation-and-build programme for VimpelCom across 12 jurisdictions in Europe and Asia. In another highlight, the firm is assisting Tottenham Hotspur Football Club with all commercial contract issues associated with the development of its new stadium, including the procurement of technology and telecommunications infrastructure, and procurement of catering services. David Ives has wide-ranging experience spanning technology and telecoms outsourcing, BPO, retail distribution arrangements and licensing agreements, among other areas. Rebecca Cousin, Isabel Taylor, Lisa Wright and senior associate Hardip Shokar are other names to note, as is recently promoted partner Victoria MacDuff. Efstathios Michael is experienced in technology and outsourcing disputes.

Ashurst’s commercial contracts offering is a key part of the firm’s recently-established digital economy practice, which handles all issues associated with the digitalisation of businesses across multiple sectors. The practice gained momentum following the hire of digital economy group head Nick Elverston, who joined in 2016 from Herbert Smith Freehills LLP. Elverston has 25 years of commercial contracts experience, with particular expertise in the TMT sector, as well as the wider digital economy. Another arrival from the same firm was Amanda Hale. David Futter, who joined from Addleshaw Goddard, is an expert in the commercial contracts aspects of areas such as fintech and digital payments. Although outsourcing projects are a particular area of strength, the practice’s broader expertise covers long-term supply agreements, infrastructure and services contracts, and joint ventures, among other arrangements. The team also advises on related data compliance aspects. In 2016, Christopher Bates, Mark Lubbock and others counselled China General Nuclear Power Corporation on the technology-related commercial contracts associated with its £18bn investment into Hinkley Point C in Somerset. In another highlight, Lubbock assisted Wm Morrison Supermarkets with negotiating a 25-year agreement with Ocado in relation to online delivery service Morrisons.com. BP, Lockheed Martin and TfL are other notable clients at the firm, whose ‘great lawyers and commercial approach makes it an easy choice’.

Bond Dickinson LLP’s team, which is located across the UK, combines experience of drafting and negotiating a wide variety of strategically-significant commercial agreements with strong capabilities in transformational, large-scale projects. The group draws work from clients across multiple sectors, including retail, chemicals, financial institutions, manufacturing and transport. Jonathan Stickland is counselling Carnival Plc on an agreement with Meachers over freight forwarding services. In another highlight, Paula Bartlett advised TSB Bank on its long-term exclusive sponsorship of the Pride of Britain and Pride of Sport awards. Another key client of the firm is the Ministry of Justice, which the firm recently advised on the procurement of language services in courts and tribunals, and for court reporting and transcription services. Rachel Scott recently made partner, while Kim Walker joined Shakespeare Martineau LLP.

DAC Beachcroft LLP’s practice is particularly active in the financial institutions, healthcare and public sectors, where the firm acts for public and private sector organisations in outsourcings and procurement matters, as well as various other commercial and IT/technology projects. Robin Fry is experienced in technology licensing matters. Michael Peeters is leading the advice to Centro (the West Midlands passenger transport executive) on the procurement of smartcard ticketing systems. In another highlight, Anne Crofts, Giles Peel and Hamza Drabu acted for Brighton and Hove Integrated Care Services, which was part of a consortium bidding to provide musculoskeletal physiotherapy services in the Central and East Sussex area. Other clients include EE, Royal Mail Group and Zurich Insurance, as well as entrepreneurial SMEs. Tim Sewart leads the team, which includes Alan Pratt and legal director Prakash Kerai.

Eversheds Sutherland (International) LLP handles a wide range of cross-border outsourcing transactions, including those connected with logistics, human resources, IT and BPO. Recent highlights included acting for Transport for Greater Manchester on the procurement and outsourcing of an operational and maintenance contractor for the Manchester Metrolink, and separately, assisting Severn Trent Water with a facilities management outsourcing project. In addition to undertaking outsourcing matters, the firm also provides advice on a broad spectrum of other commercial contracts, such as supply chain agreements, strategic alliances and joint ventures. Simon Gamlin, who leads the international outsourcing practice, has particular sector expertise in the financial services industry. Richard Prowse is the national head of the commercial contracts team. Other names to note are Charlotte Walker-Osborn, Craig Rogers, Agnes Koko and Alison Brearey. Nick Stubbs joined from Ward Hadaway, while Gayle McFarlane is a recent hire from Cordery.

Herbert Smith Freehills LLP’s multi-disciplinary team, whose ‘business acumen and experience shines through’, assists UK and multinational clients with all aspects of their most complex and large-scale commercial agreements and ‘bet-the-company’ business transformation projects. The practice generates work across multiple sectors, including financial services, energy, transport, technology and communications. Team head Nick Pantlin is working with Stephen Rayfield and recently promoted partner David Coulling to advise the Ministry of Defence on its multibillion-pound procurement and redesign of all IT services and systems used to support the UK armed forces. In another matter, Pantlin was part of a cross-practice team advising on the establishment of Clear.Bank, representing the UK’s first new clearing bank in more than 250 years. Elsewhere, Pantlin and others assisted Boeing Defence UK with its successful bid to provide transformational IT services to Staffordshire Police. Adrian Clough has more than 20 years of public procurement experience, and has acted for clients such as the Department of Trade and Industry, Ofgem, BAA and Lend Lease. Senior associate Abbie Pokorny also has an active commercial contracts practice. Nick Elverston joined Ashurst.

Linklaters LLP handles a wide range of transactions for customers and suppliers, with standout capabilities in highly regulated sectors such as financial services, life sciences and telecommunications; it is ‘really good for the big stuff’, according to one client. Its workload includes IT and technology-related matters involving data centres, managed network and mobility services, service desks, and infrastructure. On the BPO side, the team’s expertise spans functions such as human resources, finance and accounting, and facilities management. The firm’s global footprint makes it well placed to undertake matters with an international flavour; John Crozier, and managing associates Mathew Baldwin and Amruta Bapat, are part of a cross-office team advising Novartis on the procurement of production infrastructure services across a number of production facilities in Europe. HSBC, Takeda Pharmaceuticals and Three Mobile are other notable clients. Georgina Kon made partner in 2016. Richard Cumbley leads the team, which includes Julian Cunningham-Day and Marly Didizian.

Osborne Clarke LLP acts for domestic and international clients in a broad cross-section of UK-centred commercial agreements, as well as matters with complex cross-border aspects. Reflective of the breadth of the practice, the team advises clients across multiple sectors on agency and distribution, marketing and sponsorship, manufacturing, IT/telecoms and other technology-related outsourcings. Russell Bowyer advised Hyundai on commercial issues related to its sponsorship of the UEFA European Football Championship. In another matter, Dolf Darnton and Will Robertson have been advising new client Bunnings on its rebranding from the Homebase name, as well as commercial contracts issues associated with the client’s separation from Home Retail Group. Practice head John Buyers has a particular specialism in commercial contracts connected with the financial services and TMT sectors, while Simon Spooner focuses on the transport industry, with particular knowledge of the automotive arena. Bristol-based Lara Burch has acted for clients such as Arriva and Western Power Distribution for more than 10 years. Paul Anning has particular experience of transformational commercial projects in the payments industry. Senior associate Ian McKenzie is another name to note.

Burges Salmon LLP has an outstanding track record in high-value and high-profile commercial projects. Commercial group head Helen Scott-Lawler and senior associate Emma Sorrell are advising the Independent Racecourse Group on a media rights deal with Arena Racing. In 2016, outsourcing practice head Andrew Dunlop assisted Welsh Water (Dwr Cymru) with the £100m procurement of various infrastructure services across Wales. Another highlight involved Mark Paterson, senior associate Chris Chesterman and associate Lucy Owens advising the Ministry of Defence on the procurement of the Successor class and Astute class submarines. The firm is also acting for Transport for Wales and the Welsh government on the procurement of the Wales and Borders rail franchise. Keith Beattie specialises in commercial contracts matters in the energy, defence and transport sectors. Timothy Deacon is another key contact in the team.

Charles Russell Speechlys LLP is particularly well known for its work in the sport, retail and TMT arenas. Practice head Jason Saiban, who is a director and the secretary of the British Association of Sport and Law, recently led the advice to Nike on a 15-year merchandising and sponsorship deal with Chelsea Football Club, and assisted the client with the global roll-out of its online store, among other matters. Further, Saiban is working with Natalie Elsborg, Jon Walters and Jaclyn Wilkins to assist wagamama with various issues, including the renegotiation of its contract with Deliveroo and the development of new payment app Qkr! Westfield and Harrods are other clients. The practice also generates mandates involving other industries; David Berry is particularly experienced in commercial contracts matters connected with the energy/natural resources, IT and financial services sectors. Mark Bailey is another highly regarded individual.

Covington & Burling LLP is also ranked.

HFW assists clients with high-value, technically complex commercial arrangements, often involving an international dimension. Recently promoted partner Matthew Gore and newly promoted legal director Catherine Emsellem-Rope, who have experience of the ports, terminal and logistics sectors, are providing ongoing advice to Marks & Spencer on its contractual relationships with domestic and international supply chain service providers, which has involved preparing template contracts to manage the client’s relationships with with ocean carriers and freight managers, among other entities. In the energy sector, Alistair Feeney’s LNG experience sees him advise on sale and purchase agreements and terminal access contracts. Feeney also undertakes transactional and contractual advisory work in relation to crude oil and petroleum products. Technology head Anthony Woolich has expertise in software and outsourcing agreements, among other areas. Shipping and logistics head Craig Neame, Elinor Dautlich and senior associate William MacLachlan are other contacts. Alistair Mackie leads the commercial practice.

Technology and digital media firm Kemp Little LLP provides full-service support to businesses in a broad cross-section of industries on all aspects of their operations. Led by Calum Murray, the team assists with warehousing and parts supply, advertising and sponsorship, and agency and distribution arrangements, among other matters. It particularly adds value in large-scale business transformation projects, where it acts for customers and suppliers. Paul Hinton and Lee Rubin assisted the London Metal Exchange (LME) with licensing all of its data to the world’s metal markets, and also the roll-out of an electronic portal to enable clients to order its products (and access their terms and conditions). In another highlight, Andrew Joint, managing associate Edwin Baker and others acted for Principality Building Society on the outsourcing of its IT platform to replace its internal banking platform. Joint, who is an expert on transformational IT systems, has been at the forefront of the firm’s advice to clients on the adoption and use of Artificial Intelligence technology. Paul O’Hare, who leads the outsourcing practice, has almost 20 years of experience acting for technology sector clients. Chris Hill, Tania Williams and Emma Wright are other names to note.

Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman LLP’s international reach makes it a natural choice for clients such as FTSE100 and Fortune 500 companies, government entities, suppliers and social media platforms. Its team manages a wide-ranging workload, including IT/technology-related outsourcings and procurements, BPOs of various stripes, joint ventures, and renegotiating commercial agreements. Tim Wright handles IT projects and outsourcings for international clients from a wide range of sectors, such as pensions, telecommunications and pharmaceuticals. Mike Pierides is leading the advice to Fujitsu on the implementation of the Columbus agreement, as part of the renegotiation of Aspire IT services’ ‘mega-deal’ with. Pierides is also advising Deutsche Bank on its proposed £300m global IT reseller agreement with Computacenter. Counsel Simon Lightman rejoined the firm from an in-house position at Capita.

Reed Smith LLP, whose multi-disciplinary team acts for clients ranging from SMEs to large multinationals, handles a wide ambit of commercial agreements, including those involving strategic alliances, agency, outsourcing, distribution and advertising. In 2016, practice head Sakil Suleman, who is particularly experienced in acting for clients in the retail and consumer brands sectors, advised Debenhams on renewing a franchise agreement with a Kuwait-headquartered partner. Suleman also assisted Channel 4 with a software integration development project connected with its Video On Demand platform, a matter which also involved an outsourcing element. House of Fraser, BT and Gucci are among other clients.

Shoosmiths LLP’s practice is going from strength to strength, with the firm recently securing mandates from clients such as Suzuki, Weetabix and Molson Coors. The firm undertakes a particularly significant amount of work for clients in areas such as retail, financial services and facilities management. Practice head David Jackson, who specialises in outsourcing matters, is notably active in the leisure and tourism sector, as well as telecommunications. Elsewhere, the group’s broader workload also includes advice on agency, distribution and franchising, among other areas. Robin Webb leads the firm’s relationships with automotive sector clients, such as Suzuki, Volkswagen Group and Mercedes Benz. Simon Edwards focuses on the retail and food and drink sectors. In 2016, the firm hired Richard Millington from Iconix (the brand owner of Umbro), strengthening the firm’s capabilities in sports-related matters. The firm also launched Resource Solutions, a legal resource established to provide additional commercial contracts support to in-house legal teams. Joseph Stephenson recently made partner.

Simmons & Simmons’ practice, which is led by Mark Curtis, handles UK and cross-border commercial arrangements for clients active in sectors such as consumer products, TMT, finance, life sciences and energy. Alexander Brown acts for customers and suppliers in BPO and technology outsourcings, and has extensive knowledge of associated data protection, privacy and e-commerce issues. James Cotter is a go-to for advice on telecoms network infrastructure and ICT procurement contracts. Members of the team also assist clients with sponsorship arrangements, distributorship and agency agreements, supply and services contracts, and joint ventures/strategic partnerships, among other matters. Hinal Patel, managing associate Sophie Lessar and Lawrence Brown are other notable individuals in the group, whose clients include Virgin Media, SEI and Master Lock.

Taylor Wessing LLP generates work in the outsourcing sphere, where it acts for customers and suppliers across a mix of matters, including those involving data centres, recruitment, telecommunications and financial services. Its global footprint makes it attractive for cross-border transactions, in particular. Graham Hann and Chris Jeffery are among the names to note in the team, which acts for clients such as Visa, China Telecom and bwin.party.

Bircham Dyson Bell has a particularly strong following among healthcare sector clients, including Immupharma, The Doctors Laboratory and Privé Health. Reflective of the breadth of its practice, the firm also handles matters for charities, local authorities and entrepreneurs. Senior associate Penny Bygrave has expertise in IT contracts, transitional services agreements, online trading and outsourcings, among other areas. Bygrave worked alongside practice head Philip Lamb advising County Broadband Limited on a service concession contract for the provision of wholesale operator services to Colchester Borough Council. Hollie Gallagher and Paul Voller are other members of the team.

Bryan Cave is particularly active in the retail/brand owner arena, where it assists clients with cross-border franchising, distribution agreements, licensing and e-commerce matters. In 2016, London managing partner Carol Osborne was the lead adviser to Estée Lauder on the development of terms of use, privacy policy and terms of sale for the EU website of one of its global brands. Another highly regarded individual is Daniel Larkin, who primarily acts for clients in the hospitality and leisure sector in their international commercial arrangements, but also handles work connected with other industries, such as transport, energy and media.

Clifford Chance’s practice, which is led by André Duminy and Joachim Fleury, covers large-scale, cross-border IT outsourcing transactions and BPOs (primarily on the buyer side, although the firm also undertakes a number of mandates for suppliers). In addition to handling standalone transactions, the team also advises on commercial technology matters within the context of M&A, including integration and separation, transitional service arrangements and IT customer and supplier contracts. Daniel Sandelson is particularly active in technology transactions in the media sector. Jonathan Kewley, who recently made partner, is also recommended. Key clients include Citibank, Prudential, Phillip Morris and ICAP.

Cooley (UK) LLP’s commercial contracts work is a core part of its technology transactions practice, where it handles joint ventures and strategic alliances, outsourcing, manufacturing and supply agreements, and distribution agreements. The team, which includes Chris Coulter and Sarah Pearce, is acting for The National Farmers Union Mutual Insurance Society on various outsourcing projects associated with its core systems, infrastructure and security services. In another 2016 highlight, Pearce led the advice to The Leisure Pass Group on the outsourcing of web development services to Webheads, and also of app development services to Oakley Mobile.

Farrer & Co’s team, which is noted for its ‘significant depth’, has ‘a good understanding of the needs of in-house counsel’. It has a standout reputation in the arts and heritage sector, where notable clients include the British Library, the National Gallery and the Natural History Museum. It also acts for a significant number of institutions in the education sector, as well as national and international media organisations. Led by Peter Wienand, the group advises on joint ventures, manufacturing contracts, and complex R&D consortia contracts, among other agreements. Clients single out Paul Jones; ‘he gets to the nub of the issue quickly’. Also recommended are Henry Sainty, who is working with Jones to assist UK Athletics with commercial agreements associated with the organising and staging of the IPC World Para Athletics and IAAF World Athletics Championships in London; David Copping; and associate Jane Randell.

Fladgate LLP enhanced its commercial contracts offering with the recruitment of James Earl, an expert in the UK and international sports and entertainment sector, from Pinsent Masons LLP. In 2016, Jones advised Monster Energy on various marketing and advertising campaigns, including a marketing promotion in association with the Call of Duty computer game. The team is led by Eddie Powell, who recently assisted Glorious Brands with negotiating an exclusive distribution agreement for Triology’s premium skincare products in the UK. In a separate matter, Powell acted for Parabel in the negotiation of a five-year distribution contract with Barentz. Alan Wetterhahn and consultant Andrew Kaufman are other recommended individuals.

Howard Kennedy LLP’s practice head Robert Lands and Eric Gummers are advising Marriott Vacation Club (MVCI Europe) on structuring the sale and marketing of fractional rights in Europe, (as well as associated regulatory and commercial contracts issues), which includes a luxury apartment at 47 Park Street in London. Lands has particular expertise in the technology and creative industries, with his advice to clients spanning areas such as advertising, franchising, brand licensing, distribution agreements and endorsement agreements. Consultant Jonathan Sellors is recommended for his knowledge of commercial arrangements in the medical devices and medical research sectors. The firm also generates work from clients in the retail and leisure industries.

Jones Day attracts praise for its ‘excellent service and exceptional work product’. In addition to handling traditional non-tech-related BPOs and other large-scale commercial projects, it also excels in managing IT outsourcings and other commercial agreements that have an IT component; Elizabeth Robertson is knowledgeable about issues associated with software licensing and website hosting agreements. Practice head Jonathon Little acts for clients on agency and distribution agreements, network service agreements and IT licensing, among other areas. Little led the advice to Fadata on a regional software distribution agreement, which included the provision of maintenance and support services, for the Latin American market.

In addition to providing core commercial contracts advice, K&L Gates LLP assists clients with associated intellectual property, IT and data protection issues. Its broad sector coverage, international reach and expertise in all types of agreements sees the firm act for such clients as Hometrack Data Systems, Lucozade Ribena Suntory and Norbord. Neil Baylis and Howard Kleiman acted for Nationwide Accident Repair Services on the negotiation of a business-critical £8m outsourcing agreement with RoyalSunAlliance. Andrew Danson has expertise in various types of commercial agreements connected with the online gambling sector, such as media contracts, commercial rights agreements and technology-related agreements. Warren Phelops has a particularly strong reputation in the sports industry, and acts for clients such as West Indies Cricket Board and Puma. Other notable individuals are senior associates Elizabeth Dunn and Andrew Gilchrist, and associate Noirin McFadden. In 2016, Jennifer Marsh made special counsel, while special counsel Catherine Adam joined from Olswang LLP.

Clients value Lewis Silkin LLP’s ‘first-class legal and industry knowledge’. In the retail sector, it is ‘able to draw on a wealth of experience advising large brands’, as demonstrated by James Gill and Bryony Long’s advice to ASOS on a long-term agreement over the supply of beauty products. Other core sector strengths include technology, media, automotive and gaming. Led by James Gill, the team marries experience of advising clients on a wide range of high-value, complex contracts with related knowledge about exploiting and protecting intellectual property rights, as well as data protection expertise. Simon Entwhistle, who has more than 25 years of experience as a commercial lawyer, works alongside other individuals such as Jo Farmer, Jeremy Summers and managing associate Olivia Savage. Nathalie Moreno joined from Charles Russell Speechlys LLP.

Mayer Brown International LLP’s London-based team handles domestic and international sourcing transactions for customers and suppliers across a number of areas, including IT, human resources, finance and facilities management. Noted for its particular capability in the financial services sector, the firm is increasingly becoming a go-to among banks and other financial institutions seeking advice on outsourcing opportunities created by fintech. Mark Prinsley and Andrew Stewart jointly lead the team, which includes newly promoted partner Oliver Yaros, and senior associates Megan Paul, Daniel Gallagher and Katherine Woods. Peter Dickinson joined Mitie Group.

Mills & Reeve LLP has a forte in handling sizeable public sector procurement and contracting mandates for central government, non-departmental bodies and regulators. In a highlight matter, Greg Gibson is leading a 20-strong team, including Sean Earnshaw and Kevin Calder, advising the Department of Health on the Future Operating Model programme, which is intended to restructure the NHS supply chain and maximise efficiencies in the annual procurement spend of the NHS. Its work for private sector clients is also gaining momentum; Jayne Hussey, Ruth Andrew and David Hall are assisting Elster (now part of the Honeywell Group) with its smart meter supply arrangements. In the technology space, the firm is advising ARM on supply arrangements, licensing issues and other commercial contracts. Gibson leads the team, which includes Peter Wainman, Sophie Burton-Jones, Paul Knight and Simon Elsegood.

Morrison & Foerster (UK) LLP’s London team is fully integrated within the wider global sourcing and technology transactions practices. Illustrative of its outstanding reputation, the group acts for clients ranging from tech start-ups and life sciences companies to charities and public sector organisations. Alistair Maughan, who combines expertise in all types of commercial contracts with experience of technology-related projects, is the lead adviser to UPS on a number of matters, including the commercial terms associated with its i-Parcel service and other freight services. Of counsel Susan McLean recently advised not-for-profit organisation Stemettes on its commercial contracts, which included sponsorship agreements and image licences.

Radiant Law assists clients with global outsourcing and procurement transactions, provides advice on licensing matters, and also undertakes high-volume contract review work. Alex Hamilton is a key contact. In recent developments, Jason McQuillen and Andrew Giverin joined PricewaterhouseCoopers Legal LLP. Andrew Sutherland also departed the firm.

Squire Patton Boggs’s clients recommend the team for domestic commercial contracts work; recent highlights include Hannah Kendrick and Alastair Purssell’s advice to Clipper Logistics on its joint venture with John Lewis to expand ‘Click and Collect’ services online. International matters are another area of strength, where the firm is able to call upon the additional expertise of practitioners across the wider network. Carlton Daniel worked with US-based practitioners to assist Hobbs with negotiating franchising arrangements with Bloomingdales, and to advise the client on a complete overhaul of its supplier agreements. Andrew Wilkinson heads the practice, which is particularly highly regarded for advising governments and corporates on agreements concerning emerging markets, most notably in Eastern Europe and the Middle East. Robert Wegenek is another key contact in the group.

Stephenson Harwood’s team is led by Dan Holland, who advises clients across multiple sectors on outsourcing agreements, franchising, sponsorships and agency, among other areas. Jonathan Kirsop, and associates Chloe Haywood and Katie Hewson, advised Ryanair on various matters, including an agreement on the purchase of critical landing software and related equipment. Senior associates Katie Samadi, who joined the London office from AdventBalance in Singapore, and Naomi Leach are other notable practitioners in the group.

At Trowers & Hamlins LLP, Riccardo Abbate is experienced in acting for suppliers and customers on their IT-related agreements, and also has strong outsourcing capabilities. Abbate jointly heads the multifaceted practice with James Hawkins, who specialises in commercial agreements connected with public sector projects, such as those concerning social care, regeneration and environmental services, among other matters. Paul McDermott and Helen Randall are among other active practitioners in the team, whose clients include Hertfordshire County Council, AmeyCespa and National Bank of Abu Dhabi.

At Bates Wells Braithwaite, practice head Richard Marke is the secretary and a member of the City of London Law Society Commercial Law Committee, and the firm is a member of the Parlex Group of European Lawyers, enabling it to attract work with an international flavour. The ‘very responsive and knowledgeable’ team handles a full range of commercial agreements for a client roster that includes Nikon, British Council, British Film Institute and Pearson Education. A recent highlight involved advising 118 Business Information on an agreement to develop a new interactive marketing database for npower. In another highlight, in 2016, Marke led the advice to the Royal College of Nursing on an agreement with Liverpool Victoria (LV) for the insurer to offer special discounts to the client’s members for LV products. Associate Viral Kataria is ‘commercially-savvy, very personable and drafts well’.

Blake Morgan LLP’s team, under the leadership of Simon Stokes, advises clients on various types of commercial arrangements related to their activities in sectors such as food, retail, financial services and manufacturing. Stokes’s knowledge covers cross-border joint ventures, outsourcings, and agency and distribution agreements, among other matters. Associate Gemma Tominey has expertise in commercial contracts related to IT projects.

Bristows LLP is praised for providing advice that is ‘relevant and pragmatic, taking into account the value risk and nature of the contract’. The firm has a strong track record in commercial matters that have a significant brands, technology or intellectual property overlay. Although it acts for clients across a range of industries, it is particularly active in sectors such as TMT, life sciences and pharmaceuticals. Adrian Sim, Kevin Appleton and others recently acted for Capgemini in a number of outsourcings and other transformational projects, and have been advising the client on the development of robotic process automation and its provision in the finance and accounting outsourcing market. In another matter, Laura Anderson and Marek Petecki advised Diageo on a joint venture with entrepreneur Piers Adam to develop a new whisky brand, Copper Dog, among other matters. Also recommended are Toby Crick, who is ‘a lawyer you want in your corner on all deals’, Matthew Warren, Fiona Nicolson and the ‘technically excellent’ Vikram Khurana. Anna Cook joined from RPC, while Robert Bond joined with a team from Charles Russell Speechlys LLP.

Clarkslegal LLP’s nine-strong team handles the gamut of commercial agreements for UK and international clients across multiple sectors, such as hotels and leisure, engineering and technology, and life sciences. Kirstin Parker jointly heads the practice with Ashan Arif, who has vast experience of large-scale contracts, outsourcings and procurement projects. Senior solicitor Esma Kilic and senior consultant Jon Chapman are other names to note in the group, which counts Royal Berkshire Fire Authority, Carillion Plc and the University of Reading as key clients.

Fox Williams LLP, whose work predominantly has an international dimension, has a particular strength in acting for clients in the fashion and technology industries. Led by Stephen Sidkin, the team specialises in advising on agency, distributorship and supply agreements. Sidkin, who ‘possesses tremendous gravitas’, is advising Breitling’s UK subsidiary on matters connected with its retail selective distribution system and its agreements with authorised retailers. Nigel Miller is assisting Corvia with negotiating an agreement to supply electronic ticket machines to national bus companies.

Irwin Mitchell handles issues arising from domestic and international agreements for clients such as charities, fast-growth technology businesses and consumer products manufacturers. The team, which is led by Stuart Padgham, has expertise in all types of IT agreements, and also other commercial contracts with complex intellectual property, data protection or regulatory issues. Recently promoted partner Daniel Hedley advises LzLabs (a new entrant into the core computing market) on software licensing agreements and partnership arrangements. Joanne Bone recently assisted UK credit reference agency Callcredit with its consumer terms and end-user licensing agreements for the use of an app. Laurence Gavin, Kim Walker and Sarah Riding are other key partners in the team.

Keystone Law’s team has undergone significant expansion; notable recent arrivals included Sarah Needham, who joined from DC Thomson Limited, and Jeremy Bennett, an addition from MTR Corporation. In 2016, Jimmy Desai, who was hired from DAC Beachcroft LLP, worked with Anthony Misquitta and Nadim Zaman to advise New York based company Intersection Parent on a joint venture with Primseight and partnership with BT for the launch of a new communications service, bringing high-speed WiFi and other digital services to London and other UK cities. Suzy Schmitz, Stephen Rodd and Ian Down are other contacts. Jeremy Schrire recently joined from King & Wood Mallesons.

Macfarlanes LLP’s full-service capabilities enable it to assist clients with a myriad of issues connected with outsourcing agreements, franchising, advertising and marketing. Jeremy Courtenay-Stamp and Rupert Casey are the main contacts at the firm.

Memery Crystal LLP has a notable base of media sector clients, including Bigballs Media, Guardian Media Group and The Pearson Group. The firm also undertakes a significant amount of work for clients outside of the media sector; Jonathan Riley, who joined from Gowling WLG in 2016, recently advised The View from The Shard on a partnering agreement with Global Tours for the joint promotion of tourism events and activities. In addition to structuring and negotiating agreements, the team assists clients with potentially contentious matters, including situations where parties are seeking to renegotiate terms or terminate contracts. Tim Ryan leads the team, which includes consultant Stephen Milne and senior associate Joanna Memery.

Mishcon de Reya LLP acts as a one-stop shop, combining experience of structuring a range of agreements with day-to-day support on technical matters. While the firm acts for clients in a multitude of sectors, it has a particular focus on areas such as fashion (luxury and retail), technology, media and life sciences. Lewis Cohen assisted Fiorucci with master licence agreements and other licensing, PR and other agency contracts. Another highlight for the firm involved advising Badoo on matters such as marketing and advertising services agreements. Adam Rose has 25 years of commercial contracts experience. Martyn Hann and Larry Nathan also have active practices.

Penningtons Manches LLP’s team ‘always does what it says it will do’; ‘its soft skills and approachability makes it stand out from the crowd’. Anna Frankum attracts particular praise; she is ‘a great lawyer who provides advice that is solid, thorough and pragmatic’. The group acts for clients ranging from SMEs and public sector bodies to AIM-listed companies and multinational corporates. As a founding member of the MultiLaw network, it is well positioned to handle an increasing international workload. Recent highlights include advising Mahindra International UK (part of the Mahindra Group) on the UK launch of its electric car, the e2o, and assisting Polsinelli LLP with terminating a distribution agreement across six territories. Tata Group, Hong Kong Tourism Board and LSS Photography are also clients. Gavin Stenton made partner.

PricewaterhouseCoopers Legal LLP’s UK team benefits from an ability to work with members across the firm’s wider international network in cross-border matters, and also collaborate with the professional services side of the business to provide an integrated offering of specialist business and legal services. Led by Juan Crosby, the group advises clients on all facets of general commercial and IT-related contracts, including outsourcing projects and joint ventures, as well as distribution and licence arrangements. Latika Sharma specialises in value chain transformation projects.

Simons Muirhead & Burton’s practice is centred on advising clients in media and entertainment, retail, IT/technology and publishing. In 2016, Marc Sobol acted for TalkSPORT on its successful bid for exclusive live Premier League football radio rights, among other matters. Illustrative of the international dimension of the practice, Maninder Gill is advising retailer Norbreeze on exclusive franchise agreements with Monica Vinader in Macau and Singapore. Simon Halberstam acts for procurers and providers of technology and digital media services, including software companies, disruptive providers of artificial intelligence products and clients in the film and media industries. Charles Law and Richard Baskind are vastly experienced music lawyers. Simon Goldberg heads the practice.

At Stevens & Bolton LLP, practice head Beverley Whittaker and senior associate Oliver Kidd acted for Sports Information Services in a deal concerning the distribution of broadcasting rights to Irish horseracing to major bookmakers in the UK. Whittaker and senior associate Charles Maurice are advising the various Godiva Chocolatier group companies located worldwide on procurement arrangements, wholesale arrangements with customers and equipment acquisitions. Gustaf Duhs assists Kuoni Travel with a range of matters, including travel agency agreements, store refurbishment and marketing agreements. Nicola Broadhurst heads the franchising side of the practice. Beverley Flynn and Gary Parnell are also recommended.

Wedlake Bell LLP’s recent work included team head Adrian Heath-Saunders acting for Axpo Power in negotiations with the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority over the provision of nuclear waste reprocessing services at Sellafield. Jonathan Cornthwaite assists BJU International with pro-forma e-commerce terms, conditions and policies. Christopher Tite undertakes a significant amount of commercial work for clients in the automotive, legal services and ports sectors. Adam Edwards acts for owner-managed businesses located in the UK, US and Europe.

Weightmans LLP attracts a notable spread of work across its offices in Liverpool, Leeds and Manchester. Led by Sean Crotty and Laurence Pritchard, the team acts for a broad base of public sector clients, such as local authorities and hospitals, and private companies. Among the firm’s areas of strength is games and interactive media; in 2016, managing partner John Schorah, Crotty, Patricia Grinyer and Haydn Rogan acted for Playground Games on its agreement with a major global publisher to develop a video game and related downloadable content. In another highlight, Pritchard led the advice to Swissport on the provision of ground handling services to airlines at airports in the UK. Martin Vincent and Vincent King are names to note in Manchester, while associates Victoria Robertson and Haroon Younis are key contacts in Leeds.

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