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Addleshaw Goddard, whose national commercial team is led by¬†Jonathan Davey, is 'always a strong contender for complex, high-value contracts'.¬†Fiona Ghosh, who heads up the firm's fintech group, is experienced in assisting financial institutions with bringing payment services (such as ApplePay and Android Pay) to market, and is also knowledgeable about strategic alliances and joint ventures. Other areas of strength of the firm include procurement,¬†business process outsourcing (BPO) and¬†technology transfer. Davey, legal director¬†Rob Thompson, and managing associates¬†Michael Rainey¬†and¬†Philip Dupres, are acting for Danish government subsidiary Femern A/S in the procurement of a ‚ā¨5bn civil engineering project involving a 19km undersea road and rail tunnel between Denmark and Germany.¬†Simon Lofthouse¬†advised William Jackson Food Group on an agreement with NATS to ensure that a turbine was recognisable on air traffic radar systems.¬†Damon Rosamond-Lanzetta¬†led a team, which assisted Cyprus Cooperative Bank (CCB) with a joint venture with Altamira Asset Management over the servicing of CCB's non-performing loan book. The firm expanded its UK-wide presence following its merger with Scottish firm HBJ Gateley in 2017;¬†Ross McKenzie¬†in Aberdeen (a recent addition from Burness Paull LLP) and Edinburgh-based¬†Helena Brown¬†are key figures.

Baker McKenzie's team handles a wide ambit of commercial agreements for clients active in industries such as financial services and technology (including fintech), and telecommunications. Team head Duncan Reid-Thomas has healthcare sector expertise. Of counsels Helen Brown and Julia Hemmings (who are particularly knowledgeable about the retail fashion and digital/new media industries) head up the firm's consumer advisory practice, which covers distribution arrangements, online and offline sales, marketing, e-commerce and privacy issues. Google, Tesco Mobile, L'Oreal and DeepMind are notable clients. Sue McLean joined in September 2017 from Morrison & Foerster LLP. Steve Holmes and associate Charlotte Harrington are also recommended.

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

Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner LLP¬†resulted from a merger between Berwin Leighton Paisner LLP and US firm Bryan Cave in April 2018, with its UK-based commercial group forming a key part of a larger international practice.¬†Richard Shaw¬†leads the team, which includes¬†Marcus Pearl¬†('quick to identify key issues') and 'technically brilliant'¬†Usman Wahid. The group's first-rate reputation in commercial contracts garners complex, business-critical work from clients in sectors such as financial services, real estate and media, among others. Carol Osborne¬†spends the majority of her time undertaking matters in the retail and luxury brands sector.¬†In 2017, Pearl and senior associate¬†Louis Wihl¬†acted for Bay State Milling Company in its groundbreaking licensing arrangement with Arista Cereals Technologies to commercialise the first high-amylose crop in the United States.¬†Elsewhere, the team is increasingly active in¬†strategic data monetisation and ad tech projects.¬†In addition, the firm has a first-rate global outsourcing practice, which spans areas such as IT infrastructure, facilities management, healthcare, and general and life insurance, among others.¬†Melissa Manski,¬†Mark Lewis,¬†Mimi Curran¬†and¬†Charlotte Pham¬†are recommended.¬†¬†  

Dentons' first-rate team includes Martin Fanning, who 'applies a commercial mindset to legal issues'. The group assists clients with the gamut of commercial contracts in areas such as retail, aviation, healthcare and energy, among others.  Scott Singer, and senior associates Tristan Jonckheer and Nicola Harding, who assisted John Lewis Partnership with negotiating a number of major commercial deals in 2017, such as its contractual joint venture with HSBC to provide John Lewis-branded personal loans to customers. On the IT front, Dan Burge and senior associate Henrietta Baker advised EDF Energy on its application maintenance and development arrangements with TCS. Andy Lucas has a strong track record in public sector outsourcing projects, and acts for a number of government departments, including the Home Office and Ministry of Defence. Babette Märzheuser-Wood and Tatiana Kruse are also recommended. The firm expanded its offering in the Scottish market in 2017 by merging with Scottish firm Maclay Murray & Spens; the team now includes Alison Bryce and Ross Nicol, both of whom are based in Glasgow.

DLA Piper has an excellent reputation advising UK and international clients from a wide range of industries on all types of commercial agreements. Senior associate Michiko Jo, who is knowledgeable about issues related to supply chain management, acts for clients in sectors such as food and drink, payment services, manufacturing and consumer goods. In 2017, Iain Bowler, who is a co-chair of the global practice, led a team in the advice to Merseytravel on a £600m project involving the procurement of a fleet of electric trains, a related 35 year maintenance contract and the construction of new depot facilities and related infrastructure upgrades. Mark Dewar, Anthony Day and Mark O’Conor are other first-rate partners in the team, which also handles outsourcings, joint ventures and strategic partnerships, licensing, and supply and distribution agreements.

Fieldfisher's Robert Shooter heads up a group that focuses on commercial technology, outsourcing, and data and privacy. Another arm of the practice, which is led by David Bond, specialises in commercial brand development, which includes franchising, licensing, strategic alliances and joint ventures. The work also covers associated intellectual property issues. Bond and senior associate Vicky Reinhardt are currently working with Simon Briskman, James Lewis and others to advise eBay on a number of key adtech contracts. Tom Guida and Reinhardt recently acted for the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) in the licensing of all media rights for the IAAF's world championship events in Europe and Africa to the European Broadcast Union and ESPN Media Distribution. Gordon Drakes, Paul Barton, Sam Jardine and James Buckingham are other notable individuals. Also recommended are recently promoted partner John Brunning and director Olivia Woolston Morgan.

Hogan Lovells International LLP is well-placed to advise clients on a multitude of commercial agreements, combining broad sector expertise with regulatory knowledge and a sizeable international footprint. Its areas of strength include outsourcings, strategic alliances, marketing and advertising contracts, and IT contracts.  In 2017, global commercial head Peter Watts and senior associate Oliver Wilson assisted AB inBev with the procurement of media buying and planning services. The firm also has a longstanding relationship with the British Paralympic Association; Richard Welfare advised the client on various commercial matters related to the Pyeongchang 2018 Paralympic Games, including the negotiation of sponsorship and supplier agreements, and also the preparation of a Team Members Agreement. The firm also undertakes work for clients in sectors such as TMT, automotive, life sciences, and transport and logistics. Rachel Kent, Jonathan Chertkow, Michael Thomas and consultant Dominic Hill specialise in commercial contracts in the financial services industry. The firm also has a particularly strong capability in the energy and infrastructure sector; Adrian Walker, Andrew Briggs, David Moss, Gillian Thomas and Jeremy Brittenden focus on commercial contracts and projects in this area.

Pinsent Masons LLP is among the market-leaders for big-ticket, transformational and cutting-edge outsourcings and commercial projects (a significant proportion of which have a cross-border component). Led by global head Simon Colvin, its team stands out in the advice to public and private sector clients on particularly sophisticated mandates; key clients include Hanson Heidelberg Cement Group, E.ON and Kier Limited. In addition to technology being a discrete area in its own right, the group assists clients with matters where there is an interplay between technology and another area, such as energy, infrastructure, healthcare and financial services. Colvin, senior associate Daryl Cox and others are acting for the Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) in its 5G testbed and trials programme. Colvin is also working with legal director Justin Chan to advise DCMS on a separate (but closely-linked) programme for the rollout of Local Full Fibre Networks. In 2017, Clare Francis, legal director Bridget Fleetwood and associate Ben Gardner were part of the group which assisted the Ministry of Justice with procuring a delivery partner to support its programme to transform and modernise the Courts and Tribunal Service. The firm also has a particularly strong reputation in the manufacturing sector, where it undertakes large IT and commercial projects. David Isaac, Yvonne Dunn, Natalie Trainor and Alison Eckford are other key figures in the group.

RPC recently strengthened its offering its offering in commercial, outsourcing and technology-related matters by hiring Paul Joukador from Hogan Lovells International LLP. Joukador is knowledgeable about a wide range of issues, such as supply chain management and strategic alliances, among others. Jon Bartley, who joined from Penningtons Manches LLP, has more than 20 years of commercial contracts experience. Oliver Bray leads the team, whose blue-chip client base includes Google, News UK, Tommy Hilfiger and RSA. Bray is providing contractual and related advisory support to Facebook in relation to various marketing and promotional initiatives. In addition, Bray, senior associate Alyson Lloyd and others recently acted for PizzaExpress in a number of matters, including the rollout of its first franchise restaurants across Welcome Break service station sites, and its agreements with advertising and brand agencies. Paul Joseph is assisting Agent Provocateur with franchise and trade mark licence agreements across multiple jurisdictions. Mark Crichard, and senior associates Andrew Crystal and Charles Buckworth, are also recommended.

Travers Smith LLP provides 'a very high quality and responsive commercial contracts service' under the leadership of Tom Purton, who is 'a very steady hand'. Its first-rate reputation makes it a strong choice for advice on outsourcing arrangements, joint ventures and collaborations, franchising, logistics and infrastructure contracts, and other complex, strategic agreements. In 2017, Ben Chivers acted for McColl's Retail Group in the negotiation of a wholesale distribution agreement with Morrisons Supermarkets Plc worth more than £1bn. Another highlight saw Purton and senior associate Rowan Armstrong act for property investment fund Benson Elliot in a joint venture with Générale Continentale Investissements relating to the purchase and development of a high-value property near Paris, France. Richard Brown was the lead adviser to BUUK Infrastructure on various long-term utility infrastructure deals recently, including long-term contracts for district heating infrastructure at major housing/commercial developments. Brown and others also advised the same client on a multi-year second generation smart meter deal with OVO Energy. Senior associate Sonny Mallet is a name to note.

Allen & Overy LLP, which is equally strong acting for suppliers and customers, delivers the full spectrum of advice on challenging multijurisdictional commercial arrangements. Its varied workload includes outsourcing transactions, joint venture agreements, marketing agreements and software licensing. Its team has a wealth of experience of standalone projects, and also plays a key support role in corporate transactions. In 2017, Nigel Parker was the lead adviser to Computer Sciences Corporation (CSC) on the commercial contracts, IT and outsourcing aspects of its $11bn merger with Hewlett Packard Enterprise Company's Enterprise Services segment. In the insurance sector, Parker, Jane Finlayson-Brown and senior associate Karishma Brahmbhatt advised Allianz SE on the separation and transitional services aspects of its £1bn retail insurance joint venture with Liverpool Victoria Friendly Society Limited. Jim Ford acted for Circassia Pharmaceuticals in its $230m strategic collaboration with AstraZeneca to develop and commercialise two respiratory medicines, Tudorza and Duaklir. Worldpay, Imperial Brands and Old Mutual Wealth are among other clients. Tom Levine, who is global head of the firm's telecommunications practice, is another key figure in the team. Senior associates Andrew Kenning and Alex Shandro are also recommended.

CMS's practice (which benefits from the expanded international platform that resulted from the three-way merger between CMS, Nabarro LLP and Olswang LLP in May 2017)  has a particularly strong capability in BPO and IT outsourcings; Ian Stevens handles high-value and cutting-edge projects for clients in areas such as financial services (including fintech), technology/media/communications (TMC), and energy and utilities. Dominic Dryden, John Armstrong and Sam De Silva are among a number of other practitioners with experience in the outsourcing space. De Silva was the lead adviser to Fujifilm on its multimillion pound outsourcing contract with the UK division of an LSE-listed operator of photobooth and digital printing kiosks. Elsewhere, the group's work also includes advice on IT services agreements, collaborations, joint ventures and in/out licensing. In 2017, Chris Watson, Stuart Blythe, recently promoted partner Laurence Kalman and senior associate Mark Fisher acted for CityFibre in its £500m partnership with Vodafone to deliver ultra-fast full-fibre broadband to up to five million homes and businesses across the UK. Deliveroo, HP Inc, Unilever and Marks & Spencer are among other clients. Iain Stansfieldleads the team.

Eversheds Sutherland (International) LLP's sizeable pan-UK team provides full-service support on domestic and multijurisdictional agreements to clients such as FTSE 100 companies, US-based corporates, financial institutions and public sector organisations. Illustrative of the firm's strengths in cross-border matters, in 2017, Alison Brearey, and senior associates Kate Mowbray and Edward Tompkin advised Aviva on outsourcing its global real estate management portfolio to CBRE; this deal involved 20 jurisdictions worldwide. On the supplier side, Tom Bridgford, Simon Gamlin and associate Kate Moore recently acted for Computer Sciences Corporation (CSC) in the successful negotiation of a new five-year outsourcing agreement with the Lloyds Market Association and International Underwriting Association of London to provide back-office processing of insurance premiums and claims, and related activities. Another key client is Hammerson, for whom the firm advises on the management of its retail portfolio; Kelly Holmes recently led a team, which assisted the client with the re-tender of cleaning services for its portfolio of UK shopping centres. Richard Prowse is the head of the UK team.

Gowling WLG's team advises clients on national and international contracts across more than 23 sectors, with its service covering matters ranging from routine business contracts to large-scale and innovative outsourcing transactions. David Lowe, who heads up the group, has 20 years of experience in this space. In 2017, Lowe, Robert Breedon and principal associate Caroline McNally acted for Kraft Heinz in the re-acquisition/reversion of certain Kraft Brands, which had previously been licensed to Mondelez International in a number of European territories. Stephen Kenny and senior associate Alexandra Poynter assisted South London Waste Partnership with the delivery of an ambitious waste services programme; this is the largest of its kind in Europe. Sally Mewies is particularly knowledgeable about technology-related contracts, where she acts for vendors and purchasers across a wide range of industries. Another key individual is Sarah Sasse, who advises public sector entities on procurements and other commercial arrangements. Principal associate James Barr is recommended for his automotive sector expertise.

Latham & Watkins is a well-known player in the financial services sector, where it acts for financial institutions and market infrastructure providers in outsourcings, cloud/utility projects, technology transactions and fintech-related consortiums. Its team's commercial contracts and technology expertise in this particular industry is complemented by its knowledge of financial services and data regulatory issues, as well as intellectual property. Outside of financial services, the firm also acts for a significant number of clients in other areas, such as retail, automotive, private equity and payments. Senior associate Christian McDermott worked with the San Francisco office to assist LivaNova Plc with the corporate and commercial aspects of the $190m sale of its Cardiac Rhythm Management business to MicroPort Scientific Corporation.  Aviva, Coca Cola European Partners and Zimmer Biomet are among other clients. Andrew Moyle and Gail Crawford lead the team, which also includes Nicola Higgs and senior associate Fiona Maclean.

Milbank, Tweed, Hadley & McCloy LLP receives wide acclaim from clients for its work in complex global commercial contracts mandates, particularly in global BPO and IT outsourcing projects (and related disputes), where it is 'always a top choice'. Although the practice is primarily weighted towards customer-side work, the firm also acts for suppliers as well. One of the firm's notable clients is pharmaceuticals company Astellas, for whom practice head Laurence Jacobs and associate Chioma Benjamin have advised on a number of global strategic IT outsourcing deals. Elsewhere, Jacobs' team, which also includes special counsel Alison Beal, is sought-after to advise on strategic collaborations, among other matters. BHP Billiton, Standard Chartered Bank, TCS, WPP and QBE are key clients. Sean Keaton has retired from private practice.

Norton Rose Fulbright's blue-chip client base includes GlaxoSmithKline, Carlsberg and HSBC. Raj Karia leads the team, which assists clients with negotiating manufacturing and supply agreements, collaboration arrangements and services agreements. It also advises on matters such as contract process management (including contracts involving complex procurement and tendering processes), brand exploitation (through franchising and sponsorship) and smart contracts. In 2017, Chris Grieves advised Harlequin Football Club (Harlequins) on an agreement to become a strategic partner and minority shareholder in Rugby International Marketing (RIM), the commercial subsidiary of USA Rugby, as well as in digital video platform The Rugby Channel. Another notable individual is Oliver Stacey, who was the lead adviser to Vodafone in a high-profile partnership with CityFibre to deliver a full-fibre internet service to one million homes by 2021. Also recommended are James Russell, Michael (Mike) Knapper, Marcus Evans and senior associate Zayed Al Jamil.

Slaughter and May fields 'an impressive range of experts' in strategically-significant, large-scale commercial projects. In the outsourcing arena, its team is highly able in technology-related outsourcings (areas include infrastructure, application and desktop) and more general business-transformational projects (involving areas such as facilities management, manufacturing and business process). The firm is also a strong choice in other high-value and business-critical commercial matters; David Ives and others acted for Tottenham Hotspur in a kit supply and sponsorship agreement with Nike in 2017. In addition, Rob Sumroy and associate Ian Ranson acted for The Salvation Army in the multijurisdictional procurement and rollout of a cloud-based accounting and ERP platform. Elsewhere, the firm has developed a strong specialism in the interplay between outsourcings (and other types of commercial arrangements) and emerging areas such as robotics and artificial intelligence. Duncan Blaikie, who made partner in 2017, demonstrates 'strong commercial awareness and industry knowledge'.

Ashurst's multidisciplinary commercial contracts practice operates within the firm's wider Digital Economy group; in this space, the firm advises clients on the interface between commercial agreements and data regulation, the exploitation of new technology/connectivity and collaborative partnerships. Nick Elverston leads 'the extremely talented team', which 'always delivers the goods'. James Perry has 'an effective negotiation style'. Also recommended is Christopher Bates, who is 'a joy to work with'. On the outsourcing front, the firm has particularly strong capabilities in transactions where there is a significant technological overlay, such as BPO (particularly in the energy/natural resources, infrastructure and financial services sectors), defence and government services. In the fintech sector, Bates and David Futter were among the advisers to DXC Technology on its successful bid to provide the Post Office with outsourcing support in relation to the Post Office Card Account, the vehicle through which Universal Credit is paid to people on benefits in the UK. Outside of outsourcing,  Bates, counsel Brian Murphy and others advise Wm Morrison Supermarkets Plc on a new £1bn long-term wholesale supply chain partnership with McColl's Retail Group. Amanda Hale is another key partner.

Clifford Chance provides 'detailed, yet practical, advice on contracts that involve very high levels of complexity'. 'Top-notch strategic adviser' André Duminy, who is the global head of outsourcing and commercial contracts, 'consistently impresses with his commercial judgment'. Duminy's team excels in BPO and IT/technology outsourcings, particularly in high-risk, business-critical transactions involving multiple vendors and jurisdictions. The work spans sectors such as IT, financial services (including fintech), energy, and consumer goods and retail. The group also assists clients with other highly complex agreements; in 2017, Duminy, director Richard Jones and senior associate Brian Harley acted for Capital Dynamics in the spin-off of its fund accounting business to become a supplier. Duminy was also part of a cross-office team which advised HSBC on the outsourcing by JP Morgan Funds (Asia) Limited of fund administration, transfer agency and middle office functions to the client in Hong Kong and Taiwan.  In another big-ticket mandate, Duminy is assisting Royal Dutch Shell with renegotiating global technology outsourcing contracts with multiple vendors. Other clients include 21st Century Fox, HQLAx and AB InBev. Jonathan Kewley is recommended.

Herbert Smith Freehills LLP's 'very enthusiastic and personable' multidisciplinary team 'hits the ground running' in large procurement matters, BPO and IT outsourcings, joint ventures and strategic alliances, and other business-transformational projects. Team head Nick Pantlin is 'very responsive, steady and calm'. Also singled-out for client praise, among others, are David Coulling ('quickly grasps very technical points of technology law') and senior associate Hayley Brady ('the tougher the task, the more she comes to the fore'). In addition to Brady, Jeremy Purton, Alex Cravero and Edward du Boulay are other highly regarded senior associates. Adrian Clough and of counsel John Williams were appointed by Stagecoach and Virgin Trains to advise their respective franchise and commercial operations on the Smart Ticketing on National Rail (STNR) programme. The firm also acts for clients such as The Ministry of Defence, IBM, Sky and Standard Life.

Linklaters LLP's team has 'good commercial acumen, which is blended with legal expertise and a pragmatic approach'. Julian Cunningham-Day, in particular, is 'very smart, super-helpful and gets things done with the minimum of fuss'. The team, which is led by Richard Cumbley, has a notable focus on high-value, strategically-significant, business-critical commercial agreements. Areas of expertise include the contentious and non-contentious aspects of large BPOs, technology-related procurement transactions and IT/telecoms contracts. It is particularly strong in regulated sectors, such as financial services (including fintech), telecommunications, pharmaceuticals and energy. Reflective of the complexity of the firm's work, Marly Didizian and managing associate Greg Palmer recently advised Sappi Group on the negotiation of key service and supply arrangements with Lenzing AG, and also parallel negotiations of an outsourcing agreement (also with Lenzing). The firm is also highly active in the negotiation of core pensions administration outsourcing agreements; Cunningham-Day, managing associate Lindsey Brown and others are acting for clients such as Aviva and Diageo (among various others) in this space. Georgina Kon, who has more than 14 years of commercial contracts experience, acts for customers and suppliers in the public and private sectors. John Crozier, who heads up the firm's global outsourcing practice, is a council member on the Global Sourcing Association (GSA) UK Council.

Osborne Clarke LLP leverages its UK and international network to handle all types of commercially-sensitive and high-value domestic and cross-border agreements. One of the sweet spots of the practice is in digital business, media and advertising, where members of the team advise on outsourcing, general commercial contracts (including supply, agency, advertising and cooperation agreements) and IT contracts. The team, which is jointly led by John Buyers and Lara Burch, also has a wealth of experience of agreements connected with highly regulated industries, such as energy, healthcare/life sciences, financial services and transport (particularly rail). Burch, Will Robertson and others advise Western Power Distribution on all of its procurement contracts, including those for key equipment and assets, such as switchgear and IT contractcs. Another client is medical products supplier GAMA Healthcare, for whom Burch, and senior associates Zoe Hodgins and Jane Whitcombe have developed a suite of contracts to facilitate the distribution of its products by distributors across multiple jurisdictions, as well as distribution agreements where the client is the distributor for another manufacturer's products. Simon Spooner, Mark Taylor, Nick Johnson and Ian McKenzie are among other recommended individuals. In 2017, Tamara Quinn and Nina Cummins joined from Berwin Leighton Paisner and Facebook respectively.

Womble Bond Dickinson (UK) LLP was formed in November 2017 after Bond Dickinson LLP and US-based Womble Carlyle Sandridge & Rice merged. As part of a larger operation, the UK commercial team (which is spread across six offices) acts for more than 250 listed companies. In addition to the merger, the commercial contracts practice is gaining momentum in other respects, as was evidenced by the firm's appointment in 2017 to tier one of the Crown Commercial Services legal panel, and also its successful appointment to BT's revamped UK and Ireland legal panel. In addition, Caroline Churchill and Rachel Scott made partner. The firm is active across a wide range of sectors, with particular strengths in chemicals, manufacturing, retail, transport and financial services (including insurance). Practice head Paula Bartlett, and managing associates Kate Steel and Sarah Roast, are part of the team which is acting for Post Office Limited in the highly-publicised Network Transformation Programme, while legal director Jonathan Stickland is advising Kingfisher Plc on the English law contracts associated with a five-year plan to unify its home improvement brands. Peter Snaith and legal director Lucy Pringle are other notable practitioners in the group.

Burges Salmon LLP's prominence in the commercial contracts arena is illustrated by the fact that, in 2017, it was reappointed  to the UK government's Crown Commercial Services panel (as a tier one legal services provider), which was reduced in size from 47 firms to 18 firms. In addition, the firm is one of only four to act for Waitrose and John Lewis Partnership. Practice head Helen Scott-Lawler, senior associate Timothy Deacon and associate Charles Hopper recently assisted Yeo Valley Dairies with its acquisition by Arla Foods, which included advice on manufacturing arrangements and milk supply. Another notable client is Virgin Sport, for whom Scott-Lawler and Deacon advise on licensing, sponsorship agreements, marketing and advertising, among other matters. Brioney Thomas, who heads up the firm's rail sector practice, is acting as the lead adviser to Abellio on various infrastructure works to support the East Anglia and West Midlands franchises.

Charles Russell Speechlys LLP's market-leading reputation for sports law makes the area one of the bedrocks of its commercial contracts practice. The firm's offering in this space was bolstered by the arrival of the team from commercial sports law boutique Couchmans following a high-profile merger in January 2018; Nic Couchman, Nick White Jody MacDonald and Satish Khandke moved across. A group including practice head Jason Saiban, Megan Paul (who was hired in 2017 from Mayer Brown International LLP ) and associate Richard Davies acts as Nike's primary legal advisers in the UK; recent work included assisting the client with the rollout of its cutting-edge omnichannel offering and assisting with event staging arrangements for the World Championships in Athletics 2017. Elsewhere, the firm also has an outstanding reputation in the retail and TMT sectors, as is evidenced by the fact that its client roster includes names such as Westfield, Harrods and ITV. David Berry handles commercial contracts with a nexus to the IT, financial services and energy/natural resources sectors. He also heads up the firm's cleantech and renewables group, and has also developed an interest in the role of technology across a wide range of industries. Jaclyn Wilkins and Mark Bailey are other key figures. Ian Lynam and Jon Walters departed for Northridge Law.

DAC Beachcroft LLP has a strong capability in discrete IT and technology transactions, and with navigating the commercial issues arising from the application of technology to areas such as financial services (including insurance), healthcare and real estate. The firm's extensive coverage of a broad cross-section of commercial contracts is supported by its ability to advise on related regulatory, data protection and cyber risk issues. In 2017, Tim Ryan joined the firm from Memery Crystal LLP to become the team head; the outgoing former head Tim Sewart went in the opposite direction, along with Robin Fry. Ryan acts for clients ranging from scale-ups to listed companies. A recent highlight for the team involved Prakash Kerai acting for digital fintech start-up Tandem Money Limited in the outsourcing of its risk strategy and fraud management services. Transversal Corporation Limited, King's College Hospital NHS Trust and Intelliflo Limited are among other clients of the firm. Richard Watkinson is a name to note in Leeds.

HFW is noted for its strengths in high-risk, long-term supply, distribution and joint venture agreements; the work in this space spans sectors such as aviation, heavy industry and engineering, transport and logistics, energy and insurance. The firm is also highly active in the ports and terminals sector, and is at the forefront of the advice to clients on large port projects. Legal director Catherine Emsellem-Rope (whose areas of expertise include energy, logistics, and ports and terminals) has particular experience of drafting and negotiating high-value frame agreements for transportation and warehousing services. The firm also generates work from clients in other sectors and is particularly sought-after for advice on commercial contracts with a cross-border component. Matthew Gore, Rope and others assist Marks & Spencer with formalising contractual relationships with its UK and international supply chain service providers, as well as fine tuning existing template contracts to ensure continuity in the supply of goods. Anthony Woolich, who heads up the technology and communications team, is knowledgeable about software and outsourcing agreements, public procurement, data protection and intellectual property. Senior associate William MacLachlan is a shipping sector expert, and is knowledgeable about shipbuilding contracts, ship repair contracts, and ship sales and purchases. Practice head Alistair Mackie, Craig Neame, Elinor Dautlich and Alistair Feeney are other recommended individuals in the group.

Kemp Little LLP, which is a specialist technology and digital media law firm, has a dedicated commercial technology practice that advises customers and suppliers on a full range of commercial contracting issues. Its work spans all areas that are core to business operations, such as the supply and procurement of goods and services, warehousing and parts supply, advertising and marketing, and distribution. The practice was bolstered by the hire of financial regulatory expert Jacob Ghanty from K&L Gates LLP in November 2017, strengthening its support to clients in the financial services sector; this is one industry which is experiencing rapid changes driven by new technologies. Ghanty works alongside Paul Hinton, who leads the commercial technology team and is also the financial services practice head. Another key individual is Chris Hill, who is knowledgeable about fintech-related contracts, such as those involving software, cloud and data licensing. Hill is also recommended for his mobile payments and open banking expertise. Beyond financial services, the firm's other areas of activity include retail, manufacturing and professional services. Andrew Joint is leading the advice to Phillip Morris International on various matters, including agreements related to the provision of consultancy services linked to the launch of its new e-cigarette products. In addition, Joint and others have been assisting SCRAM Systems with negotiating contracts with police forces and government departments over its transdermal alcohol monitoring equipment (which reads alcohol consumption via an ankle bracelet). Outsourcing practice head Paul O’Hare is leading the firm's push into transactions involving robotic process automation (RPA), and service integration and management (SIAM). Calum Murray and managing associate Rupam Davé are other names to note.

Mayer Brown International LLP has a standout global sourcing practice, and is particularly active in the financial services sector, where it assists customers and suppliers with transactions involving human resources, facilities management, telecoms and back-office functions. Mark Prinsley was the lead adviser to Kraft Heinz on the implementation of a new outsource-based global business services model with Genpact. Prinsley and Andrew Stewart co-lead the team, which also handles global agreements concerning the provision of IT services through public cloud solutions. Prinsley, Oliver Yaros and senior associate Daniel Gallagher are acting for a global financial institution in the acquisition and implementation of cloud-based services provided by Microsoft. Senior associate Dominic Palmer and associate Christian Higham are also recommended.

Equally strong acting for customers and suppliers, Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman LLP's team is 'very much focused on getting the job done' in complex, multijurisdictional BPO and IT outsourcing and procurement matters. Tim Wright leads the London-based team, for whom technology transactions are another cornerstone of the practice. A recent highlight involved Mike Pierides, and counsels Simon Lightman and Caron Gosling, acting for Royal Bank of Canada in the renegotiation of an existing multi-tower IT outsourcing agreement with IBM for services in Europe and the Middle East. Pierides is also leading the advice to Aerolíneas Argentinas in the procurement of its IT passenger systems through a competitive tender process. Other clients of the firm include Equiniti, Fujitsu, Capita Group, Deutsche Bank and GlaxoSmithKline. Senior associate Lee Rubin joined from Kemp Little LLP.

In addition to providing day to day support, Reed Smith LLP advises supplier and customer clients on technology transactions, outsourcing and procurement, joint ventures and strategic alliances, distribution and franchising. Delphine Currie heads up the team, which includes Sakil Suleman (an expert in the consumer brand, retail and technology sectors) and Charles Jurd. Edward Miller is a board member of the International Distribution Institute.

Shoosmiths LLP, which handles a broad cross-section of outsourcing mandates, has a particularly strong capability in facilities management (FM) outsourcings; the firm acts for five of the world's largest FM providers. In addition, practitioners such as Simon Edwards and department head David Jackson have previous experience of working-in-house at FM providers. The firm (which also acts for customers) handles various other types of outsourcings, including BPO and IT. In 2017, Jackson and Joseph Stephenson acted for Telefónica in the outsourcing of its finance and accounting function to India. Elsewhere, members of the team have expertise in the full spectrum of commercial contracts, including agency, franchising, IP and licensing agreements, distribution and IT contracts. Robin Webb (who is the automotive sector head at the firm) and recently promoted senior associate Andy Pratley assisted Nissan with renegotiating a digital marketing agreement (for global website design, build and maintenance services) with one of the world's largest marketing and technology agencies. Other industries where the firm generates commercial contracts work include retail, food and drink, sport, financial services and technology/digital. Senior associate Simon McArdle is recommended. 

Taylor Wessing LLP¬†'s team is recommended for its strengths in complex and cutting-edge agreements, particularly those related to technology, where its commercial contracts knowledge is complemented by ancillary areas, such as data protection and competition law. Its team head¬†Christopher Jeffery, who undertakes a significant amount of work for North America-headquartered technology and digital media companies, has expertise in enterprise software, adtech and e-commerce. Members of the group also advise on technology project and service contracts, outsourcing, and technology-related joint ventures and strategic alliances, among other matters. Further illustrative of the broad spread of the work, clients ranging from SMEs and start-up companies to multinational corporates.¬†Si√Ęn Skelton¬†is assisting online fashion marketplace SilkFred with all aspects of its commercial arrangements, including manufacturing, warehousing and logistics, and agreements with brands that use the platform to sell their products. The firm also has a niche strength in acting for gaming providers;¬†Graham Hann¬†assisted Improbable Worlds (which makes distributed simulation software for video games and corporate use) with drafting and negotiating games development and publishing agreements with start-up games developers. Other clients of the firm include US make-up brand Glossier, Barclays Bank, Activision Publishing and Globetouch.¬†¬†Martin Cotterill¬†has a strong profile in the financial services (including fintech) sector.¬†Glyn Morgan¬†is another key figure in the group.

TLT has a sizeable team which is spread across six offices UK-wide. Led by Perran Jervis, it acts for UK and international FTSE 100 and FTSE 250-listed corporates, public sector organisations and high-growth companies. Recent highlights included Jervis advising Sainsbury's on a franchising agreement with a national chain of petrol station forecourt convenience stores. In addition to its work in the retail industry, the group's other areas of industry expertise are consumer goods, energy and renewables, financial services, leisure and the public sector. The firm is one of only 12 in the UK to be on the Government's Crown Commercial Services tier one legal panel. Its other notable clients include French Connection, learndirect, Dyson and Elavon Financial Services. Alison Deighton, Daniel Lloyd, Stuart Campbell and Nick Fenner are recommended individuals. Associate Alex Williamson is another name to note.

Philip Trillmich and Lindsey Canning lead White & Case LLP's practice, which focuses on transactional commercial, technology and intellectual property matters. The team acts for clients on a standalone basis, and also provides support on corporate transactions, such as joint ventures, M&A and restructurings. Canning has a particular specialism in handling the commercial aspects of carve-out transactions, and also assists suppliers and customers with various other freestanding commercial agreements (including BPOs, IT outsourcings and agreements involving the transfer and exploitation of intellectual property). The group acts for clients involved in a number of areas, particularly software and data, digital health, automotive, telecommunications and pharmaceuticals. Canning and others assisted The Scotts Miracle-Gro Company with negotiating the commercial agreements related to the sale of its international consumer business to Exponent Private Equity. The team also advises One-Pro Cycling Limited on a number of commercial matters, which recently included its partnership with Aston Martin and a key kit supply agreement. Elsewhere, the group has become increasingly active in the fintech space.

Cooley (UK) LLP supports clients in commercial matters underpinned by technology and data, such as the outsourcing and procurement of technology and technology-related services, licensing arrangements and the distribution of digital content, among others. Chris Coulter is the main contact at the firm, which acts for clients such as National Farmers Union Mutual, Flexion Therapeutics and Reckitt Benckiser Group. Sarah Pearce recently moved to Paul Hastings LLP.

Farrer & Co is well-known for its high-end work in sectors such as education, art and heritage and media (including broadcasting). Its ability to cover the full range of commercial contracts has enabled it to build up a notable portfolio of clients, including National Gallery, Museum of London, Bauer Media, the Lawn Tennis Association and Imperial College London. Practice head Peter Wienand specialises in negotiating commercial agreements involving IP-rich issues, such as collaborations, R&D and technology transfer. Other notable individuals are David Copping and associate Jane Randell, who were part of the team which recently advised Brookfield Business Partners on the corporate and commercial contracts issues associated with its indirect investment in, and strategic partnership with, electric car charger company Chargemaster Plc. Another highlight saw Henry Sainty  and Paul Jones act for UK Athletics in the staging in 2017 of the IAAF World Athletics Championships and the IPC World ParaAthletics Championships. Paul Jones and associate Alan Baker are other highly regarded practitioners.

Fladgate LLP's 'first-class team' provides the full spectrum of commercial contracts advice to broadcasters, hotel owners and operators, universities and sports governing bodies (national and international), among a broad base of clients. Team head Eddie Powell combines commercial contracts expertise with knowledge about related intellectual property, technology and competition law issues; his varied work includes technology transactions (such as IT procurement, supply and development), manufacturing arrangements and licensing agreements. In a recent highlight, Powell and Alex Haffner (an addition from Dentons in 2017) acted for Glorious Brands Limited in the negotiation of an exclusive distribution agreement with US-based Astral Brands Inc for the distribution in the UK and Ireland of beauty products under the PUR brand. In addition, Haffner advised Mermaid Conferences & Events Limited on an agreement with White Light Limited (WLL) for WLL to provide audio-visual and other services to customers using the Mermaid Centre in central London. Also recommended are Alan Wetterhahn, James Earl, Jan Hoppe (a recent hire from Gordon Dadds LLP) and senior associate David Quinlan.

Howard Kennedy LLP's well regarded team, which acts for national and international clients, is led by Robert Lands, who has a specialism in agreements involving the technology, fashion and creative (including film and TV) industries. Lands' experience includes brand licensing, endorsement agreements and distribution agreements. Eric Gummers is highly active in the hospitality and leisure sector, and is working with Lands to advise Marriott Vacation Club (MVCI Europe Limited) on structuring the sale of its fractional products in Europe. Consultant Jonathan Sellors is another noted practitioner in the group, which also handles a full range of contracts in the sports, technology and real estate sectors.

At Jones Day, practice head Jonathon Little assists customers and suppliers with negotiating a broad cross-section of outsourcing agreements, including telecoms, network, BPO and IT. His other areas of expertise beyond outsourcing include IT licensing, systems and software acquisition, and agency and distribution agreements. Elizabeth Robertson (who is particularly active in the financial services and pharmaceuticals/healthcare sectors) focuses on technology-related agreements; her workload includes software M&A, software licensing and website hosting agreements. Rhys Thomas is experienced in resolving disputes arising from outsourcing arrangements for technology services companies, most notably in the context of government-sponsored projects. Clients include Elbus Consulting, Fadata and British Land.

K&L Gates LLP's core commercial contracts practice is supported by the firm's strengths in areas such as intellectual property, data protection and IT. It generates work from UK and international clients across a multitude of sectors; names include West Indies Cricket Board, Puma, De Tomaso and Lucozade Ribena Suntory. Neil Baylis and associate Noirin McFadden advise BYD (UK) Limited on commercial contracts related to its electric vehicle business; recent examples included advising the client on supply agreements with UK bus route operators for the supply of electric buses, and negotiating agreements with various taxi companies over the use of the client's E6 vehicle. Warren Phelops has particular experience of the TMT, sports, and gaming and betting sectors. Special counsel Andrew Gilchrist is another name to note. In recent developments, Catherine Adam and Jennifer Marsh made partner and senior associate Michael Llewellyn joined from CMS. Andrew Danson departed for Bird & Bird LLP, while Jeremy Davis moved to McGuireWoods London LLP.

The continued success of Keystone Law's practice has been reflected by the growth of its team, which was recently joined by John Haggis from Sheridans. In addition, the firm expanded its offering in Northern Ireland in 2017, following a merger with Belfast firm McMahon McKay. Illustrative of the strengths of its offering, the firm acts for clients such as BBC Worldwide, Ladbrokes Coral Group and Tesco Mobile Limited. A team led by Jimmy Desai, Nadim Zaman and Anthony Misquitta is advising Intersection on an agreement with Primesight and BT to bring Links machines to the UK (enabling customers to access super-fast WiFi by standing close to a Links machine). Meriel Pymont assisted Twig World Limited (a developer of digital education resources) with an agreement to create core curriculum science products for the State of California. Other contacts in the team include Jaan Larner, Jeremy Schrire, Suzy Schmitz, Vanessa Barnett and Lucy Blick-Jones.

Lewis Silkin LLP's team has 'an eye towards achieving an efficient and effective outcome' for clients in relation to concessions and franchising agreements, BPOs, supply and distribution agreements, and logistics contracts, among other matters. Jo Farmer and senior associate Alan Hunt recently assisted Admiral with negotiating a media buying contract with PHD, covering all media buying for Admiral and confused.com. Simon Entwhistle was the lead adviser to Azzurri Restaurants Limited on its commercial joint venture with Sainsbury's to operate Zizzi pizza concessions in Sainsbury's stores. James Gill heads up the team, whose other clients include Capita, Suzuki and News International. Jeremy Summers and Nathalie Moreno are recommended.

Mills & Reeve LLP's team is praised by clients for its 'technical ability' and 'industry knowledge', which is underpinned by its 'strength in depth'. The firm is well-known for its public sector and contracting work, where it acts for central government departments, non-departmental public bodies and regulators; clients include Ofgem, the Financial Conduct Authority and The Pensions Regulator. In addition, it occupies a place on the Crown Commercial Service's central government general commercial legal panel. Practice head Greg Gibson, Kevin Calder, Peter Wainman and others are advising the Department of Health on its Future Operating Model programme, which is intended to restructure the NHS supply chain and achieve savings from the NHS' annual procurement spend. The firm also acts for private sector organisations in their negotiations with public sector entities. Elsewhere, the arrivals of Jayne Hussey and principal associate Ruth Andrew from Pinsent Masons LLP in 2015 have led to a growth in work in the supply chain management, logistics and automotive arena. Another pillar of the practice is technology, where it acts for leading UK-based technology businesses; the firm advises ARM on licensing, supply and other commercial contracts. In addition to handling UK-centred contracts, the team is also sought-after in cross-border agreements, as is evidenced by Gibson and Paul Knight advising The British Council on its contracts around the world.

Morrison & Foerster LLP's main contact in London is Alistair Maughan, who is a co-chair of the firm's technology transactions group and a member of the wider global sourcing group. In 2017, Maughan advised NNIT, a Denmark-headquartered global IT services provider, on the terms of an outsourcing services agreement with Cambridge University Hospitals. In addition, Maughan is currently assisting Police Mutual Insurance with negotiating a flexible benefits outsourcing contract with Capita Plc. Elsewhere, the firm's other recent work has included AI/machine learning-focused outsourcing projects and procurement/outsourcing disputes. Sue McLean departed for Baker McKenzie.

Squire Patton Boggs' team provides 'very strong support' on UK-centred commercial contracts, thanks to its strong national presence. It also has a longstanding track record handling international commercial contracts involving emerging markets, most notably in Eastern Europe and the Middle East. The work spans multiple sectors, including advertising and media, healthcare, fintech, IT, telecommunications, sport and retail. Group head Andrew Wilkinson and senior associate Alastair Purssell are 'particularly responsive, not afraid to give a pragmatic view or just chat through the issues and debate them in a business-friendly manner'. In a notable mandate in 2017, Purssell worked alongside Robert Wegenek and Stephen Sampson in the advice to AIA Group on its high-profile shirt sponsorship deal with Tottenham Hotspur. Wegenek also recently assisted Telegraph Media Group with various matters, including its contract with PA News concerning the daily supply of data and images for use in their print and online publications. Carlton Daniel is another key figure in the team.

Stephenson Harwood provides bespoke advice on a variety of commercial arrangements that are hugely significant to businesses' operations, including strategic alliances and large projects. Practice head Dan Holland, senior associates Naomi Leach, David Berry and others advise UCB on a wide range of matters, such as material transfer agreements (including the transfer of human samples), research and development agreements, and long-term framework agreements. Holland also serves as the lead adviser to Aviagen on standard exclusive and non-exclusive multijurisdictional agreements that are fundamental to its plans to grow its presence internationally. Another client is Malaysia-headquartered susbcription video-on-demand service iflix, for whom the firm handles promotional partnership arrangements, and dubbing and subtitling agreements, among other matters. Jonathan Kirsop acts for clients such as Barclays Bank, easyhotel and Ryanair.

Bates Wells Braithwaite, which has an extensive commercial contracts practice, has become increasingly sought-after by clients such as 118 Group to advise on complex data supply agreements. In addition, its team has a wealth of experience advising on a range of technology-related agreements, such as the procurement of cloud-based systems, software licensing/support, managed services and platform services. In 2017, practice head Richard Marke and Viral Kataria, acted for the charity FareShare in its agreement with Tesco over the rollout of the FareShare FoodCloud mobile phone app, which enables Tesco stores to alert local charities of surplus food when it becomes available. In addition to acting for UK-based clients, as a member of the Parlex network, the firm generates a significant amount of cross-border work from overseas-based companies. Outsourcing work for suppliers and customers is another mainstay of the practice; areas of expertise for the team include BPOs and facilities management outsourcings.

Philip Lamb leads Bircham Dyson Bell's team, which assists clients with a wide range of commercial and technology agreements. The group includes Hollie Gallagher, whose expertise includes outsourcing contracts, agency and distribution agreements, standard terms and conditions for the sale and supply of goods and/or services (including online), and joint venture agreements. The firm acts for a particularly significant number of organisations in the healthcare sector, such as CIS Healthcare Limited, Immupharma Plc and Health Services Laboratories LLP. Other clients of the practice include charities, local authorities and local authorities. Paul Voller and Penny Bygraves  recently departed for VWV (Veale Wasbrough Vizards).

Although Blake Morgan LLP is particularly well-known for its outsourcing (especially BPOs) and partnering arrangements, it is also highly regarded for other matters, such as supply, distribution and agency agreements, services agreements and consumer contracts, among others. In 2017, Lawrence Phillips and team head Simon Stokes assisted IT services provider Virtual Clarity with securing an investment from CSC. Ian Skuse has notable experience of advising clients in the travel sector on various commercial agreements.

Bristows LLP has a strong client following in the commercial contracts space, owing to its 'high degree of partner-level engagement'; its longstanding clients include Diageo, AstraZeneca and Honda. Matthew Warren heads up the team, which handles commercial matters that overlap with technology, brands, digital content and intellectual property. Laura Anderson was the lead adviser to Ferroglobe Plc on two recent long-term strategic commercial arrangements with Glencore, which were related to the client's acquisition of two manganese plants from Glencore. In 2017, Toby Crick and senior associate Sacha Wilson assisted Guardian News and Media with negotiating two commercial deals with adtech vendors OpenX and Improve Digital. IT specialist Adrian Sim , whose expertise includes e-commerce and digital media transactions, has 'an excellent client manner' and is 'very responsive'. Anna Cook, of counsel David Horner and senior associate Claire Smith are also recommended.

Clarkslegal LLP's clients praise its team's 'in-depth knowledge of the subject matter' in relation to BPOs, procurement, joint ventures and supply arrangements, among various other areas. Senior consultant Kirstin Parker and Ashan Arif co-head the team, which acts for clients ranging in size from SMEs and lower mid-market organisations to listed companies. David Rintoul has been assisting Optimum Group Plc with reviewing the terms of its contracts for various multimillion pound agreements concerning the supply of services, including in the area of data centres. Rintoul and Ruth Wilkinson are most notably active in the construction industry. Simon Ralphs has a wealth of experience in the area of franchising, particularly in the food and restaurant sector. Senior consultant Jon Chapman and Stephen James are other key figures, as is senior solicitor Hannah Mycock-Overell.

Fox Williams LLP, where the majority of the commercial contracts work has a cross-border flavour, has specialised in agency, distributorship and supply agreements for more than 25 years. Its team, which is 'great to work with', provides advice on contentious and non-contentious matters to principals and agents, as well as suppliers and distributors. In 2017, Stephen Sidkin and legal director Emma Roake represented The Software Incubator at the Court of Appeal in the landmark case of The Software Incubator Limited v Computer Associates UK Limited; the matter concerns the question of whether or not a licence to use electronically supplied software amounts to 'the sale of goods' under the Commercial Agents (Council Directive) Regulations 1993. Elsewhere, another highlight involved advising Spanish company King's Education SL on an agreement with Latvia-based Saliena Development SIA to establish a British-style school in Riga. Senior associate Laura Monro is also recommended.

Irwin Mitchell's recent work has included advising National Grid Plc on contracts related to its online training portal (among various other matters) and assisting Saga Plc with the procurement and customisation of a booking and reservation platform. Gatwick-based Daniel Hedley specialises in IT-related matters, such as software licensing and development, cloud services and IT outsourcing. National practice head Stuart Padgham , solicitor Michael Camps and senior associate solicitor Aurelia Butler-Ball (a specialist in the media and entertainment sector) are also located in Gatwick. Laurence Gavin in Sheffield handles a wide range of matters for clients in sectors such as education and charities, as well as the public sector. Joanne Bone, who leads the team in Leeds, complements her commercial contracts experience with knowledge about data protection issues. Birmingham-based Sarah Riding advises clients on matters such as market entry, supply chain management and sponsorship.

Macfarlanes LLP's Jeremy Courtenay-Stamp has particular experience of commercial arrangements where intellectual property (brand or technology-based) is an asset. In addition, Courtenay-Stamp is sought-after for his sports law expertise, and he is also knowledgeable about advertising and marketing, and franchising, among various other areas. Recently promoted partner William Hedges is highly active in outsourcing transactions, and also assists clients with brand licensing and sponsorship agreements. Clients include Arora Hotels, ICAP and Air Liquide.

At Memery Crystal LLP, Tim Sewart joined from DAC Beachcroft LLP to become head of the firm's commercial, media and technology practice, with former head Tim Ryan moving in the opposite direction; both developments took place in October 2017. Sewart's arrival was preceded by the arrival of Robin Fry (an experienced intellectual property lawyer, who has increased his focus on software licensing), who also joined from DAC Beachcroft LLP. Jonathan Riley is another notable individual in the group, which has had a marked uptick in pre-dispute work, where parties have sought to renegotiate terms or terminate contracts. It also provides advice on non-contentious matters related to agency, manufacturing and distribution agreements, and agreements concerning the supply and purchase of goods and services.

Although Mishcon de Reya LLP acts for clients across a wide variety of sectors, it has a particular focus on industries such as fashion, luxury and retail, media, real estate, technology and life sciences. The team is led by Lewis Cohen, who assisted private equity firm VIY Management and hotelier International Hospitality Services with licence arrangements for the Hard Rock Hotel in Davos. Cohen has also been advising Tesco Plc on franchise arrangements across multiple territories for its F&F clothing and accessories range. Other clients of the firm include Fiorucci, Badoo and Kerb. Another notable individual is Adam Rose, who has more than 25 years of commercial contracts experience, and specialises in commercial contracts that interface with real estate (such as property management agreements and asset management agreements). Larry Nathan is experienced in handling contracts for clients where technology underpins their business operations, such as online dating companies and fintech businesses. Martyn Hann and managing associate Simon Leaf are recommended. Associate Emily Dorotheu joined from CMS in 2017.

Penningtons Manches LLP's cross-border work is gaining momentum, with the firm having a presence on a number of international networks, including Multilaw (the firm was a founding member), the American Bar Association and the European Law Group. In addition, the firm has a San Francisco office, which was opened in December 2014; Hamish Corner, who divides time between the London and San Francisco offices, advises numerous US-based clients on their EU and UK operations and transactions. Anna Frankum recently advised the UK branch of Florida State University on its contract with an estate management company, and also advised on GDPR issues connected with agreements with suppliers. Rubina Khan (who was hired from Bird & Bird LLP in 2017) and others recently assisted Banque Transatlantique with the drafting of its customer-facing communications, which included its website terms and conditions. Frankum co-heads the practice with Chris Shelley. Jon Bartley moved to RPC.

PwC Legal LLP operates as an independent alternative business structure (ABS) law firm, and its UK team is integrated into the firm's global network, providing a notable platform to handle cross-border commercial issues. In addition to acting for clients on a standalone basis, the group also works closely with the professional services side of the business on various commercial arrangements, including procurement and sourcing, as well as intra-group agreements. Juan Crosby leads the team, which includes Latika Sharma, Jonathan Nugent, Nigel Wilson and Jennifer Winterhalder.

Simons Muirhead & Burton's commercial contracts team is particularly highly regarded for its work in the retail, franchising, media and entertainment, IT/technology and publishing sectors. A significant proportion of the mandates handled by the group, which is led by Simon Goldberg, have an international angle. Maninder Gill, who 'thinks outside the box on all matters', advises on international franchising issues for fashion brands, restaurants and publishers. Marc Sobol, who heads up the firm's sports and broadcasting teams, acts for clients such as Econet Media (the largest telecoms company in Sub-Sahara Africa) and NBC Universal. Another notable individual is Richard Baskind, who handles a wide variety of commercial issues for clients in the music industry, including artists and songwriters, independent record labels and publishers, and industry executives. In 2017, Goldberg, Razwana Akram and senior associate Blaise Gaymer acted for California-based production and finance company Automatik Entertainment in the production, finance and distribution of feature film 'Teen Spirit'. In another matter, Baskind and others advised DJ Alan Walker and MER Recording on an agreement for Walker to be a brand ambassador for the electronic dance label Liquid State (a joint venture between Sony Music and China's Tencent Music). Simon Halberstam, and senior associates James Greenslade and Raoul Lumb, are among other recommended individuals.

Stevens & Bolton LLP's practice head Beverley Whittaker, who has more than 25 years of commercial contracts experience, assists clients with procurement, marketing agreements and supply of services, among other matters. Beverley Flynn is another seasoned commercial lawyer, who also leads the firm's data protection work. Nicola Broadhurst heads up the firm's franchising practice, while Gary Parnell is the technology and media head. Another key figure is Gustaf Duhs, who is knowledgeable about the interplay between commercial contracts and regulatory issues in sectors such as fintech, life sciences and telecommunications. Managing associate Charles Maurice and senior associate Oliver Kidd are also recommended. Whittaker and others advise Anheuser-Busch InBev's centralised procurement hub (which is based in Switzerland) on various issues, including large-scale global procurements of goods and services. KIA Motors, Accolade Wines and Kuoni Travel are among other clients.

One of Wedlake Bell LLP's key partners is Adam Edwards, who is 'brilliant at getting to the crux of the matter'. Edwards acts for owner-managed businesses based in the US, UK and Europe across a number of industries. Also praised is 'very thorough and responsive' Jonathan Cornthwaite. Led by Adrian Heath-Saunders, the team assists UK and overseas-based clients with agency, distribution agreements, franchising, joint ventures and outsourcing arrangements, among other matters. Heath-Saunders is acting for Axpo Power AG in its contractual arrangements with the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority over the provision of nuclear waste reprocessing services at Sellafield. Heath-Saunders also recently assisted Pearson Lloyd Design with contractual negotiations with a major European airline relating to the design of the business class seating and cabin interior of a new fleet of Boeing 777-9 aircraft. Christopher Tite is particularly active in the ports, automotive and legal services sectors.

Following a strategic review, Weightmans LLP underwent a transformational management restructure in May 2017, which resulted in a new 'client relationships' arm being created to cover six key markets: owner-managed business, built environment, corporate, private client, insurance and public bodies. Its national commercial team includes Leeds-based Michelle Mathers, who focuses on servicing owner-managed businesses. Sarah Walton in Manchester leads the group, which advises on procurement, collaboration agreements, manufacturing agreements, franchising and outsourcing, among other areas. Vincent King and newly promoted partner Victoria Robertson recently acted for Lancashire Constabulary and the Lancashire PCC in a collaboration with the University of Central Lancashire to establish a forensic academy. Laurence Pritchard was the lead adviser to a consortium of independent greyhound track owners on the sale of media rights to the greyhound races at their tracks to Arena Leisure Limited. Sean Crotty acts for public and private sector clients, such as the Metropolitan Police, Derbyshire County Council and Playground Games Limited. John Schorah, Martin Vincent and associate Haroon Younis are also recommended.

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