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The Legal 500 Hall of Fame Icon The Legal 500 Hall of Fame highlights individuals who have received constant praise by their clients for continued excellence. The Hall of Fame highlights, to clients, the law firm partners who are at the pinnacle of the profession. In the United Kingdon, the criteria for entry is to have been recognised by The Legal 500 as one of the elite leading lawyers for eight years. These partners are highlighted below and throughout the editorial.
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United Kingdom > North West > TMT (technology, media and telecoms) > IT and telecoms > Law firm and leading lawyer rankings

Editorial

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Index of tables

  1. IT and telecoms
  2. Leading individuals: Hall of Fame
  3. Leading individuals
  4. Next Generation Partners
  5. Rising stars

Leading individuals: Hall of Fame

  1. 1

Next Generation Partners

  1. 1

Rising stars

  1. 1

Addleshaw Goddard advises a wide range of public and private sector clients - including FTSE 100 companies and government bodies - on high profile, high value IT projects. Areas of expertise include purchasing, cloud computing projects, enterprise resource planning (ERP) projects and ICT enabled outsourcing. The 'fantastically experienced' Paul Bentham co-heads the team and handles major systems implementations and outsourcing projects. 'Stand-out adviser' James Whittaker, who also co-heads the team, advises on procurement and international outsourcing arrangements.

Practice head(s):Paul Bentham; James Whittaker

Other key lawyers:Phil McGough; Nadine Waters

Testimonials

Addleshaw Goddard stands out in the North West for the quality and depth of their TMT team’.

They work for a huge range of FTSE 100 household names, government bodies, entrepreneurs and local champions’.

James Whittaker is a stand-out adviser - he advises on complex IT and outsourcing transactions’.

Phil McGough has a dedication to delivering successful solutions to high profile transactions and never gives up on seeking the best outcomes for clients’.

Paul Bentham is fantastically experienced, particularly with FTSE 100 and government clients’.

Nadine Waters has become legendary amongst key clients for her plain speaking, no nonsense approach to negotiating transactions; her advice is exceptional, and her clients return time and time again’.

Key Clients

The Co-operative Group Limited

Reckitt Benckiser plc

J Sainsbury's plc

Bruntwood Group of companies

PZ Cussons plc

McDonald's Restaurants Limited

London Gateway Port Limited

Matalan

Diageo

NHS Business Services Authority

Work highlights

  • Advised Bruntwood on its 50:50 partnership with Legal & General Capital to create the UK’s largest property platform dedicated to driving science and technology growth in regional cities.
  • Acted for Engie on the acquisition of Smart Buildings Limited.
  • Acting for Co-operative Insurance on its claim against IBM.

DLA Piper UK LLP's team, which takes a 'business-first approach' works with both national and international clients on a wide range of matters relating to cloud computing, IT and business process outsourcing and insourcing, systems integration, service transitions and procurement. Other areas of expertise include data protection, privacy compliance, digital strategies, data audits and GDPR. Key client sectors include financial services, manufacturing and industrial. Edinburgh-based John McKinlay and Liverpool-based Sarah Bell, who specialises in IT-related procurements, co-head the team, while Lee Brierley leads the Manchester technology and sourcing team. Stephen Wright is also regarded as a stand-out partner for his commercial approach.

Practice head(s):John McKinlay; Sarah Bell

Other key lawyers:Peter Brook; Lee Brierley; Paddy Dwyer; Luke Stubbs; David Booth; Stephen Wright

Testimonials

'A really effective and very strong TMT team.'

'Good knowledge of IT matters and a clear understanding of commercial issues from the perspective of the client. The team takes a business issues first approach rather than a legal issues first approach.'

'Steve Wright stands out. He has good personal understanding of IT matters. He really makes an effort to understand the business problem being addressed. He can challenge the commercial thinking as well as the legal thinking.'

'Sarah Bell is a strong negotiator and master of the detail of a contract.'

Key Clients

Beaconsfield Footwear Ltd / Hotter

Biffa Group Limited

Cabinet Office

Department for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

EVBox

Globe Union

HCL Technologies

Key Retirement Group Limited

Merseytravel

Mitrefinch Limited

Mobysoft Limited

NCC Group

Next

Saudi Telecom Company

Sefton Metropolitan Borough Council

The Hut Group (THG)

Transport for the North

Verna Group International

Work highlights

  • Advised Biffa Group Limited on a major contract reset in relation to its procurement of a new ERP system.
  • Advised DEFRA on the procurement of managed desktop services as part of its overhaul of IT provision across the department.
  • Advised Merseytravel on a groundbreaking digital railway project to provide a new system which will enable state of the art train management systems.
  • Advised Transport for the North on its establishment of a multi-modal account-based smart ticketing scheme.
  • Advised Key Retirement Group on the strategic rationalisation and outsourcing of material components of its IT infrastructure.

DWF advises a roster of household name clients on IT and outsourcing projects, with a particular focus on the financial services, insurance and retail sectors. The practice has recently seen an increase in instructions from IT and telecoms suppliers. The 'extremely personable' Craig Chaplin heads the team and is experienced in advising on major IT infrastructure projects. James Lonsdale is adept at handling outsourcing agreements, acquisitions, licenses, and contracts. Andrew Whalley leads on disputes.

Practice head(s):Craig Chaplin

Other key lawyers:Andrew Whalley; James Lonsdale; Richard Meehan; Catherine Harrison

Testimonials

The team is focused on delivering commercial advice efficiently and cost effectively’.

Excellent industry knowledge’.

Craig Chaplin is leader in the field - he is extremely personable and focused on ensuring a first class service is provided’.

Key Clients

GiffGaff Limited

Telefónica UK Limited (O2)

Serco Group plc

Poundland Limited

South Staffordshire

Manchester City

WM Morrisons Supermarkets Plc

Cultureshift Communications Ltd

Nexus (Passenger Transport Executive for Tyne & Wear)

Manchester United Football Club

Quantum Base Limited

Fourth Limited

Work highlights

  • Acting for O2 in its £300m claim for restitution of annual licence fees paid to Ofcom in respect of wireless telegraphy licences.
  • Advised Poundland Limited on the negotiation of a Europe-wide IT implementation project with Aptos.
  • Continued to advise Serco on a variety of IT matters including a variety of cloud solutions
  • Acted for Utiligroup in relation to its supply to utility companies of software and a managed service in relation to smart metering.
  • Assisted Quantum Base with the commercialisation of random number generator nanoscale quantum consumables.

Pinsent Masons LLP's¬†‚Äėhighly proactive and efficient‚Äô¬†team advises top clients on a range of matters relating to IT procurements, outsourcing, cloud computing and online trading. Other areas of expertise GDPR, breach notification and remediation work, which the firm is seeing an increasing amount of instructions for. Clients include both public and private businesses in the tech and retail spaces. Samantha Livesey¬†co-heads the team and focuses on IT, digital and IP matters. Claire Edwards¬†also co-heads the team and specialises in major IT, technology and data protection matters.

Practice head(s):Samantha Livesey; Claire Edwards

Other key lawyers:Rif Kapadi; Sam Hall; Rachel Forbes; Chris Benn

Testimonials

Highly proactive and efficient’.

Claire Edwards is responsive and highly engaged’.

Key Clients

Exerp ApS

Celtic Football Club

Bonmarché Holdings Plc

The Jockey Club

Hanson Group

DCC plc

Allstate Insurance

Liberty IT

Silentnight

Work highlights

  • Acting for Allstate Northern Ireland on its technology services procurements.
  • Advised APG Cash Drawer UK Limited on the development of a partner agreement for the sales, support and maintenance of its new smart till product.
  • Advising The English Football League on their CRM agreement with Goodform for the delivery of website, e-marketing and mailshot content to The Football League and the clubs it represents.
  • Advised the procurement team of new client Sage Global Services on numerous international technology procurement matters.

Brabners LLP advises clients on issues covering seed funding, patents, production, broadcasting, publishing, sponsorship, licensing and distribution. Key client sectors include tech, digital, media, sports, music and computer games. Managing partner Nik White focuses on tech start-ups, computer games software and app development and exploitation; he heads the team alongside Matt Brown, Richard Hough and Colin Bell.

Practice head(s):Nik White; Matt Brown; Richard Hough; Colin Bell

Other key lawyers:Victoria Trigwell; James Pearson

Key Clients

Rathbones plc

Sinara

NetConsult

Chartersync

Ascentis

Gas Tag

P&C Communications

North West Air Ambulance

Proact

Centred Solutions

Work highlights

  • Advising Rathbones on various key contractual arrangements relating to its IT infrastructure.
  • Advising Sinara on various development, licence, hosting and maintenance agreements and framework agreements relating to software systems.
  • Advising NetConsult in connection with a number of customer contracts with various banks and financial institutions.
  • Advising Chartersync Limited and drafting software development and maintenance agreements for the air cargo charter start-up.
  • Assisting Ascentis with the development of licensing arrangements with schools and individuals accessing the platform.

Clarke Willmott LLP advises clients on data protection, data security issues, GDPR, major ICT acquisitions, technology disputes and IP issues. Other areas of expertise include IT, technology and software contracts. The firm has a particular focus on fintech and telecoms clients. Susan Hall - who 'has unrivalled legal knowledge and experience' - heads up the team.

Practice head(s):Susan Hall

Other key lawyers:Andrew Stone

Testimonials

They have unrivalled legal and technical experience and can go toe-to-toe with the big London names’.

Susan Hall has unrivalled legal knowledge and experience together with a real technical acumen and great client manner’.

Andrew Stone is a great technician’.

Key Clients

The Berkeley Group plc

wejo Limited

Informed Solutions Limited

Denis Ferranti Meters Limited

MiX Telematics Europe Limited

Meetoo Limited

Orona Limited

Quantuma LLP

Xpertrule Limited

Allegion (UK) Limited

Work highlights

  • Providing advice to the Berkeley Group in relation to its ongoing programme of technology refresh and replacement..
  • Drafting and negotiating contracts with suppliers and purchasers of data for car data company wejo.
  • Advised Informed Solutions Limited on data protection, issues related to GDPR in the context of public sector business and on contracts with government departments and NGOs.
  • Assisted Lumi Technologies Limited on egotiating terms of business and GDPR related issues.
  • Provided GDPR advice to LiveWest including on document retention, data sharing agreements, fair processing and appropriate notices to give to users.

Fieldfisher's Manchester team advises a range of regional, national and international clients across sectors including retail, financial services, energy and sports. London-based Robert Shooter heads the team alongside Manchester-based Rob Sheldon, who focuses on outsourcing, privacy and commercial contracts and 'understands the pressures in-house solicitors face'. Manchester-based Sam Jardine also heads the team and deals with software agreements and outsourcing, providing a 'formidable team' alongside associate Liam Corrigan.

Practice head(s):Robert Shooter; Rob Sheldon; Sam Jardine

Other key lawyers:Liam Corrigan; Annabelle Gold-Caution

Testimonials

‘Rob Sheldon is a great technical lawyer, but equally importantly, is highly engaged with his clients, responsive, well organized, easy going and inspires both internal stakeholders and his own team to deliver great results’.

‘Liam Corrigan and Sam Jardine create a formidable team and have extensive knowledge in the areas of IT contract management’.

'The team are highly responsive and really understand our business needs - they are dedicated to customer service and they getting the right outcome for the client.'

'Fieldfisher are undoubtedly experts in their chosen fields, are approachable and are open and generous in respect of sharing knowledge and know how and are happy to demonstrate their knowledge. This gives you absolute confidence in them.'

'Very commercial legal advice, completely understanding of the realities of business and able to adapt advice to appropriate audiences.'

'Rob Sheldon support has been invaluable. He understands the pressures an in-house solicitor faces and is always able to provide pragmatic, timely legal support and is a pleasure to work with.'

'Working with Annabelle Gold-Caution is efficient and easy, with work delivered on time and to the high standards we would expect.'

'Rob Sheldon is very approachable, realistic and able to deliver concise and targeted advice on all areas of privacy law.'

Key Clients

Altro Group plc

Autoglym

Babylon Healthcare

BBC Children in Need

British Cycling

CIS General Insurance

Co-op

DB Cargo and DB Systel (part of Deutsche Bahn)

Department for Transport

Dunnhumby (Tesco's data-science subsidiary)

Engage Solutions

Florette

Fortnum & Mason plc

Frog Education Limited

FutureLearn

GCI

Gentrack

Godiva Chocolatier

Havas

Iceland Foods Limited

In Touch Networks

Keolis Amey Docklands (DLR)

Liverpool Football Club

London North Eastern Railway

Martin Dawes Systems

Microchip

Motorola Solutions

Nursing and Midwifery Council

Olympus KeyMed

Onthebeach.com

Pets at Home / Vets4Pets

Shaping Cloud

Societe Generale Equipment Finance

Solicitors Regulation Authority

Trilliant

UD Software Solutions

UK Council of Psychotherapists

Vector Informatik GmbH

Well Pharmacies (Bestway Panacea)

Young Enterprise

Work highlights

  • Advised Trilliant on new SaaS smart-metering service for UK energy companies.
  • Advising EY Global Services on the negotiation of a comprehensive new technology licensing agreement with Kim Technologies as part of its acquisition of Riverview Law.
  • Appointed as dunnhumby's 'go to' external firm, advising on a broad range of contractual and privacy matters.
  • Providing ongoing data protection and GDPR compliance support to the Altro and Autoglym businesses.
  • Providing privacy and GDPR support to Pets at Home and Vets4Pets.

Hill Dickinson LLP specialises in the telecoms sector, advising both private and public sector clients on regulatory compliance, smart grids and telecoms networks. Mark Fitzgibbon, a public procurement expert, is head of commercial, TMT and IP, while Tracey Sheehan is head of telecoms. Since joining the firm in late 2017, Sheehan has sought to broaden the firm's telecoms offering by strengthening the team’s international project capability and convergence with the wider firm's core industry groups, which include corporate, marine and construction.

Practice head(s):Mark Fitzgibbon

Other key lawyers:Tracey Sheehan

Key Clients

West Sussex County Council

Liquid Telecom

Greater Manchester Combined Authority

Node Technologies Limited

Bridge Fibre Limited

Cambridge Broadband Networks Limited

London Borough of Bexley

Telcom

Work highlights

  • Advised West Sussex County Council on its successful bid to be a pilot for the DCMS Local Full Fibre Network Program delivering gigabit connectivity in the region.
  • Advised Greater Manchester Combined Authority on its successful bid to fund the roll-out of full fibre connectivity in the region.
  • Advising Node Technologies Limited on a smart building product.
  • Advising Bridge Fibre Limited on redrafting the total package of terms and conditions in respect of Access to Optic Fibre/Optic Fibre leases and provisions of broadband connectivity.
  • Advising Cambridge Broadband Networks Limited on UK, Brazil, Africa and US markets.

Pannone Corporate LLP's key clients include IT hardware, software and application providers, service providers and retail business, particularly online retailers. Amy Chandler - who 'makes the complex simple' - deals with IT contracts and projects and co-heads the team alongside David Brown, who focuses on litigation. The practice has recently seen an increase on data protection work in relation to IT agreements.

Practice head(s):Amy Chandler; David Brown

Other key lawyers:Victoria Dolan; Paul Jonson; Martin Pennington

Testimonials

'What characterises the team at Pannone Corporate is how they tune into you personally and to your business. The partners are prepared to build up a long-term relationship and as a result the advice they provide feels pragmatic, commercial and right for the business.'

‘Amy Chandler is easy to engage with, listens carefully to your particular needs and circumstances and provides clear pragmatic advice’.

Amy Chandler makes the complex simple and has the ability to think outside the box to support the development of IT software contracts for new to market products’.

Pannone Corporate offers services across a variety of skill sets and legal areas from the in-house team; the delivery of service is seamless’.

Key Clients

Boohoo

Brother International Europe Limited

Renold plc

IGT

SMG (UK) Limited

Response Tap

UK ROEd Limited

Marlborough Fund Managers Limited

SteamaCo

Xenith Document Systems Limited

Steamhaus Limited

Travel Insurance Facilities Limited

Grafenia plc

Intechnica Limited

CSI Manchester Ltd trading as CSI Media

Equipoise Software Limited

NG Bailey

Cotton Traders

Q9 Partners

G2S Limited

Onefile Limited

GovData Limited

Work highlights

  • Advised UKROEd Limited on various IT related agreements.
  • Advised Brother International Europe Limited in connection with various IT agreements.
  • Advised SMG, a global venue management company, in respect of a contract for the installation of guest Wi-Fi at Manchester Arena and a separate sponsorship agreement with Deezer who were appointed as the Arena’s official streaming partner.
  • Advised ResponseTap, a call tracking and analytics provider, in respect of compliance with GDPR.
  • Advising Renold plc in connection with the launch of a new online shop.

TLT acts for national and international corporations on IT projects, open banking, cloud services and digital transformations. Other areas of expertise include procurement, outsourcing,, software development and systems integration. Key client sectors include financial services, fintech, retail, TMT and the public sector. David Gardner - who has 'a wealth of knowledge and experience across key technical developments in the IT world' - heads the team and leads on significant IT transactions from the Manchester office.

Practice head(s):David Gardner

Testimonials

'David Gardner has long been a rising star and is the partner you want in your corner. He has a wealth of knowledge and experience across key technical developments in the IT world.'

Key Clients

A national leading UK clearing bank

Close Brothers Limited

Elavon Financial Services DAC

The Mayor's Office for Policing and Crime

The National Crime Agency

boohoo.com

JD Sports plc

Pets at Home

Iceland Foods

Weightmans LLP advises public and private sector clients on IT procurement, and commercial, IP, data, media and entertainment matters. Other areas of expertise include IT-related data issues including strategic dataflow, GDPR compliance and contractual frameworks, outsourcing, contract management and data protection. Sean Crotty heads the team, working in tandem with managing partner John Schorah.

Practice head(s):Sean Crotty

Other key lawyers:John Schorah

Key Clients

Motor Insurers’ Bureau

Royal Mail Group

Capita

Lexis Nexis

Insurance Fraud Bureau

Apadmi Limited

Playground Games Limited

Surrey and Sussex Police

British Transport Police

Cybertill Limited

ANS Group Limited

PHD Equity

Mercato Limited

Work highlights

  • Advising on the IT aspects and data sharing arrangements between the Motor Insurers’ Bureau and the DVLA in relation to the MyLicence Project.
  • Acted for the individual shareholders of independent British game developer Playground Games on the sale of its shareholdings to Microsoft.
  • Advising British Transport Police on its procurement of managed network services under the Crown Commercial Service’s Managed Network Services framework.
  • Advising Surrey and Sussex Police on the procurement of digital outcomes and specialist services under the Crown Commercial Service’s DOS2 framework.
  • Advised on a multimillion pound video game development between Playground Games Limited and a major global publisher.

DAC Beachcroft LLP has a particular focus on the healthcare and insurance sectors where it provides sector-specific advice in relation to all IT matters. It also acts for digital tech suppliers and US-based software suppliers who sell software in the UK. The firm also handles technology procurement, and matters relating to data protection and cyber risk. Leeds-based Michael Peeters heads the team. Legal director Andrew Rankin focuses on system integration and outsourcing projects.

Practice head(s):Michael Peeters

Other key lawyers:Andrew Rankin; Harald Loeffler; Nick Spearing; Jan Levinson; Chris Air

Testimonials

The team has strength in depth and for businesses that operate in health tech’.

They are able to combine IT law experience with great awareness of issues in the health sector’.

Chris Air always impresses with his awareness and commitment’.

Harald Loeffler is extremely efficient and knowledgable; careful and considered yet commercial’.

Andrew Rankin is excellent to work with - responsive, interested in understanding business context, pragmatic and thorough’.

Key Clients

Allscripts IT Healthcare

Bullhorn International

NHS Professionals

Churchill Contract Solutions

EMIS Health Secondary Care

Wellbeing Software Group

Transport for Greater Manchester

Nirvana Intelligent Systems

Vestel

CDS Computer Design Systems

TechUK

Intellifo

Work highlights

  • Advised Allscripts Healthcare IT on procurement law issues and matters related to the Data Protection Act and GDPR.
  • Advised EMIS Health on a complex data research project.
  • Provided ad-hoc advice to Nisyst in connection with contract negotiations that the client had undertaken directly with customers.
  • Acted for Transport for Greater Manchester in its negotiations with supplier ACT (acquired by Fujitsu), as a part of its smart ticketing programme to be rolled out across the Greater Manchester public transport network.

Eversheds Sutherland (International) LLP 's key client sectors include TMT, energy, retail, utilities, financial services and industrial. Tom Bridgford heads the technology department in the North West and is the key partner for large corporate clients. Nick Stubbs splits his time between the Leeds and Manchester offices and handles outsourcing, licensing, procurement and commercial arrangements. Principal associate Richard Hill deals with outsourcing, software contracts, data security and data centre arrangements.

Practice head(s):Tom Bridgford

Other key lawyers:Nick Stubbs; Richard Hill

Key Clients

Rolls-Royce

Smiths Business Information Services Limited

Daisy Communications Limited

Santander

The Co-Operative Bank Plc

Together Financial Services

BNP Paribas

The University of Manchester

AstraZeneca UK Limited

Turkish Airlines

SuperGroup

Go Plant Fleet Services Limited

Comparex UK Limited

Turning Points Limited

European Tyre Enterprise Limited (Kwik Fit)

Avis Budget EMEA Limited

Johnson Matthey Battery Systems Limited

Work highlights

  • Acted for Go Plant, the UK’s leading provider of operated road sweepers and self-drive specialist vehicles, on the master services agreement for Jaama Limited to provide an off-site hosted vehicle management software solution.
  • Acted for Avis in relation to its procurement of a monitored and managed security solution from Dell to improve Avis’ efficiency in relation to various security risk from common threats to sophisticated cyber-attacks.
  • Instructed to create a SaaS agreement for Kwik Fit, including the configuration, hosting, licensing and maintenance of software by a third party supplier.

Gateley Plc¬†advises on cloud technologies, data flows, GDPR and large IT procurements. The firm is particularly experienced in advising clients in the financial services industry. The ‚Äėvery hands-on and practical‚Äô Peter Budd¬†heads the team and focuses on all non-contentious IT work.

Practice head(s):Peter Budd

Other key lawyers:Tom Hughes

Testimonials

Gateley feels like a London practice but at a much more reasonable cost’.

Peter Budd is an experienced IT lawyer used to handling large and complex outsource models for bluechip companies’.

Turnaround times are exceptionally fast and Peter Budd always makes time to be available’.

Mills & Reeve LLP has particular expertise in the healthtech and edtech sectors. It also advises on data security, data protection and GDPR. Key client sectors include charities and not-for-profit, education, government, sports, technology and leisure. Newly promoted partner Paul Knight heads the team.

Practice head(s):Paul Knight

Testimonials

A consistency of service across their team that is impressive’.

The team communicate clearly, conveying the key points in terms a layperson can easily consume’.

Proactive in terms of their engagement and their charges are explained before work is commenced’.

The team are extremely knowledgable and able to provide excellent professional advice that is commercially aware and well-balanced’.

Key Clients

British Council

Cantarus Limited

Aures Technologies Limited

Exact Abacus Limited (trading as fulfilmentcrowd)

Dovetail Digital Ltd (trading as Dovetail Lab)

Egton Medical Information Systems Limited (EMIS)

PharmAssist Solutions Limited

NutraTech Ltd

Premia Solutions Limited

NHS Shared Business Services

Work highlights

  • Advising the British Council on its IT contracts around the world.
  • Developing a licensing model for Cantarus Limited for the MemConnect app solution.
  • Assisted Aures Technologies with its GDPR compliance programme.
  • Advised Dovetail Lab on the steps necessary to comply with data protection legislation when medical records are transferred from a GP to a third party using the Dovetail Lab blockchain platform.

Myerson Solicitors LLP advises on software development and licensing agreements, while also handling matters relating to cloud computing, R&D and technology transfer agreements and outsourcing contracts. Clients include individuals, owner-managed businesses, SMEs and plcs. Carla Murray heads the team and specialises in commercial contracts, IP, franchising and GDPR compliance.

Practice head(s):Carla Murray

Other key lawyers:Philip Ball; Scott Sands; Terry Moore

Key Clients

CDL Group

Styles & Wood Limited

Zebraware Limited

OIStarz

Dee3 Software Limited

Work highlights

  • Advised business start-up OIStarz on the launch of an app for event bookings.

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