IT and telecoms in North West
Clients hail Addleshaw Goddard as ‘continuing to lead TMT in the North West’. The team is geared towards providing purchaser-focused advice for both public and private sector clients with particular expertise in telecoms, ICT enabled outsourcing, ERP and cloud computing. Practice head Paul Bentham is ‘probably the best non-contentious IT and outsourcing lawyer in the North West’ while James Whittaker ‘has extremely broad expertise in commercial, IT, outsourcing contracts and advice’. Another key name is Phil McGough, praised for his ‘consistently thorough professional service’; his expertise encompasses system development and implementation, IT infrastructure agreements and global licensing arrangements. The financial services and fast moving consumer goods industries are both core areas of focus for the team.
‘An extremely strong team, they continue to lead TMT in the North West by a country mile.’
‘Paul Bentham is probably the best non-contentious IP, IT and outsourcing lawyer in the North West, with extensive experience in both private and public sector deals.’
‘James Whittaker has an extremely broad range of expertise in commercial, IT, outsourcing contracts and advice. He is unfailingly pragmatic and retains a cool and calm head in difficult times. Focused on getting the deal done.’
‘Phil McGough is a real rising star. He is a great technician with a cutting-edge focus on the application of AI to legal practice and processes.’
‘Nadine Waters is a go-to adviser for a huge range of clients – they tend to love her no-nonsense style and commitment to achieving client objectives.’
‘I find the team at Addleshaw Goddard to be highly professional and simple to work with. They balance the requirements of providing legal advice with the a pragmatism that works for a family owned business such as ours. The firm is multi-faceted and has provided advise across a spectrum of areas. In my experience, to have a specialist team under one roof is fairly unique.’
‘There are a couple of standout people from my perception. Phil McGough provides a consistently thorough and detailed level of professional advice. That said his ability to explain complex issues and put them in context is helpful for those not employed in the legal industry. Harriet Powell has driven a number of key initiatives forward in relation to projects over the last two years which have professionalised our approach to contracting. Both Phil and Harriet have the ability to explain legal jargon in a way that an audience can understand and then make an informed decision on.’
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
- Advised PZ Cussons on the procurement of a new global network installation and multi-year provision of the network on a managed service basis.
DLA Piper's team works with clients across a broad spectrum of industries including the financial services, manufacturing and industrial sectors. Its expertise is notably wide-reaching, encompassing cloud computing, IT outsourcing and insourcing, ERP/CRM procurements and systems integration. Sarah Bell leads the regional practice which also demonstrates prowess in respect of payment and fintech matters, project management, data protection and privacy compliance. Lee Brierley is a star name for IT outsourcing and procurement while Stephen Wright frequently acts for public sector clients. Niche expertise is also held in relation to agile procurements and smart ticketing projects.
Department for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
DT Automotive Limited
Graham and Brown
Key Retirement Group
Mitre Finch Holdings Limited
Orcha Health Limited
Saudi Telecom Company
Sefton Metropolitan Borough Council
The Co-operative Bank PLC
The Hut Group
Transport for the North
Verna Group International
- Advising Transport for the North in respect of its multi modal account based smart ticketing programme.
- Continuing to act on some of HM Government’s most high-profile IT related projects, with combined deal values of circa £5bn.
- Advising The Co-operative Bank on the renewal, revision and extension of a key strategic and operational contract with Capita plc pursuant to which Capita runs the Bank’s mortgage servicing operations and supports the Bank’s digital transformation.
Craig Chaplin, practice head of DWF, is widely considered a market leader for IT, telecoms and technology-focused outsourcing and infrastructure projects. He notably acts for Manchester United, advising the club on a variety of matters including a master services agreements with a major supplier in relation to the provision of payment processing services. James Lonsdale is another key member of the team; he works on a wide range of IT and telecoms contracts. The team is also well-versed in disputes and actively represents clients from the financial services, insurance and retail industries, among others.
Telefonica UK Limited (O2)
Marks & Spencer
Wm Morrison Supermarkets PLC
Barrett Steel Limited
City Football Group Limited
- Successfully acting for O2 in its claim for restitution of annual licence fees paid to Ofcom in respect of wireless telegraphy licences during the period October 2015 to November 2017.
- Supporting BT with both the negotiation of enterprise contracts together with legal advice relating to new products.
- Acted for Utiligroup in relation to its supply to utility companies of software and a managed service in relation to Smart Metering.
Pinsent Masons LLP
At Pinsent Masons LLP, the team has expertise in relation to major procurements, outsourcing, SAAS licensing and cloud computing contracts, as well as advising on the development, procurement and licensing of digital platforms. Claire Edwards and Samantha Livesey jointly head the department which has particularly knowledge in the retail, consumer brands, business of sport, financial services and construction sectors. In addition to private sector clients, public sector bodies also rely on the group for responses to cyber security breaches.
Hanson Group plc
Honda Motor Europe Limited
Tesco Stores Limited
The English Football League Limited
The English Golf Union Limited
Sweaty Betty Limited
UP Fitness Limited
The Jockey Club
- Advising Honda Motor Europe in relation to the use of data through its connected vehicles. The matter is extremely complex and at the fore front of stretching the legislation to allow for innovative technology.
- Advising England Golf on its procurement of an IT system to role out the new World Handicapping System to golf courses across England.
- Advising Tesco in relation to the set up of its first contactless stores, the technology behind which will allow customers to end a store, place food into their bag and leave without interacting with a till or checkout.
Brabners LLP ‘has a deep pool of talented lawyer to draw on’. Key names include managing partner Nik White and Matt Brown, who is cited for his ‘great knowledge of commercial IT contracts’; the duo lead the department alongside Colin Bell and Richard Hough. Numerous tech-orientated outfits form the client roster, from start-ups to established brands, touching on commodity trading software, virtual reality, artificial intelligence, video games, apps, e-commerce and technology systems for financial market data. The arrival of Piers Dryden from Ogier has bolstered the team's fintech expertise with other established strengths including music and content licensing and distribution, along with IT-related M&A.
‘Brabners have a deep pool of talented lawyers to draw on so they always seem to have an expert, whatever speciality is required. Good honest ethos – not always recommending a course of action which makes more work for them. After working with them now for nearly 30 years they feel like a branch of our company.’
‘Nik White has a very strong understanding of the subject area and our own contract structures, and good negotiating skills.’
‘Matt Brown has real knowledge of commercial IT contracts.’
Sinara Consultants Limited
Rathbones Investment Management
Matcher Technologies Limited
Innovative Chat Ltd
Innovation Technology Capital Ltd
- Advising Sinara upon various agreements relating the development of bespoke software solutions and related support agreements.
- Advised Rathbones Investment Management, a provider of wealth management services on a number of licenses relating to the provision and use of financial data and related software services.
- Acted for Matcher Technologies Limited in drafting its standard EULA for use with their IVF compliance software. Also advised upon their overseas Reseller arrangements including in the USA and New Zealand amongst others.
Practice head Susan Hall is the key contact at Clarke Willmott LLP. She is hailed as a ‘first-rate lawyer’ who is ‘one of the most experienced in the field’. Her team’s workload includes GDPR, ICT agreements, technology disputes, data protection and data security matters, in addition to related M&A and due diligence. App development in sectors such as health, wellness, fitness and restaurant payment is also a core strength strength, as is the prevention of counterfeiting and piracy.
Other key lawyers:
‘In Susan Hall, the team has one of the leading and most experienced lawyers in this field, and all who work under follow her suit of providing excellent legal advice against a background of complete command of the technical detail of the claim. Clients in this field love them because they speak their language.’
‘Susan Hall is simply the best. A first-rate lawyer who has a command of every aspect of the technology in the claim. She is a fighter who commands the respect of all who engage with her, especially clients. She has seen and done everything in this area.’
‘Andrew Stone is an excellent technical and detail man. He knows the case backwards such that no opponent gets the edge over or better of him.’
The Berkeley Group Holdings plc
Informed Solutions Limited
Denis Ferranti Meters Limited
MiX Telematics Europe Limited
Auga Technologies Limited
Organix Brands Limited
Omnibus Solutions Limited
- Acting for The Berkeley Group Holdings plc who are investing in a modular construction factory which will be heavily automate. The team is handling the negotiation and redrafting of all the associated ICT contracts, with parties including Oracle.
- Acting for Denis Ferranti Group on a wide range of matters, including contractual and disputes with parties such as overseas navies, the MoD and large multinational organisations.
- Carrying out a lot of work for Informed Solutions Limited, a specialist geographical information systems/big data consultancy company which was in 2018 awarded the Queen’s Award for Innovation.
Fieldfisher's team is known for its ‘strength in depth in the tech and data protection area’; the practice's core strengths cover software and hardware arrangements, outsourcing contracts, agile technology deployments, privacy projects and cybersecurity. Developing technologies such as artificial intelligence and facial recognition are also a focus for the group ,which is headed by the ‘excellent’ Rob Sheldon and Sam Jardine. Senior associate Liam Corrigan is developing a strong reputation for his handling of IT procurements and implementation projects. Sports, health, professional services and data technology fall within the group’s specialist sectors.
Other key lawyers:
‘Quick to respond and pragmatic’.
‘Rob Sheldon is very pragmatic in the advice he gives. He understands the client and our appetite to risk and advises appropriately.’
‘The Fieldfisher TMT team provides pragmatic, commercial, risk-focused advice. They are very responsive, and proactive in relation to the identification of risks and issues. They have broad experience across a wide range of TMT contracts, and in-depth knowledge of the rail sector, in relation to TMT and more generally.’
‘Sam Jardine is technically very competent, firm but calm in negotiations, and always very approachable and good-natured. He is very thorough, delivers what and when he says he will, and always presents advice in a way that is easy to understand and can be shared directly with non-lawyer colleagues.’
‘Liam Corrigan is very commercial and pragmatic.’
‘A desire to really understand our business. They effectively operate as an extension to our team. Nothing is too much trouble.’
‘Rob Sheldon always makes time, delivers pragmatic, commercial advice. Understands the pressures of in house lawyers and does what he can to make our life easier.
‘Sound legal advice combined with a real understanding of the real life commercial pressures.’
BBC Children in Need
Colour-Fit (a member of the ‘Hero’ fitness & wellbeing group)
DB Cargo and DB Systel (part of the Deutsche Bahn Group)
dunnhumby (Tesco’s data-science subsidiary)
Fortnum & Mason plc
Iceland Foods Limited
Liverpool Football Club
London North Eastern Railway
MDS Global Limited
Pets at Home / Vets4Pets
Societe Generale Equipment Finance
Solicitors Regulation Authority
UD Software Solutions
Well Pharmacies (Bestway Panacea)
- Advising dunnhumby on the achievement of a variety of strategic objectives including their contract transformation programme, negotiation of a wide variety of technology procurement contracts, entry into new markets and deal support on contracts with Foodstuffs.
- Engaged by Liverpool Football Club to advise on the expansion and consolidation of its suite of fan-facing applications and systems into one ‘omni channel’ system (‘FanConnect’) including providing for a tender-based contracting structure for multiple service providers across a wide-ranging suite of B2C services and systems, international service provision and negotiation and drafting and negotiating for international privacy compliance.
- Advised London North Eastern Railway on the procurement of a mobile software application including purchasing and ticketing of rail journeys, account management functionality, and personalisation from Softwire Technology Limited.
Under the leadership of Amy Chandler, the team at Pannone Corporate LLP is engaged for a broad array of IT contract work, including disputes, with specific examples including development, implementation, data centre, hosing and support and maintenance agreements. Further key expertise is held in relation to data protection, software as a service, software licenses and outsourcing with clients including e-commerce businesses and providers of IT hardware and software, technology and applications.
Boohoo.com UK Limited
Brother International Europe Limited
K3 Business Technology Group plc
Marlborough Fund Managers Limited
Caters News Agency Limited
Iceland Foods Limited
- Advising UKROEd on a contract for the procurement of a hosted infrastructure and managed service for a key business system for the National Driver Offender Retraining scheme.
- Advising Brother on a managed print service agreement and other IT related agreements and on data protection.
- Advising a housing provider on a contract for the procurement of an infrastructure as a service.
Hailed as being ‘at the bleeding edge of legal tech sector developments’, TLT has a focus on clients in the financial services, retail, digital, fintech and payments sectors. Led by Bristol-based James Touzel and the ‘very experienced and knowledgeable’ David Gardner, the team routinely acts on regulatory matters, outsourcing, business-critical IT projects, open banking, cloud services and software development, among others.
‘As a practice, they appear to be at the bleeding edge of legal tech sector developments, a particular area of interest for in-house lawyers.’
‘David Gardner is a very experienced and knowledgeable technology lawyer. He would be my default go-to for any complex technology contract. He is professional, meticulous, yet outcome driven.’
Barclays Bank Plc including Barclaycard
Yorkshire Building Society
Elavon Financial Services DAC
The Mayor’s Office for Policing and Crime (MOPAC) – the London Met Police
Government Legal Department
Royal Museums Greenwich
Bertram Nursery Group
At Weightmans LLP, the client roster ranges from niche software providers to major studios, NHS bodies and major insurance organisations. The team has recently been active on a wealth of major IT services procurements and also handles matters such as GDPR compliance, data protection and strategic dataflow contractual frameworks. The video game industry is a sector where the department, led by Sean Crotty, is well-versed; its work on that front includes funding, development agreements, acquisitions, disposals and publishing-related instructions.
‘I have had the pleasure of working with a number of members of the Weightmans team. I am a startup entrepreneur with a limited budget, but the service I’ve received from the solicitors I’ve worked with makes me feel like I’m punching above my weight in terms of the quality of work they produce. I feel secure in the work they’ve done for me, and in the knowledge that whenever my solicitor needs to query something with someone more senior, they can, and they will come back to me on it quickly.’
Motor Insurers’ Bureau
Royal Mail Group
Insurance Fraud Bureau
Playground Games Limited
Surrey and Sussex Police
British Transport Police
ANS Group Limited
The Open University
Liverpool Media Academy Ltd
Sovini Group Ltd
Rutland County Council
Genesis Cancer Care
St George’s Healthcare NHS Trust
Manchester Metropolitan University
- After advising upon the procurement of the IT services element of the project, the team advised The Insurance Fraud Bureau on the management and use of an insurance industry-wide insurance fraud register database, which will be a key asset in the fight against c. £3bn worth of fraud per annum.
- Advising British Transport Police on its procurement of managed network services under the Crown Commercial Service’s Managed Network Services framework.
- Advising The Open University on the procurement of a new and venture-changing ‘University in a box’ IT solution – an open procurement process followed by the appointment of iTelligence as the service provider.
DAC Beachcroft LLP
Clients of DAC Beachcroft LLP ‘appreciate the strength in depth and responsiveness’ of the team. Among its chief areas of expertise are technology procurement, contracting and disputes in the healthcare sector, acting for US-based software suppliers on their UK activities and providing IT-focused advice to insurance companies. Leeds-based Michael Peeters heads the department with Harald Loeffler and Jan Levinson among the key names in the North West. The department is also experienced in respect of IT and outsourcing disputes and includes legal director Andrew Rankin, an expert in systems integration and data protection.
‘I appreciate the strength in depth, the responsiveness and the personal interactions I have with everyone across the team.’
‘We view Chris Air as an extension of the team and he has been very supportive on a range of commercially challenging matters.’
Allscripts IT Healthcare
Churchill Contract Solutions
Wellbeing Software Group
TeleTracking Technologies, Inc
Transport for Greater Manchester
Nirvana Intelligent Systems
CDS Computer Design Systems
- Advised Bullhorn in respect of a deal to provide their software as a service CRM platform to an international recruitment business.
- Advised and supported Corero in relation to a software distribution partner agreement with Nuvias Group Limited.
- Advised EMIS Health on the terms of the NHS GP IT Futures framework and its appointment as a supplier.
Hill Dickinson LLP's team has specific expertise of smart grids, digital infrastructure and telecoms-related matters, advising on legal strategy, compliance and commercial contracts. Practice head Tracey Sheehan is an expert in telecoms convergence with other industries and European telecoms regulation. She also holds expertise in structuring national and international high-value projects which bridge digital and critical infrastructure.
Other key lawyers:
Greater Manchester Combined Authority
Broadway Partners Ltd
The Highland Council
Bridge Fibre Limited
Telcom Networks Limited
- Advised on Greater Manchester Combined Authority’s successful bid to fund the rollout of full fibre connectivity in the region. The advice includes strategy relating to telecoms/broadband commercial models, state aid and procurement strategy.
- Advising The Highland Council in respect of its application for Wave 2 funding under the Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport’s (DCMS) Local Full Fibre Network (LFFN) programme.
Eversheds Sutherland (International) LLP offers capabilities in outsourcing, licensing, procurement, software contracts and data security expertise, among others. Sectors of expertise include energy, financial services and industrial.
Lawyers at Gateley Plc are ‘always professional, with clear expertise’. Peter Budd is the name to note in the North West, with experience in advising on blockchain, dark web and machine learning matters in addition to day-to-day transactions relating to SaaS, PaaS and data centres. Other fronts of specialisation include BAU IT procurement affairs, financial services regulation and cloud computing.
Other key lawyers:
‘No matter who I speak with at Gateley, I have always been incredibly impressed with their alacrity to deal with situations and always professional with clear expertise.’
‘Absolute stars at Gateley include Charles Glaskie, Leigh Whittaker, Tom Hughes and Nicola Richardson. They know what they’re talking about and do it with a smile and quickly.’
Working on Wellbeing
Sorted Group Limited
L Marks Limited
Wacoal EMEA Limited
- Advising Working on Wellbeing on a technology-led service to a major provider of occupational health services.
- Acting for Gnatta Limited on the provision of a SaaS service to one of the largest online retailers.
- Acting for an energy sector client on the procurement of D365 for Field Operations from Microsoft.
At Mills & Reeve LLP, practice head Paul Knight's practice focuses on software licensing and development, data security and GDPR, as well as new technologies such as artificial intelligence and blockchain. HealthTech and EdTech are key sectors for the group, which is also well-regarded for automation matters.
BBC Children in Need
Alan Turing Institute
Information Commissioner’s Office
Odeon Cinemas Group
Patient Platform Limited
- Advising the British Council on procurement and implementation of new IT and telecoms solutions worldwide.
- Advising Patient Platform – part of the EMIS Group – on rollout of a new healthcare booking and payment service via the Patient Access app.
- Advising the Information Commissioner’s Office on its outsourcing of the Telephone Preference Service.
Clients of Myerson Solicitors LLP include individuals, OMBs, SMEs and PLCs who rely on the team for advice on software development and licensing agreements, cloud computing, technology transfer agreements, outsourcing and data protection law. Led by Carla Murray, the team has a particular focus on fintech and regtech matters and is also well-regarded for its work on open source software, namely restriction and licensing issues.
Styles & Wood Limited
Rimini Systems Limited
- Advising a vendor of data ETL software, in relation to their general software licensing requiremetns.
- Advising Dotcentric Limited, a London-based software and website development on their contracts, including the re-platforming ecommerce websites to Episerver.
- Advising Cheshire Datasystems Limited, an insurance software provider, on its new data supply service offering for home insurance providers.