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IT and telecoms

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  1. IT and telecoms
  2. Leading individuals
  3. Next generation lawyers

Next generation lawyers

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Who Represents Who

Find out which law firms are representing which IT and telecoms clients in Northern Ireland using The Legal 500's new comprehensive database of law firm/client relationships. Instantly search over 925,000 relationships, including over 83,000 Fortune 500, 46,000 FTSE350 and 13,000 DAX 30 relationships globally. Access is free for in-house lawyers, and by subscription for law firms. For more information, contact david.burgess@legal500.com.

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Arthur Cox Belfast attracts praise for its ‘excellent service and impressive array of experience’. The group handles a wide range of IT, media and entertainment, telecoms and broadcasting matters for public and private sector clients. The firm has been particularly active in public-sector IT procurement mandates; highlights included advising the Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs on its procurement of a new £8.7m IT system to track the health of food animals in the country, and acting for the Fire and Rescue Authorities on a new command and control IT system for monitoring emergency calls. Other key clients include Power NI and the Northern Ireland Housing executive. Practice head William Curry attracts praise for his ability to ‘clearly articulate his advice’. Paul McBride was a new arrival in 2017 from Pinsent Masons Belfast LLP .

Carson McDowell is ‘a very safe pair of hands’ that is considered to be ‘among the top performers in Northern Ireland’. The team handles regulatory matters, transactions and disputes for a client base ranging from technology companies and telecommunications providers to public-sector bodies. 2016 highlights included acting for Northern Ireland Electricity Networks on a contract for the provision of ICT managed services, and advising US-based technology company Xilinx on a software development agreement to be used with freelance coders in England. Dawn McKnight leads the team and has a strong reputation for its tech-sector expertise. Associate Peter Guzhar is rated for his ‘fine legal brain, excellent client-management skills and tactical approach’.

Pinsent Masons Belfast LLP’s IT practice has an extensive track record advising public bodies and technology companies; on the public-sector front the team is advising Doncaster Metropolitan Borough Council on a free wi-fi service to be implemented throughout Doncaster town centre. The group has also advised medical technology companies on licensing and exploitation of software. E-commerce and delivery service agreements have also been an important aspect of the practice, which the team has worked on in the context of major M&A. Adrian Eakin and procurement expert Stuart Cairns, who has been handling IT procurement in the private sector, are the key names. Paul McBride joined Arthur Cox Belfast in 2017.

A&L Goodbody attracts praise for its ‘brilliant service and detailed replies delivered swiftly’. The team acts for a wide-ranging client base, from large technology companies and engineering firms to start-ups. Biotechnology, including medical technology, has been a key area for the firm; highlights included advising Axial 3D, which provides surgeons with 3D models to aid surgery, on its funding rounds as well as on user licences and e-commerce matters. On the procurement front Micaela Diver advised Northern Ireland Co-ownership Housing Association on the procurement of a system to allow home buyers to apply online. The ‘top-notchMark Thompson and Brendan Fox co-head the team. Associate Mark Stockdale is praised for going ‘above and beyond’.

Cleaver Fulton Rankin advises technology companies on a range of corporate matters. Highlights included advising web developer Nexus Point Limited on the sale of its entire issued share capital, and assisting IVA Watch Limited, which provides proprietary database platforms to banks and other service providers, with a collaborative agreement and subsequent licensing of its database to Kessler Group. The firm also advised Humain Limited on its seed funding round. Corporate partner Scott Kennedy is the main name.

Boutique firm Forde Campbell LLC handles the full range of commercial, technology, IP and media law matters, from cross-border licensing transactions to advice on data protection. The group has a core focus on Belfast’s start-up market, where it acts for a number of app developers and cloud integration service providers. Highlights included advising OneSource Virtual on its IT service agreements and the implementation of HR and payroll workday software, and assisting Mergermarket with its subscription licensing and online data products. Mathew Forde and Rory Campbell jointly head the group, which includes IT licensing and internet data law specialist Katey Dixon.

Tughans handles transactional matters for technology companies, and also assists investment funds with their technology-related investments. Highlights included advising Kernel Capital on its investment into Causeway Sensor, a spin-out from Queen’s University Belfast that manufactures chips for detecting protein levels. The group also acts for a number of IT service providers including Titan IC Systems, Sophia Search and Texthelp, which the team advised on its acquisition of an IP portfolio from GMath. Other clients include global search engines. Adrian O’Connell leads the team but a range of corporate partners are involved in these transactions including Ciara Lagan, John McGuckian and James Donnelly.

Worthingtons regularly acts for telecommunications companies on portfolio acquisitions, leases and day-to-day corporate support. A standout piece of work has been acting Mobile Broadband Network, a joint venture company established by EE Limited and Hutchison 3G UK, on the Northern Ireland aspects of its UK-wide consolidation of its radio access network. Other key clients include Cornerstone Telecommunications Infrastructure, a joint venture between Vodafone and Telefónica, which the firm is advising on the upgrading of telecoms infrastructure to accommodate 4G signals; and AP Wireless Investments, which the firm is advising on its acquisitions of rental streams from communications sites across Northern Ireland. Key figures include partner David Wilson and solicitor Sara McGaughey.


Intellectual property

Index of tables

  1. Intellectual property
  2. Leading individuals

Who Represents Who

Find out which law firms are representing which Intellectual property clients in Northern Ireland using The Legal 500's new comprehensive database of law firm/client relationships. Instantly search over 925,000 relationships, including over 83,000 Fortune 500, 46,000 FTSE350 and 13,000 DAX 30 relationships globally. Access is free for in-house lawyers, and by subscription for law firms. For more information, contact david.burgess@legal500.com.

CLICK HERE TO VISIT THE WHO REPRESENTS WHO SITE

The ‘exceptionalA&L Goodbody acts for an array of research institutions, technology companies and corporate clients on a range of patents, branding and enforcement actions. In a high-profile mandate the team has been representing the Irish Football Association on the enforcement of its IP rights, which has included anti-counterfeiting matters and enforcing branding rights. Other key clients include the Agri-Food and Biosciences Institute, which the team has been advising on IP issues arising from its various R&D projects and collaboration agreements; and Cardinal Analytics, which the team is assisting with the commercialisation of its IP. Mark Thompson and Brendan Fox co-head the team. Ivan Wade, left the firm in February 2016 for an in-house position at Almac.

Arthur Cox Belfast’s IP team is highly regarded for handling the full range of IP matters, from copyright and trade mark law to patents and trade secrets. The team’s clients include creative companies, food producers, technology manufactures and universities, for which it handles contentious and non-contentious matters. The firm was recently appointed as Northern Ireland counsel for Getty Images UK, assisting it with the protection of its copyrights and policing the unauthorised use of its images. Other clients include Coca-Cola, which the firm recently advised on IP provisions within their trading agreements, and a Northern Ireland university, which the team advises on a range of technology matters. Corporate partners Alan Taylor and Lynsey Mallon are names to note.

Carson McDowell’s IP team advises on a variety of matters, from IP in the context of mergers and acquisitions, to software protection, ownership management and licensing rights. Clients range from IT and technology companies to retailers and infrastructure providers. A key client is US technology company Xilinx, which the team is advising on master service agreements and software development agreements related to their activities in Northern Ireland. Other highlights included acting for a global retailer in trade mark litigation involving interim injunction applications. The firm also acts for Northern Ireland Electricity Networks, software company Graphical Data, and a number of IT consultancy firms. Dawn McKnight leads the team, which includes consultant Eileen Moughan.

Pinsent Masons Belfast LLP’s IP practice acts for academic institutes and corporates on IP matters related to M&A. Key education-sector clients include Queen’s University Belfast, which the team advises on technology licensing matters. In another key mandate, the firm advised Crossbows Optical on the licensing of lens creation software and a number of other designs, which involved a number of cross-border issues. Other clients include Randox Laboratories and Ulster Carpet Mills. Adrian Eakin and senior associate James Griffiths jointly head the team. Paul McBride joined Arthur Cox Belfast in 2017.

Tughans advises technology and biotechnology companies on a range of IP matters, including technology development agreements, patent protection, and M&A-related IP matters. 2016 highlights included advising Texthelp Systems, a venture capital backed assistive learning software company, on the acquisition of an IP portfolio from GMath, and assisting Monaghan Biosciences with a development agreement with Dutch DNA Biotech, which involved the negotiation and settlement of intellectual property inputs and outputs into a complex two-stage development in the field of fungal biotechnology. Other clients include Fusion Antibodies, Randox Health and Invest Northern Ireland. Technology expert Adrian O’Connell heads the team.

Cleaver Fulton Rankin advises technology companies on licensing and due diligence in the context of mergers and acquisitions, as well as handling copyright breaches and design right matters. Highlights included advising IVA Watch Limited on the licensing of its database to Kessler Group, and acting for Nexus Point on the sale of its company and software to Hamilton Internet Services. Scott Kennedy heads the team and Michael King leads on the contentious matters.

Forde Campbell LLC is a specialist IP, technology and media firm, which is well versed in advising on the protection and commercialisation of designs and brands, trade mark registration and licensing, as well as handling a range of IP disputes. Highlights included advising Somerville on the protection of its in-house developed technology and methodology, which has involved related infringement litigation. The firm also acts for toy and game manufacturer The Creativity Hub on the registration of trade marks related to game development. IP specialist Mathew Forde is the key name.

Mills Selig’s IP team handles contentious and non-contentious matters for a range of corporates, including manufacturers and app and software development firms. In a highlight, the team acted for Glistrr Limited, a Belfast-based technology company, on the licensing of its software. Other clients include Newry-based technology firm, First Derivatives. Recently promoted partner Kathryn Walls heads the team and is well-versed in dealing with technology and IT companies.


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