IT and telecoms in Scotland

Brodies LLP

Frequently instructed by leading US firms and multinational companies to advise on the Scottish law elements of international projects, Brodies LLP  places an equal emphasis on IT disputes and non-contentious mandates, with notable strength in the retail, financial services, entertainment and public sectors. Although the group has seen an uptick in complex data protection issues and projects concerning new technologies, the group - which is jointly led by Grant Campbell and Martin Sloan - excels in commercial contracts, technology procurements and large outsourcing matters. Iain Rutherford has expertise in IT and outsourcing disputes, acting both for customers and suppliers.

Practice head(s):

Grant Campbell; Martin Sloan

Other key lawyers:

Iain Rutherford

Testimonials

‘Team has an unsurpassed knowledge of our company.’

‘Truly exceptional team led by our service partner Grant Campbell, who is always available, provides thought through commercial advice and if matters become adversarial in negotiations he has a superb manner to ensure our interests are protected without any escalation of sensitivities.’

‘The Brodies team are great to work with, understand the challenges we face and take a start-up approach to helping us tackle them. By utilising this approach we get to a solution faster and with better outcomes.’

‘Martin Sloan and his team aren’t afraid of tackling big problems or finding solutions that go against the norm. In our industry this is vital to long term success.’

‘Brodies have advised us on a number of commercial contracts over the past 12 months as well as doing a considerable amount of work advising us on data protection matters / GDPR and also some IP matters.’

‘For commercial contracts, data issues etc, we use Grant Campbell. Can’t speak highly enough of Grant and his approach. His advice is pragmatic, commercial and very user-friendly.’

Key clients

CGI

Capgemini UK plc

DC Thomson

Accel-KKR

Nucleus Financial

TV Squared

Abellio

City Holdings

Rewards 4 Group

DocuSign

Work highlights

  • Advised Accel-KKR on the acquisition of Navtor, a world leader in navigational software in the maritime industry.
  • Advising City Facilities Management (FL) LLC on extensions to its master services agreements with 7-Eleven Inc and Southeastern Grocers Inc, covering retail stores in the State of Florida.
  • Advised Rewards4 on establishing its first club-specific loyalty scheme for English Premiership Club, Everton FC.

Burness Paull LLP

Exhibiting ‘excellent knowledge across a range of commercial disciplines’, Burness Paull LLP provides clients with deep expertise in contracting and advisory work, IT disputes, as well as IT-related transactional work. Leveraging the firm’s membership of Lex Mundi, a significant proportion of the group's matters contain complex cross-border components. Particularly active in the financial services, public and utilities sectors, the department is fronted by Callum Sinclair, who shines in high-value technology, sourcing and enterprise cloud deals. Elsewhere, David Goodbrand emphasises financial services and fintech work, advising clients on a variety of digital transformation, data migration, outsourcing and cloud deals, whereas contentious IT specialist Colin Hulme handles software and technology agreement disputes.

Practice head(s):

Callum Sinclair

Other key lawyers:

David Goodbrand; Colin Hulme; Murray Cree

Testimonials

‘The team members that I have worked with have all been knowledgeable in their key area of focus, accommodating of the changing nature of contract negotiations on a key project, willing to go the extra mile to assist and generally wonderful to work with.’

‘They brought expert knowledge to the project. Their negotiation skills were very good with a great mix of legal expertise but also business savvy. You can always rely on them to meet a deadline and their communication, sometimes daily, was excellent.’

‘Competent and commercial. Good reach internationally despite relative small size (on global terms).’

‘The team at Burness Paull has invested considerably in understanding our growing business, taking a longer-term view where other firms would not have done so. The people in the team are universally highly capable and also human and empathetic enough to understand the pressures my team is under.’

‘David Goodbrand is highly responsive and very adaptable. He has invested in understanding our business and risk posture such that his advice is always pragmatic and well-formed.’

‘Callum Sinclair is incredibly passionate about technology, broader than just being a lawyer. He is very knowledgeable in the developments in his field of expertise which he is more than willing to share to ensure that we are kept up to date.’

‘The team has excellent knowledge across a range of commercial disciplines, and has strength and depth to be able to provide the appropriate resource as and when required.’

‘Callum Sinclair is a very pragmatic individual to deal with, and always provides clear and considered advice.’

Key clients

Scottish Futures Trust / Scotland 5G Centre

Calnex Solutions plc

Vodafone / Cornerstone

ZPG Group (uSwitch, Zoopla)

Cazoo

Greensill Capital

Financial Services Compensation Scheme

Nucleus Financial

Energia Group

AG Barr

Work highlights

  • Instructed by Scottish Futures Trust (an innovation offshoot of the Scottish Government), to help it to establish the new Scotland 5G Centre with accelerating the deployment and adoption of 5G throughout Scotland.
  • Advising Calnex Solutions plc on its £42m IPO on the London AIM market and its associated £6m equity fundraising; this included a full review of the company’s contracts, including customer, supplier and partner contracts.
  • Acted for ZPG Group, and its comparison division RVU, on a variety of technology contracting and advisory work, including some cutting edge advisory/contract work on the new Platform 2 Business (P2B / OIS) Regulation.

CMS

Renowned in the financial services and the public and education sectors in particular, CMS handles a broad array of IT-related mandates. On the cutting edge of matters pertaining to emerging technologies and data protection, the practice is instructed by a slew of high-profile banks, fintech companies, financial services suppliers, and retailers, as well as the NHS and various universities. It handles an assortment of matters relating to complex commercial contracts, IT procurements, outsourcing projects, acquisitions of IT software, and system and IT service agreements. Alan Nelson and Duncan Turner jointly lead the group, which also includes Douglas Mathie, who demonstrates know-how in IT issues relating to ATMs and the processing of card payments; and senior associate Caroline Connolly, whose practice largely focuses on large, complex transactions with multijurisdictional dimensions.

Practice head(s):

Alan Nelson; Duncan Turner

Other key lawyers:

Caroline Connolly; Douglas Mathie

Testimonials

‘ Local team operating within a large international network with access to extensive resources.’

‘A real depth of experience in technology and its application to different sectors.’

‘Alan Nelson is a leader in his field. Douglas Mathie is an experienced technology lawyer with a practical approach.’

‘Alan Nelson really knows his stuff and is great at getting a sensible deal that protects us but is balanced. He is always available to provide insight and valuable guidance.’

Key clients

CEC

Scottish and Southern Energy Networks

Natwest (RBS)

Quorate Technology Limited

NHS National Services Scotland (NSS)

Cerebreon Technologies Limited

Isio Group Limited

Topolytics Ltd

Edinburgh St James

Work highlights

  • Advised the City of Edinburgh Council on all IT outsourcing contracts including the provision of a replacement ERP system as it enters into six-year extension with CGI.
  • Assisted Scottish and Southern Energy Networks in relation to a contract for the development of new systems for (i) a neutral market facilitator platform and (ii) a whole system coordinator system.
  • Advised NatWest on the refresh of its LAN and WiFi Service arrangements, across the whole NatWest (former RBS) group.

DLA Piper

Noted for its routine involvement in high-profile deals arising from the financial services, public sector and utility sectors, the team at DLA Piper brings an integrated UK offering to bear on large infrastructure projects. It is spearheaded by John McKinlay, whose 'depth of knowledge and understanding of technology law is excellent'; he advises a spread of corporations and public sector organisations on large outsourcings and complex technology transactions. At senior associate level, Linzi Penman regularly handles global data protection compliance projects, while Catriona Melton has extensive experience advising clients on commercial issues, including regulatory compliance matters.

Practice head(s):

John McKinlay

Other key lawyers:

Catriona Melton; Linzi Penman

Testimonials

‘The team carries, quite rightly, a high reputation for expertise in the Technology space. Led expertly by John McKinlay, whose expertise is widely noted through acting as chairperson for the technology law and practice Committee with the Law Society of Scotland.’

‘DLA Piper are able to tackle technology-related legal issues globally having offices in over 40 countries.’

‘I have worked closely with John McKinlay, whose depth of knowledge and understanding of technology law is excellent. John’s calm demeanour and understanding of the legal nuances of technology law helps clients feel they are being supported by a safe pair of hands.’

‘I instruct people, rather than firms. I use DLA Piper because of the client service and commercial advice I receive from John McKinlay and his team.’

‘We like dealing with John McKinlay. He is hands on, responsive and good to deal with. We also like the fact that DLA has an office in Edinburgh and access to offices and teams throughout the world.’

‘Clear leaders in IT/IP with exceptional knowledge and experience. Very quick responses and they combine commercial, pragmatic problem solving with first class professional skills.’

‘They totally understand how best to support in-house lawyers and the pressures we face.’

‘John McKinlay is our main contract and is extremely impressive. He is unflappable and always available and reliable. He has guided us through some very large outsourcing procurements for IT services, cyber security and mobile communications. He is primarily supported by Linzi Penman who has a lot of experience with our Digital directorate and has an unsurpassed knowledge of our outsourced IT services.’

Key clients

Scottish Water

Scottish Power Energy Retail Limited

Heineken UK

Merlin Entertainments

The Highland Council

Innovation Group

Hyve Group plc

Lumi Technologies

Eco World

Leidos Holdings

Work highlights

  • Advised renowned Scotland-based client, Scottish Water, throughout the competitive procurement for an eight year framework regarding next generation mobile and field connectivity services.
  • Leading negotiations with Salesforce on behalf of Scottish Water in respect of its cloud computing service.
  • Advising Merlin Entertainments on the implementation and provision of a cloud-based food and beverage point of sale system to harmonise operations across Merlin’s restaurants and cafes in the UK and in Europe.

Pinsent Masons LLP

'Technically excellent and super pragmatic', the TMT offering at Pinsent Masons LLP, which features a dedicated TMT disputes sub-group, flourishes in the financial services, education and energy sectors in particular. Within financial services, practice lead Yvonne Dunn is particularly skilled at handling cloud, open finance and artificial intelligence matters in the fintech space. Data trust expert Chris Martin’s practice centres on the energy and education sectors, in which he regularly assists high-profile energy suppliers, as well as university clients, on large TMT projects. As evidence of the firm’s continued growth in the information law space, the 'outstanding' Kathryn Wynn was promoted to partner in May 2020.

Practice head(s):

Yvonne Dunn

Other key lawyers:

Matthew Godfrey-Faussett; Chris Martin; David Woods; Kathryn Wynn

Testimonials

‘Matthew Godfrey-Faussett has been a consistent collaborator on a major change programme and has been instrumental in ensuring our commercial contract with our principal software supplier was fit-for-purpose and that a wide range of scenarios were applied to its development.’

‘The team are really proactive; this is immensely helpful for an in-house team swept off our feet. They helped us with a particular matter, then frequently and concisely raised relevant updates so we can stay ahead of developments. They are technically excellent and super pragmatic.’ 

‘Kathryn Wynn is outstanding. Her depth of data protection knowledge is immense; able to distil really complex principles to provide practical and clear guidance that helps cut through to the core.’ 

‘Deep regulatory expertise combined with commercial and pragmatic insights. All at reasonable rates.’

‘Yvonne Dunn is an expert and pragmatic outsourcing lawyer.’

‘My experience of working with this practice has been very positive – they have great experience with cloud service providers which proved useful in our most recent instruction.’

‘They recently supported two large and complicated IT procurements for us and helped us navigate through the complexity.’

‘Chris Martin is extremely responsive and knowledgeable.’

Key clients

Mercer

Calmac Ferries

University of Edinburgh

Nucleus Financial Services

Jisc

Allied Irish Bank

Edinburgh Airport

University of Southampton

PomVom UK Limited

Assurant General Insurance

Nucleus Financial Services Limited

Work highlights

  • Advising PomVom on the UK and EU data protection issues associated with the use of facial recognition technology (“FRT”) in theme parks.
  • Assisting Assurant with its Brexit plans, namely transferring certain parts of its insurance business where the risk is situated in a European Economic Area “EEA” state to new subsidiaries based in the Netherlands.
  • Advised University of Edinburgh on its significant procurement of a new website platform, part of a strategic plan to transition all of the University’s internal and external facing web presence into the cloud.

Addleshaw Goddard

Noted for its ability to ‘leverage the breadth of expertise in the firm in order to provide a holistic recommendation’, Addleshaw Goddard is increasingly active in digital transformation projects. Fintech expert David Anderson leads the group, which has considerable experience in data protection issues, as well as IT and BPAAS outsourcings, commercial contracts and tech-related litigation. Anderson also handles the IT and technology aspects of corporate investments and divestments, while Helena Brown's practice largely centres on data protection issues emanating from IT projects and contracts.

Practice head(s):

David Anderson

Other key lawyers:

Helena Brown; Ross McKenzie

Testimonials

‘In-depth market knowledge. Very responsive. Very practical.’

‘Helena Brown is easy to deal with and has knowledge across a number of industries.’

‘Helena and the team at Addleshaw Goddard offer us an invaluable data protection partnership and on-going support to ad hoc privacy issues.’

‘Diverse team with depth and experience in the Scottish market able to respond and react to any requirement or timeframe.’

‘Practical hands on understanding of technology and apply that to deals to focus on the right issues in getting a deal done.’

‘Use of and offers to use technology to drive efficiencies and improve processes ’

‘Dave Anderson understands key issues and acts commercially. Hugely responsive – he is available at any time and is willing to go the extra mile.’

Key clients

FNZ (UK) Ltd

Vision Express

Par Equity

Boohoo Group plc

Mintra Training Portal

Symphonic Software Limited

Tumelo Limited

Salunda Limited

XDesign

CBS Business Consulting Ltd

OBR – Open Banking Reporting

Obashi Technologies Limited

Work highlights

  • Advised FNZ on the negotiation of new master services agreements between FNZ and (i) a significant existing customer; and (ii) a new customer for the provision of investment transaction and administration services through its technology platform.
  • Advising Boohoo Group on a range of data and IT-related issues.
  • Advised Tumelo on all aspects of its ESG technology proposition as it integrates its software with investment and pension providers to help win new clients and increase assets under management by engaging underlying investors with transparency and influence over shareholder voting.

Dentons

As part of the firm’s vast international network, the Scottish practice at Dentons, which is overseen by Alison Bryce, advises predominantly large multinational corporations on the full gamut of information technology agreements and projects. Key pillars of the group include IT software, hardware and systems procurement mandates, IT outsourcings, technology licensing issues, e-commerce matters and data protection work. Other practitioners to note are IP expert Ross Nicol and senior associate Julie Brown, who regularly handles technology-based contracts, including software licences and service level agreements.

Practice head(s):

Alison Bryce

Other key lawyers:

Ross Nicol; Julie Brown

Testimonials

‘The team have taken the time to get to know and understand our business and our team along with aligning themselves with our requirements and objectives. Despite being a third party provider, they now feel an extension of our internal team.’

‘Alison Bryce has been paramount to driving this approach and engaging with our company in such a manner that they feel part of our team. Alison’s counsel is always valued and we are only too pleased to continue working with Alison and the wider team.’

‘They are always extremely professional, proactive and responsive with evident domain expertise and good broader industry knowledge and very pleasant indeed to work with.’

‘We work mainly with both Alison Bryce (Partner) and Julie Brown (Senior Associate) and find them both to be excellent at all times, providing pragmatic and considered advice and drafting on a prompt and reliable timeline.’

Key clients

Sainsbury’s Supermarkets

Artos Systems Limited

Marks and Spencer PLC

MUFG Securities EMEA plc

STV Group plc

Ascensos Limited

Aggreko plc

Bank of Tokyo

The John Lewis Partnership (including Waitrose Limited)

The Marsden Group Inc.

Work highlights

  • Advised MUFG Securities EMEA plc/ Bank of Tokyo, a leading Japanese financial services institution, on business-critical software licences and cloud platforms.
  • Assisted Artos Systems Limited with an innovative deal with FanDragon Technologies, a company which is seeking to reimagine the global ticket distribution business via a  Software as a Service platform that brings control and transparency back to ticket rights holders.
  • Advising a major UK Retailer on its payment services agreement relating to in-store and online payments.

MacRoberts LLP

Overseen by David Gourlay, MacRoberts LLP's practice has carved out a reputation in acting for the Scottish government and central and local public sector bodies, with particular expertise in public procurement rules as they apply to the tender of IT services. The group also advises on outsourcings, software developments, cloud computing issues, software licensings, hardware supplies, service level agreements, open-source software matters and cybersecurity mandates. Other names to note are social media and data protection expert Valerie Armstrong-Surgenor and Euan Duncan, who frequently handles IT-related contracts.

Practice head(s):

David Gourlay

Other key lawyers:

Valerie Armstrong-Surgenor; Euan Duncan

Testimonials

‘MacRoberts’ IT & telecoms team provided support and assistance on all aspects of our IT contracts. The team were highly experienced in this area of law and really understood the details of our complex requirements.’

‘Euan Duncan was involved in all matters relating to IT and telecoms and provided first class legal advice. Euan was always on hand to assist wherever possible and was supported by a team of experts.’

Key clients

Dacoll Group

AEGON Asset Management UK plc

Scottish Police Authority/Police Scotland

Vascutek Limited (trading as Terumo Aortic)

Batch Limited

Aperta Limited

AutoRek (API Software) Limited

Convo Communications

Work highlights

  • Advising the Scottish Police Authority / Police Scotland on its digitally enabled policing project.
  • Advised Vascutek Limited (trading as Terumo Aortic) on a number of software procurements and reviewed, drafted and negotiated licensing terms with suppliers.
  • Advised Aperta on exit plan arrangements with a key client (Nationwide), escrow arrangements with Central Bank of India, a software integrator agreement with LexisNexis Risk Solutions, a software licencing agreement with RBC Financial and acted in a dispute with the Commercial Bank of Ethiopia regarding a bond related to a software supply contract.

Shepherd and Wedderburn

Paul Carlyle leads the practice at Shepherd and Wedderburn, which acts for clients throughout the UK on IT mandates, e-commerce work, telecoms issues and technology investments. The group also has expertise in technology procurements and outsourcings.

Practice head(s):

Paul Carlyle

Harper Macleod LLP

Harper Macleod LLP's team, which is presided over by Tom Thomas, advises key public sector bodies and companies on the adoption and procurement of large-scale ICT services. Additionally, it routinely handles outsourcing transactions, data protection issues, as well as IT-related disputes. Scott Kerr specialises in the food and drink, life sciences and technology sectors, dealing primarily with distribution, agency and franchise contracts. Jill Fryer, meanwhile, focuses on public procurement projects containing IT components.

Practice head(s):

Tom Thomas

Other key lawyers:

Scott Kerr; Jamie Watt; Jill Fryer

Testimonials

‘Good understanding of technology and innovation, the team keep themselves up to date with new products and services and the likely impact on our business.’

‘Tom Thomas has been available at anytime, always responded quickly and with detail and sensitive to the pressures that have ebbed and flowed throughout the works. Explained difficult clauses and topics in easy to understand ways, allowing myself to make confident decisions on big items that I would otherwise feel were above my ability to make.’

Key clients

Retail Trust

Historic Environment Scotland

Registers of Scotland

Webhelp

Community Energy Scotland

Oh Polly Ltd

Enduro Sports Organisation Limited

Blackwood Homes and Care

Scotnet.co.uk Limited

Tennis Scotland

UK Athletics Limited

Work highlights

  • Advised Blackwood Homes and Care on the terms of its agreement with the software developer in relation to CleverCogs, including on the data protection issues arising as well as drafting the ancillary end-user licences for residents and care providers.
  • Advising the Capital City Partnership on a number of procurement procedures to support initiative aims, including the procurement of a website partner and the procurement of a website to facilitate the achievement of community benefits.
  • Advised Scottish Borders Housing Association on the procurement of a cloud-based finance and purchase to pay (P2P) system, including drafting of the underlying agreement between SBHA and the successful bidder.

Thorntons Law LLP

Liam McMonagle leads the team at Thorntons Law LLP, which acts for both sellers and buyers in the deployment of IT projects. It is retained by a variety of software and cloud companies, IT service providers and universities as well as large corporate buyers. Recently, the group has recorded an increase in instructions concerning data protection and information security work; associate Neil Falconer specialises in cybersecurity projects.

Practice head(s):

Liam McMonagle

Other key lawyers:

Lesley Larg; Alistair Lang; Neil Falconer

Testimonials

‘The team took the time to understand our business and get to know our main service offerings which contributed to a practical approach during commercial negotiations and meaningful input on the actual legal risks involved in our transactions. Proficient in dealing with variety of licensing models and extremely savvy on the data protection front.’

‘The team’s assertiveness and commercial mindset helped us navigate the legal complexity of multi-party negotiations successfully.’

‘The team we use at Thorntons LLP are first class. We have used them for a number of years and will continue to do so.’ 

‘Liam McMonagle is excellent.’

Key clients

ThinkAnalytics Limited

ECS Europe Limited

Postcode Lottery Limited

Abertay University

brightsolid Online Technology Limited

University of Abertay

Cyborn Limited

Ionburst Limited

BTL Group

ECS Digital Limited

Work highlights

  • Advised ThinkAnalytics on key collaborations and partnerships with global content providers including the BBC, Tata Sky, Liberty Global, Deutsche Telekom and others.
  • Advising Ionburst on all of its intellectual property and IT matters, including advice on a number of licence agreements, in relation to intellectual property protection and exploitation strategy and in relation to research and development activities.