IT and telecoms in Scotland

Burness Paull LLP

Burness Paull LLP is well-regarded for its IT work, which includes technology contracts, IT disputes and transactional technology mandates. Key client sectors include the energy, fintech, public and technology industries. Callum Sinclair heads up the team and is recommended for major technology, sourcing and enterprise cloud deals. David Goodbrand leads the fintech practice and regularly handles data protection compliance issues. Other key names include contentious practice head Colin Hulme and Colin Millar, who joined from DWF.

Practice head(s):

Callum Sinclair


‘Right balance of commercial and legal, very attentive and keen to take on challenges’.      

‘Callum Sinclair makes you feel like a valued client, he’s hugely enthusiastic and very personable whilst delivering excellent work’.

‘In TMT, they’ve been highly responsive, eager to please and certainly receptive to ways of working which are not their own’.

‘They have a good range of talent at the partner and senior associate level’.

‘David Goodbrand is responsive, adept at understanding our business (not an easy task in some cases) and very pragmatic’.

Key clients

Energia Group

OGTC (the Oil & Gas Technology Centre)

ACCA (Association of Certified Chartered Accountants)

Royal London


Financial Services Compensation Scheme


Natural Power

Cogital Group

CCL Technologies

Work highlights

  • Assisting Financial Services Compensation Scheme with the procurement of a strategic technology partner to assist with its ambitious IT transformation programme.
  • Appointed by The Oil and Gas Technology Centre to provide ongoing support and advice on a range of projects including negotiating and drafting key project agreements.
  • Instructed by The Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA) to handle a global, tier 1 IT services agreement with NTT Data UK Ltd .


The technology department at CMS specialises in large and complex IT projects with a particular focus on the financial services sector; it is also active in the public and education sectors, where it acts for the NHS and various university clients. Emerging technologies and data protection issues, including GDPR work, are also notable areas of expertise for the team. Practice co-head Alan Nelson focuses on IT outsourcing and commercial contracts, while co-head Duncan Turner is experienced in commercial law and handles IT and outsourcing deals for financial clients. Douglas Mathie handles outsourcing and commercial contracts, and senior associate Caroline Connolly assists with multi-jurisdictional transactions in the hotel, technology, venture capital and retail sectors. Laurence Ward retired.

Practice head(s):

Alan Nelson; Duncan Turner

Key clients

Royal Bank of Scotland / Nat West

Lloyds Banking Group

NHS National Services Scotland (NSS)

Marie Curie

Standard Life Aberdeen plc

University of Dundee




Clydesdale Bank / Virgin Money

Work highlights

  • Advised RBS on its global licensing arrangements with Microsoft.
  • Advising the NHS on two critical IT projects: (i) SWAN, the network which is used by more than 100 public sector bodies and sits at the heart of Scotland’s public sector infrastructure, and (ii) two critical patient facing technology procurements.
  • Advising a FTSE 100 financial services client on a significant technology outsourcing to Cognizant.

DLA Piper

DLA Piper handles major IT projects in the financial services and public sectors. John McKinlay heads up the intellectual property and technology UK (including Scotland) team, and is also convener of the Law Society of Scotland’s technology and law committee. The team handles large outsourcing and complex technology transactions, and also supports the implementation of global data protection compliance projects. Other areas of focus include handling consumer contract matters, IT contracts and IP strategies, including drafting and negotiating outsourcing, procurement, supply and licensing agreements.

Practice head(s):

John McKinlay

Other key lawyers:

Caroline Scott; Linzi Penman


‘I have found Mr McKinlay to be a consummate professional, an expert communicator and extremely knowledgeable’.

‘John McKinlay is able to assess and then address the issues that he is presented with in a consistently skilled and effective manner’.

‘My overall impression of the firm, based largely on my interactions with John McKinlay, is that DLA Piper Scotland LLP is an extremely well run, efficient, knowledgeable and proactive firm’.

Key clients

Innovation Group

Clydesdale Bank plc

Heineken UK

Royal Bank of Scotland plc

Scottish Water

Core HR

The Highland Council

Merlin Entertainments

Menzies Aviation



Work highlights

  • Drafting and negotiating a five-year partnership for Merlin Entertainments with global payment company, Adyen, to consolidate Merlin’s payment platform and point-of-sale services across more than 130 of Merlin’s attractions in 25 countries globally.
  • Advising Scottish Water on a competitive procurement to procures the next generation of mobile and field connectivity services, particularly to ensure Scottish Water can detect and reduce leakage in the network underpinned by a reliable and geographically spread mobile service.
  • Advising NHS England on its ongoing landmark project procuring seven genomic laboratory hubs.

Pinsent Masons LLP

Pinsent Masons LLP’s Scottish TMT team works nationally and internationally on IT and outsourcing matters in the financial services, education and energy sectors. The team often acts for London-based banks and insurers, and is active in the fintech space including advising on cloud, open finance and artificial intelligence matters. The practice also acts for universities in digital and IT matters, and handles information law matters relating to large technology projects. A further noteworthy aspect of the firm is the dedicated TMT disputes team. Practice head Yvonne Dunn is noted for her expertise in fintech issues, outsourcings and new regulations.

Practice head(s):

Yvonne Dunn


‘They provide clear, actionable advice’.

‘They don’t just describe the law, they help you make decisions based on it’.   

‘Super-clear communication from everything from instructions, scope, timing/budget all the way through to execution/delivery’.

Key clients


Calmac Ferries/David MacBrayne

Smart DCC

University of Edinburgh


Allied Irish Bank

Edinburgh Airport

The Commonwealth Secretariat

British Psychological Society

Open Data Institute

Work highlights

  • Advising several financial services clients on the implications of the new European Banking Authority Guidelines on Outsourcing.
  • Led two pilot projects for Open Data Institute including assessing the legal and governance considerations for data-trusts.
  • Advising a major energy supplier on its electric vehicle strategy.

Shepherd and Wedderburn

Shepherd and Wedderburn handles complex and tailored IT projects in the UK, EU and further afield; it also advises on a broad range of issues including cloud-computing and data retention and protection issues, lawful interception work, regulatory matters and novel work relating to connected cars, broadcasting mandates and content issues including geo-blocking matters. It also handles GDPR and fintech mandates, IT litigation and matters for companies in regulated sectors. Paul Carlyle leads the team.

Practice head(s):

Paul Carlyle

Key clients

BT plc


Big Blu Broadband plc

Asia-Pacific Carriers Coalition

Capital Document Solutions Limited

Sainsbury’s Bank

Iomart Group plc

Multrees Investor Services Limited

Scottish Enterprise

Highlands and Islands Enterprise

Spartan Solutions Limited

Scottish Power plc

Baillie Gifford & Co

R&A Group Services Limited

Delta DNA

Artemis Investment Management LLP

Work highlights

  • Acted for the selling shareholders of DeltaDNA on the sale of the company to San Francisco-based Unity Software, one of the largest games engine providers in the world.
  • Advising Dimensional Imaging Limited on agreements with major US entertainment industry players seeking to use its facial performance capture technology.
  • Advising global satellite broadband provider BigBlu Broadband plc on the negotiation of its contractual and partnering arrangements and advising on its customer agreements.

Addleshaw Goddard

Addleshaw Goddard is recognised its IT outsourcing, commercial contract and data protection expertise, and has a strong focus on the financial services arena, where it advises retail banks on technology procurements and IT outsourcing arrangements. It also advises IT and technology companies on corporate investments and divestments. David Anderson heads up the team and is noted for his experience in handling strategic IT projects and fintech matters. Helena Brown is recommended for her expertise in data protection and cybersecurity mandates.

Practice head(s):

David Anderson

Other key lawyers:

Helena Brown; Ross McKenzie


‘The team has been an absolutely indispensable partner since and before the introduction of GDPR in the UK’.

‘There’s a level of quality and expertise with the firm, particularly as it relates to our commercial objectives, which I haven’t experienced elsewhere’.

‘Technical knowledge is excellent and communicated in a way which makes it clear how we need to proceed’.             

‘Helena Brown is a first-class lawyer and adviser’.

‘The team led by David Anderson is really well thought of and connected in the technology sector in Scotland and beyond’.

‘The team is able to blend all of the legal disciplines essential to technology businesses and investors into technology into a user-friendly client service led working approach which is why I go back to them’.

‘They have all of the legal skill sets required delivered from Scotland and are thought leaders in many areas’.

‘David Anderson is able to grasp the real issues in any deal and use his multi-disciplined team to deliver the right results’.

Key clients


FNZ (UK) Limited

Novellus Solutions Limited

OPEX Group

Lumesse / Saba

Par Equity LLP



CBS Business Consulting

Desana Networks Limited

Castle Water Limited

CBS Consulting Limited

OBR – Open Banking Reporting

XDesign (XSolutions365 Limited)

Obashi Technologies Limited

Salunda Limited

Work highlights

  • Advised FNZ on its master services agreement in respect of the provision of an investment transaction and administration outsourcing service delivered via a platform as a service to a leading wealth asset manager.
  • Instructed by SGN to streamline the negotiation of GDPR data sharing agreements.
  • Handled a detailed IP audit of Novellus’ plans to develop an innovative health and safety risk management software solution.

Brodies LLP

Brodies LLP is regularly instructed by magic circle and leading US firms to advise on the Scottish law elements of global projects and to advise multi-national companies on Scottish projects. Areas of focus include data protection projects, outsourcings, telecoms issues and new technology mandates. The team is also active in contentious IT matters, and has a strong focus on the financial services sector; it also has expertise in the public, energy, aviation and defence sectors. Martin Sloan co-heads the team and is recommended for financial services technology procurement mandates. Grant Campbell also heads up the team, and David Gallagher joined from an in-house role at TC BioPharm.

Practice head(s):

Grant Campbell; Martin Sloan

Other key lawyers:

Iain Rutherford; David Gallagher


‘They have a great array of expertise for us to drawn upon as well robust procedures and attention to detail’. 

‘They welcome dialogue to explore our needs and how best they can support us – offering a tailored service which fits our needs’.

‘Martin Sloan is reliable, highly professional and cognisant of our evolving needs’. 

‘Martin Sloan communicates clearly on what are often complex legal matters and provides a sound, knowledgeable and trustworthy practice’.

‘Brodies is unique in that they understand and contribute to commercial as well as legal issues’. 

‘They have a wealth of experience and knowledge that they are able to share in a straight forward way which facilitates a better outcome all round’.

‘Grant Campbell has specific expertise in GDPR and FOI which has been very helpful’.

‘Excellent response times, attention to detail and willingness to help’.

Key clients

Aberdeen Standard Investments


Capgemini UK plc


Nucleus Financial

TV Squared


City Group

Rewards 4 Group

DC Thomson


Work highlights

  • Advised City Group on a complex outsourcing agreement with Marks and Spencer PLC.
  • Advised Synetiq Limited on a number of complex IT data flow-down and website services agreements.
  • Advising Docusign on Scots law issues and preparation of an Esignature Legality Guide for Scotland.

Thorntons Law LLP

Thorntons Law LLP acts for large institutions, corporate bodies and SMEs on the deployment of IT projects; it has also recently seen an uptick in instructions relating to data protection and information security advisory work. The practice has a key focus on clients in regulated industries including the financial services, payment processing and gambling sectors. Practice head Liam McMonagle handles domestic and international transactions.

Practice head(s):

Liam McMonagle


‘Thorntons offer practical, solution-oriented advice, and the ability to respond within tight timescales’.

‘Liam McMonagle communicates very effectively with clients, having an ability to focus on key areas, offer practical solutions, and work to demanding timescales’. 

Key clients

ThinkAnalytics (UK) Limited

ECS Europe Limited

Postcode Lottery Limited

University of Strathclyde

brightsolid Online Technology Limited

University of Abertay

Cyborn Limited

Ionburst Limited

BTL Group

ECS Digital Limited

Work highlights

  • Advised ThinkAnalytics on a strategic project with Deutsche Telekom AG for personalised content discovery on its pay-TV and OTT services.
  • Advised ECS Europe on the legal aspects of a new product called RocketCX, which gives users of the cloud service management product ServiceNow access to Amazon Connect contact centre telephony controls directly from the ServiceNow platform.
  • Advising Ionburst Limited on the negotiation of end user licences for software, supplier agreements with third party developers, policy issues, and royalty-based licence agreements.


Dentons handles the full gamut of IT matters, including outsourcings, data protection issues, technology licensing work, online service mandates, business-critical system procurements and new technology commercialisation projects. Its international presence makes the firm well-placed to advise on international matters, as well as Scots law issues. Alison Bryce heads up the team, which also includes senior associate Julie Brown.

Practice head(s):

Alison Bryce


‘The team are commercially focused and are excellent at applying the right level of review required depending on the complexity and associated risks of the contract’.

‘The team operate out of their Glasgow office which does provide efficiency on costs, and the team are very good at keeping to quotes and are transparent where additional work is required’.

‘Ross Nicol and Julie Brown are excellent’.

‘Ross Nicol is very approachable, technically excellent and commercially minded; he is a safe pair of hands’.

‘Julie Brown is an experienced adviser who is very diligent, skilled and reliable’.

‘The level of detail is excellent and they always present their case well whilst understanding our needs of managing the relationship with the customer’.

‘Alison Bryce has been instrumental in our contract negotiations and does an excellent job of explaining things in plain English and always making her and her team available when we need to talk’.

Key clients

Nexant Inc.

Artos Systems Limited

Scottish Whisky Experience (The Scotch Whisky Heritage Centre Ltd)

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 Artos Systems Limited on developing a mobile ticket Software as a Service (SaaS) solution with FanDragon Technologies.
  • Advised Scottish media company STV Group on the licensing of software platforms that are required for the delivery of the Scottish Children’s Lottery (online, and via mobile apps).
  • Advised Ascensos, Europe’s leading customer service outsourcing partner, on the contracting to provide contact centres, training and additional software and hardware solutions to a range of leading brands.

Harper Macleod LLP

Harper Macleod LLP is noted for its advice on IT and telecoms contracts, mainstream IT contracts, outsourcing agreements, website and app developments, and licensing and distribution agreements. It is also experienced in the public and third sectors, and acts for SMEs, start-ups and software developers. Tom Thomas heads up the team, which includes Jill Fryer, who was recently promoted to the partnership.

Practice head(s):

Tom Thomas

Other key lawyers:

Scott Kerr; Jamie Watt; Jill Fryer


‘Tom Thomas is brilliant, he has got to know our business and helped us in a new area of development that had considerable risk’.

Key clients

Retail Trust

Historic Environment Scotland

Registers of Scotland


go beyond

Oh Polly Ltd

Enduro Sports Organisation Limited

Blackwood Homes and Care Limited

Tennis Scotland

UK Athletics Limited

Work highlights

  • Advised Blackwood Homes and Care on a bespoke care and response software.
  • Advising Historic Environment Scotland on technology infrastructure and solutions.
  • Advised River Clyde Homes on the procurement of a managed service IT platform and unified communications service.

MacRoberts LLP

The IP, technology and commercial team at MacRoberts LLP is singled out for its large volume of work for the Scottish government and related public sector bodies. Areas of focus include IT procurements, outsourcings, managed service agreements, cloud computing issues, software licensing work and GDPR and data protection issues. David Gourlay leads the team and is experienced in the financial services, technology and education sectors. David Flint left for Inksters Solicitors.

Practice head(s):

David Gourlay

Other key lawyers:

Valerie Surgenor; Euan Duncan


 ‘The team have advised us on a variety of matters including complex acquisition projects, commercial contracts, and employment law’.

‘They balance the commercial and legal with ease’.

Key clients

Scottish Police Authority / Police Scotland

Scottish Courts and Tribunals Service

Scottish Government – CivTech

Kames Capital plc

Scottish Government Social Security

Scottish Government Cyber Resilience Unit

Dacoll Limited

Aperta Limited

Work highlights

  • Advised the Scottish Police Authority / Police Scotland on a digitally enabled policing project.
  • Instructed by the Scottish Courts and Tribunals Service to assist with the process, design, compliance and completion of a new digital evidence sharing system.
  • Advising the Digital Directorate of the Scottish Government on its public sector accelerator programme (CivTech).