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The ‘responsive, professional and diligent’ Boyes Turner team possesses particular expertise in advising technology solutions providers such as Annodata, Kyocera, Bullitt and others on design and arrangements to incorporate third-party technologies into devices. The team also acts for data businesses, with complex performance auditing and data, payment transmissions, and online financial services matters among its diverse portfolio. Mark Blunden leads the commercial and technology practice and assisted Mortgage Gym with the launch of the UK’s first regulated mortgage ‘robo-adviser’ platform, constituting the first FSA-regulated mortgage platform of this type. Blunden and the ‘commercially minded’ Sarah Williamson have also continued to advise Virtualstock on the expansion of its “Edge” SaaS platform, which is set to revolutionise NHS procurement systems when it launches later this year. Bill Gornall-King advises clients on a varied range of matters across the automotive, aviation and engineering sectors, with key clients including censhare, Information Resources and the Thames Valley Chamber of Commerce Group. Associate solicitor Helen Dobson joined the commercial and technology team in October 2017 from Osborne Clarke, bringing experience in co-ordinating international advice for digital business clients in relation to B2B and B2C arrangements.

DMH Stallard LLP offers ‘excellent responsiveness, availability, technical expertise and commercial insight’, with ‘fees proportionate to the work undertaken’. Senior litigation partner Tim Ashdown heads the TMT practice, dividing his time between London and Brighton, and is particularly well known for his work in software copyright, large IT development projects and IT-related disputes. Ashdown is providing ongoing support to Ampito Group and SiteVisibility on a range of considerations. ‘Pragmatic, practical and intelligent’ John Yates advises on a wide array of non-contentious matters and is currently acting for Brighton i360 in relation to issues to do with the British Airways i360 tourist attraction.  Yates’ long-standing clients include Kelsey Publishing, Standard Brands and Open Fundraising. In 2017, the firm merged with Rawlison Butler.

Tech Mahindra, Virgin Media and Xerox are among the clients of Osborne Clarke's 'outstanding team'. Russell Bowyer heads up the technology practice in the firm’s Thames Valley office in Reading and advises sector clients including Hyundai, SMART Technologies and Vodafone on contracts, joint ventures, collaborations and outsourcings. Bowyer and Will Robertson handled DER Touristik’s cross-border acquisition of a brand reservation system from Atcore, and Bowyer also advised Hyundai on the design and launch of its Click to Buy vehicle web site. Corporate IT specialist Sara Valentine acted for the selling shareholders and the management team on the sale of CRM and client accounting software provider Reapit. Commercial litigator Peter Sheppard is the key figure for contentious IT matters, possessing experience in all aspects of technology litigation, and is the firm’s contact partner for the Redwood Group.

'First-class' Pitmans LLP is recommended for its ‘sector knowledge, turnaround times, commercial rates, personable team and overall level of service’. Commercial litigator Phil Smith heads the firm’s IT and telecoms offering, advising big-name clients including Sky, Humax and Symantec. Tim Clark acts on contentious IT disputes, particularly those relating to cyber security and breaches thereof, and is currently advising Dutch YouTube services company Zoom.In on the UK aspects of a dispute with MNN. On the advisory side, Philip Weaver has been handling the renewal of licence and maintenance agreements for KAI Computer Services and giving legal guidance on GDPR compliance to the UK arm of an international business which manufactures electronics and hardware. ‘Highly personable’ legal adviser Marie Evrard has wide-ranging expertise in areas including data protection compliance, software and master service agreements, with one recommendation that ‘in such a "dry" subject it helps that Marie has a great sense of humour and is a great relationship builder’.

Shoosmiths LLP has a ‘strong in-depth team with high levels of skill and knowledge’. The team is co-headed by the ‘highly capable, very experienced and all round excellent’ Robin Webb out of the firm’s Milton Keynes office. Webb leads the firm’s specialist automotive sector team; he recently advised Volkswagen Group on its procurement of telephony and data network services for use across its trade parts specialist centres and was instructed by Nissan Motors to re-negotiate a digital marketing agreement for global website design and build, support and maintenance services. Fellow co-head Sebastian Price advises a large number of blue-chip organisations on a broad range of IT matters, with recent highlights of his including assisting IMS Evolve on a strategic partnership with a supermarket company and advising Licence Bureau on technological and data access considerations. Associate Andy Pratley (‘very adaptable, always delivers for the client’) specialises in IT matters for the automotive and financial services industry. Other names to note include Anastasia Fowle and publishing and digital media expert Laurence Kaye.

Stevens & Bolton LLP is recommended for ‘providing the same professional and high quality of service as the major international firms, for more reasonable fees and with some extra friendliness thrown in’. The insurance, food and drink, and pharmaceuticals industry sectors are important for the practice, as indeed is IT itself. Beverley Whittaker heads the firm’s commercial and IT team and has expertise in a broad range of IT work covering outsourced services. In the past year Whittaker and Gary Parnell completed two global deals for the provision of cloud intranet services by client BrightStarr. ‘Highly competent and responsive’ partner Beverley Flynn and senior associate Charles Maurice have been advising SecurMed on a complex matter relating to the establishment of a medicines verification system for the prescription and supply of medicines in the UK. Maurice and fellow senior associate Oliver Kidd are noted as up-and-coming stars in the practice.

At 'excellent' technology firm White & Black Limited, practice head Phil Thompson is noted for his ‘very broad knowledge and experience in the field of telecommunications and cloud computing’; he recently acted for Interactive PureCloud on the licence of its PureCloud technology solution to BUPA. Matt Johnson acts for large companies including the RAC, Universal Music and Electricity North West, and notably acted for Mitchells & Butlers on the tendering for its outsourcing work and entry into agreement with Fujitsu. Key work streams of the practice in recent times have included advising major UK and global companies on the contractual arrangements for the use of technology, advising clients on Big Data and licensing initiatives against the backdrop of the GDPR and regulatory changes, and advising technology clients on their commercial contracts. Nick Mathys departed to join Lewis Townsend LLP.

Following the merger of Bond Dickinson LLP with US firm Womble Carlyle, the newly combined Womble Bond Dickinson (UK) LLP  is strong in the financial services, insurance, retail and public sectors. The firm’s client roster includes New Look, TSB and the Post Office, and the firm is one of those included on the legal supplier panel to the government’s Crown Commercial Service. Practice head Julian Hamblin has been acting for Old Mutual Wealth on a project of contract due diligence and review arising out of a managed separation of the global business. Through its IT division (Kingfisher Information Technology Services UK), Kingfisher has instructed Hamblin on the negotiation of a significant contract relating to the procurement of an enterprise information management platform for use across its retail companies. Litigator Andrew Parsons is recommended for technology disputes and is defending the Post Office against claims brought by former and current sub-postmasters, who allege that the company wrongfully recovered debts or procured them based on unreliable information provided by its IT system, Horizon. Data protection and e-commerce expert Andrew Kimble is also recommended for matters such as outsourcing, data licensing and freedom of information. Managing associate Ben Gibson is recommended for providing a ‘measured and detailed service’.

The main contact at Birketts LLP is Nigel Thompson, who has particular expertise in software and product licensing. Thompson acts for a number of high-tech businesses, internet trading companies and software developers, primarily assisted by senior associate Andrea Curtis and solicitor Claire Hunt. Thompson has been assisting Commcise Software, a software development business specialising in the City finance sector, on the settlement of required documentation, assisting with the drafting and negotiation of its contractual suite, and dealing with data ownership and use issues. Other recent highlights include Thompson and Hunt advising Kalibrate Technologies on an overhaul of its standard licensing suite of contracts, while Curtis worked alongside corporate partner Rafael Ruiz to advise New Link Consulting on its contracts with various financial institutions.

Blake Morgan LLP provides a ‘very good overall service’, with ‘good quality lawyers and very good value for money, particularly in comparison to City firms’. Team head Sheilah Mackie has particular expertise in multi-jurisdictional software development and licensing, hardware procurement, and outsourcing projects for customer-side clients. Legal director Elisabeth Bell leads the technology group in the Thames Valley and its GDPR initiative, and has been advising Artemis IT Solutions on the negotiation of a long-term arrangement with one of its customers. In other work highlights, senior associate Ben Evans advised longstanding client Neural Technologies on the protection of its Optimus brand and Guy Constant handled Medical Imaging Partnership’s acquisition of the MRI business of Nuada Medical Specialist Imaging, with assistance from Bell and Rajiv Joshi. Susie Dryden is recommended for her ‘strong legal knowledge’ and for being ‘very responsive, practical and hands-on’.

With a ‘strong level of service’, Clyde & Co LLP is recommended for its ‘in-depth knowledge of commercial IT issues in the context of the UK insurance market’. The firm handles a wide range of major technology and data-driven transactional and contentious matters in its chosen specialist markets of aviation, security, logistics, energy and insurance, with recent new client instructions from Grant Thornton, Expedia and Inditex. ‘Extremely capable’ practice head Mark Williamson is assisting B&Q with its commercial contracts to ensure they are fit for purpose and compliant with the company’s internal policies. Williamson is noted for his strength in the insurance sector; in a recent highlight, he and associates Paul O'Donovan and Craig Lightfoot assisted Chubb with putting in place a new hosting arrangement with a new provider for one of its core policy administration systems. Other mandates for the practice included outsourcing, large-scale data analytics projects and complex licencing agreements.

The team at Cripps LLP has experienced an uptick in a number of practice areas, including fintech, ad tech, insurance tech and healthcare tech, as well as assisting clients with GDPR compliance. Commercial practice head Pete Kenyon also heads up the firm’s advertising, technology and media sector group, and has continued to advise Optomany on a range of complex, high-value technology deals, including a contract with a household payment services provider for the supply of the Optomany Payment Solution to the provider’s customers. Irfan Baluch has been assisting RDT with complex integration and support issues relating to the Trice app, creating a new mobile marketplace for RDT’s insurer clients. Other clients include TET, Diaku and Documents Plus. Recently promoted partner Kathryn Rogers is recommended as a figure of note.

The 'strong, responsive and proactive' Irwin Mitchell team combines ‘excellent overall service levels’ with ‘good IT industry knowledge and capability, including on GDPR and data protection’. The firm’s Gatwick office is the main centre of the firm’s national TMT practice, with key partners Stuart Padgham and Dan Hedley based in this office. Padgham and Hedley ‘are knowledgeable and provide timely, pragmatic advice, with high-quality technical skills, industry experience and expertise’; Hedley is noted in particular for his knowledge of banking law, contracts and FCA regulation. Highlights ranged from assisting LzLabs with a wide range of commercial contract and software licensing matters to advising Saga on the procurement and customisation of a replacement booking and reservation platform. Aurelia Butler-Ball was promoted to senior associate, with a practice focusing on new media and tech start-ups, especially those based in the Brighton area. Butler-Ball has also taken on responsibility for Kim Walker's client base, after Walker moved within the firm into an in-house role.

Moore Blatch LLP ‘provides good, commercially relevant advice to clients in a wide range of circumstances’. Practice co-head Dorothy Agnew possesses ‘exceptional understanding of both the legal and sector-specific commercial aspects in the technology sector’ and is ‘a pleasure to deal with’. Agnew advised IT services and solutions provider Blue Chip Data Systems on a number of agreements with its customers, including one with top insurance company SunLife, and advised online retailer Mobile Phones Direct on a number of major network dealer agreements with EE, Vodafone and O2. Fellow co-head John Warchus  is ‘always able to help out a client and provide clear, understandable advice’. Warchus has notably handled a range of projects for specialist healthcare company Proton Partners International, including the negotiation of a master services agreement for the supply of specialist hardware and software with Philips and a collaboration agreement with the University of Liverpool in relation to cancer treatment. Agnew and Warchus are assisted by associate solicitor Sarah Crookall and solicitor Jasnoop Cheema.

Penningtons Manches LLP is strong for handling complex technology transactions, advising on hi-tech manufacturing agreements and acting for IT suppliers in support of their sales processes. One high-profile matter has seen Joanne Vengadesan assisting Bluepointlondon with its £100m ‘SmartCity’ project to upgrade the electric vehicle charging point infrastructure and install hundreds of new charging points to extend the network. Other highlights included advising Tectrade Computers on contracts with its customers and advising Tata Advanced Systems on a technology purchase agreement in relation to a high-tech manufacturing matter and licence agreements for a joint venture involving prototype technologies. London-based Anna Frankum and Oxford partner Chris Shelley  jointly lead the practice.

asb law LLP is highly recommended for travel and aviation-related technology work, advising clients such as The Travel Network Group, Secret Escapes and TravelLocal. Outside this sector, the firm acts for Ascom Wireless Solutions and Canon UK. Debbie Venn heads the team and has expertise in advising on collaboration and strategic alliance arrangements, agency and distribution contracts, and manufacturing agreements, among other items. Managing partner Andrew Clinton and Lyndsey Ratcliffe are other figures of note, with Nicola Billen also a key contact for the group.

An ‘excellent firm with a good breadth of capabilities across their IT and telecoms team’, Coffin Mew LLP has been heavily involved recently with advising clients operating consumer services platforms on how to accommodate changes under the Second Payment Services Directive. The team has also devised a structured audit process to help compliance with the GDPR. ‘Extremely knowledgeable’ practice head Mark O’Halloran advises clients on the full spectrum of non-contentious IT matters, from outsourcing, e-commerce solutions and data sharing to contracts, agreements and licensing matters. Senior associate Rebecca West joined the team from Ageas (UK) in January 2017, taking the lead on GDPR compliance initiatives.

Dentons possesses experience of technology-related issues in a wide range of industry sectors, in particular the retail, oil and gas, financial, media and automotive sectors. The bulk of the team’s instructions concerned GDPR compliance ahead of the regulation’s implementation in May 2018. Andrew Harris is managing partner of the Milton Keynes office and heads the practice with counsel Chris White. The practice has longstanding relationships with big-name clients including Sainsbury’s, Taylor Wimpey and Total Lindsey Oil Refinery. Associate Jonelle Afonso joined the team from Fox Williams LLP, while Nick Harrison re-joined the team as a senior associate after spending time in-house with Burtons Biscuits and Debenhams.

EMW Law LLP acts for customers and suppliers on large-scale IT outsourcing projects, data protection and GDPR compliance, complex technology licencing agreements, mobile app development, e-commerce and other concerns. Commercial team principals Matthew Holman and James Geary advised Rightmove on updates to its contract terms and various compliance issues, while Holman has been instructed on significant GDPR compliance initiatives by Milton Keynes Dons Football Club and Mirus IT Solutions, among others.

‘A firm which provides a high level of service to clients’, Moorcrofts LLP has ‘very good knowledge of software and IP law’ and provides ‘advice well targeted to client needs with good value for money’. Managing partner and ‘very fine IP/IT lawyer’ Andrew Katz heads up the offering and is recommended in particular for ‘his wealth of knowledge and expertise in open source legal matters’, while being ‘extremely capable on IT law and data protection’.  Highlights included supporting Apigee (a subsidiary of Google) on complex data protection issues in light of the upcoming GDPR implementation and assisting Veterinary Insights, a provider of data analytics services to the veterinary and animal health sectors, on a wide range of matters including data protection and licensing.

The 'excellent' Paris Smith LLP team is ‘responsive and able to provide options that are backed up by a solid opinion for a particular course of action’. The team is led by communications, media and technology expert Crispin Dick and intellectual property lawyer Laura Trapnell, who is ‘quick to respond, with fantastic customer service and is always really helpful’. Associate solicitor Emily Sadler specialises in commercial IT contracts, acting mainly for suppliers of IT products. The team’s work portfolio includes IT-related commercial transactions, system integration, development and procurement projects, IT separation issues in M&A transactions, and cloud computing and hosting. Clients include The Property Ombudsman, Aspin Management Systems and Lascar Electronics.

Barlow Robbins LLP is recommended for outsourcing, data protection, e-commerce, software, cloud computing and hosting matters. Of counsel Laurie Heizler is noted for his ‘depth of knowledge and confidence’ and being ‘articulate and measured’. Heizler has received instructions from OLM Systems in connection with complex agreements for specialist software outsourcing to local government and was instructed by Windsor Holdings, operator of the Foxhills hotel and the Farleigh Court golf resort, to advise on and amend agreements with providers of resort management software.

Brethertons LLP's Brian Auld handles IP-related matters for companies from industries such as education, retail, healthtech and IT. Specialist areas of knowledge and expertise include identifying IP issues for software development and licensing projects, advising on technology developments, and the commercialisation of IT assets. Recent highlights have seen the practice advise on the terms and conditions of a licence agreement for the provision of software and assist with the acquisition of know-how, copyright material and software.

Cathrine Ripley heads the IT offering at Field Seymour Parkes LLP, which has spent a good deal of time assisting technology clients with GDPR compliance. Other areas of expertise for the team include advice on internet and cloud computing solutions, mobile technologies, website issues, IT sourcing and cyber security. Experienced South Africa-qualified lawyer Susan Wells joined the team in anticipation of her dual qualification.

Fintech expert Kevin Sullivan heads the Warners Solicitors IT offering, with software and other technology licensing and distribution agreements a major staple of his work. Some of Sullivan’s most notable recent projects include acting for Mosaic Smart Data in respect of the licensing of its MSX data analytics software product and representing Technomed in respect of its claim for the infringement of its copyright and database right in its ECG software solution. Other clients include Rambus and Columba Systems.

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