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IT and telecoms in South West

Ashfords LLP

Ashfords LLP fields a multi-disciplinary team for technology matters, that includes commercial, IP and corporate lawyers who specialise in the technology sector. The group is particularly well-versed in advising emerging technology businesses, investment funds in the fintech and service-as-software (Saas) sectors. The arrival of Jocelyn Ormond from Simmons & Simmons in November 2019 kick-started the firm's digital health practice. Chris Dyson is department head, focusing on technology investment and acquisition work. Andy Braithwaite is an industry stalwart, handling supplier-side and customer-side deals. Suzie Miles is the practitioner to note for IT transformation, outsourcing and software licensing.

Practice head(s):

Chris Dyson

Testimonials

The Ashfords TMT team work tirelessly to achieve the desired outcome, they respond confidently and accurately to our needs. I would not hesitate in recommending them.’

I work with a number of lawyers at Ashfords – all are excellent. They quickly grasp the detail and provide thorough, clear, and prompt advice. They are very approachable and a pleasure to work with.’

Key clients

Network Merchants (NMI)

Notion Capital

Post Office

Form 3

Sensus

WhiteHat

People HR

Fluidly

DESACC

Episode1

Sparkol

Handshake

Work highlights

  • Continue to provide Form3 with support on their business operations and have advised them on various commercial contracts and strategically important projects, including a contract with Banking Competition Remedies Ltd (BCR) for a  £5 million grant from the Capability and Innovation Fund.
  • Act for leading Saas investor Notion Capital in respect of investment rounds totalling hundreds of millions of dollars per annum, including an $80 million investment in Currencycloud,
  • Selected onto the Post Office’s panel, to provide it with ongoing support on commercial and technology matters.

Burges Salmon LLP

Outsourcing work is central to Burges Salmon LLP 's practice, which is often instructed by UK and international industrial and service companies as purchasers on large IT transactions and projects. Supplier-side work is another area of expertise, and the group has developed a practice assisting local technology start-ups with corporate and commercial issues and venture capital funds with their investments. Outsourcing expert Andrew Dunlop, who has solid client roster of corporates, financial institutions and technology vendors, is head of the firm's cross-departmental TMT team and its outsourcing practice. Martin Cook, the former general counsel at payments business WorldRemit, joined as head of fintech in early 2021. Senior associate Lucy Pegler specialises in matters related to data protection and cybersecurity.

Practice head(s):

Martin Cook

Other key lawyers:

Lucy Pegler; David Varney; Andrew Dunlop

Key clients

BMI Healthcare (UK’s largest provider of private hospitals)

Southern Water

The National Trust

St Modwen Properties PLC (LSE-listed house builder)

Elysium Healthcare

Coca-Cola HBC

Dwyr Cymru Welsh Water

Exeter Friendly Society

Thomson Reuters

AXA Insurance UK

Work highlights

  • Advising Southern Water, on its strategic decision to transition from the current position of having two major IT outsourcing relationships (with CAPITA and Fujitsu) that together operate its outsourced IT department, to a more tailored model with some functions taken in-house and others outsourced to over 50 highly specialised suppliers.
  • Acting for BMI on a tendering process for a transformative new enterprise resource planning organisation-wide technology platform.
  • Advising The National Trust on the renegotiation of its IT outsourcing contract with CAPITA covering technology development, call centre management and various ancillary services, and in particular on the move to a transformed solution, incorporating AI and other technologies.

Foot Anstey

Foot Anstey's technology practice includes advising on technology projects and licensing work for fintech, clean tech and retail tech companies, as well as outsourcing projects for established corporates. The group is able to draw on expertise in data exploitation and GDPR compliance, as well as issues arising from the Internet of Things (IoT) and the cloud. Martin Cuell leads the department, specialising in transformational technology projects. Promoted to partner in May 2019, Alexandra Leonidou spearheads the firm's work in privacy and data protection, as well as advising on advertising, digital media, and commercial contracts.

Practice head(s):

Martin Cuell

Key clients

Quilter Plc

Weston College

Audley Travel

Spirent Plc

The Royal Shakespeare Company

Mole Valley Farmers

South Staffordshire Water Plc

University of the West of England

Kredia Group

Mood Enterprises

Truthsayers

Twickets

Ultumus

Bunk

Work highlights

  • Supported Quilter Plc on negotiations with financial data platform provider Coupa and ongoing negotiations with international cloud provider Workday.
  • Supported Audley Travel with regard to a major technology project to revolutionise their business critical bookings and customer relationship management functions.  This has involved negotiating and developing contractual documentation with Salesforce and systems integrator Kaptio.
  • Supported Spirent Communications Plc on an asset purchase of certain testing technologies from Integrated Navigation Systems (INS).  The deal was contingent upon the technology passing a number of tests and gateways required of it by Spirent.

Osborne Clarke LLP

'The quality of the advice and work is excellent' at Osborne Clarke, which draws on IT specialists from its core commercial, corporate, employment, funds and disputes practices, enabling it to provide a rounded offering to technology companies and buyers of their services. The department is headed by commercial technology specialist Will Robertson, who takes the lead on procurement matters. Technology litigator Charlie Wedin is the name to note for technology disputes, often with cross-border elements. Tom Harding leads the interactive entertainment practice, specialising in commercial transactions related to the production and exploitation of digital media products and services.

Practice head(s):

Will Robertson

Testimonials

A classic good-quality national law firm. The quality of the advice and work is excellent.’

This team gives clear, simple, pragmatic advice, always considering the business’ requirements. They have taken time to understand our risk appetite so that their advice is on point.’

We receive high quality advice and usually it is pragmatic and considering our specific business needs. Whenever we have had constructive feedback, they are keen to listen and to improve their way of working.’

We see Will Robertson and his team as an extension of the in-house legal team. I am always happy and comfortable for them to work directly with our commercial teams.’

Key clients

Dell

Hargreaves Lansdown

EE

CookPad

MyLife Digital

London & Country Mortgages

Dassault Systèmes

Western Power Distribution

Homebase

Computershare

Ultra Electronic Holdings

Oath (Formerly Yahoo!)

UK Cloud

Work highlights

  • Advising on a business-critical digital transformation outsourcing for Hargreaves Lansdown worth around £5m over three years.
  • Acting for Homebase on their new SAAS and Professional Services agreement with 2020 for customer self-serve online kitchen design and modelling services, as well as a significant connectivity deal with O2 for the full range of telephony (fixed voice, mobile) and connectivity (wifi, WAN, LAN etc) services.
  • Assisting Western Power Distribution with a number of industry first projects, from developments in smart meter technology and data extrapolation to virtual monitoring of data networks and new systems implementation for job tracking.

TLT

TLT's team is instructed by UK and international corporates on the development and exploitation of technology. Sectors where the group stands out are retail, financial services, telecoms and government. The group is led by James Touzel, who has experience leading on strategic projects for major corporates and local government agencies, including in relation to procurement and outsourcing. Daniel Read is recommended for his knowledge in IT, telecoms and business process outsourcing projects in the public and private sectors, particularly in financial services. Associate Emma Erskine-Fox is developing a promising IT contracts and data protection practice.

Practice head(s):

James Touzel

Testimonials

Solutions tailored to customer needs, prompt responses.’

I appreciate Dan Read ‘s ability to promptly respond to my queries, as well as his business orientated approach and flexibility. He quickly understands my requests and answers to the point.’

Key clients

South West Creative Technology Network

5NINES

J Sainsbury’s plc

The Co-operative Group

BGL Group

C & J Clark

Imperial Brands plc

Mayor’s Office for Policing and Crime

WHSmith plc

Conviviality plc

Close Brothers

Elavon Financial Services DAC

BT

Telegraph Media Group

Lucozade Ribena Suntory

Sky

Divido Financial Services

Work highlights

  • Engaged to support a UK supermarket with a new business critical software contract for use in logistics planning across its warehouses.
  • Supported a UK building society with procurement, licensing, implementation, and support and maintenance of new infrastructure and software for use in its financial reconciliations activity, and vital for compliance with Financial Conduct Authority regulatory requirements.
  • Engaged by a new entrant business rolling out electric vehicle charging sites across the UK.

BPE Solicitors LLP

BPE Solicitors LLP's technology team is an integral part of the firm's commercial department. The group has vast experience advising IT companies and major suppliers on government and large corporate contracts. Promoted to partner in September 2019, Emma Hickson heads the group, and specialises in large government IT infrastructure and associated deals. Robert Bryan leads on commercial contracts and corporate governance in the context of science and technology. In January 2019, David Gray was hired in a consultant capacity, having previously held the position of global vice-president of the transactions team at DXC Technology.

Practice head(s):

Emma Hickson

Testimonials

We chose BPE as they are local to us and having that regular face to face contact is extremely important to us. They offer us excellent expertise in an area of our business that would otherwise require a costly full time employee that would not be needed all of the time, therefore they offer us exactly the coverage that we need.’

This team knows about software license agreements and has significant experience in this area (EULA, Support/Main. SaaS etc.)

Emma Hickson is a deeply engaged solicitor with great knowledge in her area and makes it as easy to understand as possible. She is always willing to help and regularly goes above and beyond for us as a business.’

‘Sarah Kenshall is very good at analysis, and my go-to person for all personal data matters.’

Key clients

Agria Pet Insurance

Delta XML

Anatwine

Infrastar

CyNam

Betaden

Michelmores LLP

Michelmores LLP handles contentious and non-contentious matters in relation to technology deals, including assisting public sector clients with complex technology transactions and fast-growing, disruptive start-ups and scale-ups with their operations and expansion. Practice head Tom Torkar has experience in IT projects, business transformation and outsourcing projects. Charles Courtenay joined in 2019, having served in the Los Angeles office of Latham & Watkins LLP, and is an expert in IT disputes, particularly from a cross-border perspective.

Practice head(s):

Tom Torkar

Other key lawyers:

Charles Courtenay; Lois Hinchliffe

Testimonials

Great knowledge of our business, good communication and professional, accurate advice.’

Tom Torkar is a star partner – very helpful, understanding, patient and knowledgeable.’

Key clients

Met Office

Limitless Technology

Landmark Information Group

Searchflow

Mayor’s Office for Policing and Crime

Devon and Cornwall Police

Saba

Gamesys Group plc

Acivinsights

Seasalt

SquaredUP

Anzo Group

Livescore Group

Deko (Pay4Later)

Work highlights

  • Provided commercial contract advice to Landmark Information Group (part of the Daily Mail and General Trust) across a wide range of products, services and client agreements.
  • Advised Limitless on the launch and multi-jurisdictional roll-out of its leading enterprise AI and crowd-sourced, customer service SaaS platform.
  • Key member of Gamesys’ panel for commercial and technology legal advice, including negotiation of adtech agreements and data protection.

Womble Bond Dickinson (UK) LLP

Womble Bond Dickinson (UK) LLP's national technology head, Alastair Mitton, is based in the Bristol office. The group, which is able to work with the firm's practitioners nationally and in the US, has particular expertise in the financial services and insurance sectors, as well as advising public sector clients on procurement and outsourcing projects. Transport is another area of expertise, which sees the team working on IT and telecoms projects in relation to core systems and customer-facing technology. Gareth Jones is noted for customer-side projects involving IT services and outsourcing.

Practice head(s):

Alastair Mitton

Other key lawyers:

Gareth Jones; Georgie Morgan-Giles

Testimonials

They’ve been great for us due to having UK and US partners. We are a US based business operating in the UK and that connection has been essential in our legal support.’

WBD has a tailored service package for start-ups like ours and this has enabled a refreshing commercial approach and practice by Alastair Mitton and his team.’

Alastair is very thorough and inspires confidence. We always feel well supported and that the advice is measured. Rapport is good and speed of communication.’

Key clients

NHS Digital

Post Office Limited

AIG

TSB Bank

Quilter (previously Old Mutual Wealth)

Ministry of Justice

Liverpool Victoria Friendly Society

Highways Agency

FACTON

Kingfisher plc/Kingfisher Information Technology Services

Digital Giant

Work highlights

  • Acting for Post Office on its contractual arrangements with a Systems Integrator prime contractor with a banking sub-contractor for multiple services in relation to Post Office Card Accounts provided to benefit and pensions recipients.
  • Continued to advise Network Rail on a new procurement exercise for the roll-out of free public Wi-Fi services at all of Network Rail’s managed stations in England and Wales, following a previous procurement exercise having been withdrawn.

DAC Beachcroft LLP

Alan Pratt leads the technology team at DAC Beachcroft LLP, which assists clients with all aspects of large technology projects, software development, e-commerce and licensing, particularly in relation to the financial services and healthcare sectors.

Practice head(s):

Alan Pratt

Roxburgh Milkins Limited

The technology department at Roxburgh Milkins Limited provides a full-service to technology companies, particularly scale-ups involved in deep tech. Led by Ian Grimley, who works with Charles Van Der Lande, the group specialises in acting as in-house advisers.  Data protection is another area of expertise, where the practice includes implementation of compliance procedures and continued support services.

Practice head(s):

Ian Grimley

Testimonials

The team have a unique approach to clients which is about the long-term and the client’s journey. They are relationship-based in their approach and see their role as a “trusted adviser”. They take time to get to know you and your business.’

Boutique practice for entrepreneurs and tech companies. An agile, flexible practice. Much more entrepreneurial in its own right than other practices. Not corporate in its approach.’

Ian Grimley and Charles van der Lande are intensely practical and experienced. Focused on the big picture.’

I have worked mostly with Charles van de Lande for corporate support and have found him to be insightful and practical, able to get to the core of an issue and provide balanced advice. He is easy to work with, measured and client-centred, which  sets him apart from many other lawyers.’

Key clients

GL Education Group

Peak-Ryzex

Complete Control

MyLifeDigital

Blu Wireless

Elektraglide (Polystream)

TransFICC

Learning Science

KETS Quantum Security

Concirrus

TalkLife

i4C

Work highlights

  • Advised long-standing client GL Assessment on numerous matters, including new data protection communications, publishing agreements, customer contracts and IP infringement or data protection issues.
  • Regularly assist P-R (and subsidiary M-Netics) with negotiating contracts with large corporate clients, with numerous instructions.
  • Advising Blu Wireless on a retained basis on all their new customer agreements and IP licensing. As well as licensing their technology to other companies, they have moved into developing and selling the products required to deliver 5G.

Royds Withy King

At Royds Withy King, the team is composed of commercial and technology lawyers, specialising in providing commercial, data privacy and IP services to technology SMEs, and advising on technology issues for non-tech businesses. Joining the firm from an in-house position at TSB Bank in 2019, Dan Meadon-Bower leads the team, taking over from Philip Banks-Welsh, who now leads the drone law offering.

Practice head(s):

Dan Meadon-Bower

Key clients

Blubolt

Cellmark Forensic Services

Fleetcheck

Metric Group

Network N

Sharp Laboratories of Europe

Against Breast Cancer

Work highlights

  • Advised FleetCheck on its partnership with the FTA for the licensing of fleet management technology.
  • Advising on a co-location services agreement for a leading data centre provider in support of a multinational insurance firm end client
  • Negotiating a £1.2m research sponsorship and technology transfer agreement between the Against Breast Cancer charity and Southampton university

Thrings LLP

Thrings LLP has developed a reputation for acting as 'an extension of the in-house team' for mid-seized technology companies, handling contracts, negotiations and disputes. The group, led by Kate Westbrook is also instructed on the user-side, advising on IT procurement and technology development projects. Associate Will Foulkes, who joined from Foot Anstey in 2019, has developed a solid blockchain practice.

Practice head(s):

Kate Westbrook

Other key lawyers:

Will Foulkes

Testimonials

The team were able to offer practical and pragmatic advice. This enabled us to agree a stronger contract with a key supplier of IT services.’

Very much an extension of the in-house team; trusted to deal direct with the business in a manner/tone consistent with the in-house team.’

Depth of business, commercial and industry sector knowledge is good.’

Kate Westbrook knows our business and priorities backwards – all of her advice is contextualised and I trust her to represent the in-house team in the business.’

Key clients

Optimal Industrial Technologies

Coty

GHD

CybSafe

TrueSpeed Communications

Elcome

Altus

Metex Online

Bonsai Tiger

Benefex

Essilor

Excalibur Communications

Martin Lock Associates

Elecosoft

People Risk Solutions

Teleperformance

Anthony Best Dynamics

Lovehoney

Folli Follie and Links of London

Awareness Technologies

Malcolm Hollis

National Deposit Friendly Society (National Friendly)

Procentia

Proctor & Stevenson

Targett Business Technology

European Technology Risks

Minima Global

Bunk

Bolt – Pima Ventures UK

Work highlights

  • Represented Optimal Industrial Technologies in the agreement to supply its SynTQ software and related services to a major multinational pharmaceutical company.
  • Developed a complex master services agreement for IT and telecoms outsourcing for use with multiple Cybrid customers, including a major manufacturer.
  • Regularly work with and support the Bonsai Tiger founder directors with various commercial agreements.

Clarke Willmott LLP

Unusually for teams in the region, the technology group at Clarke Willmott LLP focuses almost entirely on acting for landowners in disputes against telecoms operators. An ‘absolutely unflappable‘ property litigator, practice head Kary Withers has experience acting against all the major telecoms providers, often supported by associate and telecoms infrastructure expert Aimee Davies.

Practice head(s):

Kary Withers

Other key lawyers:

Beverley Pike; Aimee Davies

Testimonials

They bring real practical experience of this specialist area to a very wide range of clients across the whole country.’

Professionalism, attention to detail and an ability to present solutions when faced with challenges.

Kary Withers is very experienced and absolutely unflappable. She has a very broad experience of property litigation that she deploys really well.’

Aimee Davies, like Kary, is a true telecoms specialist, and she’s really tough with it. Telecoms work often calls for tough negotiation skills, particularly in the new climate following the new Code. Aimee always seems to know how to get things done, and which fights to pick. She has amazing technical knowledge.’

Key clients

  • The Methodist Church in Great Britain
  • The PG Group
  • London and Quadrant
  • Lidl UK
  • Southern Housing
  • Pieminster
  • Pinnacle Towers
  • The Guinness Partnership
  • Sovereign Housing Association
  • Three Rivers District Council
  • PETROC
  • The Beacon Educational Trust
  • The Berkeley Group plc
  • Onecom
  • Toggle
  • Tradeweb
  • Onestream
  • Revive a Phone
  • Azronet
  • Eris Media Solutions
  • Lewisham Homes

Work highlights

  • Acted for London and Quadrant Housing Trust in the matter of EE  and Hutchison 3G UK  v London and Quadrant Housing Trust (2019) [Upper Tribunal], successfully defending an application for the imposition of interim Code rights.
  • Representing The Guinness Partnership in proceedings brought against it by Cornerstone Telecommunications and Telefonica UK  in both the County Court (1954 Act lease renewal proceedings) and the Upper Tribunal in respect of the same property.
  • Acted for a regional residential developer to successfully remove telecommunications cabling unlawfully installed which was significantly impeding development.

Stephens Scown LLP

Led by Ben Travers, lawyers at Stephens Scown LLP focus on commercial IT work, assisting technology companies with development and licensing processes. The group is noted for substantial experience in IT contracts.

Practice head(s):

Ben Travers

Key clients

Nexus Open Systems

IMP Software

Source Code Control

Bluegrass Group

Paddle Logger

Quest Apps

Unity Five

Work highlights

  • Assisted Nexus Open Systems  with advanced IT framework creation.
  • IT and data protection advice to IMP Software
  • Advised Source Code Control on drafting terms and conditions for the supply of open source software management services for an established software licensing and asset management business.

Laceys

The Bournemouth-based team at Laceys is often instructed by software and app developers on commercial matters, as well as assisting digital marketing agencies with contracts and agreements. Head of the corporate and commercial department at the firm, Sam Freeman  , leads the group, which includes associate Charlotte Mitchell, who arrived from an in-house position with Robert Bird Engineering Group in November 2018.

Practice head(s):

Sam Freeman

Other key lawyers:

Charlotte Mitchell

Pritchetts Law

Pritchetts Law focuses on data protection, advising public, private and charity sector clients on compliance with GDPR and UK legislation and data retention issues. Founding partner Stephanie Pritchett leads the team.

Practice head(s):

Stephanie Pritchett

Other key lawyers:

Ben Wootton; Al Goodwin

Testimonials

Stephanie Pritchett and Ben Wootton, supported by Al Goodwin and Hilary Homer are a tightly knit team of experts, with multiple skills and pre-eminent experience.’

Stephanie and Ben are such extremely experienced exponents of this area of law that they are our go-to advisers. They both offer sensible, pragmatic, realistic and solution-based advice.

Stephanie really thinks legal and practical issues through, and takes an honest view of her client’s situation, but stays focused on achieving a sensible solution.’

Key clients

The UPP group of companies

DFS Trading

Unison (trade union)

The Ceuta group of companies

RAC Motoring Services

Northumbrian Water

Link Maker Systems

Audacious Mobile

The National Foundation for Educational Research

Newcastle Building Society

Rimilia Holdings

Work highlights

  • Advising  UPP on a GDPR compliance programme. Also advise regularly on its contractual arrangements with its many University business partners and on data protection impact assessments across the group.
  • Advise and provide training to one of the UK’s largest trade unions on ensuring GDPR compliance across the organisation.
  • Advising The Ceuta Group consumer brand services business on its contractual arrangements with business partners, as well as in relation to data protection compliance across its entire group of companies.

Steer & Co

Steer & Co draws on vast experience advising clients in emerging technologies on all aspects of their operation, including collaboration agreements with multinational technology companies. The team is led by founding partner Rebecca Steer, whose sector expertise spans AI, voice recognition, digital technology and semiconductors. Nic Ruesink-Brown is an expert in intellectual property and cyber risk management.

Practice head(s):

Rebecca Steer

Other key lawyers:

Nic Ruesink-Brown

Testimonials

A great, friendly and responsive team who have a knack of explaining things in an easy to understand way.

Key clients

Graphcore

Xmos

Moortec

VR Electronics

We Predict

Great State

VVAST

Abducere

Calvium

Dengro

Work highlights

  • Negotiating a collaboration agreement for Graphcore with Microsoft to collaborate on the use of Graphcore Intelligence Processing Units (IPUs) on Microsoft Azure (Microsoft’s cloud platform).
  • Provided advice, drafted and negotiated 5 silicon IP agreements with major suppliers for XMOS.  These relate to the licence of hardware for use in the new XMOS silicon chip design for its next generation voice processors.
  • Provided advice and negotiation on a licence agreement for the use of Moortec hardware by a US automotive customer in its chip design.

Stephenson Law

Stephenson Law is a technology boutique that handles commercial and corporate, data protection, data protection and technology law issues for an array of SMEs in the sector. Jointly led by Michelle Correia and founding partner Alice Stephenson, the group is well placed to offer 'external in-house' support.

Other key lawyers:

Ed Boal; Brett Lambe

Key clients

Amdaris

Aula

Blue Yonder (formerly JDA Software)

ComplyAdvantage

confused.com

DB Schenker

Global Web Index

Good Energy

Hybrid Media

Immersive Labs

Lowell

QVC

Rovco

YellowDog

Work highlights

  • Through a general counsel retainer, the firm provided fast-growing market research firm GlobalWebIndex with commercial legal support and business-level legal strategy ahead of anticipated investment rounds.
  • Through a legal counsel retainer, provided confused.com with timely legal advice and direction through a combination of on-site and remote support while their General Counsel was on maternity leave.
  • Advised subsea technology company Rovco on £5m Series A investment round led by Foresight Williams Technology EIS Fund.