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United Kingdom > Yorkshire and the Humber > TMT (technology, media and telecoms) > IT and telecoms > Law firm and leading lawyer rankings

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Who Represents Who

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Addleshaw Goddard ‘gains the trust of its clients instantly’ thanks to ‘a professional and highly pragmatic team of experts in the field’ who have ‘an excellent ability to wade through negotiations and achieve the best possible outcome in the toughest of circumstances’. Team head Michael Lowry focuses on significant IT procurements, outsourcings, data centre and cloud issues, and software arrangements. Other key individuals include consultant Ian Sampson, who is ‘a pleasure to deal with’, litigator Bill Gilliam and Simon Lofthouse, who advises clients in the financial services, industrials, retail, health and digital sectors. Recent highlights include advising Blue Octopus Recruitment on its restructuring and updating its standard terms and conditions and defending Diageo in a software licensing case against SAP alleging unauthorised use of its software by Diageo’s customers and sales representatives. Other clients include Associated British Foods, Primark, SSE, Arriva and Microsoft. Ryan Gracey joined Gordons LLP.

Key names in DLA Piper UK LLP’s ‘technically brilliant’ practice include Mark Vipan, who heads the Leeds intellectual property and technology group; Roger Gough, who leads the Sheffield non-contentious team; Simon Kenyon, who is head of the technology disputes practice; and Sheffield-based litigation and regulatory head Richard Norman. In a recent highlight, Vipan advised Haven Power on a major IT transformation including drafting and negotiating supplier contracts; he also assisted Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust with software licensing agreements, the procurement of a service desk provision and handled its proposed IT services collaboration with Leeds City Council. Andrew Dyson is head of the cyber and data privacy practice while recently promoted partner Amanda Pilkington is the key name for outsourcing work; Dyson recently advised Aviva on its GDPR programme and Pilkington acted for the Department for Work and Pensions on the supply contracts for its IT, telephone and network service infrastructure. Senior associate James Watson is also a key contact.

Eversheds Sutherland (International) LLP is highly regarded in the region for its technology outsourcing, IT system procurement and software licensing dispute experience at a regional, national and international level. It recently advised Sellafield on its outsourcing of IT systems, acted for a retail bank on the renegotiation and consolidation of its contract catalogue and handled the renegotiation of a licensing suite for a global manufacturer. James Hyde leads the group’s TMT disputes practice and Nick Stubbs, who moved from the firm’s Manchester office in 2017, is the key name for non-contentious commercial work with particular expertise in the retail and financial services sectors. Further names to note include senior associate John Wilson, who focuses on technology transactions; senior associate James Ruane, who is recommended for his data protection expertise; and senior associate Ed Williams, who handles IT disputes. Other work includes Stubbs acting for a financial services institution on the replacement of its IT platform and advising Arco on the contractual arrangements for the implementation of a new commerce platform.

Walker Morris LLP’s team of ‘down-to-earth individuals and incredible communicators are exceptionally easy to engage with’ thanks to ‘an approachable and transparent approach combined with an outstanding work ethic’. James Crayton leads the group and regularly handles commercial contract work regarding IT and technology arrangements; his recent mandates include advising Marketing Lab on the development of its template contractual documentation and assisting Amscreen with the extension of its relationship with Clear Channel. Malcolm Simpson is the key name for IT disputes, Daniel O\'Gorman focuses on transactional work and Jeanette Burgess handles regulatory and compliance issues; Burgess recently acted for Age Partnership on its arrangement with Nationwide Building Society relating to the distribution of equity release products and partnered with Crayton to assist The Phoenix Partnership with the data protection issues surrounding its SystmOne clinical records system.

Matthew Hattersley and Dominic Higham jointly lead Clarion’s practice and specialise in non-contentious and contentious mandates respectively. In a recent highlight, Hattersley assisted Ligentia with its negotiations with John Lewis for the use of its Ligentix software platform. Other work includes Higham representing InterSystems in a Commercial Court claim regarding alleged delivery issues relating to the implementation of a patient records system in a Saudi Arabia-based hospital, David Cunningham advising Card Factory on the replacement of its electronic point of sale systems and Cunningham acting for InterSystems on its successful bid to provide an electronic patient records management system to three Liverpool NHS Trust hospitals. Other key individuals include senior associate Fiona Marr, who focuses on the drafting and negotiation of contracts, and associate Florence Maxwell.

DAC Beachcroft LLP is noted for its experience in the fintech and healthtech sectors acting for financial services clients, public sector bodies and technology companies. Recent highlights include assisting Transport for Greater Manchester with IT issues relating to its smart ticketing project, acting for Zurich Insurance on its contractual negotiations with TCP LifeSystems for the implementation of a new software system, and handling negotiations for AIG regarding access to a software-as-a-service (SaaS) solution. The Department of Health, Royal Mail Group, Cornerstone Communications and Bupa are also clients. Technology specialist Michael Peeters leads the group, which also fields Richard Watkinson, who handles technology outsourcing and system integration projects; legal director Emilie Yates and legal director Kay Chand, who joined from Womble Bond Dickinson (UK) LLP in 2018.

Keys areas of expertise for 3volution Limited include software licensing, e-commerce, data protection, IT litigation, implementation and development projects, domain name disputes and cloud computing. The ‘approachable and proactive’ Louise Handley leads the team, which also includes Sara Ludlam and associate Heather Simpson. Clients include CGF Marketing Services and SkinViva; Ludlam led advice to the latter on data protection issues and GDPR compliance. Other mandates include assisting Redline Assured Security with a software service agreement for the provision of a computer-based training system, handling multiple IT agreements for Control F1 and updating IT agreements for Receptive Software. SureCore, The Data Shed and Beverley Building Society are also clients.

Joanne Bone leads the department at Irwin Mitchell, which has considerable experience in data protection and privacy issues including GDPR compliance, IT contract work, master service arrangements, cloud-related solutions and IT litigation. In a recent highlight, Bone advised Lowell Group on data protection and GDPR compliance issues; she also assisted Lhasa with the drafting and negotiation of international licensing terms and acted for ResearchBods Online on the drafting of IT contracts for multiple online access panels and platforms. Alex Newman is the key name for contentious matters and senior associate Emma Yates is recommended for commercial IT litigation.

Pinsent Masons LLP’s ‘excellent’ department provides ‘an outstanding client service paired with broad knowledge and expertise that allows it to deliver its advice professionally and diligently’. The ‘highly experienced’ Andrew Masterson leads the contentious work while legal director Lisa Harley is the key name for non-contentious advice following Martin Priestley’s departure to Mills & Reeve LLP. Masterson handles IT disputes in the government and private sectors; his clients include Leeds Bradford Airport, Newcastle Building Society and Northgate Information Solutions. Harley advises on government outsourcing and IT projects with experience in the education sector; she recently assisted the University of Sussex with its procurement of a new student administration and records system. James McBurney regularly handles technology disputes and associate Laura Wilson is experienced in strategic projects and IT outsourcing mandates.

Shulmans LLP ‘stands out for its ability to provide clients with appropriate and realistic advice that is both knowledgeable and clear’. Mark Lumley leads the IT practice and is ‘trusted implicitly by clients for his positive and calm manner that is truly unflappable and brings an almost therapeutic quality to his advice’; he is supported by commercial contract and technology specialist Emma Roe. Michael Watson is head of the telecoms team; he ‘never lets clients down and provides comprehensive advice and assistance no matter the issues’. In a recent highlight, the group advised Brookfield on the removal of five telecoms operators from a building rooftop for a redevelopment. Commercial Estates Group, Saint Gobain, Apeiron Capital and the University of Northampton are also clients. Associate Luke Maidens is also a name to note for telecoms work.

At Ward Hadaway, practice head Gareth Yates ‘gives very commercially aware advice with an excellent grasp of the clients and the fields in which they operate’; his expertise encompasses software licensing and development contracts, service agreements, IT disputes and channel sales strategies. Other noteworthy individuals include Bill Goodwin, who advises customers and suppliers on the development, licensing and implementation of IT systems; education tech specialist Frank Suttie and associate Nathan Bilton. Clients include Animalcare, Communisis, For Fusion, Hisense and Technology Services Group.

Berwins ‘provides an excellent and comprehensive service that utilises its insight and experience and responds in an effective and proactive manner’. The group specialises in advising software companies and digital marketing agencies; Trimble UK and Anthony Hodges Consulting are examples. Paul Berwin leads the department and ‘provides prompt and practical guidance to clients thanks to his depth of knowledge and ability to make proactive suggestions that hit all the points clients require’; he specialises in digital law. Clients also praise recently promoted director Mike Patterson, who is ‘highly experienced in commercial agreements’ and ‘excellent’ litigation-focused senior associate Andrew Mawdsley.

The ‘high-quality, quick and efficient service’ provided by McCormicks is led by Jon Healey, who joined from Walker Morris LLP in 2018, and includes the ‘always fabulously reassuring’ Peter McCormick. Clients are primarily based in the sport, media and entertainment sectors with examples including the Premier League, Leeds United FC and Plantagenet Media. The team has IT retainers with Welcome to Harrogate and the Premier League Charitable Fund; it also advised Cleveland Process Designs on the licensing of multiple software programs, assisted P4 Software with its acquisition of rights in bespoke shipping and logistics software and represented Gareth Harris Limited in a dispute relating to a partnership agreement, website URL ownership and database rights. Lewis Goodwin joined Blacks Solicitors LLP.

Percy Crow Davis & Co advises buyers and sellers of IT systems at a regional and national level. On the buyer side, the firm handles IT system procurements, hardware and software acquisitions, cloud computing purchases and IT outsourcing solutions. In its work for sellers, the team acts for specialised IT software providers, web designers and software developers. Dai Davis is the key contact.

Keith Benton leads the department at Rollits LLP, which is experienced in the charity and education sectors advising clients on substantial IT projects. Recent highlights include advising on cloud computing contracts, assisting with software licensing issues and representing clients in IT litigation. Thinprint, Cranswick, Family Fund Trust and Fenner are example clients. Benton’s expertise encompasses agency, distribution, supply and contract manufacture arrangements regularly with an international element. Associate James Peel handles IT agreements, website terms and conditions, privacy policies and regulatory work.

Schofield Sweeney is highly regarded for its IT contract expertise including software development work, hosted service arrangements, support contracts and IT system purchasing and outsourcing. Luisa D\'Alessandro leads the team, which also includes IT-focused associate Karen Crutchley. The group’s recent work includes advising Instem on the overhaul of its standard form agreements in preparation for GDPR, assisting Shearings Leisure Group with its arrangements with two IT providers and acting for Optima Energy Systems on its contractual arrangements, software licenses and hosted service arrangements. Search Laboratory, High Seat, JBA Consulting and Circle Leasing are also clients.

Clients praise Shoosmiths LLP’s ‘excellent, highly responsive and understanding team’ led by Alex Kirkhope, who ‘quickly develops an extremely positive working relationship with his clients with a personable approach that adds a pragmatic and human dimension to what can otherwise by dry legal work’. Kirkhope joined from DLA Piper UK LLP in 2017 and regularly handles IT and technology-focused procurements in the financial services, healthcare, retail and automotive sectors. His recent work includes advising OneSavings Bank on its procurement of an online portfolio management lending software platform, producing IT service contracts and reviewing commercial technology contracts for Honda Motor Europe, and assisting Twenty7Tec Group with its mortgage brokering platform including agreements with lenders, brokers and other intermediaries. JP Buckley is recommended for data protection and privacy work; he also joined from DLA Piper UK LLP in 2017.

Wake Smith Solicitors Limited’s department is led by director John Baddeley, whose experience encompasses IP licensing work, IT contracts and commercial agreements. Baddeley also regularly assists e-commerce and IT solution providers; his recent work includes assisting Gala Technology with the licensing of its new payment system and acting for Embody Orthopaedic on the licensing of its hip plant technology agreements. Key sectors for the team include the manufacturing, games development, digital media, health and telecoms sectors.

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