Firm Profile > Bird & Bird LLP > London, England

Bird & Bird LLP

Brand management Tier 1

The brand management practice at Bird & Bird LLP is best known for its strong capabilities and 'superb reputation' in trade marks, patents, copyright and designs. The six-partner team offers multi-jurisdictional advice in relation to trade mark protection, enforcement, strategic portfolio management, advertising and the commercialisation of IP rights. Head of media, entertainment and sport Phil Sherrell has significant expertise in reputation management, media law and contentious IP, often being instructed by well-recognised brand owners in the music, publishing and advertising industries. Trade mark attorneys Mark Holah and Allan Poulter focus on non-contentious and contentious brand protection issues, while Felicity Reeve is a name to note for commercial partnership and sponsorship, particularly in the sports sector. Peter Brownlow is 'one of the best IP litigators in London'.


‘Incredibly diligent. Have an unparalleled knowledge of the sports industry in relation to brand management.’

Commercial contracts Tier 1

Bird & Bird LLP has particular expertise in technology contracts involving blockchain and AI. The international firm is also experienced in collaborative ventures with a cross-border element. Simon Shooter leads the practice and acted for EY on the establishment of a joint venture with Guardtime, one of the world's leading blockchain solutions companies, which impacts the $30bn global marine hull insurance industry. Also notable in the team are Mark Leach, who is an expert in the fields of outsourcing and major commercial projects; Lucy England, who is experienced in advice on both strategic business projects and routine commercial agreements for a range of clients, including airlines, leasing companies and original equipment manufacturers; and infrastructure sector specialist Stuart Cairns. Associate Elizabeth Dunn is recommended for her commercial work in the gambling and sports sectors.


‘The team is at the cutting edge of IT law’

Key clients




Migeca – Ca’puccino


Sky Bet

eZono AG

Black Sheep Coffee





Steve Angello/Size Records


Motorola Solutions UK Limited

EE Limited

Six Nations

Arsenal FC


Data protection, privacy and cybersecurity Tier 1

Bird & Bird LLP's dedicated data protection group takes a sector-specific approach to data with notable expertise in the advertising, financial services, pharmaceuticals and health, luxury goods, technology and communications sectors. The practice handles matters at a national and international level; it recently advised Domino's Pizza on its GDPR and European privacy work and assisted Nespresso with its compliance work in over 30 countries. The team also has substantial cybersecurity knowledge, providing advice on all issues from compliance with data security breach requirements to data protection audits. Ruth Boardman and James Mullock jointly lead the department; other key names include Guadalupe Sampedro, who has notable expertise in EU data protection law and financial services and payment matters, and Gabriel Voisin, who has experience in adtech and online advertising privacy issues and cybersecurity mandates. Legal director Elizabeth Upton advises clients in the technology and communications sector.


Ruth Boardman is genuinely amazing and a standout practitioner.’

Key clients

The Football Association

Domino’s Pizza

La Prairie


Tempur Seally



Colt Telecom


Franchising Tier 1

Bird & Bird LLP’s team excels across the food and beverage, retail, hospitality and leisure sectors and has also recently expanded its expertise in the healthcare, education and green energy arenas. The UK team has three dedicated partners with one focusing solely on franchising disputes; Mark Abell heads up the group, Graeme Payne has notable expertise handling growth and expansion strategies, and Victoria Hobbs specialises in contentious work. The practice has a high-profile client roster, which it advises at a national and international level with KFC, Costa Coffee and Hamleys being key examples, while Payne and legal director Shelley Nadler have advised Mothercare on franchising issues in more than 60 countries. Associate Nick Green is also a key name to note.

Leading individuals

Rising stars

Key clients


Costa Coffee



Carl’s Jnr.


Migeca – Ca’puccino


Franchise Brands (ChipsAway, Ovenclean, Metro Rod, Barking Mad)

Westminster School

Intellectual property Tier 1

Bird & Bird LLP's intellectual property team has broad capabilities across the full range of rights, with a strong reputation for patent and trade mark disputes in the technology, communications, life sciences, and media and entertainment sectors. The team recently represented Actavis PTC and Actavis UK before the Supreme Court in a revocation action against two Eli Lilly patents relating to the erectile dysfunction drug, Tadalafil; and acted for Merck in a trade mark dispute against Merck Sharp & Dohme relating to the use of the word Merck. Katharine Stephens, who handles patent litigation in the electronic, computer technology and engineering sectors; and Robert Williams, who focuses on multi-jurisdictional patent litigation and trade secrets disputes, jointly head the practice. The team also includes patent litigator Morag MacDonald, Peter Brownlow, who is a key name for trade mark, copyright and design law; Richard Vary, who focuses on standard-essential patent litigation; Mark Holah, who handles brand protection instructions, and litigator Ewan GristEleanor Root was promoted to the partnership, while Graham Smith is now of counsel.

Next Generation Partners


‘Bird & Bird are an important IP advisor to our company, and have run one of our most important design litigation cases with significant success. They are premier advisors in the IP field, and have strong capabilities across the IP spectrum, including clearance, portfolio management and enforcement.’

‘Katharine Stephens is a formidable IP expert and trusted adviser to our business. She can be trusted to deal with the most nuanced and complex IP issues with commercial alacrity.’

‘Ewan Grist is a talented IP litigator, with an impressive expertise in designs. He was the lead partner on a groundbreaking design infringement case that delivered a significant win for our business.’

Key clients



TuneIn Inc


Merck KGaA

Take-Two Interactive Studios

Johnson Matthey Group

Neo Group

Accord Group

Philip Morris

IT and telecoms Tier 1

The technology and communication practice at Bird & Bird LLP 'truly distinguishes itself with a combination of deep expertise, responsiveness, and appreciation for the practical needs of clients'. The group, which is jointly led by Graeme Maguire, Roger Bickerstaff and Ronald Hendrikx, has expertise in advising public sector clients and corporates on technology implementation and digital transformation projects, handling patent and tech disputes, acting on corporate transactions, and assisting with telecoms regulatory matters. Other names to note include Christian Bartsch, Graham SmithMark Leach and Ian Edwards for financial services work, IT disputes and cyberlaw, outsourcing, and IT projects respectively.

Leading individuals: IT

Next Generation Partners


Complex telecom procurement is a particular strength of the practice.

Bird & Bird shows genuine and deep interest in understanding business proposals and applying its expertise to help achieve clients’ goals.

Bird & Bird’s team offers seamless use of other legal advisers for global view.

Bird & Bird’s team has an understanding of priorities and rapidly adapts to changes in requirements.

Graeme Maguire is a go-to contact. He takes the time to understand the client’s unique needs and particular risk tolerance levels, and is able to fine-tune his advice accordingly.

Senior associate William Bryson is calm, knowledgable and reliable with great potential. He will go far.

Senior associate Cathal Flynn is highly responsive, has encyclopaedic knowledge, and has a fast and thorough understanding of the client’s plans and accurate application of expertise to such.

Graeme Maguire supports his team in exactly the right way; not actively involved day to day, but clearly in control when pressure rises. He seamlessly steps in to cover.

Graeme Maguire provides very good partnership level leadership and is supported very ably by William Bryson.

Key clients




EE Limited

Effective Space Solutions

DXC Technology

JDA Software

Liquid Telecom

Ministry of Justice




Media and entertainment (including media finance) Tier 1

Bird & Bird LLP's 'vast media and entertainment practice' builds on the firm's traditional strengths in IP and technology matters and it handles a range of complex media and entertainment instructions across music, gaming, social media, film, TV, advertising and marketing. International head of media and head of music, Phil Sherrell focuses on litigation and related advisory work and is active on complex copyright disputes and advisory projects which involve the application of copyright to media industry licensing; the team has a 'deep understanding of the music licensing framework, particularly in respect of digital rights'.  The firm's sponsorship, content distribution and sports expertise means it is well-placed to handle e-sports matters in the gaming sector; the team recently advised a leading video game publisher on the development of a third party-operated professional e-sports league. In advertising and marketing, the team handles ASA complaints, and the film and TV offering is regularly instructed on rights acquisitions, as well as corporate and commercial work.


Phil Sherrell is responsive and intelligent, with a first-rate knowledge of both IP and music licensing issues; he is also a great litigator, confidently leading his team on strategy and tactics.

Phil Sherrell is a pleasure to deal with, even in the most pressured of circumstances.

Key clients

Take-Two Interactive/Rockstar Games

NDazn/Perform Media

Social Chain

Universal Studios International Kew Media


PRS for Music

Steve Angello/Size Records


TuneIn Inc

Pharmaceuticals and biotechnology Tier 1

Bird & Bird LLP is known for its 'hard core' IP strength in the life sciences sector. Mark Hilton, who co-heads the life sciences and healthcare group with Sally Shorthose, is highly regarded for his deft handling of complex patent litigation. Noted for her 'good negotiating skills' Shorthose has a focus on the transactional side of IP and regulatory regimes. Corporate partner James Baillieu has joined the team from Norton Rose Fulbright. Other members of the patent disputes group include Tim Harris , Eleanor Root  and associate Chris de Mauny. In addition to its IP skills, the team also handles a range of commercial work such as collaborations and licensing matters together with regulatory matters.

Next Generation Partners


A strong team with a wealth of technical understanding of industry areas and a stellar track record of work in key areas.’

B&B are consistently high quality. You know what you are going to get – whilst the fees are high, they will leave no stone unturned progressing shrewd and practical strategies.’

‘They remain at the pinnacle of the profession as regards their life sciences work.’

Mark Hilton provides calm, clear-headed advice and has a keen eye for detail and an understanding of the broader context.’

Mark Hilton is a match for anyone as a pharma-focused patent litigator. His deep industry knowledge sets him apart from much of the rest of the field. He is calm under pressure and is able to avoid being sidetracked, which is quite a skill in complex patent litigation. There is no one better at 4D chess.’

Key clients


Actavis (acquired by Accord Healthcare)

Merck KGaA

eZono AG

Guy’s and St Thomas’s NHS Foundation Trust

Fisher & Paykel Healthcare

Calero Software

Mercury Innovations


Sport Tier 1

Bird & Bird LLP 's 'exceptional', multi-jurisdictional sports team represents international governing bodies in contentious matters, investigations and media rights deals, in addition to acting for football clubs, corporates and major event hosts in a range of commercial areas, including sponsorship and partnership agreements. Leading adviser Jonathan Taylor QC successfully represented the IAAF in Caster Semenya's appeal before the Court of Arbitration for Sport, leading to a landmark judgment on the eligibility regulations governing the testosterone limit for female athletes. On the commercial side, Felicity Reeve advised petrochemical company Orlen on its sponsorship agreement with the Williams Martini Racing F1 team and Craig Giles advised Six Nations rugby on its title partner deal with Guinness for the next Six Nations Championship. 'Fantastic litigator' Max Duthie is another key member of the team. Associate Will Deller brings considerable expertise in e-sports to the team, while junior partner Andy Danson has been involved in several large betting and gambling sponsorship deals.


‘Exceptional knowledge, work ethic and attention to detail mixed with a very easy-going manner. Their experience of sports regulatory work is unparalleled in the market.’

‘Jonathan Taylor has unrivalled knowledge and experience of the sector and it is always a comfort when you have him on your side.’

‘Craig Giles is a detailed, yet pragmatic lawyer. He advises us on a wide range of topics in the sports and media sector and his advice is always well received.’

‘Max Duthie is a fantastic litigator, equipped with all the required knowledge, technical skills and advocacy technique, but without the bluster and faux-aggression that comes with many operators in the contentious sports market.’

Key clients

International Association of Athletics Federations

Federation Internationale de l’Automobile

International Cricket Council


Premier League

Celtic Rugby


Six Nations

Stronach Group

Arsenal FC

Venture capital Tier 1

A ‘standout venture capital practice in London’, Bird & Bird LLP has a longstanding presence in the market and provides 'commercial and timely advice' to investees and investors on matters throughout the funding lifecycle. As well as the firm’s core venture capital expertise, clients appreciate the ability to draw upon experts within the commercial, IP and tax teams, in addition to practitioners from across the firm’s broad geographical network of offices on cross-border deals. Praised for their ‘very commercial approach’, Geraint Lloyd  and Struan Penwarden are experienced practitioners in the space, with the latter benefiting from niche expertise in corporate debt venture financing. A ‘clear star’, Shing Lo is rapidly gaining market recognition as a result of her ‘excellent understanding of the tech start-up arena’, while at associate level, the 'incredibly responsiveMark Rundall is central to the team’s growing corporate venture offering.

Next Generation Partners

Rising stars


The firm has the legal expertise and keen understanding of the industry in various European countries.

The team provides a responsive and pragmatic service.

Struan Penwarden is one of the most tenacious lawyers around: he is fierce in his defence of his clients, yet always commercial in his approach.

Shing Lo has an unwavering work ethic, is very commercial, and boils down complex issues very quickly.

Shing Lo is razor-sharp.

Mark Rundall is a safe pair of hands and is extremely bright, experienced and hardworking.

Key clients

Albion Capital




Horizons Ventures

Index Ventures

Korea Investment Partners

RT Capital Management

Sony Innovation Fund

Verifly Holdings


Samaipata Ventures

Ingenious Capital Management

Columbia Lake Partners


Immersive Labs

Commercial property: hotels and leisure Tier 2

Bird & Bird LLP’s hotel and leisure practice continues to flourish under the leadership of highly recommended Karen Friebe, who joined from Berwin Leighton Paisner in early 2018. Her team is engaged on the buying, selling and development of hotels on an international scale and draws on the firm’s expertise of technology, food and beverage, franchising and wellness matters to provide clients with a full-service offering. Friebe recently advised Cadogan Estates in relation to the hotel management and food and beverage agreements at the five star Belmond Cadogan Hotel which will see celebrity chef Adam Handling serve as consultant to its main restaurant. James Fowler also played an active role on the matter and is recommended for his expertise on franchising. Also forming the workload are IP-related instructions, data protection issues, international rebrandings and a range of real estate matters.

Leading individuals

Rising stars

Key clients

All Star Leisure

Aman Resorts

Belmond Hotels

Cadogan Estates

Cedar Capital Partners


Kastrati Group

Moto Hospitality Limited

Secret Escapes

Steigenberger Hotels

Fintech Tier 2

Bird & Bird LLP's fintech practice acts for a number of start-ups and growth scale companies in addition to some large financial services companies, displaying particular strength in the areas of payments, crowdfunding, open banking, blockchain and data protection. The firm's dedicated UK payments team (which is peopled by several lawyers with in-house experience in the sector) frequently advises clients on FCA authorisations, passporting, GDPR, competition law and compliance with various pieces of regulation, including the EU Interchange Fee Regulation, PSD2 and the EU Cross-Border Regulation. On the technology side, partner Jonathan Emmanuel, who specialises in commercial and outsourcing projects, frequently works alongside his colleagues to put in place SaaS agreements, virtual counsel services and various other agreements enabling start-ups to run their business successfully online. Trystan Tether (who has expertise in electronic banking, financial services, electronic cash and payment mechanisms) is currently advising Revolut and Stripe, separately, in relation to EU and UK payments regulation.

Key clients

MasterCard/ Vocalink





Starling Bank

Alpha FX

Fraud: civil Tier 2

Bird & Bird LLP is adept at handling various civil and criminal fraud matters; areas of expertise include international risk management and compliance advice, HMRC investigations, pension fraud, corporate fraud, asset tracing, market abuse, money laundering, employee fraud and mortgage fraud. The firm recently launched a 24/7 business fraud and crisis response hotline. Sophie Eyre, who heads the team, has expertise in ancillary relief applications as well as extensive knowledge of trust issues arising from fraud claims.

Leading individuals

Key clients

BNP Paribas

Global Energy Horizons Corporation

Gaming and betting Tier 2

Bird & Bird LLP provides gambling and betting regulatory advice and assists with the advertising of gambling and the establishment of commercial relationships between the sports and gambling industries, as well as with content streaming, software supply and payment processing deals. The firm is also experienced in technology transfer, data protection and intellectual property work. Andrew Danson regularly advises on online gambling regulations, and senior associate Elizabeth Dunn has expertise in software supply, content streaming and hosting.

Leading individuals


‘We have worked with Andrew Danson and Elizabeth Dunn at Bird & Bird and they have been very responsive, commercial and pragmatic and a pleasure to work with. We found it particularly helpful that they were able to come in a brief our commercial colleagues in a way that was accessible and grounded in practical examples and experience to take the advice beyond the theoretical.’

Key clients

Zeal Group

Sky Bet



Sporting Index


The Stronach Group

Metric Gaming

Football Index

FunFair Technologies

Healthcare Tier 2

Bird & Bird LLP is particularly known for its strong offering in international healthcare projects; e-health and data protection; innovative public/private sector partnerships; and M&A and investment in the healthcare sector. Simon Shooter advises healthcare providers and their suppliers on operations in emerging markets in the Middle East. David Ayers is experienced with running major commercial projects, acting for both public and private sector organisations, such as advising Guy's & St Thomas' NHS Foundation Trust on its contract with the UK Ministry of Defence for the provision of healthcare to British forces in Germany. Stuart Cairns focuses on public procurement work. Associate Ben Woodfield is also recommended.

PATMA: Trade mark attorneys Tier 2

Bird & Bird LLP was already an important international player before the opening of its San Francisco office in September 2018, but has since noticeably increased its influx of instructions from US clients. The group also continues to grow its roster of UK and EU clients, coming from a broad variety of sectors, whom it offers an online brand protection portal as a key string in the group's trade mark protection bow. Given the firm's wide geographical footprint, the team is very experienced in the management of large international trade mark portfolios, but it also excels in high-stakes opposition and appeal proceedings. Mark Holah and Allan Poulter direct the practice.


‘Extremely diligent and thorough. Go out of their way to gain a proper understanding of our fairly unique organisation.’

‘Patricia Collis is excellent. Super smart, considered and a pleasure to work with.’

Key clients

Consorzio di Tutela Denominazione di Origine Contorlatta Prosecco


Daily Mail Group

Fabergé Limited

Kingfisher (B&Q, Screwfix)


Monster Beverage Corporation

Philip Morris International

Simba Sleep Limited

Aviation Tier 3

Bird & Bird LLP's 'agile and relevant' department is 'customer-focused and responsive'. It is involved in a multitude of aviation sector instructions and has a broad practice covering competition, state aid, commercial, data protection, technology, digital, regulatory and contentious issues; and client's benefit from its international footprint. The team is often engaged on cutting-edge work; notably, it has significant experience in regulatory work relating to UAS and drones. The practice has a strong airline following and acts for easyJet on a gamut of issues such as commercial contracts and consumer and competition law issues; in addition to employment and data protection matters. The 'knowledgeable' Paul Briggs advises airlines, aerospace companies, leasing companies and banks on commercial matters and Sophie Eyre heads the aviation disputes team. Recently promoted partner Lucy England handles commercial and projects work in the sector.

Next Generation Partners


The team’s depth of knowledge, particularly in an ever-changing landscape, is appreciated.

The team’s sector expertise is valued.

Key clients

Aquila Air Traffic Management Services

AirAsia Group

AVIC Group

BOC Aviation

Bristow Helicopters

Cathay Pacific



Flybe Limited



John Menzies Group

Marshall of Cambridge Aerospace Group

North Air

Royal Jet

SDH Wings

Virgin Group


Employment: employers Tier 3

Bird & Bird LLP's London employment team, which is led Ian Hunter, provides a full-service offering for multinational businesses, with a particular focus on the technology, life sciences, aviation and retail sectors. The team also has advises senior executives, including partners from other law firms. Recent areas in which the firm has seen an uptick in work include injunctions and High Court claims, data protection and employment tribunal cases relating to holiday pay for outsourcing clients. Hunter works with the 'outstanding' Elizabeth Lang, 'knowledgeable and straightforward' legal director Penny Hunt and 'consummate professional' senior associate Jonathan Goldsworthy, who also has expertise in business immigration. The team secured a major boost in summer 2019 with the hire of Stewarts Law LLP employment head Tim Spillane, who is highly regarded for his work with senior executives.

Leading individuals


‘Bird & Bird’s employment team are proactive, responsive and their advice is practical and to the point.’

‘In-depth knowledge of our business and of the industry.’

‘Elizabeth Lang is an outstanding lawyer. We have worked with Liz for many years and her core asset is her aptitude for reading people and typical situations that arise in employment matters which we believe is key for providing the best advice and solving issues in the HR space.

‘Associate Sam Rayner is an exceptionally bright and highly talented lawyer.

‘Legal director Penny Hunt is very knowledgeable and straightforward with her advice. She advises us in a practical and meaningful way and we have built a good relationship during our time working together. She is a great support and I know I can talk open and honestly with her.’

‘Senior associate Jon Goldsworthy is a trusted adviser – he is a consummate professional and I value his pragmatic and direct approach.’

Key clients

Samsara / Jet2 Holidays

WD 40


A recycling and recovery company



A dating focussed social network


Equity capital markets – small-mid cap Tier 3

Bird & Bird LLP's corporate group has experience of public takeovers and public company M&A, and regularly advises on AIM placings and IPOs involving issuers in the energy and natural resources and technology sectors. The team acts for a long list of finance houses focusing on AIM placings, but has also recently been instructed by corporate issuers in the fintech and mining and minerals sectors. Practice head, Clive Hopewell, has been recognised by clients for his 'pragmatism' and 'effective management of difficult situations'.


Technically very strong, but with one eye on the commercial realities of the situation.

Commercial, proactive and gritty.

High level of flexibility enabling delivery against tight and important deadlines.

Heavy partner involvement with strong team of associates.

Key clients

Alpha FX Group

Asiamet Resources Ltd

Directa Plus plc

Earthport plc

Frontier Developments plc

Gama Aviation plc

Gamma Communications plc

Griffin Mining Ltd

Harvest Minerals Ltd

IG Design Group plc

Jangada Mines plc

Proxama plc

RhythmOne plc

Tekcapital plc

The Stanley Gibbons Group

Westminster Group plc

Liberum Capital Limited

Canaccord Genuity

WH Ireland Limited

Mirabaud Securities Limited

Joh. Berenberg, Gossler & Co. KG

Panmure Gordon (UK) Limited

Hannam & Partners LLP

Grant Thornton UK LLP

Cantor Fitzgerald Europe

Cairn Financial Advisors LLP

M&A: lower mid-market deals, £50m-£500m Tier 3

Bird & Bird LLP predominantly acts for technology clients on corporate M&A matters, with a number of supporting panel appointments for clients in the TMT sector. In tandem with this, the team has acted for a number of start ups and fast growth clients with venture capital investment and early-stage M&A. The team is headed by Matt Bonass, who has particular experience in both public and private M&A in the energy and sports sectors, as well as negotiating joint venture agreements. Associate Richard Bloomfield focuses on technology, communications and energy, and is experienced in cross-border M&A. The firm hired James Baillieu from Norton Rose Fulbright, who brings life sciences sector expertise in addition to clients within the pharmaceuticals sector.

Leading individuals


Great coverage of all practice areas, heavy partner involvement

They are responsive, attentive to the details, pleasant to deal with and commercial

Key clients


DXC Technology

Calero Software

Cobham PLC

Aser Media

Just Eat

Nokia Solutions and Networks

Kew Media Corp Inc.


Secret Escapes

Power (including electricity, nuclear and renewables) Tier 3

The energy offering at Bird & Bird LLP was significantly bolstered in late 2018 by the arrival of financing expert Conrad Purcell, who joined from Eversheds Sutherland (International) LLP. The practice has been building a reputation for renewable energy M&A, and it has also been active in the areas of energy infrastructure, energy management and the digitalisation of grids and transmission assets. On the contentious front, the team handles disputes arising from the construction and procurement of major projects, as well as intellectual property issues.

Key clients

Pioneer Point Partners

Bluefield Partners

Next Energy

Honeywell Smart Energy

Pure World Energy


JDR Cable Systems


DS Smith Paper Limited

Friotherm AG

Product liability: defendant Tier 3

Bird & Bird LLP is noted for its expertise in the technology and automotive  sectors and, as such, is a popular choice for issues concerning driverless vehicles. It advises clients at an international level on all stages of the product, from the initial concept and design phase through to its supply, use and disposal. The practice is jointly led by Jonathan Speed and senior associate Russell Williamson, who both have a strong dispute resolution background. The group also has strengths in the luxury goods and medical devices sectors.


First and foremost, the team has the requisite experience to deal with legal issues within the relevant business sector and is further noted for its ability to treat its clients with the highest levels of professionalism and courtesy.

Extremely capable team, with both broad and deep knowledge and expertise in product liability.’

Jonathan Speed is a very commercially minded partner who provides clear advice.’

Senior associate Russell Williamson provided specific liability advice for completely new business models in a way that is extremely comprehensive and showcased his knowledge of the regulations, case law, and precedence.’

Banking litigation: investment and retail Tier 4

Bird & Bird LLP regularly acts in major pieces of high-value and high-profile litigation, and the practice has also experienced growth in banking-related technology disputes. Michael Brown's recent work includes claims involving payment services and the Interchange Fee Regulation, and Jeremy Sharman is co-head of the UK dispute resolution group. Matthew Foote and Matthew Pack are experienced senior associates.

Key clients

Property Alliance Group

Banca Nazionale del Lavoro

Commercial litigation Tier 4

Bird & Bird LLP 'has a very rigorous approach to dispute resolution'. It is  particularly active in disputes involving technology and communications,  financial services, retail and consumer matters, and media, entertainment and sports law. Jeremy Sharman and Sophie Eyre  co-head the London dispute resolution group, which also includes Jonathan Speed and senior associate Rachel Glass.

Leading individuals


Jonathan Speed has an excellent eye for detail and stays several steps ahead of his opponents tactically‘.

Key clients


Bank of China Aviation and Bank of China Aviation (Ireland)

Cathay Pacific Airways

Basis Technologies International


Emerging markets Tier 4

The banking and finance practice at Bird & Bird LLP in London frequently acts for commercial and development banks in finance transactions in the CEE, the CIS and Southeast Europe. The firm is also steadily building its presence in transactions involving Asia and North Africa. The practice, led by Andrew Hallgarth , handles acquisition and project finance, aviation finance, private banking and structured finance, and has a strong presence in the energy and utilities sector. International banking and finance partner Isabel Evans handles complex cross-border and project financings.


“Andrew Hallgarth provides work to the highest standards.”

“Andrew Hallgarth is an excellent lawyer. He is very knowledgeable, precise, thorough, business-oriented and always able to innovate or propose solutions to get out of deadlocks. He is also quite versatile and works on debt as well as equity transactions to the highest standards. He is one of my favourite lawyers.”

Employment: senior executives Tier 4

Bird & Bird LLP's London employment team, which is led Ian Hunter, provides a full-service offering for multinational businesses, with a particular focus on the technology, life sciences, aviation and retail sectors. The team also has advises senior executives, including partners from other law firms. Recent areas in which the firm has seen an uptick in work include injunctions and High Court claims, data protection and employment tribunal cases relating to holiday pay for outsourcing clients. Hunter works with the 'outstanding' Elizabeth Lang, 'knowledgeable and straightforward' legal director Penny Hunt and 'consummate professional' senior associate Jonathan Goldsworthy, who also has expertise in business immigration. The team secured a major boost in summer 2019 with the hire of Stewarts Law LLP employment head Tim Spillane, who is highly regarded for his work with senior executives.

Leading individuals


‘Bird & Bird’s employment team are proactive, responsive and their advice is practical and to the point.’

‘In-depth knowledge of our business and of the industry.’

‘Elizabeth Lang is an outstanding lawyer. We have worked with Liz for many years and her core asset is her aptitude for reading people and typical situations that arise in employment matters which we believe is key for providing the best advice and solving issues in the HR space.

‘Associate Sam Rayner is an exceptionally bright and highly talented lawyer.

‘Legal director Penny Hunt is very knowledgeable and straightforward with her advice. She advises us in a practical and meaningful way and we have built a good relationship during our time working together. She is a great support and I know I can talk open and honestly with her.’

‘Senior associate Jon Goldsworthy is a trusted adviser – he is a consummate professional and I value his pragmatic and direct approach.’

Infrastructure (including PFI and PPP) Tier 4

Bird & Bird LLP is noted for its public procurement expertise. With the arrival of specialist Stuart Cairns, who is well versed in the awarding of works, services and supplies contracts in a variety of national and international projects, the group has secured multiple new instructions from the public sector. It is particularly active in the defense and security sector, where it advises global aerospace and defence contractors; Elizabeth Reid is a key contact in this space. Roger Bickerstaff, who jointly heads the group with Cairns, specialises in EU procurement law issues with a focus on IT projects. Jeremy Sharman advises on procurement in the telecommunications, health, defence and media sectors for suppliers, as well as public authorities. Associates Chris Murray and Claire Gamage are also noted.


‘The partners and associates are highly engaged and always client-facing, with a good overview of the market. Their international connections shape and augment the London offering.’

‘With Stuart Cairns and Chris Murray the London team has been enhanced with a tried and tested duo that brings energy and gravitas as well as litigation experience.’

Key clients

Isavia ohf (Major Development Plan)

Clare County Council (CCC) and University of Limerick (UL)

C40 Cities Climate Leadership Group

Interoute Communications Limited


Smart DCC Ltd

Isavia ohf (Explosive Detection System)

Viapath LLP


General Authority for Civil Aviation

Aquila Air Traffic Management Services Limited

Mining and minerals Tier 4

Bird & Bird LLP's London mining offering was kickstarted in 2017, when Clive Hopewell and Adam Carling joined from Charles Russell Speechlys LLP. The team, which has since recruited two more lawyers, regularly represents African state-owned entities, public and private corporations, institutional and private investors, among others, on the full spectrum of mining matters, while also draw on the wider firm's credentials in technology and intellectual property. The 'personable' Hopewell is regarded as 'one of the go-to lawyers in the natural resources sector'.

Leading individuals


‘This is a professional team that will always go the extra mile without fuss or negotiating.’

‘Bird & Bird is known for its strong industry knowledge combined with exceptional transaction experience.’

‘The firm fields a senior team dedicated to client coverage, particularly in the AIM space. It is renowned for its practical approach in dealing with issues.’

‘Bird & Bird provides practical and solid legal advice in pressured and difficult circumstances. Clive Hopewell and Nick Heap are valued advisers.’

‘Clive Hopewell is one of the go-to lawyers in the natural resources sector.’

‘Clive Hopewell is personable, quick to respond to queries and has a no nonsense/point-scoring approach.’

‘Senior associate Sharon O’Donnell has outstanding knowledge of the natural resources space.’

Key clients

Canaccord Genuity Limited

LKAB Minerals

Asiamet Resources Limited

Gemfields plc

Jangada Mines Plc

Harvest Minerals Limited

Randgold Resources Ltd (now Barrick Gold)

Garrison Capital

Canaccord Genuity


Hannam & Partners

WH Ireland

Oil and gas Tier 4

Oil and gas is a fast-growing sub-group of Bird & Bird LLP's wider energy and utilities practice. While the group covers the full gamut of sector matters, including M&A and equity capital markets, it is most renowned for its expertise in intellectual property and dispute resolution issues. The team's clients include oil and gas majors, IOCs and NOCs, and E&P companies. Matt Bonass and capital markets specialists Clive Hopewell and Nick Heap lead the team. Andrew Renton left the firm to start his own practice but maintains a consultant role.


‘This team is known for its good knowledge of the oil and gas sector and, in particular, companies in the mid and small cap space. This knowledge makes it unique and able to provide specialist and tailored advice.’

‘Clive Hopewell is an excellent lead partner in all transactions thanks to his good sector knowledge and strong commercial acumen.’

Key clients

Canaccord Genuity Limited

WH Ireland Limited

Carpatsky Petroleum Corporation

Tax litigation and investigations Tier 4

Bird & Bird LLP's team has developed specialisations in a number of niche areas, including challenging HMRC's information gathering powers, contentious excise duty, contentious trade and customs, as well as wide-ranging expertise in HMRC-led tax investigations. The department is led by tax disputes and investigations expert Andy Brown and includes Julian Balson, who has particular experience in excise duties and trade and customs work.


Great inside knowledge of the tax regulations in the UK, current practice and the likely interpretation of the regulations by HMRC officials

Julian Balson and his team have proven a great customer oriented approach, offering different options with a sound risk assessment for each one of them

Specialists in Excise, Duty, VAT and HMRC

Key clients

PML Accounting Limited

Zabced Limited

Two different specialist purchasers and maturers of fine rum products

Renewable energy project developer and operator

Education: schools Tier 5

Mark Abell leads the international education team at Bird & Bird LLP, which has vast experience of advising British schools and universities on their expansion into foreign markets such as the Middle East. The group provides a comprehensive service to education sector clients, covering corporate, commercial, real estate and employment matters.

Key clients


Sherborne School

Reigate Grammar School

North London Collegiate

Uppingham School

Sedbergh School

Westminster School

The Perse School

Royal Grammar School, Guildford

St John’s College School, Cambridge

Employee share schemes Tier 5

Bird & Bird LLP provides the full range of employee incentives services, with experience in both executive and all-employee share plans and other forms of cash- or stock-based remuneration. Colin Kendon heads the team and acts for clients ranging from multinational corporates to private companies and individuals. Fleur Benns left for Pinsent Masons LLP.

International arbitration Tier 5

Bird & Bird LLP's 'very helpful team works diligently on its fact gathering, analysis and presentation via written submissions and during hearings'. It acts in complex and high-value arbitrations in sectors such as technology, telecoms and life sciences, and in addition to commercial arbitration the group advises on investor-state arbitrations. Garreth Wong, Sophie EyreJonathan Speed and Peter Knight are the key names.

Leading individuals


Garreth Wong’s assistance is highly appreciated‘.

Key clients


Montrose Developments (Private)

Property finance Tier 5

Bird & Bird LLP advises major domestic and international banks, investment funds and developers on acquisition, development and investment finance involving a variety of asset classes, including office, residential, hotel and retail properties. Jonathan Baker, who has particular expertise in advising on PPP and outsourcing projects, leads the practice.


Bird & Bird’s team is knowledgable and supportive. They provide accurate and detailed information and commercial views.

Transport finance & leasing Tier 5

Headed by Paul BriggsBird & Bird LLP's three-partner London team has an aviation finance focus, and is aided in this regard by a strong global offering in Europe, Asia and the Middle East. Briggs has significant market experience for a range of participants, although he is best known for his work on behalf of airlines, including most notably Virgin Atlantic and Emirates. The departure of Jim Bell to Watson Farley & Williams LLP in September 2018 was a blow to the firm, particularly on the debt finance front, although this was mitigated somewhat by the recent arrival of structured asset finance expert Richard Sharman from Clifford Chance LLP.

Key clients




Virgin Atlantic

Erste Group Bank

Nordic Aviation Capital

DVB Bank

BOC Aviation Limited

Montrose Group

Engine Lease Finance Corporation

SDH Wings International Leasing




Bank lending: investment grade debt and syndicated loans Tier 6

The 'knowledgeable, responsive and cost-effective' team at Bird & Bird LLP has expertise across investment grade, acquisition finance and multi-currency syndicated cross-border lending for borrowers and lenders. The 'knowledgeable, versatile and business-orientedAndrew Hallgarth is a key member of the team and regularly handles work for multilaterals and development banks engaged in acquisition, asset, project and general financing transactions in emerging markets.

Corporate tax Tier 6

Bird & Bird LLP's team works closely with the firm's M&A department, predominantly advising on the tax aspects of transactions. The group also has expertise in tax issues relating to intellectual property, as well as international tax, particularly for European and US inbound and outbound work. Zoe Feller leads the tax practice and has experience of corporate, asset finance and structured finance transactions. Legal director Simon Gough is noted for banking and funds work.

Key clients


DXC Technology

Calero Software

Cobham PLC

Darktrace (Invoke Capital Partners)


Nokia Solutions and Networks

EU and competition Tier 6

The competition and EU law department at Bird & Bird LLP advises clients in relation to dawn raids, investigations, private enforcement claims, and merger control work. One distinguishing characteristic of the group is its ability to act for clients on issues around the intersection between competition law and intellectual property, which allows it to handle work in multiple industries affected by the advancement of technology. The London-based team can draw on the firm’s Europe-wide expertise in state aid, specifically in regulated sectors such as energy, communication and aviation. Practice head Peter Willis stands out for his reputation in the energy sector. Richard Eccles is also recommended.


Richard Eccles’ legal advice is clear and straightforward. Richard appreciates the need to adopt a tailored approach to his clients’ needs and dissects complex issues of EU competition law with ease

Key clients

LKAB Minerals

Honda Motor Europe


Corporate restructuring & insolvency Tier 8

Led by the 'knowledgeable, commercial and down-to-earthJoss Hargrave ,        Bird & Bird LLP provides a 'partner-led service' to banks, corporates and insolvency practitioners on corporate restructuring matters and formal insolvencies. The team excels in providing restructuring/insolvency expertise in relation to situations occurring within industry sector strengths of the firm as a whole, including transportation where – alongside wider support from the firm's aviation team – the team is advising the Chinese shareholder of Cobaltair on the insolvency of the airline.  Other niche areas of expertise include advice for stakeholders impacted by distressed situations within the financial services and sports sectors.


The team provides a  responsive and attentive service to its clients.

The team is relatively small but punches above its weight.

The team is very detail-oriented and is always ready to explain complicated financial arrangements to non finance board members.

Joss Hargrave provides solutions to problems rather than highlight that problems may exist.

Joss Hargrave has that perfect blend of professionalism and pragmatism combined with a commercial view built on a foundation of integrity that provides comfort and assurance of quality support at the highest level.

Claire Barker is a pleasure to deal with.

Key clients

Grant Thornton



Opus Restructuring

Ingenious Energy

BM Advisory


ReSolve Invest


Menzies Business Recovery

London Luton Airport

Aser Group




Bird & Bird LLP is focused on business immigration and global mobility matters which include cross-border compliance projects, sponsor licence and Tier 2 applications and contingency planning for corporate clients and individuals. It recently advised a multinational Chinese chain on immigration issues relating to its expansion into the UK. The team also handles bespoke visa applications for exceptional talent, entrepreneurs and investors. Associate Yuichi Sekine is the UK department head and is ably supported by associate Jonathan Goldsworthy.


‘The team has strived to get to know our company’s purpose and values, which has enabled them to provide advice that not only meets the threshold of the law, but also where possible aligns with our company’s world view.’

Key clients

A food queue start-up

Growing Chinese hot pot chain expanding into the UK

Faraday Grid

Control Risks

KonMari Media



A global ad serving platform



Bird & Bird LLP's multidisciplinary travel offering acts for leading travel companies on cross-border projects where the team is supported by the firm's global network of experts. The team is noted for its support to technology-driven clients and acts for a range of airlines, hotel chains, online travel agents and metasearch engines. Commercial work, employment, trade mark enforcement, digital marketing, consumer work, franchising, competition, IP, data protection, GDPR compliance and regulatory advice are key focuses. The team also offers hospitality specialists who are engaged on transactions and business issues in the hotel sector. The team advises easyJet on a range of issues involving commercial contracts, competition and consumer law work; and it advised easyJet and its travel arm on a variety of payments related issues. Recently promoted partner Lucy England heads the team.

Next Generation Partners

Key clients


Secret Escapes




Isavia (Keflavik Airprot, Reykjavik), Iceland

Virgin Atlantic


Pret a Manger


Comptoir Libanais


Moto Hospitality

Banyan Tree Resorts



Intercontinental Hotels Group


For the past decade, Bird & Bird has been the go-to international legal firm for companies being changed by technology and the digital world. Whether traditional businesses leveraging cutting-edge technology or start-ups changing the status quo, it guides clients through all the regulatory, legal and commercial aspects of this fast-moving environment. The firm combines exceptional legal expertise with deep industry knowledge and refreshingly creative thinking to help clients operating at the forefront of their industries to achieve their goals.

The firm: Bird & Bird currently works with over 50 of the Fortune Top 100 companies and nearly two-thirds of the world’s 100 Most Innovative Companies as named by Forbes. 75% of its top 100 clients have been with it for over five years, testament to the high level of service and legal expertise it delivers.

Types of work undertaken: Bird & Bird organises itself around its clients, with its lawyers typically arranged in groups which focus on key industries and sectors. This structure drives the firm to develop and maintain high-level expertise in practice areas and geographic regions which serve the needs of its client base. The firm provides a broad advisory, transactional and contentious capability, with the sector and practice groups interacting to provide the best possible service to its clients.

Key industry sectors: automotive, aviation and defence, energy and utilities, financial services, life sciences and healthcare, media, entertainment and sport, retail and consumer, and tech and comms.

Main areas of practice: banking and finance, commercial, competition and EU, corporate, dispute resolution, franchising, HR services, intellectual property, outsourcing, privacy and data protection, public projects and procurement, real estate, regulatory and administrative, restructuring and insolvency, tax, trade and customs.

International: with over 1,200 legal practitioners in 28 offices across Europe, the Middle East and Asia Pacific, and close ties with firms in Indonesia, Malaysia, Morocco, Portugal, South Korea, Switzerland, Tunisia and Turkey, Bird & Bird is perfectly placed to offer local expertise, globally delivered. Helping clients to realise their business goals, Bird & Bird applies a one-firm approach, offering a highly integrated service. Clients benefit from its truly international approach with around 90% of its major clients working with multiple offices seamlessly across jurisdictions.

Other offices: Aarhus, Abu Dhabi, Beijing, Bratislava, Brussels, Budapest, Copenhagen, Dubai, Dusseldorf, Frankfurt, The Hague, Hamburg, Helsinki, Hong Kong, Luxembourg, Lyon, Madrid, Munich, Paris, Prague, Rome, Shanghai, Singapore, Stockholm, Sydney and Warsaw.

Department Name Email Telephone
Chief executive officer David Kerr
Chairman Massimiliano Mostardini
Automotive Simon Shooter
Aviation and defence Paul Briggs
Banking and finance Trystan Tether
Commercial Ronald Hendrikx
Commercial Simon Shooter
Competition and EU Richard Eccles
Competition and EU Peter Willis
Corporate Neil Blundell
Dispute resolution Sophie Eyre
Dispute resolution Jeremy Sharman
Employment, employee benefits and business immigration Ian Hunter
Energy and utilities Matt Bonass
Energy and utilities Michael Rudd
Financial services Christian Bartsch
Franchising Mark Abell
Intellectual property Katharine Stephens
Intellectual property Robert Williams
Life sciences and healthcare Mark Hilton
Life sciences and healthcare Sally Shorthose
Media, entertainment and sport Phil Sherrell
Media, entertainment and sport Jonathan Taylor
Outsourcing Mark Leach
Privacy and data protection Ruth Boardman
Public projects and procurement Jeremy Sharman
Public projects and procurement Roger Bickerstaff
Real estate Jonathan Baker
Restructuring and insolvency Joss Hargrave
Retail and consumer Mark Abell
Retail and consumer Graeme Payne
Tax Mathew Oliver
Tech and comms Roger Bickerstaff
Tech and comms Graeme Maguire
Number of partners : 291
Number of other fee-earners : 977

Bird & Bird is an international law firm with a focus on helping organisations being changed by technology and the digital world. With over 1300 lawyers in 28 offices across Europe, the Middle East and Asia-Pacific, the firm is ready to help clients wherever they are in the world. Bird & Bird’s history stretches back to the 1830s, with the firm formally established in 1846. Even back then, the firm’s excellence in client service and passion for key industries attracted leading innovators.

As technology allowed innovations and ideas to travel more quickly, the need to protect the ideas and innovations of its clients encouraged the firm to expand its international capabilities. In 1998, Bird & Bird became one of the first law firms to organise around key sectors, enabling it to share its deep industry knowledge more effectively across the firm.

Bird & Bird combines this commercial understanding of its clients’ businesses with its leading legal expertise and the international reach its clients need to achieve their goals.

Main areas of practice

For the past decade, Bird & Bird has been the go-to international legal firm for companies working with disruptive technology. Whether traditional businesses leveraging cutting-edge technology or start-ups changing the status quo, the firm guides its clients through all the regulatory, legal and commercial aspects of this fast-moving environment. Bird & Bird’s lawyers combine exceptional legal expertise with deep industry knowledge and refreshingly creative thinking, to help clients operating at the forefront of their industries to achieve their goals.

The firm currently works with over half of the first 100 companies in the Fortune 500 and nearly two-thirds of the world’s 100 most innovative companies, as named by Forbes. Over a third of Bird & Bird’s clients have been with the firm for more than a decade; testament to the high-level of service and legal expertise it delivers.

Bird & Bird’s wide-ranging practice in Latin America has been going from strength-to-strength since its inception ten years ago, working on projects across Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Colombia, Costa Rica, Chile, Cuba, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama, Paraguay, Peru and Uruguay. These projects have involved transactional work, dispute resolution and regulatory matters across multiple sectors including energy and projects, transport and aviation, food and beverage, TMT, life sciences and healthcare, employment, and financial services.

The firm’s offices in Madrid and London have spearheaded Bird & Bird’s activity in the region, making the most of Madrid’s connection in culture and language, as well as the extensive experience and expertise in the region of its individual lawyers. As a result, the firm has developed a very strong network of relationships with some of the most renowned and prestigious local firms in Latin American Countries.

Department Name Email Telephone
Automotive Christian Kessell
Aviation and defence Paul Briggs
Aviation and defence Leo Fattorini
Energy and utilities Matt Bonass
Energy and utilities Hermenegildo Altozano
Financial services Christian Bartsch
Financial services Stefano Febbi
Retail and consumer Mark Abell
Tech and comms Graeme Maguire
Practice areas
Commercial Simon Shooter
Commercial Fabian Niemann
Competition and EU law Peter Willis
Competition and EU law José Rivas
Corporate Stefan Silvestri
Corporate Peter Veranneman
Dispute resolution Peter Knight
Finance Trystan Tether
Finance Raimondo Maggiore
Franchising Mark Abell
Intellectual property Morag Macdonald
Intellectual property Christian Harmsen
Outsourcing Mark Leach
Privacy and data protection Arian Mole
Privacy and data protection Ruth Boardman
Real estate Jonathan Baker
Regulatory and administrative Jan Byok
Tax Andrew Brown
Trade and Customs Richard Eccles
Trade and customs Brian Mulier
Partners : 310
Other fee-earners : 1,300
Total staff : 2,225