Firm Profile > Bird & Bird LLP > London, England

Bird & Bird LLP

Data protection, privacy and cybersecurity Tier 1

Bird & Bird LLP provides a broad data protection practice, in which 'everyone, from partners to junior associates know their stuff and are very practical in their approach.' Ruth Boardman co-leads the practice and advises on the data protection elements involved in new products and services; she also works on personal data breaches. Fellow co-head James Mullock assists clients with cyber risk mandates, data privacy matters and freedom of information issues; he also handles GDPR compliance and data breach incidents. Gabriel Voisin is an 'excellent' practitioner, who is able to advise under both UK and French law, and possesses expertise in adtech matters and issues relating to online advertising privacy. Legal director Elizabeth Upton is active in the financial services, retail and technology sectors.

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Other key lawyers:


‘We use the services of Bird & Bird Privacy Solutions (external DPO) across Europe. The advice they provide is very consistent in all EU markets which is very attractive to us. We have a relationship partner who helps us comply with the various legal requirements in each market where we operate. This saves us time. We feel safe getting Bird & Bird’s advice.’

‘We appreciate the pragmatic, hands-on approach. There are a lot of good firms but we’ve found that sometimes the quality is uneven, whilst here everyone, from partners to junior associates, not only know their stuff, but are very practical in their approach.’

‘Experts in commercial and technology matters who deliver clear, digestible legal advice and act as an extension of the in-house legal team. Consistently technically able and commercially minded, and able to deliver within expectations.’

‘Our relationship partner is Gabriel Voisin. In addition to being an excellent data privacy practitioner (he can advise under UK and French law and has a great knowledge of data privacy in other EU markets), he is also commercially minded and understands our sector. It is extremely refreshing to work with a solicitor who is able to have conversations with our tech team and speak their language.’

‘James Mullock – impressive data protection expertise, always up-to-date with the fast changing landscape, able to translate complex issues into simple terms.’

Key clients

Mozilla Foundation

Daily Mail Group

Just Eat


The Football Association

The British Horseracing Authority

Colt Telecom

Franchising Tier 1

The team at Bird & Bird LLP has a 'considerable level of knowledge and experience' in developing hybrid franchising strategies for its high-profile client roster to expand their international businesses. It has particular experience operating in the food and beverage, retail, and hospitality and leisure sectors; it is also increasingly instructed by clients in the healthcare, education and energy industries. Headed up by Mark Abell, who is a go-to adviser within global education spheres, the department comprises three dedicated partners with one focusing solely on franchising disputes. Graeme Payne primarily handles growth and expansion strategies, while Victoria Hobbs is a franchising disputes specialist. 'Outstanding' associate Nick Green is also a key name to note.

Practice head(s):


‘The team we work with at Bird & Bird are experts in their respective fields, with a considerable level of knowledge and experience. They each apply legal principles whilst being mindful of commercial considerations.’

‘Victoria Hobbs is our primary contact at Bird & Bird – and she has taken the time to understand our sector of business and can apply commercial considerations to different scenarios that we have required assistance with – taking a common-sense, no nonsense approach to resolve a variety of matters.’

‘The team is well appointed to assist our business across the large number of geographies in which we operate. Coverage is critical and Bird & Bird have been able to assist us through partner offices or credible relationships with associated offices. As a long-standing relationship between us and Bird & Bird, they grasp our business model well and are able to adapt it to different geographies. They are reactive to our quick changes in direction and quick requests for responses on specific items without much lead time or forewarning.’

‘We have been working closely with Nick Green. Overall he has been outstanding in servicing requests in a timely manner especially across challenging markets. He is attentive and goes beyond legal advice to look from a commercial angle with each of our franchise transactions. He has also been instrumental as we look to scale our global franchise program and maintaining standardisation across multiple countries.’

‘From the outset, all individuals we have communicated with are professional, very friendly and incredibly knowledgeable.’

‘It is very apparent how experienced the individuals within the team are. Mark Abell is an excellent leader and provides immense reassurance.’

‘They have a genuine desire to honestly put their clients first. They work to be pragmatic while ensuring they seek the best results for their clients. Mark Abell in particular is able to cut through the fog of complex topics and communicate clearly to his clients. Abell’s team including Graeme Payne, Victoria Hobbs, and Nick Green have all been especially additive to our business. Whether they are called on for everyday business matters, to complex GDPR issues, franchising matters, and acquisitions.’

Key clients



Black Sheep


Home Instead


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

Sedbergh School

Royal Grammar School Guildford

Lingfield College

Intellectual property: patents (contentious and non-contentious) Tier 1

Bird & Bird LLP’s expansive litigation bench fields sector-focused experts across life sciences, telecoms and AI (department co-head Katharine Stephens being a go-to name for the latter). Global biotechnology and pharmaceuticals clients use Neil Jenkins for bet-the-company litigation including infringement and revocation actions before the High Court, and Tom Snaith for high-value R&D and licensing transactions. Jennifer Jones and senior associate Christopher de Mauny have been working on disputes involving complex gene-editing technology while Morag Macdonald and Eleanor Root have recently issued infringement proceedings for the protection of medical devices. Jane Mutimear and Richard Vary represent tech and telecoms names (including Nokia and Ericsson) in cross-border SEP and FRAND licensing litigation, while co-head Robert Williams takes on trade secrets disputes. Numerous innovative tech tools are available to clients, including patent-valuation product ‘Pattern’ and a patent litigation project-management tool.


They have in-depth knowledge and a breadth of expertise.

Zoe Fuller has outstanding attention to detail. She thinks outside the box and is a great problem solver. Zoe is incredibly capable and a huge asset to Bird & Bird.

Jane Mutimear is a brilliant patent litigator with impressive strategic skills and commercial awareness.

Richard Vary ticks all the boxes. He is a great patent litigator but also understands how individual litigation fits into the international stage. He fully appreciates all the competition law arguments, the economics, the technology and the industry.

James Pearson is smart, diligent and very client focused.

What sets Richard Vary apart is that he has long-term practical experience of real high-grade global IP litigation. That experience is invaluable in his day to day work both for case management as well as initial strategy development.

Key clients

Allergan Group

Fisher & Paykel Healthcare

Kingfisher Group

Ericsson Group

ConvaTec Group

Neo Group



B. Braun Group

Canon Group

Intellectual property: trade marks, copyright and design Tier 1

Spearheaded by Peter Brownlow, Bird & Bird LLP’s trade mark practice handles high-profile litigation, as indicated by its handling of Merck’s breach-of-contract trial in the Court of Appeal. Ewan Grist’s product design group provides enforcement and protection services to a diverse client roster spanning fashion and luxury brands as well as tech-forward names in the medical devices, aviation and construction sectors. Phil Sherrell is a key name for contentious and non-contentious copyright services. He has a strong focus in the fields of media, sports and entertainment. Rebecca O’Kelly-Gillard is a stand-out partner for global brand protection and enforcement strategy in the digital sphere, while Toby Bond provides cutting-edge knowledge pertaining to the copyright and protection of AI-generated works. The innovative ‘Fibonacci’ project-management tool helps clients streamline their litigation projects.


‘The team is super-experienced in the copyright and licensing areas  – both at analysing and advising on very technical commercial and legal issues, and also in strategising and leading us through complex disputes. ‘

‘Phil Sherrell is a very knowledgeable expert in copyright and music licensing issues. He is user-friendly and inspires confidence. Phil is a true innovator when it comes to the delivery of legal services, devising creative solutions to provide his clients with the service they require and with cost structures that provide certainty and value-for-money.’

‘Peter Brownlow leads the soft IP litigation team and is a top-notch litigator who clients enjoy working with.’

‘Rebecca O’Kelly-Gillard and Hilary Atherton are both up-and-coming associates in the soft IP contentious team.’

‘Ewan Grist has been steadily building profile in relation to design law.’

Key clients

Monster Beverage Corporation


Merck KGaA

Take Two Interactive Software Group

Philip Morris Group

PRS for Music Group

Daily Mail and General Trust Group

S C Johnson


IT and telecoms Tier 1

The 'pragmatic, responsive and knowledgeableBird & Bird LLP has broad experience that covers technology implementation projects, digital transformations and telecoms regulatory work, and also provides expertise in patent and technology disputes. Practice head Ronald Hendrikx specialises in IT and communications projects, acting for public and private sector clients. Also notable are Roger Bickerstaff, who advises on technology infrastructure and outsourcing projects; the ‘very commercialJonathan Emmanuel, who assists with disruptive digital technology adoptions; regulatory technology and communications expert Graeme Maguire; and Ian Edwards, who has a particular focus on large-scale, strategic and transformational projects. Mark Leach co-heads the firm's technology transactions and international outsourcing practice groups.

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‘Appreciative of challenges faced by clients working on the cutting edge of technology.’

‘Seamless management across teams.’

‘Great levels of partner level management and engagement to ensure a premium offering.’

‘Jonathan Emmanuel has been exceptional in communication and managing the relationship.’

‘Jonathan Emmanuel has been reassuring and creative in advising a company offering a complex suite of services on the cutting edge of technology.’

‘Bird & Bird has excellent knowledge of the market, enabling them to provide practical advice, including what is acceptable in terms of legal protections within the market.’

‘Ben Hughes has attention to detail and gives practical advice.’

Key clients




DXC Technology

Colt Telecom





Media and entertainment (including media finance) Tier 1

Bird & Bird LLP's media, entertainment and sport sector practice is 'exceptionally well attuned to know when to flex to make the commercial deal-making work'. The team fields a strong reputation for intellectual property and technology matters with impressive sector expertise. It also benefits from a strong international practice group, which is led by Phil Sherrell (who 'is a very knowledgeable expert in copyright and music licensing issues'.) Also in London, Felicity Reeve leads on sponsorship, advertising and marketing matters while Richard McMorris is a popular choice for TV and film industry clients and Howard Rubin specialises in the gaming sector. As head of the social media sector group, Bryony Hurst is a key name to note for contentious work, particularly for content-related disputes in the digital media space and data protection issues, and Simon Fielder leads on corporate transactional work in the media arena.

Practice head(s):


The team led by Phil Sherrell is super-experienced in the copyright and licensing areas – both at analysing and advising on very technical commercial and legal issues, and also in strategising and leading us through complex disputes.’

Phil Sherrell is a very knowledgeable expert in copyright and music licensing issues. He is user-friendly and inspires confidence. Phil is a true innovator in the delivery of legal services, devising creative solutions to provide his clients with the service they require and with cost structures that provide certainty and value-for-money.

Tom Darvill, senior associate, is exceptionally bright and hard-working. He is across every detail of the hugely complex dispute we are currently using the team for, which is being resolved via a large international arbitration. Tom’s commercial acumen is superb, and he has quickly managed to get ‘under the bonnet’ of numerous complex licensing agreements to understand the operation and commercial effect of these. He is also a fantastic technical lawyer, with first-class knowledge and experience in IP matters and arbitration law and procedure.

Acts as a true partner, recognising my commercial needs and the question that needs to be answered. Exceptionally well attuned to know when to flex to make the commercial deal-making work, and when to raise a legal flag. Very responsive, and urbane people it is a pleasure to work with. Impeccable legal expertise. Drafting that is precise while also human. Honest about areas of expertise, and where there are gaps. Smart about fees: they know when they can charge more, and when we need to pay less.

Richard McMorris is exceptional to work with. He embodies the right blend of being a close partner to my business (almost an out-sourced GC) with arms-length independence of thought. He is very strong, leading advice in his areas, prioritising key points and managing risk appropriately to facilitate negotiations, finding ways to solve problems; a partner in deal-making, not just the legal adviser. An accomplished guide when needing expertise from others; not merely referring within the firm, but finding the right specific partner, and being clear when a 3rd party would be more relevant. Enjoyable to work with, thrives on the energy of business as well as the precision of law.

Rebecca Lewis and Claire Gamage are associates who have particularly impressed; could sometimes be mistaken for partners.

Key clients


ICE Services

Rockstar Games



Intergalactic Gaming

The Football Association, the Football Association of Wales, the Football Association of Ireland and the Irish Football Association

Steve Angello/Size Records


Radiant Media t/a Alight Brand Media

PATMA: Trade mark attorneys Tier 1

Bird & Bird LLP stands out through its wide geographical network and its focus on providing comprehensive brand management services, including a strong design practice. Portfolio filing strategies, clearance research, and the prosecution of trade mark and design applications are as much part of the group's skill set as anti-counterfeiting matters and the commercial exploitation of trade marks and designs. The team consists of trade mark attorneys and solicitors and was joined by Frederick Mostert, formerly chief IP counsel and chief legal counsel of luxury group Richemont, as of counsel in January 2020, further strengthening its credentials in that sector. Other core sectors include consumer products, retail, media, hospitality and entertainment. Mark Holah and Allan Poulter are the heads of the practice.

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‘Bird & Bird LLP is a large, full-service firm that feels very personal.’

‘Mark Holah is both incredibly smart and has very good judgement in how to handle thorny prosecution matters in a strategic and practical manner. He provides sound, thoughtful advice in every situation. He handles all UK and EU prosecution matters for us and understands our business, always taking it into consideration when devising strategy.’

‘Excellent sector-specific knowledge.’

‘Patricia Collis is a standout practitioner.’

‘B&B invest a lot of time to really get to know and understand their client, what their priorities and needs are, and how they like things done. We find them very approachable, reliable and pragmatic. They also provide value-added services such as regular bulletin updates, seminars/webinars and regular catch ups to ensure that we are not missing anything we need to be aware of.’

‘Mark Holah is very good at assisting in putting together and discussing how best to structure our IP trade mark strategy. This includes challenging what we sometimes think is necessary and helping us in putting together a robust and cost-effective approach. He has a very good understanding of our business to provide this pragmatic advice.’

‘Mark Holah has a deep knowledge of our business, having worked with us for a number of years. His advice is excellent and always tailored to our business, brand-aware and budget-sensitive. He makes a concerted effort to keep abreast of developments in our fast-moving business which enables him to keep delivering a first-class service.’

‘A very knowledgeable team on trade marks and designs. The advice is pragmatic and the team is down to earth and easy to work with.’

‘I mainly work with Patricia Collis on UK prosecution work and UK trade mark searches. She is very knowledgeable and gives pragmatic and commercially minded advice. Patricia is also very personable and great to work with.’

Key clients

Monster Beverage Corporation

Philip Morris Group

Daily Mail and General Trust Group


Simba Sleep

Aspinal of London

Marv Films



Sport Tier 1

At Bird & Bird LLP, the ‘sheer breadth of expertise and experience means you know you will get a product that reflects the best industry practice in the sector’. Practice head Jonathan Taylor’s credentials as a QC position the firm for roles on high-profile and often precedent-setting disputes, and he has chaired external reviews on behalf of the World Anti-Doping Agency and the International Biathlon Union. Max Duthie is a former professional rugby player and highly active in contentious matters, having acted for leading sports organisations on major investigations. Felicity Reeve is the point of call for commercial agreements, with a client base including Arsenal, Chelsea, Six Nations Rugby and the British and Irish Lions. Craig Giles similarly focuses on commercial agreements but mostly involving media rights. Robert Turner, who was recently promoted to partner, is another key member of the commercial team. Andy Danson, whose standout strength is in the gambling sector, is also recommended. E-sports is a particular focus for associate Will Deller, while senior associate Lauren Pagé is a promising name at junior level for sports disputes.

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‘The pre-eminent firm for sports regulatory work. Peerless in the breadth and depth of their expertise.’

‘Max Duthie is intelligent, articulate and able to master details incredibly quickly. ‘

‘Has a breadth of knowledge across all areas of sporting integrity and governance. The quality and clarity of the advice given, and the engagement of the client – particularly in relation to understanding the client’s needs – in the process of giving advice.’

‘Jonathan Taylor has an enormous breadth of knowledge and experience on which to rely, and uses it to great effect. Understands the whole picture – from the minutiae to the broader context – better than anyone.’

‘Lauren Page is developing along the same lines as Jonathan Taylor; she has the ability to distil complex issues into clearly understandable advice.’

‘Rob Turner manages his team very well to ensure background knowledge is spread around a number of associates in case one is unavailable for any reason.’

‘The strongest sports regulatory team there is.’

‘Jonathan Taylor QC lives and breathes regulation and arbitration.’

‘The sheer breadth of expertise and experience means you know you are going to get a work product that reflects the best industry practice in the sector.’

‘Max Duthie is always available, understands our world and our needs and is able to loop in the right expertise from the firm where required.’

‘Robert Turner has always done a very comprehensive job on the sponsorship work he has advised on, whilst also always listening to our key issues and bespoke points we want addressing. ‘

Key clients

Brighton & Hove Albion FC

The Rugby Football Union

The Premier League

The Fédération Internationale de l’Automobile (FIA)

The Football Association and other home football associations

The British & Irish Lions

Six Nations

Intergalactic Gaming

World Athletics (f/k/a the IAAF)

The International Tennis Federation

Venture capital Tier 1

The 'very commercial' team at Bird & Bird LLP 'knows the market extremely well' and provides 'efficient and pragmatic' advice to investors and investees across the full financing lifecycle, ranging from small seed-rounds to later-stage investments. Led by the 'responsive and practicalStruan Penwarden, who has niche debt venture capital expertise, the team is 'effective at cutting through the noise to distil complex and multi-faceted issues into a simple solution', on both domestic and international mandates - where it is able to tap into significant firm-wide resources throughout Europe. In addition, the firm's market-leading TMT reputation ensures that clients' intellectual property rights (IPR) are fully protected and effectively exploited. The 'calm and commercialGeraint Lloyd  has 'huge experience' in the sector and is particularly noted for his work for venture capital trusts (VCT) as investors. Recently promoted to partner, the 'insightful and thoughtful' Mark Rundall spearheads the firm's dedicated corporate venturing practice and is a key member of the team, which also includes the 'incisive and commercialJoseph Stolerman. Shing Lo joined Latham & Watkins in early 2020.

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‘Mark Rundall was absolutely fantastic at Bird and Bird. They took a very personal approach and were thoughtful and considerate of the fact as a founder I’m always rushed. Mark was: Knowledge rich. Gave great insight around the deal. Researched the investors and was clear on when I should hold my ground and when not to. Clear with advice.’

‘Geraint Lloyd has huge experience of venture capital transactions generally and Venture Capital Trust transactions specifically. He is commercial in approach and calm however difficult negotiations become.’

‘Their experience working on similar transactions was enormously helpful in benchmarking how hard to push on both legal and commercial terms. They were effective at cutting through the noise to distil complex and multi-faceted issues into a simple solutions. They also gave us confidence in terms of how their time was being spent – we had a strong sense that they were being efficient in their time and therefore ultimately our fees.’

‘Mark Rundall and Joseph Stolerman were always available and it was clear they were both equally up to speed on the transaction which gave us confidence that we were in good hands with either of them. They were incisive in their search for solutions, commercial in their advice and patient in terms of explaining the more technical legal concepts. I would strongly recommend both to any company raising VC funding. Mark was particularly helpful when it came to the sharp end of negotiations with our VCs.’

‘Strong life science specific experience across all legal matters, including licensing, equity investing and M&A. This also includes a strong grasp of the underlying technical side of the life sciences sector, especially that associated with biotech and pharma therapeutics.’

‘Deep sector experience and a flexible, open-minded approach – open to new ideas. In particular James Baillieu.’

‘I have always found the Bird & Bird Corporate team to be extremely efficient and pragmatic. When doing a fund-raising or company sale, I want direct advice and guidance and minimum time wasted and the B&B team always provide this.’

‘Struan Penwarden has been the leader partner on several transactions for us. He is always available when you need him, with practical advice and no waffle. He feels like a real partner on getting the transaction done for the best possible result.’

Key clients

Columbia Lake Partners

Kreos Capital

Silicon Valley Bank

Albion Capital

Index Ventures

Ingenious Capital Management

Horizons Ventures

National Digital Infrastructure Fund (managed by Amber Infrastructure)

Arm Holdings

Sony Corporation

Suez Ventures

Ad-lib Digital

Cuvva Limited


Finestar Park

Immersive Labs

Job and Talent Holding

Luminance Technologies

Plant Meat

Fintech Tier 2

Bird & Bird LLP is particularly well-versed in payments, open banking, blockchain and crowdfunding work, covering a range of corporate, commercial and regulatory matters. The firm's expertise in payments is very strong and includes advising companies on PSD2, the EU Interchange Fee Regulation, the EU Cross-Border Regulation and other critical pieces of regulation. Christian Bartsch has a strong track record of advising clients on strategic alliances and technology outsourcing arrangements. Trystan Tether often advises clients on projects involving mobile payments, remote banking, electronic cash and payment card schemes. Jonathan Emmanuel specialises in assisting clients with the development of disruptive technology, such as blockchain and cloud computing. Of note, the firm is currently retained to advise Revolut on EU and UK payments regulation.

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Key clients

Mastercard/ Vocalink





UK Bank

Alpha FX

Fraud: civil Tier 2

Bird & Bird LLP's practice acts for corporations, professionals and individuals. It acts on a broad cross-section of fraud disputes and asset tracing matters, including those involving money laundering, pension fraud, market abuse claims and various investigations. Sophie Eyre, who specialises in ancillary relief applications and trust issues arising from fraud claims, is active in the UK's court system and in other jurisdictions, including the Isle of Man, Gibraltar and Jersey. In a recent matter, Eyre and associate Simona Peter represented claimant Carpatsky Petroleum Corporation against Ukrnafta, which was a retrial of all issues dealt with in Stockholm arbitration proceedings, regarding fraud allegations, validity of agreements and corporate identities.

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Key clients

Fiji Airways

Basis Technologies International Limited

Konstantin Grigoryevich Kagalovsky

A defendant in SKAT (the Danish Customs and Tax Administration)

Carpatsky Petroleum Corporation

Vega Petroleum Limited

Gaming and betting Tier 2

Bird & Bird LLP exhibits ‘deep industry knowledge and commercial empathy’ in advising some of the sector’s biggest clients on a range of issues; the practice has expertise in regulatory matters, M&A, intellectual property and advertising. Practice head Andrew Danson, who has driven the practice’s development since his arrival in 2017, is ‘an absolute expert’ in gambling regulation, advising on matters relating to white label, software supply, content streaming, data rights, hedging and affiliate deals. Senior associate Elizabeth Dunn is the lead practitioner on all gambling matters for several significant clients and regularly advises on online gambling regulation and a broad range of other commercial gambling matters.

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‘Breadth and depth of expertise across all aspects of the sector across a number of different regulatory jurisdictions.’

‘Seasoned professionals who have built a reputation for integrity and reliability in a very crowed market.’

‘Bird & Bird provide outstanding legal advice at reasonable rates. Their thorough knowledge of the UK gambling market is paired with their advice always having the business impact of decisions in mind and trying hard to find the most feasible way forward to the client’s benefit.

‘Andy Danson is an absolute expert in the UK gambling market. Andy is very responsive and always available to give clear and precise advice. This is unique, but very important for us, in particular when seeking local UK advice amidst a transaction or regulatory process, when time is undoubtedly essential. This makes working with Andy and his team very enjoyable and straight forward.’

‘The team have deep industry knowledge and commercial empathy that is refreshing when compared to other firms. Clearly their legal advice is sound, but the context in which it is delivered makes their involvement more valuable.’

‘Diligent, professional and hard working. Every individual in the team creates an impression that we are their only client and our business is important.’

‘Mix of tech savvy but old-school reliability.’

‘The strength of the Bird & Bird team is that they demystify legal issues for the customer. Working with Bird & Bird has made potentially complicated legal matters far more easy.’

‘The input of Lizzie Dunne and Andy Danson has felt like both individuals are actually part of our in-house team.’

‘Bird & Bird showed excellent ability to draw from a wide range of specialists, synergize effectively their capabilities and resources, and seamlessly integrate these into final deliverables.’

‘Andy Danson possesses expertise in the field of gaming and betting practice, as well as the ability to understand the commercial needs of the client, and to offer creative solutions to issues at hand.’

‘Fantastic profile in terms of tech and data rights issues in the gambling sector – our go-to firm for data (and commercial) matters.’



Key clients

Hong Kong Jockey Club


Metric Gaming


Football Index


Arsenal FC

Mob Inc



Healthcare Tier 2

Bird & Bird LLP's global scope enables it to focus on international healthcare projects, covering e-health and IP, IT, and data protection, as well as PPPs, major M&A and key transformational projects in the sector. For many years, the team has worked with IT suppliers on transforming the NHS. David Ayers and practice leader Simon Shooter advises high-profile NHS trusts and healthcare sector suppliers. Stuart Cairns handles public sector procurement, specifically with NHS healthcare trusts, while associate Ben Woodfield has advise on major healthcare projects.

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The Bird & Bird commercial team has been a huge support to us during the last several years, advising across a range of healthcare initiatives, including digital health and MedTech. Expertise in IP and regulatory affairs, and commercial structures/ incentives, with a view to international markets as well.

Simon Shooter is strategic, collaborative, responsive, and always willing to share knowledge, expertise, and network. A great friend to the team!

The kind of team that has found the perfect balance between a strong personal relationship and consistent point of contact but whilst knowing they have that deep expert in a specific topic as and when you need them. The feel of a personal boutique with the strength and reassurance of a corporate firm.’

Simon Shooter is an outstanding leader in his field. As an individual he is incredibly personable, remembers every aspect of your business without needing to re-cap even if you haven’t spoken for many months and responsive in a way that few senior partners normally are. He is the key reason we have chosen to work with Bird & Bird for many years.’

Key clients

Guy’s & St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust Group

Great Ormond Street Hospital for Children

Chelsea and Westminster Hospital NHS Foundation Trust

NHS London Procurement Partnership


Omnicell Group

Albion Capital

BGI Genomics Group

Hospitality and leisure Tier 2

Bird & Bird LLP 's hotels practice group is led by the 'brilliant' Karen Friebe and is active in the purchasing, development, and management of hotels. The team has sector speciality across the food and beverages space, as well as a strong technology, IP, and data protection offering for industry-leading clients such as In the commercial property field, the group is experienced in advising investors and developers on project work and acquisitions. The team has been bolstered by a number of new additions to the partnership; James Salford joined from Addleshaw Goddard and brings additional real estate financing expertise to the team, while transactional lawyer Peter Nicholson joined from  Russell-Cooke LLP. They bring the senior headcount across the sector-group to around 20.

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‘James Salford – a very well known real estate finance partner specialising in the hotel sector. Excellent sector knowledge, relationships with lenders and clients alike, and an approachable style.’

‘Karen Friebe is an authority in the hospitality and leisure industry and she is recognised worldwide. She is capable of shifting gears very fast and of providing sound legal advice, always keeping in mind the commercial strategy of the client. There are not many lawyers who are able to do this. This is the added value of Karen in a transaction.’

‘Matthew Vance is a rising star under the wing of Karen Friebe. He is skilled, fast on his feet, with an excellent eye for detail and he provides excellent legal advice’

‘Karen Friebe is a very experienced professional with extensive experience acting on either side of the table. She is very approachable and an excellent communicator.’

‘Great strength in hotel operation agreements which is why we go to them. They have a thorough understanding of the varying contractual arrangements between owners and investors.’

‘The recent addition of James Salford to the Bird & Bird (B&B) team will reap dividends for B&B going forward. With B&B’s unique strength and depth in Europe, the only way for the team is upwards in terms of market presence, perception, and position.’

Key clients

Aman Resorts

Cadogan Estates

Moto Hospitality

VQ Limited

Fosun Tourism Group

Ashley Hotels

Bank of Ireland


Cedar Capital

CL Capital

NH Hotels

Life sciences and healthcare Tier 2

Noted for its 'incredible pedigree' in life sciences, the Bird & Bird LLP team is jointly led by 'heavyweight, astute life sciences litigator' Mark Hilton in London and Marc Martens in Brussels. Hilton is involved in a number of complex patent infringement and regulatory cases, while Martens’ work includes advising on complex regulatory matters. Sally Shorthose and Morag MacDonald have extensive expertise in IP transactions and regulatory regimes, and in cross-border IP litigation respectively. The group, which is part of a strong international offering, acts for clients such as big pharma, biotech and medical devices companies, as well as investors.

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Without question, one of the top European teams. Bird & Bird have incredible pedigree, particularly in the life sciences sector.’

‘Rob Williams has an up-to-date knowledge of the legal framework of a case and more than average understanding of the technologies behind it. He always puts a great team together and as  a person is very nice to work with.’

‘Mark Hilton is a heavyweight life sciences litigator. He is strategic, astute, pragmatic and fearless. An excellent choice.’

Key clients



Fisher & Paykel


The Broad Institute

Chiesi Pharmaceuticals



Merck KGaA

Senior executives Tier 2

The international HR team at Bird & Bird LLP is notable for its experience advising large US corporations in the technology, life sciences, aviation and retail sectors. Ian Hunter heads up the London team. Also an area of strength is work for senior executives. In a significant lateral hire, the well-regarded Tim Spillane joined from Stewarts Law LLP in September 2019, bringing expertise advising senior executives in City-based financial and professional services companies, with Alison Dixon, an expert on the employment aspects of commercial transactions, making partner the same year. Associate Penny Hunt is another prominent name in senior executives work.

Practice head(s):


‘Tim Spillane is excellent; a very good lawyer, a wise tactician and someone very easy to deal with. He is one of the few people to whom I would be happy to entrust my own case. Just first rate.’

‘Very international with good network of lawyers around the globe for cross-border matters. Strong on data protection/employment crossover issues. An impressive cohort of junior lawyers at associate level, who work independently, responsively and dynamically. Confident litigators.’

‘Tim Spillane is an excellent negotiator, incisive and good matter manager, very practically-focussed, partners very well with clients.’

‘Penny Hunt was absolutely stellar in her advice and support for me during what was a very stressful period of my life. She gave clear and level-headed advice, and was very prompt in getting back to me about queries.’

‘Tim Spillane is someone I have come to rate very highly. He was recommended to me by a FTSE 100 HR Director who viewed him as “one of the best best negotiators I have sat across a table from”. Tim is able to balance a number of skills, including supporting the client, swiftly establishing a clear sense of what are the realistic, possible outcomes, and exceptional tactical sense and negotiating skills. He also earns the trust of the client through being exceptionally clear and agreeing next steps and then delivering as promised. In over thirty years in the City instructing lawyers I found Tim truly exceptional – he inspired immediate confidence, has great experience and judgement, listens very carefully and puts the client first.’

‘Tim Spillane is excellent. He is hard working, clever and sensible. He fights hard but sensibly in the way that many claimant lawyers do not. he manages client expectations well and does not set expectations at an unrealistic leave. He is also a thoroughly nice man and a joy to deal with.’

‘Tim Spillane is a stand-out performer – sharp, responsive and very easy to deal with. A class act.’

‘A market leading team in the employment field. They address senior executives and work on behalf of ‘blue chip’ commercial entities. The strength of their client relationships and their tireless determination to secure a good outcome are unparalleled. Points are carefully selected based on their merits and are pursued with tenacity and appropriate vigour.’

‘A top class outfit with a real focus on senior execs. They are always my first choice when I am asked to recommend someone.’

‘Elizabeth Lang is an outstanding lawyer and a marvellous tactician. Able to read the landscape to identify the best options for the client.’

‘Penny Hunt is terrific. Will identify the problem that her client needs to solve.’

TMT Tier 2

The full service Bird & Bird LLP practice has broad expertise in the TMT sector, including telecoms regulatory work, IP and trade mark advice and media finance. Key names for the firm include sports specialist Jonathan Taylor; Ronald Hendrikx, who focuses on IT and communications projects; media and music expert Phil Sherrell; Howard Rubin, who is known for games expertise; head of TV and film Richard McMorris, who has corporate experience; and Felicity Reeve, who advises on advertising and marketing matters.

Key clients


ICE Services

Rockstar Games



Intergalactic Gaming

The Football Association, the Football Association of  Wales, the Football Association of Ireland and the Irish Football Association

Philip Morris Group

PRS for Music Group

Daily Mail and General Trust Group

Brighton & Hove Albion FC

The Rugby Football Union

The Premier League

Colt Telecom




Aviation Tier 3

While Bird & Bird LLP specialises in commercial work, it also provides advice on a myriad of aviation issues to its client roster, which includes international airlines, aerospace companies, financiers, aircraft lessors and travel companies. Recently, it has acted for a number of airlines on COVID-19 issues and the resultant aviation shutdown. The practice folds together expertise in competition, state aid, commercial, data protection, technology, digital, regulatory and contentious matters. Sophie Eyre leads the aviation disputes team, while Paul Briggs leads on most of the department’s most significant commercial matters. Lucy England is also a name to note.

Practice head(s):

Other key lawyers:


‘A grasp of the detail across multiple domains, applied well to individual issues, allied to innovation in driving change in aviation.’

‘Compared to others, Bird & Bird showed greater diligence in getting to the bottom of some legal issues across national, regional and global levels.’

‘We have valued their timely delivery of quality inputs, applied to the problem (rather than merely repeating past material).’

Key clients

Air Arabia

Airbus Group

Aquila Air Traffic Management

AVIC Group

Bristow Helicopters




Fiji Airways

Flybe Limited



Irish Aviation Authority


John Menzies Group

Luton Airport

Marshall of Cambridge Aerospace Group

North Air

Qatar Airways




Employers Tier 3

The international HR team at Bird & Bird LLP is notable for its experience advising large US corporations in the technology, life sciences, aviation and retail sectors. Ian Hunter heads up the London team. Also an area of strength is work for senior executives. In a significant lateral hire, the well-regarded Tim Spillane joined from Stewarts Law LLP in September 2019, bringing expertise advising senior executives in City-based financial and professional services companies, with Alison Dixon, an expert on the employment aspects of commercial transactions, making partner the same year. Associate Penny Hunt is another prominent name in senior executives work.

Practice head(s):


The team is excellent. They give practical, actionable advice, not just repeating the law back to you. The firm has a consistent level of quality for all of their lawyers throughout the world.

Elizabeth Lang is outstanding. She  is always there for you and knows exactly what to do in every situation, no matter how difficult. She is level headed and gives excellent counsel. She is well connected through the firm and can globally connect you with anyone you need to provide expert advice.

A top class outfit which combines great industry knowledge with tactical expertise. They are always my first choice when I am asked to recommend someone.

Elizabeth Lang is an outstanding lawyer and tactician, able to seek practical solutions where appropriate. She can read the landscape and provide the options. She cuts to the chase, is concise, considered and thoughtful in her approach.

Penny Hunt is a great lawyer, always able to get to the heart of the matter in a way that benefits the client.

Key clients



Jet2 / Dart Group plc




Costa Coffee



A global asset management firm

Equity capital markets - low-mid cap Tier 3

Bird & Bird LLP's London team demonstrates particularly notable strengths in the energy and natural resources, technology and pharmaceuticals industries. Led by Clive Hopewell, it advises on the full range of matters for AIM/Main Market companies and nominated advisers/brokers, including handling IPOs, secondary offerings and public and private M&A. In 2019, Hopewell, and senior associates Sharon O’Donnell and Youichi Iisaka, advised AIM-listed mining client Jangada Mines Plc on the £5m sale of its Pedra Branca project (South America's largest and most advanced platinum group metals and nickel project) to a subsidiary of TSX-V listed entity ValOre Metals Corp.

Practice head(s):


Bird and Bird’s team has a very strong ECM practice, not only in the UK but also in Europe.

My main contact is Clive Hopewell, who is very well known in the ECM community in London and a great ambassador for the the markets both in the UK and internationally.

They get it. They don’t waste time giving you advice you don’t need and give you the advice you do need. They also give you the advice you didn’t ask for but realise you should have asked for.

Simon Allport is exceptional, rapidly understands the situation and always gives pragmatic advice that you can actually use.

Well-resourced and broad skill set.

Key clients

Alpha FX Group

Asiamet Resources Ltd

Barrick Gold

Directa Plus PLC (J)

Earthport PLC

Frontier Developments PLC

Gama Aviation PLC (J)

Gamma Communications PLC

Griffin Mining Ltd (J)

Harvest Minerals Ltd

IG Design Group plc

Jangada Mines PLC

Mothercare plc PLC (J)

Tekcapital PLC

The Stanley Gibbons Group

Westminster Group plc

Liberum Capital Limited

Canaccord Genuity

WH Ireland Limited

Shore Capital Partners

Joh.Berenberg, Gossler & Co. KG

Panmure Gordon (UK) Limited

Hannam & Partners LLP

Grant Thornton (UK) LLP

Cantor Fitzgerald Europe

Cairn Financial Advisors LLP

Da Victus plc

Albion Development VCT PLC

Albion Enterprise VCT PLC

Albion Technology & General VCT PLC

Albion Venture Capital Trust PLC

Crown Place VCT PLC

Kings Arms Yard VCT PLC

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

Tech-related M&A work makes up the bulk of Bird & Bird LLP's practice,  and the team is comfortable advising across a wide range of specialist matters ranging from data ownership for a cloud company disposal through to energy regulations for a solar farm. The firm's international network of offices facilitates cross-border M&A, particularly across the US, Asia and Europe. Matt Bonass leads the department, as well as chairing the international energy and utilities sector group. He specialises in public and private mergers and acquisitions, private equity, joint ventures, venture capital and equity capital markets work. Neil Blundell and Simon Allport are other names to note.

Practice head(s):

Other key lawyers:


Invaluable advice on when and what to proceed with and retract from

Always working in our best interests

Calm and measured approach to tough situations and excellent at mediating sticking points

Key clients

Gulf Islamic Investments LLC

Piotrek Sosnowski, Kuba Koziej and Kacper Brzozowski


ELE Advanced Technologies

Gamma Telecom Holdings Limited

Just Eat

O’Reilly Media Inc

Tomorrow London Holdings Limited

Jangada Mines plc


Power (including electricity, nuclear and renewables) Tier 3

At Bird & Bird LLPMatt Bonass, who is co-head of the international energy and utilities group, and fellow co-head Elizabeth Reid continue to be highly active in the solar and wind energy markets and the emerging waste-to-energy sector in the UK and Asia. Reid has also been advising on international corporate PPA contracts, alongside acting for developers, investors and EPC contractors on project contracts required for the design, build, finance, operation and offtake of renewable power projects. Fellow co-head Michael Rudd focuses on utility concession arrangements, energy performance contracts, utility supply arrangements and regulatory work.


‘Bird & Bird provide high quality, value for money timely services across all the energy sector with a significant coverage across a number of jurisdictions where we rely on them, including Italy, Spain, France, UK, Netherlands.’

Key clients


Bluefield Partners

JDR Cables Systems Limited

Canadian Solar M&A

Naturgy (formerly Gas Natural)

Canadian Solar

Lightsource BP

Solar Century

Product liability: defendant Tier 3

Bird & Bird LLP is regularly instructed by manufacturers, designers, distributors and suppliers from various sectors, including the technology and communications, IT, automotive, consumer electronics, luxury goods and medical device industries. The group advises on commercial and regulatory matters, safety requirements and liability issues, with specific expertise in new technology developments. The practice is led by Jonathan Speed and senior associate Russell Williamson, who are both part of the wider dispute resolution department.


‘The advice we give is very thorough and well organised. The team is friendly and readily available at all times.’

‘Friendliness, thinking practical and commitment.’

Retail and consumer Tier 3

Bird & Bird LLP provides ‘consistently even-handed and commercially astute advice’ through the firm’s retail and consumer group, which is divided into three distinct sub-groups, focusing on the food and beverage; luxury, fashion and retail; and hotel and leisure sectors. While the practice utilises the firm’s leading technology, data and IP expertise, the group also has further niche experience in wellness-related matters, consumer law and retail technology issues. The group is also involved in high-profile corporate mandates, and recently advised Mothercare on its major restructuring and refinancing. Graeme Payne, who advises on franchising, distribution and supply chain arrangements, heads up the UK retail team and is co-head of the international group; Mark Abell leads the franchising, licensing and multi-channel strategies practice; Robert Turner handles commercial transactions and regulatory compliance work; Ian Edwards focuses on technology transactions, and Gabriel Voisin specialises in data mandates.

Practice head(s):


The B&B team bring an extremely high standard of domain expertise, paired with strong commercial acumen that has been invaluable for us as we have negotiated a major contract with a much larger and better-funded party than us. Having B&B in our corner put us on a level footing in the negotiations, and their pragmatism has been appreciated throughout.

Their approach to working with startups stands out, as they are able to easily flex to provide different levels of support depending on timescale or budget, which is unusual compared with other firms.

Bird & Bird’s retail franchising practice has been of great assistance to us as we forayed into international franchising. They have great expertise in both food & beverage business and international franchising aspects. Their breadth of experience allows to advise not only on strictly legal matters but also provide strategic and commercial view.

Graeme Payne personally participated in all discussions/ negotiations and demonstrated great attention to our business needs and comments. He was reasonable in negotiations which allowed to execute the documentation quickly.

Commercially strong and pragmatic team. Good breadth of knowledge and a consistently strong standard of support and advice.

Bird & Bird LLP is one of the best law firms / advisers that we have worked so far. They are effective and efficient. They are able to provide accurate advice and overcome any problem that we have faced.

Bird & Bird’s commercial team are an asset to work with – always ahead of the curve and provide clear, concise jargon fee information. Compared to other firms, we have always preferred their seamless and progressive style. From an in house perspective, we embrace law firms and teams that are able to understand our business and contracts efficiently and apply sound legal judgement – all things that Bird & Bird excel at.

The Bird & Bird team have been able to provide us with consistently even-handed, commercially astute advice as we have worked to build our brand locally and internationally, while navigating the disputes which go with the work. The maturity in approach translates into a commercially astute partnership with a firm which understands our needs and the markets in which we operate globally.

Key clients


Aspinal of London


Monster Beverages

SC Johnson

Sunday Riley

Just Eat


La Prairie

Tax litigation and investigations Tier 3

The practice at Bird & Bird LLP predominantly handles tax investigations and criminal defence, although the team also has experience of tax litigation. The group is led by Andy Brown, who specialises in alternative dispute resolution and cross-border tax disputes. Legal director Nicola O’Connor, who joined from Russell-Cooke LLP in November 2019, is an expert in tax investigations, with a focus on white-collar criminal defence.

Practice head(s):

Other key lawyers:


The team is very hardworking and dedicated to providing cost-effective and quality services to its clients. The team has excellent industry knowledge, particularly when it comes to the customs warehousing sector. Excellent work ethic, attention to detail and focus on the critical points, and a lovely team to work with.’

Highly skilled team working to resolve issues.’

Andy Brown has excellent client engagement and good at constructing creative approaches to deal with the client’s issues.’

Key clients

Simon Osborne

PML Accounting Limited

B&M Retail

CCS Media Limited

Dahabshiil Transfer Services Limited

Emerging markets Tier 4

Bird & Bird LLP frequently acts for lenders and borrowers - including conventional commercial banks, alternative lenders, special opportunity lenders and development banks - on a variety of financings in CEE, the CIS and Southeast Europe, North Africa and Asia. Head of emerging markets Andrew Hallgarth, who is 'an outstanding lawyer who is dedicated to his clients', has acted in numerous transactions in these jurisdictions, involving €1.3bn in investment, in the energy, finance, infrastructure, manufacturing, tourism and transport sectors.

Practice head(s):


‘The firm has phenomenal project finance expertise with immense reactivity and constructive advice.’

‘Andrew Hallgarth is an outstanding lawyer who is dedicated to his clients to ensure successful outcomes. Compared to other firms with similar expertise, there is also value for money in Bird & Bird’s services. Overall, stellar service.’

‘Andrew Hallgarth is very efficient and fast. A great professional.’

‘Andrew Hallgarth is among the best outside counsel I have worked with. He has incredibly vast transactional experience and is extremely knowledgeable. He is business-oriented, innovative and able to solve the most inextricable problems. Also, he is quite versatile and although we are working with him primarily on debt transactions, I have also worked with him on equity and fund deals.’

‘The firm provides extremely good value for money and is very knowledgeable and responsive.’

‘Very accessible and knowledgeable. The senior partners are very hands on.’

‘Andrew Hallgarth is very knowledgeable, hands on and responsive. He really helps to get a deal done.’

Infrastructure (PFI and PPP) Tier 4

The international projects and procurement team at Bird & Bird LLP has particular experience in the aviation, defence, and technology sectors. The practice typically advises on international PPP work, such as the Keflavik International Airport project in Iceland. Stuart Cairns and Roger Bickerstaff head the practice. The team is 'highly motivated' and is a 'pleasure to work with'. Clients praise Cairns for his 'pragmatic, agile' and 'creative' approach.

Practice head(s):


They stand out by taking care of every detail and being extremely polite and nice to be around.’

Their expertise on procurement law is excellent. They are good partners with very good people skills. Cannot recommend working with them enough.’

The partners and associates I see are highly motivated and expert and very client centred.’

Chris Murray and Jonathan Robb are dedicated to industry clients.’

Stuart Cairns is, for us, the leading procurement lawyer in London. He’s pragmatic, agile, creative and inventive. He’s exceptionally knowledgeable of the rules and knows how to make them work for his clients both public or private sector.  He is the most learned, practical, connected and yet pleasant lawyer I have ever worked with.’

Key clients

Isavia Ohf

Association of Municipalities in the Capital Area, Iceland

London Luton Airport Limited

KCS (part of Kent County Council)

UK Anti-Doping

Irish Aviation Authority

Smart DCC

C40 Smart Cities

Ministry of Municipal and Rural Affairs, Saudi Arabia (MoMRA)


Mining and minerals Tier 4

Bird & Bird LLP advises on a wide range of matters including financing issues for mining companies, M&A, mine construction matters and infrastructure work. The group also leverages the firm's extensive expertise in IP, and recently advised Gemfields Plc on IP and brand protection matters. The practice acts for a varied client roster of multi-national groups, smaller domestic and exploration companies, governments and key suppliers to the steel and mining sector. Corporate finance specialist Clive Hopewell heads up the practice alongside Adam Carling.

Practice head(s):


‘Clive Hopewell and his team at Bird & Bird are exceptional in this sector. Have great knowledge and are extremely efficient and dedicated at delivering commercial and timely advice.’

Key clients

Barrick Gold Corporation

Barrick International (Barbados) Corporation

Acacia Mining plc

LKAB Minerals

Gemfields plc

Asiamet Resources Limited

Canaccord Genuity Limited

Jangada Mines plc

WH Ireland Limited

Harvest Minerals Limited

Joh. Berenberg Gossler & Co KG

Regius Resources Group Limited

Griffin Mining Limited

Oil and gas Tier 4

Bird & Bird LLP handles all stages of oil and gas developments, from pre-exploration issues through to exploration, appraisal, development, operation and decommissioning matters. As chair of the international energy and utilities sector group, Matt Bonass specialises in public and private M&A, private equity matters, venture capital work and equity capital markets transactions. The wider practice also includes capital markets and corporate finance lawyers Clive Hopewell and Nick Heap.

Practice head(s):

Other key lawyers:

Transport finance and leasing Tier 4

Led on the finance side by Richard Sharman  and also aided by a wider aerospace group which has significant knowledge of the operational, regulatory and commercial aspects impacting aviation clients, Bird & Bird LLP 'is able to cover most issues likely to arise within the aviation sector', for lessors, airlines and banks. Leveraging his underlying structured finance expertise, Sharman has made a rapid impact following his move in February 2019 from Clifford Chance LLP and has taken the lead on numerous complex mandates for lessor clients, including in relation to a newly established leasing company on its inaugral ABS.

Practice head(s):

Other key lawyers:


‘The working relationship is excellent. The team are very prompt in their responses, clear in their communication, and comfortably meet deadlines without a last-minute scramble. They are commercially focused and offer solutions rather than trying to win unreasonable positions.’

‘Marcus Pyke is a stand-out associate. extremely professional, organised, knowledgeable and efficient. Strong ability to offer commercial resolution. Richard Sharman is a stand-out partner. He successfully supported a complex aviation joint venture on our behalf which included several different elements between financing, shareholding, servicing, and purchase agreements. Michael Holt was very diligent in supporting our transaction. Paul Briggs is always available and goes above and beyond to support transactions. He has his finger on the pulse in relation to key industry matters and is very commercially minded.’

‘An excellent team for all aspects of aviation law, skilled and responsive.’

‘I would recommend Simon Phippard, he is a highly committed professional, he quickly understands the needs of the client and has a very strategic approach.’

‘A well-balanced team which is able to cover most issues likely to arise within the aviation sector.’

‘Paul Briggs has an infectious personality and is a pleasure to work with on deals. The aviation practice dovetails well with other parts of the firm so that a comprehensive offering is available for clients.’

‘Bird & Bird LLP are experts in aviation finance and this sets them apart.’

Key clients

China Construction Bank (CCB Leasing (International) Corporation)

Airborne Capital Limited

Investec Bank plc

Banco Santander


ICBC Leasing

JP Morgan

EMP Structured Assets GmbH

Air Arabia

Lease Corporation International

Airbus Bank

LOT Polish Airlines

Smartwings / Czech Airlines

Commercial litigation: premium Tier 5

Bird & Bird LLP's 'high quality' dispute resolution group offers a breadth of experience in disputes and deep sector expertise. It is particularly active in the technology and communications sector, within which Jeremy Sharman and Jonathan Speed are experienced.  Victoria Hobbs is a key contact for retail, hotel and leisure and food and beverage sector clients, while 'stand out partnerSophie Eyre (who jointly leads the practice alongside Sharman) has particular experience in aviation, defence and life sciences sectors and counts disputes involving Russia and the CIS among her specialisms.

Practice head(s):

Other key lawyers:

Key clients

DXC Technology

Cathay Pacific Airways

Banca Nazionale del Lavoro S.p.A.



Whitbread Group

Domino’s Pizza UK & Ireland Limited

Bluefield Group

Costa Group

Corporate tax Tier 5

Bird & Bird LLP distinguishes itself providing tax advice to technology clients, in line with the firm's broader strengths in this sector. The group has expertise in international tax, centred on European and US inbound and outbound work, the taxation of intellectual property, as well as M&A-related tax. The practice is led by Zoe Feller.

Practice head(s):

Key clients

Just Eat

Virgin Enterprises Limited

Gulf Islamic Investments LLC

O’Reilly Media, Inc

Fold 7 Limited

Metalor Technologies SA and Metalor Technologies (UK) Limited

LOT Airline

Clayton Mackenzie

Education: schools Tier 5

The 'extremely knowledgable' education team at Bird & Bird LLP is highlighted for its international expertise and advisory work on the establishment of schools abroad. Practice head Mark Abell has vast experience of acting on complex cross-border projects for clients. Elsewhere, the wider team has a large offering in data protection, intellectual property, and corporate law.

Practice head(s):

Other key lawyers:


‘Mark Abell is very, very competent and very commercial and pragmatic in his advice. He does not beat around the bush and goes straight to the heart of the matter – and is prepared to raise issues which some may find negative but he knows the market and the parameters of working and investing energy in China.’

‘They have unparalleled expertise in dealing with China and an understanding of the legal, commercial and political challenges in operating there.’

‘They have a deep understanding of the market dynamics, and are able to tailor the advice, style of engagement, and input to the particular nuances of the investing party.’

Key clients

Royal Grammar School Guildford

Reigate Grammar School

Sedbergh School


The Perse School

Westminster School

University College School (UCS)

Wellington College

Haileybury School

Uppingham School

Property finance Tier 5

Bird & Bird LLP commands a steady stream of acquisition and development finance mandates and is particularly strong in Islamic finance. Joss Hargrave jointly leads the practice with Jonathan Baker, who has broad capabilities across acquisition and development finance. In recent highlights, the team advised Gulf Islamic Investments on its acquisition of Priory Court and The Lewis Building in Birmingham.

Practice head(s):

Other key lawyers:

Key clients

Gulf Islamic Investments LLC (GII)

Bank of London and The Middle East plc (BLME)

Ahli United Bank (UK) PLC

National Bank of Kuwait (International) PLC (NBK)


Shawbrook Bank Limited

Bank lending: investment grade debt and syndicated loans Tier 6

Led by Trystan TetherBird & Bird LLP's banking and finance team provides 'very commercial and technically proficient' advice to borrowers and lenders engaged in investment grade, acquisition finance and multi-currency syndicated cross-border lending. Niche areas of focus include sports finance, as well as work for development banks within the emerging markets.

Practice head(s):


‘Working with Andrew Hallgarth is a great experience. He is very knowledgeable, a great drafts persons and will ensure that all documents are done to perfection. He will take responsibility on the project and its progress.’

‘Bird & Bird advised on a complex syndicated loan that we processed last year involving taking hard currency floating rate funds from participants and converting to a fixed rate local currency loan.’

‘Andrew Hallgarth is very hands on and knowledgeable. Very responsive.’

‘Very commercial whilst at the same time technically proficient.’

‘Complex matters described in plain English with solutions provided to all problems.’

‘Simon Fielder – stand out performer – excellent client service and superb technical knowledge.’

‘Excellent (Sports Finance) sector specific knowledge. Good at not just outlining options but also providing a recommendation. Very relationship led.’

‘Joss Hargrave and Claire Barker – relationship management, honest opinions and sector knowledge.’


Key clients

Macquarie Bank Group

Mastercard Group

Booking Holdings Group

Smartwings a.s.

Hannover Re (Bermuda) Ltd

CCB Aviation Corporation Limited

Stripe Group

Telford Offshore Holdings Limited


777 MSN Group

WestJet, an Alberta Partnership

Thought Machine Group Limited

Post Road Administrative LLC

Kreos Capital Group

Santander Group

Bank of London and Middle East Plc

easyjet Group

CCB Leasing (International) Corporation

Virgin Group

EU and competition Tier 6

Bird & Bird LLP has extensive experience of handling competition law issues which overlap with IP law and regulation in network industries. The team’s strong tech expertise is of particular note, facilitating its growth in the distribution and e-commerce space. Private enforcement work is another area of focus. Peter Willis heads up the practice; Richard Eccles is also a key contact.

Practice head(s):

Other key lawyers:


‘A very hands-on team.’

‘Peter Willis was our key contact – he made a very good follow-up of the file.’



Key clients

Chiesi Farmaceutici SpA

Celtic Rugby

Orthios (Anglesey) Technologies

Sita Onair

Arçelik / Beko



International arbitration Tier 6

Bird & Bird LLP acts in complex and high-value arbitrations in the technology, telecoms and life sciences sectors. The London office also has a very active practice in energy and aviation arbitrations, and regularly acts in investor-state arbitrations. Group head Sophie Eyre and Jonathan Speed provide partner-level support.

Practice head(s):


‘They have an international practice attracting some heavyweight energy clients and some significant cases.’

‘The team has a relaxed professional style. They provide a good mix of technical legal knowledge, tactical acumen and a practical approach.’

‘I have been hugely impressed by Tom Darvill. I have seen him fulfilling a pivotal role on cases coordinating effortlessly between the client team, barristers and experts. He is able to get the team moving in the right direction and has a clear strategic vision for the case.’

B&B’s litigation team is well equipped with great lawyers capable to handle very complex legal issues to protect their client’s interest at all times. They are extremely responsive in all their communications, precise and accurate in their advice. They are good business oriented lawyers which makes their legal advice and counsel more valuable. They are fully committed with their clients towards getting the best result in the case for them.’

‘Tom Darvill, Senior Associate in the team, is exceptionally bright and hard-working. He has great experience in arbitration, and we have been particularly impressed by his following of every detail in our arbitration and the numerous licensing agreements he has had to turn his mind to.’

‘Sophie Eyre (Partner). An excellent litigator. Tough and no-nonsense, but eminently practical. Rhiannon Price (Associate). Up and coining litigation associate. Has taken to international arbitrations well. Good judgement in planning the case.’

Key clients

Carpatsky Petroleum Group

Corporate restructuring & insolvency Tier 7

Under the leadership of the 'very personable and knowledgeableJoss Hargrave Bird & Bird LLP's team excels in providing 'proactive and commercial' partner-led advice for IPs, investors and debtors across a range of restructuring and formal insolvency procedures. The team is particularly adept at handling matters within heavily regulated sectors, including aviation and financial services.

Practice head(s):

Other key lawyers:


The team is proactive, technically knowledgeable and has a commercial mind-set.

The very personable Joss Hargrave has good technical knowledge.

Joss Hargrave is always available 24/7, and we have found Joss to have that enviable skill of being able to translate a sticky and/or complex situation into good old plain English.

Joss Hargrave and Claire Barker are great and in addition to their detailed knowledge and experience, are also very easy to work with.


Key clients

Mothercare Plc

Fosun Tourism and Culture Group

Macquarie Bank

Starling Bank

Punjab National Bank

Duff & Phelps

Grant Thornton UK LLP



ReSolve Partners

Opus Restructuring LLP



Hermes Renewables

Tom Tom



Horn Holdings

London Luton Airport


The business immigration team at Bird & Bird LLP handles a wide variety of immigration work for clients in sectors including technology, pharmaceuticals, financial, manufacturing, retail sports and film. Yuichi Sekine heads the team; associate Jonathan Goldsworthy is also recommended.


As part of the firm’s larger aviation department, Bird & Bird LLP’s multidisciplinary travel group draws upon its international network, acting for some of the world's best-known travel companies, from airlines and hotel chains to online travel agents and metasearch engines. Led by Lucy England, the team advises on a range of matters including complex regulatory issues, GDPR compliance work, digital marketing mandates, disputes, consumer issues, IP work and broader digitalisation and commercial projects. The team is also integrated with the firm’s data protection, hotels and leisure, and retail and consumer departments.

Practice head(s):

Key clients

Banyan Tree Resorts


Dublin Airport Authority (daa)

easyJet/easyJet Holidays



Irish Aviation Authority

Isavia (Keflavik Airport, Reykjavik), Iceland



Finland > Commercial, corporate and M&A Tier 3

The commercial, corporate and M&A practice at Bird & Bird LLP focuses on private and cross-border transactions, with experience in joint ventures and private equity matters. Key sector strengths lie in the technology, communications and transport industries. Team head Maria Carlsson has extensive expertise in strategic contracting issues and acts for clients in the automotive and infrastructure industries.

Practice head(s):

Maria Carlsson


‘Very good attention to our case and internal coordination to perform the tasks.’

‘The individuals work with great attention and motivation to deliver excellent quality to customers.’

Key clients

Mitsubishi Electric Corporation

Prime Minister’s Office

National Instruments Corporation

ANS Finland Oy

Seafarer’s Pension Fund

Ministry of Transport and Communications



SPX Corporation

Eezy Oyj (previously VMP Group)

Exitteams Oy



India > Foreign firms Tier 5

Bird & Bird LLP demonstrates unparalleled expertise in the life sciences sector, acting as counsel of choice for several of India's pharmaceutical companies both on advisory work as well as patent litigation. Other fields of particular activity for the team include technology (with special emphasis on M&A and data protection issues), media and sports. The group is led by Nipun Gupta, whose areas of expertise include M&A, corporate finance and dispute resolution, and information law specialist James Mullock. Both are based in London.

Practice head(s):

Other key lawyers:


‘Bird & Bird have a genuine industry focus. Whilst many international law firms and Indian law firms have “core-sector” focus initiatives, Bird & Bird takes it to another level. For each area that falls within a core sector they seem to have dedicated, specialist lawyers, often having spent time in-house in the relevant sector in numerous B & B offices. This translates into unique sector experience and knowledge which is invaluable when advising clients.’

‘Nipun Gupta is also a standout lawyer who assists to differentiate Bird & Bird from the competitors. Nipun is someone who has advised Indian and international clients on many matters over the years in multiple jurisdictions, so can assist the client to get to the point they need to, with the right team and all very promptly. Nipun demonstrates substantive skill at understanding what the client needs in multiple jurisdictions on a very timely and honest basis.’

Key clients

Serum Institute of India Pvt. Ltd.

Invenire Energy


Comviva Technologies Limited


National Petroleum Construction Company


Rebel Foods

AirAsia (India) Limited

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 Pauline Kuipers
Competition and EU law Morten Nissen
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

The Lex 100 Verdict

Known for 'tech focus, IP acumen, friendly culture, work/life balance, and cutting-edge clients', Bird & Bird LLP is a high-achieving international firm popular with aspiring media and technology lawyers. The firm is well regarded for its lack of a 'competitive atmosphere' among trainees, and a 'less corporate-y' feeling while still providing good quality of work having 'niche sectors and interesting clients.' Trainees highlight the 'work/life balance' and 'much better social life and work events' than elsewhere. The training is less rigid and involves 'close contact with partners'. It is described as a 'relaxed firm with no face-time' culture. The firm has a 'fresh feel' and colleagues work with 'dedication and genuine interest'. Trainees remark that diversity could be improved, particularly 'the approach to inclusivity', and bemoan a lack of 'transparency about NQ process'. However, the firm hosts a popular vacation scheme and is praised for its industry secondment opportunities, such as at 'a large name within the sport sector' and other major clients. There are 'varied, really fun and fulfilling' pro-bono and CSR opportunities available, especially with local schools, and 'good social mobility schemes'. Respondents complain about the internal IT system and office facilities including lifts, but also praise the 'work/life balance and social life'. Highlights of training included 'being able to take ownership of, run and close the leasing of a sea plane in Indonesia' and 'leading on a submission to the EUIPO'.