Bird & Bird LLP > London, England > Firm Profile

Bird & Bird LLP
12 NEW FETTER LANE
LONDON
EC4A 1JP
England

Corporate and commercial > Venture capital Tier 1

Drawing upon a ‘fantastic breadth of expertise’ and ‘good industry knowledge’, due to its longstanding presence in the market and familiarity of “what is market”, Bird & Bird LLP provides a ‘responsive and helpful’ service to funds and investees throughout the investment life cycle. The firm’s overarching knowledge, including across regulatory matters, commercial and IP-related matters within the tech space is also of huge value to clients, enabling the team to provide a one-stop-shop service to start-ups, in particular, as they scale up. Vastly experienced team head Struan Penwarden provides ‘sound practical advice‘ to investees and investors providing/seeking equity investment, as well as having a niche specialism advising providers of venture debt. Geraint Lloyd is also an experienced practitioner whose work spans both private equity and venture capital investments, including a considerable volume of work for longstanding client Albion Capital. The ‘superb’ James Baillieu is well-versed in handling investee and investor work within both the tech and life sciences sectors, and has also been pivotal to the firm’s growing number of clients within the corporate venturing space (as well as advising those receiving investment from these funds). The ‘fantastic’ Mark Rundall provides ‘very commercial’ advice to a varied client base that includes corporates, VCTs, venture debt providers and corporate venturers. Joseph Stolerman joined Index Ventures as a legal counsel in June 2021.

Practice head(s):

Struan Penwarden

Other key lawyers:

Geraint Lloyd; James Baillieu; Mark Rundall; Adam Meisels; Dhruv Chhatralia; Arif Saleem; Francesca Mansell

Testimonials

The cost-effective team is proactive and has good industry knowledge.’

‘They are also willing to go the extra mile when required and provide better service to clients.’

‘Their breadth of expertise is fantastic, and they cover virtually all new bases for us as a business.’

‘Everyone is super responsive and helpful.’

‘Mark Rundall is fantastic. He’s virtually part of the family now, having been working with my co-founder and I for nearly a decade. He’s very commercial, patient, able to break everything down into simple terms, thorough and generous with his time.’

Both Struan Penwarden and Mark Rundall provide sound practical advice.’

James Baillieu is superb. He is quick and accurate in his responses, able to deal with minutae and grander strategy all with ease.’

Key clients

JobandTalent

Kreos Capital

Immersive Labs

Albion VCTs

OTA Insight

Horizon Ventures

Urban- Air Port

Mirae Asset Capital

Plant Meat (t/a THIS)

RPMI RailPen

Macquarie Bank

Selfologi Ltd

Seon Technologies

Synchtank Limited

Hide Biotech Ltd

Work highlights

  • Continued to advise longstanding client, Jobandtalent, on multiple funding rounds, including on its €88m Series C top-up round and its Series D €100 million financing.  
  • Acted for long term client Kreos Capital on a number of investments including in HungryPanda, as part of its $130m Series D funding round.
  • Advised Cyber-focused business Immersive Labs on its $75m Series C funding round.

Crime, fraud and licensing > Gaming and betting Tier 1

The team at Bird & Bird LLP possesses ‘strong industry knowledge across multiple jurisdictions’, with particular strengths in regulatory work, data protection, and dispute resolution. The firm’s intellectual property and technology specialisms have also cemented it’s place as a go-to firm for sports betting providers. ‘Market leader’ Andrew Danson heads up the practice with expertise in gambling regulatory advice, and recently led the team acting for Allwyn on its successful application for the National Lottery licence. Simon Fielder advises online gambling clients on a range of M&A matters, while Robert Turner assists sports rights holders on their transactions with gambling operators. Recently made-up partner Elizabeth Dunn specialises in online gambling regulation and commercial gambling matters, including advising clients in relation to gambling sponsorship arrangements.

Practice head(s):

Andy Danson

Testimonials

‘Depth of knowledge and ability to align legal opinion with practical implementation.’

‘Professional, approachable, knowledgeable and always there.’

‘Strong industry knowledge across multiple jurisdictions, with practical, responsive advice and insights.’

‘Andy Danson is well-connected and very well informed on the industry, and always a pleasure to work with.’

‘Andy Danson is generally knowledgeable and pragmatic, good at client care. Elizabeth Dunn is diligent and pragmatic.’

‘Andy Danson and his team act as if they are invested in the success of our endeavours. They are commercial-minded problem solvers, who have proved themselves invaluable to our business.’

‘Andy Danson is a market leader in the rather niche practice of UK gaming law, but can be counted upon to be responsive and provide a good level of partner engagement.’

Key clients

William Hill

Bet365

Flutter

Entain

Sazka Group/Allwyn

White Hat Gaming

BetBull

Arsenal FC

Better Collective

Metric Gaming

Work highlights

  • Advised Allwyn (part of SAZKA Group, Europe’s largest lottery operator) in winning the UK’s National Lottery Licence competition.
  • Advised William Hill on a major project involving the separation of the William Hill US and William Hill Rest of World businesses and the transitional services agreements between them, in preparation for the reported £2.2bn sale of the Rest of World business to 888.
  • Advised White Hat in its highly significant deal with Blueprint Gaming, which is key to White Hat’s growth strategy in the US.

Industry focus > Hospitality and leisure Tier 1

The dedicated international hotels, hospitality and leisure team at Bird & Bird LLP comprises of experts in tech, data and brand protection, and utilises this expertise to assist clients across a range of commercial and media issues. Further strength lies within the team's contractual expertise, overseeing both franchise contracts and management contracts. Also known for their sound knowledge in hotel financing, the team often advises on cross-border transactions. Beyond hotel expertise, the practice is often sought for food and beverage advice. The team is led by Karen Friebe. She advises all hotels, whether budget or luxury, and specialises in acquisitions, development, disposal and negotiations of hotel management agreements. Further note is given to James Fowler for his sound knowledge in franchising law.

Practice head(s):

Karen Friebe

Other key lawyers:

Testimonials

‘Karen Friebe and her team have a deep understanding of the hospitality industry, and in particular industry specific contracts such as hotel management agreements.’

‘Karen Friebe and James Fowler have shown deep understanding of the industry and have a thorough knowledge of market practices and standards.’

‘They are knowledgeable about all matters relating to hotel investment.’

‘Karen Friebe – many years experience of the hotel and leisure sector. Highly regarded among hotel investors, financiers and operators.’

‘It has a dedicated and leading franchising law practice.’

‘They are honest, truthful, helpful and beyond reproach. I cannot recommend them highly enough. And they are very human.’

‘Hardworking, always on their game, always willing to help. Exemplary.’

Key clients

Belmond

Aareal Bank

Pret a Manger

NH Hotels

CrossFit

Costa Coffee

Compass Group plc

Cadogan Estates

Rogue Fitness

The Firmament Hospitality Limited

Work highlights

  • Advised Belmont on trade mark brand management in relation to the BELMOND brand, as well as what their rights for each individual hotel in the portfolio are.
  • Advised Cadogan Estates on the negotiation of a hotel management agreement with Beaverbrook for the former Durley House on Sloane Street, London.
  • Advised OTA Insight – a leading cloud-based data intelligence platform for the hospitality industry – on its $80m Series B financing round led by Spectrum Equity.

Industry focus > Life sciences and healthcare Tier 1

With ‘unparalleled depth of industry knowledge’ and a ‘dynamic team’, Bird & Bird LLP is ‘always focused on the client’s needs and strives to deliver solution-oriented, valuable advice’. Excelling across the full spectrum of life sciences work, the group is particularly lauded for its expertise in pharmaceutical and life sciences patent litigation; in a recent highlight, the team acted for Gilead in patent revocation and infringement proceedings relating to its range of anti-viral blockbuster products containing sofosbuvir. The group counts high-profile pharmaceutical, biotech and medical devices companies on its client roster and leverages the firm’s international network, including the recently established Irish office, to assist at a global level. Mark Hilton and Sally Shorthose jointly lead the department, which also fields corporate specialist James Baillieu and recently promoted partner Chris De Mauny.

Practice head(s):

Mark Hilton; Sally Shorthose

Other key lawyers:

Testimonials

‘Scope of technical backgrounds. Enjoyable and committed lawyers.’

‘The team appears very knowledgeable about our industries, takes very little time to get onboarded and is highly qualified. Also appreciate that they think along in terms of cost efficiencies and required expertise.’

‘Partner James Baillieu is my main contact person. Always on the ball, pragmatic, doesn’t over complicate matters and very good at translating complex legal matters to business people.’

‘The Bird & Bird team convinces with their global footprint, their very strong analytical skills, well-grounded legal analysis of complex legal issues. The team is always focused on the client´s needs and strives to deliver solution-oriented valuable advice.’

‘Excellent knowledge and good strategic advice. Good team dynamic’

‘Unparalleled depth of industry knowledge.’

‘Mark Hilton has a truly valuable understanding of the life sciences industry and this cascades down through the team.’

Key clients

Dexcom

Gilead

Teva

The Broad Institute

Merck KGaA

UK Global Healthcare Ltd

Precision Medicine

Omnicell

Serum Institute of India

Polpharma

Fisher & Paykel Healthcare

Amgen

Sanofi

Work highlights

  • Acting for Gilead in patent revocation and infringement proceedings in the UK which concern Gilead’s range of anti-viral blockbuster products containing the drug sofosbuvir.
  • Successfully represented Polpharma in a judicial review at the EU General Court in relation to the regulatory data protection (RDP – data exclusivity) of Tecfidera.
  • Advised Korean-based Mirae Asset Capital, Celltrion and Premier Partners on Iksuda Therapeutics Limited’s $47m Series A financing.

Industry focus > TMT Tier 1

Bird & Bird LLP‘s team of ‘phenomenal and exceptionally responsive lawyers‘ handles the range of contentious and non-contentious work for clients across the TMT sector. The practice is split into three groups: the tech and comms sector group, led by Ronald Hendrikx; the media, entertainment and sports sector group, led by Phil Sherrell; and the tech transactions practice group, led by Mark Leach. This structure allows it to put together specialist teams to handle complex matters including large-scale technology implementations, large-scale network infrastructure work, media and sports finance matters, and a wide variety of disputes. Hendrikx specialises in IT and communication projects, while Sherrell is well known for his litigation experience, and Leach for his work on outsourcings. Kimberly Wells is a key contact for businesses across a range of sectors, and was promoted to partner in March 2022.

Practice head(s):

Ronald Hendrikx; Mark Leach; Phil Sherrell

Other key lawyers:

Alex Dixie; Kimberly Wells; Ian Edwards

Testimonials

‘‘Great lawyers, great level of service, top-notch intellect, writing and advocacy. Really dive deep to get to know the client’s business model and needs. Top-notch in every way.’

‘Exceptional technical and sector knowledge applied in a highly pragmatic way.’

‘Ian Edwards – sector knowledge, pragmatism, calmness under pressure, delivers.’

‘Phil Sherrell and the team – all phenomenal and exceptionally responsive lawyers.’

‘Pragmatic and commercially sensitive approach to negotiations.’

‘Ian Edwards – collaborative, pragmatic and commercially sensitive approach to negotiations.’

Key clients

Activision Blizzard

Allwyn

ARM

Docusign

Epic Games

Equinix, Inc

Guinness Six Nations Rugby

ICE Services

ICM Partners

Macquarie Bank

Nokia

TuneIn, Inc.

Work highlights

  • Acted for Mitsubishi and Sisvel in a UK High Court claim against multiple defendants for a declaration that the terms and conditions of the licence agreement offered by Sisvel to its mobile communication program (MCP) patent pool are fair, reasonable and non-discriminatory (FRAND).
  • Acting for TuneIn in litigation brought against it by Sony Music and Warner Music.
  • Advised Allwyn on the development and negotiation of the key technology and connectivity agreements that will be critical to the successful delivery of the UK National Lottery over the 10-year licence term.

Risk advisory > Data protection, privacy and cybersecurity Tier 1

The 'top-notch' team at Bird & Bird LLP is often retained by household names, including BT and Domino's Pizza, on large cross-border data protection mandates. The group is active across a wide range of sectors, including tech, media, pharmaceutical, healthcare and telecom. The practice's leadership is split between Ruth Boardman, who is highly regarded as 'an outstanding leader and well recognised and respected in the privacy field', and James Mullock, whose expertise spans GDPR compliance projects and data breach incidents. Gabriel Voisin has 'profound knowledge of data protection issues and always provides practical business-friendly advice' and is another key name alongside legal director Elizabeth Upton, who is well versed in GDPR compliance and international data transfers.

Practice head(s):

Ruth Boardman; James Mullock

Other key lawyers:

Gabriel Voisin; Elizabeth Upton; Alex Dixie; Alex Jameson; Katerina Tassi; Emma Drake

Testimonials

‘The B&B Privacy practice is top notch. Ruth Boardman is an outstanding leader and is very well recognised and respected in the privacy field. Ruth and the privacy team leadership have assembled very strong privacy team with experts located throughout the world and experience that ranges across a variety of industries. I will keep going back to B&B for their strategic thinking, connections in the privacy space and practical advice (for a very reasonable rate).’ 

‘I have worked with Elizabeth Upton for years and I will continue to seek out her practical guidance that works for a fast-paced and scaling tech company.’ 

‘Ruth Boardman is the most widely recognised and highly respected practitioner in the privacy legal world. She is a walking encyclopaedia on privacy matters, and she is always available to her clients. Her advice is sound and practical. She takes a risk-based approach and has the ability to simplify complex legal issues.’ 

‘Ruth Boardman, Alex Jameson and Katerina Tassi are all exceptional professionals. Their advice is thorough and practical, and they take great care to know the company to ensure that their guidance is tailored to the specific business needs. They’re also a pleasure to work with. They’re kind, responsive and empathetic. I would recommend Ruth’s team to any company.’ 

‘We have worked with Alex Dixie now for several years. He brings outstanding knowledge of the digital/AdTech industry and is able to take complex issues and break them down simply for a business audience whilst applying a commercial mindset to thinking through challenges.’ 

‘Great and responsive team with really unique and rare insight into the AdTech market from data privacy perspective.’

‘Gabriel Voisin has profound knowledge of data protection issues and always provides practical, business-friendly advice.’

‘Emma Drake is a great privacy lawyer with deep knowledge and her suggestions always contribute highly to the projects. Her understanding of the AdTech and marketing industry is also exceptional in comparison to the other privacy leaders in UK.’ 

Key clients

BT

Domino’s Pizza

Open X

Oxford University Press

The British Horseracing Authority

SAZKA Group

Work highlights

  • Acted for OpenX on a very high-profile investigation led by the Norwegian data protection authority between a dating app provider (Grindr) and its associated ad-tech players (including our client OpenX).
  • Advised Domino’s Pizza on GDPR and data protection in addition to conducting an audit of their operations, identifying gaps and implementing remediation actions.

TMT (technology, media and telecoms) > Franchising Tier 1

With sector specialisms in education, food and beverage, and retail, the 'excellent' team at Bird & Bird LLP is notably skilled at developing hybrid strategies to support the global expansion of leading brands. The team has continued to uphold its strong track-record in the market following former practice head Mark Abell's departure, with new head Graeme Payne drawing on his experience working with consumer-focused businesses to advise on the integration and management of multi-channel growth strategies. Franchising disputes specialist Victoria Hobbs regularly works with clients on pre-contractual disclosure documents, and advises on termination rights and clients' protection of trade secrets. Associate Nick Green is also recommended for his advice to clients on manufacturing, warehousing, and logistics arrangements, as well as software licensing and the supply of products and services.

Practice head(s):

Graeme Payne

Other key lawyers:

Testimonials

‘The team is extremely experienced and very practical in their approach, listening clearly to their client’s instructions, giving sound advice and not over complicating the process.’

‘Graeme Payne is an excellent lawyer, articulate with a common sense approach.’

‘The franchising team at Bird & Bird are excellent – the depth of their knowledge and expertise, combined with a practical commercial approach, makes them unique.’

‘We particularly work with Victoria Hobbs – her knowledge of franchising is superb, but in addition she has taken the time to understand our sector. She always responds quickly, with concise legal opinion but at the same time balances the commercial practicalities.

‘We work with Shelley Nadler – her knowledge of franchising and franchise agreements is superb, together with her knowledge and experience of our sector and her attention to detail.’

‘They’re open, honest and transparent with what needs to be done and how best to do it.’

Key clients

Home Instead

Stagecoach

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

Costa

IWG plc

Mothercare

Tortilla

AMT Coffee

BodyFit

EOS Worldwide

Work highlights

  • Advised IWG plc (formerly Regus plc) on their international franchising and licensing arrangements for many years, helping the business build and develop a comprehensive franchise offering across its multiple brands.
  • Advising Mothercare on the global supply chain and franchise arrangements, including negotiating franchise arrangements with key franchise partners in the Middle East, Russia, India and Asia-Pacific.
  • Advising AMT Coffee on a franchise partnership with Change Please charity, which would see the conversion of AMT Coffee outlets into Change Please franchise outlets.

TMT (technology, media and telecoms) > Intellectual property: patents (contentious and non-contentious) Tier 1

Bird & Bird LLP’s patent litigation team ‘brings cutting edge, innovative, and highly successful strategies’ to its offering, covering the full spectrum of technology issues across the biotechnology, life sciences, healthcare, engineering, chemical manufacturing, and related industries. The team maintains an excellent track record of acting in SEP and FRAND disputes, with Jane Mutimear and Richard Vary the key individuals in this space. The team is co-led by mechanical technology dispute expert Katharine Stephens and Robert Williams, whose recent instructions include multi-jurisdictional patent infringement and revocation claims in the UK, Germany and the US. Morag Macdonald is also a patent litigator of note, and Eleanor Root was recently engaged by a pharmaceuticals company in proceedings relating to an important cancer drug. Tom Snaith and Sally Shorthose are transactional IP experts, advising on several complex patent licensing matters, as well as providing M&A due diligence for several high-profile clients. Also of note is Christopher de Mauny, who was recently promoted to partner and regularly advises on matters in the life science, hi-tech, and sustainable technology industries.

Practice head(s):

Katharine Stephen; Robert Williams

Other key lawyers:

Testimonials

‘Speaking of IP in general and Patents in specific, Bird and Bird is the name that comes to mind for an innovative collaboration to answer complex problems.’

‘It brings cutting edge, innovative and highly successful strategies to the table. We have had the pleasure of working with Bird and Bird on globally-watched SEP and FRAND matters engendering landmarks and global precedents.’

‘The firm brings with it an unparalleled passion for tech which promises confidence and excellent results in litigation. Collaborating with Bird and Bird is always a wonderful experience.’

‘Team Bird and Bird comes with a vast cross-border knowledge and specialisation in the sector. It is one of the leaders in patent prosecution and litigation. Hence, working with the firm is always a pleasure.’

‘Team has great experience with patent litigation. Depth of talent among partners, and ability to coordinate closely with other Bird & Bird offices throughout Europe to handle multi-jurisdictional disputes very effectively.’

‘Neil Jenkins is highly experienced with all aspects of contentious matters. Very engaged in managing the case and responsive.’

‘Henry Elliott has a strong technical background.’

Key clients

Allergan

Anheuser-Busch InBev

Canon

Dexcom

Ericsson

Fisher & Paykel

Gilead

Honeywell International Inc

InterDigital

Nokia

Sisvel International

Teva Pharmaceuticals

Work highlights

  • Acting for InterDigital in multiple patent litigation actions against (i) Guangdong Oppo Mobile Telecommunications Corp., Ltd.; and (ii) Lenovo over five patents covering the 3G and 4G standard.
  • Acting for Nokia in patent infringement actions in the UK, India and Germany on three SEP patents, alleging infringement of its patents relating to 3G, 4G/LTE and 5G against Guangdong Oppo Mobile Telecommunications Corp., Ltd.
  • Acting for companies in the Dexcom Group in relation to multiple patent infringement and revocation claims brought by Abbott Laboratories in the UK High Court.

TMT (technology, media and telecoms) > Intellectual property: trade marks, copyright and design Tier 1

Bird & Bird LLP maintains of the largest pan-European IP practices, giving the group a strong international reach. The practice continues to advise on a number of high-value cross-border disputes and transactional matters, with an increasing amount of matters involving digital assets, rights, and artificial intelligence. The contentious arm of the practice is led by Peter Brownlow who enjoys a strong reputation as a notable trade mark litigator across a number of industries, recently including the retail, gaming and technology industries. Ewan Grist is also a litigation expert and recently represented clients in the fashion innovator spaces, while Rebecca O’Kelly-Gillard and Phil Sherrell are key contacts for copyright related issues and have been notably active in the music and cryptocurrency sectors. Sally Shorthose heads up the transactional arm of the IP practice; she and Tom Snaith are also go-to practitioners for hi-tech clients in IP-rich sectors.

Practice head(s):

Katharine Stephens; Rob Williams

Other key lawyers:

Peter Brownlow; Ewan Grist; Phil Sherrell; Rebecca O’Kelly Gillard; Tom Snaith; Mark Holah; Nick Aries; Katherine Stephens; Sally Shorthose; Richard McMorris; Tristan Sherliker; Tom Darvill; Emma Green; Hilary Atherton; Ning-Ning Li

Testimonials

‘Strong trade mark and IP strategy advice, in particular with international expansion.’

‘Emma Green is always very impressive and efficient.’

‘Strategic and commercially pragmatic advice has led to excellent outcomes for the Company in a recent trade mark dispute. Very reliable advice.’

‘I have very much enjoyed working with Hilary Atherton who is calm and clear.’

Key clients

CrossFit

Crypto Open Patent Alliance (COPA)

Epic Games

HanesBrands Inc

Kingfisher

Lidl

Made.com

Mattel

Merck KGaA

Monster Energy Company

Work highlights

  • Acting for the Crypto Open Patent Alliance (COPA) in high-profile litigation in relation to the ownership rights of Bitcoin.
  • Acting for Californian gaming tech company Voyetra Turtle Beach, Inc. and its UK subsidiary, Turtle Beach Europe Limited, in defending a trade mark infringement claim issued by ABP Technology Limited.
  • Represented Lidl in a complex passing off action brought by Philip Warren & Son Ltd relating to Lidl’s sale of meat products.

TMT (technology, media and telecoms) > IT and telecoms Tier 1

The ‘outstanding’ team at Bird & Bird LLP provides a global IT and telecoms offering for contentious and non-contentious matters. In the telecoms field, the team supports clients on the deployment of 5G, network infrastructure mandates including cable consortia agreements and construction and maintenance issues, and satellite projects. In the technology space, the group handles large-scale implementation projects in the financial services, defence, public and retail sectors, supporting digital transformations, and advises on new technologies. Mark Leach co-leads the technology transactions and international outsourcing practice groups and specialises in acting for both customers and suppliers. Ronald Hendrikx co-heads the technology and communications group with expertise in innovation projects for public and private sector clients – of particular note is his work on the adoption of smart metering in Britain. Graeme Maguire advises on international projects, as well as the M&A and financing aspects of technology mandates. Roger Bickerstaff advises on matters with a public sector component, while Jonathan Emmanuel assists clients with disruptive digital technology adoption, including cloud computing, blockchain, and agile software development matters. Ian Edwards is also key in digital transformation projects.

Practice head(s):

Testimonials

‘The team has great availability, responsiveness, pragmatism and exceptional sector knowledge.’

‘The Bird and Bird technology team are outstanding, personable and coherent. The work they provide is meticulous, delivered quickly and of the highest standard.’

‘The practice is pragmatic and has a commercially-sensitive approach to negotiations.’

‘Ian Edwards has exceptional sector knowledge which is applied brilliantly to produce pragmatic solutions. He always delivers and is more than a lawyer – he is a genuine adviser.’

‘Ian Edwards is sought after for the most high value and complex legal matters. He has unrivalled legal expertise in this area of work, provides excellent client service, is personable, genuine, has a sense of humour and is a pleasure to work with.’

‘Ian Edwards is definitely worth his fees and a lawyer of this calibre is appropriate for the most high value projects and cases.’

‘Ian Edwards has a pragmatic, constructive and commercially-sensitive approach to negotiations. He effectively builds relationships with all parties, which is ultimately conducive to a productive negotiation and furthering his client’s goals.’

Key clients

Arm

BT

CBAN

Colt Telecom

DocuSign

Gamma Communications

Nokia

Equinix, Inc

Microbit

TKMaxx

Nando’s

Work highlights

  • Advised Mitsubishi and Sisvel in a UK High Court claim against multiple defendants for a declaration that the terms and conditions of the licence agreement offered by Sisvel to its mobile communication program patent pool are fair, reasonable and non-discriminatory.
  • Acting for the Nokia group in two UK High Court claims against multiple defendants from the Oppo, OnePlus and Realme groups.
  • Advised Allwyn on the development and negotiation of the key technology and connectivity agreements that will be critical to the successful delivery of the UK National Lottery over the 10-year licence term.

TMT (technology, media and telecoms) > Media and entertainment (including media finance) Tier 1

Bird & Bird LLP is home to a large team centred around practice head Phil Sherrell, a renowned litigator in the content and brands space, and is deeply entrenched in several sectors of the broader media and entertainment industry. Will Deller heads up the firm's interactive entertainment division, whereas Richard McMorris leads the team in matters relating to broadcasting. The marketing side is led jointly by Craig Giles and Alex Dixie. Simon Fielder and Bryony Hurst head teams handling corporate issues in the space and social media respectively. Finally, Rebecca O’kelly-Gillard is a key contact for copyright issues.

Practice head(s):

Phil Sherrell; Will Deller; Richard McMorris; Simon Fielder; Bryony Hurst; Alex Dixie; Craig Giles; Rebecca O’Kelly-Gillard

Other key lawyers:

Robert Tuner; David Bintliff; Joss Hargrave; Bryony Hurst; Rob Turner; William Wortley

Testimonials

‘Great lawyers, detail-oriented, passionate about client service.’

‘The team is composed of very talented lawyers having long experience in the media/entertainment industry. They understand easily client needs and are proactive. They adapt to the client industry and its needs. They are time efficient and always meet deadlines.’

‘Due to the fact that they work closely with other B&B departments it is easy to work with them on large project with other legal issues (data protection, finance, for example). They are business and solution oriented. Very well connected with the industry and are aware of the latest technologies development, helping to understand new trends and technologies. Finally, billings are fair.’

‘I worked closely with Robert Tuner team from the London office. They were fantastic. They helped me on some various projects. The main difference with other law firm partners and associates is the fact that all individuals I worked with at Bird & Bird are business oriented. I think it is the specificity of this firm. As an in-house legal counsel I am looking for business solutions.’

Key clients

Epic Games

ICE

TuneIn

DAZN

Activision Blizzard

Bloomberg

The Football Association

Lions

Glassdoor

B&Q

Work highlights

  • Acting for TuneIn in the litigation brought against them by Sony Music and Warner Music.
  • Advising the Football Association on its broadcast deals for The FA Cup, including with BBC and ITV, and agreements for The FA Women’s Super League with Sky and women’s international matches with ITV.
  • Advising Metaframes on all aspects relating to its content engagement strategy and corporate funding.

TMT (technology, media and telecoms) > Sport Tier 1

Bird & Bird LLP’s dedicated sports group handles the full breadth of work in the sector, encompassing contentious and regulatory issues as well as non-contentious sports matters. The practice acts for international federations, national governing bodies, integrity units, event organisers, public agencies, broadcasters, sponsors and agencies across professional sports. Practice head Jonathan Taylor KC advises on a wide range of issues for sports-based clients, including commercial disputes, investigations and challenges to regulatory decisions. Max Duthie is instructed on discipline and anti-doping, ticketing, brand protection, player contracts, sponsorship and dispute resolution matters, while Craig Giles specialises in media rights. Andy Danson focuses on commercial agreements, with specific expertise in the gambling sector. From a transactional perspective, Robert Turner and Joss Hargrave are the key names to note, with the latter offering considerable experience in the sports finance sphere. Richard Bush and Lauren Pagé support clients across regulatory and contentious sporting issues. Associates Will Deller and Emma Drake are further vital team members.

Practice head(s):

Jonathan Taylor KC

Testimonials

‘The legal advice, guidance and support that was provided by the Sports Team at Bird & Bird on what was a time pressured and highly sensitive case was excellent.’

‘Richard Bush inherited a most difficult brief and was not only able to quickly grasp the key elements, but was able to deconstruct the issues and build a strategy to achieve a positive resolution for all sides. Consequently he has become our organisations ‘go to’ solicitor!’

‘Robert Turner’s combination of excellent commercial knowledge of the sector, legal and inter-personal skills helped us close a complex transaction in short order. Would highly recommend.’

‘Bird & Bird continue to be at the very top table of legal advisors in the sport space.’

‘The breadth and depth of knowledge and experience, the quality of their written advice, legal briefs and advocation make Bird & Bird’s sports practice unique.’

‘Jonathan Taylor is peerless in his field. He is a microcosm of the broader practice, in that his knowledge and experience allow him to turn his hand to a huge range of sports law issues.’

‘Craig Giles has excellent industry knowledge and is great to work with. Will Deller is a leading associate with great knowledge of new technologies such as NFTs.’

‘Lauren Page has developed significant experience and expertise of the highest standard across a range of subjects.’

Key clients

World Athletics

Six Nations Rugby

The British & Irish Lions

The English Football League

The International Paralympic Committee

DAZN

Formula E

1/ST (Stronach)

International Tennis Federation

The Football Association

Work highlights

  • Defended decision at the Court of Arbitration for Sport for World Athletics not to permit double amputee sprinter Blake Leeper and single amputee long-jumper Markus Rehm compete in the same classification as  other athletes. In both cases this was based on detailed expert evidence that the carbon fibre prostheses used provide an artificial advantage over other athletes.
  • Advised Six Nations Rugby Limited on the private equity investment by CVC.
  • Advised the British & Irish Lions on all aspects of their tour to South Africa.

Corporate and commercial > Commercial contracts Tier 2

Corporate and commercial > Customs and excise Tier 2

Bird & Bird LLP's broad practice works with clients from a variety of industry sectors but has particularly close ties with businesses in the retail and consumer sectors. The team, which regularly advises on investigations, has a broad contentious excise duty practice that covers 'sin' taxes including alcohol, tobacco and gambling. International tax practice head Andy Brown, who leads the team, regularly advises on Missing Trader Intra-Community VAT fraud and excise duty fraud investigations. He is supported by a team that also includes the 'hard-working and practicalChris Young.

Practice head(s):

Andy Brown

Other key lawyers:

Chris Young; Jennifer Southern

Testimonials

‘Strong team of hard-working solicitors with good technical knowledge and fully focused on the needs of the client.’

‘Chris Young – hard-working, practical and good understanding of principles. Excellent on litigation, advice and transactional work.’

 

Key clients

B&M Retail

Kammac plc

WF&L

Push Energy

Sporting Wholesale

CVR Global Offshore Limited

Work highlights

  • Advised a leading variety goods retailer on its appeals against multi-million pound excise duty assessments and related penalties.
  • Advised a leading alcohol wholesaler on ground-breaking, multi-million pound claims for overpaid excise duty relating to post duty point dilution.
  • Advised a household name in soft drinks on its liability under the Soft Drinks Industry Levy.

Corporate and commercial > M&A: lower mid-market deals, £50m-£500m Tier 2

Widely praised for its international reach and strong sense of inter-office collaboration, Bird & Bird LLP‘s corporate team possesses considerable expertise across the tech, media, energy, and financial services sectors. Practice chair Matt Bonass forms the cornerstone of the group’s energy and utilities offering, working with both conventional and renewable providers as well as mining companies and electricity operators. Neil Blundell is focused chiefly on technology deals, where he advises a varied mix of startups and multinationals on strategic transactions. Simon Allport‘s expertise is concentrated in the aerospace and aviation, life sciences, and financial services arenas, whereas Simon Fielder has most recently been engaged on big-ticket, transatlantic acquisitions in the manufacturing and communications sectors. Corporate venture capital and startup specialist Mark Rundall is rated for his ‘technically excellent’ approach to financing transactions. Senior associate Hannah Fletcher is most frequently engaged by the firm’s technology, media, and entertainment client base, while the ‘outstanding‘ fellow senior associate George Mason chiefly advises entities from the worlds of automotive manufacturing and renewable infrastructure. City Code M&A specialist Nick O’Donnell joined the team from Baker McKenzie in August 2021.

Practice head(s):

Matt Bonass

Testimonials

‘The team’s reach and capability is a distinct advantage for international clients operating both domestically and overseas. They understand the client’s commercial objectives and get the deal done with the minimum of fuss. A pleasure to work with.’

‘Mark Rundall is a steady hand on the tiller and a comforting presence for clients – he’s technically excellent and able to influence those around him. He works hard for his clients and is able to quickly assemble the right team for the job.

‘George Mason is technically excellent, highly communicative, understands client’s commercial drivers, and is outstanding in negotiating and focussing on getting deals done. George is a calming presence – even in the most tense of negotiations. He is solution-oriented and a pleasure to work with.’

‘We were looking for a firm to help us navigate an acquisition. We had little experience in all the aspects of buying another company. The team and Bird and Bird guided us through every aspect from negotiation of the SPA and deal execution, tax, HR, Commercial Contracts and Legal DD. Every member of the team were fantastic, responsive and extremely professional. It gave us confidence that were not going to miss any important parts of the process and made the whole deal cycle devoid of stress.’

‘We worked with a number of individuals and each and everyone of them was extremely kind, giving of their time and expertise, and tireless in their work ethic.’

‘Good co-operation between their offices across Europe – so you genuinely feel like you are dealing with a single, unified team when working on cross-border deals.

‘Pragmatic approach – finding the right balance between protecting our interests and getting a deal done.’

‘Simon Allport is our key contact and is extremely responsive as well as being a technically excellent lawyer and project manager.’

Key clients

Gamma Communications

SportnCo (formerly France Pari)

Databarracks

Six Nations Rugby

Ad-Lib.io

BW Energy Storage Systems Pte. Ltd

Tempur Sealey

Iron Mountain

Shackleton Holdings

Accession Capital Partners

DXC

Acendre Technologies

TBC Bank Group Plc

MSA Safety

Tech Mahindra

Investec

Work highlights

  • Advised Six Nations Rugby on its a long-term strategic partnership with a £365m investment from CVC Capital Partners.
  • Advised Tempur Sealy on due diligence and disclosure in relation to its acquisition of Dreams.
  • Advised the major shareholders of Ad-Lib.io on its acquisition by ad-tech company Smartly.io for approximately $100m.

Dispute resolution > Tax litigation and investigations Tier 2

The contentious tax team at Bird & Bird LLP assists clients throughout the full cycle of a dispute from providing pre-emptive compliance advice to making disclosures to relevant authorities and bringing civil litigation. The team deals with tax authorities in relation to all types of issues including transfer pricing and diverted profit matters. Andy Brown heads the practice and specialises in cross-border disputes while Chris Young is well-versed in areas such as money laundering.

Practice head(s):

Andy Brown

Other key lawyers:

Testimonials

‘This team is unique because it has a wealth of experience in this field and can draw upon a diverse experience of inter connected and related practice areas. I have worked with the team on matters that have included internal investigations, civil/criminal cross over cases, as well as matters that have progressed to criminal prosecutions by HMRC. The team therefore sets itself apart from its competitors.’

‘Andy Brown heads the team and is impressive. He has vast experience and is particularly well organised and is able to break down complex issues into their most important parts. In addition, he is adept at providing practical advice to the firm’s clients. The associates in the team are high level, notably Chris Young.’

‘They are sophisticated and practical at the same time which is relatively rare in their field. Cross border tax disputes and remediation in the context of M&A is normally the preserve of the Big 4. This team however is very adept at creating a process and structure which will help a deal happen when tax might otherwise have caused it to abort.’

‘Andy Brown and Chris Young are a good double act. However Andy Brown is stand out. I would happily bring him in where there is a tricky tax problem which may need remediation in multiple jurisdictions to save a deal. Good value, practical, but technical enough for the nerds in the room.’

‘Strong team of hard-working solicitors with good technical knowledge and fully focused on the needs of the client.’

‘Chris Young is hard-working, practical and good understanding of principles. Excellent on litigation, advice and transactional work.’

‘Very experienced team under the leadership of well-respected Partner Andy Brown who are well able to handle all types of tax dispute resolution work with tax authorities. Particularly impressive in respect of being able to bring other specialist to the table (VAT, Transfer Pricing, IT specialists, Forensic Accountants etc.) and manage disputes across multiple jurisdictions with a strong network of local experts both within and outside Bird & Bird. Andy is able to “open the door” to the impressive cross firm cross geographic capabilities of Bird & Bird, but is not afraid to pull in subject matter experts outside the firm when the case requires external input.’

‘Andy Brown is my go-to Partner for tax dispute questions and complex disclosure projects. He combines deep technical skills with strong project management capabilities and stays cool under pressure. I have personally seen him navigate and resolve complex and at times very difficult meetings where emotions were high, and participants had very conflicting objectives. He is almost always able to propose a resolution that all parties can eventually agree, however intransigent initial positions appear or difficult the case may be.’

Key clients

B&M Retail

Sporting Wholesale Limited

W F & L Limited

Push Energy

CVR Global Offshore Limited

Work highlights

  • Advised a multinational global leader in real time advertising technology and programmatic media trading on resolving its global tax risks with an estimated value of $102m.
  • Advised the senior management of a manufacturing business through the contractual disclosure facility for deliberate overclaiming monies under the coronavirus job retention scheme.
  • Advised a UK subsidiary of a South Korean business in relation to recovery of over £20m of input VAT and the zero-rating of luxury fashion goods to South Korea.

Employment > Senior executives Tier 2

Bird & Bird LLP provides an ‘excellent team which covers all levels of senior executives’, particular strengths being acting for senior partners negotiating entry or exit from hedge funds, partnerships and LLPs, as well as advising on a range of complex remuneration structures. Contentious work includes discrimination and whistleblowing claims in the Employment Tribunal and High Court cases involving team moves, fiduciary duties, bonus and breach of contract claims. Ian Hunter has experience of C-suite level cases and spearheads the practice. Key names in the team are Tim Spillane, who specialises in advising executives and partners in the financial and professional services industries on high-value and sensitive cases; and legal director Penny Hunt, whose expertise covers senior executive terminations and disputes, large-scale redundancies and complex disciplinary matters.

Practice head(s):

Ian Hunter

Other key lawyers:

Tim Spillane; Elizabeth Lang; Penny Hunt; Jon Goldsworthy

Testimonials

‘Tim Spillane is a top choice for senior executive work. He is incredibly calm in a crisis and approaches matters constructively, keeping a resolute eye on his client’s interests. He is very skilled at walking the fine line between advocating his client’s position robustly while not antagonising chances for resolution.’

‘An excellent team which covers all levels of senior executives. The team recognises the wider tactical issues which apply in executive cases including shareholder agreements, confidentiality deeds, unfair prejudice petitions and ET proceedings.’

‘The team is headed by Liz Lang who builds extremely strong personal relationships with her clients. She takes the time to understand their goals and then manages expectations as to the likelihood of success. Once a strategy is set then Liz will not rest until the client’s realistic goals are achieved. She is tenacious but also measured and pleasant in dealings with her opponents. She is ably supported by Penny Hunt and Jon Goldsworthy who mirror her strong client relationships and attention to detail.’

‘I worked with Elizabeth Lang and found her very supportive and extremely knowledgeable about employment law.’

‘Excellent employment law knowledge. Calm pragmatic advice – reassuring when needed, but not afraid to be candid to focus my mind. Always had a clear strategy and plan, our legal position always felt ‘tight’ – whilst the other side kept making mistakes. Moved quickly and decisively when needed, or when the opportunity arose to gain an advantage.’

‘Liz Lang – was perfect for the situation. She showed great emotional intelligence and empathy when I was stressed or worried, but also gave clear, simple, unambiguous guidance when the situation warranted it – she was a lot of fun too.’

‘Elizabeth Lang was very responsive, gave excellent advice, not just on legal matters but also employed smart contract negotiation techniques achieving great results while always staying respectful, professional, diplomatic.’

Industry focus > Retail and consumer Tier 2

The retail and consumer practice at Bird & Bird LLP comprises multiple sub-teams spanning the food and beverage sector, the hotel, hospitality and leisure industry and the luxury, fashion and retail sector. Graeme Payne heads up the team; his practice focuses on advising retail and consumer businesses on both domestic and international growth expansion strategies. The team's expertise also includes sustainability, green advertising, technology and wellness strategies. E-commerce issues are also at the forefront of the group's focus, as the team advises on subscription terms, terms of sales, refund policies and social media influencer agreements. Ian Edwards advises on digital transformation projects, Robert Turner is a key contact for commercial and regulatory advice, and Victoria Hobbs handles disputes relating to franchising, licensing and distribution agreements.

Practice head(s):

Graeme Payne

Other key lawyers:

Testimonials

‘The Bird & Bird retail and consumer team works very well together and thus provides exceptional services.’

‘B&B has such a wide-ranging base of extremely gifted solicitors across so many disciplines.’

‘Rob Turner and Sophie Stoneham are a great time – extremely responsive, direct in their advice, and able to manage an intense workload to deliver a great work product.’

Key clients

C&A

Snug

Marks & Spencer

Tempur Sealy

Lidl

HURR

Mothercare

Clean Beauty Co

Rothy’s

Lids UK

Work highlights

  • Advised Mothercare on its manufacturing, supply chain and distribution arrangements across multiple jurisdictions.
  • Advised Tempur Sealy on due diligence and disclosure in relation to its acquisition of Dreams, the bed and mattress retailer which operates more than 200 stores across the UK.
  • Acted for sustainable fashion rental platform HURR, the first peer-to-peer wardrobe rental platform, by providing strategic trade mark portfolio advice.

Projects, energy and natural resources > Power (including electricity, nuclear and renewables) Tier 2

The energy and utilities practice at Bird & Bird LLP has expertise across a number of areas including renewables, energy management, electric transportation and waste to energy. The team are frequently instructed in M&A mandates while also being trusted advisors to renewables funds across the whole lifecycle of projects. Matt Bonass is experienced in the solar sector while Elizabeth Reid advises developers, investors and EPC contractors on all aspects of a renewable project. Michael Rudd is well-versed in the water and climate change sectors.

Practice head(s):

Matt Bonass; Michael Rudd; Elizabeth Reid

Other key lawyers:

Joshua Partridge

Testimonials

‘Bird & Bird are highly responsive and work together with the client to make sure the client is looked after. They work across their different offices in different jurisdictions seamlessly, providing a “one-stop-shop” capability.’

‘Commercial awareness and adaptability. Given the nature of our business, decisions get changed very frequently, which means additional or new drafting. Bird & Bird have been excellent at adapting to our constantly changing circumstances.’

Key clients

Canadian Solar

CNIC/Huaneng

Island Green Power

Padero Solar/PS Renewables

BW Energy Storage Systems Pte. Ltd

Stark Energy

Amp Solar

IM2 Solar

Solarig

Bia Power

Hereys

Bluefield Partners

Next Energy

Reichmuth

Landsvirkjun

Work highlights

  • Advised Canadian Solar pursuant to a project development agreement between Candian and Windel Capital to develop up to 1.4 GW of solar projects.
  • Advised Padero Solar on a joint venture for a large solar project in partnership with EDF.
  • Advised Bluefield Partners on most of their utility PPAs.

TMT (technology, media and telecoms) > Fintech Tier 2

Bird & Bird LLP is recommended for its work in payments, crowdfunding, open banking and blockchain. The practice often handles cross-border corporate, commercial and regulatory matters, including data protection issues. Practice head Trystan Tether focuses on electronic banking and financial services, cryptocurrency and payment mechanism mandates, while co-head Jonathan Emmanuel advises on a variety of technology and commercial projects, often assisting clients with disruptive digital technology adoption. Christian Bartsch is noted for his work on emerging and disruptive technologies, and senior financial services regulatory specialist Gavin Punia deals with the regulation of digital wealth management services, payment services and electronic money products. Senior associate Christina Fleming joined from Charles Russell Speechlys LLP in 2021, offering expertise in blockchain, open banking, payments technology, cryptoassets, cryptocurrency, NFTs and open source software.

Practice head(s):

Trystan Tether; Jonathan Emmanuel

Testimonials

‘Unique understanding of the payments industry (PSD2) and the fintech sector. Strong technological understanding.’

‘The team has a strict focus on the fintech sector. This provides them with deep industry knowledge, which makes them invaluable.’

‘Jonathan Emmanuel is a very engaged partner. He is always helpful and on hand for balanced and commercial advice.’

‘Gavin Punia provides excellent regulatory advice. He has a fantastic overview of the fintech sector and his advice is always concise and on point.’

 

Key clients

Bitcoin developers

Mastercard

Jobandtalent

Crypto Open Patent Alliance (COPA)

TransferTo

EMPCorp

Work highlights

  • Instructed in mid-2021 following a competitive tender process run by COPA to handle its litigation in relation to the ownership rights of Bitcoin.
  • Acted for TransferTo, a cross-border mobile payment company, in connection with claims brought against it by an investment advisor regarding sums alleged to be due and payable under an investment advisory agreement.

TMT (technology, media and telecoms) > PATMA: Trade mark attorneys Tier 2

Bird & Bird LLP’s team of attorneys and solicitors operate as a ‘buttoned-up, finely-oiled machine’, and remain active in the filing of UK and EU trade marks, as well as acting in opposition proceedings before the UKIPO. In the summer of 2022, the firm opened a new office in Dublin, which will host the EU operations of the practice’s client roster, including innovative enterprises, in addition to companies in the technology and life sciences sectors. Praised as ‘excellent in providing complex strategic advice in relation to trade mark portfolios’, dual qualified solicitor and trade mark attorney Mark Holah jointly leads the team alongside Allan Poulter, who has particular expertise in brand management matters. The practice, which is well-placed to leverage the firm’s international footprint to manage global trade mark portfolios and multi-jurisdictional disputes, has demonstrable experience in the retail, consumer goods, sports and gaming sectors.

Practice head(s):

Mark Holah; Allan Poulter

Other key lawyers:

Christine Danos; Emma Green;

Testimonials

‘The team are a very buttoned-up, finely-oiled machine that covers our needs globally. The work is generally first rate and the fees are reasonable.’

‘Ciara Hughes might as well be a member of my team, such is her understanding of us as a client, our needs, and the often times highly compressed timelines to which we are working.’

‘You are dealing with a firm which has a truly integrated global approach and understanding of trade marks. The quality of the service the London office has provided has been exceptional.’

‘The team works very closely with the client and ensures that they fully understand its client’s needs and objectives. They are very friendly and work like an extension of our in-house legal team. The team is very knowledgeable and have access to a large international network, so that they are able to advise on IP matters in any jurisdictions we might be interested in. This is very helpful as they are effectively a “one-stop shop” for IP matters.’

‘Mark Holah effectively manages the client relationship with us. He is very responsive and efficient in ensuring that our needs are met. In addition, he is excellent in providing complex strategic advice in relation to trade mark portfolios.’

‘Our principle contact is Emma Green, who is terrific. Very responsible and responsive. She has a good understanding of our business and gives very nuanced, practical and commercial advice.’

Key clients

Allianz

Belmond

Daily Mail Group

Epic Games

Fabergé

Fiorucci

DAZN

Kingfisher Group (B&Q, Screwfix)

Marv Films (Kingsman Franchise)

Monster Energy Company

Philip Morris International (PMI)

Qatar Airways Group

Simba Sleep

Sunday Riley

YouGov

Work highlights

  • Assisting Allwyn with its brand arrangements as part of its bid to replace Camelot as the operators of the UK National Lottery.
  • Managing the trade mark portfolio of Epic Games in Europe, as well as countries in the Middle East and Asia.
  • Supporting Sunday Riley in relation to trade mark matters outside of the US, such as conducting an international trade mark filing programme.

Transport > Aviation Tier 2

Bird & Bird LLP has ‘comprehensive knowledge of the aviation sector’ with experience in advising clients on the trends impacting the field such as OEM failures, Covid-19 and digitalisation. The team also advises airlines, lessors and financiers on sustainability, cybersecurity and data issues affecting the aviation industry. Leo Fattorini heads the aviation practice while Paul Briggs is now a consultant who continues to act for airlines and lessors. Sophie Eyre specialises in aviation disputes, while Stuart Cairns leads the international airports team.

Practice head(s):

Leo Fattorini

Testimonials

‘Excellent work product and experts in their field.’

‘Solid understanding of current industry issues.’

‘Always takes the client’s position in a very pragmatic commercial approach. Ahead of the game in anticipating what the client wishes to achieve.’

‘Sophie Eyre is a sharp international aviation litigator with the ability to understand complex problems.’

‘Comprehensive knowledge of the aviation sector. Paul Briggs is particularly incisive and adept at getting to the nub of an issue.’

‘Excellent aviation and M&A knowledge, very quick to respond.’

‘We have a very unusual business profile with odd requirements and BB have always been able to respond and provide an answer or recommended approach.’

‘Each of the partners we deal with is on top of their topic, is creative in their solutions and always responsive even though we are relatively small account for them.’

Key clients

Air Arabia

Airbus Group

Aquila Air Traffic Management

Kuwait Airways

Bristow Helicopters

Centralny Port Komunikacyjny

dnata

Emirates

Fiji Airways

Flynas

Goshawk

Irish Aviation Authority

Isavia

John Menzies Group

North Air

Qatar Airways

Travelport

Vistajet

GHZ I Air Limited

Kadeco

Pangiam

Work highlights

  • Acted for Cathay Pacific in the case on contract interpretation and implied terms of good faith arising out of a long-term engine maintenance contract.
  • Advised Isavia Iceland on the airport’s $1-2bn expansion programme.
  • Advised Centralny Port Komunikcacjny (CPK) on the largest new airport development in mainland Europe, The Solidarity Transport Hub (STH).

Corporate and commercial > Equity capital markets – small-mid cap Tier 3

Bird & Bird LLP’s experience runs the gamut of capital markets transactions across leading exchanges including the AIM market and the Main Market of the London Stock Exchange. The firm handles IPOs, secondary fundraisings, public and private takeovers and restructurings, advising on the company and bank side. Another key area of expertise for the practice is corporate governance and ESG related advice. Clive Hopewell spearheads the team and focuses on equity financings and IPOs, with particular strength advising on IPOs for companies already listed on a foreign stock exchange.

Practice head(s):

Clive Hopewell

Other key lawyers:

Simon Allport; Sophie Eyre; Nick O’Donnell

Testimonials

‘The teams we have worked with have always be fit-for-purpose in that the right expertise has been brought in with no excess. Team meetings have been very well managed and reported on.’

‘As with any professional firm, it is the individuals that you work with that really decide whether you work with that firm or not. We have dealt with 2 senior individuals – Simon Allport and Sophie Eyre – both of whom have provided us with a superb service in different legal areas. Both have taken the time to really understand the needs of our business and have given practical and succinct advice.’

‘Nick O’Donnell provides an excellent service – combining technical expertise and experience with an easy charm, even in the most stressed of situations. His interpersonal skills give him the ability to give hard advice in a way that is constructive and easy to accept – and provides a practical way forward. Highly recommended.’

Key clients

Cloudbreak Discovery plc

JKX Oil & Gas

Strand Hanson Limited

Albion VCT

Serum Life Science Ltd

Joh. Berenberg Gossler & Co KG

WH Ireland Limited

Tirupati Graphite plc

Tekcapital Plc

DP Poland plc

Canaccord Genuity Limited

Liberum Capital plc

Westminster Group Plc

Work highlights

  • Assisted Imperial X plc (renamed Cloudbreak Discovery plc) on its reverse takeover and admission of its enlarged ordinary share capital to the standard listing segment of the Official List of the Financial Conduct Authority and to trading on the London Stock Exchange’s Main Market.
  • Advised long-standing client Strand Hanson Limited alongside H&P Advisors Limited, and VSA Capital Group Limited on Tungsten West’s IPO and admission to the AIM market.
  • Advised JKX Oil & Gas PLC on its delisting from the Main Market of the London Stock Exchange, $97.5m reduction of capital and helped the company effect an off-market buyback tender offer.

Crime, fraud and licensing > Fraud: civil Tier 3

Bird & Bird LLP is regularly sought out by corporations, professionals and individuals from a variety of industry sectors. The team has particular expertise in regulatory investigations in cases of bribery and corruption, false accounting, fraud, and market abuse. Practice head Sophie Eyre is knowledgeable in ancillary relief applications to preserve documents and assets, and in trust issues arising from fraud claims. Senior associate Simona Peter has experience acting for claimants and defendants.

Practice head(s):

Sophie Eyre

Other key lawyers:

Testimonials

‘With the team, you are in very good hands. They area smart, inventive/out of the box and responsive.’

‘Sophie Eyre: a pleasure to work with, smart and creative lawyer.’

‘Simona Peter: good lawyer, very responsive.’

Key clients

UK Global Healthcare Ltd

Chenco Chemical Engineering and Consulting GmbH

Consulum

Work highlights

  • Successfully advised a group of Bitcoin developers in the Tulip Trading Ltd v Bitcoin Association for Bitcoin SV (BSV) and others judgment.
  • Acting for a UK Global Healthcare Limited in proceedings – UK Global Heathcare Limited v IGC International Pte Limited in relation to PPE supply contracts including fraud in the supply chain.
  • Acting for the trustee of a Cayman Island Trust in the context of a high-profile fraud litigation commenced by PJSC National Bank Trust.

Employment > Employers Tier 3

Bird & Bird LLP continues to service multi-national corporations operating in its specialist sectors of technology, life sciences, retail and aviation. Ian Hunter draws on his 30 year experience to advise employers on the full range of non-contentious matters, international employment mandates and litigation. He and Elizabeth Lang have been particularly busy supporting clients on job retention schemes, cross-border restructuring, vaccine roll-out and union matters. Tim Spillane routinely advises on senior-level terminations and restrictive covenant/trade secrets cases, alongside whistleblowing and discrimination disputes. Alison Dixon is noted for her deep expertise on employment aspects of commercial transactions.

Practice head(s):

Ian Hunter

Testimonials

‘The employment team has been excellent and all of our matters are appropriately staffed with the right level of seniority.’

‘The strengths of the team are their availability and very good tactical advice which helps with sensitive employment matters.’

‘Tim Spillane is clearly very experienced in the tactical issues of employment law and gives us very good practical advice.’

‘Very dedicated and great service – excellent sectoral knowledge, particularly with unions.’

‘Liz Lang – exceptional support and very effective.’

‘Tim Spillane is clearly very experienced in the tactical issues of employment law and gives us very good practical advice. Rob Collier-Wright has very good attention to detail on drafting issues and has re-drafted a number of our model employment documents.’

Key clients

Jet2.com

SUEZ Recycling and Recovery UK

Inmarsat

British & Irish Lions

Gulf International Bank

Industry focus > Emerging markets Tier 3

Bird & Bird LLP's finance and financial regulation practice frequently advises conventional commercial banks, alternative lenders, special opportunity lenders and development banks on a wide variety transactions, including many in emerging markets. It leverages its expertise in aviation and asset finance, energy finance, Islamic finance and sports finance to assist both lenders and borrowers on complex matters in the CEE, the CIS and Southeast Europe, North Africa and Asia. Lead partner Andrew Hallgarth, who has been advising on emerging markets for some 25 years ago, acted for long-term client EBRD on the creation and growth of North African retail property investor and developer Aradei Capital, and recently assisted it with the admission of a key strategic investor, a partial exit and arrangements to restructure shareholder rights facilitating a December 2021 IPO.

Practice head(s):

Andrew Hallgarth

Work highlights

  • Further to the firm’s long-term advice to EBRD in connection with the creation and growth of Aradei Capital (an investor and developer of North African retail property), it advised on the admission of a key strategic investor (the South African Government Employees Pension Fund), a partial exit and arrangements to restructure shareholder rights facilitating the December 2021 IPO.

Insurance > Product liability: defendant Tier 3

Bird & Bird LLP‘s product compliance and liability group offers a cradle to grave service for clients, providing commercial and regulatory advice on design, testing, labelling, and safety for clients in the UK and EU. This support is bolstered by the team’s close relationship with the firm’s tech, automotive and retail sector groups. Jonathan Speed and senior associate Russell Williamson are the product liability specialists in London who are part of the wider dispute resolution team.

Practice head(s):

Jonathan Speed; Russell Williamson

Work highlights

  • Advised a leading UK satellite television service in relation to a business-critical product safety issue arising out of the supply of defective power supply units (as forming part of a TV set-top-box system).
  • Advised a global technology and network company in relation to product liability and safety issues arising from the supply of a radio receiver device which (owing to non-conformance with dynamic frequency selection requirements) could cause interference with weather and national radar systems.
  • Advised a multinational home improvement company in connection with the launch of an online marketplace, which facilitates the sale of products from third party vendors to customer purchasers. Specifically, we advised the client on product liability, safety and insurance issues arising from this new business model.

Public sector > Healthcare Tier 3

Bird & Bird LLP‘s life sciences and healthcare team focuses on five key areas within the sector: international healthcare projects, data protection, public/private sector partnerships, investment and transformational projects. This is supported by the team’s strong capabilities across life sciences, IP, telecoms and data protection. Simon Shooter heads the international commercial group and regularly advises healthcare providers on operations in emerging markets. David Ayers has extensive experience running largescale transformational projects, a specialism shared with senior associate Ben Woodfield.

Practice head(s):

Mark Hilton; Simon Shooter; Sally Shorthose

Other key lawyers:

David Ayers; Stuart Cairn; Ben Woodfield

Key clients

Guy’s & St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust Group

NHS London Procurement Partnership

NLSH – New Landspitali Hospital, Reyjavik

UK Global Healthcare Limited

Omnicell Group

Albion Capital

BGI Genomics Group

Work highlights

  • Advised Guy’s & St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust in relation to several IT contracts (both existing and new), supporting the pooling of data in a data warehouse. Also assisted with a number of queries in relation to other high-value / critical IT contracts.
  • Acting for UK Global Healthcare Ltd in the Commercial Court to recover the sums owed to them under contract by their supplier in relation to the failed supply of PPE equipment.
  • Advising NLSH (New Landspitali Hospital, Reyjavik) on procurement matters relating to the construction of a new university hospital campus in Reykjavik.

Employment > Immigration Tier 4

The business immigration team at Bird & Bird LLP sits within the firm’s HR services group, and provides broad corporate support from initial sponsorship applications through to management and compliance advice, and mock audits, with a particular focus on clients offering innovative tech solutions. The practice is headed up by senior associate Yuichi Sekine, who is dual-qualified in California and England and Wales, and advises clients from start-ups to multinationals on a range of complex immigration issues. Jonathan Goldsworthy, who came up to partner in May 2022, is also noted, with niche expertise in the sports sector.

Practice head(s):

Yuichi Sekine

Other key lawyers:

Testimonials

‘Efficient and timely responses. Always going above and beyond to support their client. Extremely personable. Experts in their fields and knowledgeable on all questions. Excellent service provided to all stakeholders within the business.’

‘Bird & Bird are highly knowledgeable, personable, and quick to respond. They check the 3 primary boxes for any immigration consulting. When using other firms I’ve found that no question is too small for Bird & Bird and they will go the extra mile to truly ensure that the employer understands the liability of hiring, and sponsoring and will also provide their advice on how best to proceed. This is extremely beneficial when we, as a company, are unsure on the best route and path to proceed with.’

‘Very helpful and efficient. The process is laid out clearly and followed up rigorously.’

‘I’ve had the pleasure of partnering with Yuichi Sekine. Yuichi provides an indispensable level of service and always puts the client first. No matter what the request is, I always feel in safe hands with Yuichi, and can trust his judgement and guidance on any situation. The firm’s time management stands out the most. I don’t think I’ve ever had to wait longer that a working day to receive a response and each response is thoughtful and contains all of the relevant information needed.’

‘They truly care. While this is a generic statement, globally, the Bird & Bird representatives are truly invested in the success and I never have to think twice about reaching out.’

‘I worked with Yuichi Sekine and really enjoyed the cooperation. He is competent, reliable, and fast to respond.’

Projects, energy and natural resources > Infrastructure Tier 4

The infrastructure team at Bird & Bird LLP offers clients ‘expert knowledge and good communication skills’. Leaning on its global network for support, the firm is active on a range of cross-border mandates and draws on multidisciplinary expertise from real estate, construction, procurement, regulatory and commercial practitioners. Practice head Stuart Cairns has considerable experience advising large government clients on multi-billion-pound projects and has expertise in public sector and utilities procurement. Claire Gamage recently left for Mills & Reeve LLP.

Practice head(s):

Stuart Cairns

Other key lawyers:

Henna Malik

Testimonials

‘Highly professional with extremely good expert knowledge of the subject and good communication skills’.

‘Stuart Cairns had expert knowledge of the matter and the skills to explain complex matters to a diverse group. He was highly committed in the process’.

‘The perception was always that ours was the most important project despite that fact that it was relatively small’.

‘Bird & Bird has the capability to call upon expertise across a wide spectrum of areas and put forward individuals with vast knowledge and relevant experience’.

‘This practice brings international expertise and experience to national projects’.

‘Stuart Cairns is the most knowledgeable and experienced partner’.

‘The individuals are highly professional and have an excellent knowledge of their specialist areas of law’.

Key clients

Kadeco

Centralny Port Komunikacyjny on the Solidarity Transport Hub, Poland

Isavia (Keflavik Airport, Reykjavik), Iceland

Icelandic Roads and Coastal Administration

Surrey County Council

Surrey Waste

University of Limerick Strategic Development Zone

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

Suffolk County Council

Pangiam

NLSH ohf.

Landsvirkjun

Sazka

Hartfordshire County Council

Phoenix Natural Gas Limited

BT

Work highlights

  • Assisted Kadeco in the procurement of a Multi-Disciplinary Team to support Kadeco’s development of a masterplan for the 55km2 area surrounding Keflavik Airport in Iceland.
  • Advising the University of Limerick (UL) Strategic Development Zone to deliver Europe’s newest University town with academic and industrial accommodation, commercial developments and living accommodation for 22,000 residents.
  • Advising Surrey County Council on the design and management of a complex procurement process to award a £2.5bn long-term contract for Highway’s Maintenance services.

Projects, energy and natural resources > Mining and minerals Tier 4

Bird & Bird LLP advises clients on market listings and corporate matters and stands out from competitors by also offering IP services. Clive Hopewell and Adam Carling jointly lead the team, with Hopewell recommended for fundraisings and M&A, and Carling focusing on transactional work and disputes. Nick O’Donnell joined from Baker McKenzie in August 2021.

Practice head(s):

Clive Hopewell; Adam Carling

Other key lawyers:

Elizabeth Reid; Nick O’Donnell

Key clients

H&P Advisory Ltd. (“Hannam & Partners”)

Cloudbreak Discovery plc (formerly Imperial X plc)

SP Angel Corporate Finance LLP

Strand Hanson Limited

VSA Capital Group Limited

Barrick Gold Corporation

WH Ireland Limited

Gemfields plc (incl Faberge)

Tirupati Graphite plc

Shore Capital stockbrokers limited

Asiamet Resources Limited

Canaccord Genuity Ltd

Jangada Mines plc

Harvest Minerals Limited

Work highlights

  • Advised brokers, H&P Advisory Ltd. (“Hannam & Partners”) and SP Angel Corporate Finance LLP on Cornish Metals Inc.’s £40.5m fund raise to advance the South Crofty tin project in Cornwall, England.
  • Assisted Imperial X plc (renamed Cloudbreak Discovery plc) on its reverse takeover and admission of its enlarged ordinary share capital to the standard listing segment of the Official List of the Financial Conduct Authority and to trading on the London Stock Exchange’s Main Market, effective from 3 June 2021.
  • Advised long standing, client Strand Hanson Limited alongside H&P Advisors Limited, and VSA Capital Group Limited on Tungsten West’s IPO and admission to the AIM market.

Real estate > Commercial property: corporate occupiers Tier 4

The real estate department at Bird & Bird LLP is led by Jonathan Baker, who has particular expertise in development and finance. The firm has seen growth in its corporate occupier practice in the hotel, hospitality, and leisure space, and continues to use a sector-specific approach which focuses on the energy and utilities, retail and consumer, technology and communications, and financial services industries. The firm’s diverse client base includes banks, investment funds, developers, public sector organisations, and global businesses.

Practice head(s):

Jonathan Baker

Other key lawyers:

Karen Friebe; Peter Nicholson; James Salford; Emma Brindley-Raynes

Testimonials

‘Karen Friebe is truly excellent- always pragmatic, commercial and very responsive.’

 

Key clients

Vindex

Lids Holdings

Great Sutton Properties

Cally Yard Ltd

Moorgate Properties

Curtain House

New River Yard Ltd

AM Fresh

Work highlights

  • Advised on the purchase of Cally Yard, Caledonian Road, London N7 – a multi-let office investment, involving a complex leasing structure and service charge regime.

Corporate and commercial > Corporate tax Tier 5

Bird & Bird LLP is particularly active on tax issues in the FinTech space. The department also works alongside the firm’s Media, Entertainment and Sport sector team to advise high profile clients such as Six Nations Rugby. Team leader Zoe Feller is ‘superb’, and is experienced working with teams across multiple jurisdictions on complex tax matters. Associate Andrew Rink assists on a broad range of matters, from M&A and structuring investments to private equity transactions.

Practice head(s):

Zoe Feller

Other key lawyers:

Testimonials

‘Zoe Feller is superb. Very commercial and measured.’

Key clients

Databarracks

Gamma Communications plc

Six Nations Rugby

JobandTalent

Tech Mahindra

Acendre Technologies

Shackleton Holdings

Cork Gully

MSA Safety

Work highlights

  • Advised Databarracks on its acquisition of 4sl. Negotiated a tax covenant for all subsidiaries acquired and advised on the tax aspects of the financing.
  • Advised communications services provider Gamma on the acquisition of Mission Labs in the UK.
  • Advised Six Nations Rugby, organiser of the Six Nations Championships, on a private equity investment by CVC Capital Partners (CVC).

Dispute resolution > Commercial litigation: premium Tier 5

The team at Bird & Bird LLP takes a sector-specific approach to dispute resolution, with aviation, financial services, retail and energy standing out as particular areas of expertise. The firm is also increasingly developing its proficiency in contentious data issues, building on both its established international privacy and data protection practice, and its stellar reputation in the technology sphere. Sophie Eyre and Jeremy Sharman are the key names to note.

Practice head(s):

Sophie Eyre; Jeremy Sharman

Other key lawyers:

Jonathan Speed; Matthew Pack; Victoria Hobbs; Simona Peter; Jessica Quinlan; Prashant Kukadia

Testimonials

‘Bird & Bird have been an invaluable resource to our business over the pandemic. The commercial litigation team are always quick to respond and pragmatic in their advice.’

‘Matthew Pack has been excellent and unfailing in a very difficult time. Case matter organisation was great, we always knew exactly where we stood on each matter.’

‘Jonathan Speed is an excellent partner – calm, disciplined and very capable. He is a brilliant lawyer with the ability to get a holistic view on a matter in extremely short time and to develop an excellent strategy even faster’

Jessica Quinlan: Exceptional in her understanding of complex technological matters and in translating this into legal work products of top quality’

‘Incredibly sharp attention to detail and able to grasp the facts of a situation quickly. The people at the firm are a real asset driven by clear and strong leadership coming from the top of the house.’

‘Jeremy Sharman – highly capable and feels like an extension of the company legal team. Personable, pragmatic and brings significant value-add and expertise to the team.’

‘Prashant Kukadia – one of the brightest in the Bird and Bird stable; his thoroughness and attention to detail is second to none. To be able to wade through a vast amount to detail and then distil the salient facts are key qualities allowing fast decision making and clarity of thought .’

‘Sophie Eyre is truly world class in her field of litigation  –  bringing the bigger picture and forward guidance to any potential negotiation.’

Key clients

Cathay Pacific Airways

NAC Aviation 25 Limited

Aldus Portfolio Leasing Limited

Vega Petroleum Ltd and other

Bart de Laender

Bitcoin developers

XY ERS UK Limited

Aser Media Pte Limited and Andrea Radrizzani

The Football Association Premier League Ltd (‘Premier League’)

Robert Bosch GmbH (‘Bosch’)

TransferTo

EMPCorp

Afriquia Gaz SA and Maghreb Gaz SA

Pret A Manger (Europe) Limited and EAT Limited

Lottoland Services Ltd

MSA Britain Limited (MSA)

European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD)

Costa Coffee

Work highlights

  • Successfully defended 12 developers of Bitcoin in the Tulip Trading Ltd v Bitcoin Association for Bitcoin SV (BSV) and others case.
  • Acted for the Premier League in defence of proceedings brought in the Competition Appeal Tribunal by St James Holdings, the ultimate owner of Newcastle United Football Company Ltd, in connection with the Premier League’s exercise of its alleged power to block a takeover of NUFC by a consortium company, the majority owner of which was the Public Investment Fund.
  • Acting for Aser Media and Andrea Radrizzani in defence of proceedings brought in the English Commercial Court by Jinxin, a company incorporated in the Cayman Islands and established as a joint venture by two Chinese-based company groups, Baofeng Group and Everbright Securities.

Dispute resolution > International arbitration Tier 5

Bird & Bird LLP‘s international arbitration group acts for major names from the technology, aviation, construction, financial services and life sciences sectors. It also has enviable sports law credentials. International disputes practice co-head, Sophie Eyre, has significant arbitration experience in a variety of fora; London international arbitration head Nicholas Peacock is a 2021 partner hire from Herbert Smith Freehills LLP; Jonathan Speed is active in IT, telecoms and financial services-related arbitrations; and Max Duthie is ‘unsurpassed in his sports sector knowledge‘.

Practice head(s):

Sophie Eyre; Nicholas Peacock

Other key lawyers:

Jonathan Speed; Tom Darvill; Richard Bush; Max Duthie; Simona Peter; Tom Darvill; Sam Beer

Testimonials

‘They lawyers possess a clarity of thought and, consequently, a clarity of expression, which makes working with them a pleasure.’

Entirely reliable strength in depth and availability of the team – a client can be fully confident that a matter will be presented as well as it can be. The atmosphere within the team is particularly good – everybody is enthusiastic, trusting and respectful.’

‘In sport arbitrations, what stands out is the combination of legal expertise in relation to the substantive issues, not only when they relate to sports law but also to other legal issues, procedural expertise when preparing for arbitration.

‘Sophie Eyre and her team of associates in London understand the commercial considerations and are able to get on top of complex technical issues.’

‘Sophie Eyre is responsive, approachable and very commercial. Cost-effective, and has a great ability to get to the bottom of complex technical issues.’

‘Max Duthie is unsurpassed in his sports sector knowledge, and in his skill in addressing challenges on behalf of governing bodies. He is always calm and collected whatever the difficulties faced, and his advice is always practical and accurate.

‘Richard Bush and associate Sam Beer have been excellent in the complex administration and preparation of sport arbitrations.’

‘Senior associate Tom Darvill is particularly outstanding.’

Key clients

Google

Fabergé

SPX

Nokia

Union Bank of Nigeria

The Premier League

English Football League

World Athletics

Johnson Matthey

Finance > Transport finance and leasing Tier 5

Although Bird & Bird LLP‘s London-based aviation finance practice lost Richard Sharman  to Holland & Knight (UK) LLP in November 2021, it still maintains a significant broader transactional capability which handles a mix of operational, regulatory, commercial and finance work for airlines and lessors. ‘Knowledgeable’ consultant Paul Briggs provides ‘strong and astute leadership’ and has recently been involved in numerous passenger-to-freighter projects - a trend in the market which has been exacerbated by Covid-19 and by the growth of the e-commerce market and consumers’ increased expectations of next day delivery. Clients also benefit from access to lawyers on the ground in Asia and Europe.

Practice head(s):

Paul Briggs

Other key lawyers:

Sophie Eyre; Simon Phippard; Carey Tang

Testimonials

The team displays a high level of professionalism and commercial awareness.’

They are very deal-oriented and pragmatic.’

The knowledgeable Paul Briggs provides strong and astute leadership.’

Carey Tang is particularly impressive in executing client wishes and providing alternative solutions to complex issues.’

‘Although working in this area for more than 30 yrs, Paul Briggs is still full of passion and is super keen to deal with those complex issues.’

‘A high level of legal expertise is complemented by a strong appreciation of commercial reality.’

‘Paul Briggs provides strong and astute leadership. Excellent knowledge and skill set. He is supported by an excellent team.’

‘The team was was dedicated to the transaction and one could fully rely on the team delivering the deal in time and within the budgeted frame.’

Key clients

Air Arabia

Airborne Capital Limited

Airbus Bank

Banco Santander

Bristow Group

Emirates

EMP Structured Assets GmbH

ICBC MEA

ITOCHU Air

Investec Bank plc

Lease Corporation International

LOT Polish Airlines

Luxaviation

Seraph

Smartwings / Czech Airlines

Virgin Atlantic

GHZ Air I Limited

Erste Bank

Work highlights

  • Advising Seraph on the lease of two A320 airfcraft to Pakistan International Airlines.
  • Advising GHZ Air I Limited on a number of different matters, including the setting up of a new passenger-to-freighter conversion business.
  • Advising CCB Leasing on the Norwegian Air Shuttle Irish examinership and Norwegian reconstruction processes with respect to two aircraft on finance lease.

Real estate > Construction: non-contentious Tier 5

Bird & Bird LLP is particularly experienced in advising on IT infrastructure and data centre projects. It is also active in a range of other sectors, including energy and utilities, logistics, and refurbishments and fit-outs. Marco Nicolai leads the team, focusing on large scale property and infrastructure projects, both in the UK and internationally.

Practice head(s):

Marco Nicolai

Testimonials

‘A breadth of knowledge and experience, which means you can easily find someone with the answer.’

‘Bird & Bird’s advice is characterised by excellent professional depth and a high degree of business acumen.’

‘Bird & Bird is able to convey complex content in a comprehensible way, even for non-legal clients, and thus optimally support corporate decision-making processes.’

‘Bird & Bird provides excellent advice with a high degree of understanding of business issues.’

‘Marco Nicolai has vast experience in the area of construction law and, with his background of advising on complex infrastructural projects, he was the perfect legal lead partner.’

Real estate > Property finance Tier 5

Bird & Bird LLP‘s real estate finance team benefits from the firm’s international presence; with offices situated across Asia and Europe enabling the London team to undertake domestic and cross-border mandates often involving senior, mezzanine and preferential equity structures. Whilst the team has experience advising on a wide range of asset classes, it is particularly notable in the hotel sector, as well as advising clients on data centres and logistic assets. It is also strong on inbound real estate investment. Practice head James Salford has extensive expertise in the hotel finance sector and Jonathan Baker is a notable name.

Practice head(s):

Other key lawyers:

Testimonials

‘The team is experienced in Real Estate and Hotel Finance and take a practical and commercial view to the benefit of transaction management.’

‘A hugely personable team offering expert advice in a commercial manner.’

‘Great communication and detailed explanations of key points, plus a real drive to get the deal done and hit set deadlines.’

‘What set’s the team apart from others is without doubt, reliability.’

‘Clients can rely on Bird & Bird on all transactions we engage on, from fee quote, to quality of advice, speed and commerciality, and customer service.’

‘James Salford and Charles White work excellently as a team, are always available and offer commercial opinions.’

‘Jonathan Baker is a go-to lawyer for trust and professionalism.’

‘James Salford is highly knowledgeable and experienced within the Hotel Finance sector and a pleasure to work with.’

Key clients

Aareal Bank AG

Bank Leumi

Bank of Ireland

Bank of London and The Middle East plc

Credit Suisse Ltd

Dominvs Group

Industrial and Commercial Bank of China

KSL Capital Partners

Mizrahi Tefahot Bank

National Bank of Kuwait

Oaknorth Bank

Paragon Development Finance

Precis Group

RO Group

Santander

Shawbrook Bank

Work highlights

  • Advising KSL Capital on the financing of the acquisition of The Belfry Hotel & Resort by Goldman Sachs.
  • Advising Aareal Bank on a term facility to the London & Regional Group in relation to the Nobu Hotel London Portman Square.
  • Advising Oaknorth Bank on a £52m facility to the 4C Hotels group to refinance the Westin London.

Corporate and commercial > EU and competition Tier 6

Bird & Bird LLP’s competition practice spans a broad range of work, including the provision of advice on merger clearances and the national security aspects of acquisitions. The team, led by Peter Willis, has represented household names including Costa Coffee and Hershey’s. Willis is supported by associate Ariane Le Strat and the ‘outstandingSaskia King (legal director).

Practice head(s):

Peter Willis

Other key lawyers:

Testimonials

‘Excellent strength in transactional competition work.’

‘Saskia King is outstanding. Superb knowledge of competition law. Very strong academic background. But practical and effective in her legal advice. Real expertise drawn from her experience working for regulators.’

 

Key clients

Six Nations Rugby Limited

Costa Coffee

Major EU Energy Market Participant “Company X”

Japanese Manufacturing Company

Chilly’s Bottles

Hershey’s

Tempur Sealey

Work highlights

  • Acted for Costa Coffee on a significant commercial partnership and distribution agreement with Marks & Spencer. As part of the arrangement, the two household-name brands agreed an exclusive partnership, pursuant to which Marks & Spencer will supply a wide range of products to Costa Coffee for Costa Coffee to stock and sell. Acted for Costa Coffee at every stage of this transaction, from the initial drafting of heads of terms through to drafting, negotiation and completion of the agreement.

Finance > Bank lending: investment grade debt and syndicated loans Tier 6

Bird & Bird LLPhas outstanding knowledge of complex debt products and syndicated loans’, ensuring that it receives a significant volume of work for lenders across a range of multi-jurisdictional mandates. Central to much of this work is the ‘incredibly sharp’ Andrew Hallgarth, who is a ‘safe pair of hands’ for development banks and multilaterals engaged in emerging markets financings. Joss Hargrave is another key member of the broader finance and financial regulation group which is headed by Trystan Tether, and excels at advising on restructuring matters, as well as for lenders on sports-related financings.

Practice head(s):

Trystan Tether

Other key lawyers:

Andrew Hallgarth; Joss Hargrave; Gavin Punia; Claire Barker

Testimonials

The quality of services is of high standard and reasonably priced.’

The team has outstanding knowledge of complex debt products and syndicated loans.’

The excellent Andrew Hallgarth is incredibly sharp, with a vast knowledge and experience (debt & equity), is business oriented and able to find innovative way outs of deadlocks when stuck in negotiations.’

Andrew Hallgarth is a safe pair of hands.’

Key clients

Santander

KSL Capital Partners

Aareal Bank AG

Jobandtalent

Cork Gully

Macquarie Bank

Media Finance matters

A large bank in the Middle East

Work highlights

  • Advised Aareal Bank on a £69m green financing agreement with an affiliate of Cerberus Capital Management and real estate investment company Highgate to refinance the purchase of the Dorsett City Hotel.
  • Advised Jobandtalent on its €100m financing from SoftBank Vision Fund 2, via its Series D funding round, as well as an €83m debt facility from BlackRock.
  • Assisted the bank in relation to the negotiation of a £20m+, long term Master Services Agreement to govern the call-off of outsourced IT services provided across multiple jurisdictions including Europe and the Middle East.

Finance > Corporate restructuring & insolvency Tier 7

The 'small but focused' team at Bird & Bird LLP displays 'a calm and pragmatic approach to complex matters', particularly in core areas of sector strength for the firm as a whole including sports, energy and aviation. 'Commercial and approachable' team head Joss Hargrave is 'very experienced on both restructuring and insolvency matters' and is consequently a popular choice among IPs across a range of domestic matters, including in the financial services space, where he has niche knowledge of the special administration regime for investment banks.  

Practice head(s):

Joss Hargrave

Other key lawyers:

Claire Barker

Testimonials

‘It is a small but focused restructuring team where work gets done by the people you instruct and know. They seem to have a collegiate firm where other experts are brought in to assist when needed.’

They display a calm and pragmatic approach to complex matters.’

‘Always willing to walk the extra mile.’

‘A great firm to work with. Always feel they have the client’s best interests at heart and I would certainly work with them again. They have a wide and diverse offering so always possible to find people able to assist.’

‘Joss Hargrave is very experienced on both restructuring and insolvency matters.’

‘Joss Hargrave is very commercial and approachable.’

Key clients

Mothercare Plc

Fosun Tourism and Culture Group

Macquarie Bank

Starling Bank

Punjab National Bank

Duff & Phelps

Grant Thornton UK LLP

Deloitte

RSM

ReSolve Partners

Opus Restructuring LLP

Ingenious

Qila

Hermes Renewables

Tom Tom

Kreos

BDO

Horn Holdings

London Luton Airport

Work highlights

  • Advising Begbies Traynor on its role as joint administrators of BetIndex Ltd, which traded as Football Index. The administration is the largest insolvency in the gambling sector in UK history.
  • Acting for the special administrators of City Equities Limited and Hartmann Capital Limited, both small investment banks.
  • Acting for BM Advisory as the nominees and supervisors of Guess U.K. Limited, the well-known American clothing brand and retailer, on the successful implementation of a Company Voluntary Arrangement.

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 1,400 legal practitioners in 31 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.

DepartmentNameEmailTelephone
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 Graeme Payne
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 Graeme Payne
Tax Mathew Oliver
Tech and comms Roger Bickerstaff
Tech and comms Graeme Maguire
PhotoNamePositionProfile
Clive Hopewell photo Clive HopewellPartner, CorporateAs a partner in our International Corporate Group based in London,…
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 1,400 lawyers in 31 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.

DepartmentNameEmailTelephone
Sectors
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