Firm Profile > Bird & Bird > Sydney, Australia

Bird & Bird

Australia > Data protection Tier 2

Bird & Bird supports clients with a variety of data protection matters in Australia and globally, including day-to-day privacy compliance, guidance to corporates on serious data breaches, and privacy considerations of M&A transactions. The team has considerable expertise in privacy law, with experience of recent and historic legal reforms. Sophie Dawson is a key name within the team and advises on both day-to-day compliance and strategic issues, including impact assessments and complex cybersecurity matters. Hamish Fraser has a broad practice encompassing data security and transfers, public policy, and advice to global platforms and cloud providers. All lawyers named are in Sydney.


The materials distributed by Bird & Bird during Covid 19 in Privacy and Data Protection law and Employment law have been an invaluable practical resource, particularly in the In house space.

Lisa Vanderwal, Special Counsel is an excellent lawyer, particularly in her currency of evolving Privacy and Data Protection law. She has a wonderful skill of tangible explanations of complex technical issues and is solutions focused.

Great access to the international network of Bird & Bird for latest thinking and practice in other jurisdictions. The team in Australia are also very knowledgeable about local privacy laws and practices.

Sophie Dawson is great – very experienced in this area, and focussed on great client service. Very responsive and taps into the international network readily.

Key clients

Wirecard AG

National Roads and Motorists Association

Australia > IT and telecoms Tier 2

Bird & Bird advises a wide variety of clients, including major tech-focused companies, IT suppliers, high-profile computer game developers, and regulated industry clients. The team acts across the full range of matters, including transactions, digital transformation projects, and regulatory issues, leveraging the firm's global tech expertise to act on cross-border and multijurisdictional mandates. The practice is co-led by Hamish Fraser, who focuses on commercial and regulatory matters for tech and communications-based clients, including procurement and outsourcing, licensing, and IP protection. Co-head and Australia managing partner Shane Barber advises major telecommunications carriers on a variety of issues, with a notable expertise in network rollout matters. Sophie Dawson acts on contentious matters within media, IT, and intellectual property, including privacy and online liability.

Practice head(s):

Other key lawyers:


Willing to work in a flexible manner and at times as a virtual in-house counsel to meet my specific needs. Very pragmatic on commercial issues in the technology space and understands when legal risk aversion is unhelpful.’

Hamish Fraser is responsive and gives pragmatic advice. He was willing to invest in growing our relationship, which meant I got the external support when I needed it, and within budget, and he has received what is now a steady source of work.’

Savvy commercial skills and a terrific understanding of the TMT/IT industry. Excellent communications, prompt support, with keen attention to, and focus on, client deadlines.’

Hamish Fraser has a brilliant understanding of the TMT sector in Australia and elsewhere, and is an excellent communicator. Hamish has an engaging personality, is flexible in accommodating clients’ demands, and has a highly pragmatic approach to legal support.

Key clients

DXC Technology Australia

Vodafone Hutchinson Australia

Keyhole TIG


Australian Cycling Promotion Foundation

Speedcast International

BT Australasia

SAP Australia

Take-Two Interactive

Rockstar Games



Software AG Australia

Australia > Media and entertainment Tier 2

The offering at Bird & Bird includes a range of support services such as pre and post-publication advice, media regulation, privacy and data security, employment, and copyright matters. The team is also engaged in defamation disputes and specialises in media-related corporate deals and due diligence. The key names in the Sydney office are Shane Barber who specialises in advising global advertising industry participants on their business in Australia and Sophie Dawson, a lawyer with a track record of handling landmark media disputes. She is noted, alongside senior associate Jarrad Parker and associate Joel Parsons, as 'excellent to work with'. Distinguished sectors of expertise include video games, eSports, and sports.


‘Excellent depth of experience in the media industry in Australia and access to international networks and resources which can provide relevant information and expertise to assist in evolving Australian issues.’

‘The team is very responsive, keen to share knowledge with their clients, and very experienced in working with Australian media, so have great expertise.’

‘Sophie Dawson, Jarrad Parker and Joel Parsons are all excellent to work with.’


Key clients

Nine Entertainment Co Limited

Rugby Australia

City of Sydney

Take-Two Interactive Software/Rockstar Games, Inc

Australian Police Journal

The Players’ Tribune





Novartis Consumer Healthcare


Lebara Mobile

BuzzFeed, Inc

Australia > Intellectual property Tier 3

Leveraging ‘great access to international networks’, Bird & Bird’s Sydney-based IP team routinely advises major domestic and international clients on brand strategy and protection, including opposition and enforcement matters. The practice group also has expertise in a variety of IP disputes, from trade secrets and misappropriation claims to patent and trade mark infringement litigation. Areas of particular strength include healthcare, life sciences, pharmaceuticals. Practice head Jane Owen manages international trade mark portfolios for clients including First Pharma and Elixinol Global. Lynne Lewis represented GSK Consumer Healthcare Australia in an administrative matter at the intersection of competition and IP law.

Practice head(s):


‘Jane Owen is always responsive and practical in her approach.’

‘Great access to international networks where that will provide relevant insights into practices which may be relevant in Australia. The team in Australia is experienced in both contentious and non-contentious IP issues so can meet the breadth of our needs. They are commercially pragmatic while having deep legal knowledge.’

‘The team (Sophie Dawson, Joel Parsons, and Jarrad Parker) have great knowledge of our business and a real passion for working with the media industry. They are very responsive to client needs, concerned about providing value for money, and work hard to help us succeed as a business.’

‘Responsiveness; Subject matter expertise; Global network of related firms and agents providing extra responsiveness; Always friendly and willing to assist.’

‘Patience in waiting for instructions and repeating advice where necessary; No unreasonable demand placed; Always friendly but professional.’

Key clients

GlaxoSmithKline Consumer Healthcare Australia Pty

Wisetech Global

Boart Longyear /Globaltech Corporation Pty

Dongkuk Steel

Howden Group

The Players’ Tribune

Gram Engineering Pty

Rakman Pty / Fire Containment Pty

Abbey Laboratories Pty

Elixinol Global

Boehringer Ingelheim

Align Technology, Inc

First Pharma Pty

Troy Laboratories

Take-Two Interactive Inc, Rock Star Games, Inc

Nine Network Australia Pty

DXC Technology / Ent. Services Australia Pty

Airtasker Pty

HCAFranchise Corporation Inc


Ascott International Management (2001) Pte

Oakmoore Pty

KPMG Australia IP Holdings Pty

The Wonderful Company

University of New South Wales


Target Brands Inc

Vodafone Hutchinson Australia

Pearson plc


Laura Metaal Holding B.V.

Australian Literacy & Numeracy Foundation

Solfarina Run

Centre for Cultural Compete

Australia > Dispute resolution: litigation Tier 4

Bird & Bird stands out for its strong suit on the technology and media contentious front; this is an area of specialism for Sydney-based practice head Sophie Dawson. The department is also a suitable proposition for clients seeking representation in telecoms and IP sector disputes; Jane Owen, Lynne Lewis, and Troy Gurnett are all names to note in the contentious IP space.

Practice head(s):


Approachable, efficient, and sensible. They have a good instinct to make the right call and are willing to take the responsibility of doing so. This particularly applies to Troy Gurnett.

Partners and a number of associates who are very experienced in the litigation we need (media/defamation and IP); strong client focus; work efficiently to help us resolve disputes.

Sophie Dawson, Joel Parsons and Jarrad Parker are all a delight to work with – experienced, responsive, great at communicating with us about matters and strategy. Really proactive about offering training sessions for our in-house team to share knowledge.

Bird & Bird has very strong capabilities in technology-related disputes. In particular, it has a unique ability to master the technical aspects of software and other technology projects, and to use that understanding and knowledge to advance their client’s interests in disputes.

Sophie Dawson combines an ability to get across the minutiae of a technology-related dispute, with strategic and commercial thinking.

Jarrad Parker is showing great potential and is one to watch in the future.

The team was very measured and analytical whilst giving very commercially focused advice. They were also very accessible, which was tough given the time differences between us and them. They had an excellent experience which they brought to bear. They were very efficient and managed timescales for litigation well.

Key clients

DXC Technology Group

Take Two Interactive Software Group

Nine Entertainment Co

Warrego Energy

Regius Resources Group

Bacchus Resources Pty

Verseon Corporation

TripAdvisor Australia Pty

BlueInc Group

Sumo Australia

Fitness Systems United Pty


Dongkuk Steel

Howden Group

Brien Holden Vision Institute

Australia > Labour and employment Tier 5

The international HR services team at Bird & Bird often advises clients on strategic matters and assists with large cross-border projects. An area of strength is in contentious matters involving injunctions and enforcing non-competition and non-solicitation clauses in employment contracts. Kristy Peacock-Smith leads the team and is based in the Sydney office.

Practice head(s):


Kristy Peacock-Smith leads an exceptionally diligent and commercially-minded practice. They’re a pleasure to work with and understand the competing pressures in-house counsel often face.

Kristy Peacock-Smith and her team of associates have been exceptional in their service to my company. Kristy approaches each problem in a pragmatic, practical way and always brings humour to even the most complicated situations. She is extremely knowledgeable and intelligent and so is her team. The Bird & Bird team is responsive and finds ways to properly manage deadlines.

Responsive and commercially minded and willing to understand their client’s reasons/drivers.

Key clients

BT Australasia

Collins Aerospace

DXC Technology

Ritual Technologies Inc


Automation Anywhere


90 Seconds Australia Pty Ltd

Didi Mobility (Australia) Pty Ltd

ThermoFisher Scientific (Oxoid Australia Pty Ltd)

The Walt Disney Company (Australia) Pty Limited

Syneron Medical (HK) Ltd

Bravura Solutions

ServiceNow Australia Pty Ltd

Australian Institute of Company Directors

Truphone Ltd

Electronics for Imaging, Inc.


Amey Consulting


CGI Glass Lewis Pty Ltd

Align Technologies Inc.

Ares Management Ltd

Instructure Australia Pty Ltd

Asset International Inc.

M&G Real Estate

Australian Genomic Cancer Medicine Centre (Garvan Group)

Circles Australia Pty Ltd

Nagarro Inc

Professional Footballers Australia Inc

Tennis NSW

Solera Holdings Inc

Aiven Australia Pty Ltd

Built Robotics Inc.

Domo Australia Pty Ltd

Dronedeploy, Inc.

Electronics for Imaging Australia Pty Ltd

Insider Pte Ltd

Lucido Group LLC

Momenta Resourcing

The firm: With over 1,200 lawyers in 28 offices worldwide, Bird & Bird excels in managing complex projects for clients across the globe with a seamless one-firm approach.

The firm’s Australian office operates a collaborative integrated practice with the firm’s other offices and co-operation firms across the Asia-Pacific region. With offices in Beijing, Hong Kong, Shanghai, Singapore and Sydney, the firm is well placed to advise Australian and New Zealand corporations on inbound and outbound investment opportunities with leading trading partners.

The firm’s Australian practice not only serves its clients across Australia and New Zealand, but also forms an integral part of its global offering and strengthens the firm’s practice in the Asia Pacific region.

Areas of practice: With a team of 40 legal specialists the firm’s local knowledge is key to its success – especially when the firm’s work involves multiple jurisdictions. The firm’s lawyers in Australia are widely recognised by clients and peers as being among the leading practitioners in their areas of expertise, which include: communications, competition, corporate and commercial, mergers and acquisitions, dispute resolution, information technology, e-commerce and media, infrastructure and real estate, intellectual property and international HR services.

The firm’s Sydney office undertakes cross-border and multi-jurisdictional work for some of the highest profile global and national corporations operating in the automotive, communications, electronics, energy and utilities, food and beverage, information technology, life science and healthcare, media, entertainment, sport and financial services industries.

Department Name Email Telephone
Corporate and commercial
Data protection and privacy
Dispute resolution
Information technology and e-commerce
Infrastructure and real estate
Intellectual property
International HR services
Life science and healthcare
Number of lawyers : 1,200
at this office : 40
Contacts : Shane Barber, managing partner (