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Bird & Bird

London

Bird & Bird - London
  • 15 Fetter Lane
  • London
  • Greater London
  • UK
  • EC4A 1JP
  • CEO David Kerr
  • Non-Executive Chairman Michael Frie
  • Partners 284
  • Other fee-earners 792

THE FIRM Bird & Bird is an international law firm, with a rare and invaluable grasp of strategic commercial issues. The firm combines exceptional legal expertise with deep industry knowledge and refreshingly creative thinking, to help clients achieve their commercial goals.

PRINCIPAL AREAS OF WORK Bird & Bird offers broad advisory, transactional and contentious capability with particular focus on key industry sectors. The firm’s sector and practice groups interact to provide the best possible client service. Key industry sectors: Aerospace, Defence and Security, Automotive, Aviation, Communications, Electronics, Energy & Utilities, Financial Services, Food and Beverage, Healthcare, Information Technology, Life Sciences, Media and Sport.

Main areas of Practice: Banking & Finance, Commercial, Corporate, Dispute Resolution, EU & Competition Law, Franchising, Intellectual Property, International HR Services, Outsourcing, Privacy & Data Protection, Public Sector Contracts and Disputes, Real Estate, Regulatory & Administrative, Restructuring & Insolvency, Tax and Trade and Customs.

INTERNATIONAL With 25 offices across Europe, the Middle East and Asia, Bird & Bird is well placed to offer local expertise within a global context, helping its clients to realise their business goals both domestically and internationally. Bird & Bird applies a “one firm” approach to its practice, which enables its lawyers to offer a highly integrated service. The firm has offices in Abu Dhabi, Beijing, Bratislava, Brussels, Budapest, Copenhagen, Düsseldorf, Frankfurt, The Hague, Hamburg, Helsinki, Hong Kong, London, Lyon, Madrid, Milan, Munich, Paris, Prague, Rome, Shanghai, Skanderborg, Singapore, Stockholm and Warsaw.

    Contacts
  • Automotive Simon Shooter
  • Aviation 
  • Banking & Finance Trystan Tether
  • Commercial Simon Shooter, Nicholas Perry
  • Communications Graeme Maguire, Ronald Hendrikx
  • Corporate Neil Blundell
  • Corporate Restructuring & Insolvency Joss Hargrave
  • Dispute Resolution Ludovic de Walden, Steven Baker
  • Electronics Mark Heaney
  • Employment Ian Hunter
  • Energy & Utilities Matt Bonass, Michael Rudd
  • EU & Competition Richard Eccles, Peter Willis
  • Financial Services Christian Bartsch
  • Food Mark Hilton
  • Healthcare Dominic Cook
  • Information Technology Roger Bickerstaff
  • Intellectual Property Morag Macdonald, Katharine Stephens
  • Life Sciences Trevor Cook
  • Media Matt Dennis
  • Outsourcing Mark Leach, Christian Bartsch
  • Privacy & Data Protection Ruth Boardman
  • Real Estate Jonathan Baker
  • Regulatory & Administrative Peter Elliot, Roger Bickerstaff
  • Sports Jonathan Taylor
  • Tax Mathew Oliver

Branches

Banking & Finance - London (Firms)

Basic facts about the department
- 8 partners
- 24 other qualified lawyers

What the team is known for Well-respected presence in the market, acting for a notable roster of lender clients. It has sectoral strength in energy, aviation and aerospace, and particular geographical expertise centred in Central and Eastern Europe.  

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
 Problem solving: "Responsive and sensible, they recognise risks and problems but focus on solutions."

Client service: "High quality of service, responsiveness and reasonable pricing."

Market standing: "We see them as a strong competitor firm in this market." 

Notable practitioners 

According to sources, Andrew Hallgarth can turn his hand to a "broad spectrum of transactions," including equity, debt and funds-related matters. "He provides top advice and support, and is very attentive to details and business-oriented. He always find solutions in tricky situations and I am always impressed by his versatility," explains one keen client.

Trystan Tether "is great in the sense that he knows everything inside out in terms of what he does," say sources. He acts as co-head of the firm's international finance group.

Significant clients BNP Paribas, Monarch Airlines, Macquarie Bank, Virgin Atlantic Airlines, Bluefield Partners.

Corporate/M&A - London (Firms)

Basic facts about the department
-11 partners
-14 other lawyers

What the team is known for Has a good reputation for representing clients in mid-market deals of all sizes, with a focus on the TMT and energy sectors. Many transactions have a cross-border element.  

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
Client service: "They drove the transactions through brilliantly and helped us to finish it off very well."

Market standing: "They are a standout firm in the technology sector."

What's new? New client and panel wins include Coca-Cola Hellenic and Reliance.

Work highlights Advised Just Eat on the EUR20 million acquisition of the French online food provider Alloresto.

Represented Asterand on the USD9 million sale of a human tissue business to Stemgent.

Notable practitioners  

The "highly sound" Neil Blundell is commended by clients for his highly effective management of his team on transactions. His recent highlights include representing Coca-Cola Hellenic in the transfer of all the assets and liabilities of a subsidiary in Northern Ireland to its Dutch parent.

Simon Allport is "fantastic and intelligent" and was described by one source as a "takeover guru." He advises clients on an array of public and private M&A transactions.

Matthew Bonass is an energy sector specialist. He is a frequent choice of clients in the UK, Europe, Asia, the USA and the Middle East.

Matt Dennis represented Hangar 8 in its acquisition of International JetClub, including a fund-raising of £4.2 million through an institutional placing.

Significant clients Bluefield Partners, ETC, Mood Media, Elder Pharmaceuticals, Gas Turbine Efficiency.

Employment - London (Firms)

Basic facts about the department

- 3 partners
- 10 other qualified lawyers

What the team is known for Impressive standalone employment practice with a broad European footprint. Extensive familiarity with the needs and requirements of technology sector clients.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
Technical ability: "The work that they have done has been very rigorous and is of a very high quality, demonstrating a good understanding of how matters will pan out legally."

Market standing: "I get the impression that the practice is on the ascendancy. The employment team is becoming a lot more prominent and it has far more visibility."

Work highlights Represented the National Union of Mineworkers in a High Court claim brought by Arthur Scargill over his claim that the union should reimburse him for certain living costs.

Acted on behalf of Medisafe on injunctions taken out against former employees.

Notable practitioners  

Ian Hunter is described by one client as being "a very good sounding board." He is further said to be "very practical" and to have a "good depth of knowledge across different industries." He has recently been assisting BAE Systems with a range of cases.

Warren Wayne "excels in cutting through what the other side presents" and, in the words of one client, he is "instrumental" in the successful resolution of matters. He assisted Medisafe in the abovementioned matter.

Elizabeth Lang is hailed for her "acute understanding of the law." She is further "able to assess whether or not a case will work." She acted for the National Union of Mineworkers on the aforementioned matter.

Significant clients Amey, Nuance, Lenovo, Yahoo, Infosys.

Fraud - London (Firms)

What the team is known for Advises on multi-jurisdictional fraud disputes, injunctive relief and asset recovery proceedings. Broad sector expertise.

Work highlights Instructed to represent the estate of Christo Michailidis in a USD20 million proprietary claim against Crédit Agricole, which involves allegations of money laundering, dishonest assistance and knowing receipt.

Instructed to advise a Turkish power company on a contractual claim against the government of Pakistan, in which the contract in question is alleged to have been invalid from outset due to fraud.

Notable practitioners  

Sophie Eyre heads the firm's fraud team. She dedicates her practice to civil fraud and has experience of dispute resolution, asset tracing and freezing orders. Sources report that she is "very bright," "has very good judgement and doesn't back down."

"Top-notch litigator" Ludovic de Walden is identified as being "great at co-ordinating international litigation and getting freezing orders." He is viewed as a leading figure in the firm's litigation group.

Significant clients Karadeniz, Unicorn Worldwide.

Information Technology - London (Firms)

Basic facts about the department

- 24 partners
- 75 other qualified lawyers

What the team is known for A major player in the technology world that takes on large and complex deals in the IT space, as well as significant disputes. Clients benefit from related strengths in IP and telecoms.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
Client service: "The quality of the work is always superb, turnaround is within the timeframe and the advice takes into account the nature of our business."

Market standing: "A first-class practice - no one can dispute that."

Work highlights Advising the UK Department for Energy and Climate Change on the roll-out of its national smart metering implementation programme, which will result in some 53 million smart gas and electricity meters being installed in British households and businesses.

Advising Interoute, the owner of Europe's largest cloud services platform, on a number of matters, including the launch of Zettabox, a Dropbox-like product.

Notable practitioners  

Clients rave about the quality of Roger Bickerstaff's work with regard to business-critical outsourcing and system implementation projects. He is co-head of the firm's international IT sector group, and is also noted for his expertise in EU procurement rules in relation to IT.

Graham Smith is something of a guru on matters connected with e-commerce and the law as it affects the internet. He handles transactional and litigious work, and is an expert manager of software copyright and IT contracts disputes.

Christian Bartsch is highly regarded by clients and legal sources, without exception. Sources say he has a "lovely understated style" and is "great to work with." He is strong on technology law and highly recommended for outsourcing transactions.

Dominic Cook oversees major infrastructure implementations in sectors such as telecoms and healthcare, and has helped bring about the launch of vast healthcare databases and mobile virtual network operator systems.

Significant clients BT Group, Codemasters Group, Infosys Group, Microsoft, Ministry of Justice.

Intellectual Property - London (Firms)

Basic facts about the department
- 17 partners
- 44 other qualified lawyers

What the team is known for A pre-eminent firm for intellectual property, with a bench strength that few can match. Exceptionally strong across both hard and soft IP concerns, and a go-to team for a wide range of multinational companies.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
Commercial awareness: "Their commercial awareness is terrific. They know who to speak with and they suggest ways forward that make sense."

Technical ability: "The quality of their work is always Rolls-Royce standard."

Market standing: "Their reputation speaks for itself." 

What's new? Trade mark expert Allan Poulter joined the firm from Field Fisher Waterhouse in September 2012.

Work highlights Advised EE, the joint venture between Orange and T-Mobile that created the UK's largest telecoms provider, on its rebrand from Everything Everywhere. 

Acted for Nokia on patent litigation cases concerning mobile phone technology against, inter alia, RIM, HTC and ViewSonic.

Notable practitioners 

Peter Brownlow is a noted by sources as a "fantastic trade mark lawyer," although his practice extends to the full spectrum of soft IP matters, including copyright and design rights. He was the lead lawyer in the EE rebrand. 

Morag Macdonald is praised for her "in-depth knowledge and practical approach" in patent matters, which, coupled with her extensive experience, makes her one of the firm's leading lights. She successfully acted for ConvaTec on the defence of one of its key patents.

Katharine Stephens is a "fantastic" practitioner, covering both patent disputes and soft IP matters. She is described as "really sharp and on top of technically difficult cases." She is the lead partner for Philip Morris International on plain tobacco packaging proposals.

Jane Mutimear has a multifaceted practice yet has been most busy in patent matters of late, including acting as lead lawyer for Nokia in its mobile telephony patent cases.

Neil Jenkins is an experienced litigator with particular expertise in multi-jurisdictional patent cases. 

Mark Hilton focuses his practice on patent litigation, especially in the medical and pharmaceutical arenas. Sources note his commercial awareness and aptitude at writing.

Robert Williams is a skilled patent litigator with a practice covering a range of industries, including life sciences, electronics and mechanical engineering.

Significant clients Microsoft, Teva Pharmaceuticals, Barclays, Air Canada.

Litigation - London (Firms)

Basic facts about the department 
- 8 partners
- 24 other qualified lawyers 

What the team is known for Demonstrates strength in high-value disputes in its sector specialisms of IT and telecommunications, energy and financial services. Works seamlessly alongside colleagues in other departments and jurisdictions in order to provide a full-service offering to corporate clients.   

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
Problem solving: "They are not acting as outsiders, but help us as if they are the real owners of the problem and provide us with the best possible solution. They are concentrated on finding solutions rather than creating problems." 

Responsiveness: "One of the things that I most admire is their availability. Whenever needed, even at the most bizarre times, the team members, including the partner, are always available."  

What's new? Appointed to BNP Paribas's dispute resolution panel and gained the Republic of Guinea as a new client.  

Work highlights Acted for the Republic of Guinea on a high-level dispute concerning mining concessions, a matter valued at USD4.5 billion.

Notable practitioners

Described by sources as a "very dynamic individual," Steven Baker is further identified as "commercial, quick to identify the issues and get to the heart of the matter." He concentrates his practice on contractual disputes and acts as co-head of the dispute resolution group.

Ludovic de Walden is widely lauded for his "good strategic view of things." He is recognised in the market for his niche expertise in cases involving art, and often acts on behalf of or advises galleries, collectors and art dealers.

Sophie Eyre is highlighted by clients for her "decisive but pragmatic, realistic and client-focused" approach to litigation. She has developed expertise in civil fraud matters and in cases originating from the art world.

Significant clients Nokia, BT, Everything Everywhere, Yahoo!, Virgin Atlantic.

Real Estate Finance - London (Firms)

Basic facts about the department
-8 partners
-16 other qualified lawyers

What the team is known for A well-regarded practice offering advice to many highly active lenders in the market. Global links make it a solid choice for international lender clients. Specialist offering in Islamic financing.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
Commercial awareness: "We rate the level and quality of service we received throughout the process very highly. They have a knowledgeable and efficient team who provide the correct balance of commercialism and common sense." 

Work highlights Advised on the £17.4 million loan extended to client Close Brothers for the development of a mixed-use commercial and residential building in Elephant and Castle.

Advised Santander as lender on an £8.7 million loan facility provided for the purchase of commercial premises at Ealing Broadway station.

Notable practitioners  

Russell Dellar is a prominent practitioner in this space, regularly acting for clients such as Santander and Macquarie Bank. Clients say he is "very approachable and always available to provide initial high-level advice. He is commercial and pragmatic, and will go the extra mile to resolve any potentially difficult issues."

Jonathan Baker is highly valued by his clients, one of whom explains: "We hold Jonathan in high regard for his calm and considered approach, which instils a lot of confidence."

Associate Vijay Patel consolidates his good reputation in the market, lately assisting on the provision of loan facilities to key client Close Brothers.  

Significant clients Duff & Phelps, RBS, Mitre Capital Partners, NatWest, Deutsche Hypothekenbank.

Real Estate - London (Firms)

Basic facts about the department
- 4 partners
- 8 other qualified lawyers

What the team is known for A broad practice covering the range of commercial real estate matters, with particular strength in data centre, telecoms, energy and renewables projects.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
Client service: "A very friendly firm, which I would be happy to recommend."

What's new? New client wins include TomTom, BT One Phone, Canary Wharf Group and Hoss Intropia.

Work highlights Acted for Medicom on the acquisition of its new head office in London for around £2 million.

Notable practitioners

Clients comment that Andrew Stobbart is "very approachable and always available to give advice." He is particularly praised for a "straightforward, no-nonsense, commercial approach."

Significant clients Interxion, Philips, Duff & Phelps, Red Gate Software, King's College Hospital NHS Foundation Trust.

Asset Finance - UK-wide

Basic facts about the department
- 4 partners
- 6 other qualified lawyers
- Office locations ranked: London

What the team is known for Highly regarded aviation finance practice acting for lessors, airlines and private equity houses, which includes several practitioners with extensive in-house experience. Draws upon considerable niche expertise in corporate aircraft financing and helicopter financing.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
Problem solving: "They are very commercial in their approach; they get down to the real issues. Very results-driven."

Work highlights

Acted for Aergo Capital on the lease of a Boeing 737-400 to Shaheen Air International.

Advised the Milestone Aviation Group on the USD13 million lease of two Eurocopter EC155 B1 helicopters to Noordzee Helikopters Vlaanderen. 

Notable practitioners

Aviation finance specialist Paul Briggs receives excellent market recognition, with clients appreciating his "drive towards the end result" and his "refusal to get involved in purely technical spats with the other side's lawyers." He is known for his experience within the industry, having previously worked at British Aerospace.

Simon Chamberlain spent ten years working in-house at British Airways. He retains a thoroughly respected position in the aviation finance market and clients comment that "someone like Simon who brings aviation, finance and regulatory expertise is very rare."

Significant clients Jet2/Dart Group, Virgin Atlantic Airways, Alchemy Capital Partners, Plane Business.

Aviation - UK-wide

Basic facts about the department 
- 5 partners
- 8 other qualified lawyers

What the team is known for Offers a comprehensive service for airlines on all aviation-related issues. Represents a range of aviation fuel suppliers, corporate aircraft owners and manufacturers. 

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
Commercial awareness: "My impression of the firm is that it is excellent uniformly, which is quite rare. All of its lawyers are really knowledgeable and commercially minded, and work with us to keep costs down and achieve a practical and sensible result."

What's new? Brett Hailey recently joined Bird & Bird's London office and international aviation group.

Work highlights Acted for National Reserve on a USD50 million claim against PK Airfinance and GECAS regarding improper means of security enforcement in connection with an aircraft owned by the companies.

Advised Atlas Corporate Services on the development of VAT schemes and structures for owning and operating corporate aircrafts in compliance with the change to UK VAT regulations in January 2011.

Notable practitioners  

Strong market feedback sees Robin Springthorpe move up to the top tier for dispute resolution in aviation. He impresses sources as being "very user-friendly and very willing to roll up his sleeves at short notice and get the job done." He acted for National Reserve in the aforementioned case.

A leading figure in commercial aviation, Paul Briggs continues to impress clients: "Paul is very well connected in the industry, has good industry knowledge, is pragmatic and doesn't overlawyer. He goes above and beyond the pieces of work we give him, provides training for our staff and brings us up to speed on the latest developments to help us be fully informed." He recently advised Virgin Atlantic on maintenance contracts for a 747 fleet.

Simon Chamberlain is known for his work on commercial and transactional matters in aviation. Sources emphasise his high-ranking position in the market, and clients highlight his background in the aviation industry as an asset to his practice: "He is extremely intelligent and has a really broad view of the aviation industry; I found his background very helpful, as he has a good understanding of the commercial aviation space." Chamberlain recently advised Tronos Canada on the lease of BAe 146-200 aircraft converted for an air tanker operation.

Peers describe associate Annabelle Wheeler as "junior but acquiring experience fast and showing she has the capability." Focusing on contractual disputes, aircraft repossessions and leasing and financing matters, she was part of the team advising Jet2 on a claim against Romanian maintenance facility TAROM.

Significant clients Dart Group/Jet2, Monarch Airlines, NRC Holding, Virgin Atlantic, Tronos Group.

Capital Markets - UK-wide

What the team is known for Well known for representing domestic and international clients in the technology sector. Also has notable expertise in media, life sciences and telecoms.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
Industry knowledge: "They're very strong on the technology side."

What's new? The team started acting for leading cleantech and life sciences NOMAD Nomura Securities.

Work highlights Represented Nomura Securities in its capacity as sponsor to specialist pharmaceuticals company Vernalis, on its transfer from the main market to AIM, as well as its placing and open offer of new shares.  

Notable practitioners  

Sources note that Simon Allport is "excellent on Takeover Code matters." Interviewees also describe him as "sensible, pretty straightforward and good quality."

Joanne Bletcher's experience includes advising private and public companies on equity funding.

Significant clients Hangar 8, Alternative Networks, Cairn Financial Advisers, Mood Media, Petrolatina Energy.

Data Protection - UK-wide

Basic facts about the department

- 1 partner
- 1 consultant
- 5 other qualified lawyers

What the team is known for At the vanguard of data protection. A noted presence on international matters involving cutting-edge issues.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
International capability: "What we appreciate is the regional reach: the firm has offices in many of the countries we do business in."

Technical ability: "There has been a wide variety of matters we have asked the team's advice on, often cutting-edge."

Industry knowledge: "The team speaks and we listen." "Bird & Bird has a deserved reputation in this area."

Work highlights Advised a well-known bank on the company's Binding Corporate Rules application, which was approved by the Information Commissioner.

Notable practitioners  

Ruth Boardman leads the team and is highly regarded by clients and other sources for her work in this area. Clients appreciate that she "is very good at finding solutions to complex problems, as well as having an understanding of other areas." Another client stated: "I can't speak highly enough about Ruth. She is an indispensable resource for us on data protection. She has an easy-going manner which underlies her academic skills, too."

Francis Aldhouse is consultant to the data protection team. Sources praise his brilliant knowledge of the area.

Employee Share Schemes & Incentives - UK-wide

Basic facts about the department

- 1 partners
- 2 other qualified lawyers

What the team is known for Capacity in handling complex international mandates, particularly on behalf of technology sector clients. Adept at implementing new share scheme plans and at advising upon the share plan aspects of corporate transactions.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
Technical ability: "The overall level of service has been very good. They are very knowledgeable about the different alternatives open to us and provide us with very appropriate advice."

Commercial awareness: "They are pragmatic in their advice. They recognise what we need to do in order to get to a favourable outcome."

Market standing: "The team consists of a number of quality individuals and is doing some impressive international work."

Work highlights Assisted Fab.com with the share scheme issues arising out of its acquisition of Llustre Design.

Instructed by WorldOne Holdings to draft and implement an employee share incentive plan covering both its UK and US employees.

Notable practitioners  

Clients are effusive in their recommendation of Colin Kendon, who is considered to be a "real expert" in the share scheme field. Sources say that "he helps us to lead the field, as opposed to following it." He heads the practice and is heavily involved in the majority of work the group undertakes.

Significant clients Helios Technology, Just Eat Holdings, Earthport, Oxis Energy, Web.com Group.

Franchising - UK-wide

Basic facts about the department
- 3 partners
- Recommended office locations: London

What the team is known for Home to market-leading franchising partners. Clients can also draw on firm-wide strengths in telecoms, IT, IP and data protection.

What's new? New team: Mark Abell, Victoria Hobbs and Graeme Payne all joined from Field Fisher Waterhouse in 2013.

Notable practitioners

Mark Abell joined Bird & Bird as head of franchising in June 2013. Sources acknowledge his undoubted gravitas and wide skill set, describing him as a "good lawyer and very good negotiator" with a "very good international practice."

The "highly effective" Victoria Hobbs is frequently called upon to advise on contentious franchising and licensing matters, and can draw on considerable experience in advising both franchisees and franchisors. Sources say she is "very personable and easy to deal with, and she knows her stuff." She has previously advised US franchisor The Dwyer Group.

Prior to his move, Graeme Payne advised Reiss on contractual negotiations connected with its entry into a number of new markets. Sources praise his pragmatic approach, saying: "He is very easy to work with, and has a very sensible and commercial head. When you have a debate on a clause he can see the bigger picture."

Healthcare - UK-wide

Basic facts about the department
- 30 partners
- 61 other qualified lawyers

What the team is known for Sought out by healthcare clients for highly complex technology projects. Supports cutting-edge ehealth, telecare and telemedicine projects in the healthcare sector, with a particularly strong focus on data protection-related projects and regulatory work. Further grounding in traditional transactional and employment advice.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
Strategic planning: "Bird & Bird has the ability to support the 'bigger picture' and provide strategic advice in terms of healthcare business, accessibility and a common-sense approach to complex technical and operational matters."

Work highlights Advised Salutaris on its negotiation with Moorfields Eye Hospital regarding the collaboration on the wet age-related macular degeneration and clinical trial, drafting the umbrella agreement and supporting documents.

Notable practitioners  

Dominic Cook heads the group.

Significant clients Kings College Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, Kings College Hospital Management, Guy's & St Thomas' NHS Foundation Trust, GSTS Pathology, University College London Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust.

Life Sciences - UK-wide

Basic facts about the department
- 13 partners
- 24 other qualified lawyers

What the team is known for Possesses capability across all of the major areas of life sciences, including regulatory, licensing, M&A and litigation concerns. Especially strong in all patent litigation matters, with an experienced and adept roster of lawyers.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
Technical ability: "Uniformly excellent."

Client service: "Their client service was excellent." 

Work highlights Successfully represented Actavis in a High Court case relating to the potential granting of declarations of non-infringement.

Advised Bioseek on the sale of its human tissue business to Stemgent.

Notable practitioners 

Morag Macdonald is noted by sources as an "incredibly responsive" patent litigator who is "a very quick learner of complex technology." She recently acted for ConvaTec on a patent revocation case brought by Smith & Nephew concerning wound dressings.

Gerald Kamstra is an experienced figure within the life sciences world. He focuses his practice mostly on transactional matters, although he also undertakes litigation.

Sources call Sally Shorthose "technically excellent" and highlight her previous in-house experience as a valuable adjunct to her practice in life sciences M&A.

Robert Williams continues to be rated by sources for providing advice "enhanced by his deep technical understanding and common-sense approach." He litigates a variety of patent disputes.

Significant clients Teva Pharmaceuticals, Allergan, Novozymes, Mylan, Sanofi Pasteur.

Media & Entertainment - UK-wide

Basic facts about the department
- 10 partners
- 25 other qualified lawyers

What the team is known for Known in the UK and further afield for its expertise in IP and TMT matters affecting media and entertainment clients. Represents media companies in matters involving online and digital content.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
Commercial awareness: "The quality of the work is always Rolls-Royce standard, turnaround is within the right timeframe and it takes into account the nature of our business."

Technical ability: "A very sophisticated practice founded on a solid TMT base." 

Work highlights Acted for the UK Media Monitoring Association in the high-profile dispute between the Newspaper Licensing Agency and Meltwater regarding internet news clippings royalties.

Instructed by leading gaming developer and publisher Codemasters to assist with its legal and commercial operations in the UK and worldwide.  

Notable practitioners

Felicity Reeve is noted for her experience of advising on sponsorship, advertising and media rights matters, often in sports broadcasting. 

Phil Sherrell is a media litigator with a focus on music, advertising and publishing cases. He led the firm's representations in the widely reported Meltwater matter. Sources say he is "very articulate and persuasive" and that he "instils confidence in his clients." 

Howard Rubin is particularly well known for his commercial and regulatory advice to technology clients, including video games and software companies.

Significant clients Associated Newspapers, BT Vision, Nestlé, The FA.

Outsourcing - UK-wide

Basic facts about the department

- 18 partners
- 41 associates
- Office locations ranked: London

What the team is known for Remains a leader in high-profile public sector transactions, acting for both suppliers and tendering government agencies. Strong reputation in major transformational information technology outsourcing (ITO) and telecommunications projects.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
Industry knowledge: "For government procurement and commercial contracting, the people here know what they are talking about and concentrate on the commercial realities of the situation."

Technical expertise: "We use the firm for large, complex and often difficult transactions which are significant for our business."

Pragmatic approach: "They have a pragmatic approach which is of real benefit."

Work highlights Advised CSC on the renegotiation of a major IT contract with the Department of Health.

Notable practitioners  

Dominic Cook specialises in the healthcare sector and advises on major agreements for both public and private clients. Sources say that "he has excellent perception of the nature of the project and understands all moving parts."

Roger Bickerstaff is a respected figure for public sector procurement issues. Sources praise his understanding of the supplier relationship with government. One says that "he helps us to understand our options and map a way through the procurement process." 

Partner Mark Leach heads the department and advises on technology, communications and business process outsourcings. Clients say: "He cuts through the legal risk and distils real commercial solutions." He frequently advises suppliers to government. 

Newly promoted partner Ian Edwards has experience across a broad scope of projects, including technology and business process outsourcings. 

Chris Holder advises on large-scale technology and business outsourcing transactions. He has recently been involved in several significant ITOs.

Simon Shooter is praised by clients for his commercial approach to outsourcing.  One source says: "Simon is one of the most commercial lawyers I have come across. He looks for the solution and frames advice around it."

"Proactive" Nick Perry is a well-regarded practitioner focusing on outsourcings, managed services agreements and commercial technology transactions.

Significant clients Babcock, BAE Systems, BT, Mecom, Ministry of Justice.

Since publication, Chris Holder has joined Bristows LLP

Private Equity - UK-wide

Basic facts about the department
- 6 partners
- 18 other qualified lawyers

What the team is known for Highly active advising institutional venture capital clients on transactions in the technology, life sciences and cleantech sectors. Provides clients with expert advice on transactions at all stages.  

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
Client service: "We get partner time, which is essential, and the service is very good."

Responsiveness: "They were really good and highly responsive."

What's new? Geraint Lloyd joins the team from Berwin Leighton Paisner, where he was senior partner and head of private equity and venture capital.

New client wins include Albion Ventures, Uniservity and Eykona.

Work highlights Represented Index Ventures Management on the £7.9 million Series B round investment in Secret Escapes.

Advised OpenX Software on series E round financing of USD22.5 million, led by Samsung Venture Investment.

Notable practitioners  

Geraint Lloyd gives clients "highly commercial, directed and problem-solving" advice. He recently advised Albion Ventures on its £2.6 million investment into Proveca.

Angus Miln is "practical, commercial and takes the lead on matters," clients comment approvingly. He is a frequent choice for venture capital and private equity transactions.

Struan Penwarden advised the management team of Audio Visual Machines on a £19 million buyout by Alcuin Capital. Sources say he is a "quality operator" in the technology sector.

Simon Fielder has impressed clients with his "no-nonsense" and "get-it-done" attitude on transactions. He frequently works with US companies expanding their business in Europe.

Significant clients Kreos Capital, Balderton Capital, Tate & Lyle Ventures, Advent Venture, Enso Holdings.

Public Procurement - UK-wide

Basic facts about the department

- 10 partners
- 20 other qualified lawyers
- Office locations ranked: London

What the team is known for A procurement practice that is underwritten by the firm's highly regarded sectoral expertise in IT, telecommunications, energy and healthcare. Frequently acts for central government and other public sector bodies as well as private companies.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
Market standing: "They have an excellent practice and a really impressive client list." 

Work highlights Advising the Department of Energy & Climate Change on the procurement of its national Smart Metering Implementation Programme for household and business users of gas and electricity.

Acting for NHS SBS in judicial review proceedings challenging the outsourcing of various services by ten NHS trusts in South-West England.

Notable practitioners  

Roger Bickerstaff is acknowledged for his in-depth experience in IT procurement and outsourcings. His practice includes acting for both public and private sector bodies.

Significant clients Export Credit Guarantees Department (UK Export Finance), BT, Ofsted, BIS.

Sports Law - UK-wide

Basic facts about the department
- 4 partners
- 6 assistants

What the team is known for At the forefront of the sports legal world. Extremely broad practice across both contentious and non-contentious issues, in the UK and internationally. Areas of particular expertise include IP, anti-doping and anti-corruption work. Also frequently represents rights holders in broadcasting deals and assists clients with regulatory, commercial and tax-related issues. 

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
Breadth of services: "We use them for very complex matters and they offer a full range of services to us." 

Commercial awareness: "They are very commercial and are top players in the market." 

Bench strength: "The roster of sports lawyers they have is first-rate." 

Market standing: "It's hard to look past them – they have constructed one of the best all-round sports practices. They would be the first port of call for a referral." 

Work highlights Advising the Football Association on the sale of domestic and international media rights for matches for the England men's football team and FA Cup ties.

Acted for the World Anti-Doping Agency in its high-profile dispute with the British Olympic Association over the compatibility of its doping bylaw with the World Anti-Doping Code.

Notable practitioners  

Jonathan Taylor is a renowned sports lawyer and the firm's sports group head. One source said: "He understands the interrelationship between the commercial and legal aspects. He knows when the legal aspect is critical to the overall package but never loses sight of the commercial aspects." Taylor regularly advises clients on commercial, regulatory and contentious issues, and is praised as "a star individual – he is doing it at a different level to other people."

Max Duthie is particularly active in regulatory and contentious matters, including anti-doping and anti-touting work. He is particularly active in rugby cases and was appointed as legal officer for the 2013 British & Irish Lions tour to Hong Kong and Australia.

Felicity Reeve regularly handles cases across myriad sports, often involving rights holders as well as other media and marketing-related clients. One source said: "She is absolutely fantastic. She can grasp very complex issues very quickly. She knows the sports world, what current practice is, and what's expected of you. She is very bright and very, very responsive."

Jamie Herbert is particularly active working on a number of contentious matters, including discipline, anti-corruption and anti-doping.  

Significant clients British & Irish Lions, European Rugby Cup, The Lawn Tennis Association, The Premier League, The International Cricket Council.

Telecommunications - UK-wide

Basic facts about the department

- 30 partners
- 45 other qualified lawyers

What the team is known for Broad capabilities in supporting the day-to-day operations of telecoms clients. Experienced litigation team. Also noted for its sound understanding of the intricate nuances in new technological developments.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
Technical ability: "On commercial and regulatory telecoms matters, Bird & Bird is excellent."

What's new? New clients include Millicom.

Work highlights Handled various commercial network agreements for EE implemented to facilitate its 4G rollout, as well as its rebrand from previous name Everything Everywhere.

Continues to represent Nokia in various patent litigation matters.

Notable practitioners  

Graeme Maguire has "a vast amount of industry knowledge, admirable judgement and key legal knowledge." Peers are highly complimentary of his versatile and high-quality portfolio of work. He maintains a strong practice acting on all legal issues stemming from cloud and similarly new telecoms-relevant IT.

Ronald Hendrikx is highlighted by peers as "a young partner who understands the future of the industry and the way things are happening." He has developed a focus on smart metering systems.

Of counsel Colin Long continues to be a key adviser for strategic and regulatory matters. "I have always seen him as a father figure in telecoms law," comments one source. Long's vast experience encompasses knowledge of the African and Middle East markets.

Allan Sanderson's forte lies in telecoms dispute resolution. Sources highlight his long-standing reputation in the telecoms sector: "He knows everyone in the industry."

Significant clients BT, EE, Liquid Telecom, Nokia.

Travel - UK-wide

Basic facts about the department
- 2 partners
- 3 other qualified lawyers

What the team is known for Advises on commercial contractual agreements including charter, general sales agency and booking terms and conditions. Also noted for company failures and insolvency issues, contractual disputes and regulatory matters.  

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
Client service: "The different departments communicate with each other very easily, resulting in outstanding all-round service tailored to clients' needs. Members see the big picture and have a good understanding of the commercial realities of doing business right now."

Commercial awareness: "Their lawyers are really commercially minded and work with us to keep costs down and to achieve a practical and sensible result."

Work highlights Advised the Monarch Group on EU regulations relating to the group's ATOL renewals.

Notable practitioners  

Clients say of Simon Chamberlain"I think he's excellent. He gives high-quality commercial and pragmatic advice that's very effective in the business environment." He specialises in non-contentious matters

Significant clients The Monarch Group, Dart Group/Jet2, Virgin Atlantic, Travco, Lowcostholidays.