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Olswang - London
  • 90 High Holborn
  • London
  • Greater London
  • UK
  • WC1V 6XX
  • CEO Michael Burdon
  • Senior Partner Mark Devereux
  • Number of UK partners 80
  • Number of other UK fee-earners 220

THE FIRM Established over 30 years ago, Olswang has built an unparalleled Technology, Media and Telecommunications practice. As a full-service, international law firm, Olswang has also established a commanding reputation for changing the face of business in a wide range of other industries, from real estate to retail and life sciences to leisure.

Technology: 15 partners; 30 other qualified lawyers. Advised the shareholders of Context Information Security (ContextIS), a leading provider of specialist technical consultancy services in the cyber security market, on the sale of the company for £32m to Babcock International Group PLC, a leading UK engineering support services company.
Advised domestic Chinese B2B e-commerce operator JQW plc on its admission to trading on the London Stock Exchange’s Alternative Investment Market (AIM). Key clients: Microsoft, BAE Systems, Marks & Spencer, Zynga, ZTE.
Media: 38 partners; 58 other qualified lawyers. Advised long-standing client Warner Music Group Corp. (WMG), an Access Industries company, on its acquisition of Parlophone Label Group from Universal Music Group, a subsidiary of Vivendi, for £487 million (around $765 million) in an all-cash transaction. Advised leading European film producer and distributor Studiocanal on the acquisition of its majority stake in one of the UK’s most successful independent producers, Red Production Company. Key clients: Dentsu Aegis, BBC Worldwide, BBC, ITV, Warner Music Group, News Corporation / News International.
Telecommunications: 12 partners; 25+ other qualified lawyers. Advised Vodafone UK on its agreement with Telefónica UK to strengthen their existing network partnership. Key clients: Vodafone, Belgacom, Telstra, Telefonica, Tata Communications.
Real Estate: 11 partners; 40 other qualified lawyers. Advised long-standing client F&C REIT in a transaction to acquire the Dollar shopping centre portfolio in a club deal from the Grosvenor Estate for a total consideration of approximately £250 million. Advised CCP III and EPISO on the sale of a €472 million portfolio of prime European logistics assets and development land in Germany, Poland and France to a Segro Joint Venture. Key clients: F&C REIT, Delancey, Aberdeen Asset Management, Benson Elliot. Corporate: 22 partners; 30 other fee earners. Acted for client Alpha Private Equity Fund 6 (APEF 6) on the acquisition of Redcats’ children and family division from world leader in apparel and accessories Kering / PPR for €119m. Advised long-standing client Warner Music Group Corp. (WMG), an Access Industries company, on its acquisition of Parlophone Label Group from Universal Music Group, a subsidiary of Vivendi, for £487 million (around $765 million) in an all-cash transaction. Key clients: BBC Worldwide, Warner Music Group, ITV plc, ISIS Equity Partners, Sodidel S.p.A.
Intellectual Property: 12 partners; 64 other fee earners. Acted for Stan James Plc, Stan James (Abingdon) Limited, Enetpulse Aps and Yahoo! UK Limited in a court case concerning intellectual property rights in football fixture lists prepared for the English and Scottish football leagues. Advised multi-award winning client Naked Energy, a solar technology company, on intellectual property, commercial agreements and funding rounds necessary for the success of its award-winning product, Virtu. Key clients: Microsoft, ZTE, Vodafone, Richemont Group, Sky.
Litigation: 13 partners; 32 other fee earners. Advised News International in relation to various matters arising from voicemail interception at the News of the World, including conducting a review into journalistic standards and practices at News International, establishing and running News International’s Compensation Scheme for victims of voicemail interception and acting for News Group Newspapers in relation to civil claims brought against it. Key clients: BBC, BBC Worldwide, ITV, Microsoft, Kaupthing.
Commercial Contracts, Sourcing, Procurement & Supply Chain: 27 partners; 59 other fee earners. Advised BP on the extension of its existing UK and US HR outsource with provider Aon Hewitt. Advised IMG Worldwide, the global sports, fashion, and media company on its strategic partnership with Livestream (Livestream.com), a market leader in live video streaming for online distribution. Key clients: BP, BAE Systems, T-Systems, Deutsche Post-DHL.
Finance: 8 partners; 21 other fee earners
Employment, Pensions & Benefits: 9 partner; 18 other fee earners

INTERNATIONAL: Headquartered in London, Olswang has an international presence spanning Belgium, France, Germany, Spain, the UK and Singapore. Languages: Dutch, English, French, German, Mandarin, Spanish

RECRUITMENT: The firm has seen a high number of lateral recruits this year in the UK. UK recruits include: Louise Bell; Bernard O’Sullivan; Andrew Quayle; Ron Burgess; Justin Hill and Andrew Besser.

  • Technology Clive Gringras, Anthony Waller
  • Media Mark Devereux
  • Telecommunications Purvi Parekh
  • Real Estate Jonathan Lewis
  • Corporate Fabrizio Carpanini
  • Intellectual Property Paul Stevens
  • Litigation Richard Bamforth
  • Commercial Contracts, Sourcing, Procurement & Supply Chain Iain Stansfield; Dominic Dryden
  • Finance Charles Kerrigan
  • Employment, Pensions and Benefits Catherine Taylor


  • 90 High Holborn,
  • London,
  • Greater London
  • UK
  • WC1V 6XX
  • Tel (020) 7067 3000
  • Fax (020) 7067 3999
  • DX 37972 London Kingsway
  • Email : london@olswang.com
  • Website : www.olswang.com

Banking & Finance - London (Firms)

Basic facts about the department
- 9 partners
- 19 other qualified lawyers

What the team is known for Works equally for lenders and borrowers on a wide range of banking and finance matters. Specifically known for its real estate and TMT lending expertise. Particular experience in the fields of technology, leisure and retail. 

Work highlights Acted for the Bank of Ireland on a number of bank club deals with an aggregate value of over £100 million.

Advised a bandwidth infrastructure provider, euNetworks Group, on financing provided by Barclays Private Credit Partners worth EUR30 million.

Notable practitioners  

Charles Kerrigan is skilled in advising on transactions in the TMT and real estate industries, acting for both major banks and alternative lenders in the UK and abroad. One source reports: “He got up to speed in terms of understanding the nuances of the industry very quickly.”

Moni Mannings' practice lies in the property investment, acquisition finance and LBO areas. She tends to have a borrower-led practice but has also built strong relationships with banks.

Significant clients Clydesdale Bank, Chamonix Private Equity, Kaupthing Bank, Sportech, Nationwide Building Society.

Construction - London (Firms)

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

What the team is known for Acts for a range of developer clients on contentious matters and projects. Acts for clients from the telecoms, sports, property and leisure industries.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients) 

"A very positive experience." 

"We are very satisfied with the service they provide." 

Work highlights Advised Melia Hotels on the development of a hotel in central Manchester, as part of a wider £80 million redevelopment that will include student accommodation, a multi-storey car park and a cultural centre.

Acted for InfraRed Capital Partners on development agreements relating to the construction of shopping centres in Liverpool and Norwich.  

Notable practitioners  

Francis Ho is a key contact.

Significant clients UBS Global Asset Management, Aberdeen Asset Management, F&C REIT, Capital & Regional, Benson Elliot.

Corporate/M&A - London (Firms)

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

What the team is known for A top-class mid-market practice which is highly proficient in a variety of corporate areas including, media, technology and telecoms, alongside emerging areas such as real estate and leisure. Puts the wider facets of the firm, including its strong IP department, to good use in its corporate offering.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)

"They make us feel like we're the most important client to them. They're very accessible and very pragmatic in their approach. They're automatically the first people we call."

"Very pragmatic, proactive and down to earth. There's no posturing, they just get on with what needs to be done."

"Excellent client care. They spend a lot of time thinking how they can be helpful."

What's new? New client wins include BAE Systems, Quintain Estates & Development and TripAdvisor.

Work highlights Assisted Warner Music Group with its £487 million cash purchase of Parlophone Label Group from Universal Music Group.

Advised Vodafone on its joint venture agreement with Sainsbury's for the creation of Mobile by Sainsbury's.

Notable practitioners  

Stephen Hermer is a "technically excellent and very pragmatic" partner who is also noted as being "commercially savvy." He led the team assisting Warner Music Group with its acquisition of Parlophone Label Group from Universal Music Group for £487 million.

Simon Morgan is described as an "incredibly knowledgeable, diligent and commercial" lawyer who is "at least on a par with the very best lawyers I've worked with," according to one client. He acted for M&C Saatchi on the disposal of a 75.1% stake in Walker Media for £36 million.

Sources call Paul Blackmore "very robust and pragmatic" for his wide-reaching corporate practice, which features expertise in media and real estate. He represented Quintain Estates & Development in its £39 million sale of the SeQuel property portfolio to Palace Capital.

Stephen Rosen is a "switched-on" lawyer whose "service levels are off the chart" and is "very good commercially and technically." His practice encompasses corporate and private equity transactions.

Significant clients BBC Worldwide, ITV, Sofidel, Delancey, Cineworld Group.

Employment - London (Firms)

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

What the team is known for Broad practice providing advice on all areas of employment law. Assists clients in the TMT sectors, with recent highlights including a wealth of work on contentious matters.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)

"They go above and beyond what they should do to provide good client service."

"The associates are very responsive and the entire team is commercial and pragmatic." 

Notable practitioners  

Daniel Aherne focuses on advising employers in litigation at the tribunal and High Court level. He advises across a range of sectors including TMT and financial services. Sources say: "He is a highly practical and commercial thinker."

Catherine Taylor advises employers on a full range of matters, including regular work on restrictive covenants. Clients praise her as "very commercial and responsive" and "very adept at explaining the strategic options during litigation."

Melanie Lane assists clients in a range of sectors on a wide variety of employment law issues. She is noted as being "very practical and solution-oriented" and sources recommend her for work relating to senior employees.

Significant clients BBC, Channel 4, Huddle, Rightmove, Searcys.

Information Technology - London (Firms)

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

What the team is known for Standout media expertise and widely recognised technology practice, incorporating digital media and the intersection between IP and IT. Impressive client roster. Additional strength in technology-related litigation.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)

"What really stands out is their strategic thinking. Olswang have been very receptive to what we see as our goals and are able to move very quickly and get great results."

"They take the time to get to know the client. Because they've already invested the time educating their workforce on what's important to us, four hours turns into two, and they're never just advising on the specific issue in front of them but the issue in the wider landscape."

Work highlights Represented Microsoft in its claim against Discount Licensing, for unlawful purchase and disposal of second-hand software licences.

Notable practitioners  

Clients recommend Clive Gringras for his "razor-sharp strategic thinking and encyclopaedic knowledge of the industry." He works on both transactional and contentious matters for major international clients. Sources say: "He's brilliant from a legal strategy perspective." 

Significant clients Unilever, Tripadvisor, Airbnb, ZTE, T-Systems.

Intellectual Property - London (Firms)

Basic facts about the department
- 18 partners
- 53 other fee earners (including patent and trade mark attorneys)

What the team is known for A market-leading trade mark and copyright practice strong in equal measure on commercial and contentious matters. Also has an expanding patent offering, encompassing litigation and prosecution work.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)

"They are thorough, personable and very commercially pragmatic." 

"Their service is exceptional and thorough - they're always willing to go the extra mile."

Work highlights Acted for Zynga on a trade mark dispute against Mattel in which the latter claimed infringement of its Scrabble trade mark.

Acted for ZTE UK on a patent infringement action brought by Vringo regarding mobile telecommunications technology.

Notable practitioners  

Helen Newman is commended for her magisterial knowledge of trade mark law, at national and international level. Sources say she is "a problem solver, not someone who just gives you a list of issues to wrestle with."

Paul Stevens is a go-to for trade mark and copyright litigation and has been instrumental in many of the leading cases of the day. He is singled out for his excellent client relations and for being easy to work with. "He is always calm and doesn’t get into a flap," says one source.

Joel Barry is recommended above all for trade mark work, and he manages the portfolios of a number of the firm's key clients. He is also noted for his record in Community trade mark oppositions.

Iain Stansfield heads the firm's commercial group, his primary focus being IP transactions and advisory work regarding brands, content and designs.

Sarah Wright concentrates mainly on non-contentious and transactional work involving trade marks and designs. She manages trade mark portfolios for major names in telecommunications and digital media.

Michael Burdon leads the firm's patent litigation offering, and has recently overseen life sciences, telecommunications and renewable energy cases. He is roundly praised by sources for being a supportive team player and "a pleasure to work with."

Significant clients Cambridge Silicon Radio (Blue Tooth), ITV, Microsoft, Richemont Group, Vodafone.

Licensing - London (Firms)

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

What the team is known for Comprehensive coverage of all gambling-related issues across the UK, USA and EU. Known for its expertise in regulatory and e-gaming matters.

Work highlights Advised Gamseys on its software licensing agreement with Tropicana Casino's online gaming in New Jersey.

Advised Sportech on its acquisition of DataTote, a leading operator of European greyhound and horseracing betting.

Notable practitioners  

David Zeffman is held in high regard in the gambling sector, with clients commenting that "his knowledge of the industry is second to none." Those who instruct him report that he is "aggressive in defending your interests and great at understanding your goals."

Significant clients Asian Logic, William Hill, Paddy Power, BetFred, Sporting Index.

Litigation - London (Firms)

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

What the team is known for Active in fields including IP, finance and manufacturing, alongside well-recognised strength in the TMT arena. International offering with an impressive client roster including a number of corporate entities, governing bodies and high-profile individuals.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)

"They're very commercial and practical, and good at how they staff their work. They drive knowledge down the firm and take the time to get to know the client. They're never just advising on the specific issue in front of them, but the wider landscape."

"They completely understood the case and properly looked after the client and their interests."

Work highlights Acted for ENRC in an investigation into potential breaches of confidence.

Acted for Radboud Universiteit Nijmegen, a university in the Netherlands, in response to an injunction obtained against it and the University of Birmingham by Volkswagen to prevent publication of an article regarding weaknesses in a widely used vehicle immobiliser chip.

Notable practitioners  

Richard Bamforth heads the litigation group and is described as "very responsive - it doesn't matter what time of day it is, I know I'm going to hear back from him in the next 15 minutes. He's able to put things into context for us." His expertise includes a range of complex commercial work, including significant cross-border expertise.

Significant clients ITV, Microsoft, Kaupthing Bank, Lotus Cars, Vodafone.

Real Estate Finance - London (Firms)

Basic facts about the department
- 7 partners
- 12 other qualified lawyers

What the team is known for Adopts a multidisciplinary approach to real estate finance transactions with an emphasis on structured finance for corporate borrower clients. Also recognised for its work on complex restructurings and acquisition financings. 

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)

"Generally a very professional firm which values its clients and the quality of the service it delivers as the most important focus of its business." 

What's new? Andrew Besser joins the team from Addleshaw Goddard, with over 25 years' experience in the sector.

Work highlights Assisted BayernLB and the Steering Committee in relation to the Citibank building in Canary Wharf, which involved complex restructuring and lending valued at £1.6 billion.

Advised Wells Fargo and Santander on the £150 million financing of property acquisitions by a specialist fund.

Notable practitioners  

Andrew Besser has a vast amount of wider banking experience, with particular focus on acting for lenders and large property companies in the UK and Europe. He is recommended by peers in relation to his work on complex financings.

Significant clients Aareal Bank, London & Associated Properties, Deutsche Pfandbriefbank, Lloyds Banking Group, Delancey.

Real Estate Litigation - London (Firms)

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

What the team is known for Handling major disputes for institutional clients and investors. Particular areas of expertise include rent reviews, insolvency issues and leasehold enfranchisement.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)

"The team is focused on the issues, willing to negotiate and good value for money."

Notable practitioners 

Head of department Marcus Barclay represents major property sector clients in noteworthy disputes, with a particular focus on rent review matters. Clients say: "He is very good - very considered and strategic."

Significant clients BP, UBS, Delancey Real Estate Asset Management, ING Real Estate Development UK, Aberdeen Property UK Retail Parks Partnership. 

Real Estate - London (Firms)

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

What the team is known for Acts for private equity funds and institutions on property portfolio sales and acquisitions, as well as single asset deals. Particular expertise on investment in the retail sector. Also handles asset management for institutional landlords.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)

"Olswang are excellent, very commercially minded. They don't tell you the law; they tell you the way forward."

"In terms of resourcing both numerically and in quality terms they've yet to let us down. There's a deep bench there on the various areas of advice we're now seeking from them."

What's new? New clients include Qatari Diar, Kennedy Wilson and Ronson Capital Partners.

Work highlights Acted for F&C REIT Asset Management on its £250 million acquisition of a portfolio of shopping centres.

Advised Capital & Regional on exchange of contracts with Resolution Property for the £71.1 million sale of the Great Northern Warehouse shopping centre, Manchester.

Notable practitioners  

Simon Kanter's caseload includes portfolio transactions, single asset deals and corporate real estate. Clients say: "He has his finger on the pulse and has a good understanding of our affairs. Responsive and very approachable."

Head of department Jonathan Lewis recently acted for Quintain on a £39 million portfolio sale. "He is one of the best lawyers I've ever worked with," enthuses one client, adding: "He's incredibly clever, his contracts are very good and he just knows how to get the other side to agree to what we want."

Tim Westhead advised Oaktree Capital Management on its £40 million acquisition of an office property in Manchester. "Tim is a very practical lawyer," explains one client; "he knows how to get things done, but at the same time if we need to choreograph the pace of a transaction to suit us he can do that too."

Significant clients Delancey, Gamla, Aberdeen Asset Management, Brandeaux, Heron.

Restructuring/Insolvency - London (Firms)

Basic facts about the department
- 9 partners
- 19 other qualified lawyers

What the team is known for Specialist offering in the technology, real estate and retail sectors, as well as having a niche offering in leisure and media. The experienced and highly regarded team primarily acts for banks and other specialist lenders.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)

"A strong multidisciplinary team which is focused on delivery for its clients." 

Work highlights Acted on behalf of the senior lenders on a project which resulted in the acquisition of 25 Canada Square, London, by AGC Equity Partners.

Acted for the administrators of Folksam International Insurance Company (UK). The team was instrumental in negotiating and gaining approval for a scheme of arrangement.

Notable practitioners  

Alicia Videon is praised by one client as an adviser who "seeks pragmatic solutions" in her work, and is recognised as an excellent deal maker and leader in restructuring and insolvency processes. She primarily represents lenders and syndicates of lenders.

Significant clients Bayerische Landesbank, Kaupthing, Aareal Bank AG, Deutsche Hypothekenbank, Hatfield Phillips International.

Tax - London (Firms)

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

What the team is known for Noted for its sector specialisms in the areas of property, media and technology, regularly assisting high-profile clients of national and international repute. Handles a varied list of matters, including M&A, real estate and transactions. 

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)

"From our perspective, it was great for someone to come up with a strategic plan, see it all the way through, and have it do what it said on the tin."

"There are no nasty loose ends afterwards as we have had a rigorous consideration of the risks." 

What's new? Andrew Quayle has joined the team as a partner.

Work highlights Advised Warner Music Group on tax issues arising from its £487 million all-cash acquisition of the Parlophone Label Group from Vivendi.

Advised the shareholders of CGL Restaurants on the purchase of the company by D&D Topoco.

Notable practitioners  

Clients say department head Mark Joscelyne "is commercial – before giving any advice he wants to understand the commercial context and wants to understand the key triggers for all in the transaction."

Clients value that Graham Chase "can get what is intended across to the layman. He is also very practical. He thinks about the commercial implications, which is absolutely vital." Property-related work makes up a significant proportion of his practice. 

The "very creative" Stephen Hignett "is a market-making tax lawyer. He wants to get stuff done," say interviewees. His broad practice includes a strong interest in work for media clients. 

One observer admits that the "very professional" Natasha Kaye "scares me with the breadth and depth of her knowledge. It is nice to be able to talk to someone who can give you advice without too many guesses."

Significant clients BBC Worldwide, ITV, Better Capital, Delancey Real Estate Asset Management, Disney.

Employment - Thames Valley

Basic facts about the department
- 1 partner
- 6 other qualified lawyers
- Office locations ranked: Reading

What the team is known for Highly regarded for its in-depth expertise and experience across employment law, notably on matters involving multinational clients. Recently active on High Court disputes, cross-border outsourcings, and a range of day-to-day advisory matters.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)

"These lawyers don't just tell you what the law says in black and white, but find out what you actually want to achieve as a business. They provide imaginative and creative solutions and work very well together, with a cohesive ethos across the team."

Notable practitioners  

Sources universally recognise Gary Henderson's market-leading position in the Reading employment market: "He is excellent – commercially astute, practical and pragmatic in his advice. He's also very easy to communicate with, and happy to chat about any issue on which I might want a second opinion." Active across the full spectrum of employment law cases, he is particularly appreciated for the foresight he brings to complex matters: "He plays chess with the law - he always knows the next moves that will take place in a case."

Anita Wisby is a widely admired senior associate, whom clients consider to be "extremely responsive, knowledgeable, supportive, and quick at turning things around." Her contentious practice was recently enhanced by her appointment as a part-time employment judge.

Significant clients Microsoft, Ernst & Young, Liberty Global, BMW, Nationwide Building Society.

Administrative & Public Law - UK-wide

Basic facts about the department
- 4 partners
- 9 other lawyers

What the team is known for Full-service public law offering. Particular strength in telecommunications, technology and broadcasting matters. Noted for the ready integration of the firm's EU expertise with its public law advice.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)

"What they do particularly well is engaging and assisting with a client's broader strategy issues as well as simply tackling public law litigation."

Work highlights Acted for Ingenious Media and Patrick McKenna on bringing a judicial review against the then Permanent Secretary of HMRC, contending that his disclosure of information to The Times constituted a breach of his duty of confidentiality.

Represented William Hill in judicial review proceedings brought against the Horserace Betting Levy Board challenging its decision not to impose levies on betting exchanges.

Notable practitioners  

Dan Tench leads Olswang's commercial litigation group and is known for his expertise in media and privacy matters, which he ably combines with an understanding of public law litigation.

Associate to watch Tamsin Blow is building a strong reputation for her burgeoning practice in public law litigation, which focuses particularly on the overlap between media and public interest issues. Clients report that "she gives you complete confidence that she's on top of all the issues, the documentation and the arguments."

Significant clients Cable & Wireless, Virgin Media, Verizon, ITV, Resolution Chemicals.

Capital Markets - UK-wide

Basic facts about the department
- 17 partners
- 28 other qualified lawyers
- Office locations ranked: London

What the team is known for Advises across the full spectrum of AIM-related transactions, with key sector experience in technology, media, leisure and real estate. Represents Chinese and Malaysian companies seeking admission to AIM.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)

"Professional, diligent and knowledgeable. Their AIM market knowledge is excellent."

"They made every effort to ensure that we were comfortable with the firm. We always want to feel that we get quality for our money, and in this instance, it was money well spent."

Work highlights Represented Allenby Capital in its role as NOMAD and broker in RapidCloud International's flotation on AIM.

Advised JQW on its £6.7 million AIM flotation and placing of new ordinary shares.

Notable practitioners  

Paul Blackmore is the key contact at the firm.

Significant clients Allenby Capital, Dexion Capital, JQW, CityFibre Holdings, MoPowered Group.

Data Protection - UK-wide

Basic facts about the department
- 6 partners
- 6 other qualified lawyers
- Recommended office locations: London

What the team is known for High-profile TMT practice with a strong data protection offering. Advises on data breaches, subject access requests and compliance issues.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)

"I am absolutely delighted with them - they're clear, precise, very attentive to detail and absolutely committed."

"Their pragmatic approach shows they understand what it's like to be in-house. They're very good at anticipating what I need, as opposed to providing reams of unnecessary information."

Work highlights Represented the claimants in litigation brought by Safari Users Against Google’s Secret Tracking, seeking the imposition of sanctions on Google's user data processing.

Notable practitioners

Sources regard Ross McKean as having "a very deep understanding of current data protection legislation. He is very astute and aware of the issues." He frequently advises on audits, compliance and remediation projects.

Dan Tench heads the team's crisis management group and acts on significant litigation matters. "He delights in pushing cutting-edge cases forward," reports one source. Another interviewee said: "He thinks very deeply about the issues."

Significant clients Groupon, eBay, BP, TripAdvisor, JK Rowling.

Defamation/Reputation Management - UK-wide

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

What the team is known for Accomplished bench of experienced media litigators, offering reputation and crisis management expertise to individuals and corporations. Continues to develop a leading presence in online reputation matters. Demonstrates prowess acting for defendants, including newspapers and broadcasters.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)

"As well as being good lawyers there's a sense they can be trusted and relied upon to do what's best for the client."

"In terms of efficiency and ability to put a case together they are absolutely in the top rank."

Work highlights Represented former Russian police officer Pavel Karpov in libel proceedings over allegations of torture, murder and fraud made against him by Jamison Firestone, William Browder and Hermitage in a publicity campaign about Sergei Magnitsky's death.

Acted for Judith Vidal-Hall, Marc Bradshaw and Robert Hann, a group of Safari users whose data was unlawfully obtained without their consent, on a ground-breaking privacy and breach of confidence claim against Google.

Notable practitioners  

"Quality litigator" Dan Tench maintains a pre-eminent reputation in defamation work, and is highlighted as "very good and very thorough." Of late he has represented football agent Kia Joorab.

Geraldine Proudler is a distinguished veteran in the field, admired as "really creative" and "incredibly good at what she does." Proudler is characterised as having "very good judgement: firm but sensible," and is valued as a practitioner who "takes into account the broader picture of where things fit."

Ashley Hurst is admired as a "practical and pragmatic" solicitor advocate with a flourishing practice specialising in internet-related disputes. Hurst has advised WordPress owners Automattic on a diverse range of defamation, harassment and breach of confidence concerns, as well as disclosure applications.

Ian Felstead impresses as an up-and-coming player in the market, commended for his broad media litigation practice. Felstead acted for ITV and a number of 'Coronation Street' actors in relation to a dispute with production company Matchlight, on allegations concerning social media use due to be broadcast in Channel 4's 'Dispatches'.

Significant clients News Corporation, The Guardian, Microsoft, Tom Cruise, Global Radio.

Hotels & Leisure - UK-wide

Basic facts about the department
-12 partners
-23 other qualified lawyers

What the team is known for Offers particular expertise in the leisure sector, frequently representing the interests of restaurant chains and catering firms in the UK market. Also strong in advising travel groups and sporting businesses. 

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)

"The advice they give is strong – they won't labour legal points in a transaction and always focus on the commerce side of the deal. They give advice tailored to how our business operates."

"Very good client service; very prompt, professional and thorough. They are very commercially minded."

What's new? Leisure sector specialist Nick Crosbie was promoted to partner.

Work highlights Represented the shareholders of Côte Restaurants in the sale of its entire issued share capital to Chablis Bidco.

Acted for the management team of Drake & Morgan on a management buyout by Bowmark Capital.

Notable practitioners

David Roberts is recommended for his "great technical ability, unparalleled people skills and superb client advice." He is further praised for his industry knowledge, with one client noting: "He knows the sector and everyone in it - he's very useful for building up a stronger presence in the market because he will introduce you to the right people and knows where you're heading in the future."

Significant clients Hakkasan, Hawksmoor, Cineworld, Soho House, Tune Hotels, Melia Hotels.

Life Sciences - UK-wide

Basic facts about the department
- 14 partners

What the team is known for Well known for its IP practice, this firm has a stable of gifted lawyers well versed in handling transactions and litigation on behalf of major life sciences companies.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)

"They will go the extra nine yards, and you have a strong sense that they are part of the team and share your objectives."

"They were chosen for their expertise in the pharmaceutical and biotech sector, their ability to develop strong relationships and their engaging approach to us as a client. They have provided excellent service and advice."

Work highlights Represented Resolution Chemicals in its long-running dispute with Lundbeck regarding the latter's patents for escitalopram.

Representing Boston Scientific in a UK and pan-European dispute with Orbus concerning vascular stent patents.

Notable practitioners  

Stephen Reese has a comprehensive IP practice within the life sciences sector, and handles advisory, transactional and contentious work. Sources say he is "very detail-oriented" and "a very good negotiator."

Stephen Rosen advises on corporate and commercial transactions within the sector. Clients consider him "very responsive and flexible," and highlight the "excellent service and quality of advice" he provides.

Michael Burdon is well known for his prowess in complex patent litigation, and is a go-to for life sciences companies seeking to protect their IP for blockbuster treatments and medical devices.

Significant clients CMC Biologics, Convergence Pharmaceuticals, GlaxoSmithKline, Moorfields Pharmaceuticals, Wellcome Trust.

Media & Entertainment - UK-wide

Basic facts about the department
- 38 partners
- 58 other qualified lawyers

What the team is known for Full-service commercial media and entertainment practice acclaimed for its representation of major media owners, agencies and brands on a domestic and international level. Offers pre-eminent expertise across the board, supported by exalted technology and e-commerce capabilities.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)  

"They give good pragmatic advice, understand the business and don't over-lawyer things."

"They're incredibly professional and absolutely know the media world inside out."

Work highlights Advised Reliance Entertainment on the production and financing of the USD25 million feature film 'Vampire Academy'.

Acted for IMG Worldwide on its strategic partnership with live video streaming market leader Livestream.

Notable practitioners  

The "fabulous" David Zeffman focuses his practice on the sports and gambling industries, and maintains a strong reputation in broadcasting work. Peers highlight him as being "streetwise and shrewd."

Clive Gringras is an esteemed technology practitioner, noted for his depth of experience in gaming and digital media work. Clients say he is "brilliant from a legal strategy perspective."

"Terrific" head of film and TV Jacqueline Hurt is distinguished by interviewees as "one of the most knowledgeable, commercially aware film finance lawyers." Her recent work includes advising ITV on the financing and production of 'Thunderbirds Are Go'.

Selina Potter is an established expert in broadcast technology and distribution markets, lauded for her deep knowledge in relation to output deals, content licensing and rights acquisition. She recently acted for BBC Worldwide on its global licence agreement with Getty Images.

Industry luminary John Enser has a wide-ranging practice, incorporating strengths in music, broadcasting and digital work. Clients note that he "never ceases to amaze with the breadth and depth of his knowledge on all the hot topics in the industry." Recent work includes advising the French Press Association on a EUR60 million fund to finance new digital projects.

The "very practical and solution-oriented" Victoria Gaskell continues to impress with her burgeoning film and television practice, offering expertise in commercial and regulatory concerns across the content and digital media industries. Clients highlight her "deep knowledge about our business and sector."

The firm's eminent international head of media Mark Devereux remains a highly respected industry figure, providing strategic corporate advice to high-profile media mainstays. He has enormous experience in film and television work, and recently worked on Studio Canal's acquisition of Red Productions.

Steven Corney is a well-regarded commercial advocate with experience in representing a range of media organisations in contentious matters. Market commentators observe that he "enjoys the cut and thrust of litigation."

Significant clients Dentsu Aegis, MGM, BBC, Warner Music Group, News International.

Outsourcing - UK-wide

Basic facts about the department-
- 10 partners 
- 20 other qualified lawyers 
- Office locations ranked: London

What the team is known for Offers expertise in technology outsourcing transactions to major clients in a range of sectors, including financial services, retail, telecoms and life sciences.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)

"We closed a high-value deal in a quick timescale, which is credit to their flexibility and the amount of work done. We were able to do it all so quickly largely thanks to their input. I get great value for my investments and, to be frank, I want to use Olswang exclusively where I can."

"Excellent client care - they spend a lot of time thinking about how they can be helpful to us as a client. Their fees are good and estimations well kept to: no surprise bills. A pleasure to deal with too - very likeable, open people, at pains to fit in with the way we like to work rather than imposing their own style."

Work highlights Advised Euromoney Institutional Investor PLC on its acquisition of HSBC's equity and bond operation Quantitative Techniques. The transaction included a long-term agreement for the provision of services back to HSBC.

Supported the BBC in its competitive radio transmission services re-procurement.

Notable practitioners  

Ross McKean is particularly noted for his handling of sourcing transactions pertaining to the telecoms and financial services sectors. One client attests: "Ross had good knowledge of market norms in service level agreements, and provided sound advice."

Matthew Bennett brings "very good value in strategic parts of the deal that go beyond pure legal framework," say sources. He advises buyer and seller-side clients in a broad range of sophisticated IT, infrastructure and procurement transactions.

Dominic Dryden's numerous areas of proficiency include IT and business process outsourcings. His blue-chip client roster includes Nationwide, Unilever and BAE Systems.

Craig Rattray focuses his expertise in sourcing, IT and commercial procurement. He has been particularly active on ITO within multi-sourcing and cloud contexts of late.

Significant clients BP, Marks & Spencer, Deutsche Post-DHL, Groupon, Vodafone.

Private Equity - UK-wide

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

What the team is known for Well regarded in the mid-market, handling work for a broad range of clients, including management teams and acquisition target companies. On the venture capital side, it has substantial strength in IP and life sciences-related work.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)

"They're very commercial, very straightforward and you feel like you're part of their team. They're a high-quality organisation."

"The key benefit is that they are extremely partner-led."

"I very much like their work - they're very responsive, they obviously know their way around transactions and are pretty commercial. No other firm I've worked with has impressed to the same extent."

Work highlights Worked with the shareholders of Alexander Mann Group on its £260 million sale to New Mountain Capital.

Advised ISIS Equity Partners on an investment into Young Samuel Chambers worth £18 million.

Notable practitioners  

Sources call Fabrizio Carpanini "a trusted adviser" with "a wealth of experience" in private equity matters, developed over a career spanning three decades. He advised Alexander Mann Solutions on its sale to New Mountain Capital for £260 million.

Chris Mackie is a "very user-friendly and commercial" private equity specialist who, sources say, "just knows his way around a transaction." Lately he advised Hailo Network Holdings on its Series D investment, led by OCCAM Partners Fund and worth around USD40 million.

Duncan McDonald is described as "technically very well rounded" and "very practical" by commentators who also point out his excellent attention to detail. He advised the shareholders of Côte TopCo on the company's sale to Chablis Bidco, which was backed by CBPE Capital.

Stephen Rosen has a broad-based corporate practice, featuring expertise in M&A and private equity transactions, with particular strength in deals involving life sciences. Sources comment on his "well-calibrated" advice and "very user-friendly and commercial" approach.

Significant clients Primary Capital, Better Capital, NGBI Private Equity, Chamonix Private Equity, Syncona Private Equity.

Retail - UK-wide

Basic facts about the department
- 8 partners
- 15 other qualified lawyers
- Recommended office location: London

What the team is known for Notable work across all areas affecting the retail sector, with regular work on transactional mandates. The team has particular expertise in e-commerce. 

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients) 

"They bring a lot of sector knowledge and high standards and dedication to the work."

Work highlights Advised Direct Wines on the divestment of Virgin Wines, with particular regard to trade mark issues.

Notable practitioners

David Roberts is a key contact for the team.

Significant clients Net-a-Porter, Richemont Group, Stella McCartney, Austin Reed, Groupon.

Sports Law - UK-wide

What the team is known for Has significant expertise in advising clients on media rights and broadcasting matters, and in handling litigation and advising on reputation management issues. Frequently acts for its strong football clientele on litigation matters, and advises clients in horse racing on competition and regulatory matters as well as advising clients on sponsorship matters.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)

"They stood out for their efficient, articulate and thorough advice. Nothing is ever an issue for them." 

Work highlights Advised BT on a wide range of agreements, including a production services agreement with Sunset + Vine in connection to its launch of two sports channels.

Acted for sports rights agency MP & Silva on its agreement with New Zealand company Coliseum Sports Media for the exclusive licence of English Premier League rights until the end of the 2015/16 season.  

Notable practitioners 

David Zeffman has significant expertise in handling commercial and regulatory matters in relation to horse racing in the media and betting spheres. He also advises William Hill on its commercial and sponsorship arrangements for the FA Cup.

Significant clients IMG Media, Sports New Media, Tottenham Hotspur, Arena Racing Company, William Hill.

Tax - UK-wide

Basic facts about the department
- 7 partners
- 9 other qualified lawyers
- Office locations ranked: London 

What the team is known for Capable of providing contentious tax advice across the board, with particular expertise in acting for clients operating in the film, gambling and property sectors. Handles disputes covering VAT, SDLT, betting duty and transfer pricing matters.

Work highlights Represented Ingenious Media Holdings in its attempt to open a judicial review, on the grounds of procedural irregularities into HMRC's issuing of closure notices relating to film production partnerships

Advised William Hill in a judicial review concerning a gambling tax decision made by the Horserace Betting Levy Board. 

Notable practitioners

Stephen Hignett is a key contact.

Significant clients Paywizard, Delancey Real Estate Asset Management, Warner Music Group, Creston.

Telecommunications - UK-wide

Basic facts about the department
- 12 partners
- 25+ other qualified lawyers 

What the team is known for Maintains a prominent reputation for comprehensive expertise in telecommunications. Recent mandates arise in procurement, IP, MVNO structuring and 4G roll-out.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)

"Very pragmatic, proactive and down to earth. There's no posturing, they just get on with what needs to be done."

"Clearly sector-focused and perfectly capable of doing full service."

Work highlights Advised Vodafone on corporate arrangements for its venture with Sainsbury's to create 'Mobile by Sainsbury's'.

Acted for the BBC on the reprocurement of analogue and digital radio transmission services, anticipating the switch-off of analogue radio and the expansion of digital radio network.

Notable practitioners  

Purvi Parekh has recently led the firm's work for DMSL, the Ofcom-mandated joint venture established by Vodafone, Telefónica, EE and Three in respect of the roll-out of 4G. Impressed clients describe her as "absolutely tireless," reporting that she "motivates her team in a way you rarely see in law firms."

Significant clients Vodafone, Telefónica, Tata Communications, Cable & Wireless, Telstra.