This firm appears in the Who's Who Legal 100 2014
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FIRM OF THE YEAR – INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY, LIFE SCIENCES, PATENTS, TELECOMS AND MEDIA
Early 2014 saw Bird & Bird enter into a unique cooperation agreement with leading Korean firm Hwang Mok Park. With a stated focus of “helping clients in industry sectors where technology and regulation are driving change”, this distinctive approach helps the firm to stand out for its innovative developments.
|BIRD & BIRD|
|Asset Recovery||2||Labour & Employment||4|
|Corporate Tax||1||Sports & Entertainment||6|
|Energy||2||Telecoms and Media||8|
|Environment||1||Trade & Customs||1|
The firm also further cemented their “first-class” status in the franchise and licence department with three additions to the global franchising, licensing and multi-channel strategies group. With over 1,000 lawyers worldwide, Bird & Bird leads the field in the patents, IT, telecoms and life sciences arenas, winning our firm of the year awards in each of these areas. Recent work involves high-profile clients such as SFR, Bouygues Telecom and Café Rouge, further adding to its impressive roster.
|Total Listings in WWL||130||Established||1846|
|Home jurisdiction||UK||Total size of firm||1160|
|Number of partners||282||Number of offices||26|
PEOPLE AND PRACTICES
Recognised as the leading life sciences firm in the world in our research, Bird & Bird lawyers work with medical devices and biotech companies and manufacturers. The international life sciences group also works with over 50 per cent of the world’s largest pharmaceutical companies. Morag Macdonald is joint head of the international intellectual property group and has a “market-leading” IP practice encompassing litigation and transactional work. Neil Jenkins is “very active” in the field and has particular expertise in the management and conduct of cross-border patent litigation. Gerald Kamstra is a “top-notch” litigator and has been involved in major pharmaceutical and biotechnology patent cases in the English courts. In Belgium, Bruno Vandermeulen heads the intellectual property team. With wide-ranging experience, he is the “go-to guy” for IP due diligence and cross-border litigation strategies in Belgium and Europe. Hong Kong-based Alison Wong is recognised for her work in the regulatory field and in the development of IP protection strategies. Further recognition is also given to managing partner of the Italian office Massimiliano Mostardini who co-heads the international life sciences group. He has wide-ranging experience in both patent and trademark matters and is a “standout” practitioner in these fields.
Further patent “experts” include Oliver Jan Jüngst in Germany who co-heads the international electronics sector group. He is a “brilliant” litigator with recent cases including the IPCom v Nokia litigation and Microsoft’s dispute with Motorola. Christian Harmsen heads the German intellectual property group and counts Ericsson and GlaxoSmithKline among his big-name clients. In the trademarks field, Peter Brownlow is “among the best in the world”. He is particularly renowned for his work in passing off, trademark, copyright and design litigation.
The information technology group holds over 150 specialist lawyers who provide the full range of services required. Key focus areas including cloud services, cybersecurity and open data. Based in London, Graham Smith is an “excellent” practitioner and handles a variety of disputes including IT projects and software copyright litigation. Roger Bickerstaff is a “major player” and heads the international IT sector group. He is an “expert” in all aspects of IT and EU procurement law. In Paris, Frédérique Dupuis-Toubol has “impressive” knowledge in the area of digital networks and technology.
The aviation practice assists clients with their regulatory, financial and contentious matters. In London, Simon Chamberlain has a “solid client base”. His practice covers transactional and regulatory advice in the aviation industry. Paul Briggs is joint head of the international aviation and defence group and has “brilliant commercial insight” according to sources. Robin Springthorpe is a “formidable” litigator with a wealth of experience in contentious and regulatory matters. In Paris, Vonnick le Guillou heads the French aviation group and is an “expert” in international product liability litigation.
Colin Long is our most highly regarded telecoms and media lawyer in the world with “unparalleled knowledge” of telecommunications law. Graeme Maguire is also “highly recommended” for his experience in communications, IT and outsourcing matters.
Mark Abell is an “absolute star” in the franchise field and heads the franchising team while Jonathan Taylor is an “internationally renowned” sports lawyer.
Bird & Bird has a very active pro bono practice which spans its network of offices. Highlights from recent initiatives include supporting social enterprises in Belgium and advising the high-profile organisation European Foundation for the Care of Newborn Infants in Germany.
The firm is also committed to minimising its impact on the environment through responsible management of its buildings as well as working alongside organisations such as Earth Champions, a not-for-profit organisation, aimed at increasing the proportion of people and businesses consciously working for the benefit of the environment.
DIVERSITY AND INCLUSION
A diverse and inclusive workforce and environment is key to the firm’s “future growth and ongoing success”. To that end, along with publication of its diversity statistics in London, it also runs a number of initiatives aimed at maintaining this diversity. One example is the Bird & Bird Bursary Scheme which provides grants to those from socially deprived areas of the country who wish to attend university. The pioneer programme builds relationships with students from underprivileged backgrounds from age 14. Alongside these firm-specific schemes, Bird & Bird is also a member of external organisations such as Race for Opportunity and the Business Disability Forum.
The firm’s three key mantras are deep industry knowledge, excellence in client service and international reach. With strategic hires continuing in both established and emerging markets, as well as close ties with law firms in other parts of the world, Bird & Bird is devoted to maintaining its standing in the international legal market.
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