By Diane Mullenex, Pinsent Masons
Although the concept of what a “smart city” is varies across countries and regions, traditionally it is construed as a place where the population gains from infrastructure and services increasing in efficiency, particularly through the use of telecommunication and technology. Recent investments in smart cities in the Middle East demonstrate how ubiquitous the issue of connectivity (and backbone networks) is, but also provide an interesting example of a regulatory attempt at addressing societal changes.
By Robert Bond, Charles Russell Speechlys LLP
Increasingly, we are seeing drones used in a wide range of industries, from farming to the delivery of medical supplies. Even retailers are using drones to offer their customers a same-day delivery service. There is also nothing currently stopping a consumer from buying a drone and taking it out flying, providing certain criteria are met.
Who’s Who Legal brings together three leading experts to discuss issues facing information technology specialists and their clients in the industry today.
Who’s Who Legal brings together two leading experts to discuss issues facing telecoms and media specialists and their clients in the industry today.
We recognise over 800 IT specialists and over 400 telecoms and media experts, covering a broad range of commercial and regulatory matters in these sectors. Below we provide a snapshot of the most highly regarded individuals and law firms in our research.
The practice of technology, media and telecoms, once a highly specialised and standalone practice area, is now an important field of expertise among law firms as technology increasingly permeates all areas of business. The growing importance of managing the risks and rewards of the digital age is a great boon for TMT lawyers, as is the ever-changing legislation governing its practice. The best law practices are reactive to this ever-changing market. TMT sector groups are being structured in a way that mirrors industry trends, combining multiple practice areas and substantive areas of knowledge, as well as sensitive fee structures. At the same time, clients are becoming much more aware of the underlying risks and are more sophisticated in their choice of legal counsel. Below we highlight some of the most significant developments in the industry and how it is affecting the legal marketplace.
The 2016 edition of Who’s Who Legal: Telecommunications Media & Technology lists an extensive 928 information technology lawyers alongside 432 telecommunications and media specialists, from 618 firms across 78 countries.
Bird & Bird leads our listings with large and dedicated IT and telecoms teams that feature in 15 jurisdictions. Baker & McKenzie also performs exceptionally well in both segments, with impressive global TMT practices. Fieldfisher boasts some of the best European regulatory and transactional lawyers in the sector. DLA Piper is strongly represented, particularly in the US, Europe and the Middle East. Hogan Lovells performs especially well in the US and European IT markets, while Olswang earns considerable recognition for its telecoms practice in Europe and the Far East.
The most highly regarded practitioners in the information technology, and in telecoms and media segments are also recognised in this section.
Big data is seen by many as the driving force within the market this year. The growth in data harvesting has been the catalyst behind the recent increased focus on data protection by governments globally, and the mounting pressure on companies to build security controls into products.
Our previously distinct Information Technology and Telecoms & Media editions have been amalgamated to form Telecommunications Media & Technology 2015, which comprises 716 IT specialists alongside 317 telecoms and media experts from a combined 539 firms across 60 countries.
We have highlighted five firms that stand out for their international reputation in our research. Bird & Bird is the preeminent force in this market, with listings in eight European countries, as well as in China and Hong Kong. Baker & McKenzie provides cutting-edge expertise with a large contingent of leading practitioners across its extensive network. DLA Piper displays its global reach with recognition in nine countries; following closely behind, Hogan Lovells achieves numerous listings in Europe, the US and Asia. Similarly, Fieldfisher is famed for its TMT practice group and is considered by many to be a dominant firm in the UK and European market.
We also select the most highly regarded individuals in the world, for both the information technology and the telecoms and media segements.
Statistical claims that 90 per cent of the world’s data has been generated in the past two years can only in part convey how data has become a central socio-economic issue. The leveraging of information and communications technologies is now one of the most progressive ways of increasing productivity and capital. To this end, we can highlight through several major trends the growing role of TMT lawyers in the global corporate environment.
Bird & Bird leads our research with 23 representatives this year. The firm’s depth of expertise is evidenced with listings spanning the breadth of its international offices. The second-highest performing law firms in our research are Baker & McKenzie and Field Fisher Waterhouse which field 15 lawyers each to our research. DLA Piper is another major player and garners an outstanding 13 representatives this year, with several leading individuals based in Europe. Five further firms and 10 world-renowned individuals are singled out in this section.
In 2013 more data was produced than ever before; the age of “big data” has made this area of law an integral concern for businesses and corporations worldwide. As businesses utilise new methods of reaching customers, expert counsel in this area has become a necessity. The pace of change and the convergence of new media in the IT space have made this an increasingly complex sector, encompassing many fields of law. Over the last 12 months many practitioners spoke of this area as developing quickly and becoming increasingly specialised and this publication, previously entitled The International Who’s Who of Internet, e-Commerce and Data Protection Lawyers, has been renamed The International Who's Who of Information Technology Lawyers to reflect the increasing scope of this practice area. In this article we examine these issues and identify some of the key trends affecting the IT legal marketplace.
Our research has identified 539 lawyers who are considered outstanding in the field of internet, e-commerce and data protection law, selected from 325 firms across the globe. Among the leading firms in the research are Bird & Bird, DLA Piper, Baker & McKenzie and Field Fisher Waterhouse, and while 180 of the top lawyers are based in the US, there is a very strong European showing in our list of the top 10 most highly regarded lawyers.
With the benefit of over 14 years of research and thousands of votes from clients and private practitioners, Who’s Who Legal takes a closer look at developing trends in the internet legal marketplace worldwide.
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Nominees have been selected based upon comprehensive, independent survey work with both general counsel and private practice lawyers worldwide. Only specialists who have met independent international research criteria are listed.