TMT 2017: Analysis

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. 

Thought Leaders - IT
Steven De Schrijver Astrea, Brussels
Jürg Schneider Walder Wyss, Zurich
Peter Bräutigam Noerr, Munich
Bradley Joslove Franklin, Paris
Richard Kemp Kemp IT Law, London
Ceylin Beyli CBL Law Office, Istanbul
North America
John Beardwood Fasken Martineau DuMoulin, Toronto
Charles Morgan McCarthy Tétrault, Montreal
Dov Scherzer Polsinelli, New York
Alan Sutin Greenberg Traurig, New York
Sandra Jeskie Duane Morris, Philadelphia
Latin America
Paulo Marcos Rodrigues Brancher Azevedo Sette Advogados, São Paulo
Juan Daniel Rodríguez Cardoso Rodríguez Rueda SC, Mexico City
Singh Sajai J Sagar Associates, Bangalore
Peter Leonard Gilbert + Tobin, Sydney
Philip Catania Corrs Chambers Westgarth, Melbourne
Thought Leaders - Telecoms & Media
Christopher Watson CMS Cameron McKenna, London
Bradley Joslove Franklin, Paris
Clara-Ann Gordon Niederer Kraft & Frey, Zurich
North America
Henry Levine Levine Blaszak Block & Boothby, Washington, DC
Hank Intven McCarthy Tétrault, Vancouver
Latin America
Paulo Marcos Rodrigues Brancher Azevedo Sette Advogados, São Paulo
Clara Luz Álvarez FBufete Quijano, Mexico City
Peter Leonard Gilbert + Tobin, Sydney
Singh Sajai J Sagar Associates, Bangalore

Several law firms stand out for their widespread presence in our research, including a mixture of global, independent and boutique law firms.

Bird & Bird has more individuals listed and features listed individuals in more jurisdictions than any other firm in this year’s research. Its extensive network in this area is focused on Europe, but also comprises additional listings in the Asia-Pacific region.

The London office is the most widely recognised with seven nominees. Stand-out names include the “outstanding” Roger Bickerstaff, who is regarded as one of the EU’s leading lawyers in the procurement of large IT projects. Ruth Boardman is “a big name in data protection law”, while Graham Smith is similarly well regarded for his expertise in regulatory and contentious aspects of internet law, garnering significant praise from peers globally. In France, Frédérique Dupuis-Toubol excels in both our IT and telecoms research, with a practice that focuses on negotiating outsourcing agreements and advising on telecoms regulations. In Germany the firm’s strong team includes six listings; the most widely recognised are Alexander Duisberg, who is highlighted for his “intelligence and creativity” with regards to outsourcing contracts, and Fabian Niemann, who is considered “a brilliant lawyer” for cloud computing matters. Belgium practice head Benoit Van Asbroeck stands out for his broad expertise in IT and telecoms matters. A further 10 market-leading practitioners are listed across Spain, the Netherlands, Finland, Sweden and Denmark, as well as Hong Kong and Singapore.

Baker & McKenzie receives the second largest number of listings in our research. The London office has the strongest concentration of nominees, with nine individuals recognised. Harry Small heads the global technology practice and has extensive experience in a wide range of IT and telecoms contracts and related disputes. One source says: “He is a senior figure and unquestionably very knowledgeable.” Ian Walden is widely recommended and is regarded by respondents as “a dedicated expert who is at the apex of developments in the field”. Twelve further individuals are listed from eight jurisdictions, including Ken Chia, who has a prominent practice based in Singapore, regularly advising operators, tech companies and governments in the region on commercial transactions, IT procurement and privacy matters. In Palo Alto, Lothar Determann is highly recommended for both his outsourcing and privacy practice.

Independent Amsterdam-based outfit Kennedy Van Der Laan boasts some of the most highly regarded practitioners in the whole of the Europe. It also has the most number of individuals recognised from a single office in our entire research. Reinoud Westerdijk is a leading exponent of IT law, with “one of the very best” commercial and procurement practices in the sector. Patrick Wit’s expertise in IT and telecoms, including commercial and compliance matters, is highly regarded by an international body of respondents. Joost Linnemann is “a star” lawyer in the IT sector. A peer notes, “His knowledge and experience cannot be beaten.” A further 11 names are recognised as market leaders in the following pages.

Fieldfisher performs well, with a multi-jurisdictional offering in Europe, as well as a base in Palo Alto, in support of US clients with EU interests. The London headquarters has a wealth of expertise particularly in technology matters. Paul Barton is widely seen a leader in the IT sector, advising on complex outsourcing agreements and privacy issues. Hazel Grant is considered an “extremely knowledgeable” data protection expert. In Brussels, Tim Van Canneyt is seen as a “clever and responsive” specialist in data protection and privacy issues. Felix Wittern, Mark Webber and Phil Lee are all listed in the Palo Alto office, providing “first-class” advice to US clients on European based technology transactions and regulatory issues. 

Hogan Lovells has one of the strongest global practices in this area, particularly in the US and Europe. A highly sought after practitioner in London is Eduardo Ustaran for his “top-notch” data protection practice. One peer further comments that he is “he is very good with clients.” Marco Berliri is considered “one of the best IT lawyers in Italy”. Stefan Schuppert is placed in the top quartile of the highly competitive Germany tech bar for his “outstanding practice”. Gonzalo Gállego is ranked in Spain for both IT and telecoms, and Winston Maxwell is a recognised leader in French and EU telecoms regulations. In the firm’s DC office several practitioners earn recognition, including the head of the communications practice Michele Farquhar, who is seen as “an authority on the telecoms policy and regulations”. Meanwhile, Christopher Wolf receives widespread praise for his “top-tier data privacy practice”, with expertise in “Big Data”, cloud computing and social media.

DLA Piper is similarly well thought of on the global stage, receiving recognition in 10 jurisdictions. In Europe the leading figures at the firm include Patrick Van Eecke in Brussels, who co-chairs the e-business practice. Van Eecke is referred to as “a very fine lawyer” and “a top expert”, especially in regards to data protection and e-commerce. Jan Geert Meents ranks as one of the best outsourcing lawyers in Germany. Peers say he has “a superb reputation”. Stéphane Lemarchand heads the technology practice across EMEA and is described as “a fantastic outsourcing lawyer who really gets stuck into the detail”. The firm’s top names in the US include Mark Radcliffe in Silicon Valley, a leading figure in software licensing and cloud computing, and the “outstanding” James Halpert in DC, who co-chairs the data protection and privacy practice of the firm.

Anglo-German outfit Taylor Wessing excels in both markets for technology law. Christian Frank is a top-tier technology practitioner covering both commercial transactions and regulatory issues, such as data protection. According to a client, “His work is of the highest quality and he has an excellent track record in successful negotiations and contracting.” In Hamburg, Jörg Wimmers has an established practice and a prominent client base. Mark Owen and Christopher Rees are two of the firm’s top names in London, each garnering significant recommendations from market commentators. A further seven names are listed at the firm, including the “excellent” Kai Westerwelle, who advises US clients on cross-border technology transactions and regulations from Silicon Valley.

Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer has a strong practice group, particularly in telecoms and media, with eight listings based across Europe. In Austria, Bertram Burtscher is recognised for his "very strong TMT transactional practice". In Germany, Jochen Dieselhorst is described as "an excellent lawyer for IT licensing and outsourcing transactions." Norbert Nolte is seen as "a notable telecoms practitioner", who is "responsive and effective”. Thomas Tschentscher has an "excellent reputation" for his understanding of EU telecoms regulations. Italy’s Luca Ulissi a highly rated regulatory practitioner with deep technological expertise. In Amsterdam, Winfred Knibbeler's telecoms antitrust and regulatory knowledge is "outstanding". Brussels’ Thomas Janssens is held up as one of the finest competition lawyers in the telecoms space. One source adds that he is "experienced, dedicated and extremely sharp". Meanwhile, in London, Natasha Good is an experienced lawyer known for her "great regulatory expertise".

Nine experts are listed from Sidley Austin’s offices in the US and Europe. In DC, Alan Raul has a "superb reputation" for his data protection and cybersecurity work, spearheading the practice at the firm. Fellow co-leader Edward McNicholas is highly recommended by peers and clients for his "first-rate" expertise on privacy and cybersecurity issues. Alongside them, Mark Schneider is "a prominent FCC lawyer" with an experienced background in the agency. Jennifer Coplan co-leads the technology transactions practice from New York and is considered "a creative outsourcing lawyer" with significant expertise in digital distribution. In Los Angeles, Bradley Ellis is a standout media lawyer acting for a wide array of leading companies in publishing, music and entertainment. Rollin Ransom is a highly proficient IP trial lawyer with deep experience in the media space. The Chicago-based Anne Sutton earns recommendations from as far afield as Spain, the USA, the UK and Germany for her expertise in software licensing and cloud-computing matters. Two names stand out in Europe. In Brussels, Stephen Kinsella OBE is very well known; as one peer remarks, "He is simply a world-class competition lawyer in the TMT space." In London, William Long is strongly endorsed by peers internationally for his EU data protection practice.

Morrison & Foerster draws praise across a wide number of jurisdictions, including the east and west coast of the US, Europe and South East Asia. In New York, Miriam Wugmeister is described as “clearly one of the best data privacy lawyers both in the US and internationally”. Alistair Maughan is seen as an active player in technology transactions. According to one observer, “He is creative, commercial and good in negotiations.” In Hong Kong, Gordon Milner is well noted for handling complex cross-border technology transactions Asia. Peers say he is “active on some of the biggest deals and is a real player”.

Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati’s prominent position in our research is owed to its IT practitioners in California and Brussels, making up nine out of its 10 listings. Head of the technology transactions practice Suzanne Bell handles complex arrangements for start-ups and tech giants. Peers are effusive, with one summarising: “She is one of the best – of that there is no doubt.” In San Francisco, Michael Rubin co-chairs the privacy and data protection practice and represents a number of prominent tech companies including Google and LG. In Brussels, Christopher Kuner is highly recommended for his data protection practice, which features an emphasis on interactions with a range of European authorities.

SKW Schwarz ranks as the top firm in Germany in our research with six individuals listed. Its excellent reputation in the market derives from leading individuals such as the “exceptional” Stefan Schicker, who stands out not only as the top lawyer at the firm but one of the most highly regarded in the German market. He is seen as particularly active in e-commerce matters. Matthias Nordmann is a well-thought-of counsel on both commercial and data protection issues in the IT sector.

Noerr’s IT practice is one of the very best in Germany and the wider CEE region. Two out of the firm’s eight nominees stand out in particular. Peter Bräutigam is among the top five European lawyers in our research, with a very active practice in outsourcing, cloud computing, e-commerce and data protection. Head of the IT, outsourcing and privacy group Thomas Thalhofer is an extremely highly regarded lawyer whom one respondent describes as “faultlessly brilliant”.

Six practitioners at Swiss firm Walder Wyss draw wide-ranging praise from respondents internationally. In particular, our research highlights Jürg Schneider as one of the most highly recommended lawyers in both Switzerland and European wide, covering both technology transactions and data protection. One peer states, “He is a fantastic lawyer, with a tremendous eye for detail.” Mark Reutter also earns widespread recognition, particularly for his outsourcing practice, with respondents calling him “very pragmatic” and “very solutions-oriented”. Didier Sangiorgio is "an excellent IT lawyer" and one of the leading practitioners in the area in Switzerland. The "brilliant" Hans Rudolf Trüeb has an impressive reputation as a creative and innovative lawyer, while Michael Isler is highlighted as "a rising star" in the area.

Portolano Cavallo Studio Legale stands out as the premier firm in the Italian market. Laura Liguori is widely seen as the top technology lawyer in Italy, covering the whole gamut of IT law. One effusive source comments, “She is very knowledgeable, creative, responsive and thorough.” Ernesto Apa, Francesco Portolano and Marco Bellezza are also highlighted as first-rate technology lawyers.

Bristows’ highly rated London practice is by all accounts a premier outfit for technology law. Its most highly rated practitioner Christopher Millard is referred to as “the top data protection lawyer in the country” by a number of respondents. Other very well-known names at the firm include Toby Crick, Mark Watts and Chris Holder.

CMS Cameron McKenna has a strong network but it stands out for the practices of two individuals in its London office. Christopher Watson is a thought leader in our telecoms and media research. He receives widespread praise, including one respondent who calls him “technically excellent, business-friendly and a pleasure to work with”. Meanwhile, Susan Barty is noted as “a superstar” with a widely heralded technology disputes practice.

At independent Brussels outfit Astrea, Steven De Schrijver ranks as the top IT lawyer in our research drawing praise from a huge number of respondents internationally. He is very active advising large domestic and foreign tech companies on complex technology transactions and privacy law. A client reports, “He is utterly brilliant and will always find the best possible commercial outcome.”

Bradley Joslove heads the TMT practice at independent French firm Franklin. He is extensively experienced in providing advice to domestic and international suppliers and service providers.  He is considered a thought leader in both of our chapters in this edition, with one respondent echoing market sentiment by calling him “a phenomenally good tech lawyer”.

Richard Kemp, founder of the boutique Kemp IT Law in London, receives wide-ranging praise for his “innovative practice” focusing on strategic commercial and regulatory work for a range of clients, including tech giants, financial institutions and start-ups.  Respondents praise him, highlighting that his “legal and technical knowledge is outstanding”.

At Swiss outfit Niederer Kraft & Frey, Clara-Ann Gordon is highly recommended and called “a go-to lawyer” for both IT and telecoms work, with a practice covering outsourcing, cloud computing, compliance and data protection. A peer adds, “She is always up to speed on everything from a technology perspective.”

Ceylin Beyli is the founder of the highlight rated IT and IP boutique CBL Law Office in Istanbul. Our research has pegged her as one of the very top practitioners in the market. One peer states, “She gets on top of the material and turns high quality work around very quickly.”

Levine Blaszak Block & Boothby is a widely recognised telecoms and IT boutique based in DC. Six of its lawyers are listed, among them Henry Levine is referred to as “the pre-eminent communications lawyer in the US”. The “first-rate” D E Boehling is also very prominent in the market and is active representing major telecoms operators and multinationals in cross-border telecoms and technology-based transactions. 

McCarthy Tétrault is highly regarded in the Canadian market. Its practice is spearheaded by Charles Morgan, who is “a dedicated and brilliant technology lawyer”. Hank Intven has more than three decades of experience in telecoms and media sectors. A peer sums up that he has an “encyclopaedic knowledge of telecoms regulations”. Barry Sookman is also highly rated, along with a further three ranked lawyers at the firm.

Fasken Martineau DuMoulin feature prominently in Canada due in large part to the practice of John Beardwood, who is described as “one of the country’s foremost outsourcing lawyers”. Seven further lawyers are listed at the firm, including both IT and telecoms specialists.

In New York, Polsinelli’s Dov Scherzer is active on global technology transactions and receives an impressive array of recommendations from observers internationally; as one source comments, “Alongside his natural ability he is determined to achieve success for his clients.”

At Greenberg Traurig, TMT practice head Alan Sutin is known for his work on cutting-edge technology transactions. He receives recommendations from peers across the globe and is placed among the very top practitioners in the US.

The “highly expert” Sandra Jeskie of Duane Morris is widely praised for her practice, which focuses on e-commerce, software licensing and disputes, data protection and cybersecurity.

Standout individuals in Latin America include the “excellent” Juan Daniel Rodríguez Cardoso of Rodríguez Rueda. He is “the go-to IT lawyer in Mexico”, according to respondents. At Bufete Quijano, telecoms expert Clara Luz Álvarez is highlighted for her “excellent legal knowledge and client-friendly approach”.

In Brazil, Paulo Marcos Rodrigues Brancher heads the TMT practice at Azevedo Sette Advogados. Peers comment on his “thorough knowledge” of IT and telecoms law.

Gilbert + Tobin’s practice head Peter Leonard is among our thought leaders in Australia for both IT and telecoms. “He is a sensationally good” and “at the cutting-edge of the field”, according to sources.

At Corrs Chambers Westgarth, Philip Catania is a “superstar” of IT law and a clear leader in the Australian market. Clients are impressed, calling him “brilliant, sharp and business-minded”.

India’s top TMT lawyer Sajai Singh of J Sagar Associates receives universal praise. He is very visible in international technology law with peers citing his extensive knowledge and dedication to the area. As one source notes, “He is undoubtedly the doyen of IT law in India”.

Indonesian firm Bagus Enrico & Partners is recognised for its services. Co-founding partner Enrico Iskandar receives praise is from peers internationally, one of whom states Iskandar is “my first port of call in Indonesia for telecoms issues".

Charles Russell Speechlys’ Robert Bond has a very strong standing in the UK market. One sources notes he is “a seasoned hand for IT law” and comes “highly recommended” for his data protection expertise.

Swiss boutique de la cruz beranek Rechtsanwälte earns three nominations for its IT practice. Carmen De la Cruz is highlighted for her "excellent, up-and-coming IT practice"; Nicole Zanon is "very good with clients and appreciates commercial interests"; and Charlene Kramer is referred to as "a sharp and knowledgeable IT lawyer".

Drew & Napier’s Chong Kin Lim earns a double listing for his excellent IT and telecoms practice. One respondent states, "He is one of the top guys in the region – his knowledge is superb."

Lenz & Staehelin’s TMT head Lukas Morscher is considered "a world-class outsourcing lawyer" who is also widely regarded as one of the world’s leading telecoms lawyers, with deep transactional expertise.

At Niederer Kraft & Frey, András Gurovits "demonstrates superb knowledge of the law" in a variety of telecoms mandates.

In Turkey, Tuzcu Ersin of Moroglu Arseven is described as “a highly knowledgeable practitioner” who handles a range of IT and data protection matters.

Motsnyi Legal Services’s name partner Igor Motsnyi “is a well-rounded IT lawyer” and “certainly a go-to for Russian-based work", according to respondents.  

In Paul Weiss’s Hong Kong office, head of the Asia communications and technology practice Jeanette Chan is described as an "outstanding local counsel who is very dedicated to her work".

Founder of Rossi Asociados Claudia Rossi is a highly regarded Chilean corporate attorney who proficiently represents clients on a range of information technology issues.

In DC, Walt Sapronov of Sapronov & Associates is rated as “a knowledgeable and experienced regulatory lawyer" in the telecoms space.

Olga Finkel at WH Partners in Malta continues to be recognised for her outstanding expertise in internet, e-payment and entertainment software matters.

At Mori Hamada & Matsumoto, Yoshifumi Onodera is an “excellent, professional” practitioner who possesses deep expertise in matters concerning the internet and social media.

At Hunton & Williams in London, Aaron Simpson is recognised for his "strong expertise" in the data privacy and cybersecurity fields. He handles a range of work for both domestic and international clients.

Pravin Anand at Anand & Anand in India is "highly recommended" by a range of prominent peers worldwide. He possesses notable expertise in computing and IT matters.

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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.

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