Bird & Bird's Technology, Communications and Media experts recognised in the latest Legal 500 EMEA 2016 rankings

15 April 2016

The latest Legal 500 EMEA rankings were published this week and Bird & Bird's Technology, Communications and Media specialists have been ranked in tiers 1 or 2 in 13 countries across Europe and the Middle East. 

This follows the tier 1 ranking achieved by our London Tech & Comms team in the recent UK analysis and demonstrates the cross-border strength in depth of our sector groups and Bird & Bird's unique ability to seamlessly support our Tech, Comms and Media clients across Europe and the Middle East.

Selected editorial highlights are listed below. Our full rankings can be viewed here.


Belgium

IT AND TELECOMS - RANKED: TIER 1
Bird & Bird has particular expertise in IT litigation, IT security advice and data protection, as well as IT-related contracts. The firm counts Ciena, the European Commission and Microsoft among its key clients, and recently represented Proximus in litigation against Sabam with regard to the application of copyright law to internet access providers. Benoit Van Asbroeck and Catherine Erkelens head the practice.

EU REGULATORY: INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY - RANKED: TIER 1
Bird & Bird’s team advises on technology-related matters (including associated regulatory issues) in various sectors, such as aviation and air traffic management; Catherine Erkelens has worked on technology regulation concerning use of space for air traffic management, and is involved in upcoming regulation on drones. Elsewhere, Benoit Van Asbroeck is providing assistance with the EU Coco-cloud project. Marc Martens is another name to note.

MEDIA AND ENTERTAINMENT - RANKED: TIER 2
Bird & Bird represented Epson Europe in litigation against the Belgian collecting society for reprography levies. Proximus and Canon are two other key clients. Benoit Van Asbroeck heads the team.


Czech Republic

TMT - RANKED: TIER 1
Bird & Bird advises an impressive range of national and international clients, including Avaya, Verizon and Aramark. Vojtěch Chloupek heads the practice, which is well regarded for its ‘outstanding performance’ and ‘professionalism’. The practice continues to excel in the areas of technology, communication, data protection and privacy.


Denmark

INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY– TIER 1
Martin von Haller Grønbæk and Anders Wernblad head the practice at Bird & Bird, which is divided into two teams that handle outsourcing and data protection, respectively. Jesper Langemark and Peter Jørgensen assisted the Municipality of Copenhagen with the complex DKK80m acquisition of an enterprise resource planning (ERP) system. Senior consultant Nicolai Dragsted is an expert in outsourcing and IT contracts.


Finland

TMT - RANKED: TIER 2
Bird & Bird focuses on large and complex IT deals – often including cross-border elements – for clients including SAP Finland and TechMahindra. Jesper Nevalainen heads the practice. 


France

IT, TELECOMS AND THE INTERNET - RANKED: TIER 2
The ‘excellent’ Bird & Bird, which has ‘great knowledge’ of the IT, telecoms and internet sectors, often acts for major companies in the negotiation of IT solutions, the handling of data privacy issues and representation in litigation. The practice is led by Stéphane Leriche, Alexandre Vuchot, Ariane Mole, Marc Schuler, Marion Barbier and Michel Matas.


Germany

INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY - RANKED: TIER 1
Bird & Bird has ‘excellent IT expertise’ and is particularly well regarded for its ‘very strong’ capabilities in IT contractual work, transactions and arbitrations. Alexander Duisberg heads the practice, which advised a large German automobile manufacturer on its digital car project and provided contractual advice to a major healthcare company. The client roster also includes large companies from the energy and financial services sectors, with regular clients including Deutsche Postbank, ADAC and Microsoft. Henriette Picot is high regarded.

TELECOMS: REGULATORY - RANKED: TIER 2
Bird & Bird’s ‘professional’ telecoms team often acts in matters involving IT, e-commerce, internet services, M2M communication, connected cars and IoT. It represented Telefónica in actions against the Federal Network Agency’s decision regarding its merger with E-Plus and also advised the client on the Projekt 2016 frequency auction. Other clients include various multinational automobile manufacturers and technology and telecoms companies, such as Verizon. Sven-Erik Heun is ‘well connected’ and ‘always has his eye on client-oriented solutions’.

TELECOMS: TRANSACTIONS - RANKED: TIER 2
The ‘pragmatic’ Sven-Erik Heun heads Bird & Bird’s ‘superteam’, which is particularly strong in regulatory matters, but also has deep expertise in transactions. It advised Deutsche Telekabel on the sale of Chequers Capital to Primacom and assisted the client during merger clearances before the Federal Cartel Office. NetCologne sought the firm’s advice on financing the acquisition and expansion of the regional network.

MEDIA: ENTERTAINMENT 
Bird & Bird traditionally focuses on contract and copyright advice for content providers and distributors, but increasingly also covers digital media and has been picking up work in social media and gaming. Clients include Dailymotion, N24 and Bitcom. Joseph Fesenmair is well regarded.


Hungary

TMT - RANKED: TIER 2
Bálint Halász and Zoltán Tarján jointly head the team at Bird & Bird, which frequently works with colleagues in the UK and Germany and is experienced in telecoms regulatory matters and data protection. Péter Rippel-Szabó is a key name for broadcasting and sports law.


Italy

TMT - RANKED: TIER 2
Bird & Bird has particular clout in the telecoms sector and recently advised Telecom Italia Digital Solutions on the acquisition of software company Alfabook. Other highlights included assisting Italiaonline with a joint venture to create Gold 5, a distributor of advertising products. Massimiliano Mostardini is the key contact.


Netherlands

TELECOMS - RANKED: TIER 1
Bird & Bird LLP’s ‘very responsive’ department, commended for its ability to ‘litigate nitty-gritty cases’, is led by Marjolein Geus. Praised as ‘one of the very best’, Geus acted for Tele2, Ziggo and Pretium in litigation against KPN regarding KPN’s market-wide wholesale line rental rates.

IT - RANKED: TIER 1
Bird & Bird LLP’s ‘cost-effective’ practice is led by Jeroen van der Lee, who advised Solera on a long-term outsourcing contract with Stichting CIS involving a fraud detection platform for the country’s loss insurance sector. Van der Lee and Roelien van Neck are recommended.

MEDIA AND ENTERTAINMENT - RANKED: TIER 1
Clients comment on the ‘sound, straightforward advice’, ‘outstanding knowledge’ and ‘razor-sharp litigation’ of Bird & Bird LLP’s Olaf Trojan. He heads the widely praised team with the ‘excellent’ Pauline Kuipers. Clients include Sony Pictures, Zodiak Media and the NPO.


Poland

TMT - RANKED: TIER 2
Bird & Bird advised the Office for Electronic Communications on its IT software implementation project, and handled EchoStar Mobile’s launch in Poland. Other clients include Link4 and Verizon. Maciej Gawroński heads the team and Piotr Dynowski leads the media and telecoms sub-team.


Spain

TMT - RANKED: TIER 1
Bird & Bird has a market-leading team headed by ‘extraordinary specialist’ Javier Fernández-Samaniego. The practice is notable for its work on data protection projects, and is also experienced in complex regulatory and contentious matters. On the transactional side, Fernández-Samaniego advised Triodos Bank on the future outsourcing of its banking platform.


Sweden

IT AND TELECOMS - RANKED: TIER 2
Bird & Bird’s IT practice is led by Gabriel Lidman. Hans Svensson is advising social payments company iZettle on all its contracts with card companies as well as on the rollout of its business in Sweden, Finland, Denmark, Norway, UK, Germany, Spain and Mexico.

IP AND MEDIA - RANKED: TIER 2
With ‘pragmatic advice and good value for money’, Bird & Bird’s 17-lawyer attracts praise from ‘extremely satisfied’ clients. Gabriel Lidman is new head of the IP practice group in Stockholm and associate Anna Rzewuska joined [in 2015]. 


United Arab Emirates

TMT - RANKED: TIER 2
Bird & Bird recently advised Ooredoo on its response to a consultation on proposed regulatory reform issued by the Communications Regulatory Authority in Qatar.


United Kingdom

IT AND TELECOMS - RANKED: TIER 1
Bird & Bird provides ‘outstanding service and superb industry knowledge’ to some of the world’s leading technology and telecoms companies. The firm’s lawyers have experience of acting on major procurement transactions, as well as providing regulatory and IP advice. Highlights included advising the Ministry of Justice on the procurement process leading to the award of contracts to establish new infrastructure for the monitoring of offenders, and devising a Virtual General Counsel product for Codemasters to replace the client’s in-house legal team. Roger Bickerstaff co-leads the firm’s international digital business group, the ‘extremely intelligent’ Graeme Maguire heads its international technology and communications group, and Mark Leach is ‘dedicated and client-focused and not scared to roll up his sleeves’. Joanne Wheeler joined from CMS.

MEDIA AND ENTERTAINMENT - RANKED: TIER 2
Bird & Bird is praised for its ‘pragmatic and commercial approach, combined with fantastic industry knowledge’. Graham Smith and new partner Tom Snaith advised EE on the launch of EE TV, and Felicity Reeve and Phil Sherrell advise Yahoo! on a range of matters, including defamation claim and copyright issues. Howard Rubin is noted in the field of computer gaming. David Bintliff is ‘one to watch’. 



These results follow the Chambers Global rankings, published in March 2016, which also listed Bird & Bird as one of the leading firms globally for Technology, Communications and Media.