Defence and Security


Staying at the forefront of change

International defence & security experts: Helping you navigate the shifting nature of modern warfare and technological change

The shifting nature of modern warfare and the emergence of new technologies is radically disrupting the Defence & Security sector. Businesses like yours are at the forefront of this change. We are an international law firm committed to clients being transformed by technology and the digital world. You need advisors who are fully focused on this sector and it’s complexities, which is why we provide a team of dedicated sector specialists who understand how change impacts your business.

You need to be able to navigate the major global revolutionary changes that are having transformational impacts on this sector: a technology revolution, the transition to net zero and (for the UK particularly) Brexit. The world is emerging from the Covid-19 pandemic and a new geopolitical world order is coming more clearly into view. We are at the centre of the debate on these megatrends and their sector impacts and this enables us to truly understand and deliver the best advice to you.

You likely face complexities, challenges and opportunities in some or all of design and manufacture, modification, integration, maintenance, repair or overhaul, or through life support of your products and services.

We offer clear and practical solutions, advising on an extraordinary range of technologies in the defence and security sector – from hardware (e.g. submarines, satellites and all things that fly) to software led products and services (e.g. Artificial Intelligence, Unmanned and Data). In this sector in particular you need a team that you can rely on to meet and exceed requirements. A number of our experts are security cleared, our IT Systems are accredited to high standards (including ISO 27001 and cyber essentials+ in the UK) and we are well used to signing Security Aspects Letters with our clients.

We operate as one truly global Defence & Security team, and are able to support you across both your core markets and ones you are seeking to enter or grow in. You want lawyers who can support you across the full spectrum of your needs and we set out below the many practice areas in which our specialist sector expertise and understanding of the marketplace enables us to add real value to you:

  • Aerospace equipment maintenance and support solutions: Including power by the hour/performance-based logistics contracts.
  • Collaboration structures: Including alliancing, teaming agreements, research and development and joint venturing.
  • Compliance: Including anti-bribery and corruption.
  • Corporate: Including M&A, JVs, Venture Capital, listings and reorganisations. 
  • Customer finance/leasing, asset management and Export Credit. • Cyber security and Intelligence. 
  • Data: In its broadest sense including protection of personal data (GDPR), privacy (particularly around surveillance activities) together with exploitation of ‘Big Data’. 
  • Debt and equity capital markets. 
  • Defence contracting and major government programmes for complex mission critical assets/homeland security, ranging from nuclear submarines to satellites to IT systems. 
  • Dispute resolution and investigations. 
  • Employment and immigration: Including national security considerations. 
  • Public procurement law: including regulated procurements (sole source or competitive), procurement strategy and challenges. 
  • Export control and customs: Including technology transfer and Offset/Industrial Participation. IP protection, exploitation and litigation. 
  • Insolvency & Restructuring: Advising all stakeholders involved (including liquidators, administrators, funders, suppliers, manufacturers and directors). 
  • National security issues such as the National Security & Investment Act in the UK and specialist due diligence on navigating government security requirements. • Real estate and construction. 
  • Product compliance and product liability. 
  • Space & satellites: Secure communications. 
  • Tax: Including holding structures, tax incentivisation, supply chain issues as well as transactional advice. • Unmanned Aerial Systems: Including data protection, privacy, certification and product liability.

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Visit our Defence and Security Procurement Hub

The Bird & Bird Defence & Security Procurement Hub provides you with a useful overview of the global market, as well as excellent expert analysis on how to navigate defence procurement, including the regulatory environment, hot topics on contracting, export control, dispute resolution, anti-corruption, employment law and more.

find out more

Relevant Downloads

IP in Defence & Security Webinar Current Policies and Hot Topics
Sep 13 2022
Bird and Bird - Defence & Security single source contracting webinar 2022
Jan 27 2023
Bird & Bird -hot topics in IP contracting
Jan 27 2023
Bird & Bird -An overview of UK government's approach to IP contracting
Jan 27 2023
Bird & Bird -MOD's approach to the acquisition and licensing of software.
Jan 27 2023

ESG Navigator: Simplifying the ESG regulatory landscape

Our ESG Navigator tool allows you to quickly simplify, identify, assess and address ESG regulations and directives that affect your business

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‘The international projects and procurement team at Bird & Bird has particular experience in the aviation, defence, and technology sectors… is “highly motivated” and a “pleasure to work with'.’

Legal 500, 2021

‘Bird & Bird is particularly active in the defence and security sector, where it advises global aerospace and defence contractors.’

Legal 500, 2020

‘Aerospace and defence is where Bird & Bird has most recently excelled.’

Chambers UK, 2019

‘Frequently instructed by prominent defence, technology and healthcare contractors.’

Chambers UK, 2018

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