International law firm Bird & Bird appoints highly respected lawyer Dr. Kai Westerwelle as a Tech & Comms partner in its commercial practice for the firm's San Francisco office, opening in September. Kai will provide a significant boost to the firm's commercial group and US outbound capabilities from September 2018.
Kai is a specialist in information technology law and has more than 20 years of experience. His specialization encompasses all aspects of IT law, in particular outsourcing and cloud computing projects, national and international license agreements as well as comprehensive transactional advice. He also advises on German, European and international data protection law, especially in a cross-border context with the USA.
Kai joins from Taylor Wessing, where, since 2014, he has been co-head of the firm's international US group, and was one of the founding partners of the firm's representative office in Silicon Valley. He has been a partner at Taylor Wessing in Frankfurt since 2003, and following his move to San Francisco in 2014 has focused on developing the US outbound business.
David Kerr, CEO of Bird & Bird says:
"As a firm we've always grown strategically, focusing on markets being changed by technology and the digital world, and California's vibrant tech scene is a real driver of that change. Opening our first office in the US this year will be a huge milestone for us, so we are thrilled Kai will be joining our team on the ground in San Francisco. His reputation in the market and expertise gained both there and in his native Germany will be instrumental in helping our US based clients with their legal needs in Europe, Asia-Pacific and the Middle East."
Sven-Erik Heun, Head of Bird & Bird in Germany adds:
"Kai is a perfect fit for us and our strategy in the US, but also globally to be the leading law firm for companies that create or are changed by new technologies and digital world. Through his outstanding network, he will sharpen our profile in the Bay Area and significantly support the development and expansion of our services for US clients outside the US, including, in particular with regard to investments in Germany."
Dr. Kai Westerwelle comments:
"The outstanding presence of Bird & Bird in Europe and Asia as well as the focus on technology-oriented sectors is an optimal combination especially for outbound business in the USA. I see this as an excellent platform for me, making full use of the enormous potential of cross-selling opportunities around Bird & Bird's international network. I'm really looking forward to working together."
In October 2017, Bird & Bird announced that it would open its first representative office in the USA in mid-2018, in downtown San Francisco.
The office will focus on building the firm's presence in the region and providing Bird & Bird's US clients with non-US legal advice in their local time zone. Bird & Bird has long advised US companies on their international activities in Europe, the Middle East and Asia-Pacific on matters including international expansion outside the US and international disputes, IP, data privacy, HR issues, complex restructuring and transformational projects, and coordinated multi-jurisdictional services.