About Me

As a partner in our Intellectual Property Group in London and co-head of Bird & Bird's International Copyright Group, I have worked extensively with multinational organisations across various industry sectors in all areas of soft IP.

My particular focus is helping clients solve trade mark and copyright issues that have a digital or online focus.

A major part of my practice is working with companies to set up their global brand enforcement projects: using technology to streamline processes for clients and make their anti-counterfeit programmes as cost effective as possible. This work includes developing strategies to help large global brands protect and enforce their rights from online infringement and perfect their digital footprint. As part of developing global anti-counterfeit strategies, I have worked extensively with the customs authorities; as a result I was invited to be the Irish liaison between rights holders and international customs authorities in the initial phase of the World Customs Organisations' innovative Interface Public-Members Tool project.

My digital focus relates to all IP issues arising online, including highly complex issues regarding copyright infringement, hyperlinking and the communication of works to the public. I work with a range of service platforms, content owners and content creators helping them navigate their business against a changing legislative backdrop, enabling them to maximise their digital and data assets for commercial success. I am a member of Bird & Bird's Digital Rights & Assets steering group, creating a multi-disciplinary sector-focused approach to assist our clients in protecting and exploiting the valuable data within their organisations.

While my focus has been on contentious IP work - including mediation and arbitration - I have also worked on major corporate transactions with significant IP issues, particularly on transactions that involve complex cross-border issues, future-proofing IP arrangements to take account of digital developments.

I'm also interested in how we can develop new methods of providing our services to clients and forcing us to think outside the box. I like to challenge how we can build better relationships with our clients and help them in ways traditional lawyers don't.

I joined the team at Bird & Bird in 2012 after training and practising with a leading Irish law firm for several years and working at a 'magic circle' firm in London.
  • Working for major sports organisations (such as the British and Irish Lions), global luxury brands and one of the world's largest banks to create dynamic brand protection strategies.
  • Acting for TuneIn defending a copyright infringement claim brought by two global music conglomerates.
  • Advising on IP risks of the use of football-related IP in eSports, including fundamental risks associated with the £20million purchase of an app-based football game.
  • Obtained the first ever successful UDRP result against a .review site for De Beers.
  • Have represented the James Joyce literary estate in Ireland and the UK since 2007.


  • I graduated from University College Dublin with a BCL International in 2003.


  • Solicitors Regulation Authority in 2012
  • New York Bar Association in 2005
  • Law Society of Ireland in 2007
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Rebecca O'Kelly-Gillard is a stand-out partner for global brand protection and enforcement strategy in the digital sphere.

Legal 500

'Next Generation Partner' in the Legal 500 UK 2022 guide for trade marks and copyright

Legal 500

'Named Intellectual Property Trailblazer 2020'

The National Law Journal

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