Practice areas

We have one of the foremost intellectual property practices in the world. Our lawyers are also recognised as leading figures in a wide range of legal specialisms.

Intellectual Property

Consistently ranked among the world's top IP practices, we have taken the lead on many of the cases and deals that have shaped today's fast-growing industries. Our clients range from start-ups to pharmaceutical and IT multi-nationals, and they seek our advice on protecting and extracting value from their most valuable assets - their inventions and ideas, their name, their reputation, their secrets and their designs. Our team is made up of lawyers whose legal knowledge is backed by powerful technical and industry experience, enabling us to advise on the most complex IP issues. From turbochargers to telephone systems and from microprocessors to life-saving pharmaceuticals, we understand how to exploit the whole range of IP rights through commercial agreements, litigation and alternative dispute resolution.

Information Technology

More than half our IT lawyers have backgrounds in IT or engineering, giving Bristows a level of technical expertise that is unique among UK law firms. The areas we advise on range from the more established realms of commercial IT contracts, the delivery of telecommunications projects and business process outsourcing through to issues arising from the constantly evolving online world such as cloud computing, social networking and interactive media. We also have one of the largest data protection and privacy teams in Europe and have a particular focus on enabling multinationals to legitimise their international data transfers.


We carry out a broad spectrum of corporate work for businesses ranging from multi-national corporations, investment funds and leading institutions to start-ups and young, fast-growing companies. We advise on mergers and acquisitions (including cross border deals), joint ventures, private equity and venture capital financings, debt financings, Initial Public Offerings (IPOs), equity capital markets and other corporate reorganisations. One of our key differentiating strengths is our knowledge of technology and IP - a valuable asset when advising on domestic and international transactions involving businesses whose core value lies in their technology or patents, brands, copyright or other IP rights. On cross-border deals, we work with a well-established network of leading independent law firms to deliver a first class international legal service to clients.

Commercial and technology disputes

Our commercial disputes lawyers have earned a powerful reputation, as much for our ability to avoid disputes as for securing a successful outcome when they're unavoidable. We advise on contract, tort and regulatory disputes in core areas such as technology, copyright and financial services. Our expertise extends to claims relating to product liability, professional negligence, company and partnership matters, employment, property, non-patent IP and media disputes. We also work closely with leading experts from our IP litigation, regulatory and competition practices.

Real estate

Our real estate lawyers offer a comprehensive service to owners and occupiers of business space, from multi-national corporations to UK-based businesses, from established names to start-ups. By understanding the real estate needs of businesses from a wide range of industry sectors, we are able to offer effective, creative and practical solutions to the challenges they face. Matters we regularly advise on include corporate headquarter deals, portfolio reorganisations and commercial leasing advice. We also work with many international companies and lawyers on the real estate aspects of inward investment and UK business start-ups.


Our regulatory practice serves the most heavily regulated industries globally. We work with clients including leading pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies and major producers of medical devices, chemical products, food and cosmetics. Combining legal and technical expertise, our lawyers are uniquely equipped to navigate the complex national and EU legal framework and advise on all regulatory aspects of the life cycle management and commercialisation of blockbuster products. Our regulatory team also has experience in representing pharmaceutical companies before national and European courts (CFI and ECJ) as well as before regulatory authorities (including the EU Commission, EMA, MHRA, NICE and DOH).

Competition & EU

Our lawyers are recognised as leading experts in the fields of both national and EU competition law, and our firm has a long track record of representing clients in front of the competition authorities and courts in Brussels, Luxembourg and the UK. Drawing on the firm's wider IP and technical expertise, we advise on everything from current licensing policy and merger control through to dealing with competition investigations and the latest changes in competition law. We have a strong record in dealing with competition arguments before the courts, and routinely working alongside the firm's dispute resolution teams.

Media & marketing

Our specialist teams work with leading brand owners and marketing specialists, offering advice on all aspects of advertising and marketing law. Areas of expertise extend from advertising regulation, clearance and dispute resolution to sales promotion, digital marketing and sponsorship.


Our employment specialists advise on all aspects of employment and industrial relations law. These include strategic advice on business initiatives and change management, discrimination issues (including bullying and harassment), long-term sickness and stress claims, disciplinary and grievance issues and family-friendly rights. We also provide support for all the employment-related issues that arise during Mergers and Acquisitions and outsourcing transactions, including drafting and negotiating TUPE schedules, information and consultation, harmonising terms and conditions, redundancies and other dismissals.


Our tax experts enable clients from multi-nationals to start-ups to minimise tax exposure and do business while complying with the UK's maze-like tax system. We offer advice on the full range of tax issues affecting corporates and investors.Core areas of expertise include helping clients to structure corporate and commercial transactions such as share sales and joint ventures, financings, real estate transactions and investment funds in a tax-efficient way.

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