Artificial Intelligence

Artificial Intelligence has a lot to offer nearly every sector. We deliver experienced legal insight backed by an unusually deep understanding of the technology that underpins these ground-breaking tools.

Software engineering, data science, use of AI in the Enterprise, AI ethics and risk management?
Definitely our thing.


Many of our clients – from large tech and pharma companies to new market entrants – are either already using software and services powered by machine learning and other artificial intelligence techniques or are planning to in the near future.

We help them progress their projects to develop, procure, implement and/or use AI.

Our corporate and commercial work includes advising on intellectual property matters, data protection and regulatory advice, drafting bespoke contracts for the licensing (in and out) of machine learning models and their outputs, as well as strategic advice on how to structure AI-focussed collaborations, partnerships and long-term AI services arrangements.

We are also at the forefront of the generative AI revolution, working with major technology clients bringing products to market, as well as helping a wide range of enterprise clients understand and adapt to generative AI technology, including assisting them with internal risk management issues and the production of governance processes.

In the digital health space, we have a particular focus on the legal aspects of how to develop and deploy AI tools effectively when using medical and patient data. Bristows acts at the intersection of Life Sciences and Technology and the use of AI in medical device and drug development is a prime example of how our expertise across these two sectors provides our clients with leading-edge advice.


Commercial and transactional

Our corporate team advises on acquisitions and/or financing rounds of AI and machine learning firms. Our commercial IT team has considerable experience helping clients license automation tools and other machine learning software in and out of their businesses, including in the context of outsourcing and digital transformation projects. Bristows has also acted on a number of collaboration partnerships between academic institutions and technology companies.

  • Advising a leading developer of AI software on arrangements to facilitate use of the AI in hospitals to analyse patient data in order to predict which patients are, when admitted, at high risk of renal failure.
  • Advising a Swiss provider of AI software designed to assist in the identification and development of novel therapeutics, on the negotiation of contracts with universities and research institutes for the development, training and refinement of the AI software.
  • Advising WPP on its acquisition of a Satalia, a global leader in enterprise AI. Our advice covered legal issues arising from the design and deployment of Satalia’s AI products, including protection of IP assets, data inputs and outputs and compliance with the proposed EU AI Regulation.
  • Advising an AI drug discovery client in relation to financing rounds, debt finance work and reorganisation of its company group. Advising on and drafting a strategic software assignment and licence in respect of the client’s machine learning models for use in drug discovery and research.

We have extensive experience advising on the privacy implications of AI technologies for both suppliers of AI technologies and those looking to utilise AI within their business. Our experience spans business and consumer technologies that depend on AI, including biometrics and facial recognition; medical diagnostic tools; and fraud prevention. As regards Generative AI in particular, we have supported on the launch of GAI tools for consumers and in the research community as well as advising on a multitude of privacy issues in the context of AI, including regulatory engagement, lawful basis, data subjects rights and user transparency. Our work also includes advising on AI ethics, for example helping clients create AI ethics principles and internal policy documentation.

The employment team are well-versed in advising clients on the risks, considerations and opportunities for employers and recruitment businesses arising from the use of AI in the workplace. In particular, the team have advised clients on the employment considerations (both legal and practical) arising from the utilisation of AI to facilitate recruitment and manage employee performance as well as helping clients to design and implement appropriate policies to address employee use of AI.

We act for some of the leading technology companies in AI drug discovery, as well as the AI teams of established pharmaceutical clients. Our work includes advising on all areas of the machine learning value chain in the life sciences sector, including intellectual property ownership, complex licensing arrangements and strategic partnerships and collaborations. We also specialise in data protection and regulatory advice in relation to using clinical study data and biobank data for machine learning training datasets.

  • Advising Genomics England on establishing a partnership with insitro, a drug discovery company, to bring insitro’s embedding search capabilities to Genomics’ genomic and phenotypic database. This presents a UK drug discovery company exciting convergence of artificial intelligence technology with rich genomic and phenotypic data.
  • Advising a leading biotech company on the use of sensitive personal data for the purposes of training machine learning algorithms.
  • Advising GSK on its strategic partnership with PathAI to accelerate scientific research and drug development programs in oncology and non-alcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH) by leveraging PathAI’s technologies in digital pathology.

We are trusted counsel to some of the biggest names in AI and machine learning. We also work with both established and challenger brands in the technology space on their development and deployment of tools, products and services that are powered by machine learning. Large language models and Generative AI is a particular area of focus for us. Our advice covers a broad range of topics, including commercial contracting, data protection, intellectual property and regulatory matters.

  • Advising a leading UK provider of LLM text-to-text products and services for enterprise clients on intellectual property matters.
  • Advising a US-based provider of a market leading multi-media messaging app in relation to the roll out of generative AI text-to-image functionality in their flagship product.
  • Data protection, corporate and technology contract advice for a provider of a machine learning product in the empathic AI space that uses facial emotion detection to analyse audience sentiment for film and television clients.
  • Advising a leading Ed Tech provider in relation to an internal acceptable use policy covering employees’ procurement or development, and use of, Generative AI products and services.
  • Advising a leading AI research lab on intellectual property matters associated with the deployment of AI models in virtual and physical robots.
  • Advising the NHS Public Procurement Partnership on the wording of Framework and Call off Contract documentation to facilitate the procurement of AI related products by the NHS.


This section is where, from time-to-time, we make available reports, analysis and other client-facing guidance relating to AI and machine learning.



Data Protection & Generative AI
In the very first episode of Bristows’ data protection podcast, Legitimately Interesting, data protection experts Hannah Crowther, Faye Harrison and Jamie Drucker look at the data protection issues surrounding the adoption of Generative AI.

Generative AI - Top 5 legal risks and practical next steps
In this episode of The Roadmap, our technology law podcast, Anneke Pol, Charlie Hawes and Toby Headdon discuss the legal risks associated with generative AI, Large Language Models and Foundation Models as well provide some practical takeaways for those looking to implement these technologies into their own organisations.

Events and recordings

Our team of artificial intelligence experts often share their knowledge and insights at events which are either hosted by Bristows or other leading voices in the sector.



At Bristows, we are passionate about AI! Read our articles, blog posts and other commentary to keep up with the latest legal and regulatory developments relating to AI and machine learning. Brought to you by one of the leading AI legal teams in the UK.

Key contacts

As well as our experience and industry commentary, the extent of our expertise in this area is reflected in the breadth, and depth, of our AI team, which extends across the firm. Our dedicated AI Committee meets regularly to discuss legal and market developments, allowing us to collaboratively spot opportunities, and challenges, for our clients no matter the legal issue or sector affected.