Bristows is the ‘go-to’ firm for IT & Digital for clients who want responsive, thoughtful and pragmatic legal advice. We cover everything from apps to e-commerce, platform development to cloud, and blockchain to artificial intelligence. Our tech-savvy team is as comfortable handling the roll-out of a huge digital transformation project as it is advising on the compliance of a new AI product for one of the tech giants. Whatever it is, we have the lawyers who can assist.

Our focus on the technology sector makes us the lawyers of choice for many of the world’s largest technology companies. However, our clients include sophisticated buyers of technology too, and we are regularly asked to advise on business-critical projects and digital transformations as new technology disrupts traditional business models. We can advise on regulatory compliance, draft and negotiate whatever contracts are required and even help clients get ‘troubled projects’ back on track if things go wrong, as they sometimes do.

Many of the IT & Digital projects we get involved in require us to have a deep understanding of the technology involved. Whatever it is – cloud computing, Adtech, the internet of things, AI and machine learning – we have lawyers who are interested and knowledgeable in how it all works. And if we do come across a technology we haven’t had to think about before, we have enough lawyers with science and engineering backgrounds (many at doctorate level) to figure it out. As the world becomes more connected and technology even more pervasive, our understanding of how technology works gives us an edge.

While we have one of the largest teams of IT & Digital specialists around, Bristows is still of a size and managed in a way that encourages cooperation and interdisciplinary working. For our clients, this means not only is the best expertise always brought to bear on a particular matter, but we can quickly pull together diverse teams with the necessary mix of expertise from across the firm, be that tax, employment, regulatory or another discipline a particular project raises.

Much of our work is international, either because our client is overseas, or because the project itself involves the laws of many countries, such as where a client is rolling out a new global IT system or releasing a new feature to an online service. We handle these projects using a network of the best IT & Digital lawyers around. We are not constrained in who we can work with and have spent years identifying lawyers around the world who work like we do – knowledgeably, pragmatically and cost-effectively. But we also know it’s not enough to work with the best lawyers, and we also offer our clients the convenience of ‘one firm’ – one set of instructions, one conflict check and one invoice.

Key contacts

Adrian Sim

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Toby Crick

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Chris Holder

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Mark Watts

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Vik Khurana

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Experience

We advise several of the world’s most important creators of AI technology.

We help them with issues at the cutting-edge of law and technology, including whether IP exists in outputs generated by large language models, how they can use datasets to train their AI models in a compliant way, the emerging regulatory regime (including the EU AI Act and the UK approach), and commercial structures that will enable their AI to benefit wider society. These creators are shaping the future of technology, and they rely on us for our ability to get to grips with how AI works and our ability to advise on how it intersects with key areas of law and regulation in a highly pragmatic and commercial way that enables their objectives. 

We advised a Premier League football club on a deal with one of the world’s largest technology companies to enable a next-generation contactless mobile ticketing solution.

We drafted and negotiated the software licensing and support to implement a solution designed to improve fan engagement and speed of entry, while enhancing physical and data security.

Our client, a global medical devices company, has entered into a partnership with a healthcare technology provider to enable a cloud-based digital health solution that has transformed the way patients, clinicians and medical device suppliers work together to deliver improved patient outcomes. 

We guided our client through the underlying technology arrangements from the app development and software licensing, through to the IP and data use issues which were at play in this global roll out.

We advised our client, a spin out entity from the UK Department of Health, on all aspects of the global launch of one of the world’s largest data sets of human genomic information. 

We provided strategic advice relating to the underlying software platform (including the inclusion of open source software), and also the licensing arrangements for third party components, content and data.  Given the nature of the platform, we assisted with the creation of the end user licence agreement taking into account not only the various technology components in the platform, but also the intellectual property issues surrounding the incorporation of user generated content.

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What others say

“They have a clear understanding of what our business wants to achieve and that underpins all their advice. They know when to involve the business stakeholders and are able to tailor their approach to that audience and suggest solutions that take key business drivers into account.”

Chambers and Partners 2024

“Bristows has a comprehensive IT practice with powerful resources for major commercial transactions and complex litigation. It advises many of the world’s leading technology companies, and also sophisticated blue-chip buyers of IT services. It is especially adept at providing counsel on the most current and cutting-edge issues in the technology space. Bristows houses experienced advisers on digital advertising and cloud computing matters.”

Chambers and Partners 2024

“Bristows is our go-to firm for any complex or high-value technology work. The team is accessible, responsive and incredibly knowledgeable and a pleasure to work with.”

Legal 500 2024

“Excellent legal skills, combined with a good sector knowledge and a hands-on approach, make Bristows a very useful resource.”

Chambers and Partners 2023

“Commercial awareness is definitely one of Bristows’ strong points. Team members’ prior in-house experience shows. It is great to receive advice that is commercially balanced and easily understood by all functions of our business.”

Chambers and Partners 2023

“Even in the event the requests were a bit outside of telecom regulations, the firm were able to assist with providing an exhaustive response to all enquiries. They always responded within the quoted review time and usually exceeded expectations.”

Chambers and Partners 2023

“All team members have very deep experience in different fields of expertise. They understand what kind of level of response a client needs before wasting money on long reports, which is very much appreciated. On top of this, they provide updates on UK case law that are very helpful.”

Chambers and Partners 2023

“They are excellent, they have really good work and nice people there.”

Chambers and Partners 2023

“Their reputation is well deserved.”

Chambers and Partners 2023

“Their advice is always practical, realistic and adaptable.”

Chambers and Partners 2023

“Bristows have an incredible depth and breadth of experience.”

Chambers and Partners 2023

“Bristows has a comprehensive IT practice with powerful resources for major commercial transactions and complex litigation. It advises many of the world’s leading technology companies, and also sophisticated blue-chip buyers of IT services. It is especially adept at providing counsel on the most current and cutting-edge issues in the technology space.”

Chambers and Partners 2023

“They are technically very strong, giving us great confidence in their advice.”

Chambers and Partners 2023

“The Bristows reputation management team is small but experienced and has the advantage of being able to offer cross-expertise to other Bristows specialist departments such as data protection, copyright and IT generally. In the internet age that is very valuable.”

 

Legal 500 2023

“The team at Bristows strike the perfect balance between excellent technical legal knowledge and industry insight and experience. They are able to distil often complex legal positions into easy to digest and practical advice. The strategic value they are able to add sets them apart from their competitors.”

Legal 500 2023

“Their understanding of the industry and therefore ability to provide tailored advice is great. They also take a pragmatic view, such that in negotiation with providers they focus on what is important and likely, rather than focusing on theoretical, pedantic legal points that have no” probability of happening in practice.”

Legal 500 2023

“The team at Bristows is second to none in the UK technology law space. They are accessible, responsive, highly knowledgeable and experienced and are a go-to team for any complex, high value or innovative IT deal.”

Legal 500 2023

“The practice has strengths in new and emerging technologies, advising clients on cloud issues, robotics and AI.”

Legal 500 2023

“The team demonstrates wide-ranging expertise across telecoms M&A, SaaS and outsourcing issues, and regulatory matters, and is notably strong in contentious mandates.”

Legal 500 2023

“Bristows LLP has a vast array of clients, including technology and telecoms companies, regulators, and purchasers of IT, such as governmental departments and financial institutions.”

Legal 500 2023

“Exceptional practice, well motivated, and proactive.”

Legal 500 2023

“Great expertise, very approachable.”

Legal 500 2023

“The team at Bristows is second to none in the UK technology law space. They are accessible, responsive, highly knowledgeable and experienced and are our go-to team for any complex, high-value or innovative IT deals.”

Legal 500 2023

“On the non-contentious side, strengths include corporate M&A and venture capital matters, commercial IP work, and strategic and project advice for clients across the technology, media, and telecoms sectors.”

Legal 500 2023

“Contentious work is a core strength for the broad technology sector practice at Bristows LLP, with experience in disputes ranging from major FRAND cases to competition issues to media and data protection compliance work, which the firm handles for an impressive base of high-profile household names and multinational corporates.”

Legal 500 2023

“Not only is Bristows’ advice first rate (technically and commercially), but the teams are a pleasure to work with and they are continually making my life easier as the client. They have a team of amazing professionals and are constantly looking for new ways to provide the best service for their clients – whether it is staffing, billing, information sharing etc.”

Legal 500 2023

“The Bristows team members are not only exceptionally good at a professional level, but, at the same time, very easy to talk to and discuss with. They always have an open ear for the client’s needs and are happy to brainstorm.”

Legal 500 2023

“The team has exceptional knowledge of the life sciences space. It acts for a broad range of industry players and has a deep understanding of market practice.”

Legal 500 2023

“Justified reputation as one of, if not the, leading firms for IP life sciences. Excellent reputation in the UK and beyond – widely respected throughout Europe for coordinating multi-jurisdictional disputes.”

Legal 500 2023

“Bristows LLP is ‘widely respected throughout Europe for coordinating multi-jurisdictional disputes’ and has ‘a justified reputation as one of the leading firms for IP life sciences work’.”

Legal 500 2023

Recent rankings and awards

IT and Telecoms - Tier 1

Information Technology & Outsourcing - Band 1

Telecommunications - Band 4

Commercial Contracts - Tier 2

Information Technology and Outsourcing - Band 1

Data Protection - Band 1

Technology, Media and Telecoms - Tier 2

Commercial Contracts - Tier 3

Data Protection, Privacy and Cybersecurity - Tier 1