Since the 1980s we have been at the forefront of developments in international communications law, advising on some of the largest, most complex and groundbreaking transactions and disputes the industry has seen.
We have acted for many of the world’s leading communications, broadcasting and internet companies, together with those providing new and innovative services, and are proud to have helped our clients achieve real commercial advantage. We are renowned for our creative and often original solutions, some of which have shaped the global communications landscape.
We are recognised internationally as an undisputed market leader in the communications sector and our team includes a significant number of lawyers who are acknowledged as leading individuals in the communications field. Our international team comprises more than 120 lawyers across Europe, the Middle East and Asia.
The Legal 500 directory currently lists Bird & Bird in the very top tier of leading communications law firms in Belgium, China, Finland, France, Hong Kong, The Netherlands, Sweden, Spain and the UK, and we are ranked in a further five jurisdictions. We are increasingly working with local firms in emerging territories including Africa, South America, India and the Middle East. This cross border strength ensures our clients receive a consistently high level of service across jurisdictions and that our team can implement complex multi-jurisdictional transactions smoothly and efficiently.
Our team advises on the full scope of communications matters, from regulatory and commercial to M&A and disputes, using specialists from our different practice groups including commercial, corporate, finance, dispute resolution, IP and IT. We offer clients a one-stop-shop at which to address the issues they face, including:
● big data
● cloud services
● data centres
● data protection
● infrastructure projects
● mobile payments and apps
● network sharing
● smart metering and networks
● spectrum auctions, sharing and trading
● undersea cables
● wireless developments
Heads of Group: Graeme Maguire in London and Marjolein Geus in The Hague.
Recent highlights of work
● We have advised on network sharing arrangements, spectrum auctions and disputes across Europe.
● We helped a European telecommunications operator, listed on the Swedish stock exchange, to successfully secure a fixed-line contract with the Dutch Government, following a two-year battle before the Dutch regulator and courts. The multi million euro contract covers over 100 state departments and organisations.
● Our French team has assisted numerous governments across the African continent in reviewing their legal and regulatory telecommunications framework, taking into account both international best practice and local context.
● Bird & Bird lawyers from Spain, France and Belgium advised a satellite services provider on a number of legal matters, including establishing procedures for the selection of subcontractors and suppliers and the management of contractual obligations.
● We advised on the rebranding of a MNO in the UK which transitioned from two existing brands. We were engaged early on in the project in order to 'clear' and advise on the risk of the new brands and supporting propositions for the new 4G service. Closer to delivery we obtained trade mark protection for the new brands through our filing service, and advised on seeking protection for innovative trade marks such as colours, animated marks and sounds.
● We advised a client on the acquisition of an East African telecoms portfolio in a deal that will create Africa’s largest single fibre network, connecting more African countries than any other single fibre network.
“Few firms can match Bird & Bird for its strength in depth in telecoms. The firm has an excellent commercial and corporate practice centred around communications and technology, so its lawyers have a deep understanding of the challenges faced by hi-tech and IP-heavy businesses.”
Chambers UK 2013
“Renowned for its sector-specific knowledge, Bird & Bird draws on a tight-knit network of offices to offer support on Europe-wide TMT projects. The firm's resources include top-ranking IT and telecoms teams in Italy and France, and market-leading telecoms practices in the UK and the Netherlands.”
Chambers Europe 2012
“Bird & Bird has a long-standing reputation as a true technology specialist, with a deep bench of experts located across the UK, Europe and Asia. The team's cutting-edge understanding of the communications and technology sectors allows it to advise on high-profile cross-border matters, including IT security and fixed telecoms auctions.”
Chambers Global 2012