Features & Analysis

Bird & Bird: catering to the digital world

Following Bird and Bird’s recent expansion into Ireland, co-heads of the Bird and Bird Dublin office, Sally Shorthose and Roger Bickerstaff, share with Legal Brief how the firm will cater to the Irish market, how its digital expertise will stand out in the competitive tech market in Ireland, and how the firm’s international network will benefit its new offering in Ireland

What is the history of Bird and Bird?

Bird and Bird’s history stretches back to the 1830s and the firm was formally established in 1846. Even back then, the firm’s client service and passion for key industries attracted leading innovators. As technology allowed innovations and ideas to travel more quickly, the need to protect the ideas and innovations of its clients encouraged the firm to expand its international capabilities.

How many offices does the firm currently have in the UK?

In the UK, we have one office at 12 New Fetter Lane in the City of London. As a global firm, Bird and Bird now has 30 offices across Europe, Africa, the Middle East, Asia and North America, with clients based in 118 countries worldwide.

Why was Bird and Bird looking to expand into Ireland?

Bird and Bird is focused on working with clients with innovation at the heart of their business.  Many of the world’s most innovative companies and largest technology and life sciences companies have chosen Ireland for their European headquarters or significant operations. The opening of an office in Dublin is a natural next step for the firm to support these companies.

 What areas will the new office focus on?

The office will initially focus on the areas of privacy and data protection, technology, life sciences, intellectual property and, in due course, corporate law. 

How will the firm cater to the Irish market, and provide Irish expertise?

The offering of the Dublin office will be in line with the firm’s overarching vision of advising clients who are witnessing change through technology or the digital world, and those leading that change. 

Leading Irish legal specialists in these areas will be joining the firm in the summer to establish a strong Irish base and international practice from the get-go. Working closely with the existing Bird and Bird partners around the firm’s international network, this specialist setup will provide clients with an attractive combination of leading local Irish expertise with the global expertise of the international Bird and Bird team.

How will the firm’s digital expertise stand out in the competitive tech market in Ireland?

Our renowned expertise in advising companies engaged in digital transformation will be of particular benefit to new technology and life sciences companies in Ireland. The combination of our specialists in technology, data protection and intellectual property on the ground and our extended international team will mean that our clients have access to the full spectrum of Bird and Bird’s global network and services. 

How will Bird and Bird’s international network benefit the firm’s new offering in Ireland?

In recent years, Ireland’s position in the European Union has increased in importance, becoming a significant hub for multinational and US headquartered companies, particularly in the technology, life science, pharmaceutical, and financial services sectors. Bird and Bird’s specialist international legal services offering is designed to assist these companies grow and prosper.

Additionally, changes to European data protection laws have significantly increased the influence of the Irish Data Protection Commission, resulting in cutting edge data protection investigations and enforcement increasingly being led by Dublin in-house legal teams. A presence in Dublin will allow us to support our international clients on these growing data protection matters.

What are the next steps for the company?

As a firm, we continue to grow in line with our strategy and our clients’ needs around our international network. Our new office in Dublin represents an exciting milestone in our growth strategy: to create an efficient law firm ecosystem that puts the client at the heart of our global delivery capabilities, reflecting our position as a leading firm in the technology and digital space.

Back to top button