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Complex and constantly evolving, the digital and technology sector is an exciting area for businesses but also one of the most challenging.

At Ward Hadaway, we’re here to help and our team of digital and technology solicitors have decades of collective experience advising on new, emerging and disruptive technology.

Our clients are working at the cutting edge of their industries and rely on our legal expertise to navigate them through often unchartered territories.

With a wealth of knowledge on how the law affects the sector, our technology lawyers also understand how to tackle its challenges and focus on protecting and unlocking the value in your company.

We pride ourselves on getting to grips with your business needs and providing clear, pragmatic and creative advice that ensures your commercial ambitions and growth plans are met.

Many of our clients work on a cross-border basis and we draw upon the experience of the Geneva Group International (GGI) network and our partner firms to provide seamless access to international advice and expertise.

For clear and focused advice from our technology experts, talk to us today.

Work we have done

  • Advising a multi-national, market leading ERP software provider on a large number of major (multi million pound) software installations for customers such as Cable and Wireless, Northgate, Reckitt
    Benckiser, Mouchel, JCB, MITIE and others.
  • Advising TSG, a major IT services business, on issues including cloud computing terms of business and data protection issues.
  • We have also advised many smaller fast growing software businesses on IT development contracts, Apps and IP licensing.
  • Acting for a start up company in respect of a SaaS website hosting solution, including establishing contracts to cover the rollout of the service through reseller channels.
  • Acting for an ERP consulting company in a multi million pound dispute with a customer relating to an implementation project.
  • Advising a credit card provider in relation to strategic IT procurement and ongoing service provision.
  • Advising an online retailer on the registration and protection of their brand and trade marks as well as in relation to domain name disputes.

What sets up apart?

Most of our team have worked “in house” as well as in private practice, and are able to provide advice in a clear and pragmatic way, and can be trusted to represent the business externally.

Intellectual Property and Trademarks
  • Acting for a multinational retailer on promotional campaign clearance work, including TV sponsorship deals, ASA issues, prize draws, promotions, POS material advice and advice on comparative advertising.
  • Filing and securing trade mark protection in the UK, Europe and internationally for numerous software and IT consultancy businesses.
  • Assisting a software company to prevent the misuse of its copyright and confidential information by a former employee and director.

What sets up apart?

We have a registered Trade Mark Attorney as part of our team, and strong links through our international network to IP lawyers across the Globe meaning we can advise on IP and brand protection on a global, not just national basis.

Data privacy and security
  • Client project secondments with a multi-national, market leading ERP software provider, KCOM, Nissan and BTL.
  • Providing advice and team training to IT clients in respect of data protection, including international data transfers and the implications of Brexit.
  • Providing advice to an international software company on procurement of public sector contracts, including preparing detailed playbook on client engagements.

What sets up apart?

Our GDPR partners are national experts, and have backgrounds in data and IT, giving them real life sector experience.


We help Tech businesses protect and retain one of their greatest assets – their people. This includes:

  • Advising on employment contracts and terms of employment.
  • Advising on policies and procedures to make sure you stay compliant with the law.
  • Supporting you with advancing your Equality Diversity & Inclusion agenda.
  • Advising on specific legal protections for your business – including post termination restrictions, confidentiality provisions and terms to protect your intellectual property.
  • Helping you manage day to day employment issues like dealing with grievances, disciplinaries or managing performance or absence – no matter how large or small your workforce.
  • Helping you avoid and defend employment claims if they arise (such as unfair dismissal, constructive dismissal or discrimination).
  • We offer fixed fee support packages for SMEs in relation to day to day employment law support, along with optional insurance to protect against the risk of claims from employees.

What sets us apart?

Our employment team is one of the largest in the North and consists of specialist solicitors who regularly advise businesses within your sector on the particular issues you face.


We help tech businesses recruit and retain the best global talent, irrespective of nationality.

  • Advising on immigration routes for recruiting key skilled staff.
  • Advising on the Skilled Worker visa route, including applications for sponsor licences, Certificates of Sponsorship and visa applications.
  • Advising on Global Talent endorsement and visa applications for experts in digital technology.
  • Advising on the options for global workforces to come and work in the UK, including Global Business Mobility routes.
  • Advising founders, entrepreneurs and international students on visa options for coming to/staying in the UK
  • Supporting businesses on their immigration compliance and right to work checks.
  • Supporting individuals and their families with their visa applications.

What sets us apart?

Our business immigration practice is the largest in the North of the UK; it is unique in the region, and has a 100% success rate for sponsorship licence applications.

Corporate and investments
  • We advised on the establishment of the North East Fund and its funding and so we understand the criteria and rules which apply in respect of each of the funds managed by the various fund managers. We have worked on investment transactions involving all of the funds and the fund managers working both for companies receiving investment and also for the fund managers themselves.
  • We have acted for a number of businesses receiving funding from the Development Capital Fund, the Finance Durham Fund and the Maven VCTs, all of which are managed by Maven Capital Partners, as well as acting for Maven Capital Partners on a number of investments. This means we fully understand the legal documents and process and we work well with the Maven team and their other advisers. Examples include, acting for the Parsons Group on the loans made by the Development Capital Fund and Finance Durham Fund to facilitate the exit of one of the existing  shareholders and to provide growth capital and acting for Maven Capital Partners on each of the investments made by the Development Capital Fund and the Maven VCTs in Avid Technology Group in order to facilitate growth and drive the exit.
  • Our team includes specialist funding and banking and finance lawyers who are experienced in advising on security, intercreditor and priority arrangements, all of which are regularly relevant to investments.
  • The team has led on a large number of flotations on the AIM market on London Stock Exchange, including advising on the flotation of Applied Graphene Materials Plc. The team acted on each of the investment rounds prior to the flotation from funds managed by North East based fund managers and also on the flotation itself. The team is currently working on two AIM floats.

What sets us apart?

The Experian MarketIQ league tables regularly place us well ahead of our competitors as one of the most prolific deal making law firms nationally.


For Tech and Media businesses our particular experience includes:

  • Employee incentive schemes (such as EIS, SEIS and VCT)
  • Exit Planning
  • Funding and Acquisition Structures
  • Reorganisations
  • VAT

What sets us apart?

We are the only regional law firm in the North East that is able to provide legal tax advice, working with clients on a full tax planning service, from highly complex corporate structures to owner manager businesses.

Dispute Resolution and Litigation
  • Acting for a Dutch-based IT service provider on claims arising following a pilot study prior to a company-wide roll-out by a multi-national food producer
  • Advising a major provider of outsourcing services regarding termination and step-in rights in connection with a major government agency
  • Acting for a NHS Trust in assessing the cause of delay and a major cost overrun on a key patient administration system and implementing an exit strategy
  • Acting for an IT service provider in defending claims following a major data breach and resulting ICO investigation
  • Acting for a software supplier in a claim for copyright infringement arising from the alteration of file structures to assist data migration from a legacy system
  • Acting for a supplier of website services in defending claims by an on-line retailer following termination of a project to build a new site
  • Acting for an NHS Trust in relation to alleged breach of Licence claims and threatened termination of key IT services
  • Acting for an IT service provider to a London law firm and defending claims following a hack and a resulting claim by a property client to recover a significant loss

Part of the ecosystem

For organisations within the digital and technology sector we regularly deliver business support training and carry out initial business support work for clients through our partnerships with:

How we rank

Ward Hadaway LLP is ranked in both Legal 500 and Chambers and Partner, covering a number of key legal areas and individuals.
These industry guides are compiled based on client and competitor testimonials and reviews.

Our national rankings are as follows and we consistently rank in Tier 1 / Band 1 in key Tech, Digital and Media practice areas:




Contact a specialist

Matthew Cormack

Partner | Commercial

+44 (0) 330 137 3412

+44 (0)773 846 2586

Email Matthew Cormack

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Bill Goodwin

Partner & Chartered Trade Mark Attorney | Head of IP/IT

+44 (0) 330 137 3440

+44 (0)789 448 0152

Email Bill Goodwin

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Richard Butts

Partner | Corporate

+44 (0) 330 137 3607

+44 (0)780 398 7419

Email Richard Butts

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Laura Darnley

Partner | Employment

+44 (0) 330 137 3190

+44 (0) 751 519 9143

Email Laura

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View all contacts

What people say

  • Steven Roper’s attention to detail, knowledge and ability to respond promptly to every query we’ve put his way places him head and shoulders above other legal practitioners we’ve dealt with.

    Legal 500, client quote
  • The team inspires us with confidence and encourages us to grow and think differently, providing beyond legal support and exceptional levels of service

    Legal 500, client quote
  • Matthew Cormack in particular has been fantastic for me and the businesses I’ve worked in for a number of years and their attitude, work ethic, advice and professionalism have meant I have had no concerns about any legal areas of my business.

    Legal 500, client quote
  • Tim Toomey- Tim is always very commercially attuned and deals with matters quickly and cost effectively

    Legal 500, client quote
  • I mainly work with Judy Baker who has excellent in depth knowledge of data protection law and is also extremely organised and methodical in her approach to responding to queries and issues. Her advice is always very thorough and well thought through whilst also being easy to understand.

    Legal 500, client quote
  • Judy Baker is extremely professional yet approachable, quick to respond to queries and always provides clear, thorough advice.

    Legal 500
  • The team has all the technical and technological capabilities required in its sphere of work and as a client I have always felt fully supported on a technical and personal level.

    Legal 500
  • The quality of advice is very high. On top of that, they are very responsive and propose approaches that provide the best value for our business.

    Finance and Compliance Director, Software Company
  • The quality of work and ability to meet tight, often unreasonable, deadlines is very impressive.

    Head of Legal, World leading telecommunications business

What we're thinking