Bird & Bird scoops MP3’s pan-European business

Bird & Bird has landed leading internet music distributor MP3 as a client following a competitive tender process.

It is understood that six firms pitched for the work, including one from the magic circle. The final choice was made after the beauty parade last month.

The win is a significant one for technology specialist Bird & Bird. MP3 has recently been embroiled in ongoing intellectual property (IP) issues concerning music distribution via the internet.

But as well as acting on all IP matters, Bird & Bird will also be instructed on the company’s other European legal requirements.

The bid team, led by head of e-commerce Graham Defries, consisted of representations from the Paris and London offices. It is understood that US-based MP3 were expressly looking for a firm with pan-European capabilities.

Bird & Bird partner David Kerr says: “We are delighted to have won the mandate in the UK and France, and look forward to what promises to be a very challenging series of issues.”

The client is the second major win for Bird & Bird in recent months. Earlier this year, it knocked Nabarro Nathanson off the top spot to become primary adviser to IT services giant Sema (The Lawyer, 17 January).

It also recently boosted its Paris office considerably more when it took on Salès Vincent & Associés partners Jodie Cohen-Tanugi and Francois Serres. Cohen-Tanugi, who specialises in the internet, now heads the corporate and M&A team.

But at the same time, its London office took a knock when leading e-commerce partner Mark Haftke departed to become head of e-commerce and digital media at KLegal (The Lawyer, 15 May).