Expedia panel plan to stir up tech firms

Expedia’s newly-appointed European general counsel Luisa Edwards will spark a feeding frenzy among Europe’s tech-focused firms as she establishes the company’s first legal panel.

The travel website has spent more than $1bn (£55m) protecting its brand across the world, and Europe’s numerous jurisdictions create vast problems, with people infringing the Expedia name.

The slump in e-commerce work has hit many of the firms that rose to prominence during the dotcom boom and a place on the panel of one of Europe’s few remaining success stories offers an enticing prospect.

“We use quite a broad portfolio at the moment and that’s something I’m keen to change,” said Edwards.

Niche IT firm Kemp Little is Expedia’s key commercial adviser in the UK, inheriting the relationship after the website was spun off from Microsoft. Richards Butler has been responsible for much of the company’s intellectual property enforcement.

On corporate affairs, Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer has a fledgling relationship with Expedia, but is instructed from the firm’s US headquarters.

Allen & Overy, Baker & McKenzie and domestic firm Granond Associés are Expedia’s key advisers in France. Niche IT practice SKW Law is instructed in Germany and Galgano in Milan.