Artificial intelligence

Artificial intelligence (AI) has long been promised as a game changer. And now it's here. Recent advances have highlighted the potential of this exciting technology and made its implementation a business priority.

It's disrupting every sector. Life sciences companies are using it to develop new antibiotics. Tech companies are using it to advance software and speed up its development. Financial services companies are using it to protect customers. And automotive companies are using it to improve the manufacturing process, with an eye on one day creating fully autonomous vehicles.

Our international team of expert lawyers works together across disciplines and jurisdictions on the full spectrum of AI legal issues. We have a long history of advising profiles from the entire AI landscape - be it AI developers, companies using AI software, or investors financing emerging AI start-ups.

We are the law firm of choice for ambitious and innovative businesses. With a long history of advising technology leaders and disruptors, we understand the real-world complexities of artificial intelligence and provide legal counsel that helps companies of all sizes, in all sectors, translate opportunity into reality. We are experts in contract law, data protection law, copyright law, liability law and competition law.

And we have teams based in major tech hubs including London, Ireland, Berlin, San Francisco and the Middle East, so whether you’re leading AI innovation, investing in the future, or helping your organisation manage AI risk, we can help.

How we can help

Mergers and acquisitions

From set-up and early-stage funding to larger investments like private equity, we act on buy-side and sell-side deals of all shapes and sizes. Whether it's an IPO, public takeover or private M&A, national or international, our extensive commercial experience will help make your transaction a success.

Intellectual property

Is it clear who owns the content that generative AI platforms create for you, or your customers? Do copyright, patent and trademark infringement apply to AI creations? Before your business can embrace the benefits of generative AI, you need to understand the potential risks and how to protect yourself.

Our experts understand the legal challenges that come with AI content and related IP ownership as well as the intricacies of training generative AI tools.

Data protection

AI tools are reshaping industries. But one thing that will never change – needing to protect your users' data. We can help you preserve privacy rights whilst unleashing the benefits of AI. We have experience helping companies create privacy-related documentation for the use of AI, data transfer agreements, and data privacy strategies, and advise on all data protection issues which may arise in relation to AI.  

Corporate transactions

The AI sector is considered to be one of the fastest growing in the global economy. It's creating numerous innovative start-ups, which – especially at the beginning of their life cycle – are dependent on external financing.   

At Taylor Wessing, we accompany both investors and AI start-ups in their financing rounds and also advise on mergers and acquisitions within the sector.

Finance & cryptocurrencies

Today's global financial system would be unimaginable without the use of technology, with online banking and fintech integral to everyday life. But the financial services sector is also highly regulated, and introducing AI technologies must be done carefully.  

We can advise you on all areas of compliance and risk management concerning AI in financial services, including the use of chatbots in customer service or securities trading and collective portfolio management based on AI software.  

Employment

The AI revolution doesn't stop at employment. There are a wide variety of AI tools that can be used to simplify and manage HR systems and processes. But their use can also introduce risk if they're not used carefully, with cases of discrimination against applicants based on age, gender or ethnicity reported.  

We can advise you on which current international AI regulations apply to HR systems and explain which legal requirements your company has to fulfil to ensure you're operating on safe ground.

Life sciences & healthcare

AI is being used in the life sciences and healthcare sector to develop more accurate and efficient medical treatments, identifying patterns and analysing information faster than human practitioners are capable of doing alone. But in such a highly regulated sector, a balance must be found between the reasonable use of AI and the protection of patients' privacy.  

We offer our clients comprehensive advice on the current legislative initiatives affecting life sciences and healthcare, and specialise in advising on the handling of personal data.

Product liability & litigation

AI software liability is one of the hot topics in current legislative processes around the world, with fierce debate on what party is liable to what extent for the damage caused by an AI product.  

We can help you clarify liability issues in relation to your AI products, and will represent you in and out of court against consumer claims or mass actions. 

Areas of focus

Find out more about sectors and services related to our AI offering.

Interface - The UK's Online Safety Act

AI and games

Xuyang Zhu and Martijn Loth look at the UK and EU approach to regulating AI and how that is likely to impact the video game industry.

8 avril 2024

par Xuyang Zhu et Martijn Loth

2 de 6 Publications

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Technologie, Médias et Communications (TMC)

To legislate, or not to legislate on AI? The UK government thinks it has the answer

29 février 2024
In-depth analysis

par Debbie Heywood

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Fusions et acquisitions d’entreprises et marchés financiers internationaux

Advising Greyparrot on its AI partnership with Bollegraaf

23 février 2024

par plusieurs auteurs

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Global Data Hub

Inheriting the future – children, AI and data

Victoria Hordern looks at the impact of AI on children, and at the role of AI and data protection legislation in protecting them from potential AI-related harms.

8 février 2024

par Victoria Hordern

3 de 4 Publications

Cliquer ici pour en savoir plus

Our expertise

Advising BlackLine on acquiring AI-powered cloud platform Rimilia

Founded in 2001, BlackLine provides leading accounting automation software to more than 4,200 customers in 130 countries including Dominos Pizza, The Coca-Cola Company and Ebay.

Its solutions include financial close management, accounting automation, and intercompany governance, which help large enterprises and midsize companies do accounting work more efficiently, with more control.

As an innovation-focused company, BlackLine has always sought to implement technologies that can improve its services. Recognising the potential of AI, in 2020 it identified an M&A opportunity – AI-powered cloud platform Rimilia. Due to our extensive experience with emerging technologies and tech-focused transactions, BlackLine asked us to advise on this acquisition.

The $150m transaction drew on the expertise of practices across the firm, including:

  • Corporate
  • Employment
  • Tax
  • Corporate Technology.

By acquiring Rimilia, BlackLine expanded its capabilities by adding AI-powered accounts receivable automation to its accounting platform. It was a pleasure helping BlackLine progress its long-term plan to transform and modernise finance and accounting.

Advising AI pioneer Empolis on its acquisition by proALPHA

Empolis is a leading provider of cloud-based and AI-powered business intelligence and analytics software. It provides solutions to international public and private sector clients including BMW, Bosch and Vodafone, with 700,000 people using Empolis products every day.

Empolis has been recognised as one of the leading AI pioneers in Germany, and its AI capabilities have caught the attention of large organisations. It has collaborated with Amazon Web Services's Machine Learning Prototype team to embed generative AI capabilities into its smart decision support solutions, allowing users to easily obtain business-critical information.

In 2022, keen to add Empolis's leading intelligent service, knowledge and content management products to its portfolio, proALPHA acquired Empolis. Due to our reputation for advising leading tech companies, Empolis's shareholders/Empolis asked us to advise on this transaction.

It drew on the expertise of a number of our German practice and sector groups, including:

  • Corporate/M&A
  • Tax
  • Employment
  • Technology, Media and Communications
  • Real Estate
  • Competition, EU and Trade.

Through this acquisition proALPHA gained access to Empolis's state-of-the art AI technology, integrating Empolis's products into its ERP+ portfolio. Empolis has continued to act as a legally independent unit within the proAlpha Group, and together they're helping customers improve efficiency around the world.

Advising self-driving software company Five AI on its acquisition by Bosch

Five AI is an autonomous driving start-up that builds self-driving software and development platforms to help create the technological foundations for autonomous driving. Autonomous vehicles are predicted to be a multibillion-dollar industry, and innovators with leading technology are attractive acquisition targets for larger automotive companies.

In 2022, Five AI found itself in this exact position when it was acquired by Bosch, one of the world's biggest mobility providers. To ensure this acquisition went smoothly, Five AI needed advice from a law firm with extensive experience delivering tech-focused transactions and a strong grasp of the key issues that come with the automotive sector.

Due to our reputation for delivering excellence in both, Five AI asked us to advise them on this transaction. It was led by experts in our Corporate team, with additional support provided by a range of our practices including:

  • Banking and Finance
  • Commercial Technology and Data
  • Disputes and Investigations
  • Employment
  • Intellectual Property
  • Real Estate
  • Tax and Incentives.

With this acquisition Bosch improved its autonomous driving capabilities and has further consolidated its market position in software and automated driving. It was a pleasure to advise Five AI on this transaction, which now has access to Bosch's core technologies and vast data lakes which will be essential in bringing safe self-driving systems to market.

 

Advising online learning platform Learneo on its acquisition of LanguageTool

Learneo is a US-based provider of educational software solutions that develops and acquires breakthrough learning and productivity technologies. It operates six distinct businesses as part of its platform, including AI-powered writing companion QuillBot and AI-based mathematics resource Symbolab.

In May 2023, Learneo was looking to add another brand to its platform and asked us to advise on the acquisition of LanguageTool, a German-based multilingual writing platform.

A Taylor Wessing team led by our German M&A practice advised Learneo on all German aspects of the transaction, with support from colleagues in the US. The transaction required the expertise of a number of our practice groups including:

  • Corporate/M&A
  • Employment, Pensions and Mobility
  • Intellectual Property
  • Information Technology
  • Commercial Agreements and Distribution
  • Competition, EU and Trade.

This acquisition allowed Learneo to expand its range of writing solutions, add LanguageTool's unique language and AI expertise to its business, and advance its larger international expansion strategy.

Advising Shipyard Technology Ventures on the sale of software developer BoatyardX

Shipyard Technology Ventures is a leading global venture builder on a mission to create and co-create great companies. It works with large organisations to co-create independent start-ups free from the constraints of their business, offering them the option to purchase the start-up at a predefined price in the future if the company is successful.

One such success story is BoatyardX. A high-growth custom software developer, BoatyardX has established a reputation for future-proofing businesses with robust open-source software and world-class UI/UX design. It was co-created as part of Shipyard Technology Ventures' portfolio in 2019 and has significant expertise in building cloud-based custom software for clients in the fintech, payments, e-commerce and IoT sectors.

We're recognised as having one of the strongest venture capital practices in Europe, with experience advising leading technology businesses in various sectors across their life cycle.

When Shipyard Technology Ventures decided to sell BoatyardX in 2022, they approached us to advise them on selling the business to Ergo, Ireland's largest privately-owned IT services company. The transaction was led by members of the Taylor Wessing Ireland Corporate team, with support from Taylor Wessing UK's Intellectual Property practice.

Through this acquisition Ergo added BoatyardX's international experience and strength in custom cloud-based product development to its software capability. This will allow it to meet growing demand for bespoke business critical applications and to build new products that address emerging market opportunities in the future.

Advising AI-personalisation company Qubit on its acquisition by Coveo

Qubit developed AI-powered personalisation technology for merchandising teams across various sectors including luxury fashion, DIY and hospitality.

In 2021, it asked us to advise on its acquisition by Coveo, a Canadian relevance platform and applied AI company that transforms digital experiences with AI-powered search, recommendations, and personalisation. The transaction was led by our UK Corporate practice, with additional support provided by our Tax and Incentives practice.

This transaction further accelerated Coveo's geographic expansion into the UK and European markets. Acquiring Qubit's capabilities will allow Coveo to accelerate the delivery of more innovative personalised digital commerce experiences and provide retailers with innovative, AI-powered e-commerce solutions.

Advising Sony on the acquisition of AI-based visualisation company Beyond Sports

Sony is one of the most recognisable brands in the world. Perhaps most famous as a global leader in consumer electronics due to its Playstation brand, the Sony Group Corporation has diversified into multiple sectors including films, semiconductors, electric vehicles, music and sports.

Sony's sports business includes officiating and goal-line technology product Hawk-Eye and digital media company Pulselive. In 2022, it was looking to make a new strategic investment and asked us to advise on the acquisition of Beyond Sports.

Beyond Sports is a Dutch AI-based visualisation company that analyses sports games with virtual reality. Since being founded in 2014, it has built a reputation for delivering world-class data and data visualisation to organisations, and its technology is used by some of the biggest names in sports including ESPN, the NFL and the NHL. 

The transaction was led by Taylor Wessing Netherlands, who guided Sony through the complex data and technology aspects of Beyond Sport's business. The acquisition of Beyond Sports marked a key step in Sony's plan to provide a market-leading, end-to-end data tracking and visualisation solution to leagues, federations and broadcasters.

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