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Rory Campbell

A tech lawyer with over 25 years experience advising private, public and voluntary sector clients on technology investments, acquisitions and deals.

For over 25 years I’ve been advising private, public and voluntary sector clients on technology investments, acquisitions and deals. Being a tech lawyer requires an expertise in contracts, software licensing, intellectual property and in data protection law. I’ve gained this expertise by advising startups on the nimble art of protecting and selling their creations at the same time, as well as by advising government departments and public sector bodies on how to ensure value for money and fulfilment of requirements in multi-million pound IT procurement projects.

I’m passionate about the need to understand the transaction, and to fit a common sense and plain English legal structure to the story of the deal. I believe it’s crucial to look beyond legal templates, because the pace of technology’s development continually reinvents revenue exploitation possibilities, scope of license boundaries and the ways in which personal data can be used. Why do I love what I do? Because it allows me to be at the forefront of the continual development of best practice tech law as it races to catch up with technological change.

I help my clients connect their products with end users, protecting ownership of their IP and their revenue streams.

Examples are advising:

  • IT suppliers on multi million GBP services provision to UK and ROI public sector bodies,
  • software buyers and suppliers on the use of open source, including code audits to log open source use,
  • on legal issues from web and app designs: in particular, considering dataflows from project start to ensure compliance and to maximize privacy by design,
  • leading global financial intelligence suppliers on structuring subscription sales channels, whether direct or through channel partners and including via API or web access, or by database licensing,
  • US tech businesses setting up in UK or ROI.

My job is to understand my client’s product and advise on how the product’s ownership is protected while its commercialisation opportunities are maximised. In particular:

  • I advise UK and Irish start-ups on protecting and monetising tech products, often offering initial advice on a pro bono basis,
  • For over 25 years I’ve created and negotiated contracts buying and selling technology. I concentrate on capturing the commercial transaction, rather than fitting the transaction to a template document,
  • For over 20 years I have advised suppliers, purchasers and financers on multimillion pound tech project contracts. I’m especially focused on the details and processes of implementation, acceptance and subsequent change control, and am used to providing ongoing advice on clients’ rights and responsibilities under major ICT agreements,
  • I regularly write and lecture on tech issues, including IT licensing structures, open source software and data privacy by design in tech products. 

Awards & Recognition

  • Chambers 2024 (Information Technology (Northern Ireland)) - "Rory's work is excellent; he makes the complicated simple." "Rory is an indispensable asset in our major contract negotiations. His soft skills are complemented by his subject matter expertise."
  • Legal 500 2024 (IT & Telecoms) - ‘Rory Campbell is very knowledgeable on data protection, public sector procurement channels for technology and commercial matters in general. He is pragmatic and commercial in his approach, and very pleasant to work with.’ ‘Rory Campbell is outstanding. We have had the pleasure of working with Rory over the last 5 years.’
  • Chambers 2023 (Information Technology (Northern Ireland)) "Rory is a good, credible practitioner with strong connections in the IT market. He does a lot of work for startups and local incubators."
  • Chambers 2022 (Intellectual Property) - 'A good practitioner, always helpful, with a can-do ethos'
  • Chambers 2022 (Information Technology) - 'Rory is an excellent lawyer with a warm manner who we have found to be highly knowledgeable, responsive and measured in his approach to sometimes complex queries'
  • Chambers 2022 (Information Technology) - 'He is excellent - very good at evaluating the priorities and very enthusiastic about my startup'
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