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Bird & Bird strengthens disputes bench with Nokia litigation head

Bird & Bird has landed former Nokia litigation head Richard Vary as a partner in its intellectual property (IP) and tech & communications group.

Vary (pictured) was vice president and head of litigation at Nokia, managing cross border patent suits with KPM, IPCom, Apple, HTC, Blackberry and Viewsonic as well as a major arbitration case with Samsung.

He also has experience of dealing with competition law, tax disputes, trademarks as well as working on M&A deals for Nokia’s in-house team as part of the group dealing with Microsoft’s $7.5bn acquisition of Nokia’s handset business in 2014.

Vary led a litigation team of 20 lawyers within Nokia’s 450-strong legal team. Prior to joining Nokia in 2006, Vary was a managing associate in Linklaters’ IP team.

Bird & Bird co-head of international IP Morag Macdonald said: ‘Richard has a very wide skill set across technology, communications and intellectual property – three key areas of specialism for our firm. We are delighted to have someone of his calibre join our team.’

Vary is the firm’s first partner hire in the City since it moved into new offices on New Fetter Lane, which provide the firm with the potential to expand London headcount by around 25%.

Bird & Bird has most recently added internationally, hiring corporate partner Maria Carlsson to its Helsinki office from Borenius Attorneys in August. In May, the firm hired Simmons & Simmons head of TMT Alexander Shepherd to its Singapore office and brought in Perform Group’s general counsel Richard McMorris as a partner in its London office.

However, the firm recently saw the departure of transformational projects head Dominic Cook in May, while co-head of disputes Steven Baker is moving to US firm Cadwalader, Wickersham & Taft.

For more on the legal team at Nokia, see ‘The Client: Richard Vary’