Deborah J. Kirk

  • Partner
  • 99 Bishopsgate
  • London EC2M 3XF
  • United Kingdom
  • T +44.20.7710.1194


Deborah Kirk helps clients across industries to protect and commercialize their intangible assets, and to navigate the IP and tech-related aspects of transactions, including large, complex carve-outs.

Ms. Kirk advises private equity clients and companies at various stages of their development on a cross-section of intellectual property and technology matters. She brings vast and varied experience of M&A, private equity, emerging companies, and finance matters involving diverse industries, with a particular focus on e-commerce and consumer brands. Her general advisory work includes counseling on early disputes, IP ownership issues, data privacy, and branding strategy and development.

Ms. Kirk distills complex technical and legal issues for clients in a simple, understandable way, including in connection with intellectual property and commercial due diligence. Drawing on her sophisticated understanding of these areas, she provides holistic and commercially astute guidance to clients. Ms. Kirk also helps bring complex transactions to completion by anticipating potential challenges that may arise — a perspective she has gained through her work representing both buyers and sellers in matters involving an array of commercial arrangements.

Ms. Kirk also advises on a number of pro bono matters for organizations including, among others, Fairtrade, Save The Children, and Dope Black CIC.

Ms. Kirk is Vice Chair of the Global Recruiting Committee, training principal for London, and Vice Chair of the Technology Industry Group.


Ms. Kirk's experience includes advising:

Intellectual Property
  • Snap, Inc. in relation to compliance with the EU Copyright Directive.
  • Permira Advisers on its commercial contracts, regulatory, IP, IT, and data protection diligence, in connection with the acquisition of a majority stake in Corin Group, a UK-based company that develops, produces and distributes orthopedic devices.
  • Shandong Ruyi on its acquisition of Groupe SMCP, a France-based global designer, distributor, and retailer of accessible luxury apparel.
  • Coesia in connection with a wholly owned subsidiary, G.D's acquisition of the Instrumentation & Tobacco Machinery business of Molins, a manufacturer of secondary tobacco processing machinery.
  • EYGS LLP, a UK professional services firm, with regard to licensing the rights to a software-as-a-service (SaaS) platform used by manufacturing industries to optimize supply chain processes from a consulting business located in South Africa.
  • Telenor on the IP aspects relating to the sale by Telenor of Telenor Banka, a Serbia-based subsidiary banking and mobile finance arm of Telenor, to PFF Group.
  • Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc. on the data protection issues associated with a joint venture between Warner Bros and JK Rowling, including the transfer of customers databases and drafting of and advising on associated documents.
  • Farfetch, an online fashion retail platform, on general commercial, intellectual property, and data protection issues associated with its acquisition of a large Chinese e-commerce platform.
  • Farfetch on its global strategic partnership with Alibaba Group and Richemont, to provide luxury brands with enhanced access to the China market and accelerating the digitization of the global luxury industry.
  • NVIDIA on its $US40 billion acquisition of Arm Limited, the Cambridge-headquartered semiconductor and software design company, from SoftBank. The combination brings together NVIDIA’s leading AI computing platform with Arm’s vast ecosystem to create the premier computing company for the age of AI.
  • Facebook on all IP, technology and data protection issues in connection with its acquisition of Papers with Code, a provider of an artificial intelligence research platform designed to track Artificial Intelligence (AI) research papers.
  • Facebook on its acquisition by Oculus VR, a subsidiary of Facebook, of Beat Games, a Czech-based game studio.
  • Goldman Sachs on all IP, technology and data protection compliance matters, including the review of material IT supply contracts, commercial agreements, and the company’s use of bespoke technology and software in connection with the bid for a software company.
Data Protection
  • A US-based multimedia messaging application on data privacy and e-commerce matters in various jurisdictions outside the USA.
  • Sony Pictures Entertainment on its acquisition of Silvergate Media, a developer of children’s brands for broadcasters, streaming platforms, and retail partners.
  • Goldman Sachs on the acquisition of Aston Lark, a UK-based provider of insurance brokerage services.
  • Antelliq on the data protection aspects relating to the sale of a data-centric business.
  • Platinum Equity on its term loan and revolving credit facility in connection with its acquisition of the European vacation rental business of Wyndham Worldwide Corporation, a provider of hospitality services and related products.
  • A global provider of financial markets data and infrastructure, on a potential long-term partnership and license agreement related to a carve-out of certain FX products.
  • Lineage Logistics on its acquisition of Harry Yearsley, a UK-based temperature-controlled logistics service provider and frozen food distributor.
  • Vistra Group Holdings on its acquisition of the Global Transaction Banking division of Deutsche Bank, a Germany-based investment bank.
  • Nature's Bounty and The Carlyle Group on the sale of Holland & Barrett, a health and wellness retail chain, to L1 Retail, the retail investment arm of LetterOne.
  • Survitec Topco in relation to its acquisition of Wilhelmsen Technical Solutions and Wilhelmsen Ships Service, Norway-based providers of life rafts and fire rescue/safety services to the marine and offshore industry.


Thought Leadership

  • Filter Future? Updates on the Copyright Directive and Platform Liability  -  October 08, 2021
  • European Commission Outlines Proposed Regulation for Artificial Intelligence -  October 05, 2021
  • Non-Fungible Tokens (NFT) Resources -  September 28, 2021
  • All Those in Favour, Say AI: UK IPO Publishes Response to Its Consultation on Artificial Intelligence and Intellectual Property -  May 20, 2021
  • VG Bild-Kunst: Practical implications of the CJEU’s latest decision on linking and framing -  April 13, 2021
  • The EU’s Proposed Digital Services Act -  March 17, 2021
  • IP in the UK After Brexit: What Does It Mean for UK Business and Trading With the EU? -  December 02, 2020
  • EU Platform-to-Business Regulation Enters Into Force -  July 29, 2020
  • Copyright, Competition, and Controversy: Press Publishers’ Right under the Copyright Directive -  June 26, 2020
  • The Lipstick Effect — Are Kylie Jenner and New Technologies Making Beauty Deals Increasingly Attractive for Private Equity? -  June 15, 2020
  • Online Marketplace Liability: Court of Justice of the European Union Ruling in Coty v. Amazon -  June 09, 2020
  • What Does Brexit Mean for the Copyright Directive in the UK? -  February 05, 2020
  • Unilever – Too Big to Pay? -  November 18, 2019
  • UK’s Proposed “Online Harms” Compliance and Enforcement Regime Will Target Platforms -  April 10, 2019
  • Effect of a “No-Deal” Brexit on IP in the UK -  January 14, 2019
  • UK Ratifies the Unified Patent Court Agreement -  April 30, 2018
  • Unified Patent Court Update: Ratification Could Take Place in the Coming Months  -  December 05, 2017
  • IP & Brexit: The Impact of Brexit on the Community Unregistered Design Right and the Creative Industries Who Rely on Them -  October 04, 2017
  • European Commission’s 6 Proposals for Post-Brexit Intellectual Property Rights -  September 08, 2017
  • German Court Delays Implementation of Unified Patent Court Legislation  -  June 14, 2017
  • Brexit and IP: 5 Things Brand Owners Should Do Now  -  March 29, 2017
  • UK To Ratify the Unified Patent Court Agreement Despite the Brexit Vote -  November 30, 2016
  • Know Your Code: Open Source Usage Can Close Software Commercialisation Prospects for Tech Targets  -  November 01, 2016
  • Recent Developments in Licensing and Sublicensing Decisions in Germany and Their Impact in France and the UK -  October 04, 2012

#1 Intellectual Property lawyer in EMEA by deal count and value

Mergerlinks 2020
Bar Qualification
  • England and Wales (Solicitor)
  • Diploma, Bristol University, 2008
  • LPC, Nottingham University (Trent), 2004
  • LLB, Durham University, 2003
  • Healthcare & Life Sciences
  • Technology
  • Entertainment, Sports & Media
  • French
  • Technology Transactions
  • Private Equity
  • Israel Practice
  • Payments & Emerging Financial Services
  • Outsourcing