Areas of work, specialisms and alternatives

What is technology law? A guide for aspiring solicitors

17 Aug 2023, 13:31

Technology progresses rapidly and lawyers must keep up to date with developments.

A picture of a laptop with a glowing screen set against a black background, symbolising careers in technology law

Advisory work is common in technology as companies large and small attempt to navigate the regulatory waters to success. Solicitors will undertake advisory work alongside other more traditional commercial law work, albeit in less traditional fields.

What is technology law?

Technology lawyers work with both early-stage start-ups and leading global tech giants across a range of sectors. Many clients are from the technology, media and communications sectors, but they may also be from the financial services, health, retail, fashion, gaming and automotive industries. Technology lawyers often work with businesses in disruptive sectors, such as fintech, healthtech and cryptocurrency.

What do technology solicitors do?

There is both transactional and advisory work involved to help clients deliver their products and services. They might need help with software licensing agreements and telecoms contracts; privacy issues such as compliance, data monetisation and cyber security; and large-scale commercial transactions such as IT implementation projects, outsourcing transactions or intellectual property development and licensing deals.

What is life like as a technology trainee?

Trainees get involved in all types of work that the team does. In general, working hours are consistent; late nights and weekend working is rare and tends to be spread out. Client secondments are common in this practice area to help lawyers understand their clients’ needs.

What skills do you need to be a technology solicitor?

Technology lawyers need to be trusted advisers for businesses, so it’s important that they are up to speed with the latest trends and developments and have a strong sense of commercial awareness. Good oral and written communication skills aid in client communication, as does a good sense of humour and the ability to work both independently and as part of a team.

Types of law practised within technology

  • Contract
  • Privacy
  • Consumer regulation
  • Telecoms regulation

How much can I earn in technology law?

You will likely undertake technology law as a seat on a training contract as part of a rotation and may specialise later. You can take a look at our article on How much you can earn as a trainee solicitor to get a broader picture of how much law firms pay trainees, but it’s not uncommon for firms with UK offices to offer £50,000 to trainees in their first year, rising to anywhere up to and above £100,000 upon qualification.

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