So much more than just commercial and IP
I've been asked a number of times what technology law is, and I admit it is difficult to define. It draws heavily from other areas, and the few practitioners in this field will often have a background in commercial law.
I find that the best way is to describe the advantage of seeing a specialist.
Technology and science move much faster than anything else. Legislation and the courts are often years behind, often obsolete by the time their put in place. A technology law practitioner will often see the changes coming. They'll advise you on where things are likely to end up, and how it can effect you. They will be able to do this because they have two advantages over the general commercial solicitor.
They understand technology and they understand what you do.
That is the benefit my clients have gained. I understand either what they do, or what they needs someone else to do. I typically understand the science and technology behind it (or I learn it very quickly). Someone without that knowledge is likely to miss something that could leave them in turmoil, or perhaps not advise them of a possible advantage. I've seen many general commercial solicitors advise on technology law and, in most cases, it shows that they don't understand what their client is doing, or what their client needs. I've worked with established technology providers, business firms with technological needs, banks on security, and a number of start-ups. The advantage they all gained was working with a lawyer who understood both the legal requirements and the technical aspects.
So much more than just commercial.
My work to date has also branched in to matters that are less commercial in nature, but still firmly within that highly technical space. I've assisted a client who was hacked. I've helped others secure intellectual property housed in another country. I'm currently representing a client in the first civil action under the Harmful Digital Communication Act. I've advised a number of clients about online harassment. I've also had work referred to me by several major industry bodies, just because a lawyer was needed who actually understood what was going on, how the actions occurred, and the legislation in place.
Don't be mislead by commercial solicitors who see your work as nothing more than just another contract or just another matter. As Einstein said, if someone can't explain something simply, then they don't know it. If your lawyer can't explain to you what you do, then come see a lawyer who can, as it takes someone who knows what you do to advise you properly on how to do it better.