Technology, Procurement and Outsourcing

The negotiation of sourcing arrangements can bring specific risks and challenges for many companies, especially those sourcing on a global basis and those in regulated industries.

Given the current economic climate, we understand the increasing need for all parties to outsourcing or procurement transactions to develop innovative pricing models which are aligned to long-term strategic partnerships, such as open-book, risk-shared and outcome-based pricing, as cost pressures are brought to bear on customers and suppliers are increasingly expected to provide transparency and ever greater efficiency.

But innovative pricing and the need to control costs are often at odds with increased regulatory oversight. Stronger regulation and enforcement in the areas of cyber security, data protection and financial services mean that leveraging more efficient infrastructure such as cloud-based technology becomes more difficult as the customer is required to maintain some control over all levels of the supply chain and a supplier’s ability to manage its service provision as efficiently as possible is therefore constrained.   

Clients rely on our team to navigate them through the complexities of their technology and outsourcing transactions, and balance these risks.

Supporting clients

Our global technology and outsourcing specialists have market leading experience and expertise in providing commercial and innovative support to all parties within the technology and procurement matrix - customers, suppliers, private companies and governments. This includes tendering, structuring, negotiation and transition management, renegotiation and dispute management and exit.

The team has advised clients across a wide range of sectors, such as financial services,TMT and energy & utilities, enabling them to share extensive market knowledge and best practice. This includes a valuable understanding of both the legal and commercial drivers which help create a good deal for our clients not just on signing a contract, but throughout the term of the contract.

Complex, multi-jurisdictional transactions and those with significant regulatory challenges are a particular area of strength for the team. We are supported by and work closely with a global network of Linklaters’ specialists in financial services regulation, tax, structured finance, data protection and banking secrecy, employment law, intellectual property, procurement regulation and competition law.

Experience

We regularly advise on:

  • Technology-related procurement transactions (including large scale cloud, system development and integration projects)
  • IT/telecoms outsourcing (including infrastructure, AD&M, service desks, data centres, managed network and mobility services)
  • Business process outsourcing (including finance and accounting, procurement, logistics, HR, payroll, security, customer contact centres and facilities management)
  • Separation and transitional arrangements (structuring and negotiating transitional service agreements (TSAs) for a variety of functions (e.g. managed IT, HR services and transaction processing) with multiple parties in the context of corporate and finance transaction)

Specific examples

  • BP on the outsourcing of its global finance and accounting requirements, the largest finance and accounting outsourcing in the world last year. We have also advised BP on its US$400m global hosting services outsourcing and on its US$1.5bn IT outsourcing deal with five major IT suppliers
  • a global FMCG company on the restructuring and multi-sourcing of its global IT requirements including infrastructure, data centre, service desk, application maintenance, telecom networks and mobility and desktop implementation outsourcings
  • The Post Office on its 10 year managed distribution agreement to distribute Royal Mail products and services through the Post Office network and a 2 year plus master services agreement providing for the continuity of various operational and IT services to Post Office by Royal Mail on an arms-length basis
  • PricewaterhouseCoopers on general IT and contractual work on the insolvency of Lehman Brothers’ European businesses, which has now involved negotiating in excess of 275 IT separation and transfer agreements with multiple parties, as well as advising on its standard form purchasing contracts
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