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Supply Chain and Procurement

Companies are increasingly using technology and outsourcing as a catalyst for transformation and to achieve strategic business objectives

Covid-19 and geopolitical tensions have put supply chain resilience in the spotlight like never before. Resilience is now being looked at through a more demanding lens: a lens that focuses on the resilience of important business services or functions, rather than on the resilience of a specific service or provision. At the same time, supply chains are also transforming to take advantage of AI and other digital advantages, and coming under pressure to find ever-increasing efficiencies.

It is not uncommon for these different business imperatives to sometimes be at odds with each other – and the picture becomes more complex when the requirements of digital and sectoral regulations are overlaid. Our global supply chain team is expert in helping clients navigate through these complexities.

Our goal is to help simplify and to support our clients in putting in place arrangements that reflect our deep experience of the market. In over 30 years, our procurement contracts have successfully withstood challenges, both in the courts and during commercial disputes. We are proud of our track record of supply chain innovation – with a strong history of doing sourcing “firsts”.

Supporting clients

Our global supply chain 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 transactions)

Specific examples

  • The Ministry of Defence: advising on a suite of ICT outsourcings that are expected to deliver savings of over £1bn over 10 years, including on strategic integration and management (SIAM) models.
  • BP: advising on its US$400m global hosting services outsourcing and on its US$1.5bn IT outsourcing deal with five major IT suppliers.
  • A number of clients: advising on build-operate-transfer (BOT) projects designed to build new, cutting-edge capabilities that can be transferred to the customer group.
  • The Qualifications and Curriculum Authority: advising on their public sector procurement of a national SATS testing services including negotiating an exit settlement following vendor failure, to which our documentation stood up to review at a Parliamentary Select Committee’s inquiry into the initial failure.
  • Nestlé: advising on an innovative ‘lighthouse’ digital warehouse transformation project, which involved sourcing of the design, development and ongoing management and service provision of a new ‘intelligent’ UK logistics and distribution centre with a third party logistics supplier.
  • Gavi: advising on establishment of the COVAX Facility for the funding and allocation of COVID vaccines globally, which saved 2.7m lives in the pandemic, and subsequently on its transformative $1bn African Vaccine Manufacturing Accelerator, to widen access to vaccines in Africa.
  • A major international pharmaceutical company: advising on a complex web of supply and distribution arrangements (for existing and pipeline products), in relation to a global asset swap with another market-leading pharma company for its vaccine business.

Recognition

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