Clarkslegal LLP - Solicitors in Reading and London

Outsourcing & Supply Chain

We offer the following services, all of which are tailored to the needs of our clients. Additional information regarding supply chain governance can be found here

> Structuring the Outsourcing Process

The most successful outsourcing processes are open and competitive and deliver the client’s commercial objectives within the desired timeframes and budget resulting in an agreed and acceptable risk profile. Planning is key. We assist clients in preparing their outsourcing strategy (including key drivers, risk management and realistic timeframes) which will inform the process and enable the client to manage its internal and external resource more efficiently and effectively.

> Information Control

An essential part of any major outsourcing project is communication both within the client organisation and between the supplier/customer. Clear and accurate communication helps to enhance trust and confidence. We advise on and prepare appropriate communication protocols or manage secure sites for document management.

We will help you identify the controls required in the context of circulating legal advice, to ensure that advice provided by us attracts legal professional privilege.

> Structure of the Transaction

Notifying suppliers early in the process of any key terms or “must haves” gives suppliers the chance to properly tailor their response, which in turn ensures that the commercial and financial offerings meet the requirements of the bid. It also enables those running the process to properly manage the financial and commercial expectations of the business. We advise on the form and content of the contractual documents, including availability of particular conditions in the market.

With our experience across a variety of sectors (including IT outsourcing), we provide realistic advice on the contract structure and its terms at an early stage of the process, to assist in managing the expectations of both the business and the suppliers.

> Risk Management

We work closely with our clients to ensure the risks of outsourcing services, or providing outsourced services are identified and properly managed. Team members have contentious experience, and have worked in house, and they are well placed to advise and draft to minimise or avoid such risks.

A risk-free contract for either party is rarely the right (or most affordable solution) and unlikely to be available in the market. The most cost-effective contract will be the one where the risks are proactively managed by the party best placed to deal with them. We provide a risk report that can be presented at board level (as well as present to the Board, if requested) and keep risks under regular review, if needed.

> Intellectual Property

Intellectual Property is a key feature in many outsourcing projects, particularly where any development or configuration work is undertaken by the supplier, specific to its customer’s needs. In this fast-moving electronic age, ownership, use and protection of data must be properly managed and controlled. We help our clients protect their data and IP and, when appropriate, advise on the best ways to commercially exploit their IP assets. Our team sets their advice in the business context, to ensure that it is practical and achievable.

> People

A key issue of any outsourcing (or insourcing) of services is the potential impact of the Transfer of Undertakings Regulations (TUPE). We advise on the implications of TUPE related matters, managing the consultation processes and protective award risks, as well as limiting risks through the drafting of warranties and indemnities.

We appreciate that TUPE can be difficult process for those having to manage it, particularly considering the expectations of those affected. Our support is always practical, clear and jargon free.

> Contract Negotiation

Once a preferred supplier is identified, contract negotiations usually become the focus of any outsourcing project. We recommend that the client team involves those who will implement and run the contract. We provide clear, constructive advice, which assists in closing outstanding points, and enables you to begin your relationship with the other party on the right footing.

> Post Contract Signature Support

The strength of the relationship between the contracting parties is the key to its success, and a clear well understood contract supports and empowers that relationship.  We support our clients post contract signature, during implementation and beyond. We offer a workshop on the key terms in any major contract focused on those who implement and run the contract.

We advise on how to effect changes in line with the terms of the contract and beyond, as well as assisting in dispute avoidance and management.