Barbara Melby is widely recognized as a leader in the technology, digital transformation, and outsourcing legal markets, advising customers and select service providers in structuring, negotiating, realigning, and terminating a wide range of strategic commercial relationships. Barbara is currently the deputy leader of the corporate and business transactions (CBT) practice. Prior to this role, she led the technology transactions, outsourcing, and commercial contracts practice area. She also serves on the firm’s advisory board.
Barbara has a depth of knowledge which is unusual in this field, and she's very practical in her approach. Her support is always top-notch.
Barbara Melby is extremely efficient, technically sound and an excellent negotiator.
As a pioneer in the outsourcing services field, Barbara has helped shape the outsourcing legal market over the last 30 years. Barbara is sought after to handle many of the largest and most innovative deals in the market, including in the areas of information technology, human resources, call center, commercial operations, finance and accounting, procurement, research and development, logistics, and facilities outsourcing. She collaborates with clients on transactions for onshore, offshore, managed, and co-sourced solutions.
In addition to her outsourcing focus, Barbara supports clients in all aspects of strategic technology and commercial transactions, enabling them to effectively leverage technology and digital solutions to operate, modernize, and grow their businesses. As cloud computing, automation, artificial intelligence (AI), as-a-service (XaaS) products, and blockchain are creating opportunities for companies across around the globe, Barbara is at the forefront, providing thought leadership and innovative contracting structures to implement and manage new technologies, protect and secure valuable assets, provide flexibility and scalability, facilitate compliance, and mitigate risk.
As companies race to improve, automate, and modernize business operations, Barbara works with clients to implement third-party relationships to transform their foundational digital platforms to better support and keep pace with current and future business needs and leverage state-of-the-art technologies. She also works with clients to balance the business drive to quickly move forward with the need to negotiate contracts that incentivize on-time, on-budget delivery of all components of the platform (including hosting and application environments) and comply with business, risk, continuity, and regulatory requirements. Barbara has worked on some of the largest and most complex cloud projects to date, developing a deep expertise in negotiating with hyper-scalers to startups. Barbara offers practical, market-based support to clients engaging or resolutioning their cloud journey.
Barbara regularly advises clients on the use and commercialization of data and content, and assists clients in constructing and negotiating market-appropriate contract provisions relating to data security requirements and processes; remote work considerations; and data breach, response, and remediation.
In addition to authoring the seminal books on outsourcing, Barbara speaks on outsourcing and technology transactions at business, legal, and professional conferences. She also hosts an annual event for women in outsourcing with KPMG: Women in Shared Services and Outsourcing (WISSO). She spearheaded the launch of, and continues to lead, Morgan Lewis’s blog on technology, outsourcing, and commercial transactions—Tech & Sourcing @ Morgan Lewis.
Boston University School of Law, 1991, J.D.
Vassar College, 1987, B.A.
District of Columbia
Awards and Affiliations
Top 10 Most Influential Outsourcing Lawyers, Business Today (2023)
Client Service All-Star, BTI Consulting Group (2020)
Lawyer of the Year, Technology Law, New York, The Best Lawyers in America (2023)
Recognized, Technology Law, New York, The Best Lawyers in America (2020–2024)
Distinguished Leader, The Legal Intelligencer (2019)
Band 1, Outsourcing, USA, Chambers Global (2018–2023)
Band 1, Outsourcing, Nationwide, Chambers USA (2008–2023)
Recommended, TMT: IT and Telecoms, The Legal 500 UK (2021)
Hall of Fame, Media, technology and telecoms: Outsourcing, The Legal 500 US (2020–2023)
Leading Lawyer, Media, technology and telecoms: Technology transactions, The Legal 500 US (2021–2023)
Leading Lawyer, Media, technology and telecoms: Outsourcing, The Legal 500 US (2018, 2019)
Recommended, Media, technology and telecoms: Technology transactions, The Legal 500 US (2019, 2020)
Recommended, M&A/Corporate and commercial: commercial deals and contracts, The Legal 500 US (2016–2020)
Recommended, Media, technology and telecoms: Outsourcing transactions, The Legal 500 US (2008–2018)
Hall of Fame, The Legal 500 US (2017)
Recognized, Chambers Global: The World's Leading Lawyers (2008–2017)
World's Leading Lawyers, Chambers Global (2008–2017)
Leading Lawyer, Outsourcing, PLC Which Lawyer? Yearbook (2008–2010)
HRO Attorney of the Year, Human Resources Outsourcing Association
HRO Superstar, HRO Today (2006–2009)
Editor, Boston University Law Review
Distinguished Scholar, Boston University School of Law