TECHNOLOGY, OUTSOURCING, AND COMMERCIAL TRANSACTIONS
NEWS FOR LAWYERS AND SOURCING PROFESSIONALS
Many organizations have longstanding sustainability initiatives for reducing waste through efforts such as recycling or reductions in printing. However, organizations are now also looking to their use of technology to help improve the sustainability of their operations.
From all of us on the technology, outsourcing, and commercial transactions team at Morgan Lewis, we’d like to wish you and your loved ones happy holidays and a wonderful new year.
As 2021 comes to a close, we have once again compiled all the links to our Contract Corner blog posts, a regular feature of Tech & Sourcing @ Morgan Lewis. In these posts, members of our global technology, outsourcing, and commercial transactions practice highlight particular contract provisions, review the issues, and propose negotiating and drafting tips.
Companies are transforming legacy systems, implementing automation and artificial intelligence tools, embedding digital capabilities into their products, shifting to cloud solutions and leveraging technology to better connect to their customers, personnel, and third parties, all at an unprecedented pace. The focus on businesses to get to market faster, reach a broader audience and provide real-time interaction has in turn put pressure on legal and sourcing documents to keep up. The complexity and volume of the numbers of projects (and contracts) can be daunting — especially for companies that have not yet elevated the importance of the technology law function within their organizations.

The Board of the International Organization of Securities Commissions (IOSCO) has published a set of revised outsourcing principles for regulated entities. IOSCO is an international policy forum for securities regulators and a global standard-setter for securities regulation whose membership regulates more than 95% of the world's securities markets.

During the last year, we have seen a significant shift to “as a service” models and cloud solutions, as well as heightened attention on outsourcing as a strategic business tool to enable scalability, improved service, and accelerated access to in-demand technology and resources. This increased reliance on vendor performance to enable business operations has underscored the importance of implementing a solid service level methodology in order to: establish performance metrics that align with the customer’s expectations and business requirements; measure, monitor, and report performance against the metrics; set out the remedies for service level defaults, including service level credits and termination rights; and agree to events that may excuse performance resulting in missed service levels.

The Chancery Lane Project, a UK-based nonprofit network of legal professionals, has published a “Net Zero Toolkit” to help organizations achieve net zero goals. The toolkit includes 100 “climate clauses” aligned with the 2015 Paris Agreement goals.

Changes to complex commercial contracts are inevitable. These contracts, such as large outsourcing agreements, typically include a master services agreement (MSA) and a high number of exhibits and attachments describing the scope, performance standards, financials, and other contractual requirements in detail. Some deals can end up containing over 50–75 documents (or more!) in total. Given their strategic importance, these agreements often require numerous amendments as the relationship evolves over time and changes need to be formally documented.
The United Kingdom’s Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport (DCMS) is requesting views on supply chain cybersecurity, which it will look to incorporate into its new National Cyber Security Strategy.
For UK companies choosing between hiring employees or using independent contractors, there are important legal risks that must be taken into consideration. In addition, agile and remote workforces are a hot topic as companies around the world are considering new ways of working following the COVID-19 pandemic. However, in the post-Brexit United Kingdom, the idea that people can work in any place at any time presents tax, data protection, and employment law challenges.