We advise on complex, strategic global outsourcing projects for some of the most sophisticated users of services across the full range of business processes. We also advise leading suppliers on outsourcing bid support and customer negotiations. Our specialist lawyers are experienced in all the varied elements of outsourcing including procurement strategies, pricing, service level agreements, TUPE, corporate, tax and property issues.

Our experienced team has the capacity, technical understanding and commercial expertise to advise and guide you efficiently through all stages of any outsourcing project. From systems integration and multi-sourcing, to digital transformation and global business services, we regularly work on some of the highest-profile IT and BPO projects in the market.

On the customer side, we work with clients in a wide range of sectors including life sciences, financial services, energy, retail and the public sector. We help them throughout the project lifecycle, from structuring the deal and the procurement process, to contract negotiation, transition and implementation. During the life of the deal, we’re often called upon to advise on contract management issues, while towards the end of the term we regularly assist with re-procurement and exit planning strategies.

We act for several top-tier outsourcing suppliers. We provide bid support, including responses to RFPs, risk analyses on customer contracts, and lead customer negotiations. We quickly get up-to-speed with their risk management approach so we can embed ourselves within the bid team and advise in our clients’ full legal and business context.

We also deal with projects which are delayed or when there are disputes about the required scope, quality and standards. We help clients to identify and manage risks early, to anticipate change and to make the most of their contractual positions, including through renegotiation or formal legal action. We are well versed in helping clients manage outsourcing disputes alongside our expert technology disputes team.

From our London office we often work with our global network of experts to provide a seamless service on international outsourcing projects. We lead global deals on behalf of clients, project managing and integrating specific advice from outsourcing experts in the relevant jurisdictions, ensuring a globally-compliant roll-out in key areas like HR and TUPE, data privacy and sector-specific regulations that apply to outsourcing. On global outsourcing projects, we offer our clients the convenience of ‘one firm’ – one set of instructions, one conflict check and one invoice. 

Toby Crick

Contact

Vik Khurana

Contact

Chris Holder

Contact

Adrian Sim

Contact

Experience

We advised a global financial services business on multiple business critical IT and outsourcing deals, many of which were material outsourcing transactions where we achieved favourable positions for our client and its regulators. 

Most recently, we advised on the re-baselining and renegotiation of its existing BPO and ITO deals with two top-tier global vendors. We were able to take a pragmatic approach to these renegotiations, retaining the existing functional relationships and what had been working well, while focusing discussions on improving those aspects that could be improved, such as access to improvement, innovation and enhanced levels of service.

Each project involved careful analysis of the regulatory context – both in terms of the financial services regulatory and data privacy regulatory compliance and across the world.

Our client was able to call on us not only for legal advice and negotiation but also to support the life-cycle of these complex deals including counselling on procurement strategies and regulatory compliance procedures and using our in-house tools to enable swift and cost-effective reporting to CIO and board level stakeholders.

We regularly advise our long-standing client, a leading global IT and outsourcing provider, on some of its largest deals and disputes. 

In particular, we have helped on multi-year outsourcing programmes for the design, build and running of banking systems, advising on complex IP, IT, data and regulatory issues. Following these deals, our team is regularly called upon to assist with contract management, whether that is the latest change control note or re-aligning the contract following an event or issue.

We have also co-ordinated multi-jurisdictional advice on a £1billion global contact centre outsourcing bid to a large energy company involving cutting-edge robotic process automation technology.    

We advised a global B2C automotive parts manufacturer on a transformational business process outsourcing project.

We guided the RFP strategy and contracting process from end to end, drafting and negotiating a robust agreement to govern the global relationship. We also worked with our data protection and employment experts to manage compliance with jurisdiction-specific regulatory and HR requirements. Our lawyers were able to bring to bear their extensive experience in both procuring and delivering BPO projects when stress-testing the pricing models and drafting the service descriptions, refining the commercial model, and ensuring our client benefitted from strong contractual commitments to the efficiencies and service improvements which underpinned the business case.

We helped our client, a leading enterprise software vendor, to undertake their first ever large scale IT outsourcing that saw them conclude a deal with a top-tier supplier to set up offshore development centres in India and Mexico.

We advised our client from start to finish, notably on their deal structuring, service model descriptions and charging mechanisms as well as of course all legal aspects. A key issue was knowledge transfer and knowledge protection as the vendor’s team would be gaining in depth knowledge of our client’s key tools (that it itself licences to its customers). Although the deal was led out of the US, our client still came to us to deliver it because of our deep knowledge of the key ITO vendors and ability to leverage that knowledge to drive a hard but fair bargain swiftly and cost-effectively.

We assisted a government department on a series of linked outsourcing projects related to the transformation and modernisation of key aspects of the UK’s defence technology infrastructure.

Initially, we helped design a regulated public procurement for the agile technology development services required to develop the new systems, then continued to advise on further procurements for the support and hosting of the new system.  Our in-depth knowledge of the technology, marketplace and background to this project has proven invaluable to our client, our team proving instrumental in helping to procure these systems and services in an efficient and timely manner and in a way that was compliant with procurement regulations.

Key to our role was our ability to share our expertise in project management, deal structuring and agile software development to enable the client team to manage the process and ensure it really understood the various bidders’ proposals.

Related resources

What others say

“They have a clear understanding of what our business wants to achieve and that underpins all their advice. They know when to involve the business stakeholders and are able to tailor their approach to that audience and suggest solutions that take key business drivers into account.”

Chambers and Partners 2024

“Bristows has a comprehensive IT practice with powerful resources for major commercial transactions and complex litigation. It advises many of the world’s leading technology companies, and also sophisticated blue-chip buyers of IT services. It is especially adept at providing counsel on the most current and cutting-edge issues in the technology space. Bristows houses experienced advisers on digital advertising and cloud computing matters.”

Chambers and Partners 2024

“Bristows is our go-to firm for any complex or high-value technology work. The team is accessible, responsive and incredibly knowledgeable and a pleasure to work with.”

Legal 500 2024

“Excellent legal skills, combined with a good sector knowledge and a hands-on approach, make Bristows a very useful resource.”

Chambers and Partners 2023

“Commercial awareness is definitely one of Bristows’ strong points. Team members’ prior in-house experience shows. It is great to receive advice that is commercially balanced and easily understood by all functions of our business.”

Chambers and Partners 2023

“Even in the event the requests were a bit outside of telecom regulations, the firm were able to assist with providing an exhaustive response to all enquiries. They always responded within the quoted review time and usually exceeded expectations.”

Chambers and Partners 2023

“All team members have very deep experience in different fields of expertise. They understand what kind of level of response a client needs before wasting money on long reports, which is very much appreciated. On top of this, they provide updates on UK case law that are very helpful.”

Chambers and Partners 2023

“They are excellent, they have really good work and nice people there.”

Chambers and Partners 2023

“Their reputation is well deserved.”

Chambers and Partners 2023

“Their advice is always practical, realistic and adaptable.”

Chambers and Partners 2023

“Bristows have an incredible depth and breadth of experience.”

Chambers and Partners 2023

“Bristows has a comprehensive IT practice with powerful resources for major commercial transactions and complex litigation. It advises many of the world’s leading technology companies, and also sophisticated blue-chip buyers of IT services. It is especially adept at providing counsel on the most current and cutting-edge issues in the technology space.”

Chambers and Partners 2023

“They are technically very strong, giving us great confidence in their advice.”

Chambers and Partners 2023

“The Bristows reputation management team is small but experienced and has the advantage of being able to offer cross-expertise to other Bristows specialist departments such as data protection, copyright and IT generally. In the internet age that is very valuable.”

 

Legal 500 2023

“The team at Bristows strike the perfect balance between excellent technical legal knowledge and industry insight and experience. They are able to distil often complex legal positions into easy to digest and practical advice. The strategic value they are able to add sets them apart from their competitors.”

Legal 500 2023

“Their understanding of the industry and therefore ability to provide tailored advice is great. They also take a pragmatic view, such that in negotiation with providers they focus on what is important and likely, rather than focusing on theoretical, pedantic legal points that have no” probability of happening in practice.”

Legal 500 2023

“The team at Bristows is second to none in the UK technology law space. They are accessible, responsive, highly knowledgeable and experienced and are a go-to team for any complex, high value or innovative IT deal.”

Legal 500 2023

“The practice has strengths in new and emerging technologies, advising clients on cloud issues, robotics and AI.”

Legal 500 2023

“The team demonstrates wide-ranging expertise across telecoms M&A, SaaS and outsourcing issues, and regulatory matters, and is notably strong in contentious mandates.”

Legal 500 2023

“Bristows LLP has a vast array of clients, including technology and telecoms companies, regulators, and purchasers of IT, such as governmental departments and financial institutions.”

Legal 500 2023

“Exceptional practice, well motivated, and proactive.”

Legal 500 2023

“Great expertise, very approachable.”

Legal 500 2023

“The team at Bristows is second to none in the UK technology law space. They are accessible, responsive, highly knowledgeable and experienced and are our go-to team for any complex, high-value or innovative IT deals.”

Legal 500 2023

“On the non-contentious side, strengths include corporate M&A and venture capital matters, commercial IP work, and strategic and project advice for clients across the technology, media, and telecoms sectors.”

Legal 500 2023

“Contentious work is a core strength for the broad technology sector practice at Bristows LLP, with experience in disputes ranging from major FRAND cases to competition issues to media and data protection compliance work, which the firm handles for an impressive base of high-profile household names and multinational corporates.”

Legal 500 2023

“Not only is Bristows’ advice first rate (technically and commercially), but the teams are a pleasure to work with and they are continually making my life easier as the client. They have a team of amazing professionals and are constantly looking for new ways to provide the best service for their clients – whether it is staffing, billing, information sharing etc.”

Legal 500 2023

“The Bristows team members are not only exceptionally good at a professional level, but, at the same time, very easy to talk to and discuss with. They always have an open ear for the client’s needs and are happy to brainstorm.”

Legal 500 2023

“The team has exceptional knowledge of the life sciences space. It acts for a broad range of industry players and has a deep understanding of market practice.”

Legal 500 2023

“Justified reputation as one of, if not the, leading firms for IP life sciences. Excellent reputation in the UK and beyond – widely respected throughout Europe for coordinating multi-jurisdictional disputes.”

Legal 500 2023

“Bristows LLP is ‘widely respected throughout Europe for coordinating multi-jurisdictional disputes’ and has ‘a justified reputation as one of the leading firms for IP life sciences work’.”

Legal 500 2023

Recent rankings and awards

Information Technology & Outsourcing - Band 1

Information Technology and Outsourcing - Band 1