Bird & Bird's Annual IT Law Update

Date: 20 October 2011

Bird & Bird is delighted to invite you to its Annual IT Law Update on Thursday 20 October 2011 at The British Library.

Our wide-ranging programme will deal with a number of key  hot-topics, including  legal issues associated with the use of social media tools by businesses, promoting positive relationships in outsourcing projects and protecting user data in cloud servcies arrangements.   We will also have our traditional update sessions on UK contract law developments relating to IT contracts and key e-commerce law developments.

As a new development for this year's update, we will also be running three workshops on the morning of the event. These interactive sessions will have a more in-depth focus on some current key issues for the industry.  There is no requirement to attend one of the morning workshop sessions if you are planning to attend the update in the afternoon.  Attendance at each workshop will be limited to around 25 people, so please indicate when registering for the event if you would like to attend one of the workshops.

An outline of the event is set out below. 

For further information, or to register to attend this seminar please contact the Events Team at or call +44 (0)20 7905 6282.

The programme

10.30 - 11.00
Workshop Registration

11.00 - 12.30

IT outsourcing customer forum - Getting Better Outcomes from Outsourcing (open to customer representatives only)

This workshop will  focus on improving the value for money and more general outcomes from outsourcing projects.  It will be split into two parts - "What are the common problems customers face across all sectors in getting the outcomes they want from outsourcing contracts?" and "What experiences do customers have of overcoming these challenges and increasing the value they get from outsourcing or reducing overall costs?".  The session lead will be Barry Jennings, who has considerable experience of procuring, contract managing and reviewing business critical IT and outsourcing projects.  

Contracting for agile developments

The various forms of Agile development methodology are now in commonplace usage.  Contracting for Agile developments remains a challenge.  The principles underpinning Agile are difficult to reconcile with standard IT contact approaches.  This workshop will review the various approaches to contracting for Agile developments and will seek as an output from the session to identify suitable risk allocation approaches for some of the key contracting issues. The session will be led by  Roger Bickerstaff and Ian Edwards.

Public Sector Joint Ventures and Mutuals

Francis Maude has said that joint ventures and mutual arrangements with a measure of employee ownership will be preferred contracting models for businesses working with the public sector.  What this means in practice has still be worked through and this workshop will examine some of the contracting models for JVs and mutuals and will review the comparative advantages and disadvantages.  The session will be led by David Ayers, who has considerable experience of setting up and operating public sector JVs.

12.30 - 13.30
Afternoon registration, networking and lunch

13.30 - 13.35
Welcome and introduction

Roger Bickerstaff, Partner, Bird & Bird

13.35 - 14.15
Use of social media tools by businesses:

Businesses are now starting to use social media tools (e.g. Twitter and Facebook) to promote their activities.  This session will review the legal issues associated with the use of social media tools in commercial marketing activities, with a particular focus on the international perspective

Benoit van Asbroeck, Partner, Bird & Bird

14.15 - 14.55
Internet, on-line and e-commerce:

Highlights of online and e-commerce policy, lawmaking and caselaw activity during 2011 in the UK and Europe.

Graham Smith, Partner, Bird & Bird

14.55 - 15.35

15.35 - 16.15
Contract law update:

The UK courts have been active this year in making decisions that have an impact on IT projects. This session will focus on the key cases, including De Beers v Atos Origin, IBM v Southwark, and  the PlayUp online marketing contract dispute.

Ian Edwards, Associate, Bird & Bird

16.15 - 16.45
IT Outsourcing: ensuring a healthy relationship in troubled times:

In the current economic climate the viability of many outsourcing relationships is being severely tested. This session will set out some new thoughts on how the health of your outsourcing relationship can be effectively measured, how the contract can help encourage the right behaviours and asks whether it is time to re-think some of the traditional approaches to driving supplier performance?      

Mark Leach, Partner, Bird & Bird

16.45 - 17.15
Protecting information in the cloud:  

Now that businesses are increasingly using cloud solutions the legal emphasis is moving away from how to contract for the cloud to more practical issues relating to cloud usage. This session will focus on the issues relating to protecting information that is stored and processed in the cloud, including in exits from the cloud and in the insolvency of a cloud service provider.         

Roger Bickerstaff, Partner, Bird & Bird
Howard Rubin, Partner, Bird & Bird

17.15 - 17.30
Close of seminar

17.30 - 19.00
Drinks and networking