• At Kemp Little, we are known for our ability to serve the very particular needs of a large but diverse technology client base. Our hands-on industry know-how makes us a good fit with many of the world's biggest technology and digital media businesses, yet means we are equally relevant to companies with a technology bias, in sectors such as professional services, financial services, retail, travel and healthcare.
  • Kemp Little specialises in the technology and digital media sectors and provides a range of legal services that are crucial to fast-moving, innovative businesses.Our blend of sector awareness, technical excellence and responsiveness, means we are regularly ranked as a leading firm by directories such as Legal 500, Chambers and PLC Which Lawyer. Our practice areas cover a wide range of legal issues and advice.
  • Our Commercial Technology team has established itself as one of the strongest in the UK. We are ranked in Legal 500, Chambers & Partners and PLC Which Lawyer, with four of our partners recommended.
  • Our team provides practical and commercial advice founded on years of experience and technical know-how to technology and digital media companies that need to be alert to the rules and regulations of competition law.
  • Our Corporate Practice has a reputation for delivering sound legal advice, backed up with extensive industry experience and credentials, to get the best results from technology and digital media transactions.
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  • We have an industry-leading reputation for our outsourcing expertise. Our professionals deliver credible legal advice to providers and acquirers of IT and business process outsourcing (BPO) services.
  • We work alongside companies, many with disruptive technologies, that seek funding, as well as with the venture capital firms, institutional investors and corporate ventures that want to invest in exciting business opportunities.
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  • At Kemp Little, we advise clients in diverse sectors where technology is fundamental to the ongoing success of their businesses.They include companies that provide technology as a service and businesses where the use of technology is key to their business model, enabling them to bring their product or service to market.
  • We bring our commercial understanding of digital business models, our legal expertise and our reputation for delivering high quality, cost-effective services to this dynamic sector.
  • Acting for market leaders and market changers within the media industry, we combine in-depth knowledge of the structural technology that underpins content delivery and the impact of digitisation on the rights of producers and consumers.
  • We understand the risks facing this sector and work with our clients to conquer those challenges. Testimony to our success is the continued growth in our team of professionals and the clients we serve.
  • We advise at the forefront of the technological intersection between life sciences and healthcare. We advise leading technology and data analytics providers, healthcare institutions as well as manufacturers of medical devices, pharmaceuticals and biotechnological products.
  • For clients operating in the online sector, our teams are structured to meet their commercial, financing, M&A, competition and regulatory, employment and intellectual property legal needs.
  • Our focus on technology makes us especially well positioned to give advice on the legal aspects of digital marketing. We advise on high-profile, multi-channel, cross-border cases and on highly complex campaigns.
  • The mobile and telecoms sector is fast changing and hugely dependent on technology advances. We help mobile and wireless and fixed telecoms clients to tackle the legal challenges that this evolving sector presents.
  • Whether ERP, Linux or Windows; software or infrastructure as a service in the cloud, in a virtualised environment, or as a mobile or service-oriented architecture, we have the experience to resolve legal issues across the spectrum of commercial computer platforms.
  • Our clients trust us to apply our solutions and know-how to help them make the best use of technology in structuring deals, mitigating key risks to their businesses and in achieving their commercial objectives.
  • We have extensive experience of advising customers and suppliers in the retail sector on technology development, licensing and supply projects, and in advising on all aspects of procurement and online operations.
  • Our legal professionals work alongside social media providers and users in relation to the commercial, privacy, data, advertising, intellectual property, employment and corporate issues that arise in this dynamic sector.
  • Our years of working alongside diverse software clients have given us an in-depth understanding of the dynamics of the software marketplace, market practice and alternative negotiating strategies.
  • Working with direct providers of travel services, including aggregators, facilitators and suppliers of transport and technology, our team has developed a unique specialist knowledge of the sector
  • Your life as an entrepreneur is full of daily challenges as you seek to grow your business. One of the key strengths of our firm is that we understand these challenges.
  • Kemp Little is trusted by some of the world’s leading luxury brands and some of the most innovative e-commerce retailers changing the face of the industry.
  • HR Bytes is an exclusive, comprehensive, online service that will provide you with a wide range of practical, insightful and current employment law information. HR Bytes members get priority booking for events, key insight and a range of employment materials for free.
  • FlightDeck is our portal designed especially with start-up and emerging technology businesses in mind to help you get your business up and running in the right way. We provide a free pack of all the things no-one tells you and things they don’t give away to get you started.

The Regulation of the European Cloud in 2014: give us a clEU?

Since the European Commission (EC) proclaimed in September 2012 that it was to focus on “Unleashing the Potential of Cloud Computing in Europe” we’ve seen cloud use in 2013 grow beyond previous predictions and the revelations from Edward Snowden regarding the NSA’s internet surveillance.   National governments within Europe, and indeed the world, are considering how they will respond to the potentially competing issues of the threat of external surveillance of cloud systems and the widespread market adoption of cloud services.

In the meantime the European Parliament, on the 10th December 2013, passed a resolution granting its support for the EC’s focus that it outlined in 2012, of:

  • establishing safe and fair contract terms;
  • cutting through the ‘jungle’ of competing cloud standards and establishing a pan-European standards set for the cloud; and
  • establishing a European Cloud Partnership.

In the December 2013 Resolution (a non-binding suggestion from the European Parliament to the EC), the European Parliament looked to give the EC guidance on how it hoped any future legislative framework would develop, stating that:

  • In relation to Government surveillance (Resolutions 19 to 24):
  • it “regrets” the “indications of massive, pervasive and indiscriminate governmental access to information related to” EU citizens;
  • it “insists” that to counter this risk the EC looks to ensure that users are aware of this risk and in addition that the EC should sponsor research into security and encryption to minimise this risk – involving the European Network and Information Security Agency in verifying minimum standards.
     
  • In relation to the ongoing debate on cloud standards (Resolutions 31 to 34) the European Parliament calls on the EC to continue taking the lead in the establishment of standards “supporting privacy-friendly, reliable, highly interoperable, secure and energy-efficient cloud services”.
     
  • In relation to data protection issues (Resolutions 58 and 62 to 83):
  • it states that where a cloud provider uses the data for a purpose other than that agreed on in the service agreement, or communicates data or uses it in a way contrary to the terms of the contract they should be considered as a “data controller” and should “be held liable for the infringements and breaches incurred
  • it confirmed that as a general rule, the level of data protection in a cloud computing environment must not be inferior to that required in any other data-processing context; and
  • It called up the EC to explore the adequacy of a review of the EU-US ‘Safe Harbour’ Agreement in relation to how it operated for cloud computing services.
     
  • In relation to other areas of law (Resolutions 44 to 61) it calls on the EC to consider the impact on other aspects of EU legislations to address gaps relating to cloud computing “in particular… the intellectual property rights regime and for a review of the Unfair Commercial Practices Directive, the Unfair Contract Terms Directive and the E-Commerce Directive”.

The EC has already, in October 2013, established an expert group to work on developing the safe and fair terms for standard cloud computing contracts which is expected to report back in Spring 2014.

2014 looks like it will be the year in which the first firm pieces of EU wide cloud specific legislation are presented, at least in draft form.  The issue remains, with such a time gap between inception and output whether this can remain relevant in what is, even by IT standards, a fast developing area.  All businesses that use, sell or perform services involving the cloud – and frankly that is near enough all businesses – will need to keep abreast of these developments as the year progresses as current approaches in relation to contractual terms, security and data protection are likely to all need reviewing.

For further information, please contact Andrew Joint, Commercial Technology Partner