- 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.
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- Our litigation practice advises on all aspects of dispute resolution, with a particular focus on ownership, exploitation and infringement of intellectual property rights and commercial disputes in the technology sector.
- 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.
- Our regulatory specialists work alongside Kemp Littles corporate and commercial professionals to help meet their compliance obligations.
- With a service that is commercial and responsive to our clients needs, you will find our tax advice easy to understand, cost-effective and geared towards maximising your tax benefits.
- 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.
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- 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.
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- 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 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
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EU Withdrawal Bill and its likely effects on the technology industry
Whilst the parliamentary game of “deal or no-deal” rages on, we thought it would be useful to consider what the Prime Minister’s proposed deal with the EU might mean for the tech industry – as far as we can tell at the moment.
On the 14th November 2018 UK and EU negotiators produced the technical agreement between the UK and the EU in relation to the UK’s withdrawal from the EU (the “Withdrawal Agreement”). Alongside this was published the agreed framework for the future relationship between the UK and the EU (the “Political Declaration”). In this article we outline the potential impacts of the Withdrawal Agreement and Political Declaration on the technology industry and what this could mean for your business.
The Withdrawal Agreement provides for a transition period commencing on the 30th March 2019 and lasting until the 31st December 2019. The good news is that during this period that status quo will largely remain unchanged. There is the option to extend the transition period for an originally unspecified period. However, this has now been updated to “up to one or two years” i.e. 2022 at the latest.
If there is no extension to the transition period, then a backstop consisting of "a single customs territory between the (European) Union and the United Kingdom" will be triggered.
Freedom of Movement
A key question for the technology industry will be the impact of the Withdrawal Agreement on the ability to recruit and retain talent from across the EU.
Under the Withdrawal Agreement citizen rights are broadly unchanged from the initial draft which came out in March. EU citizens currently based in the UK will retain their residency and security rights after Brexit. However free movement ends at the end of the transition period, unless the UK and EU decide to sign a separate treaty on free movement, as part of the future relationship.
The tech industry is still getting to grips with the implementation of the General Data Protection Regulation (“GDPR”) back in May. Therefore, a key question will be how personal data will be regulated going forward.
During the transition period the GDPR and related EU privacy laws (e.g. the Electronic Communications (ePrivacy) Directive the upcoming ePrivacy Regulation) will continue to apply to the UK.
After the transition period the UK will be considered as a “third country” under GDPR. There are restrictions on transfers to such third countries which are not clearly defined but are generally assumed to mean countries outside the EEA.
Personal data may only be transferred to third countries if the European Commission provides an adequacy decision in relation to such a county. Otherwise certain safeguards must be adopted in relation to the transfer or a specific derogation can be relied upon.
Although there is no guarantee the UK will receive a finding of adequacy, the Political Declaration has stated that the EU will "endeavour" to adopt an adequacy decision in relation to the UK by the end of the transition period. However even if the UK receives an adequacy decision there is nothing to stop it being repealed by the EU at a later date following a subsequent review.
Another major issue to consider for the tech industry will be the jurisdiction of the Court of Justice of the European Union (“CJEU”) and extent to which the UK will have to follow EU laws and regulations.
Article 127 of the Withdrawal Agreement provides that EU Law will be applicable in the UK during the transition period. The UK will also remain within the EU Customs Union, single market and the CJEU during this period. However, the UK will not have a say and will not take part in EU law-making.
Under Article 89 of the Withdrawal Agreement, the CJEU will have jurisdiction for cases sent from UK courts before the end of the transition period. After this point UK can only send the CJEU cases in limited instances.
If the European Commission considers that the UK has failed to fulfil an obligation under the Treaties or under the transition provisions set out in Part 4 of the Withdrawal Agreement before the end of the transition period, it can bring the matter before the CJEU within four years after the end of the transition period.
Furthermore, Under Article 87, if the UK fails to comply with an administrative decision of an EU institution, body, office or agency under Article 95(1), the European Commission can bring the matter before the CJEU within four years of the decision date.
Therefore, after the transition period any CJEU ruling will no longer have direct effect. However, the CJEU will have an indirect influence for a number of years.
EU leaders have already approved the Withdrawal Agreement and Parliament are expected to hold a vote in the coming days and/or weeks. If the Withdrawal Agreement is voted down, then the UK could crash out of the EU on 29 March 2019. Therefore, tech businesses should continue to monitor the situation closely and prepare for a ‘no deal’ scenario as far as they are able. What is clear, however, is that whatever form Brexit takes, if the UK tech industry is to continue business in the EU, then logically many aspects of that business – from data to payments to hardware and intellectual property - will have to adapt to and therefore at some level be influenced by the path that EU law takes in the future.