- 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.
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- 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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- 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.
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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.
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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.
- 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 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 worlds leading luxury brands and some of the most innovative e-commerce retailers changing the face of the industry.
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New FCA recommendations for firms outsourcing IT services
In the FCA’s recent document entitled “Considerations for firms thinking of using third-party technology (off-the-shelf) banking solutions”, it provides a list of questions for regulated firms to consider when using third parties in the delivery of technology services which are critical to the firm’s business operations.
If a firm uses a third party for critical business services it must comply with the outsourcing requirements in the FCA Handbook at SYSC 8. The aim of these obligations is that firms appropriately manage the operational risk associated with their use of third parties and that such arrangements do not impair the FCA’s ability to regulate the firm.
In practice, the FCA expects firms to have IT services that are effective, resilient and secure, and designed to meet business needs. A firm must also be able to provide reasonable assurance that those of its outsource service providers critical to its business (OSPs) will deliver services effectively, resiliently and securely, as well as have arrangements for risk management and oversight of the OSPs to meet regulatory requirements. Crucially, firms retains full accountability for all of their regulatory responsibilities and cannot delegate them to a third party.
The specific questions which the FCA recommends firms should consider when outsourcing IT services to third party providers are summarised below.
Decision to outsource critical technology services
- Whether there is indeed a business case for using a third party for technology services.
Selection of the OSP
- Commercial considerations, including specifically price.
- Ease of access to data from the service provider’s system.
- Degree of tailoring required and time needed to meet the firm’s needs.
- Because a single service provider may not provide all of the needed services it may be necessary to consult more than one which leads to considerations about whether they can work together.
- Managing future changes to the provision of technology services.
- The viability of the OSP as a business, whether it has the capacity and legal authority to perform the functions.
- The option of sharing infrastructure with other customers (multi-tenancy), including whether, and how, the firm can ensure that its data is segregated and secure
- Ensuring an exit plan is in place, which should encompass transition to another service provider and return and removal of data.
Oversight and governance
- Because a firm retains accountability for its responsibilities it must oversee the services provided, including monitoring the financial and operational performance, and addressing risks.
- Arrangements for dispute resolution and consideration of how the service provider will be subject to reviews or audits.
- Whether the arrangements will be supported by a service level agreement (SLA), and if so whether the firm can monitor the service provider’s performance.
- How to assess operational risk from service providers and the overall operational risk from regulated services, and who will be responsible for appropriate risk management.
- Technological support and arrangements for maintenance and upgrades, as well as solutions to meet any increase in demand.
- Arrangement to monitor the quality of the service provider’s performance.
- Incident management and whether there is agreement as to the firm’s and the service provider’s responsibilities.
- Security risk assessments, including measures to mitigate security risk.
- Resilience and disaster recovery plans, including whether the firm and the service provider have plans, and if so whether they are aligned.
- Regular testing of system for security.
- Whether the data is segregated, encrypted during transmissions and storage, and stored and processed in an acceptable jurisdiction.
- How the data will ultimately be removed from the service provider’s system.
The FCA acknowledges that its list is not exhaustive but believes it provides a useful starting framework and highlights considerations that might not otherwise have been immediately obvious to firms. However, the FCA makes it clear that the onus is ultimately on each firm to determine what additional aspects might be relevant to it in looking at whether outsourcing IT services to a third party service provider is the right decision.
For more information about outsourcing, please see here. We would be happy to hear from you if you have any questions or would like to discuss how outsourcing considerations impact your business.