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CMS’s ‘excellent’ team scores highly for its ‘very responsive’ approach and its ‘very good market knowledge’, particularly with regard to the financial services, public and education sectors. Laurence Ward continues to advise Clydesdale Bank on its app banking product, which involved assisting with IT contracts and a governance review. In the education sector, he assisted the University of Dundee with a software procurement project. Alan Nelson (a ‘robust and extremely knowledgeable negotiator’ who is ‘very approachable and always goes the extra mile for clients’) advised new client Ingenico on contractual matters. NHS National Services Scotland (NSS) is another client.

DLA Piper Scotland LLP’s ‘very knowledgeable and responsive’ team has a fine reputation in the IT and telecoms market, handling IT procurement, outsourcing, data protection and IT contract matters. In an illustration of its track record of advice to public and financial sector clients, highly regarded team head John McKinlay assisted Scottish Water with the re-procurement of its core IT and telecoms infrastructure as part of the organisation’s new investment cycle. Other highlights included advising RBS on the outsourcing of its ATM operations including security and fraud issues, and acting as lead adviser to the Highland Council on matters pertaining to its three-year ICT re-provision programme to procure end-to-end ICT products and services across the council’s and various stakeholders’ organisations. Edinburgh Airport instructed the team to advise on data protection issues pertaining to the new flight path consultation. Other clients include Secure Trust Bank and the Edinburgh Festival Fringe Society. Callum Sinclair moved to Burness Paull LLP.

Nothing is too much hassle’ for Pinsent Masons LLP’s ‘extremely approachable’ team, which has a strong reputation for IT procurement and outsourcing in the financial services, education and energy sectors and also handles contentious work. Highly regarded practice head Yvonne Dunn advised Tesco Bank on the development of its digital wallet and a contractual joint venture for its development with Mastercard. This role included assistance with the terms of the strategic partnership between Tesco Bank and Mastercard, including advice on interchange rules. In the contentious arena, legal director David Woods acted for David MacBrayne – a limited company owned by the Scottish government – in Court of Session proceedings for breach of contract against ATOS IT Services UK. The ‘very personable and hardworking’ Chris Martin is ‘a real star’.

Shepherd and Wedderburn acts across a range of sectors and is well versed in advising on data retention and data protection matters alongside cloud-computing and procurement matters. Paul Carlyle advised Sainsbury’s Bank on its internal policies and standards for procuring and implementing cloud-based services. Other clients include Spartan Solutions – a supplier of radio-frequency identification (RFID) and tracking solutions – and Skills Development Scotland.

Brodies LLP attracts praise for its ‘sound commercial advice’; ‘it is able to suggest a course of action rather than just following instructions and has a wealth of financial services industry and IT outsourcing expertise’. Clients include Standard Life, Tesco Bank and Sainsbury’s Bank, as well as a number of technology businesses. Martin Sloan advised a major financial services institution on the use of electronic signatures and associated risks. Sloan acted alongside Grant Campbell (who ‘provides clear and pragmatic advice and is able to steer contractual negotiations to ensure a good outcome’) for Sainsbury’s Bank on matters arising from the procurement of a new technology platform for the bank’s insurance division to enable the sale of insurance products from a panel of insurers. Other recent work includes providing data protection advice to Standard Life and assisting Mirador Analytics with the launch of a suite of new cloud-based data analytics tools and services for the pharmaceutical industry.

Burness Paull LLP regularly acts for technology businesses, financial services companies, oil and gas companies and public sector entities on a wide range of contentious and non-contentious IT matters. It added to its bench strength with the recruitment of the ‘knowledgeable’ Callum Sinclair, who joined as head of technology from DLA Piper Scotland LLP; he advised Glasgow City Council on the procurement of ICT services while also providing procurement advice to the Highlands and Islands Enterprise with regards to its Community Broadband Scotland project, rolling out high-speed broadband to rural areas. David Goodbrand advised Payfont – a technology start-up specialising in cyber solutions for data protection and online payment transactions – on a number of technology matters, including data processing and data protection. Colin Hulme has ‘extensive breadth and depth of knowledge’ and is the main contact for contentious IT work. Senior associate Neeraj Thomas is ‘a real workhorse’.

Harper Macleod LLP regularly advises public sector clients on ICT contracts and procurement matters. Tom Thomas advised the North Lanarkshire Council on the regulatory aspects of an ICT procurement and the drafting and negotiation of the underlying ICT contract between the council and the appointed ICT service provider. He also assisted Blackwood Homes and Care with data protection issues. In another highlight, the team advised the Highland Council on the Inverness City WiFi project, which involved handling procurement and commercial contract matters. Other recent work includes advising the Fair Isle Broadband Company on the creation of a broadband network on Fair Isle and – in an illustration of its sport broadcasting expertise – drafting and negotiated broadcast agreements with three broadcasters on behalf of the Scottish Professional Football League (SPFL) for its 2016/17 season Challenge Cup Competition.

Maclay Murray & Spens LLP handles a range of contentious and non-contentious IT contract, data protection, software and procurement matters. Ross Nicol assisted John Menzies with commercial contracts, data protection and IT matters including the enterprise terms for cloud services provided by an international software provider as well as the licensing of in-house developed software for the Menzies Aviation side of the business. He also assisted The STV Group with a number of website issues. Team head Alison Bryce advised FreeAgent – an online accounting software provider – on a number of IT matters pertaining to its joint venture with RBS to provide software to its business banking customers.

MacRoberts LLPprovides a high-quality service’ on a range of IT-related matters including procurement, managed services and software licensing agreements, and contentious and non-contentious IT contract issues. David Gourlay advised the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service on contractual documentation pertaining to the procurement of a command and control platform to replace the mixed portfolio of systems currently in use across eight Scottish legacy Fire Services. He also assisted Disclosure Scotland with the preparation of procurement and contractual documentation for the procurement of an IT system to replace its legacy systems and transform services. In other work, the team advised Kames Capital on a new intra-group services agreement to regulate the provision and receipt of services. In litigation, the practice acted for an executive agency of the Scottish government in a commercial Court of Session action against a global IT contractor, which arose from the termination of an ICT contract due to the contractor’s default. Also recommended are David Flint, the ‘hardworking and extremely knowledgeable’ Val Surgenor, who is noted as being ‘calm, exceptionally practical and highly conscientious’, and Euan Duncan, who ‘provides straightforward advice’.

Thorntons Law LLP acts for an extensive roster of IT services and software buyers, suppliers, service providers and hosting companies. Regular work includes advising on information security and management, data protection and privacy matters alongside hosting, outsourcing and software agreements. Liam McMonagle heads the team, which acts for clients including Brightsolid Online Technology, Advanced Procurement for Universities and Colleges and software company ThinkAnalytics.

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