White & Black is a specialist technology law firm and our lawyers are engaged by clients from all industrial sectors looking to implement or supply business-critical technology solutions and services. In this, the work of our commercial and technology lawyers is frequently international and often involves a number of jurisdictions.
A very large element of our work covers data protection and information law and the related legal issues arising from cyber crime. In this field, the team has authored many leading articles both for the legal profession and for clients and we regularly speak at conferences on such issues.
The team advises on technology and other commercial projects and negotiates the contracts that govern them, from IT outsourcing agreements, software development and deployment agreements to licensing arrangements. In addition, we have developed specialist expertise in bio-technology and notably the law applicable to gene therapies.
Intellectual property is central to what we do and we advise on the exploitation and protection of all major intellectual property rights, working closely with a selected network of trusted trademark agents and patent attorneys.
As a specialist technology firm, intellectual property is a critical asset for many of our clients and we assist them with its acquisition, disposal, protection and exploitation. Our clients include both suppliers and customers, especially in relation to bio-technologies and ICT products and services.
We advise them on issues of ownership and proprietary rights in such matters as bespoke software development work, systems integrations, and the sub-licensing of licensed-in rights. We also advise companies and academic institutions on collaborations to develop inventions and discoveries. Our work in this area extends from gene-therapies to virtual reality. In this, we come across a variety of legal agreements on R&D collaborations, joint ventures and technology transfers.
In the bio-technology space, we advise on all the usual IP-related agreements including those dealing with consortiums (including European funded arrangements), materials transfer arrangements and clinical trials at all phases.
In the consumer retail sector, our team supports companies such as Concha Y Toro and Matchesfashion.com on the exploitation of intellectual property in the context of commercial collaborations, sponsorship, and distribution arrangements.
Outside of the UK, we work closely with a selected network of trusted, overseas, intellectual property law specialists (including trade mark agents and patent attorneys) to help clients exploit and protect their global intellectual property portfolios.
Mobile & Web Services
We advise companies on the legal issues surrounding the development of mobile apps and web-based services. We ensure clarity and accountability are built into the development process and that the requisite contractual protections are in place. We also help to ensure that ongoing hosting and support arrangements are transparent, reliable and accountable.
Our client basis in this field is diverse with many of our key clients coming from non-technology sectors, including fashion and industrial materials.
We also advise developers on their negotiations with customers and assist them with the contractual and regulatory steps necessary to provide apps and services to consumers through online app stores. This includes the preparation of terms and conditions for the supply of apps and services which comply with laws relating to consumer protection, data protection and e-commerce and that satisfy the mandatory requirements imposed by the major online app stores such as Google Play and Apple App Store.
Many of our developer clients operate in multiple countries around the world, and in these cases we work closely with our network of trusted technology law specialists in other countries to support our clients in achieving their international business strategies.
IT Services & Networks
We advise on the procurement of IT and communications services, acting for both customers and suppliers. We are particularly experienced in advising suppliers on the roll out of ICT services to new territories, in the EU and elsewhere, and on the accompanying regulatory issues.
The adoption of cloud-based IT services involves a host of regulatory issues and we advise on these as well as on the contractual terms between companies and the main suppliers of cloud services. As opportunities have arisen to integrate IT and communications systems, we’ve also built up expertise in advising on the regulatory and contractual issues around the procurement of integrated ‘packages’ of services encompassing, for example, VoIP and ERP solutions as well as the accompanying hosting and support services.
For companies providing goods and services online, we assist them with the provision of the fundamental IT services that underpin their businesses, such as e-commerce platforms and payment gateway solutions. Closely related to this, we advise on specialist IT services such as penetration testing to ensure robust system protection from cyberattacks.
We advise on the protection and exploitation of brands online and the legal issues governing online advertising and marketing campaigns, compliance with the CAP Code (i.e. the UK Code of Non-broadcast Advertising, Sales Promotion and Direct Marketing) including liaison with the Copy Advice Service and the running of competitions and prize draws in an online environment.
In addition, we advise website owners and users on the regulatory aspects of user generated content, online message boards, linking and framing and, from a social networking perspective, the intellectual property aspects of parody accounts and comparative advertising.
Our specialist technology litigators also assist clients on the application of traditional legal concepts to an online environment, including the laws of passing off and defamation on the Internet, the use of meta tags on website content and brands in website domain names.
As a founder member of the Online Reputation Coalition (a non-profit organization with a mission of helping businesses protect and defend against online threats to their reputation and brand – see: http://onlineprotectioncoalition.org) we are able to call on our network of trusted partners to assist with the protection of your online reputation on an international basis.
Data & Cyber Security
Cyber security is a business-critical risk and the potential loss of personal data is a major component of this. We help clients prepare for and deal with a cyber attack, its aftermath and the steps required to minimise its impact. We’ve even advised foreign governments on the changing EU laws relating to cyber security and how these are likely to impact companies operating in the EU.
All businesses collect and use personal data and that data is now the subject of a complex legal and regulatory framework within which all businesses must operate. As a specialist technology and corporate law firm we advise on how to handle and exploit personal data in compliance with this framework.
Our work covers data in the context of consumer-facing mobile apps through online stores, such as Google Play and Apple App Store, and cloud-based business software solutions. We advise service-providers on the data protection aspects of contracts for the provision of ICT solutions both in the private and public sectors. Our clients come from around the world and range from small game developers to multi-billion US$ revenue service providers. As online sales offer huge growth potential for non-tech ‘bricks and mortar’ industries, we advise clients such as MatchesFashion and Palace Skateboards on the data protection aspects of expanding their online businesses, not only in the UK but also in key markets such as the US and Japan.
These issues often extend beyond the UK and we advise on cross-border data transfers and are used to acting as lead lawyers in the coordination of data protection advice across multiple countries, when we work with our network of trusted, overseas data protection specialists.
We advise clients from both the non-technology and technology-related sectors on the key commercial contracts that arise in day to day business life. These include agreements for the supply of goods and services and all forms of ICT agreements.
Wherever a contract represents a significant business opportunity, whether in terms of securing revenue, negotiating business-critical services or otherwise, there are likely to be legal issues involved and we help our clients to navigate safely through these.
Our work in this field is naturally broad and also encompasses supply chain management, distribution and logistics arrangements, agency and distributor arrangements, and bespoke manufacturing agreements.
It’s common for intellectual property and IT systems to form an important part of such commercial arrangements, and many companies look beyond their usual legal advisers in order to harness our specialist expertise on these critical components.