"We consider Shoosmiths to be an extension of our own team and their flexible approach in providing support is invaluable."

General counsel

Macmillan Publishers

Outsourcing has for some time been recognised as an effective way for a business to achieve or maintain its competitive edge and bring about positive change.

This could be as part of a drive to reduce costs, focus on core business activities and/or gain access to better or more efficient technology/resources.

Shoosmiths has one of the UK's largest dedicated teams of specialist outsourcing lawyers and an enviable reputation for having advised on some of the most complex and high value outsourcings in recent years.

Our team comprises lawyers who have spent time working in-house at some of the world's largest outsourced service providers. This gives us a unique insight into how service providers operate, and their approach to pricing and risk.

As well as frequently advising on the supplier side, we have found that our in-depth knowledge of this area is particularly useful for clients looking to outsource a business function or process.

We have been through the process many times across many different sectors, and are able to harness that expertise for the benefit of clients embarking on large scale projects.

We have found that the key to a successful outsourcing is disciplined project management. It is crucial for the deal to be managed proactively to keep it on track, which is why we have developed a comprehensive toolkit to help clients embarking on an outsourcing.

The toolkit is a useful project plan that helps guide clients from the initial procurement phase and selection of the preferred bidder, through to contract negotiation and completion.

Our Outsourcing Toolkit includes:

  • an Initial Scoping Matrix - to help identify key benefits and risks associated with a particular outsourcing, including an assessment of the potential providers
  • a Procurement Strategy - to help identify the legal and regulatory considerations associated with the procurement phase of the outsourcing, particularly if the outsourcing involves a public body or a regulated activity
  • a Deal Principles Matrix - to be issued to potential bidders setting out the key legal and commercial features of the deal - this is a particularly useful tool to close down contentious issues during the competitive phase of a procurement when bidders are typically more willing to accept risk
  • a comprehensive suite of tried and tested Outsourcing and Offshoring Agreements - to cover ITO, BPO, FM and other outsourcing arrangements
  • a suite of TUPE, Tax and Pensions Checklists - to help identify and deal efficiently with relevant HR, tax and pensions issues 
  • an SLA Toolkit - to help clients prepare service level agreements with well calibrated deduction mechanisms to encourage best practice from the preferred supplier

Do not just take our word for it. Some of our existing outsourcing clients include:

  • Aramark
  • Associated British Foods plc
  • British American Tobacco plc
  • Experian plc
  • Informa plc
  • Iron Mountain
  • The Law Society
  • Thomas Cook plc

Work highlights

  • Advising Northamptonshire County Council and Cambridgeshire County Council in respect of a ground breaking multi-million pound ICT shared service arrangements for a common IT platform with Fujitsu
  • Advising a global catering company in relation to support services relating to the provision of all catering in the athletes' village at the 2012 Olympics
  • Advising Dudley Metropolitan Borough Council on 2011's largest education ICT procurement of a 10 year, £30m-£60m outsourcing contract for a fully managed ICT service across 110 schools
  • Advising a leading automobile manufacturer on a multi jurisdictional high profile contract for the appointment of a roadside repair partner to undertake services in 34 countries throughout Europe
  • Advising Iron Mountain on a 10-year contract for the provision of record management services
  • Advising one of the world's largest travel companies in relation to a global ICT outsourcing