Angus Iveson, international General Counsel for recruitment group Hays, explains the secrets of an enduring working relationship.

It happened very quickly and very smoothly,” explains Iveson. “It wasn’t remotely aggressive or confrontational, it was a very collaborative deal.

Angus Iveson

Global recruitment giant Hays has been turning to Technology Law Alliance (TLA) for legal advice on IT and outsourcing contracts for five years now, and keeps coming back for more.

Angus Iveson, Hays General Counsel for Continental Europe and Rest of the World, explains: “They get the job done, which is to deliver the commercial outcome that their client wants. It’s a far more commercial approach than I’ve seen from lots of other firms.”

Iveson and TLA partner Jeremy Newton have worked together for most of that half-decade and had two particularly important matters over the last year; one was a major renegotiation and offshoring of a multimillion pound IT outsourcing deal, and the other was the development of a suite of SaaS contracts for a new vendor management system.

Iveson and Newton have grown accustomed to working together and both were pleased to hook up successfully with the same lawyers who negotiated the original outsourcing deal for Hays back in 2008. The original multimillion pound transaction involved the outsourcing of most of Hays’ IT support functions. Now the deal was due to be renegotiated with some of the services being sent offshore. It was a big change and, given the tight deadline, required an intensive effort from all parties.

Everyone got to know each other very well as they haggled over a service description running to some 200 pages. But despite the plethora of data protection and security issues and changes to the pricing structure and service levels, it was a remarkably smooth process.

The SaaS contract was similarly complex but executed with minimum fuss.

Hays had acquired a vendor management software business. Following the acquisition, Iveson wanted to put in place some legal structures that would allow the company to sub-license the software to Hays’ clients.

SaaS software works in a similar manner to cloud computing and brings up similar legal issues. Iveson knew from previous conversations with Newton that the TLA partner had experience in this area, so called on him to write a new template for the contracts.

“We needed to construct a fairly complex framework detailing who could access the software, what legal rights they had, and ensuring indemnity for Hays in case the software was misused,” explains Newton.

Iveson continues: “Jeremy is very live to the issues and hot on data protection but unlike a lot of people who are hot on data protecion, he’s unusual in that he handles it in a very practical way.”

Iveson was pleased with the contracts and will continue to use TLA: “Jeremy is very approachable and he is professional. He is direct, straightforward and enjoyable to work with. There is no posturing or showboating. He’s there to get a job done.

“He wants to see that things are properly understood and that things are set out in a practical way. He takes care of the legal things that need to be taken care of but he has a far more commercial approach than the majority of lawyers.”