Ensuring your service provider arrangements deliver protection and reassurance
Our team of commercial solicitors can support you with:
- Advice about the issues which require consideration in service provider arrangements
- Changes in the law which may affect your service provider arrangements
- Cross-border service agreements and advice on how to document the terms correctly in all relevant jurisdictions to ensure enforceability
- Dispute resolution in the event of a disagreement between the parties
- Drafting a service agreement ensuring that all key and market standard terms are included clearly and correctly
- Insurance requirements in connection with the service agreement
- IP to provide clarity on any relevant IP ownership
- Legal wording so that you fully understand the service agreement’s terms and your resulting obligations
- Limitation of liability under the terms of the service agreement
- Market practice to ensure that your service provider arrangements are competitive
- Remuneration terms set out in the service agreement
- Restrictive covenants and their enforceability protecting your business, customer-base and personnel
- Negotiations of the terms of the service agreement, including limitations of liability and restrictive covenants
- Regulatory and statutory issues which may be specific to your business sector or the services being provided
- Tax issues which may potentially arise in certain situations, such as with IR35
- TUPE and the possibility of it arising under your service agreement
What our clients say
We pride ourselves on delivering an excellent service for clients, but don’t just take our word for it.
Harper James never fail to impress with the speed and efficiency of their service, no matter the query. The team are friendly, knowledgeable and always on hand.
Our scale of growth would not have happened without the support of Harper James.
Our solicitor Sarah has been fantastic, as have Stephen and Adam.
What are the benefits of a carefully drafted service agreement?
Build business relationships
Entering into successful commercial relationships with other businesses can open doors and lead to further contacts.
Ensure certainty in your service provider arrangements
Putting in place a written service agreement enables all terms to be discussed and agreed at the outset so that each party fully understands the terms of their ongoing relationship.
Reduce the risk of dispute
Having a written document to hand can prevent disputes from arising in the first place or may help to resolve disputes amicably if a sensible and practical dispute resolution procedure is included.
Create efficient workflows, saving time and money
Appointing a service provider with expertise in a particular area ensures that your business can focus on doing what it does best without having to train or recruit specialist individuals or acquire specialist equipment.
Protect your business
A well-drafted service agreement will include restrictive covenants, confidentiality provisions, limitation of liability wording and processes for a breach of terms, all of which help to protect your business and your customer-base.
Drafting and negotiating a robust service agreement
A comprehensive service agreement covers a myriad of issues and terms which may not have been initially discussed, or even considered, by the parties. Statute and common law, not to mention regulatory compliance requirements, may also affect a party’s position. Taking legal advice on your arrangements and putting in place a well-drafted service agreement at the start of your commercial relationship is more likely to result in a long-term, successful business relationship for both parties, creating certainty and reassurance for the future.
We will work with you to ensure that all key terms of the arrangement are clearly documented and agreed:
- Has the scope of the services been clearly and fully set out? What is the position if the services provided are not adequate? Who decides what constitutes ‘adequate’?
- What are each party’s obligations? Does either party have an obligation to provide any equipment?
- Can the services or terms of the service agreement be amended in any way and if so, how?
- How will payment be made and when? What is the position if payment is late?
- What are your options if a dispute arises?
- For what period will the services be provided? Is this an ongoing relationship or a specific project?
- How can the arrangements be terminated? What are the notice provisions? Can the service agreement be terminated without notice in certain situations?
- Does the service agreement include adequate protections from the poaching or solicitation of your staff or customers? Are these protections enforceable?
- Have pertinent confidentiality terms been included?
- Does either party have an obligation to take out a particular type of insurance? Are there minimum cover requirements?
- Has ownership of any IP been clearly established?
- Who bears liability under the service agreement? Is liability to be limited in anyway?
- Could TUPE arise if there is a change of service provider or if the arrangement ends in a certain way?
- Could data protection issues apply?
- What statutory and regulatory obligations apply?
- Are any warranties or indemnities to be provided?
- Do the boilerplate provisions make sense and complement the other provisions of the service agreement?
- Can the service provider sub-contract the services to a third party?
Who we help: UK businesses throughout their lifecycle
With clients ranging from start-ups through to multi-national businesses, we advise many companies throughout their lifecycle across the full spectrum of sectors.
Examples of our work
Enabling digital marketing experts Croud to stand out
15 October 2020
With full-time teams working from offices in London, Shrewsbury, New York and Sydney, digital marketing agency Croud boasts a global network of over 2,000 experts. Together, …
Performance marketing agency transforms service offering
8 June 2020
Harper James Solicitors has helped innovative start-up Bidonomics to transform the way its marketing services are delivered. Bidonomics wanted to move away from the standard marketing …
Why choose Harper James Solicitors?
Having all worked at partner level in top 100 firms or in-house at major international businesses, our commercial team is able to advise and support you with all of your service provider arrangements.
Thanks to our technical expertise and market knowledge you can rest assured that your service provider arrangements are competitive, legally enforceable and offer robust protection for your business.
Combining a wealth of experience in various sectors together with a full understanding of our clients’ businesses, our commercial solicitors can go the extra mile in providing you with bespoke advice and solutions.
IP & Commercial Technology Partner
Before joining us Rob worked for Santander bank as an IP/brand management lawyer and also at Shakespeare Martineau.View profile
Commercial Technology & Data Protection Solicitor
David is a commercial solicitor, specialising in technology and data protection. He joins us having worked as in-house counsel for the BBC and OUP.View profile
As a previous partner at DLA Piper, Sarah comes with a rich pedigree in providing expert commercial services for her clients.View profile
Emilia trained at SJ Berwin, moving to Reed Smith LLP and then as in-house counsel for Eurostar before joining the team at Harper James. She specialises in commercial transactions, particularly in commercial contract negotiation and SaaS products.View profile
IP, Commercial & Technology Associate Solicitor
Ed joins our commercial team and specialises in IT, IP and general technology related contracts, but can also advise on a range of commercial matters.View profile
Michelle regularly advises business owners on corporate and commercial legal matters. She was partner in a regional firm and has also spent time in-house at a Higher Education business dealing with its research, innovation and knowledge exchange contracts.View profile
IT & Commercial Solicitor
With over 15 years of in-house experience in the IT sector, Rob specialises in drafting and negotiating all manner of commercial agreements.View profile
Our three transparent pricing packages are designed to give you the widest possible access to high-quality legal advice, whatever the size and nature of your business:
Straightforward access to senior solicitors at a competitive rate.
An affordable solution for businesses needing one-off legal support. Receive ‘City’ partner-level expertise at a fraction of ‘City’ prices.
Have legal peace of mind for £189 per month with additional support from £99 per hour.
A monthly subscription legal support package specifically designed for start-ups and smaller businesses.
For businesses requiring 60+ hours of support a year, with prices equivalent to £99 per hour.
Fully account managed quarterly subscription service for businesses with more complex legal needs.