Drafting and Negotiating Service Level Agreements

Registration from 9am

Why should you choose this course?

Service Level Agreements (SLA’s) are a part of both modern business and modern government: many businesses and government departments (central and local) claim to offer compliance with SLA’s, and SLA’s lie at the heart of many agreements in the tech sector: cloud services, software support, outsourcing, help desks - really anything where one party provides a service to another.

Considered “technical”, they may not be drafted by lawyers or others with lengthy drafting experience in the first place - but of the entire contractual suite of documents, the SLA may well turn out to be the one piece of documentation the parties have most recourse to in the lifetime of a contract.

Getting an SLA right at the outset will save the parties much pain later and prevent arguments over what the SLA actually means or how it applies to what has happened in practice. Despite this basic fact, many SLA’s fail either because they are too complicated or because they exist in a theoretical world divorced from reality.

This course is run by Richard Stephens, already well known for his detailed, practical and informative courses on commercial law, and he is bringing those same qualities to this course on SLA’s. He draws on his experience of drafting and negotiating SLA’s over many years and provides practical examples from his own experience as guides to good drafting and negotiation practice.

 

Who should attend?

Most people in a modern business will have some contact with an SLA - from the commercial management team drafting and negotiating one to the IT Department which is trying to understand and operate it. Just about anyone in your organisation will want to learn how to draft and operate an SLA.

 

What is the course outcome?

The course will take delegates logically through the process of establishing and drafting an SLA, focusing on the impact of SLA’s on the tech sector and how they are used in, for example, cloud service agreements or helpdesk or other support agreements.

Delegates will come away with knowledge of how to go about setting up an SLA, what to include and what to exclude, an understanding of key expressions including the all important TLA’s so beloved of the tech sector (SLA is itself a TLA …), an appreciation of the key negotiation areas and the major pitfalls to look out for.

The course includes plenty of opportunities for Q&A using worked examples as a basis for discussion.

 

What is the agenda?

The course looks at the following areas among others:

  • How are SLA’s put together?
  • What is the right balance to strike when making an SLA:
  • How to make sure your drafting works - aim for precision and simplicity
  • Relationship to the main agreement
  • Who should do the first draft?
  • How to measure the various services (which ones to include)
  • What remedies should be proposed for non-compliance with service levels
  • The provider wants to describe its normal service
  • The customer which wants a big stick to beat the provider with
  • What does the law say about SLA’s (there has been a movement in the law’s approach to these things)

 

Who is the course leader?

Richard Stephens is the founder of LORS (The Law Office of Richard Stephens) and has been a prominent solicitor specialising in the IT industry for 30 years. His experience goes across handling some of the largest disputes in the IT sector as well as being involved in negotiations and re-negotiations for major systems procurements, outsourcing and hosting agreements as well as many other types of contract. He has been acknowledged as a "Leader in his Field" by Chambers Guide to the Legal Profession. He is currently the Chair of techUK's own Legal Affairs Group, but is also a Fellow of the Society for Computers & Law, of the British Computer Society and of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators.

 

Fees:

techUK Members - £295.00 + VAT

Non-Members - £495.00 + VAT

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