As global competition sharpens and evolves, companies need fast access to new technologies and applications and ever-cheaper support for day-to-day operations. Outsourcing is changing to meet those needs. Hunton & Williams LLP is at the forefront of those changes. We help our clients navigate the challenges of “bleeding edge” cloud computing structures, as well as more traditional business processing offshoring, contract manufacturing and IT infrastructure outsourcing transactions.
Hunton & Williams’ global outsourcing and technology practice was selected again for “The 2014 World's Best Outsourcing Advisors” list by the International Association of Outsourcing Professionals. This is the third consecutive year that the firm has been named among the top 20 outsourcing advisors. In addition, the practice was ranked the #1 and #3 Outsourcing and Offshoring Legal Advisor in Brown & Wilson's Black Book of Outsourcing for the years 2008 and 2009.1 Our outsourcing attorneys are leaders in the industry and have decades of combined experience working on various transactions. Our experience includes transactions involving:
- information technology infrastructure (including data center, desktop, network and telecom services)
- application development and maintenance (including multivendor marketplaces)
- a wide spectrum of business processes (including insurance underwriting and claims management, customer care, facilities maintenance, procurement, training and other back-office activities)
- finance and accounting outsourcing
- human resources outsourcing (including second-generation multiprocess transactions, as well as single processes, such as learning and benefits administration)
- a broad range of cloud-based services from major providers, such as Google, Microsoft, salesforce.com and others
International Practice/Global Capacity
We have more than 40 lawyers who routinely work in this area, calling on firmwide resources of more than 750 lawyers in 19 offices spread across critical jurisdictions in the United States, Europe and Asia. We are one of the few firms with depth and breadth in the outsourcing arena in both the United Kingdom and the United States. We combine the talents and skills of practitioners on both sides of the Atlantic and in Asia to deliver robust, cutting-edge experience seamlessly in multinational transactions. Our partners have executed transactions involving customer/client locations in the United States and Canada, western Europe and many of the developed countries in South America and Asia (frequently, all at the same time). Delivery solutions routinely include resources from India, China, the Philippines, Vietnam, Romania, Poland, Canada, Guam, Fiji, Mexico, Guatemala, Brazil, Argentina and Ireland, among others. We have tremendous experience in India, on behalf of both customers and suppliers in a multitude of transactions. We also maintain an active network of experienced counsel with whom we work closely in jurisdictions where we do not have an office, further increasing the reach of our platform and the effectiveness of our service delivery.
A Fresh Approach to Negotiations
We realize that an outsourcing transaction is the beginning of a long and usually critical relationship with a supplier; this is quite different from an M&A transaction, where the parties generally part ways when the documents are signed. While we will never compromise our client’s interests or fail to aggressively assert our client’s position, we will also never unnecessarily inject conflict or complexity into a transaction. We move with one goal in mind: accomplish our client’s goals as efficiently and effectively as possible. Conference room bravado and posturing for the sake of posturing simply add a layer of tension that does not benefit the client or facilitate the execution of the transaction. We recognize this fact, train our lawyers accordingly and keep it front of mind in all our negotiations. This results in transactions that identify and address conflict quickly and efficiently, allowing the supplier and customer to build (rather than burn) equity and value.
Best Practices and Tools
We maintain an extensive template and form set so that we can efficiently document a transaction, but this is only the first step in our process. We use a “plain English” workbook, a legal project plan and other management tools to assist our customers in tracking and understanding positions and issues and relating those to what can be a very complex set of documents. We often conduct topics-based negotiations, which allow the customer and supplier to concentrate on, and resolve, critical issues in a coherent and efficient manner, rather than get bogged down in tedious, line-by-line negotiations. This approach saves time, keeps the entire negotiating team (not just the lawyers) focused and involved, and fosters invaluable business and operational discussions, allowing the supplier to gain a more in-depth understanding of the customer’s organization, interests and objectives and to tailor its transition plan and overall delivery solution accordingly. We also offer use of our Client Workroom extranet solution as a no-cost-added secure and globally accessible document repository to help manage multiple versions of multiple documents across many jurisdictions and time zones. These tools, coupled with our industry knowledge, experience and overall approach to these transactions, enable us to provide our clients with an efficient and effective service offering in a collegial atmosphere.
Vendor/Supplier and Adviser Experience
We have extensive experience negotiating with the major service providers, including Accenture, IBM, Xerox/ACS, HP Enterprise Services, CSC, Fidelity, Fujitsu, Tata, Perot Systems, Convergys, Cognizant, Infosys and Genpact, as well as many others. We have existing relationships with, and appreciate the involvement of, each of the major sourcing consultancies, including ISG, KPMG-EquaTerra Alsbridge, Everest Group, Pace Harmon, PA Consulting and others.
In addition to our extensive experience for customers, we also have experience representing service providers. We understand the service provider’s aims and limitations and our customer-side experience enables us to articulate the service provider’s positions in ways that respond effectively to customer concerns. Our experience in representing both sides of the table in outsourcing transactions allows us to work in an efficient and cost-effective manner by focusing negotiations on the issues that really matter to each side and to more easily resolve any disputes that may arise.
1 After 2009, Black Book did not release any additional Legal Advisor rankings.