Understanding the opportunities and navigating the legal frameworks of distributed ledger technology and blockchain
Special Report: Authored by a multidisciplinary team from Allens, Blockchain Reaction is designed to assist business stakeholders, decision makers and in-house counsel across a variety of sectors to understand the technology and how it is being used, as well as navigate the regulatory and legal opportunities and challenges.
In the 'information age', harnessing the benefits of technology has become more critical than ever to business success. Rapidly emerging new technologies are challenging and transforming traditional business systems, posing new threats and presenting new opportunities. In this ever-changing arena, you need sound and commercially focused legal advice to ensure you recognise and capture the value of technology.
We have acted in many of Australia’s largest and most significant information technology deals. We also regularly assist small internet start-ups with their, quite different, legal requirements. Our lawyers have commercial experience in the IT industry, as well as a range of qualifications in information technology, telecommunications, engineering and computer science.
This insight into the technologies involved allows us to understand better the issues that face our clients' businesses and to add value at all stages of a transaction. We pride ourselves on providing responsive, reasoned, real world advice.
Allens is ranked Band 1 by Chambers Asia Pacific 2016 for IT and Telecommunications and Media. We are the only Australian law firm ranked Band 1 for both TMT streams.
Having been involved with some of Australia’s largest business process and information technology outsourcing projects, we know that signing the outsourcing agreement is just a single step in the life cycle of a much larger project. The process starts with the fundamental questions: what tasks are best outsourced? For what period? To whom? What assets and employees are affected by the outsourcing? From here, we assist with determining the appropriate structure, documenting the services to be outsourced, assisting you with the tender process, negotiating the agreement, managing the outsourcing relationship through its term, and arranging for the services to be either brought back in-house or transferred to another supplier at the end of the arrangement.
Through our involvement as advisers to the suppliers and buyers in many of Australia’s largest information technology supply contracts, we have developed skills and expertise in this area that are second to none. We know what positions major technology suppliers take on key issues and can advise on not only what would be desirable but what is likely to be achievable in a negotiation. As a result of our experience in this area, we are often able to recommend different approaches to maximise our client’s protection and confidence in the contracts they enter into. The provision of information technology services is also an issue in any corporate or governmental reorganisation. Whatever form the restructure takes, it is important that the information technology continuity is assured.
All routes to market are now inextricably linked to the internet. Whether it’s improved lines of communication or a single shopfront, the benefits to business from the internet are boundless. But, more than ever, you need to be properly informed and protected when entering the online world. There is nothing more destabilising than to have core business practices under scrutiny for possible infringements of the law. We can assist with privacy, consumer law and unfair contract terms issues, and also advise you on your terms and conditions for e-commerce sites. With new technology comes the need to find new ways to address familiar issues, as well as new challenges. Allens is well placed to guide you through the issues and point you in the right direction for strong future growth.
The telecommunications industry has evolved from a highly regulated industry with a few dominant players to a more open, intensely competitive environment, creating real opportunities for suppliers and customers of telecommunication services alike. The new competitive environment particularly advantages customers with substantial buying power, making it possible to obtain better deals for their businesses. Even better results can be obtained by matching the service to the customer’s defined specifications, rather than buying standard telecommunication products. We have substantial experience in the negotiation of telecommunication procurement contracts, including negotiating against all the major carriers in Australia. Our experience includes establishing the tender process in a way that allows the buyer to maximise the competitive pressure throughout the course of the purchase decision.
Litigation and dispute resolution
Information technology projects are high risk. When they go wrong, it is important to ensure that disputes are resolved as quickly and efficiently as possible. We have acted in information technology-related litigation matters for more than a decade. This has spanned the major litigation cases, with millions of dollars at stake, resulting from failed systems integrations; through to rights-infringement cases where the emphasis is often on determining the boundaries of acceptable competition. In all cases, we have prided ourselves on our ability to come to terms quickly with the technical details and on our willingness to explore creative avenues for dispute resolution. Our experience also includes disputes arising out of hostile use of websites, conflicts over domain names and infringement of intellectual property rights on the internet.