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IT Contract Review and Negotiation

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Attorney Chris Maes

"I'm an Attorney and a Certified IT Engineer."

– Chris Maes

The Cyber Law Office of Maes, Ltd. offers businesses in the Greater Denver Area comprehensive IT contract review and negotiation services.  

 When businesses are searching for new IT services, a lot of time and attention can be spent vetting service providers and undergoing proof of concept exercises.  After a solution is chosen, more often than not, the contractual review process is an afterthought.  Understandably, if an IT service can make an immediate impact on business operations, there may be reluctance to delay implementation so that legal analysis of the underlying contract can take place.  As a result, decision makers commonly execute IT contracts with boilerplate terms and conditions that heavily favor service providers.  Unfortunately, the decision to hastily sign IT contracts without sufficient legal review can prove to be a costly mistake.

For instance, if a business enters into an agreement that does not include chronic outage protections, in the event of frequent service disruptions, the business may have to pay significant early termination fees (ETFs) to cancel their service and move to another provider.  Moreover, if a business executes a contract that does not specify how the service provider must protect the personally identifiable information (PII) of the business’ customers, the business could be liable for damages if a security breach occurs.

Fortunately, these types of contractual errors can easily be avoided by retaining a cyber law attorney.  At a high level, cyber law attorneys perform three main functions when reviewing and negotiating the terms and conditions of IT contracts:

First, the attorney ensures that the contract specifies exactly what the service provider will do and how they will do it.  Since most IT contracts incorporate the “four corners rule”, it means that the language in the contract controls and that no other statements, promises, or assurances are valid – unless they are in the contract.  Thus, false assumptions and inferences can be avoided when an attorney documents with specificity the business’ understanding of which services are being provided and how they will be provided (e.g. encrypting a business’ data to protect PII).

Second, the cyber law attorney will make sure the IT contract contains favorable SLAs with uptime metrics that satisfy business requirements.  After all, an IT service is only useful and worth paying for if it works.

Finally, if the service provider is unable or unwilling to maintain their SLAs, the attorney can negotiate breach remedies like service credits, or termination of the agreement.  Hence, when outages exceed the agreed upon downtime metrics of an SLA, businesses can be financially compensated for the inconvenience.  Likewise, if outages are frequent and the service provider is unable to resolve them, businesses can exercise their right to cancel services without paying exorbitant ETFs.

In summary, when businesses take the time to have their IT contracts reviewed and negotiated by a cyber law attorney, they are protected if the IT service that is being implemented suffers from performance degradation.

Retain Maes, Ltd. to Review and Negotiate Your Business’ IT Contracts

Attorney Chris Maes offers businesses a unique blend of experience when it comes to reviewing and negotiating IT contracts.  Formerly, Chris spent several years working at Qwest Communications (now CenturyLink) as a Senior Account Executive.  After a solution was sold and it was time to generate the contract, Chris had the ability to add contractual clauses to the agreement that were more favorable to customers.  All Chris’ customers had to do was ask for them.

In 2010, Chris founded an IT consulting company that sold CenturyLink, along with every other major telecom and technology provider in the world.  Reviewing other service providers’ agreements and serving as an intermediary between the legal counsels of service providers’ and businesses’ has strengthened Chris’ understanding of the contractual review and negotiation process.

In addition, Chris is a certified IT engineer.  Whereas some attorneys may have a limited understanding of how IT solutions work, Chris is an expert in regards to networking, cloud computing, and cybersecurity technologies.  This level of expertise can be invaluable for businesses, especially for IT solutions that are technologically complex.  Needless to say, for IT contractual negotiations to go well, the negotiating attorney should know what the IT service is and how it should work from a technical viewpoint.

In conclusion, if your business is located in the Greater Denver Area and you are seeking legal assistance with IT contract review and negotiations, or you want to determine how a contract can be terminated with little to no ETFs, contact the Cyber Law Office of Maes, Ltd.  You can schedule a consultation today by calling (720) 248-8252 or by using the form below.

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