Project Description

“We could look for many months to find a firm as right for us as Drayson Law…and fail”

Clearing the mists for European expansion

The Cloud is a new and exciting place to be.  But as its name implies, this very newness brings a degree of legal mistiness and uncertainty that must be carefully managed.

The document management business that is NetDocuments is centred on The Cloud.  This US firm’s customers trust it to store remotely and provide secure access to over a billion business-critical documents, saving them money, time and fuss.

In 2011, NetDocuments launched its business into the UK – and quickly discovered how different cloud computing can be in another continent.  “The old hi-tech world has been quite straightforward”, observes NetDocuments UK Director Matt Duncan.  “Providers can say to their customers “there’s the CD off you go” and pretty much that is it as far as contractual liability goes.  Such certainties are just not there with The Cloud at this point in time”.

Many of the company’s customers are much bigger, resource-rich businesses.  Negotiating effectively with them would require a high degree of industry as well as legal knowledge and experience that needed to be found quickly.

Drayson Law was recommended to the company by fellow cloud service providers HotDocs.  Using the law firm’s experience and in-depth knowledge of cloud issues has made a big difference.

“Drayson Law provides us with skilled and informed contract advice that has proved invaluable”, says Matt Duncan.  “They can call on an experience bank of IT industry precedents and norms that allow us, more quickly and harmoniously, to reach agreements that are good for both parties.  In some cases, this has meant us accepting and being much more open about the assurances we will provide to customers, but without exposing ourselves to undue or unfair business risk”.

Drayson lawyers are an acknowledged part of the NetDocuments team, directly engaged in the commercial negotiating process as well as drafting and agreeing legal terms.  Such skills have protected the company from financial exposure for long term service agreements that can be worth six and seven figure sums over a contract’s lifetime.

“We are a fast-growing presence in Europe”, concludes Matt Duncan.  “In no small part, Drayson Law has helped us get there and continues to do so”.