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Field Fisher Waterhouse advises on ground-breaking IT procurement contract to save the public sector up to £4 million



United Kingdom

Fieldfisher advises on ground-breaking IT procurement contract to save the public sector up to £4 million

Field Fisher Waterhouse LLP has advised the National Policing Improvement Agency (NPIA) on a ground-breaking IT procurement contract with Liberata UK Limited (Liberata) that will save the NPIA up to £4 million over the next ten years.
Partner and head of public sector, Andy Lucas, and solicitor James Croyston created an innovative structure whereby Liberata will develop and commercialise NPIA's unique and ground-breaking web service which allows its computer systems to "speak" to each other, greatly increasing the efficiency with which disparate systems can communicate and assist the Police Forces by translating and understanding information held on separate databases. NPIA will also benefit from profits when Liberata introduces the software to the commercial market as part of a profit-sharing model in the contract.
Andy Lucas said: "It was a hugely complex and challenging task. In essence we needed to create a contract that combined the flexibility of a franchise agreement and the hard edge of intellectual property licensing with a large dash of outsourcing. It is the first of its kind and a completely different way for Government to do business, satisfying the commercial requirements while maintaining adequate risk protection."
The need for such innovative measures is driven by the Government's austerity measures and the Wider Markets Initiative, whereby Government departments and non-departmental bodies have been encouraged to use their assets to help close the funding gap.
Andy Waters, Project Manager of the NPIA, said: "This concession offers a template for Government to realise the value of its IPR, and would not have been possible without the unique deal structure developed with the help of Fieldfisher. The quality of the final outcome is a tribute to drafting and negotiation skills bought to the table by their legal team."
This significance of the deal has been recognised in the industry. The project was awarded the inaugural Emergency Services Award for Police Force Technology on April 7 2011. 
Liberata's General Counsel, Tim Collins, advised the company. NPIA was also advised by in-house counsel John-Paul Buck.

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