Posts on this blog represent my opinion. It may be my considered opinion on the basis of my formal study of law and technology. But it is not legal advice. It must not be treated as, or acted upon as, legal advice and no liability is accepted for doing so.

Saturday, 15 October 2011

SCL Conference 2011-Day 2

Balancing risk in outscoring contracts -Mark Crichard, Andrew Collyer, Richard Bligh. Interesting comments on and insights into some of the complexities of developing outsourcing contracts. To what extent has the Centrica case made it necessary to clearly specify what will be considered as direct and indirect losses? Do customers understand the difference between losses that are indirect and those that are simply remote? And how do you cater for customers who want to outsource but to host their data and services on their own systems? (A: with carefully worded exclusion clauses, so it seems.)

Social Media: strategy for business - Gillian Cordall, Nina Barakzai, Chris Reed. How to best use social media? Engage with customers by talking not just about yourself but about developments potential clients are interested in. Dangers of getting it wrong, e.g. recent Toyota social marketing lawsuit - over-focussed campaigns may damage your reputation with other customers. And who 'owns' the contact list for successful social media - the front face of the media, or the employer?

Social media strategy can be reactive and responsive, e.g. Dell's 'Global Listening' - engage with commenters and respond. Does work better if you have the resources to monitor, filter and resound to social media, but for a well-known brand can have significant impact!
It's important to have clear policies and codes of conduct (especially re transparency) and to comply with relevant laws. Above akk, you have to engage, not just broadcast.

Litigation: the cancer of disclosure - Ben Rooney, Alexander Carter-Silk, Edward Rippey, Kim Lars Mehrbrey. A US, English and German lawyer walk into a bar discuss discovery/disclosure. US discovery can take years and cost millions, but you go into a case knowing pretty much everything. German civil law barely has disclosure: parties present their case based on what documents they choose. English disclosure is very much based on proportionality, albeit subject to the risk of costs penalties for improper disclosure. Which is 'best'? Modern search tools make it almost impossible for someone to convincingly hide evidence, but can this lead to over-enthusiastic searching and excessive preparation costs. We are also seeing forum-shopping, as litigants look for the jurisdiction with the disclosure regime most favourable to their case.

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