Collaboration Focus: Creating successful collaborations whilst protecting your firm’s interests

Posted on: October 30th, 2019

Employment Partner Leon Deakin, IT Director Cathy Kirby and Dispute Resolution Senior Associate Emma Stevens, talked to Alternative Insights about what can be done to protect your business and ideas, and the benefits of collaboration.

Effective collaboration can be hugely valuable to businesses in all sectors, allowing opportunities for the sharing of knowledge, experience and opportunities. Law is no exception to this and we see collaboration regularly in a number of forms – between our clients and third parties and between clients and their professional advisers.

In the fast-paced technology sector, collaboration can bring a number of benefits for scale/fast growth businesses, but also the established tech giants. One of the key benefits is the sharing of expertise, knowledge and resources, which can lead to cost savings and efficiencies.

Indeed, collaboration between small and large is common, as the scale business can be nimble and innovative, whilst the giant has the backing and resources to make things happen more quickly.

Many small-scale organisations are now operating from co-working work spaces, which provide the added value of working with other entrepreneurs. If your product designer, marketing manager and web developer are all in the same room, barriers to information, communication and innovation fall away.

Intellectual property and know-how are usually some of the most valuable assets which a business has, particularly in its early stages. In order to preserve the value of these assets it is important to consider the potential implications of a collaboration or joint venture from the outset, as there are a number of legal mechanisms available to ensure that your interests and ideas remain protected. One of the most common potential issues to consider is the nature of the collaboration itself; consider whether a formal company, partnership or joint venture arrangement is needed, in cases where longer term collaboration is planned, or whether a short form contract or licensing arrangement may be sufficient, where only short-time collaboration is anticipated.

There is a common misconception that legal formalities inevitably slow progress and cause unnecessary delay and expense; however, that is not necessarily the case. Often, ensuring clarity at the outset can prevent future issues and future disputes. Our advice to clients is that collaboration is a good thing but that seeking advice at an early stage can be a valuable investment for your business.

Please click here to read the full article on Alternative Insights. For more information on effective collaboration, please speak to a member of our Technology sector team.