February 26, 2007

OGC Survey


The great success of the SCL Conference in Oxford in November was that it created an increased dialogue between the public sector and the private sector. Of course from the very beginning the behaviour of occasional adversaries was exemplary but so it was in the age of chivalry – when there was always the feeling that some might resort to lopping chunks out of traditional rivals at any time. By the end of the Conference, truly valuable channels of communication had been opened, and one of those channels of communication was between SCL and the OGC and Partnerships UK.


The first product of their dialogue is a survey which is being promoted by SCL to find out what you think about the OGC contracts and what might be learned from the wide experience of SCL members of working on contracts with public sector bodies. The survey has one thing in common with every other survey: it is of value only if it succeeds in getting responses. I would urge you to access the survey through the SCL Web site now. If you don’t give SCL the benefit of your views then you really should feel bound to stop moaning about the OGC and its recommended terms – and I am sure that you do not want to do that.


Big Issue


Perhaps I should offer an apology for weighing you down with excess reading matter. This issue of the magazine is a bumper issue with extra pages and an especially high number of pages that count as required reading for IT lawyers. I hope it does not prove too much for the stressed practitioner – I am secretly hoping that you will be impressed and grateful.


What the big issue signifies is that we have had a very happy time where many SCL members, and others, have found time to contribute articles for the edification of their peers and we have taken this opportunity to clear some of the backlog of articles that deserve to be printed but for which there was insufficient space in previous issues. I am really grateful to the contributors but I do want to make it clear that any apparent surfeit of material is illusory. I am always looking for contributors and interesting articles and if you want to volunteer an article feel free to contact me. I notice an encouraging new trend for people to volunteer colleagues who have something useful to contribute; I would certainly support you if you are inclined to do that.




It is important for us all to know when to disclose information and when to keep it to ourselves. You might think that those engaged in offering litigation support to law firms, where most of the support is directed at helping in the disclosure process, would have mastered the art of when to disclose and when to keep tight-lipped. You might think that but it would appear that most of them have yet to learn the basics.


This issue of the magazine and the last feature really excellent articles from Chris Dale on the subject of e-disclosure, which address some of the problems that law firms encounter. In the first of these we invited submissions from suppliers of goods and services relevant to the giving of electronic disclosure with a view to compiling a summary list for readers, given the difficulties that SCL members had encountered in identifying providers in this area.


It is safe to say that the response to date has been poor. To their credit, Palmer Legal Technologies, RWM Data Management Ltd and Trilantic have responded promptly and information about them is to be found on the SCL Web site. But I cannot pretend that this constitutes a complete list of such suppliers. Nor is it that the rest remain in ignorance of the request for submissions – my information is that all but a tiny minority know about it. My guess, notwithstanding attested sightings of exhibition stands and advertising flyers, is that they are just modest. Perhaps those who have failed to respond have a lot to be modest about. The invitation remains open.