Information Tech &
Tele­communications

The digital revolution is in full swing. In a highly competitive market where new business models are constantly being developed and existing processes are continually challenged, small start-ups, well-established medium-sized businesses and worldwide groups of companies are looking for the best possible solutions. Our experienced, multi-disciplinary team of advisors for technology, media and telecommunication can provide tailor-made solutions to meet these challenges. In close cooperation with our colleagues from the practice group IP & Copyright Law and our Data Protection team, we can comprehensively assist you with all related matters, from the drafting and negotiation of contracts, such as software licence agreements, ASP contracts, SaaS contracts and other cloud computing contracts, to (regulated) IT outsourcing projects up to and including contracts with contracting authorities based on Supplementary Terms of Contract for the Procurement of IT Supplies/Services (EVB-IT).

When dealing with agile software projects, we are familiar with the challenges of copyright and contract law in the drafting of contracts as well as with employment law issues, which enables us to optimally consider the interests of the client or contractor.

We advise industry 4.0 projects from the production industry with regard to, for example, the marketing of predictive maintenance services and the intelligent control and networking of processes and facilities in the smart factory using the new 5G mobile radio standard, where applicable. This enables our clients to optimally design their supply chains.

When deploying artificial intelligence (AI)-based systems, our team can help you benefit from the advances in AI across all industries. When it comes to using AI technologies, such as machine learning or deep learning, we are familiar with the complex issues involved, including the protection of performance outcomes and data models and the rights to use data as well as liability, enabling us to properly assess the opportunities and risks associated with the use of AI.

Our range of advisory services

IT purchase and licence agreements
  • Software and hardware supply contracts (application service providing (APS), software as a service (SaaS), platform as a service (PaaS) or infrastructure as a service (IaaS) agreements)
  • Maintenance and support agreements, service level agreements (SLAs)
  • Project and service agreements concerning the development, implementation and customisation of software, including drafting “sale and lease backs”
  • Escrow and deposit agreements
  • Operating data processing centres and shared service centres
  • Distributing hardware and software (e.g. OEM agreements, end-user licence agreements, reseller agreements)
  • Application/use of open source software and “used” software
  • Advising and drafting agreements relating to agile software development projects
Awarding IT contracts
  • Needs analysis and determining needs taking into account legal issues (e.g. data protection or e-government)
  • Proof of economic efficiency before and during the procurement measures
  • Assisting with invitations to tender for IT contracts
  • Choosing and applying the appropriate “Supplementary Terms of Contract for the Procurement of IT Supplies/Services” (EVB-IT) contract templates
  • Reviewing service descriptions
IT litigation
  • Advising on how to deal with hardware or software defects
  • Examining/handling defects in close cooperation with IT experts
  • Providing representation in IT disputes before courts or conciliation committees (German Association of Law and Informatics (DGRI))
IT outsourcing

In the context of IT outsourcing projects, we can advise on the entire process, if so requested, starting with the needs analysis, the invitation to tender, the award of the contract and the drafting and negotiation of the contract documents and service descriptions, of course also taking into account employment and licensing law issues, IT security and data protection aspects and regulatory requirements, where applicable. This applies in particular to cloud-based solutions.

  • IT and business process outsourcing
  • Project agreements regarding complex IT systems
  • Advising on cloud computing services
  • Exit management
  • Advising on the spin-off of individual IT divisions into subsidiaries and related issues (e.g. rights and obligations in the event of a transfer of business)
  • Drafting contracts for the outsourcing of essential and non-essential functions, taking into account financial regulatory requirements
  • Advising on regulatory requirements for IT (German Prudential requirements for IT (BAIT)/European Banking Authority (EBA) Guidelines, European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA) Guidelines)
Advising on IT security and IT compliance
  • Legal requirements regarding IT security and IT compliance
  • Advising on implementing the German IT Security Act (e.g. critical infrastructure requirements for the energy, information technology and telecommunication, transport and traffic, health, water supply, food, and finance and insurance industries)
  • Assisting with IT audits
  • IT security in the employment relationship, e.g. drafting works agreements and company policies regarding the use of e-mail systems and the internet within the scope of the employment relationship
  • Legal support for cyber security incidents
Data protection law

In times of digital transformation, data is a central asset on the web and, therefore, is of great importance. In the context of the upcoming Europe-wide digital strategy and the planned legislative projects, the GDPR will play a decisive role in the conflict between data autonomy and competitiveness in new fields of business such as the digital twin or autonomous driving, as well as in the area of digital health. On the ambitious path towards digital transformation, we advise on all relevant legal issues with a view to coming up with a data protection compliant yet practical solution in close cooperation with our IT Law colleagues.

We can advise and support you when there are new developments in data protection, be they new standard contractual clauses, relevant statements issued by the supervisory authorities or developments in data protection resulting from judgments (e.g. Schrems-II).

As the legally compliant processing of personal data is increasingly becoming the focus of companies and supervisory authorities, companies need to find their way around the conflict between their business interests and the legal requirements by ensuring their data protection is very well organised. Our pragmatic and solution-oriented team that specialises in data protection law can help you ensure that this succeeds.

  • Carrying out data protection audits to assess the level of data protection in the company
  • Appointment as an external data protection officer and providing support as such
  • Implementing the requirements under data protection law in the company (data protection compliance)
  • Advising on how to set up processes and design processing operations in conformity with data protection law
  • Advising on introducing new business models in conformity with data protection law, including data protection by design and big data
  • Drafting data protection documents, such as data protection notices, data protection reports or records of processing activities
  • Drafting agreements under data protection law, such as data processing agreements, including the EU standard contractual clauses, or joint controller agreements
  • Advising on international data transfers involving countries outside the EU in accordance with the requirements stipulated in the Schrems II judgment, taking into account the new EU standard contractual clauses and other appropriate safeguards
  • Advising regarding cross-border data processing both for intra-group data exchange and with external parties
  • Advising on introducing binding corporate rules (BCRs)
  • Reviewing and, if necessary, revising the documentation or agreements under data protection law
  • Advising on introducing whistleblowing programmes
  • Assisting with works agreements on the basis of the EU GDPR and the German Federal Data Protection Act (BDSG)
  • Training courses and workshops (e.g. employee workshops)
  • Data protection-compatible design when using new technologies, such as smart home, car data or health apps
  • Advising on setting up websites, online shops and cookie walls and on using tracking and analysis tools
  • Carrying out national and international data protection audits
  • Providing representation in administrative and judicial disputes with regard to breaches of data protection law
Licensing law, including open source
  • Advising on licence models, licence compatibility
  • Liability and warranty when using open source software, public domain software, freeware, shareware
  • Drafting licensing conditions
  • Asserting and defending against licence infringement claims
  • Advising on introducing open source project management
  • Assisting with licence audits
  • Managed licence compliance services
  • Representation in claims for subsequent licensing
  • Advising on questions of indirect or automated licence use
FinTech

In the field of financial technology (FinTech), we advise companies from the financial sector, technology providers and providers of new technology-based business models on innovative technologies and digitalisation strategies. This includes, inter alia, the structuring of legal relationships for platform transactions or electronic market places, identification services and authentication requirements or payment services. We provide strategic legal input to ensure the necessary compliance in a highly regulated legal environment. Our lawyers understand the technological interrelationships, for example, when using open APIs and open banking structures and when using mobile apps and payment systems, including the near field communication (NFC) standard, and deal with “data ownership” issues in a manner that serves the respective interests.

  • Smart contracts/blockchain-based services
  • General terms and conditions for electronic platforms/market places
  • Advising on payment services/e-money/voucher services
  • Investment products (including robo-advice)
Electronic archiving and data deletion concepts
  • Identifying retention periods and deadlines for deletion relevant in the industry, including advising on the permissibility of storing in digital form
  • Advising on the application of relevant limitation periods
  • Advising on the implementation of the requirements for audit-proof archiving (in accordance with the German Principles for the Proper Management and Storage of Books, Records and Documents in Electronic Form, as well as Data Access (GoBD))
Media

As a result of the rapid progress in digitalisation, convergence of media and challenges resulting from new formats and hybrid forms of marketing, the media landscape is also undergoing significant change: hitherto unknown business models must be based on a solid legal foundation and new forms of distribution, marketing and evaluation have to be contractually secured. Our media-savvy team’s creativity and competence help ensure that our clients are once again provided with the best possible solutions.

  • Advising on how classic business models can be transformed for use in the area of digital media
  • Advising on the licensing and acquisition of content
  • Licensing of TV stations
  • Advising on media antitrust law
  • Advising on the distribution and marketing of content through diverse platforms, including pay TV and on-demand services
  • Advising on feed-in agreements with cable companies
  • Advising on the purchase and marketing of advertising capacities
  • Acting as litigators upon infringement of rights on the internet (legal online reputation management, theft of content)
  • Advising on using social media for corporate communications
  • Designing legally compliant online gambling services
  • Advising on all aspects of press law and the law governing the right to express one’s opinion and make public statements
  • Assisting with enforcing and defending against claims for unlawful advertising
  • Drafting the contracts needed for reality TV shows
Telecommunication law

In particular the telecommunication sector continues to be highly regulated. Our team ensures that our clients comply with new regulatory requirements and, what is more, that they can operate as best as possible within the limits defined by these requirements. For this is the standard we have set for ourselves: providing top-quality advice that will ultimately make the difference for our clients.

  • Advising on regulatory issues (e.g. amendments to the German Telecommunications Act (TKG), obligation to register, use and allocation of frequencies)
  • Drafting and negotiating contracts for WAN, managed network services, mobile services
  • Drafting end-user agreements
  • Providing telecommunication and public procurement law advice with regard to broadband expansion
  • Providing advice and drafting contracts for the creation of infrastructure facilities (e.g. lines, networks, transmission stations)
  • Advising on regulatory, data protection and contract law issues regarding the Internet of Things (IoT), smart devices and connected cars
  • Advising on over-the-top services
  • Advising on data protection in the area of telecommunication and secrecy of telecommunications

Key Contact >>

Key Contact

Dr Michael Rath

Partner

T +49 221 9937 25795

Team Information Tech & Telecommunications

Dr Jörg Alshut
Partner
Berlin

Volker von Alvensleben
Of Counsel
Hamburg

Silvia C. Bauer
Partner
Cologne

Dr Stephan Bausch, D.U.
Partner
Cologne

Dr Johannes Becker
Counsel
Cologne

Philipp Dietz, LL.M. (Edinburgh)
Partner
Cologne

Dr Maximilian Dorndorf
Partner
Essen

Stephan Gittermann
Partner
Frankfurt a.M.

Steffen Häberer
Partner
Leipzig

Dietmar Heise
Partner
Stuttgart

Dr Stefanie Hellmich, LL.M.
Partner
Frankfurt a.M.

Dr Christian Horn, LL.M. (Tulane)
Partner
Berlin

Dr Silvia Hartmann
Senior Associate
Berlin

Laura Hoffmann, LL.M. (Dresden/London)
Associate
Frankfurt a.M.

Dr Sebastian Felix Janka, LL.M. (Stellenbosch)
Partner
Munich

Dr Helmut Janssen, LL.M. (King's College London)
Partner
Brussels, Dusseldorf

Sascha Jaeger
Associate
Leipzig

Dr Andreas Kloyer
Partner
Frankfurt a.M., London

Dr Rolf Kobabe
Partner
Hamburg

Karsten Köhler
Partner
Leipzig

Christiane Kühn, LL.M. (Hong Kong)
Partner
Munich

Christian Kuß, LL.M.
Partner
Cologne

Sarah Komets
Senior Associate
Berlin

Stefanie Kandzia, LL.M.
Associate
Hamburg

Niccolo Langenheim, LL.M.
Associate
Cologne

Dr Detlef Mäder
Partner
Cologne, Dusseldorf

Dr Cédric Müller, LL.M. (Bristol)
Partner
Essen

Katharina Müller, LL.M. oec.
Partner
Cologne

Dominik Menhaj
Senior Associate
Hamburg

Dr Madeleine Martinek, LL.M., LL.M. oec. (Nanjing)
Associate
Cologne

Dr Kay Oelschlägel
Partner
Hamburg

Michelle Petruzzelli
Senior Associate
Cologne

Dr Michael Rath
Partner
Cologne

Dr Stephan Rippert LL.M.
Partner
Munich

Dr Christian Rabe
Senior Associate
Hamburg

Christina Rygula, LL.M.
Senior Associate
Hamburg

Dr Markus Sengpiel
Managing Partner
Cologne

Dr Wulff-Axel Schmidt
Partner
Frankfurt a.M.

Dr Astrid Schnabel, LL.M. (Emory)
Partner
Hamburg

Dr Björn Simon
Partner
Frankfurt a.M.

Dr Isabel Schäfer
Senior Associate
Hamburg

Anton Spinty
Senior Associate
Berlin

Gizem Sahin, LL.M.
Associate
Cologne

Dr Jörgen Tielmann, LL.M.
Partner
Hamburg

Andreas Tüxen, LL.M. (American University / WCL)
Partner
Berlin

Dr Gregor Wecker
Partner
Cologne

Thomas Weidlich, LL.M. (Hull)
Partner
Cologne

Pierre Daniel Wittmann
Associate
Frankfurt a.M.

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