Welcome to the first edition of our monthly Middle East & Africa Technology, IP and Sourcing Focus — your source for know-how, recent news and developments in technology, intellectual property and sourcing across the Middle East and Africa.

We introduce each of this month's topics below and by clicking on the link at the start of each section you will be taken to a more detailed discussion of the relevant topic.

We trust that you will find this useful and we would be delighted to discuss any of the items addressed in this month's edition with you in further detail. If you have any feedback, or if you have any suggestions for particular areas you would like to see covered, please do not hesitate to contact us.


This Month's White Paper

Thinking of Outsourcing? At this time of year your organisation may be busy planning its corporate strategy and budget for 2012 and may be considering outsourcing as a mechanism to be used to reduce costs, increase productivity and implement best practices.

This month's white paper, by Kevin Boyle and Allen Klein of Latham & Watkins' global outsourcing practice, is the first in a series of outsourcing white papers that we will publish in the Middle East and Africa to assist organisations in understanding and considering the key legal, commercial and operational issues that may be encountered during the outsourcing lifecycle.

Future white papers will address issues such as carrying out due diligence on potential vendors, identifying what matters to your stakeholder executives in an outsourcing arrangement and putting together an effective project team to run the procurement process. We start with an overview of some of the key legal issues that organisations should consider prior to the initiation of an outsourcing project. We hope that this whitepaper serves as both a useful introduction to some readers and a useful reminder to those with some experience in handling outsourcing agreements.

This Month's News

SAA Ruling on second generation outsourcing: Our view on the practical implications of the South African Constitutional Court's Ruling in AUSA v SAA and others (CCT 08/11) on the application of s197 to second generation outsourcing in South Africa.

Astra Zeneca v IBM – protecting your exit rights: Lessons to be learned on how customers in jurisdictions across the globe need to ensure their contracts facilitate a smooth exit at the end of their term.

Gross Negligence – what does it mean?: Suppliers are fond of trying to include this term in contracts for services, whatever the jurisdiction. A recent UK case discusses the use of the term in English law contracts.


New EU Privacy Rules will apply to all online businesses with EU customers: European Union Justice Commissioner Viviane Reding has confirmed that we can expect to see a draft of the eagerly awaited new Data Privacy Directive in January. As lawmakers in the Middle East and Africa appear to be following EU legislation fairly closely, the new directive is likely to have some impact in our region. Three key changes have been made to the current rules.

The Future of Data Protection: The Information Commissioner's Office (ICO) has published a briefing on the future of data protection in the EU to inform stakeholders about European Commission's proposal to reform the Data Protection Directive (95/46/EC), which is now expected in January 2012. The ICO calls for a high-level approach to data protection that is based on risk, context and purpose and which allows member states' data protection authorities sufficient flexibility "to carry out their role according to their own strategy and as appropriate to the national situation".

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.