Reviewed by: Amanda Gibbs
Author: Amanda Lewis
Publisher: Sweet & Maxwell
Price: £135

It remains a tricky time for businesses in the UK: although global economic activity is picking up, the continuing crisis in the euro area is delaying a meaningful recovery (OECD, 28/03/2013). Being successful in business is fraught with problems, but particularly difficult during recession.

Help comes in the form of Business Services, Partnering and Outsourcing Contracts: A Practical Guide. Aimed at business people and lawyers, it offers valuable advice about the best approaches to take on the myriad legal and business issues which arise during negotiating and drafting services, and outsourcing contracts. Adopting the best approach on these issues may be the making or the breaking of a deal.

Author Amanda Lewis has specialised in outsourcing and service contracts as an in-house lawyer as well as a private practice partner for over 24 years. She has advised on more than 210 major projects and, therefore, has the experience which gives this book credibility. It is presented as a practical handbook rather than a legal textbook and so, despite being substantial (805 pages, not including the index), it does not contain lengthy case references and footnotes or legal terminology.

This fourth edition has been updated and now deals with services and partnering agreements as well as outsourcing agreements. It also includes new material to reflect the changes which have happened since the last edition was published in May 2009. As a result, it is over 130 pages longer than the last edition.

The book is divided into 12 parts, and includes a section on issues affecting different sectors, and two chapters on offshore and nearshore outsourcing and specific legal issues relating to outsourcing in India, China, the US and UAE, France, Ireland, Switzerland, Sweden, Italy, Spain and Germany.

The book is a valuable read for in-house lawyers, commercial lawyers, government lawyers and non-lawyers involved in negotiating and drafting services, partnering and outsourcing contracts in customer and supplier organisations.

Lewis has successfully managed to consolidate and present the vast array of legal and business issues in well-written, clear, interesting, short and logical chapters. Her expertise in this field permeates the text and will give much-needed confidence to those who follow her practical guidance.

Amanda Gibbs is a practising solicitor