Property team delivers Royal Mail IT coup for Lovells

Lovells’ IT team has received a helping hand from the firm’s property department to advise on one of the largest IT outsourcing deals of the year.

By advising Royal Mail Group on its £1.5bn IT outsourcing deal with Computer Sciences Corporation (CSC), Lovells has confirmed itself as the postal service’s outsourcing adviser of choice, ahead of CMS Cameron McKenna and Slaughter and May.

This deal is a massive coup for Lovells, which is not a regular adviser on jumbo IT deals, and a masterful example of cross-selling.

The IT deal is the largest in a series of support services outsourcing transactions put together as part of a three-year business renewal plan.

Previously, Camerons has advised on the outsourcing of Royal Mail’s employee, health and welfare services as well as its company car fleet, while Slaughters was involved in some aborted transactions.

Lovells property partner Nicholas Cheffings won a competitive tender to advise on the outsourcing of Royal Mail’s facilities management division Romec last year, and was retained for the IT transaction.

“We had a team leader; myself, with an umbrella view of the entire transaction; an IT strand led by Conor Ward, which put together the services agreement; and a corporate strand, Frances Le Grys, which advised on pensions, employment and tax structuring,” said Cheffings.

CSC has formed the Prism Alliance between BT and Xansa, which will be responsible for running Royal Mail’s data centres and data networks, along with voice services and major applications supporting business-critical systems.

CSC was advised by its in-house team, led by general counsel Gawie Nienaber and Mike Phillips, on the core aspects of the deal, with Baker & McKenzie (employment and pensions), Laytons (property) and v-lex (IT) providing advice in specialist areas. BT and Xansa were both advised by their in-house legal departments.