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Framework and Master Services Agreements

Framework and Master Services Agreements in London

Solicitors Specialising in Framework and Master Services Agreements

Our London business solicitors regularly advise on framework services agreements, often also known as master services agreements. These agreements are suitable for customers and suppliers who engage repeatedly. The core contractual terms are agreed upfront, in the body of the master services agreement. Each time the parties wish to engage, they will then enter into a statement of work under the main agreement. The advantage is that whenever a new engagement is required, only the specifics of that particular engagement need to be agreed. The parties do not have to renegotiate the entire contract from scratch.

Another advantage of doing business on the basis of a framework supply agreement is that parties – particularly the supplier under the agreement – will have the freedom to choose whether or not to engage with each customer order. It may be that, at the time of a request or order, a supplier does not have the capacity to deliver straight away. If a master services agreement is in place, the supplier may be at liberty to refuse a particular order, or at the very least negotiate for delivery of the requested products or services within a realistic timeframe.

The variable parts of a master services agreement, those parts that are typically agreed on a job by job basis under a statement of work, are usually things like:

  • Exactly what products or services will be provided under that particular order.
  • Delivery arrangements (such as location) and the delivery date.
  • The price that will be payable for the products or services under that particular order, including details of any stage / milestone payments

The non-variable parts of a master services agreement, those parts that are negotiated upfront and thus do not have to be renegotiated each time services are requested or an order is placed, are things like:

  • Any formal procedures to use in attempting to agree a statement of work.
  • The respective core obligations of both supplier and customer that will apply as standard to any engagement (for example, where the supplier is providing services, an obligation to provide those services with reasonable skill and care).
  • Who will own the intellectual property rights in any work product produced by the supplier under the agreement.
  • Confidential information and data protection related obligations on both the parties.
  • Whether a party’s liability for claims under the agreement will be unlimited, or (as is common), limited and subject to certain exclusions.

If you are looking to deal with your main suppliers under a master services agreement, or if you are a supplier who has been asked to sign one and require advice, you can contact us today for a confidential discussion.