SaaS Contracts Lawyer: How technical must they be?
SaaS Contracts Lawyer: Checklist of Technical Skills
Anytime there is an emerging field, the legal side will take time to catch up. For SaaS, there is a lot in flux, with legislation and case law changing on a seemingly daily basis. This means that SaaS attorneys have a unique struggle: keeping up with the technical side of the industry and staying on top of changes in the law.
So, how technical does a SaaS attorney need to be? Do they need specific training?
Checklist: Areas of Technical Knowledge SaaS Attorneys Need
When vetting a SaaS lawyer, don’t be afraid to quiz them a bit on their knowledge. There is a lot at stake when drafting SaaS agreements, and you want to feel confident that the legal counsel you seek knows what they are doing. SaaS products can have millions of users, so making sure your company is protected is important. Many companies use free agreement templates they find online, which can be risky when the company begins to grow.
Below is a checklist of specific areas of technical knowledge your attorney should have.
A quality SaaS attorney should be familiar with the basics of the industry. If they cannot explain how SaaS differs from buying a program upfront, this is not the attorney for you. In addition to knowing what SaaS is and how it differs from installable software, they need to be able to articulate the specific benefits of the industry as well as its potential drawbacks – there are many considerations. Knowing this demonstrates they have the training and can draft agreements that protect you.
Many businesses are attracted to private clouds because they give them greater control over their data when compared to traditional cloud computing. However, these are rarely as large, flexible, or secure as those offered by giants like Amazon and Microsoft. SaaS attorneys should understand where the vulnerabilities lie and how to word agreements so that these are disclosed to the consumer and you are protected.
It is common with SaaS products for data from existing applications and systems to be migrated to a new cloud. This comes with costs that vary based on the scale of the projects, as well as significant risks when it comes to potential data loss or corruption. A SaaS attorney needs to understand how to assign the costs within agreements and offer you protection when it comes to problems with the data during transfer.
One way SaaS providers can keep costs low for themselves and customers is by putting multiple clients on the same database. This comes with more risks than private databases, especially as it concerns compromised data. Your SaaS lawyer needs to ensure that the shared nature of databases is disclosed to the customer in their contract, that the risks are touched upon, and that the extent of your liability it outlined.
Of course, this is just a small portion of what a SaaS contract lawyer needs to understand about the industry. The key is selecting a lawyer who is dedicated to working within the SaaS sector and staying on top of the constant changes.
Find Vetted SaaS Contract Lawyers Near You on Contracts Counsel
Protecting your SaaS company means having iron-clad terms of service, privacy policies, data processing agreements, and more. It does not mean finding free agreements online and using them in your software. For custom agreements, you cannot rely on old-school technology lawyers who haven’t kept up with changes in the industry. Instead, work with a high-quality SaaS contract lawyer through ContractsCounsel.com.