what happened in 2020 for our commercial team



It’s been a few years since our commercial team has summarised their year that was, and we don’t want you to think we’ve been twiddling our thumbs while the corporate team had a record year.

Like every business, we had fears that COVID would slow both us and our clients down.  But putting aside the amount of time we spent on Zoom and Teams meetings, that’s not what the stats suggest.  It’s great to know our clients were still getting deals done despite lockdowns and this massive global event.  Our commercial team worked on around 700 contracts, which represents a 17% increase from the last time we reported. 

Our Singapore office has helped (although not exclusively) with this growth.  While our practice there has been focussed on venture capital work, our SE Asian clients are increasingly seeking our help on their other commercial deals. 

Here are some trends we’ve noticed from 2020 (and these trends are consistent with what we saw when we last reported):

  • privacy continues to be top of minds for our clients.  GDPR remains a big focus for kiwi companies doing business in Europe.  Coupled with the changes to NZ privacy laws (the new Privacy Act 2020) and the new CCPA (California Consumer Privacy Act), we have drafted and reviewed more than our fair share of privacy policies and data processing agreements
  • millennials and Gen Zedders are impacting on our clients – the use of influencer agreements (for anyone over the age of 35: paying people to promote your products on social media) is on the rise
  • as a service (think SaaS, IaaS, HaaS and all other aaS) continues its dominance over traditional licensing deals.  And many clients, recognising their limitations, are working hard to find in market partners to resell or promote their products offshore.

But like you all, the impact of COVID (and other events outside our clients’ control) was never far from our thoughts.  We’ve spent a lot of time advising clients on force majeure, frustration, disaster recovery, and business continuity.  And that has included some interesting and rewarding jobs, such as:

  • helping clients with insurance claims, including for tornado damage and for a shipping delay caused by a mutiny – sadly the ship’s captain (unlike Bligh) didn’t to survive the mutiny …
  • advising on contracts related to COVID tracing and COVID risk reduction, including one contract that made available digital workers to fight the cause.

2021 has started with a hiss and a roar.  We look forward to providing you with team updates soon.

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