Data centres

In the era of the digital economy and fast-paced technological change, the use and role of data centres continues to grow. Meeting the increasing demand on businesses for data processing and data storage capacity is an ongoing challenge. So when it comes to handling the legal aspects of data centre operations, it pays to work with lawyers who are fully immersed in the sector.

As one of the only legal teams in Europe dedicated to this sector, Wragge & Co's Data Centres group is unique. Focused on helping clients achieve their commercial goals - whether data centre operators or end users - it brings speed, commercialism and cost-effective advice to resolve complex issues and maximise investment. Take its work for leading data centre operator Global Switch, which the team advised on what became the largest data centre letting of 2010.

A 15-strong, full service team it brings together expertise from real estate, Information technology (IT) and outsourcing, data protection, commercial, construction, and energy infrastructure to add value to clients. Combining more than 50 years of experience, it understands the challenges and opportunities organisations face and the prospects for the future.

Always prepared to give a view, the team participated in the consultation process behind the Department of Energy and Climate Change's (DECC) proposals for the CRC Energy Efficiency Scheme. The scheme is likely to have a major impact on data centres as they can require up to 50 times the amount of power used by the equivalent business space. The consultation resulted in a call for changes to the DECC's proposals to improve the effect the regulations will have on the industry.

The team's experience spans four broad categories of data centre facilities: carrier-neutral co-location, tied carrier, wholesale and managed service facilities. In each area, it acts for investors, operators, developers, service providers and end-users across all types of industry sectors.

Led by development and investment partner Mark Chester, the team continues to expand and is called upon for a wide range of services. This follows increasing demand for new data centres - prompted by growth in cloud computing services and e-commerce channels - and concern over issues such as data security and carbon reduction.

Constantly tracking new developments in the field, the firm's data centre specialists boast deep technical specialism in a number of areas.

Some of the Data Centres team's latest projects demonstrate its broad capabilities. Highlights include acting for a major financial institution in relation to a new Tier three+ data centre, and Galileo Connect on the acquisition and development of its 16,000 square metre north west London data centre.

At the forefront of new thinking, Wragge & Co is a member of special interest group, the Intellect UK Council of Data Centre Operators (UKCDO). This provides insider knowledge and acts to ensure the Data Centres group keeps up-to-date with the latest developments. Its wider relationships with developers, landowners, and "best-friend" firms also benefits clients by helping them to progress deals across jurisdictions quickly and effectively.

For more information on the team, please contact Mark Chester (mark_chester@wragge.com).