We have experience in advising businesses that supply goods, services, and digital content to consumers and businesses online. Our IT solicitors understand e-commerce offerings and their nuances and can advise on adopting supplier or customer-friendly terms. We ensure your supply terms are clear, compliant with consumer legislation, and cover enhanced termination rights, cooling-off periods, and refunds.
Our expertise in e-commerce helps businesses with the implementation and commercialisation of their platform offerings.
We can assist with:
- Drafting platform terms and conditions in conjunction with app terms and conditions. We will ensure your platform terms and conditions harmonise with your app terms and conditions, ensuring your intellectual property is protected.
- Drafting e-commerce terms and conditions for the supply of goods and/or services. We will work closely with you to ensure your terms and conditions reflect the operation of your business and e-commerce offering, whether you are supplying to consumers, businesses or both.
- ‘Distance Selling’ compliance advice. If you supply goods or services to consumers over the Internet, we can review and update your terms to be compliant with consumer legislation.
- Data Protection, Privacy, and Data Transfers – we can undertake data mapping exercises, and data impact assessments, and prepare any necessary data transfer agreements or cater for your processing obligations.
Website Terms & Conditions
Website terms ensure your online presence is protected. No matter how complex or simple your website, we can draft website terms that protect it. Having appropriately drafted website terms in place will help you to fulfil your legal obligations, manage your exposure to liability (for example, in the event users rely on the content on your site) and protect the intellectual property rights which exist on your site content.
The terms will also govern how users can interact with your site. If your website has interactive functionality or allows users to post in an open forum, it is important that your terms clearly set out what is and is not acceptable when posting content and state whether such forums are monitored by you.
Most websites will operate cookies even if this is limited to essential cookies. Where a website installs cookies other than essential cookies, such cookies need to be accepted by the website user and the website should have a cookies notice that sets out the details of all cookies operating on the website.
We can assist with:
- Website development agreements
- Website audits
- Assignments and licencing of intellectual property rights
- Website Terms and Conditions
- Website Hosting
Recent examples of our work in this area include:
- Acting for aps Events & Media Limited, a corporate event and digital media company for whom we undertook an overarching review of their contracting arrangements across their business, including a series of workshop sessions to establish their requirements and the preparation of model agreements and ancillary documents, including a user guide.
- Acting for a life sciences medical testing company which sells wellness tests and testing services for whom we drafted bespoke terms and conditions for their website development and hosting services.
- Acting for Sphereco Limited, who operate a peer-to-peer marketplace for the sale of used children’s clothes, games and equipment (Kidching). As part of the launch process of their platform, we reviewed and advised on their agreements with website developers.
- Assisting with a Black Friday launch of an e-commerce website supplying designer products as part of a packaged product;
- Machinecompare marketplace platform terms and conditions. We acted for machinecompare.com, one of the largest online marketplace providers that specialise in the resale of industrial parts. We prepared marketplace terms and conditions to cover the listing of goods on the marketplace, the sale and supply of the goods and other platform services.
Why Work With Our IT/Technology Team
- Myerson Solicitors' IT lawyers can provide businesses with extensive legal advice and support on a wide range of IT-related matters.
- We are highly skilled in matters relating to data protection, ensuring that businesses comply with relevant legislation such as the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).
- We can also provide expert guidance on software licensing, reselling, and development.
- Other areas of expertise include e-commerce, intellectual property, and technology-related disputes.
- Working with Myerson Solicitors means you'll have access to legal experts who can support and help your business stay ahead of the curve in today's ever-evolving digital landscape.
- An alternative to the major, regional, and national firms by offering high-quality Technology law advice from specialist solicitors, but on a much more cost-effective basis.
- By working closely with our IT clients, we can ensure we meet their expectations regarding business operations, providing clear and specialist expertise. We are easy to deal with and understand that a common-sense approach is often required.
- Extensive experience in dealing with a broad range of IT disputes, such as data protection and software development issues, giving businesses fast and helpful advice based on knowledge of your business, its history, and pressures.
- A partner-led service and a genuinely accessible team of experienced IT law solicitors due to our size, structure, and unique culture.
Meet Our IT Technology Solicitors
Home-grown or recruited from national, regional or City firms. Our IT Technology lawyers are experts in their fields and respected by their peers.
Carla is a Partner and Head of our Commercial Team
Richard is a Senior Associate in our Commercial Team
Olivia is a Solicitor within our Commercial Team
Karam Bhatti is a Trainee Solicitor in our Commercial Team
What are the key things to include in supply terms and conditions?
As an e-commerce provider, you should ensure that your terms and conditions satisfy the following concerns:
- They are fit for purpose and minimise your potential liability to third parties as far as possible;
- They cover the nature of what is being supplied, whether that is goods, services, digital content or a mixture;
- They allow you to retain the title to your goods until you have been paid for them;
- They adequately deal with the cancellation rights of both parties; and
- They comply with consumer regulations where the supply of goods or services is B2C.
Do online businesses need different terms and conditions?
The method by which a business contracts with its customers (online, via the telephone or email, on a doorstep basis, or from a bricks and mortar shop) will determine how the contract with that customer comes into effect and what laws and regulations apply to the contract.
Businesses operating via a website only (e-commerce) should ensure that they have e-commerce terms and conditions in place. E-commerce terms and conditions contain terms which are unique to the online selling of goods, such as how an order is placed and accepted, how payment is made, and how and when the customer is entitled to cancel their order.
What is the value of having standard terms and conditions for my business?
Having your own set of T&Cs on which you always do business provides you with:
- Certainty - you know the terms which you are trading on and the rights you have in regard to your customers;
- Security - you are not subject to someone else’s terms which may be onerous in their obligations and put you at risk of being liable for breach of contract;
- Flexibility - you can have a master set of terms providing structure for your business, while dealing with customers on an order by order basis.
What is ‘Distance Selling’?
If you are a trader who sells or supplies goods or services to consumers over the internet, you need to ensure you comply with the rules on “distance contracts”. We can help you to identify whether your contracts fall within the scope of the Consumer Contracts (Information, Cancellation and Additional Charges) Regulations 2013. If your contract is within scope, we can assist in ensuring your website terms and conditions of sale or supply are compliant.
A contract concluded at distance is one which is between a trader and a consumer which does not involve the simultaneous physical presence of the trader and consumer, with the exclusive use of one or more means of distance communication up to and including the time at which the contract is concluded.
What are the key points to note for distance contracts?
Key provisions which are required for distance contracts include:
- Pre contract information: the trader must provide the consumer with certain information prior to entering into a contract (for example, identity of trader, place of business, total price, the complaint process). Such information will form part of the contract and therefore it is logical for the required information to be included in the website terms and conditions of sale or supply which are available prior to entering into the contract;
- Durable medium: the consumer must be provided with written confirmation of all the legally required pre-contract information on a durable medium (for instance, by email);
- Payment trigger: the trader must make it clear where proceeding with the transaction or passing to the next webpage will trigger payment (for example by labelling the payment button “order with obligation to pay”);
- Additional payments: traders must seek the consumer’s express prior consent before taking any additional payments (pre-ticked boxes will not be permitted);
- Right to cancel: consumers must be given the right to cancel the contract within a cooling-off period of 14 days. This period may be extended by up to 12 months where information about the right to cancel is not provided by the supplier. The right to cancel may, in certain circumstances, be waived by a consumer (where, for example, they request services to be provided before expiry of the 14 day period);
- Delivery: an obligation on the trader to deliver goods within 30 days, unless agreed otherwise with the consumer. These rules determine when risk in goods will pass to the consumer;
- Helpline: a ban on making consumers use a premium rate telephone line to contact the supplier about the existing contract.
How can I protect the intellectual property rights in my website and its content?
Website owners should consider taking the following steps:
- Registering a trademark with the relevant authority. This provides the owner with exclusive rights to use the mark in relation to their goods or services.
- Copyrighted content: ensure all content on their website, such as text, images, videos, and software, is original or appropriately licensed and include copyright notices on your website to indicate your ownership of the same.
- Take-down notices: issue take-down notices to internet service providers or search engines to remove infringing content from the internet.
- Monitoring: Regular monitoring of the internet can help website owners identify and address instances of intellectual property infringement.
What information do I have to include on my website?
UK website providers are legally obliged to include certain information on their websites (whether they are trading websites or not). The information which websites must display includes the following:
- the name of the service provider;
- the geographical address where the service provider is established;
- details of the service provider, including their email address;
- in respect of companies, their registered name, registered company number, their registered office address and where in the UK the company is registered; and
- in respect of any regulated professions (such as solicitors or doctors), the details of any professional body with which the professional is registered, their profession title, the member state in which that title has been awarded, and reference to the professional rules applicable to that service provider.
Additional information is required where the website operator is providing services, engaging in contracts which will be concluded online or contracting with a customer.
Can I copy terms and conditions from other websites?
You should not copy other websites’ terms and conditions for a number of reasons. Any terms are protected by copyright so if you copy and use terms and conditions from other websites then this will likely constitute copyright infringement. The terms may also not be appropriate to your offering or reflect what your website does and the quality of the drafting is not guaranteed.
Do I need a cookies policy for my website?
Yes, if you collect any personal data from users through your website. A privacy notice is a legal requirement in many countries, including the European Union, under the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and other data protection laws.
The privacy notice should explain what personal data is being collected, how it is being used, who it is being shared with, and how long it will be retained.
It should also provide information about users' rights under data protection laws, such as the right to access their data, rectify any inaccuracies, and request erasure.
It enables businesses to comply with their “fair processing” obligations and to obtain a user’s “freely given, specific and informed” consent to processing personal data. It should be accessible at every point in which personal information is collected.
Can you review our website hosting agreement?
Yes we can! Once you have a website developed it will need to be hosted, which will usually be provided under a hosting agreement.
Whether you provide hosting services are or looking for a hosting provider for your website, businesses should ensure that the hosting agreement outlines the provider's responsibilities, including data backup and cybersecurity measures, and any limitations of liability clauses which can limit the hosting provider's liability in the event of data loss or system downtime.
It's important for businesses to work with experienced IT lawyers who can provide guidance on negotiating and drafting hosting agreements to ensure that their legal rights are protected.
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