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London law firm dishes out £4.5m for risk management

Signs networking deal with Fibernet...
Written by Sylvia Carr, Contributor

Signs networking deal with Fibernet...

Fibernet has won a £4.5m contract with London-based law firm Allen and Overy to provide managed optical networking.

The networking service firm will provide connectivity between Allen and Overy's new London headquarters and a data centre located near Reading. The deal is a key part of the law firm's disaster recovery and risk management strategy.

Andrew Brammer, head of global IT operations at Allen and Overy, told silicon.com: "What we're aiming to do here is split the people from the data. The two most critical elements of our business are our transactional data - the information on our clients when working on a deal - and the intellectual capital of our people. We survive as a business based on that."

Fibernet beat other companies in what it called a "highly competitive" tender managed by Deloitte Consulting. It had a previous relationship with Allen and Overy to provide connectivity between the firm's London offices.

Brammer said that although the strategy to separate the staff headquarters from the data centre was decided before the London bombings in July 2005, "what we saw in London in 2005 always focuses the mind".

From an ROI perspective, Brammer said the company aimed to reduce risk and provide better connectivity and data availability to its staff and clients for a similar amount of investment to building a data centre in London. "We were looking at what we can do better for the same amount, instead of strictly driving out costs," he explained.

Allen and Overy, which has 4,700 staff in 25 countries, including 2,200 staff at its London headquarters, chose Fibernet for its track record with other institutions in the City, the quality of the bid and because "we had confidence they would be able to deliver on time and on budget", according to Brammer.

The data centre will be managed by Savvis, which handles much of Wall Street's networking, the result of a £5.5m outsourcing deal announced last week.

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