Software development is a complex technical project which also gives rise to many legal issues. We have all heard of examples of software development projects where things have gone wrong and the resulting dispute has ended up in court. IT projects have figured in a considerable number of cases in recent years– some involving large companies and public sector organisations.
When a project has been agreed in principle, the temptation can be to get on with the work as soon as possible. But it is worth the software developer taking the time and trouble to put a proper software development agreement
in place, because a well drawn up software development agreement
can go a long way towards reducing the risks.
A software development agreement
• Define the scope of the software development to be carried out
• Identify the responsibilities of both client and developer in relation to the project
• Manage the expectations of the client
• Identify and manage risks and liability
There are certain issues that a software developer should cover in the software development agreement
1. A precise specification of the software to be developed identifying the functions it is expected to perform
2. A plan as to how the software development is to be implemented setting out the development stages and timescales or targets.
3. The obligations of not only the developer, but also the client in relation to the project
4. A change control procedure
5. A procedure for acceptance of the software
6. Details of the pricing of the work and when payments are to be made
7. Limitation of the developer’s liability
8. Rights in the software
These points only indicate of some of the main issues to be addressed in relation to software development agreements
. It is important for software developers to consider these carefully and get a suitable agreement before the work commences to avoid problems arising in relation to the project.
For advice in relation to software development agreements
please contact Sue Mann
. Sue Mann
Commercial Solicitor, Birmingham
This blog is not intended to constitute legal advice, nor is it intended to be a complete and authoritative statement of the law, and what we say might be out of date by the time you read it. You should always seek legal advice to confirm whether or how any information in this article applies to your particular situation. We offer a free telephone consultation to discuss your particular circumstances.