BCLP: Multi-Disciplinary Data Center Experience
The Data Center & Digital Infrastructure Team at international law firm Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner draws from a deep well of knowledge and experience to help clients address all aspects of mission critical development, including tax incentives, construction, acquisition and sales, financing arrangements, operations, leasing, subleasing, co-location along with environmental permitting, power purchases, power procurement strategies and agreements, user agreements, SLAs and maintenance agreements.
“We’ve structured our service offering to provide a comprehensive perspective on all the disciplines that are relevant to both the digital infrastructure investor and the developer, owner and operator,” explains BCLP Partner James Grice. “We’re a force multiplier for companies like Landmark Dividend seeking to scale as needed on their projects with everything from a compressed timeline on diligence to transactional real estate documentation for a build-to-suit.”
As a global law firm, BCLP can draw on a team of 1,400 professionals with one of the largest real estate teams in the world, allowing it to deploy resources when and where necessary. The ability to scale smartly sets the firm apart and leaves it well placed to meet the growing demand for digital services and the infrastructure required to support them.
“The overall data center ecosystem is on the path to double digit annual growth in the foreseeable future,” forecasts Grice. “BCLP is in tune with the totality of that ecosystem and the infrastructure layer driving the internet, e-commerce and the digital economy. For example, the hyperscale market is forecast to grow by at least 25% annually over the next five years with many new investors trying to penetrate the space. We have the experience and skill to support the virtual layer with data security and software, while also focusing on the infrastructure layer needed to drive that digital growth. We’re going to see more division and subsets develop within the asset class. Whatever shape that takes, we’re well placed to navigate the marketplace.”
“In a data center divestiture transaction, we must draw upon asset purchase issues, while also needing to navigate the leasing and service level agreement issues associated with the lease back. Adding in the facilities management requirements, the energy planning, and the connectivity issues means that you need a legal partner who can run the whole gamut,” he advises. “Investors are increasingly attracted to this asset type and it’s a process where we can add a lot of value across various disciplines with capabilities that put us in a robust position to provide valuable counsel to our clients.”
BCLP – A Global Law Firm
- 1,400 lawyers in 30 offices advising businesses across North America, Europe, the Middle East and Asia.
- $75bn cumulative deal value of real estate projects advised on in the last two years.
- 40% of the Fortune 500 rely on BCLP to support their business goals and protect their interests.
- 4 x winners for legal innovation since 2011. ‘Leader in Law Firm Innovation’ (Law.com), ‘Number 1 Most Innovative Law Firm’ (Legal Business), 2x ‘World’s Most Innovative Law Firm’ (ILTA).
“BCLP has the bandwidth and can handle the volume of transactions we're processing with multiple deals in parallel, and negotiate contracts and SLAs with large operators. Their expertise gives us the confidence they know the difference between real and perceived risks. They’re deal-makers. It’s our plan to grow internationally so BCLP is a true partner that has the experience to represent us on that stage. They’ve also made introductions and opened doors for us - they’re not just involved to bill hours.” Christof Hammerli, Head of Digital Infrastructure, Landmark Dividend.
What is the metaverse and why is everyone talking about it?
What is the metaverse?
Think of the metaverse as internet 2.0 (not to be confused with web 2.0, which we saw off in the 00s). It’s a catch-all term designed to incorporate virtual and augmented reality, social, the internet and, crucially, real life. Critics argue that it is being used to replace useful subsets of technology that are distinct entities in their own right. Proponents counter that the components are on course to merge into a single entity and that the move to a singular phrase is helpful to trammelling technology towards that goal. Rather than describing an air-intake filter, carburettor, piston chamber, cam drive and gearing system by their respective parts, you come up with a term for the collective – the internal combustion engine. So it is with the metaverse, or that’s the theory.
Where did the term ‘metaverse’ come from?
The metaverse is actually not new at all. The term comes from Neal Stephenson’s 1992 sci-fi novel Snow Crash, where is was used to describe a VR successor to the internet. It’s actually a similar concept to William Gibson’s cyberspace (Burning Chrome, 1982) though since cyberspace has entered general usage to talk about the internet, an alternative was needed.
Who is talking about the metaverse and why?
Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg, in a virtual call with employees, said the company’s work would focus on products for communities, creators, commerce and virtual reality. “What I think is most interesting,” he said, “is how these themes will come together into a bigger idea. Our overarching goal across all of these initiatives is to help bring the metaverse to life.” He went on to describe it as an “embodied internet”.
Zuckerberg isn’t alone. In January, venture capitalist and writer Matthew Ball (who was previously head of strategy at Amazon Studios) penned an article on the characteristics of the metaverse. And Microsoft’s Satya Nadella mentioned the “enterprise metaverse” on a call in late July. A near 20-year-old term does not suddenly crop up among a handful of exalted tech names without becoming either a trend (or a source of derision).
Metaverse: trend or bust
It’s too early to say whether Silicon Valley is jumping the gun on the metaverse. It certainly doesn’t sound like the sort of phrase you can imagine explaining to your grandparents with a straight face or casually mentioning during conversation. But you could say the same of robotic process automation, which is big business. Whatever the status of the phrase, the theme – of tying together disparate, or at least separate, tiers and types of technology into a connected whole seems completely in line with industrial technological trends. Let’s hear it for the metaverse, and hope the phrase is used as sparingly as ‘cyberspace’.