Given the immense amounts of electronic data that is stored, analyzed, and processed that are critical to nearly every sector of the economy—ranging from bank transactions and social media postings to websites and management of utilities—data centers are viewed as mission critical infrastructure that can never fail. It’s no surprise that data centers, whether they be hyperscale structures that span several football fields or “edge” data centers that are the size of a utility closet, all have highly specific requirements. And to meet those requirements, it is imperative to engage skilled legal counsel experienced with these kinds of issues. From our experience representing modular data center providers, construction companies, networking and chip technology companies that target specialized products to serve data centers, and lessees of data center facilities, Farella understands the unique challenges faced by the data center and storage ecosystem.
For entrepreneurs, privately held businesses, or large public companies, our attorneys advise on the full range of issues data center and storage companies face, including financing, real estate and construction, environmental regulation, intellectual property protection, and litigation. We regularly help data center industry clients identify and secure alternative energy agreements; negotiate engineering, procurement, engineering, and construction contracts; transact for lessors and lessees; and handle complex disputes, such as intellectual property infringement, technology related matters, construction defect litigation, breach of contract, and more.
Farella is known for partnering with our clients to help them solve their most complex problems through creative legal thinking and effective collaboration. Our lean staffing approach provides efficient, effective teams, which we scale as appropriate to run large, sophisticated deals and prosecute or defend complex litigation matters.
Finance and Commercial Transactions
Data center clients leverage the extensive experience of Farella’s finance and transaction attorneys. Our group advises data center companies on a wide range of transactions, including financings, joint ventures, commercial contracts and leases, sales of assets and other acquisitions and dispositions. For closely held private companies, we frequently act as outside general counsel. In this role, we proactively support our clients with their contracts, transactions, forms, employment, insurance and environmental issues, and intellectual property matters.
We ensure that our clients are fully advised on emerging topics and trends. Farella lawyers strive to be true business partners and advisors to our data center clients with a focus on helping them succeed and reach their goals.
Environmental Permitting, Real Estate, and Project Development
Whether your organization is buying an existing building, constructing a hyperscale center in a remote location, or developing an edge data center close to a highly populated area, our real estate, construction, environmental, and land use attorneys possess the legal, regulatory, and business savvy needed for success.
Our experience working with companies that build data centers from the ground up gives us invaluable insights. We understand the essential role that access to fiber and energy, zoning, and environmental issues have in site selection, design, and construction. Our project experience includes representing traditional construction and modular construction technology companies in designing and developing data center facilities. We have also helped data center clients navigate California’s complex environmental permitting requirements, and we also advise clients in connection with operations compliance and address construction defect and operations-related claims and litigation. We regularly represent clients negotiating commercial leases.
We work with data center owners, the companies that make the technology that goes inside data centers, and companies who lease data center space and are dependent on this industry. We also help businesses that use data centers find facilities that meet their needs and enter into leases that fit their budgets.
Energy Supply and Contracting
Energy requirements for data centers are significant, and Farella’s Energy + Natural Resources Industry Group assists clients with developing stand-alone renewable energy and storage facilities and contracting with third-party entities to purchase electricity to meet data center needs. Through our work in the data center industry we have developed an acute understanding of the many sophisticated systems that are involved, including cooling systems, software that measures and manages building temperature and humidity, and power supply and backup supplies.
We have extensive experience developing utility-scale and commercial solar, wind and geothermal energy projects, from site selection through permitting and environmental review and construction, operation and financing. Where a data center’s energy needs are better met through an independent third-party supply, we negotiate power purchase agreements with both traditional and alternative energy providers. For data center operators looking to offset their energy consumption and reduce the expense of cooling their facilities, we offer clients strategic counseling, business advice, and evaluation of potential supply options.
Intellectual Property and Litigation
Innovation and agility are essential ingredients for competitive organizations, regardless of industry. But, for the data center sector, the stakes have never been greater and more complex as the world moves only increasingly online. Ensuring our clients’ trade secrets and innovations are protected is crucial.
Our intellectual property counsel anticipates hurdles and provides critical support in matters involving trade secrets, trademarks, patents, unfair competition, NDAs, and non-compete and non-solicitation restrictions. We offer a deep bench of seasoned trial lawyers awarded for their success in conveying complex technical concepts to judges, juries, arbitrators, mediators, and other parties.
Whether your technology has been stolen or you’re facing meritless claims of wrongdoing, Farella’s intellectual property attorneys and litigators will aggressively protect your rights. We are trusted advisors who take a proactive and pragmatic approach to counseling and problem solving.