Data Centers

Sutherland attorneys provide seamless advice on all aspects of mission-critical data centers to developers, owners, operators, lenders and tenants.

Business intelligence and access to critical information are essential to the success of today’s organizations. Sutherland lawyers understand all aspects of mission-critical data facilities, from development, leasing and tax issues and power purchase agreements, to financing of the facilities. Since 1998, we have advised developers, owners, operators, lenders and tenants on matters associated with all types of data centers, including enterprise, wholesale, colocation and managed services facilities. Through our comprehensive team approach, we advise clients in build-to-suit and sale/leaseback transactions for single user facilities, in leasing cages, cabinets and private suites within multiuser buildings and financing of the construction and acquisition of facilities.

Sutherland’s uncommon level of experience allows us to anticipate and manage the many challenges inherent in developing, owning and financing complex data centers, including site selection, due diligence, tax incentives, operations, leasing and service level agreements. We understand the full range of tenant concerns as well, especially the complexities of lease agreements. Because data centers are energy-intensive, we place an emphasis on electricity requirements, including cogeneration options and the integration of onsite renewables, along with the associated regulatory, tax and environmental considerations.

Our interdisciplinary approach spans the entire data center development process. During the site selection phase, we help enterprise data center users negotiate substantial state and local tax incentives and analyze due diligence. For projects that include a renewable energy component, we help clients obtain tax credits and incentives, negotiate power purchase agreements and navigate applicable government regulations. We also assist with negotiating design and construction contracts, build-to-suit leases and joint venture agreements.

Why Sutherland
Dedicated data center team. Only a handful of law firms offer a dedicated data center practice, and Sutherland was one of the first to develop a full-service team to provide counsel on the many legal facets of these mission-critical facilities. Our knowledge of the data center industry and our long experience in the field set us apart.

Industry knowledge. Since we launched our practice, we have seen the role of data centers change rapidly. Organizations now create more and more information through the exploding use of social networking, smartphones and cloud computing. Increasingly complicated financial systems, regulatory requirements and compliance demands all require more data, and more sophisticated data use. From healthcare to banking, information needs are multiplying and redundancy is critical.

Experienced counsel. As existing data servers age, organizations need to develop secure and accessible back-up systems. As servers get smaller and hotter, older facilities must be phased out to accommodate the power and cooling needs of the latest technology. And as the demand for data centers outstrips supply, clients need experienced counsel to ensure they get it right the first time, whether they are building a new facility from the ground up or renting space.

Nuts and Bolts
Sutherland provides comprehensive services to the data center development, operations and leasing, including:

  • Development
  • Leasing agreements and service lease agreements
  • Cogeneration and power development
  • Data security
  • Tax incentives
  • Regulatory and compliance
    • Statement on Standards for Attestation Engagements (SSAE) No. 16
    • Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA)
    • Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health (HITECH) Act
    • Payment card industry (PCI)
    • Gramm–Leach–Bliley Act
    • Sarbanes-Oxley Act

Take Action
Sutherland’s data center attorneys guide developers, owners and tenants through every aspect of developing, operating or managing mission-critical data center facilities. We can help develop and manage facilities and agreements that are strategic and advantageous.

Selected Experience
Sutherland represents developer of enterprise and wholesale data centers.
Sutherland represented T5 Data Centers in the development, leasing and sale of enterprise and wholesale data centers in California, Colorado, Georgia, North Carolina, Oregon and Texas.

Sutherland represents healthcare system in data center leases.
We represented an Atlanta-based health system in negotiating two data center leases (approximately 650 kW) and related service level agreements.

Sutherland represents data center owners in negotiating leases and service level agreements.
Sutherland represented data center owners in negotiating data center leases and related service level agreements ranging from 600 kW to more than 10 MW.

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§  “Diversity at Sutherland Asbill & Brennan LLP” to “Diversity at Eversheds Sutherland (US) LLP”

§  “Diversity” section:

o   The firm’s emphasis on diversity is reflected in numerous ways throughout the firm, such as the manner in which we recruit lawyers and other employees, our work-life policies and our professional service efforts. We have been recognized for our achievements in diversity.  More importantly, we understand the significant role a diverse community plays in the firm's growth and development.

§  “Our Awards and Recognitions” section:

o   Eversheds Sutherland (US) LLP continues to be recognized for its efforts to promote diversity in the workplace and in the legal profession. In 2016 we were named a “Best Place to Work for LGBT Equality,” having earned a perfect 100 score on the Human Rights Campaign’s Corporate Equality Index, and we also were ranked a Top 100 Firm for Minority Attorneys by Law360. In addition, the firm was awarded the Gold Standard Certification for the fifth consecutive year by the Women in Law Empowerment Forum.

§  “Our Commitment” section:

o   Eversheds Sutherland (US) LLP is committed to promoting diversity within the firm and in the legal profession.  We believe that diverse skills, knowledge and viewpoints make us a stronger, more productive law firm.  We hire and promote qualified lawyers and other professionals regardless of race, color, national origin, religion, disability, gender, gender identity or sexual orientation.  We understand that diversity enhances our value to clients by allowing us to staff our client teams with professionals who possess broad experiences and a spectrum of perspectives.

o   Eversheds Sutherland (US) LLP has a cross-office Diversity Committee with responsibility for supporting and enhancing our firm culture.  Our committee has helped coordinate and lead a number of efforts to advance diversity within our firm and the community. Affinity groups at the firm serve as support networks for attorneys of color; women lawyers; and gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender attorneys.

o   We are committed to working with our clients as they pursue the common goal of a professional workplace where opportunity is available to all.

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