Mark O'Conor has over 20 years’ experience of helping public and private sector clients with all aspects of IT law, particularly cloud and digital transformation, public procurement and outsourcing.
Mark is the Global Co-Chair for the Technology Sector, co-chairs the firm’s AI Group, was previously UK Managing Partner and is the Vice President of the Society for Computers and Law.
Mark advises companies and governments on digital transformation, agile development, open source, AI and cloud computing legal challenges. He has been involved in drafting and negotiating cloud computing contracts on both the provider and customer side.
In 2021, Mark assisted the UK’s Ministry of Defence on the conclusion of a new five year GBP460 million contract with Boeing Defence UK, extending existing arrangements for a logistics system critical to UK Armed Forces operations worldwide.
As a member of DLA Piper’s International Tech&Sourcing group, Mark was heavily involved in the development of AI Scorebox, a practical tool aimed to help organisations measure and understand their AI maturity, that launched in December 2021.
Mark leads DLA Piper’s relationships with British Airways, Vodafone, LEGO and KPMG. Other clients he works with include National Grid, Close Brothers and the MOD.
Mark has led on the following deals:
- IT Outsourcing and Business Transformation Project for a tier 1 professional services client;
- Ministry of Defence’s Armed Forces Recruitment Service – Mark led the team for the procurement of recruitment services for the three services;
- Ministry of Defence’s project FLIS / BtG - Mark led the team finalizing the interim agreement with BDUK for logistics services;
- National Grid's ADAM framework establishment, Managed Workplace Services, Contingent Labour and Data Centre procurements;
- Tata Steel BPO – advising the client on the outsourcing of its pensions, finance, HR and procurement functions, which had previously been provided in-house, to TCS;
- International Airlines Group’s digital transformation programme (including ERP rationalisation and renegotiation of the enterprise arrangements with Oracle);
- The International Airlines Group Hybrid Cloud digital transformation project (including deals with vendors including Oracle, TCS, IBM, BT and Atos);
- National Grid's ADAM framework establishment;
- The MoJ Future IT Services procurement (acting for preferred bidder Lockheed Martin);
- The Pensions Regulators Employer Compliance Regime competitive dialogue;
- Mark has acted for Ofsted for ten years, originally engaged for Ofsted's competitive dialogue procurement for Early Years Inspection Services and latterly advising on cloud strategy, re-procurement strategy, web site redesign and other commercial matters including the creation of template contracts for the regulator;
- Mark acted for QCA and QCDA from 2006 to its closure. Originally engaged for the "Minerva Project" for the QCA to establish the new Diploma for vocational study, and latterly advising on a range of commercial and IP matters and on the commercial aspects of closure and transfer;
- Mark led a team of 100 lawyers in consortium with PwC and Landwell for the Cabinet Office's Admin Burdens Reduction Project: the first baselining of the administrative burden represented by UK legislation;
- Harvard Business School Leadership Programme
- Bristol IP Diploma Course
- University of Law LPC
University of Bournemouth Joint Honours, Law & Information Technology
Awards and recognition
Mark has been ranked as an "expert" since 2002 and recent Chambers and Legal 500 entries include "maintains excellent client relationships", "first class legal acumen", "excellent IT knowledge" and the Who's Who of international IT lawyers describes Mark as "outstanding".
- Previous Chair of Education Charity - Society for Computers and Law
- Previous Client Partner for Cancer Research UK
Publications and Media
- Introducing our European Technology Index 2020, 30 July 2020
- Author of the UK edition of Information Technology Transactions – Business, Management and Legal Strategies (Sweet & Maxwell), originally by Canadian lawyer Duncan Card
- Contributing editor for the Computer Law and Security Review
Mark is the author of:
- The BSI - DISC, 2001 Date Compliance Standard
- The UK edition of Information Technology Transactions - Business, Management and Legal Strategies, Sweet & Maxwell, originally by Canadian lawyer Duncan Card
- Negotiating Technology Contracts, Mark O’Conor, Kit Burden, Duncan Pithouse, 2019, Global Law and Business
- Public Sector Open Source Policy
Memberships And Affiliations
- Global Co-Chair, DLA Piper Technology Sector
- Chair of DLA Piper's London Client Group
- Chair of the Society for Computers and Law
My latest insights
Striking the Balance: Navigating AI Governance or Unlocking the Value of AI
21 September 2023 .5 minute read
AI governance posing biggest challenge to AI deployment, reveals research report
13 September 2023 .4 minute read