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A Quandary – Outsource or Inhouse?


The importance of university collaborations with industry in the field of research cannot be underestimated. The efficiency of the research contracting function is imperative if successful commercialisation of academic knowledge is to be achieved. But, considering the crucial part efficiency plays, is it too expensive to outsource contracting functions?


At Claric, we dealt with 198 separate matters for our university clients last year.

As we offer hourly rates significantly lower than typical commercial law firms and taking into consideration the hours spent, we calculated the average cost to the client is not too dissimilar to the upper range of in-house estimates.

Whilst we would not necessarily advocate outsourcing the full function of the Research Contracts Department, it could undoubtedly be a cost-effective option during peak workloads for instance.

The flexibility of our service means, if appropriate, we can make ourselves available on an ‘as needed’ basis. It is this adaptability that often appeals to university research contracts or legal teams enabling them to draw upon our services in times of sickness, unfilled vacancies or long-term leave for example.

Collectively the Claric team have multiple years’ experience including, but not limited to, reviewing, drafting and negotiating contracts in the Higher Education Sector.

Agreements can be coordinated from inception to conclusion whether this process takes weeks, months, or years.

We can assist within a wide range of specialist areas such as

·        Research

·        Funding

·        UK & International Data Transfer

·        Studentship

·        Collaboration

·        Knowledge Exchange

·        Consultancy

·        Joint Ventures

Upon receiving the initial details of the contract requiring negotiation, we can consult with the relevant university academics, contact other parties involved on their behalf and ensure that the entire process is finalised smoothly with minimal need for extra involvement from university staff.

In addition to the handling of individual contracts, we can produce a set of bespoke contract templates to cater for a particular university’s unique requirements and preferences. Or, if they already use a set of templates, we can review and update as required.

Claric are also skilled in providing support from a more strategic perspective having been involved in the setting up and structuring of Contracts/Legal Departments in universities previously. We can look at the level and number of staff needed, the process, service levels, training, recruitment, essential requirements and such like.


To learn more about the services we provide, visit or contact Richard Jenkins on 024 7698 0613 or




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