Founder’s story – Allan Watton, CEO

“I formed BPG to make complex supplier relationships work really well by removing the mystery around the contracting process.” (Allan Watton)

I formed BPG in January 2000 as a result of going through previous personal litigation a couple of years earlier. I had been let down by a major service partner/business associate. I approached 13 of the biggest law firms, but felt I was walking through treacle. I was continually told that my own case was ‘very complex’, the evidence ‘uncertain’, the contractual arrangements ‘not express enough’ and contained ‘many ambiguities’. 

Out of frustration, I read contract law and instructed a local law firm to deal with the procedural aspects of my case.

I fought and won my own case. It turned out the case wasn’t that complex and the evidence and contractual arrangements were in fact quite clear. The major legal firms/professionals I approached were great at the technicalities of contracts, but were less familiar with the technical and operational business aspects. It was these specifics that I helped the Court to understand.

I then realised there was a gap in the market to simplify the contractual, operational, technical and relationship management aspects of complex supplier services/projects, hence I formed BPG. 

Read more detail on Allan Watton's story (a cure for insomnia...)

I formed BPG in January 2000 as a result of going through previous personal litigation a couple of years earlier. I had been let down by a major service partner/business associate. Having assessed 13 major law firms to identify appropriate redress, including those in the ‘Magic Circle’, I was unable to find any legal professionals that could holistically advise on the legals, contract, operational and business impact issues in order to obtain redress.

“I knew I had been fundamentally wronged, and believed that my service partner should be held to account”

I was told by senior partners in each legal firm that the case was ‘very complex’, the evidence ‘uncertain’, that the contractual arrangements were ‘not express enough’ and contained ‘many ambiguities’. Although I had significant business, technical domain and court-appointed expert witness experience, at that time I was not familiar enough with the intricacies of contract law. However, my overwhelming instinct was that I had been fundamentally wronged by my partner/business associate and could not conceive that the partner should not be held to account.

Having not found suitable support in the major law firms, I decided to read contract law to understand how to apply the complexities of contract law to the business situation I was trying to pursue. I appointed a local legal firm to deal with the procedural aspects of my case and I personally focused on the key liability aspects of where I believed the partner/business associate was in breach of our agreement. I fought my own case and won significant damages and costs against the former service partner.

Although it took a lot of work, it turned out that the case actually wasn’t that complex. It also turned out that the evidence wasn’t as ‘uncertain’, the contractual arrangements ‘not express enough’ or containing ‘many ambiguities’ as I had been advised multiple times by the major law firms that I had approached much earlier in the process. Having won my case, I realised that whilst the legal professionals approached all had strong legal skills, they did not have the holistic deep domain expertise in the technical, financial, and business disciplines to understand where the core focus of the case and its evidence should have been. This meant they did not fully appreciate the impact on my business and how the case should be approached in the most effective manner.

“Clients consistently tell us we have the deepest contractual knowledge with overlapping relationship management experience, specific to complex strategic supplier relationships.”

Hence I formed BPG to provide these holistic skills to clients engaging in complex supplier relationships and contracts. Although clients consistently tell us that we have probably the deepest contractual knowledge and overlapping relationship management experience specific to these complex supplier relationships, we do not practice as a law firm.

We do, however, work extensively with your legal advisors to support them in being able to advise more ‘holistically’ on complex supplier relationships and contracts for their own clients. This helps both the clients and their legal advisors to structure contracts that help to drive ‘good behaviours’ between the client and their suppliers in complex service delivery relationships. In this way, both the client and supplier achieve sustainable and continuous business outcomes they both want, much earlier in the relationship than traditional forms of supplier market engagement, procurement and contract processes will often allow.

Operating across the UK, Europe and Australasia, we advise across a wide range of sectors and project areas. In effect, we provide strategic, tactical and overlapping contractual and service delivery advice where the provision of services is complex in nature.

What stage is your strategic supplier relationship currently at?

New Relationship

You’re procuring or contracting and you need it to work really well.

Existing Relationship

You’re in a partnership that could be working better.

Broken Relationship

It’s gone wrong. You need help to exit a relationship early and safely transition to another.