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Legal help desk to field questions from channel partners

CompTIA has unveiled an online legal services help desk in conjunction with InfoTech Law Advocates, a move that builds upon the organizations' earlier legal services program.

Building on the success of the CompTIA Legal Services Program launched in January 2015 and delivered by InfoTech Law Advocates, or ITLA, CompTIA today announced the online ITLA Legal Help Desk at the CompTIA Annual Member Meeting, which is being held March 22 to 24 in Chicago.

The new offering is designed to help channel partners nationwide with day-to-day legal services at a monthly fixed fee. Examples of day-to-day legal inquiries may include questions about contracts, security -- i.e., data breach legal liability -- or questions about regulated industries and legislation, such as the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act or the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act. This legal help desk service is in contrast to the initial CompTIA Legal Services Program, which will continue to offer more comprehensive legal services, such as full contract negotiations, mergers and acquisitions, and intellectual property filing protection, for example.

"The new online ITLA legal services help desk takes the key day-to-day legal services that particularly small solution providers need, and [packages] it up into a monthly subscription package for them," said Dan Liutikas, managing attorney of Chicago-based ITLA, and chief legal counsel for CompTIA. He also noted that the online platform offers easy, as well as mobile, access compared with having to schedule an appointment with an attorney.

Three plans are available: Basic for $49 per month; Pro for $99 per month; and Premier -- for CompTIA Premier members -- for $49 per month. According to Liutikas, the plans include being able to ask questions of an attorney on an unlimited basis, as long as it relates to day-to-day matters of the subscribing channel partner, as well as submit up to three contracts per month for review -- and there's also an online tool to create new contracts for customers or business partners. The plans use electronic signature routing and cloud legal document storage.

The new service lowers the financial barrier to accessing legal services for solution providers when the need arises.
Dan Liutikasmanaging attorney of ITLA and chief legal counsel for CompTIA

"The new service lowers the financial barrier to accessing legal services for solution providers when the need arises," Liutikas said. Response times for inquiries are during regular business weekday hours, with a service-level agreement of 24 hours or faster.

To provide an idea of the cost of legal services, Liutikas said, on average, the cost per hour for an attorney knowledgeable on IT matters runs about $300 per hour.

On top of the baseline of legal services available to all subscribers, the Pro and Premier plans also include discounts for additional ITLA services, such as annual risk assessment services, annual report services and annual entity compliance services.

CompTIA expects all partner types to show interest in the new legal services.

Last week, Verizon announced that it was making the new CompTIA Legal Services Program available to select members of the Verizon Partner Program, or through master agents for select subagent solution providers.

Next Steps

Find out how to structure business partner agreements

Read about what CompTIA is doing for partners struggling with regulations

Learn about data breach notification obligations

Dig Deeper on Running an MSP business

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Do you see a legal help desk as a service you would frequently rely on, or a nice-to-have feature that you would use occasionally?
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