IT and Technology Disputes

“Their strengths are diversity of expertise and knowledge, accessibility, and they're decent people to work with.”

Chambers and Partners 2019
We understand that disputes can be time consuming and can divert key resources away from running and growing your business.  Where those disputes involve the performance of IT systems, telecoms or other key technology, the adverse effects on your business or the business of your customer can potentially be devastating.  Getting specialist advice at an early stage of a dispute can help you to resolve it before it snowballs out of control.  This is where we can help you.

Whether you are a supplier, sub-contractor or customer, our experienced and highly specialised team can utilise a wide range of dispute resolution tools to help you to resolve the dispute quickly and amicably (which can be very important when you have to maintain an ongoing relationship with the other parties to the dispute). We can also help you through the process if a dispute escalates to High Court litigation, expert determination, adjudication or arbitration.

Main areas of practice

We provide a wide range of dispute resolution services to clients in all industry sectors, including technology companies from start-ups to household names and international corporations and customers of all descriptions.  Our key areas of service include IT / technology disputes relating to:

  • The implementation and management of long term IT / technology projects
  • Cloud computing and big data
  • Termination of contracts (including exit obligations)
  • Breach of service level agreements
  • Issues of scope or redefining of scope
  • Outsourcing projects and managed services
  • Hardware supply and implementation
  • Software development, implementation and licensing
  • Licensing and other intellectual property issues
  • Misrepresentation
  • Website content and domain names
  • The protection of confidential information and trade secrets following the acquisition of companies and/or employees leaving their employment
  • Procurement (or re-procurement) issues
  • Data protection / security
  • Injunctive relief
  • Insolvency issues

Clients

Clients come to us and stay with us because we not only understand the technology sector, but also the wide range of industry markets in which our clients operate.  We have a complimentary in-depth understanding of both private and public sectors and their structures and drivers, which helps us to identify opportunities and potential blockers.

Our clients in this area include:

  • IBM United Kingdom
  • Philips Electronics
  • Solera Group (including HPI and Audatex)
  • Welsh Government

Significant experience

  • Acting for IBM United Kingdom Ltd in successfully defending a claim by the London Borough of Southwark concerning the supply and implementation of an MDM system, which Southwark alleged was not of satisfactory quality and unfit for purpose [Southwark London Borough Council v IBM UK Ltd [2011] EWHC 549 (TCC) QBD].
  • Advising one of the leading global technology companies in relation to high value contractual disputes with two sub-contractors, who were providing different elements of a bespoke solution and service to be used to detect and analyse patterns of fraud.  Amongst other things, these disputes involved arguments about what was in and out of scope of the specification and whether specialist software was fit for purpose.
  • Advising a government department on a number of disputes with the supplier of a specialist network operated for the benefit of public sector organisations and which provided various broadband, internet and other services to those organisations over that network.  Those disputes related to the running costs of the network and the engineering costs associated with the installation of new services for organisations and were resolved amicably following mediation.
  • Advising a technology supplier on a multiplicity of issues arising under two major projects for the provision of integrated solutions and services for secure and resilient mission critical communications to the fire and ambulance services in the UK.  This included:
    • Advising on the supplier’s obligations under the head contract and rights under a sub-contract where a key sub-contractor supplied defective equipment.
    • Negotiating a substantial change to the project to respond to a change in the technology required by the customer.
    • Dealing with a significant difference of opinion between the customer and a key sub-contractor in relation to the extent of contractual obligations to test the resilience of the solution with existing systems.
    • Collating evidence and formulating a formal response to a liquidated damages claim made by the customer following delays in delivery of the solution and assisting the supplier in negotiations with the customer to amicably resolve that liquidated damages claim and other ancillary issues.
  • Acting for an international provider of data services on numerous disputes and contractual issues.
  • Advising a NHS organisation on a dispute arising from the procurement of a clinical information and management system to be used in hospitals. There were problems with integrating the system across the hospitals involved, which caused quite significant delay in implementing the system.  We advised our client on the financial remedies available under the contract in relation to delay and the potential termination of the contract.
  • Dealing with the administration of an online poker/gambling business run by two companies, one of which was Alderney based. After establishing that the company's centre of main interest was in London, we obtained an administration order from the Court in London and then sold the software used by the company and associated databases.
  • Acting for various former shareholders of a microchip technology firm that specialised in microchip design technology mainly for use in mobile phones. The dispute centred on the nature of the technology created by our clients (who had designed and patented an innovative microchip design) and whether the sales of microchips by the US purchasers of the business (which included that technology) had properly triggered an "earnout" provision in the business sale contract.  The dispute settled at mediation.
  • Advising a NHS Trust on its rights and obligations arising from the repudiatory breach of a software development contract.
  • Representing a software provider in injunctive proceedings issued against her in respect of an internet marketing product.

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