Kirstie Goulder

+44 (0)1733 887682 kgoulder@greenwoodsgrm.co.uk

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Innovative adjudication scheme for technology disputes on the horizon

Disputes / 30 July 2019

In keeping with the times, a new adjudication procedure for the resolution of contractual technology disputes in England & Wales is expected to launch in September.

Given the intrinsic complexity of the sector, technology disputes are unsurprisingly on the rise. Disagreements relating to software development contracts, outsourcing arrangements, systems integration contracts, IT consultancy contracts, software licensing agreements, blockchain/smart contracts and cloud computing contracts, to name a few, are likely to be of critical value to your business. Time is also likely to be of the essence, as any disruption to your business is likely to have a major impact.

If you are a technology business and find yourself in an unwanted dispute, the Society for Computer and Law’s (“SCL”) new procedure for technology disputes will hopefully afford a speedy resolution.

Key features

  1. Three-month procedure for resolving technology disputes with no restriction on the size or scope of dispute
  2. Choice of specialist adjudicator from a pre-selected panel of adjudicators (either lawyers or IT specialists)
  3. The adjudicator’s decision is provisionally binding, although the parties may reopen the dispute in subsequent litigation or arbitration (the same as statutory construction adjudication) but this must be done within 6 months of the decision
  4. It is an express obligation to act in good faith and co-operate throughout the procedure
  5. Mediation remains an option and may take place at any time the parties agree
  6. Application and registration fees will be modest

We expect applications for the adjudicator panel to be open in September, once all material relating to the scheme including eligibility criteria, application forms, rules, guidance notes and fees have been published by the SCL.

Our specialist Disputes team advises innovative technology business and the user of such technology on a regular basis and always seeks to resolve disputes as quickly as possible. Please get in touch if you need our help.

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