Technology disputes—United Kingdom—Q&A guide

The following Dispute Resolution practice note provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Technology disputes—United Kingdom—Q&A guide
  • 1. What are the most common issues that arise in connection to technology contracts? What actions should be considered when these issues arise? (For example, what steps should parties take to protect their rights while negotiating with the other side? Can they agree to suspend time running? How can they preserve any claims that may have arisen?)
  • 2. How can a contract be terminated in your jurisdiction? What considerations should be taken into account when deciding whether and how to terminate a technology contract?
  • 3. Is it possible to have conversations aimed at settling a dispute which cannot subsequently be used as evidence in legal proceedings if the dispute is not resolved? If so, what formalities are required (if any)? If not, how should confidentiality be preserved through mutual agreement?
  • 4. If a settlement is reached, what formalities are required in your jurisdiction for the settlement to be enforceable?
  • 5. What causes of action commonly arise in connection to a contract for hardware or software design, implementation and licensing? What elements must be established to succeed in these claims? (Can any non-contractual claims be brought, such as liability for pre-contractual statements?)
  • 6. Has your jurisdiction enacted any legislation providing additional protection for business purchasers of hardware, software or associated licences? (For example, are any rights, duties or other terms implied by statute, including a duty of good faith?) What practicalities should be considered when bringing statutory claims?
  • 7. What defences are available against the most common claims raised in technology disputes? What elements must be established for these defences to succeed?
  • 8. What limitation periods apply for bringing claims in your jurisdiction? (Please indicate whether different periods apply for different types of claim.)
  • 9. What pre-action steps are required or advised before bringing legal action? (For example, is pre-action mediation mandatory in your jurisdiction?)
  • More...

Technology disputes—United Kingdom—Q&A guide

This Practice Note contains a jurisdiction-specific Q&A guide to technology disputes in United Kingdom published as part of the Lexology Getting the Deal Through series by Law Business Research (published: August 2021).

Authors: White & Case LLP—Jenna Rennie; Hannah Nicholson

1. What are the most common issues that arise in connection to technology contracts? What actions should be considered when these issues arise? (For example, what steps should parties take to protect their rights while negotiating with the other side? Can they agree to suspend time running? How can they preserve any claims that may have arisen?)

Common issues that arise include disputes as to whether technology projects have been or will be delivered on time or to specification, disputes over the scope of licences granted for use of software and disputes concerning the use and/or ownership of intellectual property. 

When a potential dispute arises parties should give careful consideration to contractual mechanisms for resolving disputes and make sure that these are followed, or any deviation is agreed in writing. Parties who want to try to negotiate a resolution should consider whether a 'standstill' period can be agreed during which neither party will enforce rights while negotiations take place, ensuring no admission of fault and expressly reserving rights. There is no clear rule as to the ambit or duration of the operation of a reservation

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