The launch event, sponsored by Hausfeld & Co, 4 Pump Court, 3VB and Pinsent Masons, featured keynote speaker the honourable Mr Justice Fraser, Technology and Construction Court
The Society for Computers and Law (SCL) launched the new adjudication procedure for the resolution of technology disputes in England & Wales at a special event held in London. The scheme emerges from work done over the past two years and the SCL better contracts initiative. This is a three-month procedure for “technology” disputes; meaning any dispute arising from a contract for the provision of tech-related goods and services including software development contracts, outsourcing arrangements, systems integration contracts, IT consultancy contracts, software licensing agreements, blockchain/smart contracts and cloud computing contracts. There is no restriction on the size or scope of tech disputes that may be referred. A pre-selected panel of adjudicators is set up and maintained by SCL, from which an adjudicator may be chosen for individual adjudications. Applications to join the adjudication panel is also open.
The English courts have witnessed a significant rise in technology disputes, with a 13 percent increase in claims in the Technology and Construction Court (TCC) between October 2017 and September 2018. The announcement of the SCL Procedure has been welcomed in many quarters of the technology sector, as the need for a process facilitating the rapid resolution of tech disputes has become more pressing. This was underpinned in statements made by sponsors, with 4 Pump Court stating, “The new procedure provides what we believe to be a much-needed mechanism to resolve tech disputes, particularly on ongoing projects, in a timely and cost-effective manner.” Pinsent Masons stated, “Adjudication is used very successfully in the construction industry and this initiative now offers technology suppliers and customers a similar ability to deal with disputes in a speedy manner, so that the overall programme can be salvaged.