IT, Telecoms & Outsourcing Disputes

At Cooke, Young & Keidan, our lawyers have significant expertise in a broad range of disputes and claims across the IT and telecommunications sector, including both litigation and arbitration.

Our clients include software developers and licensees, outsourcing suppliers and customers, telecoms providers and mobile network operators, and managed service providers. Our experience includes acting on cases involving allegations of underperformance or variation of contractual scope, breach of licensing terms or the failure of a joint venture (JV), and our clients’ key objective is often to terminate their existing contracts.

The complex, bespoke nature of many agreements in this sector frequently means that they contain traps for the unwary. We are experts at analysing these contracts, advising our clients of their rights and guiding them through the disputes process. Because claims for wrongful termination of an IT contract can be significant, it is crucial to choose the right lawyers.

The firm’s low cost base means that we are able to pass savings on to clients and, accordingly, conduct cases in this sector more cost-effectively than most of our competitors.

Moreover, being a specialist disputes firm means that we rarely encounter conflicts of interests that are an issue for many of the larger firms and it enables us to act against major financial institutions and government departments, who are some of the largest consumers of IT services and software. We regularly act successfully against the largest London and international firms.

We are skilled and experienced in the procedure and practice of court proceedings, including emergency injunctive relief where appropriate. In appropriate cases, we work with our clients to develop strategies designed to achieve negotiated settlements before trial. We act for clients in arbitrations (including both ad hoc and under the rules of various arbitral bodies) and in various forms of alternative dispute resolution including mediations.

Examples of our recent work in this sector include:

  • Advising a mobile phone network operator in relation to the termination of its IT outsourcing contract so as to minimise the risk of liability for wrongful termination;
  • Successfully defending a global network service provider and data hosting company in a claim brought by two software developers for the alleged unlicensed use of their software, and subsequently representing it in a claim against the company’s former owners;
  • Representing a remotely managed network service provider in a claim against the manager of its JV partner for breach of the JV agreement;
  • Representing an American internet gaming company in its claim against its JV partner for breach of contract and misrepresentation in relation to the gaming platform;
  • Advising an international software developer and licensor on a £25,000,000 licensing dispute with two Fortune 500 customers. A settlement was negotiated without the need for court proceedings, which brought the licences within scope and preserved the relationship;
  • Advising a UK based software developer in a dispute with one of the UK’s largest insurance companies. The dispute related to several years of continuing breach of the software licensing terms by significant out-of-scope use. The matter was settled on very favourable terms without the need for court proceedings.
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