Technology Dispute Resolution
Expert lawyers in technology disputes
We’re a specialist team handling complex technology disputes. We deploy our ARC system to formulate dispute solutions to meet our clients’ objectives. We handled one of the largest and most complex technology project disputes to enter the UK High Court in recent years, namely the litigation regarding the Fujitsu/Post Office Horizon Point of Sale System.
Our team members are experts in Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) including mediation and settlement strategies. We are also experts in litigation funding and risk transfer solutions, with strong links to the UK’s leading litigation funders and insurers.
We apply our unique ARC system to devise winning strategies for clients’ wide-ranging disputes. The ARC system involves a systematic approach to assessing strategic options, risk/benefit outcome scenarios and action plans. This system has been successfully deployed in many cases, including the historic Post Office litigation in which this team secured success in one of the most complex group actions ever launched in the UK courts.
Technology dispute types & topics
Our team can support on a wide range of matters including:
- Disputes arising out of artificial intelligence
- Blockchain & digital currency disputes
- Cloud computing and services disputes
- Cryptocurrency disputes
- eCommerce disputes
- FinTech & digital currency disputes
- Hardware manufacture & supply disputes
- Internet of Things (IoT) and IoT devices
- Point of Sale (PoS) system disputes
- IT project implementation disputes
- Software development & supply disputes
- Data disputes
Case study: Post Office miscarriage of justice
Freeths, the legal team who took on the Post Office to successfully fight one of the biggest miscarriages of justice in British history
The Case: one of UK’s most complex and high-profile technology disputes
James Hartley, Dispute Resolution Partner, and the man who launched one of the most significant group actions ever pursued in the UK, against the powerful organisation of the government-owned Post Office Limited – and won.
Over a 14-year period, Post Office Limited criminally prosecuted more than 700 postmasters for theft and false accounting, based merely on information from a flawed computer system called Horizon. As a result, victims were criminally convicted, pursued for debts and made financially destitute; many were also cut off from communities and their whole families were destroyed.
The Freeths’ legal team, led by James, successfully fought and won the legal battle on behalf of the 555 claimant postmasters. Post Office Limited eventually settled the case, issued a formal apology, paid £57.75m in compensation and agreed to implement a compensation scheme for 1,000’s of other affected postmasters. The case also led to a public inquiry and the quashing of hundreds of wrongful criminal convictions.
The Government also agreed in 2022 to implement an additional compensation scheme to ensure that the 555 claimants are properly compensated for having to fight the legal case and incur litigation funding costs which unfairly depleted their recoveries.
“As a team, we worked seamlessly all the way through which was key to our success. We are used to handling large complex cases. But in this case there was a big weight on our shoulders because we knew, for these postmaster claimants, it was unthinkable to lose the case. Loosing it would have been devastating for these people because there would be nowhere else for them to go and there would be nothing more they could have done, so it was a big responsibility.”
James Hartley | Partner & National Head of Dispute Resolution
“Their dedication and expertise was extraordinary and they deserve due recognition for the vital and central role they played in unmasking the injustice of the Post Office scandal and securing the judgments and settlement which have underpinned everything that has happened since.”
“This was David v Goliath litigation, on a large scale; from the outside, the difficulties which the claimants faced now seem masked by the scale of injustice that success in the litigation has revealed. But Freeths deserve credit for taking it on, securing funding and managing this extraordinary litigation to a successful conclusion.”
Patrick Green QC | Henderson Chambers
“James Hartley and Freeths deserve huge credit for taking on this case. What is now recognised as the biggest miscarriage of justice in British history was, at the beginning, a complex and disparate set of stories from individual subpostmasters, about events spanning decades, and in the face of outright denials from the Post Office. Other firms had tried and failed to do what Freeths ultimately achieved. It could not have been achieved without the unfailing commitment of James Hartley to the cause of the subpostmasters, and his unshakeable confidence in the merits.”
“Imogen Randall was exceptional throughout: she was indefatigable in her efforts to find justice for the subpostmasters and expose the truth behind Post Office’s lies. She carried a great weight of responsibility across all aspects of the fact and expert evidence at both common issues trials.”
Kathleen Donnelly | Barrister | Henderson Chambers
“In the face of ferocious denial of the claim by Post Office and its lawyers, and even when it looked like it could go either way on technical legal issues, the team kept going. If they hadn’t, we’d never have known the scale of the injustice, the sub-postmasters’ criminal convictions would still be in place, and there would be no compensation schemes.”
Karl Flinders | Chief reporter | Computer Weekly
More about our dispute solution approach
- We apply our ARC system to deliver dispute solutions and to achieve our clients’ objectives
- Early case evaluation: an immediate view on prospects, costs and strategy
- Insight at an early stage: deploying dispute strategy, to benefit from our commercially relevant advice on options, enabling you to make fully informed investment decisions on your case
- We achieve winning outcomes: working with you to map out the “win” scenarios for your business, and agreeing with you an action plan to achieve your objectives
- We focus on efficiency, closure and cost-effective solutions rather than allowing process to accumulate unnecessary cost. We achieve this by deploying sophisticated project management techniques
- As your trusted legal advisors, we will be with you every step of the way, managing your dispute and reporting to you in a way that works for your business
- Our clients consistently return to us for support on their most complex and “high stakes” disputes
National press coverage
- The Lawyer | How Freeths righted the biggest miscarriage of justice in British history (PDF)
- BBC News | Workers secure fresh victory over Post Office
- The Sunday Times | Post Office was still gagging victims this year
- The Independent | Hundreds of Post Office workers ‘vindicated’ by High Court ruling
- The Telegraph | Subpostmasters ‘vindicated’ as High Court finds IT system had ‘bugs & defects’
- Computer Weekly | More wrongful convictions quashed in Post Office IT scandal
- Litigation Team of the Year at The Lawyer Awards 2020
- Litigation Team of the Year at The British Legal Awards 2020
Technology Dispute Resolution Lawyers
0345 077 9581
0186 578 1004
0114 263 9438
0345 077 9582
0345 030 5801
Government announces Freeths appointed to work on new compensation scheme for over 500 Post Office victimsNews 30th Jun 2022
“For me, the case really brought to light just how resilient individuals can be. I've also never seen such dedication in all my years in the profession - the Freeths team have been incredible.”
(Imogen Randall – Director)
“I’m so proud of what we achieved for the Claimants as a team. We were a totally united front throughout the whole thing.”
(Chloe Oram – Senior Associate)
‘Doing the right thing’ is at the heart of Freeths. Find out more about our excellent client service and the strong set of values that guide the way we work.
Talk to us
Freeths are a leading national law firm with 13 offices across the UK. If you have a query about our services or just want to find out more, why not give us a call?
Contact: 03301 001 014