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Technology Dispute Resolution

We’re a specialist team handling complex technology disputes. We handled one of the largest and most complex technology project disputes to enter the UK High Court, namely the litigation regarding the Fujitsu/Post Office Horizon Point of Sale System.

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
James Hartley's Profile

James Hartley

Partner & National Head of Dispute Resolution

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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.

"A first-class and extremely competent firm that came to the aid of a major victims' group when all else had failed to expose the truth and when justice had eluded the group for many years. Having failed to find legal support for so long, Freeths took the victims on board and helped to deliver outstanding success with judgments that have changed so many lives." 

Alan Bates

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

“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

Testimonials

  • PGQ

    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...

    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 his...

    Client testimonial

  • Their dedication and expertise was extraordinary and they deserve due recognition for the vital and central role they played in unmasking the injus...

    Client testimonial

  • KD|B|HC

    Imogen Randall was exceptional throughout: she was indefatigable in her efforts to find justice for the subpostmasters and expose the truth behind...

    Kathleen Donnelly | Barrister | Henderson Chambers, Barrister

    Henderson Chambers

  • KF

    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...

    Karl Flinders, Chief reporter

    Computer Weekly

Related news & articles

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    In safe hands? - Protecting your business's confidential information webinar

  • News

    Mr. Bates v. The Post Office

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