Fujitsu refused to face the truth about ICL contracts, says lawyer

Fujitsu did not want to face the truth about the disastrous investment it had made when it bought ICL, claimed a solicitor who...

Fujitsu did not want to face the truth about the disastrous investment it had made when it bought ICL, claimed a solicitor who worked in the company's legal department for 10 years.

Warren Spencer, a senior executive at ICL until June 2001, also claimed that the company routinely entered into contracts it could not possibly fulfil.

The accusations were made in a High Court claim against ICL (renamed Fujitsu last year). Spencer, a UK solicitor and member of the New York and US Supreme Court Bars, is suing for breach of contract after his dismissal. Fujitsu denies his claims.

When a disaster loomed over the £1bn Pathway contract with the DSS and the Post Office, Fujitsu sent emissaries from Tokyo to investigate. Spencer claimed he came to accept the view of John Bennett, then Pathway's managing director at ICL, that Fujitsu "did not wish to face the truth about the disastrous investment" it made when it bought ICL in 1990. Fujitsu was "careful to limit enquiries accordingly", he claimed.

Regular sales of assets and cash calls to Fujitsu were necessary to keep the London-based company legally solvent, Spencer claimed.

Fujitsu provides multimode mainframes which help to run tax self-assessment systems. It also has a £232m contract to provide and run office systems in magistrates courts, and has been listed for a possible share of £2.3bn-worth of NHS business.

Fujitsu said, "ICL senior management reviewed the proposal for the Post Office contract in the light of all relevant considerations. The matter was discussed with Fujitsu who supported all the proposals." A Fujitsu court document said Spencer's complaints are part of the events leading to his dismissal. The case is scheduled to be heard in October.

Fujitsu won £800m Post Office contract after misrepresenting itself, says lawyer >>

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