Fujitsu to appeal to House of Lords over retrial in £11m Co-op IT dispute

IT services company Fujitsu Systems is seeking to appeal to the House of Lords in the latest twist in long running battle with...

IT services company Fujitsu Systems is seeking to appeal to the House of Lords, in the latest twist in long-running battle with the Co-operative Group over a failed point-of-sales contract.

Fujitsu is petitioning the Lords for the right to appeal against a decision last year to send the £11m case back to the High Court for a retrial.

The dispute between the two companies hit the headlines after a senior judge at the technology and construction court accused senior Co-op IT staff taking part in a conspiracy to undermine Fujitsu, known then as ICL, and lying in court to support their case.

The Co-op won the right to have its case heard again, after the Court of Appeal found that Judge Richard Seymour had consistently found that the Co-op witnesses had lied or had acted in bad faith, an approach which meant his "objective vision was distorted".

If the case goes to the Lords, Fujitsu is expected to claim that the criticisms of Judge Seymour made by the appeal court do not impact on the overall outcome of his judgment - that The Co-operative Group did not have a valid claim against Fujitsu.

The IT services company is also expected to argue that a retrial, possibly followed by another appeal, would extend the dispute for at least another year, and cost both sides hundreds of thousands of pounds in legal fees.

The Co-operative Group said this week that its position had not changed and that would continue to press for a retrial. It is likely to be several months before the Lords decides whether to accept an appeal from Fujitsu. If Fujitsu is successful, the case is unlikely to reach the Lords before the end of the year.

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