The Co-operative Group and Fujitsu Services are bracing themselves for another day in court after an attempt to settle their £11m IT dispute through an independent mediator failed.
The organisations, which are at loggerheads over the collapse of an electronic point of sale project, failed to reach an agreement and now face the prospect of a retrial in February next year, Computer Weekly has learned.
The companies, which have already spent more than £3m in legal fees, face further legal bills expected to run into hundreds of thousands of pounds if the case goes back to the appeal court.
The retrial will be heard by Justice Jackson, the head of the Technology and Construction Court. It follows an appeal court ruling which criticised judge Richard Seymour's handling of the original five-week case last year.
Seymour accused the Co-op's then chief executive Graham Melmouth, its IT director Keith Brydon and senior members of Co-op's IT staff of lying to support the retailer's claims.
The Co-op is claiming damages against Fujitsu Services for allegedly breaching a contract to supply the supermarket chain with its Globalstore Epos system to an acceptable level of quality by the agreed deadlines.
It emerged during the trial that the two sides had begun the project before agreeing a contract for the work.
The Co-op approached lawyers for Fujitsu Services to suggest a joint claim for compensation under the Human Rights Act earlier this year, following the mistakes in the original trial.