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Eversheds wins £260m ICT outsourcing dispute

Eversheds wins £260m ICT outsourcing dispute
  • United Kingdom
  • Global


    Law firm Eversheds has defended provider of essential public services in its dispute with BT Cornwall.

    Eversheds has successfully defended Peninsula Community Health CIC (PCH) in its dispute with BT Cornwall (BT). The dispute relates to the termination of a c.£260m, 10 year outsourcing agreement regarding information and communication technology (ICT) shared services.

    In August 2015, BT sought an injunction in the Commercial Court to prevent termination which resulted in the parties agreeing to continue with the contract pending trial. The Court ordered an expedited trial to determine whether PCH and two other public sector parties, Cornwall Council and Cornwall NHS Trust, had the right to terminate for BT's alleged material breaches of the agreement.

    The Court proceedings have received significant local and national media attention given the size of the contract and the social and political implications. The contract underpins a wide range of essential public services provided throughout Cornwall.

    Following a seven day trial in December, judgment was handed down just before Christmas. PCH and the other public sector partners were successful and BT has been ordered to pay PCH’s legal costs, including a significant interim payment on account. The result allows PCH and the other public sector partners to exit the agreement.

    Justin Day in-house Legal Director and Company Secretary of PCH said:

    “This is a significant case for those involved in outsourcing and the procurement of public services as it demonstrates how important it is to monitor delivery and hold the provider to account if they do not honour their contractual obligations.

    “As an in-house lawyer you need to be able to rely on your external lawyers to react quickly and decisively. Eversheds were able to do this and assimilate themselves into PCH so that we were acting as a single team to achieve the desired result.”

    James Hyde of Eversheds said:

    “This was a very hard-fought piece of litigation conducted over a compressed period. I am delighted that we have obtained the best result possible for PCH.”

    James Hyde, Ed Williams and Ash Woodcock of Eversheds and Mark Chennells of Atkin Chambers acted for PCH.

    This information is for guidance purposes only and should not be regarded as a substitute for taking legal advice. Please refer to the full terms and conditions on our website.

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