Firms eye up millennium bug litigation

Almost one in three of the UK's biggest companies are prepared to sue IT suppliers if they suffer problems because of the millennium bug.

A survey reveals a “significant” number of the top 1,000 firms are behind schedule in ironing out the potentially crippling bug and are preparing to litigate if systems fail.

Dibb Lupton Alsop, alongside the campaign group Taskforce 2000, carried out the survey, released tomorrow.

Julian Stait, who heads up a 40-strong Dibbs team on millennium bug issues, says: “A significant number of top 1,000 companies are lagging behind where they should be.

“Forty per cent are ignoring a real risk of having regulatory bodies such as the Health and Safety Executive pursuing legal actions against them for failing to address the problems of the millennium bug”. He says problems could occur if, for example, an elevator or a fire alarm was not passed as Year 2000 compliant.