Co-op set to sue Lord Chancellor

The Co-operative Group is pressing on with plans to sue the Department for Constitutional Affairs (DCA) despite its failure to convince its opponent in the litigation, Fujitsu Services, to launch a joint attack.

The Co-op’s management is furious that it has wasted millions of pounds on the litigation, which is now heading for a retrial. It approached Fujitsu’s legal team – Baker & McKenzie and 11 South Square’s Henry Carr QC – with a view to launching an unprecedented combined legal attack on the DCA.

The case, which revolves around a disputed IT contract, has caused controversy since original trial judge Judge Seymour slammed DLA, the Co-op’s original advisers, and its counsel in his first instance judgment.

Ashurst and One Essex Court’s Christopher Carr QC, the Co-op’s representatives, think they have a case against the DCA under the Human Rights Act, which states that every citizen has the right to a fair trial. The Co-op believes it was denied a fair trial by Judge Seymour’s bungling, and is therefore entitled to damages from the state.

The Co-op is trying to establish how much money was wasted by the original trial before deciding whether to issue a claim.