William Hill jettisons Wragges for Bristows

William Hill has dumped Wragge & Co in favour of Bristows for the bookmaker’s ongoing internet patent fight.
William Hill lost its case against software company Menashe Business Mercantile in the High Court and Court of Appeal.
“It’s no reflection on Wragges. We felt upset that we lost and we had to kick somebody,” said William Hill in-house lawyer Andrea McQueen.
William Hill is an important client for Wragges, which also advises the bookmaker on corporate issues and property work. McQueen said she expected the relationship to continue.
The Menashe case is the first UK case to examine the multijurisdictional nature of the internet on patent law.
William Hill runs an internet casino from a server based in the West Indies using software developed by Canadian software developer CryptoLogic.
The William Hill defence was based on the fact that patent law does not catch it, as the server is in the Caribbean.
Not so, said Mr Justice Jacob. “The wheeze of putting the host computer abroad is of no help to them,” he emphasized in his judgement.
William Hill has vowed to continue the fight, instructing Bristows senior partner David Brown.
A hearing is set for November.