Firm offers guide to IT contract pitfalls

Manchester firm Lopian Wagner has issued a seven-point set of guidelines to assist in reducing the number of disputes in involving office technology contracts.

Associate Joanne Grace warns that although in a report last year the Office of Fair trading called for office equipment leasing companies to clean up their contracts and the Finance and Leasing Association is also calling for more lucid terms and conditions, many agreements still contain unseen pitfalls for the unwary.

The firm is acting for around 600 companies involved in disputes over the leasing of office technology and claims to have dealt with “countless horror stories of businesses locked into unfair and costly office technology contracts”.

The firm's clients range from other solicitors, to estate agents, accountants and large plc companies. It recently represented brewery, Hall & Woodhouse, which won its case against a finance house which had leased it a photocopier.

Logian Wagner suggests that since limited companies and contracts exceeding £15,000 are not covered by the Consumer Credit Act, and as it is not easy to challenge contractual terms under the Unfair Contract Terms Act, it is worth obtaining expert legal advice before entering into any leasing agreement.

The firm also advises companies to be aware of forthcoming developments in technology and ensure that equipment is not out of date before the agreement ends.