Herbies and Brick Court seal victory in long-awaited BSkyB judgment

BSkyB will seek damages of more than £200m from Electronic Data Systems (EDS) after Mr Justice Ramsey handed down a 460-page judgment ruling that EDS had made misrepresentations to win a contract to supply and install software to run BSkyB’s new contact centre.

EDS, which has since been acquired by technology giant HP, was represented by  DLA Piper partner Matthew Saunders, who instructed One Essex Court’s Mark Barnes QC.

In a statement released today the company said it would appeal the decision.

The case concluded in July 2008 after a 10-month hearing with legal costs of more than £70m amassed on both sides. Last year The Lawyer reported that Ramsey J had come in for criticism for the length of time he was taking to hand down his judgment (26 October 2009).

Today’s ruling will have major legal ramifications because it means that despite both parties agreeing a liability limit when the disputed contract was signed, EDS will now  effectively be landed with unlimited liabilities.

In a statement HP said: “This is a legacy issue, dating back to the EDS business in 2000, which HP inherited when it acquired EDS in 2008.  We’re pleased the court dismissed the majority of the allegations made.  

“While we accept that the contract was problematic, HP strongly maintains EDS did nothing to deceive BSkyB. HP will be seeking permission to appeal.”


British Sky Broadcasting: Herbert Smith partner Ted Greeno instructed Brick Court’s Mark Howard QC and Alex Charlton QC and Matthew Lavy of 4 Pump Court.

Electronic Data Systems: DLA Piper partner Matthew Saunders instructed One Essex Court’s Mark Barnes QC (now retired), who led Alan Gourgey QC and Stephen Tudway of 11 Stone Buildings and One Essex Court’s Zoe O’Sullivan.