Look before leap year

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Look before leap year as Bug may bite Source: Birmingham Post

A Birmingham lawyer reckons the Millennium Bug could still bite, creating friction between computer equipment suppliers and customers. But Mr Jonathan Fortnam, an IT litigation partner with Pinsent Curtis, says if problems arise, a new Y2K protocol is being put in place to settle disputes quickly.

"As companies put strain on their databases to pay salaries at the end of each month, or close their accounts in April, problems could arise. The year 2000 is also a leap year and February 29 is another potential date for systems to malfunction," hesaid.

"We expect disputes to arise between sellers and buyers of businesses with computer systems that have been the subject of warranties that are found to be untrue."

Mr Fortman hopes the new protocol will ensure quicker and less expensive settlements than in the past.

"It expects parties to appoint an assessor to help them identify the key issues of the dispute and where expert assistance might help," he said.

"The appointment is not compulsory, but if a refusal to do so results in a more involved or lengthy dispute than would have been the case, the parties may suffer by having to bear more of their own costs, even if they are ultimately successful when thedispute is resolved.

"An independent assessor can take some of the heat out of a dispute which will help achieve a prompt settlement."


-- Martin Thompson (mthom1927@aol.com), February 05, 2000

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