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Expert Insights

24 March 2021

CIS General Insurance Limited v IBM United Kingdom Limited - An analysis

Slow and chaotic rather than agile – some lessons from a digital transformation disaster

An important new judgment has recently been released by the Technology and Construction Court in the case of CIS General Insurance Limited v IBM United Kingdom Limited. The case deals with the failure of a high value digital transformation project and the purported termination of, and associated repudiatory breach of, the project contract.

The judgment was handed down remotely on 19 February 2021 under Covid-19 protocols. The complexity (and cost) of the case is evident, not least as there were 32 days of hearing. It is not known whether IBM will appeal the decision. The case is important, as large scale IT cases are relatively rare. There are also relatively few decided cases on development projects or digital transformation projects that have gone wrong.

There is a useful case in Scotland, Agilisys Limited V CGI IT UK Limited that also deserves careful review. Both cases are interesting in that project failures involved the alleged failing of subcontractors as well as the principal systems integrators delivering the full transformation project.

To download our full analysis of the case, and its implications, click here.


For more information on the case, our analysis, or to discuss digital transformation projects in greater detail please contact Mark Bailey or Chris Ingram.

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