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? Pledge 2000 proposes code of conduct to help alleviate litigation before Year 2000 (Y2K)


London, 29th July 1998 Action 2000, the UK government’s Millennium bug initiative, today launched Pledge 2000. Tarlo Lyons, the leading City IT law firm, has been instrumental in its development.

John Mawhood, a partner at Tarlo Lyons and member of the expert panel of the Action 2000 Advice and Best Practice Group, is the architect of Pledge 2000™. Mawhood says: As part of our work we identified the need to aim for a goal of zero litigation before the year 2000. Organisations need to focus their efforts on solving Y2K problems before attempting to resolve disputes. The chilling effect of one Y2K dispute could jeopardise a whole supply chain even a whole economy.

Pledge 2000
Pledge 2000 is a public scheme which will help companies to work co-operatively with business partners to tackle the network and IT problems surrounding Y2K. By signing the Pledge companies agree to provide information about their Y2K compliance and readiness.

Companies signing up for the scheme commit to the Pledge’s code of conduct and agree to pursue legal action against business partners only as a last resort. Signing the Pledge indicates an intention to address and resolve all Y2K problems; update any Y2K information as soon as it changes and keep confidential all Y2K information disclosed by a third party.

Gwynneth Flower, managing director, Action 2000, says: We are taking proactive steps to open debate and move forward with suitable schemes to remove the fear of legal action. Building confidence in supply chains is essential to resolve the problem that the millennium bug poses. By reducing the threat of litigation, Pledge 2000 should help organisations resolve their bug problems.

Why sign the Pledge?
Signing the Pledge means that third parties can easily obtain verification of a company’s overall commitment to Y2K compliance. To reassure their customers and suppliers, organisations need to show that their business will continue after the year 2000 and that they are addressing any problems arising from the date change. By signing the Pledge, organisations are confirming this.

Signing the Pledge does not oblige an organisation to give up legal rights, nor does it prohibit them from taking legal action over a Y2K claim. It does mean that companies will take legal action only as a final resort, and should not threaten legal action if there is no intention of pursuing it.

Companies wanting to find out more or requiring an enrolment form should write to Action 2000, PO Box 25143, London SW1H O2U or visit the action 2000 web site at www.bug2000.co.uk


Notes to editors:
Tarlo Lyons has been actively involved in advising global companies on Year 2000 issues for business since 1996.
Tarlo Lyons published the first major legal guidelines on Year 2000 on its web site over 18 months ago. This information has since been quoted by the European Commission.
Tarlo Lyons partner, John Mawhood, participates on Action 2000’s Advice and Best Practice expert panel as a legal specialist. As a speaker he has been voted best speaker at industry conferences on Year 2000 held by Xephon.
Tarlo Lyons special associate, Andrew Rigby, published in 1997 a detailed briefing on Legal Liability and Year 2000 Issues and led the firm to become the first law firm to be accepted as affiliates of the Computing Services and Software Association (CSSA).

About Tarlo Lyons:
Tarlo Lyons is a London law firm with over 70 years’ experience of advising commercial clients. Its IT & Telecommunications Group has been actively involved with the IT sector for over a decade. Tarlo Lyons is one of only a handful of City law firms with Investors in People accreditation and is the first law firm to gain membership of the Computing Software and Services Association. The IT & Telecommunications Group has 12 dedicated lawyers advising companies in the IT, telecommunications and digital technology sectors and large financial institutions. The firm is also well known for its expertise in the entertainment and leisure industries. Tarlo Lyons offers an imaginative, commercial approach and a partner-led personal service to clients both in the UK and internationally.

Company contact: PR contact:
John Mawhood Nicola Price
Tarlo Lyons Write Image
Watchmaker Court 271 Regent Street
33 St John’s Lane London
London W1R 8BP
EC1M 4DB
Tel: +44 171 405 2000 Tel: +44 171 493 5400
Fax: +44 171 814 9423 Fax: +44 171 493 5499
Email: jnm@tarlo-lyons.com Email: nicky@write-image.co.uk

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