IT Law Beyond the Millennium

August 31, 1998

As IT law becomes a recognised part of every major practice’s armoury, andeven becomes a topic of serious concern to the majority of commercial practicesnationwide, the specialist must look to his laurels. Quite simply it isimpossible to be a specialist when your knowledge and skills are also owned andapplied by vast numbers of your fellow professionals. Staying ahead of the gamerequires that you are informed and familiar with cutting-edge technology andfully conversant with its legal implications.

On Friday 16 October SCL is providing an opportunity for the specialists tohone their skills in another of its highly successful Advanced IT LawConferences. It will take delegates beyond the immediate issues of the Euro andYear 2000 compliance. The conference looks in turn at major issues which willbecome critical for lawyers advising clients of the Millennium law practice,with special reference to the issues which will be commonplace as electroniccommerce becomes the norm. No-one will be able to profess serious specialistexpertise in the information and communications technology area unless they canadvise on these questions.

At £240 plus VAT for SCL members, the Conference maintains SCL’s reputationfor high value conferences. Registration is either by the form enclosed withthis issue or via the SCL Website (

The Conference is chaired by Richard Christou, Director of Commercial andLegal Affairs at ICL plc, who will be bring his specialist knowledge andinformed perspective to bear on the entire proceedings.

That cyberspace includes an area of multi-jurisdictional jungle is now widelyknown and accepted. In the first session, Surviving Multi-JurisdictionalRegulation, Hilary Pearson of Bird & Bird and Lars Davies, Research Fellowat the IT Law Unit of Queen Mary and Westfield College, will be giving theirview of the problems, and providing the machetes and rope-ladders which willhelp the delegates find a path through it. Dr Mads Bryde Anderson, Professor ofLaw at the University of Copenhagen, will follow with a presentation on theallocation of responsibility for online content – if the timing is right, thiswill include an examination of the proposed EU Directive on Internet liability.

A presentation on data protection from Christopher Millard of Clifford Chanceis timely in the light of the recent far-reaching developments, and the prospectof yet more. Christopher Millard is joint author of a recent book oninternational data protection law and is widely recognised as an unparalleledauthority in the field. His contribution will be in tandem with that of DavidSmith, Assistant Registrar at the Office of the Data Protection Registrar, andthe ensuing panel discussion will focus on the balance between individual rightsand the commercial processing of personal data.

The future of IT law is likely to be determined by the future of e-business;e-signatures and the sale of digital products online are two of the major topicswhich are central to that future. Richard Schlechter, Adviser to the GeneralDirector of DGXIII, will reveal the EU policy on e-signatures and the draftDirective. Chris Reed, Head of the IT Law Unit at Queen Mary and WestfieldCollege, and Michael Chissick, Head of IT at Field Fisher Waterhouse, will lookat online sales. Every aspect of contract formation online has its pitfalls(except those that are minefields), and the boundaries of contract law arechanging and will continue to change to take account of those problems.

The one certain feature of the Millennium law practice is that it will beconcerned with IT disputes. Harry Small of Baker & McKenzie and barristerRichard Meade will look at the modern developments in exclusion and limitationclauses and litigation and ADR. These are two of the most respected names in thefield and bring unrivalled expertise and insight which can be shared by thedelegates.