Richard Christou to give SCL 30th Anniversary Lecture

November 1, 2003

SCL members include a number of people who embody the twin areas of interest of the Society. These specially gifted few have a great and thorough knowledge of the workings of computers and the technology industry and may well plan or supervise their own firm’s IT. They also have an expert knowledge of computer law. But it is doubtful whether any more fully embody knowledge of both IT applications and IT law than Richard Christou, who is to give the SCL’s 30th Anniversary Lecture on 26 January at the Royal Society. Becoming Chief Executive of a leading technology company from a position as, effectively, company secretary and legal adviser must be most unusual, if not unprecedented. But not only is Richard Christou the Chief Executive of Fujitsu Services he is also an acknowledged IT law expert, with four books to his name. His experience and perspective guarantee a lively and thought-provoking contribution on 26 January.

Fujitsu Services is one of the leading IT services companies in Europe, the Middle East and Africa. It has an annual turnover of £1.86 billion (€2.8 billion), employs 13,100 people and operates in over 30 countries. It designs, builds and operates IT systems and services for customers in the financial services, telecom, retail, utilities and government markets. Richard Christou was appointed Chief Executive in December 2000. Fujitsu Services are heavily involved in court technology, with responsibility for the infrastructure and networks elements of Libra, the magistrates’ courts case management system. Richard was recently at the launch of the £35m Causeway Programme, in which Fujitsu services is the technology partner in a contract to run for ten years: Causeway is a joint undertaking by the criminal justice organisations in Northern Ireland to improve the efficiency of information sharing between agencies.

Richard has written numerous articles and lectures on Commercial Law, EC Competition Law, and Intellectual Property, and has written three books: “International Agency, Distribution and Licensing Agreements” (Longmans 1986, 1990 and 1996); “Boilerplate – Practical Clauses” (Longmans FT Law & Tax 1990 and 1995); “Drafting Commercial Agreement” (Longmans 1993); and edited Managing Foreign Counsel (Longman FT Law and Tax 1995).

After a starry academic career, and articles at Stephenson Harwood, Richard became General Legal Adviser, and latterly Director and General Manager of Lanitis Bros Ltd, Cyprus, from 1970 to 1974. In 1975 Richard joined ITT as a Legal Adviser and stayed on to become Legal Adviser and Company Secretary to ITT’s UK telecommunications operation, STC Telecommunications Ltd. He left in 1985 to become Company Secretary and Legal Director of Solaglas (UK) Limited, but was invited to return to STC PLC in 1987 as Director, Commercial and Legal Affairs. Following the acquisition by Fujitsu of 80% of ICL in 1990, Richard relinquished his STC responsibilities and moved over to ICL. In August 2000 Richard was asked to take the position of Acting Chief Executive of ICL and he was confirmed in that position during December 2000. ICL re-branded to Fujitsu Services in April 2002.