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    INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY – CONTRACT COMPUTERS : DATA STORAGE : DATABASES : DATABASE SYSTEMS : QUOTATIONS : INDIVIDUAL STORE FILES

    The word “database” in a quotation to recover email data from computerised tapes referred to a MS Exchange Database and not to a backup file or Personal Store file. VOGON INTERNATIONAL LTD V SERIOUS FRAUD OFFICE (2004) CA (Lord Philips MR, May LJ, parker LJ) 4/2/2004 The claimant (V) appealed against the declaration of Seymour J that the word “database” in a quotation to recover email data from computerised tapes referred to a MS Exchange Database. The defendant (D) was carrying out investigations on a case and required email data recovered from computerised tapes. V was engaged as a contractor to carry out the data recovery on the basis of a quotation from V which included the phrase “Set-up and population MS Exchange Database £1,500 per database”. On completion of the works V invoiced D for £314,375 on the basis that the phrase “per database” referred either to individual Personal Store files (PST) which were a type of database in which the email data had been stored or to a backup file containing data. D contended that “per database” was to be construed as referring to each MS Exchange Database and that on that basis V was entitled to £22,500. On V’s claim for the full amount Seymour J decided the construction of “database” in favour of D and awarded V £22,500. HELD: The word “database” referred to a MS Exchange Database and not to an individual backup file or PST, as that construction was consonant with the description of the work carried out. In addition that construction produced a commercially sensible amount for the work carried out.

    Appeal dismissed.

    Lawtel: 09.02.2004