States of Guernsey Advisory and Finance Committee Working Group on Information Technology in Society

17 November 1999

The Working Group is pleased to confirm that the Advisory and Finance Committee has appointed Bird & Bird to provide legal advice for the drafting of e-commerce legislation.

The Working Group on IT in Society was formed in March this year under the chairmanship of Deputy John Langlois. The aim was to recommend actions to ensure that both the public and private sectors played their part in equipping the Island to be at the forefront of the Information Age.

Working Group members include representatives from the Board of Industry, Education Council, Telecommunications Board and States of Alderney, together with the Training Agency, the Guernsey International Business Association, Guernsey Manufacturers and Exporters Association and the Chamber of Commerce.

The provision of an appropriate legislative framework for e-commerce is seen by the Working Group as an essential element in enabling existing business to exploit e-commerce and in attracting new "e-business" operations to Guernsey.

Bird & Bird comprises 52 partners and over 170 lawyers and operates out of offices in London, Brussels, Paris and Hong Kong. It has a strong industry based focus in the Internet, e-commerce, communications, information technology, intellectual property, and life science sectors.

The project will be led by Graham Smith, who as a partner in the Firm since 1985, is widely recognised as a leading adviser on the legal issues surrounding the commercial use of the Internet.

Bird & Bird will be assisted in this work by the Information Technology Law Unit of Queen Mary & Westfield College, University of London.

Dr. Ian Walden, a senior research fellow at Queen Mary and Westfield College and consultant to Bird & Bird, will lead the international research elements of the project.

The scope of the work will include:

  • Legal requirements for the use of electronic records;
  • Formation and validity of contracts concluded electronically;
  • Electronic signatures;
  • Encryption;
  • Liability of intermediaries.

Bird & Bird will also be giving general advice on the e-commerce implications of forthcoming legislation on consumer protection and data protection that is currently being drafted.

The Firm intends to produce an early version of their report that will be circulated on a consultative basis via the Working Group members, prior to its consideration by the Advisory and Finance Committee, to enable detailed drafting of legislation to commence early in the New Year.

For more details on the working group, please contact Graham Smith on +44 (0) 20 7415 6000.