In 2016, Invesco tasked Ohpen to develop and implement a digital platform that could be used by retail clients to buy and sell investment funds offered by the investment manager.
The contract set out their partnership to last eight years and that the platform would have been rolled out by March 2017.
Invesco agreed to pay the provider an implementation fee of £75,000 a month and, once the platform would have gone live, it would have paid Ohpen service charges as well.
Bumps on the road
But the Dutch firm was not able to stick to the original timeline, and it delayed the opening of the platform.
As a result, Invesco issued a notice of termination to Ohpen in October 2018 on the grounds of “(incurable) material breach and/or repudiatory breach”.
In January 2019, the two companies attended a “without prejudice” meeting to try and solve the dispute, but they did not manage reach a settlement agreement.
Eventually, the platform provider filed a lawsuit in the UK claiming damages of £4.7m ($5.7m, €5.1m).
Invesco hit back with a counterclaim of £5.7m.
The matter was then passed onto the high court which, however, was not able to provide a judgement.
This is because there was a clause in the contract signed by both companies saying that they needed to go through a dispute resolution process before turning to a court.
Judge O’Farrell said that, due to the presence of that clause, the firms should try and settle the matter between themselves first.
“From 28 October 2019 to 9 December 2019 there shall be a stay of these proceedings to allow the parties to arrange and attend mediation,” the judge added.
“If the parties are unable to settle the dispute by 9 December 2019, they should notify the court of the position and apply for a date for a costs and case management conference.”
Ohpen serves many other UK-based firms including Aegon and Robeco, and has offices in the UK and Spain as well as the Netherlands.