In our snail-mail over the weekend we received an anonymous letter containing a printout of an email message apparently doing the rounds. The laws of libel mean we are unable to reproduce this message in full but here is the expurgated version…

“I have information from an insider at (insert name of legal software supplier) that the company have completely lost an entire customer's data. It would seem that (insert name of legal software supplier) had been sending out backup DVDs to customers that were blank but forgot one database and then zapped it.”

The message goes on to name the law firm to whom this is supposed to have happened, alleges that the supplier has no proper disaster recover capability and has been “misleading the Law Society”. It ends with the comment “I hope this may be of interest to you and you are able to verify with the customer. Solicitors aren't allowed to lie …are they?”

There was also a covering note containing the comment “Due to the unhinged nature of (insert name of MD of software supplier) and his (insert name of Easter European country to which the supplier is apparently outsourcing R&D work) associates, I am not prepared to put my name to this information.”

Obviously we are following up this story but it is our experience that (a) suppliers inevitably tell porkies when faced with allegations of this sort and – rather more importantly – (b) law firms that are victims of computer disasters rarely, if ever, go public with their complaints. (There are usually two main reasons for this (i) they don't want to jeopardise any settlement deal they are negotiating with the supplier and (ii) it doesn't look good in the credibility stakes to be known as a law firm that was stiffed by one of its own suppliers.)

• We are not sure about the relevance of the reference to the Law Society as the supplier in question is not listed in the Society's Software Solutions Guide.