- October 17, 2008
- Posted by: admin
- Categories: Blog, Business Dynamics
A reformatting error in an Excel spreadsheet has cropped up in the largest bankruptcy case in U.S. history, prompting a legal motion by Barclays Capital Inc. to amend its deal to buy some of the assets of Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc.
The firm — Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton LLP — said in the motion that one of its first-year law associates had unknowingly added the contracts when reformatting a spreadsheet in Excel.
At the time when the error occurred, Cleary Gottlieb was working under a tight deadline put in place by the bankruptcy court to submit the purchase offer from Barclays, according to the motion.
The mistake was discovered Oct. 1 and was first reported by Above the Law, a legal news Web site.
A hearing on the motion has been scheduled for Nov. 5. Spreadsheets have long been one of the most popular ways for corporate users to store and analyze data.
In recent years analytics tools have improved upon the typical spreadsheets. But over the past few years, they have played an increasing role in data breaches because workers are apt to store them unsecured on laptops. In addition, hackers have actively tried to exploit vulnerabilities in Excel.
In the above scenario who do you think is responsible, the software application or the user?