Litigation & Dispute Resolution

Litigation & Dispute Resolution

Our litigation and dispute resolution department has experience acting in all manner of disputes for individuals or businesses, be they claimants or defendants. We have expertise in negotiating settlements and can advise on alternative dispute resolution methods including arbitration and mediation. We are also experienced in pursuing and defending disputes through the courts, where the avoidance of litigation is not possible.

Our solicitors will always provide clear and up to date information on the anticipated timescales and costs and carefully manage both aspects. Areas of dispute resolution we advise on include:

Contractual disputes normally arise when one party does not comply with the terms of a contract or does not perform their side of its obligations under a contract, which may give rise to a claim for breach of contract. Contractual disputes can soon escalate and it is important to seek expert legal advice at an early stage of a dispute to prevent costly litigation at a later stage, whether pursuing a claim or being the subject of one.

Managing a contractual dispute can also pose some interesting challenges, as often the dispute is with a customer or supplier, and you may wish to try and maintain the relationship after the disagreement is resolved.  

We aim to resolve contractual disputes as quickly and cost-effectively as possible, carefully steering disagreements to a conclusion utilising a number of methods including negotiation, mediation or court decision.

An injunction is an order by a court usually demanding that one party stop doing something that is damaging to another party, or sometimes requiring them to do something. Emergency applications such as a freezing injunction may be appropriate to protect and preserve assets that might be at risk of being revealed or shared. It might also be appropriate to make an emergency application to secure the provision of financial information.

Whether you are seeking or defending an injunction application, the key is to work swiftly, and our litigation solicitors have extensive experience of representing both claimants and defendants in this process.

Our insolvency department offers a full range of insolvency advice concerning both companies and individuals. Even licensed insolvency practitioners rely on the department’s expertise.

Our experienced insolvency solicitors work with businesses of all sizes across a wide range of sectors providing clarity and advice on insolvency procedures. Whether your business is facing creditor pressure, administration or looking to restructure, we have the expertise to advise on the solution which best fits your circumstances. 

If you are an individual, we have considerable expertise in advising individuals on bankruptcy and the implications for the debtor. If you are facing insolvency, we help with negotiations with creditors to help agree repayment plans on an informal basis or via an individual voluntary arrangement.

See the dedicated section of our website focused on insolvency and bankruptcy here.

Company directors accused of breaching their obligations or failing in their responsibilities may face disqualification for up to 15 years, meaning they cannot start, market or run a company or be a director of any company with UK interests. Breaching the disqualification terms could also result in a fine or imprisonment.

If you need help regarding director disqualification, please contact our specialist commercial litigation solicitors who are experienced in this complex area of law and can provide advice and assistance on the disqualification process.

Company disputes can take many forms and can be between directors, shareholders, or partners. Our litigation team are adept at understanding the competing interests of directors, shareholders, or partners and are experienced in helping resolve conflicts and mitigating commercial damage.  We can explain the options and advise on methods of resolution that help protect both personal and corporate interests.

Unfortunately, not all businesses have detailed articles or shareholders’ agreements setting out a clear process where there is a dispute.  Based on our experience, our solicitors know the best methods of resolving shareholder disputes whilst allowing the company to continue as a going concern, including company buyback of shares and cancellation, a variation of rights or deferred consideration.

Professional negligence occurs when a professional fails to perform their responsibilities to the required standard.  A professional is anyone who is considered to have particular expertise and skills in the services they provide and can be brought against a wide range of people in specialist occupations such as surveyors, builders, engineers, accountants, technology professionals, solicitors and barristers. 

To be successful with a claim for professional negligence it has to be proved that standards fell below that could be normally expected of a competent professional, breached the duty of care and that a loss occurred that was caused as a direct result of the negligent actions of the professional. An error or bad service does not necessarily constitute negligence. If court proceedings are to be issued, they must be brought within certain time limits. 

If you are considering bringing a negligence claim against a professional, or are a professional seeking to defend a claim against you, our specialist solicitors can advise on the potential validity of the claim and process that needs to be followed.

Landlord and tenant disputes can occur over a number of different issues including rent reviews, lease renewals, lease extensions, service charges, possession claims, dilapidations and rent arrears. As a landlord, you may feel that your property and your livelihood is at risk. As a tenant, you might feel that your home or business is under threat or is not up to standard.

Whether you’re a landlord or tenant, our experienced property dispute solicitors can provide sensible and pragmatic advice, assist with negotiation or mediation, and support you through a claim or defence in the High Court, County Court or a Leasehold Valuation Tribunal. We will always provide clear and up to date information of the anticipated timescales and costs and carefully manage both aspects.

It is important to seek legal advice about building disputes as soon as possible as they can be very complex and are often determined by the various contractual terms agreed between the parties. Claims can include poor workmanship, overcharging and failure to complete a project on time. 

Whether you are a building contractor or a property owner, our solicitors can take quick action to assess the issues, establish if any negligence might have occurred in a building project, and find the best form of legal remedy. If a settlement is then required, we can then advise what form it might take such as the cost of remedial works, refunds and trading losses. While we will always aim to resolve disputes through the negotiation of a settlement, we can also advise should the case go to court.

Many boundary disputes are caused by one neighbour’s intrusion onto another property – ether unknowingly, or deliberately to gain a right over a piece of land – and are often triggered by the replacement of a wall, fence or hedge. Boundary disputes are an extremely complex area of law as boundaries differ and vary over time. Resolving disputes over boundaries usually requires evidence on how boundaries are identified and recorded historically, if rights of way have been established, and report preparation if the case needs to go to Court. 

If a boundary dispute occurs with a neighbouring property owner, we can advise you to try and get the matter resolved quickly, cost-effectively and successfully before it escalates.

Planning disputes can occur between developers, land and property owners, local authorities and third-party objectors. The current planning environment is incredibly complex, and it is essential to gain expert guidance on the current legislation, material considerations and planning policies, in order to bring or defend a case.

Our solicitors take a proactive and pragmatic approach to planning disputes, aiming to resolve disputes through negotiation, mediation, arbitration or court litigation depending on the circumstances of each particular case.

It is an emotional time when someone dies and it is even more stressful should a dispute arise about a Will, whether you are the executor of the estate or a potential claimant. Common disputes include where there is reason to suspect the Will is not legally valid, where the Will does not make any provision for someone who needs to be supported or just where a Will has been badly drafted and there is confusion about its interpretation. 

Our solicitors can work with you to provide a solution if you find yourself either having to contest a Will or defend a challenge to a Will. In most cases a settlement meeting or formal mediation can produce an acceptable agreement but if there is no alternative to a court application, we will protect your position robustly.

Arbitration is a procedure under which the parties agree between themselves to submit a dispute to one or more qualified specialist arbitrators to make a binding decision on the dispute.  When the parties choose to arbitrate, they are opting for a private dispute resolution procedure instead of going to court.

Another way to resolve a dispute is mediation when an independent person helps both sides come to an agreement. The mediator does not take sides or decide what should happen but helps the opposing parties talk to each other, so that they can agree on a solution.

Both arbitration and mediation can present a valuable alternative to court for dispute resolution.  Our mediation and arbitration solicitors work across the full spectrum of disputes and can help you determine if either may suit your needs.