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Commercial Dispute Resolution

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Our solicitors give you clear litigation advice

If you have had any legal disputes in your business, you know how painful they can be. At best they are time consuming. At worst they cost you money, relationships and – maybe worst of all – your reputation.

Yet sadly, in today’s increasingly regulated world, commercial legal disputes are an unwanted fact of business life.

But we can help you no matter what type of dispute you are facing. This is because we are one of the largest and most experienced departments of solicitors and legal professionals in the Midlands. A department that has top rankings in commercial litigation and professional negligence litigation in The Legal 500 directory; the definitive guide to the best lawyers in the UK.

What’s more,Managing Partner of Commercial Services and Head of Litigation, Qamer Ghafoor, along with Senior Partner, Andrew Cochrane, are two of just a handful solicitors named on the Legal 500’s ‘Leading Individual’ list of solicitors in the East Midlands.

How our solicitors can help you

Our goal is to maximise your chances of bringing your dispute to a successful conclusion, whilst minimising your costs and risk. To do this, we view every dispute we work on as unique. Sometimes our approach is forceful, sometimes it is more measured.

Either way, our solicitors always make calculated decisions that are in your commercial interest. If you decide to work with us on your legal dispute, there is a high chance we will help you through alternative dispute resolution rather than taking this to court. Although we can take your dispute to court if needs be.

You might be pleased to know that the majority of disputes our solicitors advise on settle successfully out of court – a record that we are very proud of – and something that can save you an awful lot of time, hassle and money.

Simply click the below headings to see how we can help you

Commercial Contract Disputes

Commercial contract disputes can arise out of any commercial relationships, but as you probably already know, the majority are for: the supply of goods and/or service, contracts for the sale and purchase of shares, contracts for the sale and purchase of land and contracts relating to banking/lending arrangements.

We handle disputes in the High Court, including the Commercial Court, the Mercantile Court, the Technology and Construction Court, the Queen’s Bench Division and the Chancery Division.

We also understand the importance of industry knowledge – after all, you are an expert in your industry so we need to be. We have dealt with disputes arising out of many industries and sectors, meaning that we are able to assist you with even your most complex disputes.

Shareholder and Partnership Disputes

Unfortunately, breakdowns in business relationships do happen. Directors fall out, shareholders become disenfranchised and partners disagree. When this happens, feelings run high and the disputes can affect your business.

It is therefore vital that company and partnership disputes are dealt with efficiently and sensibly. We have considerable expertise in company and partnership disputes, both acting for majority stakeholders and minorities.

Insurance Disputes

Your insurance protects you against unforeseen events that could damage your business or property. But what if the worst happens and then to compound it, your insurance company decides not to pay you? Resolving insurance disputes swiftly and favourably could be the difference between the success or failure of a contract, project or even your business as a whole.

Whilst many firms act for either insurers or insured parties, we are different – we regularly act for both. This gives us full experience of the objectives and considerations relevant to both sides of the argument. We have dealt with cases involving issues of non-disclosure, policy breaches, broker negligence, subrogation, intervening acts, exclusion clauses and many others.

Injunctions

For some disputes, a financial remedy alone is not sufficient. Where a party is repeatedly causing you problems, perhaps by breaching a contract or not complying with their obligations to you, injunction orders can be sought to force or prevent a particular action.

In some circumstances, such orders can be supplemented by a freezing order, which freezes the assets of an individual or company, or a search order, which permits the Claimant’s representatives to search the property of another party where wrongdoing is suspected. Some of these orders can even be sought prior to the other party even being made aware of any claims against them, for example where there is a risk that notification may result in them destroying evidence or dissipating assets.

The key to any successful use of these remedies is to understand the appropriate remedy and act swiftly. We have extensive experience of such orders and have used injunction applications in order to assist in securing substantial settlements where our clients were otherwise at risk of getting nothing.

We have successfully secured injunctions to prevent:

  • wrongful conduct; injunctions to require delivery of documents and records;
  • orders compelling performance with contracts;
  • orders for freezing assets worldwide and many others.

We have also acted as supervising solicitors on behalf of the court in order to regulate the enforcement of search orders.

Professional Negligence

Unfortunately, the professional advice and services that you receive may not always be adequate. This can cause you loss or expenditure, so you may wish to look to that professional for a remedy.

We have pursued professional negligence claims against a whole range of professional advisors, including solicitors, barristers, surveyors, valuers, accountants, architects, insurance brokers and others.

Our team includes members of the Professional Negligence Lawyers Association and we have helped many clients to put right the mistakes of other professionals and ensure that our clients have been compensated accordingly.

Alternative Dispute Resolution

We can help you with mediations, adjudications, arbitrations, expert determinations and more informal processes.

Adjudication, arbitration and expert determination involve an individual being appointed by the parties to make a ruling
on disputed matters.

Mediation, involves a third party mediator attempting to instigate a negotiated settlement between the parties, but a mediator does not have any powers to make any decisions on the dispute himself.
As part of any dispute, we will always look to advise you on the most appropriate dispute resolution mechanism available to you in the circumstances.

Property Litigation

We have developed a particular expertise in licensed trade property disputes, having acted for several household name breweries. We are fully familiar with those aspects of property disputes that are bespoke to licensed premises, such as licensing obligations, tie obligations, code of practice disputes, PICAS and PIRRS complaints, amongst others.

We have secured possession of hundreds of licensed premises for our brewery clients and defended them against claims arising out of alleged misrepresentations, disrepair, etc. Some of the specific areas that we cover within property litigation are:

  • Commercial Landlord and Tenant;
  • Development disputes;
  • Overage disputes;
  • Restrictive Covenants;
  • Easements;
  • Ownership disputes;
  • Rectification of title;
  • Adverse Possession;
  • Trespassers and Travellers;
  • Residential Landlord and Tenant; and
  • Nuisance claims
Insolvency

Insolvencies are unfortunately an inevitable part of business. Many will be lucky enough not to experience an insolvency, but for those that do, it can be an unpleasant experience for directors, shareholders, creditors and employees. However, getting the right advice could be the difference between rescue and closure.

From a director’s point of view, you will want to ensure the minimum possible exposure for creditors and employees and you will want to avoid being left with personal liability for any debts. From an insolvency practitioner’s point of view, you will want to maximise realisations and returns to creditors and ensure that there are assets to pay your professional fees.

We work with directors and with insolvency practitioners in dealing with all aspects of insolvency and in recent years we have acted for the administrators of world famous software games developer Eurocom Developments Limited and Nottingham’s prestigious Lace Market Hotel. We give clear, pragmatic and commercial advice, having regard at all times to your objectives.

Areas of insolvency that we have dealt with include:

  • Liquidations;
  • Administrations;
  • Voluntary Arrangements;
  • LPA Receivers;
  • Statutory Demands;
  • Winding up and Bankruptcy Petitions;
  • Advice on Security;
  • Pre-packs and asset sales; and
  • Antecedent Transaction claims.

Do you need help now?

If you do need help in any area of litigation, debt recovery or dispute resolution, contact Managing Partner of Commercial Services & Head of Litigation, Qamer Ghafoor, directly. You can call him on 01332 226 154.

Or, if it is easier, you can email him here.

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Derby Head Office:
St. Michael’s Court
St. Michael’s Lane
Derby
DE1 3HQ
Tel: 01332 340 211
Fax: 01332 207 601
DX: 729320 Derby 24

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Tel: 01335 342 208
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