Commercial Litigation & Dispute Resolution
Commercial litigation and dispute resolution involves disagreements that arise in the course of running a business. Any kind of dispute can negatively affect your business, its operations and reputation, employee morale, and of course, your bottom line.
Business disputes can be complicated, involve more than two parties and can even be international. It is important to understand the options for resolving disputes as quickly and effectively as possible. It also pays to know the risks and how to avoid disputes with competitors, customers and suppliers before they arise or escalate by having in place the right documentation and/or legal advice.
Below are the main methods for resolving commercial disputes and their pros and cons.
Arbitration may be voluntary, or mandatory if stipulated in a contract governing the dispute. An arbitrator is a neutral person or group of people with specialist knowledge in the subject area and are agreed upon by the parties to the dispute. An advantage of arbitration is that if the dispute is highly technical the arbitrator will be a specialist in the particular field or industry, which means they will not require as long to understand the issues and may be able to bring insights that would be lacking in other dispute hearings.
The arbitrator listens to the parties’ arguments and then makes a decision. A significant advantage to arbitration is that unlike court proceedings, the information disclosed through the arbitration process remains confidential. This is obviously important for certain commercial secrets or sensitive information. Typically, it results in a faster resolution of the dispute than litigation, and importantly the outcome is binding.
Mediation is increasingly used for business disputes. It takes a less formal approach to resolving disputes and is a quicker, cheaper alternative to going to court. It is based on open and honest communication and seeks to find the best solution to the problem for both parties. It is without prejudice, and nothing is legally binding until the parties have agreed and signed a settlement agreement. Success rates are high, and the settlement is usually amicable as the parties feel that the outcome has been agreed to by them, rather than imposed on them.
Where the parties have an interest in settling the dispute, sometimes a simple letter or telephone call from a third party can influence the situation. Sometimes a face to face meeting is a more persuasive option. We are skilled negotiators with a track record for working with clients to find workable tailored solutions.
Protracted litigation can be an expensive option and we always help you explore other methods to resolve your dispute before resorting to court proceedings. That said, sometimes litigation is the only effective and realistic method of ensuring a lasting and legally enforceable solution. In such cases, we can provide advice on a broad range of areas of commercial litigation matters, such as:
- Commercial Contract Disputes
- Business Debt Recovery
- Company Disputes
- Partnership Disputes
- Directors Disqualification Proceedings
It is important to remember that you may be liable for your costs and possibly the other party’s if you are not successful in court proceedings. Knowing what is achievable through litigation, when to negotiate and when to settle can save you money and time. Litigation can be complex, and it takes time to gather the relevant evidence. We can advise on all aspects of the litigation process.
Commercial disputes can arise in every type of business, but vital to the success of your business is how a dispute is handled. We provide clear, pragmatic advice and support to help resolve your commercial dispute and have expertise dealing with cases in both the County Court and High Court. We manage all aspects of the dispute, from initial advice and risk analysis to a detailed and thorough investigation and preparation of claims or defences.