Disputes & litigation
At the heart of a relationship between businesses is what they have agreed to do, when and for how much – the rights and obligations they have agreed in a contractual relationship. Businesses enter into contracts all the time and in many different ways – it is part and parcel of being in business and inevitable that sometimes disputes will arise. When things go wrong, businesses need advice on the legal position as well as pragmatic, sensible, commercial guidance on how to resolve a dispute – quickly, cost effectively and, where appropriate, whilst preserving the business relationship.
Partnership & shareholder disputes
When people go into business together, they often assume they will always get on and will not have any significant disagreements. Regrettably, disputes between co-owners are common and often acrimonious.
We have deep experience of all manner of disputes, regardless of the structure of the business. We have advised minority shareholders in disputes those holding the majority of the shares in a company. We routinely advise partners in traditional partnership businesses and represent members in dispute with limited liability partnerships. Our advice is not just about the law that applies. We are proactive in helping resolve a dispute quickly and without unnecessary acrimony and expense. This is important both to the individuals involved and the well-being and reputation of the business itself.
Breach of warranty claims
We act for parties in a dispute following a sale or purchase of a business. We advise across the full spectrum of disputes, but typical issues relate to a claim of a failure to pay an agreed sum or that the business (or some part of the business) is materially in a different position than warranted by the seller.
We help sort out claims of breach of warranty and/or misrepresentation or for indemnity, for example. We pride ourselves in combining determination and expert mediation skills, with excellent legal advice and guidance on how a dispute can be resolved as quickly as possible.
Construction and building disputes
We have specific experience in acting for building contractors and individuals in disputes about construction works.
We advise across the full spectrum of building disputes – for example, disagreements about the contractual position of the parties; cost of works; the completion of works; and defective works. We have strong relationships with other professionals in the sector – from building and quantity surveyors to architects and structural engineers – which helps us be timely and pragmatic in our approach.
We always recommend seeking early advice before a complete breakdown in the relationship, because it increases the chance of the project being completed and reduces the fallout from a dispute.
In most case we help achieve a resolution without the need for litigation, adjudication or arbitration. But sometimes – for example, where all avenues have been exhausted – it becomes necessary to start legal proceedings. In these cases, our excellent relationships with specialist construction experts and barristers helps give you to the best possible chance of securing a successful outcome.
Intellectual property disputes
The intellectual property that a business creates is often fundamentally important to the success of the business.
These days, all businesses provide services or sell products using brand names and logos, so it is vital to ensure their reputation, that may have been built over time, is protected. We advise on the prudent steps to take to protect their intellectual property. We also advise and represent businesses on preventing misuse of intellectual property, such as trademarks by third parties, so others simply cannot use your logos and brand names to profit from your good name and reputation.
In other cases – for example where your products are literary creative works, or rely on inventions – we can help with the appropriate way to protect and safeguard them so you can fully exploit your intellectual property, and they are not misused by others.
The areas where we can help include the following rights:
- Trademark infringement
- Copyright infringement
- Patent infringement
- Design rights