Alternative Dispute Resolution
The Courts of England and Wales place an obligation on parties to try and settle matters by way of alternative dispute resolution (“ADR”). Indeed, a party who fails to engage in ADR can be faced with adverse costs consequences should the court decide they have unreasonably refused to engage in the same. Our commercial dispute resolution team has considerable experience in conducting ADR across the board.
- Arbitration: Arbitration is an invaluable alternative to conventional court proceedings, particularly where matters of a confidential nature are concerned. This avenue allows the parties to submit issues in dispute to an arbitral tribunal who will make a binding award on the dispute at hand. Unlike court proceedings, arbitration is a private procedure and no aspect of it will be in the public domain (there are exceptions). Our commercial dispute resolution solicitors have handled a range of high value arbitrations pursuant to the rules of several arbitral institutions. These include, but are not limited to, the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC), the London Court of International Arbitration (LCIA), and various other well-known institutions. Our recent work has included multijurisdictional arbitrations in the British Virgin Islands, Switzerland, London, and Luxembourg.
- Mediation: Mediation is a neutral meeting between the parties and a mediator, with the aim of reaching terms of settlement. This forum is also confidential in nature. Our solicitors can assist you in the appointment of a mediator and facilitating this voluntary process.
- Negotiation: In some circumstances parties in dispute can settle their differences by way of negotiating terms of settlement. This can be done on a without prejudice basis, meaning that the court will not be given any details of what has been discussed or disclosed. This allows the parties to discuss freely the pressing aspects of their dispute, without fear of adversely impacting their position. If successful, appropriate terms of settlement can be drawn up to put an end to the dispute between parties. We have a strong track record of settling matters prior to and during proceedings. Our solicitors can quickly assess the merits of a case and advise you on the most pragmatic way forward.
Company, Partnership and Shareholders Disputes
Business fallouts can be frustrating and have a severely detrimental impact on focus and revenue. Matters need to be dealt with efficiently to allow the business to resume ordinary operations as quickly as possible. We have extensive experience in acting for shareholders, members and directors in the full range of disputes that can arise in the course of business. Our solicitors are experts in advising on strategy and will guide you through what is often a challenging process. We are particularly experienced in the following areas:
- Fraudulent transactions
- Unfair prejudice petitions
- Breaches of directorâ€™s duties
- Minority shareholder claims
- Matters concerning contentious exits and buyouts
- Orders for disclosure to include Norwich Pharmacal Orders
The recovery of debts is a frustrating process that can cause significant financial difficulties and be an inefficient use of time for businesses. If you are owed money pursuant to an agreement, our team of commercial dispute resolution solicitors can assist you in its recovery. Our expertise includes:
- Letters before action, giving the debtor a set amount of time to make payment
- Issuing of county court or high court proceedings
- Enforcement of judgements
- Petitions for bankruptcy and winding up proceedings.
We are adept at handling high value cases and cases both domestic and international.
Circumstances can necessitate injunctive procedures. This is a court order which requires an individual or company to do, or refrain from doing, certain acts. Commonly, an injunction will be sought to preserve or prevent the loss of an asset or damage to a business reputation. We understand that injunctions are typically sought on an urgent basis, and our commercial dispute resolution team have a proven track-record of acting swiftly to secure the following:
- Freezing orders
- Restraining sale of land or property
- Restraint of winding up petitions
- Search orders
- Specific performance
In the commercial world, it is often necessary to call upon the expertise or services of a professional, be it legal, financial, or technical. Regretfully, circumstances may arise in which a professional or organisation falls below the standard expected of them, often costing your business in time and money. If your business experiences professional negligence, our commercial litigation solicitors can advise you of your options and act to achieve your desired outcome. We have successfully brought and defended claims in respect of:
- Surveyors, architects, and engineers
- Legal advisors
- Financial advisors
If you find yourself in these circumstances, our commercial dispute resolution team can advise you on the best course of action to achieve your desired outcomes.
Recognised for their expertise in The Legal 500, our Property Litigation lawyers are skilled problem solvers and negotiators. They think laterally and commercially to provide pragmatic and effective solutions to clients experiencing contentious real estate issues and in need of advisory services. Their services include:
- Breach of covenant issues
- Sale of land disputes
- Forfeiture advice and claims
- Assignments, underlettings and other forms of alienation â€“ contentious or advisory
- All aspects of commercial lease renewals under the Landlord and Tenant Act 1954
- Possession actions, including removal of former tenants and licencees or urgent removal of squatters.
- Adverse possession matters
- Restrictive covenant and easement disputes.
- Break options, rent review and service charge disputes
Our team regularly appear in the High Court, County Court, the Land Registration and the Residential Property Divisions of the First Tier Tribunal, the Upper Tribunal and the Court of Appeal. They are also highly experienced in resolving disputes through mediation and other forms of alternative dispute resolution (“ADR”).
The Property Litigation team at Fletcher Day are noted in The Legal 500 for their particular expertise in retail and leisure industry work; though they are accustomed at handling all manner of property disputes and property development-related matters across the commercial property sector. Chris Hill and Greg Barnbrook jointly head the practice, which also acts for individuals.