We provide legal, commercial and strategic advice on a wide range of business disputes.
Our focus is on providing cost effective, results-driven solutions that minimise the risks and realistically assess the potential rewards. We advise on cases involving court litigation, arbitration or without proceedings being issued. Our clients include multinational businesses, large organisations, small and medium sized enterprises, and individuals.
Much of our disputes work has an international element, and we handle international arbitrations in London and overseas, English proceedings for foreign clients, and co-ordinate foreign proceedings for UK clients. We are frequently referred work by (and refer work to) foreign law firms, particularly from North America and Europe.
Our team enjoys a high profile, independent position in the market, and rarely faces the kinds of conflict issues which would prevent us from acting against large institutions. We pride ourselves on being partner-led, ensuring that our clients benefit from a strong and continued presence of the lead partner on every assignment.
Acted for Revetas Holdings Limited (and connected parties) in an action against JRJ Ventures LLP (and others). The case related to a dispute over the enforceability of a clause within the Heads of Terms between the parties and whether there had been a breach by JRJ in respect of other clauses within the Heads of Terms. The case settled on confidential commercial terms.
The Software Incubator Ltd v Computer Associates UK Limited. Acted for the Claimant seeking statutory compensation and other payments pursuant to the Commercial Agent (Council Directive) Regulations 1993 (the “Regulations”) and damages for breach of contract.
Arcadia Petroleum Limited and others v Bosworth and others. Acted on a $335 million oil trading claim brought against our client in the Commercial Court. The claim involves allegations of conspiracy, breach of fiduciary duty, dishonest assistance and knowing receipt.
Acting for an Austrian M&E contractor as a mechanical works subcontractor to an Italian main contractor for a plastics factory in Bratislava. Defending a claim for damages payable or paid to the employer for delay when the issue had been raised and resolved in an earlier arbitration.
Otkritie and others v Urumov and others. Representing claimants in litigation in the English Commercial Court involving allegations of deceit, conspiracy, breach of fiduciary duty, money-laundering and knowing receipt.
Acting for a group of institutional investors seeking compensation from a national supermarket chain arising from the large drop in share price following the supermarket’s disclosure in September 2014 that it had materially misstated the level of its commercial income within the expected half yearly profits which it had published in August 2014.
Acted for the Respondent in an international arbitration who received US$18 million in litigation financing from Claimant in connection with a US$73.4 million judgment they won at a trial in California.
Acted for a major international law firm in LCIA arbitration proceedings against departing partners who instigated a substantial team move, obtaining undertakings under threat of an injunction, and successfully settling the case.
Acted for Global Risk Partners Ltd, a national insurance broker, and its underlying subsidiaries. We have obtained numerous interim injunctions preventing breaches of restrictive covenants and/or misuse of confidential information by departing employees.
Acted for Hertz in successfully defending proceedings brought against them in the Commercial Court by Ryanair claiming damages for breach of contract for €70 million.
How long do I have to bring a claim?
For breach of contract, the general rule is that if you wish to bring court proceedings, you must do so within six years of the date on which the contract was breached.
For negligence, the claim should be brought within six years of the date on which you suffered loss as a result of the defendant’s breach of duty.
The above time limits are just a general rule of thumb and we can advise you further on any limitation issues.
Will my claim be in the County Court or the High Court?
The general rule is that claims for £100,000 or less must start in the County Court, whereas claims for more than £100,000 may be started in the High Court. However, where a claim falls within the jurisdiction of the County Court the claimant may start it in the High Court if there is a special reason, such as complexity, to believe it would be better dealt with by a High Court judge. Without such a reason, claims worth less than £50,000 commenced in the High Court are usually transferred to the County Court.
This will depend on the type of dispute, how complex it is and Court timetabling. We can provide advice specific to your dispute. Complex or high value disputes, typically those worth over £100,000, generally take over a year to reach trial.
This is entirely dependent on the circumstances of your case. For complex cases, this can easily run into hundreds of thousands of pounds or more. We can discuss potential funding options once we have discussed your case.
If I win, do I get my legal fees back?
The general rule is that the losing party pays the winning party’s costs. If the Court orders the unsuccessful party to pay the successful party’s costs, costs will either be agreed between the parties or assessed by the Court. The typical outcome is that the loser pays between half to three quarters of the successful party’s legal costs.
Is it worth suing someone with no money?
Almost never. If someone you are suing has no money or other assets in England and Wales which could be used to pay you, there is no way to recover your debt and will just be incurring additional costs in the attempt. If you are aware that a person or company which owes you money is going through bankruptcy or liquidation proceedings, you should register as a creditor in order to stand a chance of recovering your debt as part of those proceedings.
What happens if I sue someone and they don't pay?
If you successfully sue someone and have a judgment against them, but they do not pay, you can apply to the court for enforcement of the judgment against them. There are a number of different ways this can be done, including allowing bailiffs to seize and sell assets, freezing the debtor’s money or assets or securing charges over their property so you receive the debt from sale proceeds when the property is sold.
What can I do in an emergency situation?
It is not uncommon for emergency situations to arise, where immediate action is required to protect you. We can help you in these situations by applying to the court for:
I am being sued by a person or company who has no money, or is based in another country - what protection have I got?
As you may be sued at any time, by anyone, and for any reason and it costs money to defend that claim, no matter how confident you are of success or how hopeless the claim may be. If you win, the usual rule is that the loser would pay your costs, but you may be seriously concerned that the claimant would not able to pay any legal costs awarded against it. In certain circumstances, you may be able to make an application to the court early on that a claimant pays money into court as security for your legal costs that they may be ordered to pay if they lose.
The legal issues around security for costs are complex and we are able to provide further advice on the merits of such an application.
Do I have to disclose a document that is unhelpful to my case?
Yes, the rules are clear that you must disclose all documents within your control that:
This duty extends to any documents you find at a later date as well. This means that an unhelpful document that comes to light after initial disclosure will need to be disclosed to the other side as soon as possible.
Legal 500 2020