We provide legal, commercial and strategic advice on a wide range of business disputes.

Our focus is on providing results-driven solutions that minimise the risks and realistically assess the potential rewards. We work with clients (whether as corporates or individuals) in a broad variety of industries, including computer software, car hire, electric vehicles, finance, banking, commodities, aviation fuel, insurance, art, pharmaceuticals, recruitment and film finance.

The team enjoys a high profile, independent position in the market, and rarely faces the kinds of conflict issues which mean that we cannot act 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.

Commercial litigation expertise

  • Breach of contract
  • Breach of directors' duties
  • Breach of duty (tort claims)
  • Breach of warranty
  • Conspiracy
  • Loan / guarantee disputes
  • Misrepresentation
  • Mistake
  • Professional negligence
  • Shareholder disputes

Commercial litigation experience

  • Acted for a limited company (and connected parties) in an action against an 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 the LLP in respect of other clauses within the Heads of Terms. The case settled on confidential commercial terms.

  • Acted for a large lending platform with respect to various loan agreements, under which the borrowers have defaulted, leaving the lending platform in a dispute with its insurers to cover claims from the underlying lenders to the loans.

  • Acted for a downstream petroleum company in claims regarding its share in various joint operations in airports for the provision of aviation fuel. The disputes relate primarily to the construction of the contracts.

  • 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.

  • Acted for a travel company with respect to a dispute arising as a result of understated accounts.

  • The Ingenious litigation – acted for one of the defendants in the multi-party film financing / tax saving dispute (involving 463 claimants) which brings claims of fraud and/or negligence with respect to investments in Ingenious’ film investment scheme.

  • Acted for an individual in a claim against a Singaporean company in respect of payment pursuant to an earn-out provision within a share purchase agreement. A freezing injunction was obtained due to concerns that the failure to pay was part of a wider fraud.

  • KMG International NV v Chen and Chipper Management Limited. Defending a £50 million claim in respect of allegations of fraudulent dissipation and ultimate sale of shares in a German entity and intentional wrongful conduct under Dutch law. The claimant obtained a £60 million freezing order at the start of the proceedings.

  • 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.

  • Acted for a property company in respect of a professional negligence claim against previous solicitors.

  • Acted for an individual in a shareholder dispute with his business partner. The individual holds shares in various entities within the same group of companies that deal in cryptocurrencies and bring claims for fraud, secret profits and other breaches against his business partner.

Commercial litigation team

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Commercial litigation FAQs

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.

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.

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.

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.

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:

  1. Search and seizure orders – these orders allow us to search a defendants’ premises (in the presence of an independent solicitor) for crucial documents or items. This is usually done where a defendant is liable to destroy crucial documents and condemning evidence.
  2. Negative injunctions – these are orders that stop your opponent taking certain damaging action.
  3. Positive injunctions – these are orders that require your opponent to take certain positive action.
  4. Freezing orders – it may be possible to obtain an order to freeze your opponent’s bank accounts and assets to prevent those assets being dissipated or moved out of the jurisdiction.

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.

Yes, the rules are clear that you must disclose all documents within your control that:

  1. You rely on;
  2. Adversely affect your own case;
  3. Adversely affect another party’s case;
  4. Support another party’s case; or
  5. You are required to disclose by a relevant practice direction.

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.

"Fox Williams provide very strong, thoughtful and commercially relevant advice. They are consistently responsive and always make themselves available."

Chambers UK 2024

"The breadth of knowledge, delivered in a commercially sound manner, is very refreshing and the team has been my go-to on complex regulatory matters for many years. Highly regarded and recommended."

Legal 500 2024



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