Business Dispute Lawyers

Disputes can have a devastating impact on your business. Our Dispute Resolution team will handle this as efficiently and delicately as possible.

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Business Disputes

Our commercial dispute resolution lawyers handle a broad range of litigation and commercial dispute resolution for clients across many sectors and industries. Our involvement either at the early stages of navigating a dispute or after a catastrophic breakdown of the commercial relationship can often lead to an effective resolution before court proceedings become necessary. Where that does not prove possible our dispute resolution lawyers will litigate in the most effective manner to obtain a commercial result that supports the needs of the business.

Business Ownership Disputes
Business Protection
Contract Disputes
Data Breach
Debt Recovery
Employment Disputes
Intellectual Property Disputes
Insolvency Disputes
Professional Negligence Claims
Property & Land Disputes

Business Ownership Disputes

Our Dispute Resolution Team advise business owners including partners, LLP members and both majority and minority shareholders on disputes arising from the actions of their fellow business owners.

Dispute between owners, management and directors of a businesses will have a big impact on the daily running of a business. You may well, as an owner, become embroiled in such a dispute.

We have many years’ experience of relationships breaking down within a business and we will be able to provide you with clear, concise and cost effective advice in finding the best way forward for you.

Our disputes services include:

  • Director disputes
  • Shareholder disputes
  • LLP & Partnership disputes

Business Protection

There are times when urgent action is needed to prevent harm to your business. Some harm to your business cannot be effectively compensated with damages alone.

Our experienced dispute resolution lawyers are well versed in obtaining injunctive relief including interim injunctions.

We work seamlessly with the Employment team combining each group’s specialist knowledge to protect your business from potential harm caused by parties acting in breach of employment restrictions or by employees who are bad leavers taking confidential information or trade secrets including stealing a copy of your client relationship management database.

Our lawyers understand the importance of your customers, employees, suppliers and know-how and will assist you in protecting them from unlawful competition from other businesses, and current and former employees to the fullest extent possible.

We also have experience of freezing injunctions to prevent the dissipation of assets from the fraudulent activity of a wrong doer such as an errant director or bogus supplier.

Our experienced team is sensitive to the reputational harm that can be caused by these issues and work in a collaborative way with clients to minimise such impact as well as delivering on the legal and commercial solutions.

Contract Disputes

Most Contracts run perfectly happily and any contract dispute that does arise can be ironed out by both sides taking a commercial view and wanting to achieve the end goal. After all, you are businesses that want to do business with each other.

However, when a contract dispute grows, or it becomes apparent that you have been let down and it is reflecting badly on your ability to service your own Clients – early intervention is essential.

We can provide you with an assessment of the legal issues allied with pragmatic commercial advice and guide you through the next steps which will be designed to resolve your contract dispute and get things back on track as quickly as possible.

If it is more serious and the Contract needs to be ended or there is loss being claimed, we can act for you to bring about a resolution and that does not always mean Court action is inevitable. ManyThe vast majority of such disputes are resolved through settlement negotiations, and Alternative Dispute Resolution including Mediation. 

However, if court action becomes necessary or inevitable our strategic thinking litigators will assist with planning the best route through the litigation to maximise the chances of a successful outcome. Our experience crosses many sectors such as leisure and hospitality, finance and technology to many types of contracts such as supplier agreements, exclusive distribution agreements and joint venture agreements

Contract dispute expertise:

  • Failure to perform services required under a Contract on time and/or to an acceptable standard.
  • Failure to produce or deliver goods on time and/or not to specification or unfit for purpose.
  • Arguments about whether a Contract has been entered into and if so, whose terms and conditions apply when it has all been done by email.
  • Has a contract has been entered into based on promises made that have not been accurate (Misrepresentation).
  • Whether a failure to do something properly amounts to a “material breach of contract” entitling one party to pull out and end the Contract.
  • A termination clause in a Contract has been properly used to bring the Contract to an end.
  • Issues that are not covered specifically in the Contract – can terms be implied (read into the Contract) because of custom and practice, or because that is the way the parties have done business before

You can rely on us to deliver results in a cost-effective innovative manner and concentrating on the fact that you want to get back to your core business activity as quickly as possible.

Data Breach

Personal data breaches occur when persons data has been accidentally or unlawfully:

  • Destroyed
  • Lost
  • Altered
  • Disclosed without authorisation, whether that be accidentally or deliberately.

What is required when a breach happens?
Under the GDPR, it is required that when certain types of breaches involving personal data occur, these will need to be reported to the relevant supervisory authority within 72 hours of becoming aware of it. Following on from this, should the breach be of such a high risk to the data subject, they should be informed without delay.

Records will need to be maintained by the party who is liable for the breach. The way in which you will need to assess the breach is to identify the risk the breach poses to the data subject’s rights and freedoms as well as the severity of that risk. We would recommend legal advice is taken at that stage, if not, documentation is key to being able to justify why a breach has not been reported.

However, with appropriate measures to prepare for, manage and react to data breaches and ultimately reduce the possibility of their occurrence, it is possible that certain breaches do not have to be reported. It is therefore key to establish how in your day to day business, breaches could occur. It is very easy for these to happen, for example leaving your phone on the train or sending an email to the wrong recipient. Certain scenarios require simple solutions; however this will not always be the case.

Should a breach need to be reported, Article 33 of the GDPR sets out what needs to be reported when a breach occurs, this includes:

  • The nature and extent of the personal breach.
  • Who your Data Protection Officer or other point of contact is, and their contact details.
  • What are the likely consequences of this data breach.
  • Measures taken by yourself as the controller to address and mitigate the effects of the breach itself.

Any failure to disclose a breach, even if this be due to internal analysis suggesting it does not need to be reported, may result in the aforementioned fines. Therefore advice should always be sought in these scenarios.

Data Protection Services & FAQs

Debt Recovery Solicitors

Our Debt Recovery specialists have in-depth knowledge across a range of sectors.

Being paid on time is essential to your business. Taking control of your debts minimises their impact and having effective ways to improve cash flow secures your business confidence and plans for growth.

Our team of legal experts use innovative ways to recover debts with support from market-leading case management. They can provide reporting information designed to your needs, ensuring a transparent, efficient debt recovery process. Across both transactional work and more complex litigation, clients recommend us for our approachability, range of options, service excellence and significant cost reductions.

Debt Recovery Services

Employment Disputes

The right to make a data subject access request (DSAR) is a key element of the protections contained in the UK General Data Protection Regulation (UKGDPR).

Although a right of an individual to access data held about them has long been a part of data protection legislation, the development of digital technology has led to a massive expansion in the amount and nature of the data being processed, particularly in the employment context.

We have seen a particular increase in the number of DSARs being brought by employees. These requests are frequently made in the context of an ongoing or potential dispute or tribunal or court claim.

It is also important that employers have key documentation in place before getting to the stage of receiving and handling a data subject access request, as this sets the foundation for the legal basis on which they are processing employee data and the steps to take when an employee seeks to enforce their data rights.

Employment Dispute Services

Intellectual Property Disputes

Intellectual Property (IP) encompasses a vast and diverse array of property from software and other copyright materials, to designs and logos and inventions and processes. Most people benefit from a basic understanding of Intellectual Property rights to help protect what they create and to avoid them infringing the rights of other people and businesses. How can we help?

Copyright infringement or copyright protection – Copyright is probably the intellectual property which is most commonly infringed. The law protects original artistic, dramatic and literary works.

Trade Mark infringement or Trade Mark breach – Trade marks can have protection both in an unregistered and a registered format.

Design Rights – These rights can be registered or unregistered. A registered design provides a legal monopoly. As with trade marks design owners can apply for a UK registered design or a Community Registered design.

Patents – Patents give the inventor of a technical device or process an absolute monopoly over it for a fixed period of time. The process of obtaining a patent is strict and a formal application process needs to be undertaken.

Confidential Information – It can be possible to protect information which is sensitive to a business through rights in confidential information (which covers know how and trade secrets). Whilst these are not strictly IP rights they can protect sensitive information, both technical and commercial and do not need to be registered

Protecting your brands intellectual Property – It is important for individuals to protect their assets and this includes the non-tangible assets that you might own. Registering your ownership of those assets that can be registered is key but equally important is vigilance to stop unauthorised use. It is important to take action to stop other individuals and companies from infringing your rights as if you do not take action it can later be argued that you have granted an implied licence for your works to be used.

Often disputes such as these can be resolved without the need to resort to litigation and early involvement from us can ensure that any IP infringement is stopped promptly. When it is not possible to bring the dispute to an end quickly through correspondence, we have unrivalled expertise in running proceedings to enforce and defend intellectual property rights for you through the Courts or the UK IPO (Intellectual Property Office process should this be necessary. Should immediate action be required our experienced IP litigation team can advise on the obtaining of interim injunctive relief to maximise your protection pending the final resolution of the dispute. 

Intellectual Property Services

Insolvency Lawyers

Whether you are an office holder, a creditor, a director, debtor, shareholder or a holder of security. Our Insolvency Dispute Lawyers can assist with pragmatic and commercial advice about seeking the recovery of assets in an insolvency situation.

Our services to office holders included advising on asset recovery and the pursuit of book debts. We can help you obtain information from former directors explaining how the company became insolvent and what happened to the assets. We can assist liquidators in pursuing directors and shadow directors for breaches of their director’s duties and shareholders, directors and associated parties in respect of preferences. We can assist in the unwinding of transactions at an undervalue.

Our expertise is also called upon by parties being pursued by liquidators claiming that there has been an unlawful dissipation of assets – and seeking the recovery of funds into the liquidation. Whether the claim is an allegation of misfeasance claims, or that there has been a preference, a transaction at an undervalue or an unlawful distribution of dividends, we will undertake a swift assessment of the legal and commercial issues. We will assist in negotiating with office holders based on the risk and where appropriate defend the claims being threatened.

We recognise that insolvency events can also throw up deeply contentious issues including fraudulent trading or other types of fraud. Our Contentious Insolvency Team have a broad range of experience acting for office holders and directors when making or facing claims involving allegations of dishonesty.

We also have experience dealing with injunctive relief in insolvency situations, whether that is dealing with freezing orders, search and seizure orders, Norwich Pharmacal Orders or information disclosure applications within the Insolvency Act 1986, we are adept at providing immediate and proactive advice and representation for such interim remedies. Our Contentious Insolvency Team has a track record of helping parties navigate the fallout from an insolvency event.

Our contentious insolvency services include:

  • Allegations of fraud and dishonesty
  • Breach of director’s duties
  • Director Misfeasance
  • Enforcement of security
  • Personal Insolvency: statutory demands and bankruptcy petitions
  • Preferences
  • Transactions at an undervalue
  • Unlawful distributions of dividends
  • Winding up petitions

Insolvency Services

Professional Negligence Claims

Our Professional Negligence Solicitors are highly experienced, offering thoughtful solutions to avoid disputes or mitigate risk.

You are entitled to expect a certain standard of care from the professionals who advise you. Whether that is a solicitor, accountant, financial adviser, architect or surveyor. Where the professional fails to perform to the standards required of them and you have suffered a financial loss, you may have a claim against them for professional negligence.

Our Services:

  • Solicitors Negligence
  • Accountants Negligence
  • Surveyor Negligence
  • Claims against Barristers
  • Claims against Financial Advisors
  • Claims against Architects
Professional Negligence Services

Property Disputes

Our clients describe us as relentless in achieving the best possible outcome. We understand that this can be a stressful time for you, so we will guide you through every step of the way, providing you with unrivalled expertise.

Our property dispute services include:

  • Property disputes
  • Construction disputes
  • Landlord & tenant disputes
  • Restrictive Covenants

We do not advise:

  • Tenants on Housing Law
  • Publicly funded Legal Help / Legal Assistance scheme (Legal Aid). If you are in receipt of benefits or think you may qualify for the scheme it may assist you to make enquiries of your local Citizens Advice Bureau or a firm offering Legal Aid advice. 

Property Disputes Services

FAQs

Is the dispute worth it?

The first question most people need to ask themselves – is the dispute worth it? For instance, It might not be worth making a claim if it is going to cost you almost as much as you’re claiming.

For a business we can carry out a free legal cost benefit analysis. The report is prepared after a limited review of a small number of papers. Its objective is to give you an early assessment of the case so that you can decide whether to deal with it yourself going forward or instruct us on a proper basis so that a detailed assessment with full legal advice can then be provided.

What is professional negligence?

Professional negligence is when a professional has failed to perform their services and responsibilities to the required standard.

This type of claim can be made against many different professionals such as solicitors, accountants, auditors, solicitors, independent financial advisers, surveyors and insurance brokers.

Claims in professional negligence are based on one or more of the following legal causes of action:

  • Breach of contract
  • Breach of duty of care in tort of negligence
  • Breach of fiduciary duty
  • Breach of statutory duty

Establishing negligence alone is not enough to bring a claim. It is crucial to show that the professional’s negligence caused you a loss, generally financial.

Legal Insight

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Best Law Firms 2024

Herrington Carmichael has once again been named in the Times Best Law Firms. We were first listed in 2023 and have once again made the Best Law Firms list for 2024.

www.thetimes.co.uk/article/herrington-carmichael

Best Law Firm 2024