Clarkslegal LLP - Solicitors in Reading and London

Dispute Resolution

Our dispute resolution lawyers resolve business and contract disputes for individuals and commercial clients from mediation to litigation, to achieve the best possible outcome.

We understand that our clients do not plan to have disputes. When disputes happen, we provide clear, decisive and cost-effective advice to enable our clients to remain focused on achieving their objectives.

Our dispute resolution team is recognised as the leading dispute resolution practice in the  South East with a proven track record of high-profile, high-value and complex litigation from leading commercial and public sector clients.

We have thorough knowledge and experience on all aspects of:

  • Banking, Financial Services and Insurance
  • Construction
  • Date Protection
  • Information Technology and Intellectual Property
  • Motor Law
  • Property Disputes
  • Public bodies

Our comprehensive expertise includes:

Business Crime

A rapid response to fraud is often required, both to minimise ongoing loss and to maximise the chances of recovery before the proceeds of fraud are removed from the jurisdiction. We advise on investigations and disciplinary proceedings as well as obtaining court orders to freeze the assets of the suspected fraudsters.

We are experienced in working with forensic accountants and IT consultants to uncover evidence of fraud to support legal proceedings and/or insurance claims.

Business Contracts and Disputes

A major part of our work is assisting our clients resolve business and contract disputes. Where practicable, we assist clients in resolving disputes without recourse to legal proceedings. We also advise on the use of mediation or other alternative dispute resolution techniques. All of our team are trained mediation advocates with many years of experience in settling disputes by mediation. If legal proceedings are unavoidable, we are recognised for our clear and decisive advice, our cost-effective operation and our tenacity in securing the right outcome.

Commercial Agents

Our team of leading dispute resolution lawyers regularly  advise on the legal consequences of terminating a commercial agency agreement. .  We specialise in the Commercial Agents Regulations and regularly draft and negotiate commercial agency agreements for clients and advise them when they have disputes. We also offer commercial agents and businesses that retain commercial agents a fixed fee "health-check" of their agency agreement, to check their rights are adequately protected.

We regularly act in claims arising from share sales, including warranty and earn-out disputes, and also disputes between shareholders over the company`s strategy, particularly where the parties have equal voting rights. Our primary objective is always to achieve a pragmatic solution to preserve the value in the business and minimise the paralysing effect such disputes can have.

Pragmatic, early and effective advice is required to ensure that recall campaigns are carried out in appropriate cases and robust defences where appropriate to fully support our clients. We offer one off or regular helpline services for our clients, and same-day pragmatic advice on legal and commercial issues.

Construction Disputes

We understand that our clients do not plan to have disputes and we recognise the benefits of being able to resolve disputes decisively and effectively. We provide expert advice to clients from across the industry with expertise in all forms alternative dispute resolution (ADR) guiding the client through to successful resolution of their dispute.

We regularly advise clients in relation to statutory adjudication under the Construction Acts, as well as contractual adjudication. An adjudicator’s decision on an important point of principle can help clients, during or after completion of a project, to resolve either an entire dispute or discrete elements of a dispute, sometimes in conjunction with other ongoing negotiations.

Where legal proceedings are necessary, we have the specialist experience necessary to carry out all the work required to bring and defend of claims in the specialist Technology and Construction Court.

Confidentiality and Business Secrets

Trade secrets and confidentiality are the life blood of many businesses. So what happens if a trusted employee walks out to set up in competition, helping himself to those very secrets in the process? We are very experienced in dealing with the challenges of such a situation and regularly act for both employers and employees. We know that speed is of the essence, both to protect the business itself and also to meet the deadlines expected by the Court.

Defamation

We have a long history of advising on bringing and defending claims for defamation. The recent explosion in social media and the ease by which anyone can post material online has greatly increased the potential for a defamatory comment to be widely published.

The good news is that the immediacy of the internet also allows for very quick results when problems, sometimes within hours of our team being instructed. We also have experience of working with our clients’ PR teams to address wider reputation management issues.

Injunctions

Our litigation lawyers have experience of seeking and resisting injunctions in a number of areas. We will give the assistance needed whenever urgent action is required, such as if you suspect that your debtor is about to move all of his assets out of the jurisdiction or your trusted ex-employee has set up in competition stealing your key customers. Equally, we can give the urgent guidance and assistance needed if an injunction is served on your business.

Pensions

Our clients include pension funds, employers sponsoring occupational schemes and individual scheme members. We advise on all kinds of pension disputes including claims for breach of trust and professional negligence, claims of financial mis-selling and disputes relating to pension benefits and ill-health pensions.

Our expertise includes bringing and defending claims before the Pensions Ombudsman and the Pensions Advisory Service as well as High Court proceedings.

Professional Negligence

Claims against professionals involve a number of challenges, including the need to show that the Defendant has fallen below the standards of his/her profession, which invariably requires expert evidence. In reality, claims are not defended by the professionals themselves but their insurers, who will use all available steps to minimise their liability. We regularly act in such disputes.

We have experience of claims involving other lawyers, accountants, architects, surveyors, engineers and other professions. Recent examples include the successful resolution of £3 million engineering dispute.

Property disputes

Our experienced property litigation team acts for a broad range of land owners and occupiers, from public bodies and universities to investors and developers, housing associations and owner occupiers. We also advise major commercial and public sector landlords and commercial tenants on a broad range of problems including:

  • Lease renewals
  • Rent arrears recovery and forfeiture
  • Dilapidations
  • Tenant insolvency
  • Trespasser eviction
  • Residential freehold management

Service charge disputes can arise in large multi-let buildings or centres. Different tenants may have different requirements and may not be equal users of certain services provided by the landlord. Service charge provisions in commercial leases can often be vague, requiring tenants to pay a ‘fair and reasonable proportion’ of the cost to the landlord of providing the services. We are experienced in advising both landlords and tenants on resolving service charge disputes, including by way of arbitration and expert determination (often provided for in commercial leases as an alternative to court proceedings).

Shareholder and Partnership Disputes

We regularly act in claims arising from share sales, including warranty and earn-out disputes, and also disputes between shareholders over the company`s strategy, particularly where the parties have equal voting rights. Our primary objective is always to achieve a pragmatic solution to preserve the value in the business and minimise the paralysing effect such disputes can have.

Sale of Goods and Product Liability

We have an enviable portfolio of product liability cases and claims relating to the sale and supply of goods and services. We offer either one off or regular helpline services for our clients, providing same-day pragmatic advice on legal and commercial issues. Pragmatic, early and effective advice is required to ensure that recall campaigns are carried out in appropriate cases and robust defences where appropriate to fully support our clients.

Wills and Trusts

We act for on behalf of a range of interested parties from Executors and Trustees who are dealing with estates/assets to beneficiaries and third parties. Mediation and Alternative Dispute Resolution can equally assist in resolving Wills, Probate and Trust disputes and can see cost effective tax saving results being achieved which a Court would be unable to order.