Clarkslegal is the leading dispute resolution practice in the Thames Valley known for our sophisticated and commercial approach. Whatever stage your problem is at, we can assist with straightforward, cost-effective legal advice and guidance. We often have high-profile and high-value instructions from leading commercial and public sector clients.
Read more about our areas of expertise:
Banking, Financial Services and Insurance
The financial services industry in the UK is highly regulated and recent years have seen a mass of new legislation and regulation. We advise commercial and private clients on all kinds of disputes arising under financial services regulations and represent and defend claims for and against banks and finance houses. The recent turbulence in the financial markets has led to increased claims of financial mis-selling and we act for both independent financial advisers and investors on such claims.
We also advise on the full range of insurance litigation matters. Whilst we principally act for insured clients, we also have experience of advising insurance companies and of working closely with brokers and loss adjusters.
Business and Contract 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.
We are often asked to 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.
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.
As computing power has grown exponentially in recent years, so have concerns that the use of this power will create huge invasions of privacy and otherwise undermine human rights. Lawyers in our team have expertise in technology, employment law and other specialist areas enabling them to deal with a broad range of topics encountered within data protection. The team also provides legal training and policy guidance, tailored written advice and compliance documentation.
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.
Wrongful trading, disqualification, codification of directors` duties under the Companies Act 2006 - in today`s uncertain economic climate the minefield awaiting company directors requires careful planning. Invariably, the sooner a problem is addressed the greater is the range of options available to solve it, whether this means saving the business or avoiding personal liability for the company`s directors. We have a wealth of experience acting on both sides of the fence when things go wrong and regularly work with other professionals from the turnaround and insolvency industries.
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.
Information Technology and Intellectual Property
We know that intellectual property issues require highly specialised advice, but that our clients appreciate someone who understands the business context. We help our clients protect their IP and also advise on the best ways to commercially exploit their IP assets.
Clarkslegal has 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.
We have thorough knowledge and experience on all aspect of motor law. We act for a broad spectrum of motor industry bodies, from leading manufacturers and vehicle importers, national dealer networks and finance houses, to high net worth individuals. We have established a number of legal helplines for motor dealers so that prompt pro-active advice is delivered at the earliest opportunity, avoiding proceedings in the majority of cases.
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.
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.
The 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.
Our highly rated litigation team therefore has considerable specialist skills in advising on the very broad range of problems that businesses encounter in relation to both property ownership and the landlord and tenant relationship including service charge disputes.
Public Law and Judicial Review
What happens if a public body does something that it shouldn’t? Judicial review acts as a safeguard against such decisions and we have acted on both sides of the argument, often involving an injunction to preserve the current position whilst the Court is ruling on the issue.
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, Trusts and Probate
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.