Dispute Resolution

We appreciate that taking litigation to trial can be very costly and distracting. So we pride ourselves, wherever possible, in finding constructive and cost-effective solutions by alternative means such as mediation and negotiation. However where litigation cannot be avoided, our team has the expertise and depth of experience to ensure that, throughout the process, you will receive clear, strategic and result-oriented advice, and our full support.

Our dispute resolution team handles a full range of litigation matters, from contract claims to large scale, complex multi-jurisdictional disputes and judicial review. We regularly appear in the High Court and the Court of Protection. We also have significant experience of alternative dispute resolution and, in particular, arbitration and mediation.

We have expertise to act for a broad array of clients including individuals, businesses ranging from small family businesses to significant corporates, banks, trustees and trust companies as well as schools, higher education institutions and not-for-profit organisations. Our experience across this range of sectors ensures that our litigators understand the impact which a dispute can have on both an individual and at an organisational level. Each dispute requires a tailored solution, and we are committed to working quickly with you to identify and understand the issues you are facing in order to achieve the best possible result.

Arbitration features regularly in the Disputes Team’s practice.

Often, it will have been prompted by an arbitration clause in a commercial contract. Alternatively, you might have decided it is a more attractive means of resolving a dispute than litigation in the High Court or another jurisdiction, as arbitral proceedings can offer greater finality and the decisions are less accessible to the public. Arbitration can also be quicker and the procedures can be tailored to the requirements of the dispute.

We will always consider what is the best forum to hear your dispute, and our extensive experience of arbitrations in a number of specialist forums means that we are well placed to advise you about the advantages and disadvantages of the arbitral process. We are equally comfortable then with conducting the arbitration proceedings on your behalf, whether you are a claimant or a defendant, and use our expertise in this field to deliver clear, strategic advice.

Although arbitration is itself a form of alternative dispute resolution, we know that negotiation can offer a more rapid solution and, in so doing, give rise to a substantial costs saving. For this reason, our tactical advice about how to optimise your position in the arbitration will always be coupled with practical advice about the possibility of reaching an early amicable settlement.

Mediation is not suitable for every dispute, but it has a high success rate and there are significant benefits in engaging in mediation at an early stage. Successfully mediating a dispute can bring substantial costs savings and remove the uncertainty, wasted management time and potential adverse publicity associated with full-scale litigation. Even if a settlement is not reached at the mediation itself, many disputes settle shortly afterwards because the parties have been encouraged to focus on the main issues and on the strengths and weaknesses of both sides’ cases.

When acting for parties facing or involved in litigation, we therefore look to engage in mediation at the earliest possible opportunity and in a way that fully preserves their position.

We have considerable experience of mediating matters both before and after the issue of proceedings, covering a wide range of disputes in this and in many other jurisdictions. We have worked with a number of very highly regarded mediators and are therefore well placed to recommend mediators whose skills and experience could make them suitable for your case.

We always take a practical approach to clients’ problems. Whether advising on defamation, a large corporate transaction or a complex piece of litigation, we are proactive in finding solutions to complicated legal issues and minimising damage to your reputation.

Our advice

Our specialists regularly work to tight deadlines, being on call to advise clients who are facing a media or public relations crisis. The need for advice on media and publicity issues is often urgent and time is of the essence, so our team of lawyers are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Our claimant work also remains strong and we advise a wide range of individuals, corporations and national institutions. By carefully managing their media profiles, we have successfully kept a number of damaging or untrue stories out of the media or limited further coverage by swift resolution.

The group is at the forefront of developments in the media sector and plays an active role in determining the key issues and changes affecting it. A significant proportion of our work also involves working closely with, or advising, PR consultants.

As a top tier firm in the area of defamation and privacy law, we are one of the country’s leading advisors to national print and online publishers, as well as a number of TV and radio companies, and can use our experience and understanding of that industry for the benefit of all our clients. Our expertise is derived from our client list and successful track record in protecting and managing our clients’ brands and reputations.

We have extensive experience of civil fraud litigation both in the UK and overseas. We have been involved in a number complex international fraud matters acting for both claimants and defendants. We regularly advise on large scale fraud claims as well as on asset tracing and fraud-related trust claims in many jurisdictions.

We also have significant experience of advising on high-value international freezing injunctions, whether applying for or opposing them. We understand the need to act quickly and decisively in order to seek to preserve assets.

In this area we act for companies, directors, trustees, charities, banks and other financial institutions. We understand the competing demands on parties to fraud litigation and work with our clients to ensure that their legal and regulatory obligations are met without losing sight of the wider commercial objectives.

The team regularly works with other specialist advisers across the firm to provide clients with broad and tailored advice on all fraud-related matters, including internal investigations, regulations and procedures as well as litigation. We also have extensive connections with foreign lawyers, forensic accountants and IT specialists who regularly assist us on fraud and asset recovery matters.

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