Dealing with disputes

Sometimes, despite all the best planning, a relationship goes sour or someone doesn’t deliver what they promised. Even if its an invoice isn’t paid when due, the effect of a dispute or breach of an agreement may be difficult to manage.

We always aim to work with our clients to find an effective method to resolve disputes to minimise costs and management time. We understand that we operate in a field where personal relationships are valued, and going to court at the drop of a hat isn’t viable. We have experience of informal negotiations, settlement talks, and providing expert opinions. We can also help you understand your position, and whether mediation or arbitration might provide a better solution to court litigation.

Sometimes, despite being in the right, the losses you have suffered are outweighed by the costs of a fight. At other times, a firm and timely approach can nip problems in the bud. Even if you have the best case in the world, if your argument is with an insolvent company, then any court victory may prove to be hollow, since it’ll be unlikely that you will be able to enforce any judgment or recover any of your costs.

Because we deal with the sector, we understand the pressures that a dispute will bring. Our solicitors based in Manchester and London can help you resolve an issue, often by exploring avenues for compromise and negotiation. Sometimes more formal alternative dispute resolution (or ADR) can assist by providing a formal (but private) framework for discussions. We work with mediators who are trained to help everyone find the middle ground, and reach an agreed settlement. We also work with arbitrators and experts who can provide a binding decision for everyone to abide by.

Sometimes disputes are dealt with in specialist ways – and we have experience of presenting cases to the Charity Commission and to Hearing Officers at the Intellectual Property Office. Other cases are dealt with by the court structure. We can help with litigation in England and Wales, and we work with associates in other countries.

Almost all disputes are settled before a court hearing, often at a time when the pressure to reach a settlement is greater than the principles that are at stake. If you would like us to help with any dispute, please contact us.