“Why don’t we want you to use our dispute team?”

Hopefully you will never need to use our commercial dispute resolution services for your business because we know that any dispute can distract you from what you do best – running your business. However, if you ever do run into a problem which blows up into a dispute then we are here to help with quick, effective, legal advice.

We also take a practical approach to resolving the problem. Sometimes the threat of court proceedings can be enough to resolve a problem, but if that does not work then there are other options available to try to resolve the dispute without going to court.

These options are normally referred to as Alternative Dispute Resolution or ADR. These options can often be quicker and cheaper than going to court.

We can help you with:

  • Commercial disputes
  • Partnership disputes
  • Landlord & tenant disputes
  • Debt recovery
  • Commercial property rent arrears

Commercial disputes

The basics of any commercial dispute resolution is to look at the contractual terms that were agreed between the parties, however, this is often easier said than done. In the real world, businesses often start working together, whether it be on a project or supplying goods or services, before the final terms and conditions have been agreed or signed. This is fine whilst everyone is doing what they should be doing and things are running smoothly. The problem is when something goes wrong and there is then an argument as to what exactly the parties are obliged to do by the contract.

We work for, and have worked for, clients in a very wide range of different types of businesses from recruitment companies, accountants, internet companies to builders, plumbers and property developers.

As a result, we have the experience to advise you as to your basic position so that you can decide what is best for your business.

Partnership disputes

It has often been said that partnerships are in many ways like being married.

Most partnerships will have some occasions when there is a problem between the partners. Most of the time they will be able to resolve this between themselves, but sometimes it gets to the stage where the partners are not able to resolve matters themselves.

Over the years we have been involved in many partnership disputes. There is the ultimate threat of dissolving the partnership, but often that leads to none of the partners receiving any real benefit from the dissolution.

Partnership disputes can be dealt with by the court, but it can be long and costly to have the partnership’s matters dealt with this way. Often this can be avoided by using one of the ADR methods such as mediation.

Landlord & tenant disputes

Even with the best drafted commercial leases there can sometimes be disputes between the landlord and tenant as to what they are each required to do under the terms of the lease.

There can also be disputes about the payment of service charge or the amount of service charge and the amount payable for the buildings insurance contribution.

There can also be disputes about the state of repair and condition of a building. If there is damage to a door frame or window frame, does this have to be repaired by the tenant or the landlord? The answer normally depends on the exact terms of the lease.

Debt recovery

In any business, there will be times when a customer or client has not paid the invoice sent to them.

We can help you recover those debts. Our approach is that before any debt recovery work is started, we will discuss with you and take any steps required, to investigate whether or not the person or company that owes the debt is worth suing.

Obviously there is no point in spending time and money getting a judgment against a debtor if that debtor has no assets or income against which the judgment can be enforced.

Commercial property rent arrears

If you are lucky enough to have good tenants then you will not have had any problems with rent arrears for your commercial property. However, even good tenants can run into difficulties and of course there are always the bad tenants who are always late in paying the rent!

In the past, commercial landlords could simply send in the bailiffs to either forfeit the lease or seize the tenants’ goods or belongings for sale, so that the rent arrears could be recovered. However, the right to seize the tenants’ items and sell them to recover the rent arrears was restricted as from 6 April 2014 when Commercial Rent Arrears Recovery (“CRAR”) came into force.

CRAR now requires various notices to be served on the tenant by the person enforcing the debt, at various stages throughout the process. If you are a landlord then we can help you by advising you as to what you need to do in order to comply with CRAR.