Commercial and Contract Disputes

"They have an impressive approach to litigation which focuses on the client’s business." The Legal 500 UK, 2021

"More than similar teams in other firms, they are tough, resilient and determined to fight hard for the clients' interests"

Legal 500, 2020

Navigating your way through any dispute can be stressful, disruptive and damaging - and corporate disputes are no exception. We provide tactical and strategic advice to businesses and the individuals within them, protecting your rights, interests and reputations.

Commercial disputes are increasingly commonplace in today's climate of economic uncertainty. It is essential that you seek the right tactical advice as early as possible to minimise the impact to you and your business. Our experience in bringing and defending a wide variety of disputes for many different types and sizes of business means that we understand what it at stake and what it takes to get the best outcome for our clients.

Our experienced team of dispute resolution lawyers will work closely with you to fully understand the issues you are facing and explore the best approached to meet your commercial objectives. Our lawyers recognise that every dispute and every business is different and each will need its own tailored solution to suit your needs.

We draw on our considerable experience in dealing with a wide range of disputes arising out of all types of commercial activity. This includes:

  • Sale and supply of goods and services
  • Agency, distribution and franchise agreements
  • Warranty and indemnity claims 
  • Mergers, acquisitions and joint ventures
  • Retention of title
  • Trade finance
  • Exclusion and limitation clauses
  • Restrictive covenants
  • Breach of confidence
  • Professional negligence
  • Misrepresentation claims
  • Civil fraud
  • Breaches of trust and  breaches of fiduciary duties
  • Unjust enrichment, knowing receipt and dishonest assistance
  • Economic torts, including procuring breaches of contract, causing loss by 'unlawful means conspiracy'

 

We recognise that disputes are not all about the courtroom, particularly where our clients are keen to preserve a commercial relationship and/or avoid adverse PR. We therefore encourage our clients, where appropriate, to explore other quick, practical and cost effective avenues to resolve their disputes, including mediation or other forms of Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR), and we shall guide you carefully through that process.

For more information, read our frequently asked questions on commercial and contract disputes.

What clients and directories have said

user-friendly, capable practice"

Legal 500 UK, 2019

best known for acting for entrepreneurs and business individuals, but is increasingly instructed by corporate clients to handle complex litigation"

Legal 500, 2017

Real expertise across all levels, well led and offering practical advice with no histrionics or game playing."

Chambers UK, 2017

The country's premier niche white-collar firm. They're very savvy and understand how the corporate world works."

Chambers UK, 2017

Kingsley Napley LLP is highlighted for its experience in cases involving failed investments, mis-selling, fraud, insolvency and directors' duties"

Legal 500, 2016

 

 

 

The KN team benefits from being able to draw on lawyers from a number of specialisms to put together teams which are particularly suited to individual disputes, whether they arise out of sporting and media contracts or international tax fraud. They are a lively bunch of people who are also extremely good lawyers."

The Legal 500 UK, 2021

Strength in depth, with very good collaboration between departments in cases which straddle different legal disciplines."

The Legal 500 UK, 2021

 

The team have a really varied practice, dealing with anything ... to “one-off” pieces of unusual litigation. The broad ranges of skills and experience adds value in all areas. In my experience, the litigation team is partner-led, but provides the associates beneath the partner(s) with considerable autonomy.

The Legal 500 UK, 2021

They are focussed. They all work very well together. They put a team together on a case and that is the team – there are very few, if any, changes for the duration of the case. There is always heavy partner involvement both in strategy and overseeing the team. They are unique in the market because they are not large but they have a very big kick."

The Legal 500 UK, 2021

...sensible, realistic view of cases - seizing only the points worth arguing..."

Chambers UK

Latest blogs & news

Civil Fraud Quarterly Round-Up: Q1 2022

Case updates quarterly round-up (1st quarter 2022)

The English Court: A Fraudster’s Crypto-nite

The English High Court, in Mr Dollar Bill Limited v Persons Unknown and Others [2021] EWHC 2718 (Ch), has once again come to the rescue for victims of fraud – this time armed with a Norwich Pharmacal Order to be served outside the jurisdiction.

The top 3 types of fraud and what victims can do

I have been compiling quarterly round ups of fraud-related cases since 2016. One of the insights this gives me is an idea of trends in the types of fraud that end up before the Courts of England and Wales. In addition to this, my business is often contacted by victims of fraud seeking redress, which provides a closer understanding of what fraudsters are up to and the impact of those actions.

Funerals and feuding families – What happens if there is a dispute over arrangements for a loved one’s body?

The death of a loved one is an incredibly sad and difficult time for any family, and in the vast majority of cases those closest to the deceased are able to arrange an appropriate “send-off” which gives everyone the opportunity to pay their respects and say goodbye. Unfortunately however, there may be situations where the relevant parties cannot agree on the funeral arrangements, or what should happen to the deceased’s body. This blog considers who is legally responsible for deciding what happens to the body and how the Court has approached disputes in recent cases.

Privacy vs Transparency – The media are coming to a family court near you!

As family lawyers we help clients through challenging times when they may struggle to manage the overwhelming emotional impact of divorce. Until recently, they could be entitled to assume that any court proceedings would be heard in private and it would be highly unlikely for them to be reported in the media or for any documents to be available for any third party to inspect.

Proving Will Fraud or Forgery: Is There Evidence?

When a family member or loved one dies, sometimes the terms of their will, if they made one during their lifetime, can come as a surprise to those who survive them. For example the will might include unexpected beneficiaries, or certain beneficiaries might receive a greater or lesser share of the estate than others. Under the laws of England and Wales, a person has the freedom to leave their estate to whoever they choose and there is no legal obligation to provide for any particular family member or other individual. Therefore, whilst family members or individuals might regard the terms of the will as unfair or unexpected, the law will generally uphold the wishes of a testator set out in their will, if it has been validly made.

COVID-19 and its impact on charity fraud

It is now two years since the first case of COVID-19 was reported, and the virus still continues to have a devastating impact around the world. As history shows us all too well, such times of crisis and economic downturn provide fertile ground for fraudsters and criminal opportunists. The current pandemic is no exception. From bogus COVID-19 cures to phishing emails and phony websites, scammers are taking advantage of peoples' fears as the pandemic persists. Unfortunately, the past few months have also seen a stark increase in instances of fraud against charities.

Novak needs a Cost Expert: Costs in Appeal Hearings Explored

Being an avid tennis fan, in the small hours of 16th January 2022, I checked my phone to see if Novak Djokovic was going to be able to compete for his 21st Grand Slam title (surpassing Roger Federer and Rafa Nadal as the most decorated male tennis player in Grand Slam history) or whether his appeal would in fact be rejected leading to his deportation.

Is the pandemic the perfect storm for will challenges?

A will can be contested on the basis that it is invalid by relying on various grounds. It is fast becoming apparent that sadly the pandemic may have given rise to the perfect storm for will challenges on one or more of these grounds.

Civil Fraud Quarterly Round-Up: Q4 2021

A Civil Fraud quarterly round-up (4th quarter 2021)

What a relief (from sanctions)! Court grants application made 5 years out of time

In the recent case of Apollo Ventures Co Ltd v Manchanda [2021] EWHC 3210 (Comm) an extension of time of almost five years was granted in the Defendant’s application for a stay under Civil Procedure Rules (“CPR”) Part 11 – disputing the Court’s jurisdiction.

Costs not recoverable on ‘the nod’ - A warning for private prosecutors R (on the application of T M Eye Ltd) v Southampton Crown Court [2021] EWHC 2624 (Admin)

Last month, the High Court handed down judgement in R (on the application of T M Eye Ltd) v Southampton Crown Court reinforcing the correct approach to applications for an award from central funds for the costs of a private prosecution. Despite clear ‘Jurisdictional error’ on the part of the Crown Court, the appellant court took the opportunity to warn private prosecutors; applications will not be approved ‘on the nod’.

Lloyd v Google: Stepping back from the brink

The Supreme Court has closed the door to ‘opt out’ style class action claims for breaches of data protection legislation, in a unanimous judgment that rejected an attempt to make Google liable for ‘loss of control’ over users’ personal data without having to prove any loss.

Claimants given costs boost in inheritance disputes – Hirachand v Hirachand

The Court of Appeal has recently handed down its judgment in the case of Hirachand v Hirachand, concerning an appeal against an order made in May 2020 in proceedings brought by Sheila Hirachand for provision from the estate of Navinchandra Hirachand, her late father, under the Inheritance (Provision for Family and Dependants) Act 1975 (“the 1975 Act”).

World Menopause Day - time to break the taboo!

World Menopause Day was held on 18 October 2021. It is an opportunity to break the stigma and taboo that still exists around menopause and to encourage open dialogue about what is a natural and very significant transition in a woman’s life.

Civil Fraud Quarterly Round-Up: Q3 2021

A Civil Fraud quarterly round-up (3rd quarter 2021)

“Lights. Camera. Action!” – Re Motion Picture Capital and standing for minority shareholders to bring unfair prejudice petitions

In the recent case of Re Motion Picture Capital Limited [2021] EWHC 2504 (Ch), the Court greenlit an unfair prejudice petition presented by a minority shareholder who no longer held shares in the relevant company at the time his petition was heard. The petitioner’s position was "Show me the money!", requesting an order that the company purchase his shares at a price reflecting the company’s value, even though his shares had already been transferred into the names of the company’s nominees.

Actor Terry Jones’ children challenge his Will - but does suffering from dementia mean you can’t make a valid Will?

Several stories have recently been published about the ‘legal battle’ commenced in the High Court relating to the estate of actor Terry Jones, who was well known and loved for his role in Monty Python and who died in January 2020. His adult children from his first marriage have reportedly commenced proceedings against their father’s estate and his second wife Anna Söderström (who is thought to be the main beneficiary of the estate), claiming that the Will their father made in 2016 is invalid because he lacked capacity when he made it. As a matter of law, a Will made by someone who lacks the required mental capacity at the time they made the Will is not valid. 
 

 

The Tail Wagging the Dog - Hourly Rates Review 2021

The Master of the Rolls, Sir Geoffrey Vos, has approved the new guideline hourly rates (GHR) proposed by the CJC and the Stewart committee which will come into effect on 1st October 2021.
These new rates are a result of the final report of the Civil Justice Council released at the end of July 2021 and the forerunning consultation that took place between 8 January and 31 March 2021.

 

 

Why the date of death matters for creditors of insolvent estates

Death does not release an individual from their debts and liabilities, nor does it allow transactions made to loved ones to escape challenge. This is so regardless of whether the transactions were made with the intention to defraud creditors.

Related pages

Commercial and Contract Disputes FAQs

Our experts provide the answers to some of the most frequently asked questions regarding commercial and contract disputes.

Commercial and Contract Disputes

Corporate disputes can be stressful, disruptive and damaging. We provide tactical and strategic advice to businesses and individuals.

Civil Fraud and Investigations

The international nature of commerce and growing reliance on electronic communications mean that the number and value of fraud claims is rising.

Dispute Resolution

Dealing with a dispute professionally and commercially takes skill. We assist and support our clients with both legal knowledge and strategy.

Financial Services Disputes

We represent individuals and businesses in high value and complex claims against banks and financial institutions.

Injunctions

If you need to prevent the loss of an asset, damage to reputation, or protect against personal harm, it may be necessary to apply for an injunction.

Insolvency Litigation

Our dispute resolution lawyers represent individuals, companies and insolvency practitioners on insolvency matters.

International and Cross-Border Disputes

When disputes involve individuals or organisations in different countries, those involved often face an array of complex issues in various jurisdictions.

Litigation Funding Options

Funding litigation can be expensive and cause concern. We hope to alleviate these concerns by offering our clients a bespoke funding package.

Professional Negligence

Our experienced team of litigators act for claimants in bringing claims against professionals when they get it wrong.

Real Estate Litigation

Owners, occupiers, investors or developers might encounter property issues relating to anything from a lease or contract dispute to potential fraud.

Shareholder and Director Disputes

When individuals fall out in business it can have devastating consequences. Our litigation team has extensive experience in resolving disputes.

News and blogs

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Blogs

Could litigation funding be available for my claim?

Are DBAs viable for funding commercial litigation?

Back to the drawing board: Do I have to re-plead/re-prove my case?

The emperor’s new clothes or sweeping reform? The Corporate Insolvency and Governance Bill

All swans are white….?

Has the law of contract been compromised?

What is required to prove contempt of court?

Do androids dream of electric sheep?: mistaken computers and relevant minds

Going… going… gone. When is a contract formed at auction?

Court unlikely to depart from default position of full disclosure (PJSC Tatneft v Bogolyubov and others)

SAAMCO reinforced: Clients may bear the weight of their own commercial misjudgements

Google fined 2.42 billion by the European Commission

Legal Update: contractual disputes, foreign currencies, and the plummeting pound

Is a freezing order affecting third parties contrary to public policy?

Submitting to the Jurisdiction of the English court

Legal update: Worldwide Freezing Orders - a useful tool

Legal update: football club defends appeal case on the pitch

Legal Update: a warning against taking “unreasonable advantage” of late filing

The credit crunch revisited: developments in the international courts

Legal update: Supreme Court dismisses appeal against decision giving principal a proprietary claim over bribe or secret commission

Expert shopping is not for the privileged

High Court finds contract to have been formed in two different jurisdictions

Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) up for discussion

Case update: Court of Appeal criticises judge for refusing to recuse himself

Case update: Application for reconsideration of draft judgment refused

Case update: Court of Appeal considers the suitability of summary judgment and principle of “compelling reason” for second appeals

Case Update: Court of Appeal upholds supply contract despite lack of agreement

Why every company should have a sound understanding of legal privilege issues

Compensation under cross undertaking in damages: principles applied by High Court

French companies still have lessons to learn on corruption and fraud risks

Is IP litigation recession proof?

Insurance Policy: Would you like to add on legal expenses insurance?

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