When it comes to disputes in business, the stakes can be high.

Perhaps a large number of people could be affected by the disagreement? Maybe a substantial amount of money is involved? Or a valuable asset that you’ve nurtured for many years?

No matter how amicable you try to be, things can get a little… messy.

Of course, there are some situations in which a frank discussion is all that’s required to settle the issue. Or mediation may be enough to put it to bed. But unfortunately, in most cases, commercial disputes are highly complex matters. And as a result, they typically take a long time – as well as the assistance of an experienced legal team – to resolve.

Complex commercial litigation

Exactly what it says on the tin.

Compared to civil litigation cases (i.e. disputes between two people), all commercial litigation cases have a certain degree of complexity. Involving two or more corporate companies, the stakes are usually much higher – and any type of disagreement needs to be dealt with carefully.

However, ‘complex commercial litigation’ is a term used to describe cases that are particularly complicated – and therefore, generally, take longer to reach a satisfactory outcome.

For example, they often involve:

  • multiple parties or large numbers of people 
  • substantial amounts of money
  • highly valuable assets
  • matters that are likely to move quickly
  • fraud and deception

Today’s businesses can face many different types of commercial disputes, which have the potential to arise at any time. And commercial dispute resolution can be employed to tackle a large and diverse range of intricate legal issues.

Employee disagreements, product and professional liability, data breaches, antitrust and bad faith, whistle-blower claims, trade secret claims, intellectual property disputes, unfair competition, class actions, misrepresentation, tax disputes… they all fall under the ‘complex’ umbrella.

However, the three most common issues include:

1. Contract breach claims

One of the most important parts of running a business is drawing up corporate contracts.

Breaches can range from simple mistakes or errors in the wording, to disputes regarding a party’s failure to adhere to the terms. For example, if they refuse to perform the agreed duties, if work carried out is somehow defective, or they fail to pay for the product or service provided etc.

If an agreement cannot be reached internally, litigation may be required.

2. Partnership and joint venture disputes

To help them grow, most organisations forge partnerships with other companies.

However, as with any relationship, disagreements are inevitable – especially if one partner is leaving the business or the business has stopped trading. Disputes often arise concerning asset ownership, the division of any profits, the use of intellectual property and ongoing customer relationships.

Not only can such issues put the future of the enterprise at risk, they can negatively impact how others perceive the company – and it’s important to address them as soon as possible.

3. Shareholder disputes

People fall out, and sadly, the relationship between shareholders can (and often does) break down.

In most cases, disagreements occur due to a conflict of interest – usually regarding the direction of the business or how it’s being managed. Disputes also commonly arise between minority and majority shareholders with respect to unfair treatment and how earnings are shared between parties.

Again, these issues can be highly problematic – potentially jeopardising the success of the business. And if a solution cannot be reached in-house, commercial dispute resolution may be essential.

Complex matters require a complex approach

Complex business disputes, such as those outlined above, tend to escalate quickly. And if they aren’t properly resolved, the consequences can be severe – potentially costing you a lot of money or, worst case scenario, leading to the eventual failure of your company.

That’s why, it’s important to secure legal representation as soon as possible. 

Due to their complexity, these types of disputes need to be addressed by specialist commercial litigation solicitors – who possess the right skillset to analyse the factual and legal complications inherent in your issue, and map out a sound legal strategy. One that’s tailored to your unique requirements and could, realistically, lead to a positive outcome.

Complex commercial litigation cases can also take a very long time to resolve – rarely less than 12 months. However, an experienced legal team will take this into account when formulating their approach and do everything they can to minimise this timeframe (and the associated costs).

Commercial litigation at St Helens Law

Commercial litigation at St Helens Law

Ultimately, successful dispute resolution requires in-depth knowledge of the commercial litigation process, a hard-working and determined team, careful preparation and a willingness to review and adapt your legal strategy as the case unfolds.  And it’s fair to say, here at St Helens Law, we have all of those boxes ticked.

Complex commercial litigation is one of our specialist areas.

Dealing with each case based on its unique circumstances, our commercial litigation solicitors can devise a tailored and effective approach and assist with all aspects of the litigation process – from the preliminary investigations and pre-action protocols to case preparation, trial preparation and appeals.

We fully understand the seriousness of your situation. No matter how complex or ‘messy’ your case may be, we have the expertise and experience to determine a suitable plan of action. And we’ll do everything in our power to achieve the best outcome for you – as quickly and easily as possible.

To take your first step towards resolution, why not get in touch and book your free initial consultation? Or if you have any questions about complex commercial litigation, and how our team of commercial dispute solicitors can help, please don’t hesitate to contact us.

You can either give us a call on 01744 742360 or send an email to info@sthelenslaw.co.uk.