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Dispute Resolution for Businesses

Dispute Resolution for Businesses

Business Law

Meet David Mallinson

Our Dispute Resolution team provides a wide-range of services in advising on and resolving all types of commercial and contractual disputes and claims, both simple and complex.

We offer a full dispute resolution service (including ADR and litigation) and are experienced in acting for a client base that includes large corporations, SMEs, partnerships as well as individuals. Where litigation appears to be the only course open to a client, we do regularly represent our commercial clients (large and small) in substantial claims in both the High Court and the County Court.

Commercial property disputes

Working with our Commercial Property team, we achieve favourable outcomes for commercial tenants and landlords on a wide range of property and real estate disputes.

Commercial contract disputes

Commercial contracts cover many service areas and include many different types of contract. We have extensive experience of resolving a wide range of commercial contractual disputes and also for putting preventive measures in place to limit contract disputes in the first place.

Construction disputes

An increasingly contentious area, construction disputes between contractor, employer or other professional consultants can be costly for all parties involved and we offer a pragmatic commercial approach which is designed to achieve a swift and successful outcome.

Landlord and tenant

If you are a landlord letting residential accommodation and are experiencing difficulties with tenants we can offer legal advice to help protect your rental income and if necessary recover possession.

Professional negligence claims

If things go wrong and you incur financial loss as a result of professional advice you have received we can provide immediate advice and assistance on potential professional negligence claims in relation to accountants, architects, financial advisors, surveyors and solicitors.

Conflict in the workplace

Sometimes disputes can arise in relation to shareholders, partnerships and other employee issues. If you need help with resolving conflict in the workplace, please contact one of our expert Employment Law Solicitors who will be happy to help.

Insolvency related litigation

We provide regular advice and assistance to both individuals and businesses, as well as registered insolvency practitioners on insolvency and winding up related issues.

Our Corporate, Banking and Finance provide expert advice on restructuring and insolvency and has extensive experience in advising insolvency practitioners, companies in financial difficulties, directors, investors and funders on all aspects of corporate restructuring and insolvency.

Debt Recovery

We provide a dedicated and cost effective debt recovery service which deals with all steps from an initial 'letter before action' through to the issue of formal proceedings and the application for and enforcement of judgments.

Often an initial letter is sufficient to generate a positive response from the debtor. If further action is required, this is always dealt with in close consultation with the client to ensure costs are minimised throughout the process and unrecoverable debts are, hopefully, identified at the earliest possible opportunity.

Our main aim always is to avoid, wherever possible, an extended time consuming and costly litigation process and guide you towards a cost effective and speedy resolution considering alternatives such as Alternative Dispute Resolution. We are flexible about funding arrangements - for some matters it may be appropriate to use a Conditional Fee Agreement and we will discuss this with you.

Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR)

As well as providing advice about conventional forms of litigation, we can also advise you on alternative dispute resolution methods, including arbitration and dispute mediation (both formal and informal), which an increasing number of our commercial clients opt for, primarily for reasons of both time and potential cost saving.

Conditional Fee Agreement – Our Terms

Where we provide representation under a Conditional Fee Agreement, you will be required to fund our success fee from your damages upon the successful conclusion of your claim. This is calculated as a percentage uplift of our normal (“base”) chargeable costs and will typically be within the range of 50% – 70% but cannot exceed 100%. The precise terms of the CFA would be negotiated and agreed with you prior to commencement. You will also be required to pay any insurance premium you have elected to take out from your damages upon the successful conclusion of your claim.

If the claim fails, you would have to pay disbursements (the money which we have to pay to other people for example expert reports, Court fees, Counsel etc.) but we can arrange legal expenses insurance for you which would cover these disbursements so there would then be nothing at all to pay if the claim should fail.

If you terminate the Conditional Fee Agreement against our advice, we then have the right to decide whether 1) you must pay our basic charges and our expenses and disbursements including barristers’ fees (but not the success fee) or 2) pay our basic charges, and our expenses and disbursements including barristers’ fees and success fees if you go on to win your claim for damages.

If a finding of fundamental dishonesty is found your claim would be struck out and you would be required to pay our basic charges, and our expenses and disbursements as well as the basic charges, and expenses and disbursements of your opponent.

The Conditional Fee Agreement automatically ends if you die before your claim for damages is concluded. We will be entitled to recover our basic charges up to the date of your death from your estate. If your personal representatives wish to continue your claim for damages, we may offer them a new conditional fee agreement, as long as they agree to pay the success fee on our basic charges from the beginning of the agreement with you.

In order to assess whether we would be willing to undertake a specific matter on this basis an initial assessment of the merits and value of any claim (and the strength of any defence which has been raised) would be undertaken initially and reviewed by the departmental manager and managing partner of the firm. This would normally involve an internal process only but where we consider that obtaining external counsel’s opinion is a requirement in order to gauge the merits and prospects for success of the claim that advice from counsel will usually incur a fee of between £1000 plus VAT and £2500 plus VAT, depending on the precise issues involved. An advice from counsel would be required for example in the context of any policy of insurance which is applied for to cover the potential for adverse costs which may be awarded against the client if the claim is ultimately unsuccessful. In the event that we intend to render any fee for our work in obtaining an advice from counsel at the preliminary stage we will notify you at the time and in advance, although we would not expect that to be any more than 2-4 hours in the majority of instances.

If you are involved in a business dispute it is important to seek advice as early as possible. Please contact a member of our Dispute Resolution team. Girlings has offices in Canterbury, Ashford and Herne Bay.

Our Experts

David Mallinson

Head of Department
Dispute Resolution

Nicola Webster

Senior Associate Solicitor
Dispute Resolution

Lee Quickenden

Associate (FCILEx)
Dispute Resolution

Rebecca Page

Debt Recovery Manager
Debt Recovery

Sophia Wright

Wills, Tax & Estate Administration; Dispute Resolution

Anna Ayling

Trainee Solicitor
Dispute Resolution

Related Pages


Resolving Disputes