If a dispute arises, you need a dispute resolution lawyer by your side who is able to assess the merits and advise strategically in order to achieve a commercial outcome at the earliest stage. Bringing contentious matters to a resolution within the parameters of an appropriate costs budget is critical to litigation work in the modern era.
Our dispute resolution lawyers are proactive, commercially-minded and realistic, as well as technically proficient, with a forensic eye for detail in assessing the merits. They recommend strategies for the early resolution of disputes, including by means of negotiation, mediation and early neutral evaluation. Where it is not possible to resolve a dispute satisfactorily by agreement, our lawyers pursue the proceedings, whether before the courts, a tribunal or an arbitration panel, with efficiency and resolution.
We are experienced in all the major forms of dispute resolution, including the English courts (from County or High Court through to the Supreme Court), appeals from Commonwealth courts to the Privy Council, international arbitration, adjudication and the tribunal system.
We are well placed to assist in international arbitration, whether as legal counsel or an arbitrator. Our arbitration work includes ad hoc, CIMAR, ICC and LCIA.
We are experienced in the enforcement of judgments and arbitral awards and we successfully obtain interim remedies such as freezing orders. Prevention is better than cure, and a key part of our work involves assisting our clients with minimising the possibility of a dispute arising in the first place. As dispute-resolution lawyers, we have a unique insight into what can cause commercial relationships to go wrong and where the stress points are in a contract, and how to deal with those effectively. We have considerable experience in advising clients with pre-contractual negotiations and with risk management at the contract-drafting stage, as well as with the conduct of issues arising during the lifetime of a commercial relationship in order to reduce the risk of matters deteriorating and to keep dealings with the other side harmonious and business-like.
Our dispute resolution lawyers benefit also from the firm’s sector focus to bring specialists together who understand the commercial and legal landscape that applies to the sector. We have dispute resolution experts in the following sectors:
- Construction and Engineering
- Inheritance and trust disputes
- Family & Divorce
- Immigration disputes
- Professional practices
Our cybersecurity legal service capability is comprehensive in scope, extending beyond data privacy.
We are experienced in most types of commercial disputes. Particular specialisms include:
- pre-contractual negotiations, pre-action engagement, and other behind-the-scenes advisory and risk-management work
- employment-related disputes and restraint of trade/restrictive covenants
- construction claims
- professional negligence claims
- insurance claims
- supplier/contractor disputes
- debt claims
- general commercial contract claims
- international trade disputes
- shareholder, JV, earn-out and company/partnership/limited liability partnership disputes and director and officer liability disputes
- procurement claims
- procedural battles, including jurisdiction challenges, security for costs, other interim relief applications, disclosure disputes and taking of evidence/deposition/examination requests
- landlord and tenant disputes
- real estate disputes
- professional football-related sports law
- contested trust and probate claims
- disputes between joint owners of property and ownership of property
- freezing injunction orders
- companies from a wide range of sectors, including technology, construction and engineering, financial services, international trade, media, leisure, insurance, biotech, fintech, digital health, healthcare & life sciences, property developers and investors, hotel owners and operators
- government and quasi-government bodies
- individuals and partnerships
- entrepreneurs and business owners
- foreign law firms
- professional football-related clients
It is common practice in this country and in many other jurisdictions for individuals and families to set up trust arrangements. The object may be to protect family assets, save tax or ensure that family members and others are provided for from the assets put aside. However, there are many reasons why such arrangements might fail or result in a dispute. For instance, Trustees may fail to preform their duties and responsibilities properly; fail to act in an impartial way; act in breach of trust or breach their fiduciary duties. Beneficiaries may be disappointed and wish to challenge the trustees exercise of their role or decisions. The actions of the trustees might result in loss to the trust fund and they might need to be replaced and action taken to recover trust assets.
Over the past 30 years or so there has been a significant increase in disputes challenging the validity of a will or codicil or a trust set up in a will or codicil. Claims can include assertions that the maker of the will did not have the requisite testamentary capacity to make a will; was unduly influenced; that he/she was did not have knowledge and approval of the contents of the will or that the will was superseded by a later will or not signed in accordance with the legal requirements. Suggestions of forgery and fraud are often factors. Sometimes issues arise regarding the interpretation of a will or the need to rectify the will. Claims seeking to remove Executors and Trustees are not uncommon. It is not uncommon for disputes to arise relating to the distribution of the assets of an elderly or infirm person before their death. Finally, the law in England and Wales permits certain people e.g. spouses, former spouses, people maintained by the deceased and children (even adult children) to make claims against the estate of a decease person subject to a short time limit.
Despite the impact of BREXIT and COVID-19 people continue to move live abroad to live, holiday or work and who hold assets and property in more than one country. They are joining the many who have left our shores over the past decades. Moving permanently or temporarily abroad can give rise to many issues in the event of death, infirmity of family breakdown. Disputes might arise over assets held in England and Wales in conjunction with a dispute regarding foreign held assets.
Spencer West LLP has a strong and growing international team of lawyers who can assist in the event of property and asset disputes in England and Wales and in relation to assets held offshore.
Commercial and residential real estate and property frequently gives rise to disputes. It is important to have lawyers at your side who are experienced in the type of dispute and asset class and who advise on a strategy for an early resolution. For property disputes in particular, it is often in parties’ interests to resolve matters without going to Court, to avoid delay and cost.
Our Real Estate and Property dispute practitioners are highly experienced lawyers, who are familiar with a wide range of commercial and residential property disputes. Our lawyers work as a practice area in order to combine the strengths of the team, bringing together practitioners, who between them have dealt with all classes of property and a wide range of disputes.
Types of disputes includes:
- landlord and tenant disputes, such as arising from non-payment of rent, breach of covenant, dilapidations, options and break clauses
- contractual and conveyancing disputes, including those arising contracts for the disposal or acquisition of property
- title issues, including claims between joint owners of property or someone who believes they have an interest in a property despite not being a registered proprietor
- residential leasehold disputes, including claims for possession, service charge disputes and disrepair claims
- leasehold enfranchisement
- lease extensions
- disputes in relation to development, including arising out of plans for infill development, ancillary rights, boundaries, party walls, basements and air space rights
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