Corporate and commercial disputes


Seeking to provide straightforward and commercially focussed solutions to the most difficult of problems – we have decades of experience in assisting clients from different sectors, including government authorities and publicly funded bodies, corporates, SMEs, business founders and high net worth individuals.

The optimum resolution of a heavyweight dispute demands technical expertise, a cogent strategy and measured commercial judgement. Our commercial disputes teams operates across our UK, Middle Eastern and Far Eastern offices, and we appreciate the difficult sensitivities involved in resolving disputes between parties from different countries.

Our team are experienced in handling commercial disputes of all types, including claims in relation to the sale of goods, the provision of services and under large scale outsourcing and IT contracts. These matters frequently turn on heavy factual and expert evidence.

On the corporate side, we handle warranty, earn out and other corporate disputes, frequently involving questions of accountancy as well as law. We advise on disputes arising out of the breakdown of companies, joint ventures, LLPs and partnerships, and over the management of trust structures, both in the UK and offshore.

A large part of our work is international, both through our own international offices and our membership of Interlaw (with lawyers in over 140 cities worldwide). We are particularly well known for acting in commercial disputes involving parties from the Gulf, both in the High Court and also managing cross-border litigation in the Middle East and worldwide. In the UK, because the firm's strong public sector client base, we are frequently instructed in commercial disputes involving public sector bodies.

We will always consider every option for dispute resolution and tailor our approach to fit our clients. We frequently work with clients to manage business critical issues before they move to active litigation. Having been joined by His Honour David Grant on his retirement from the High Court, we offer in-house judicial insight.

We are results orientated and frequently deploy mediation and other ADR as part of a settlement strategy from the outset. We regularly work with litigation funders to enable clients to fund major litigation off balance sheet and hedge their risks. We also have a wealth of experience obtaining and defending injunctions and other interim relief.

Our recent work includes:

Department of Health – Complex Arbitration, Litigation in Pharmaceuticals and Medicines Programme – we were appointed to this panel in 2017, to act for the Department of Health in high value commercial and competition law claims, generally against multi-national defendants.

Central bank, cross-border litigation – we act for the central bank of a Middle Eastern state in a multi-billion cross-border dispute, and are currently managing legal proceedings in the Gulf, Europe, the US and offshore.

All Party Parliamentary Group on Fair Business Banking – representing this well-known all party parliamentary group, with members drawn from all major parties across both houses of parliament, in its successful intervention in Sevilleja v Marex UKSC 2018/0178 to argue that the principle of corporate law the 'rule against reflective loss' should be applied flexibly to protect borrowers and business owners. This is the first ever intervention by MPs in UK Supreme Court.

Investment fund, freezing injunction – we acted for a UAE investment fund, whose majority shareholding in a London hedge fund was made subject to a freezing order in the course of a commercial dispute over a £100 million London property development. We contested the freezing order and simultaneously negotiated a successful resolution of the underlying dispute.

Business founder, breach of warranty – we acted for a business founder defending a very significant breach of warranty claim brought against him by a private equity fund which had purchased his company. We addressed allegations raising complex legal, factual and accountancy issues regarding the company’s warranted accounts. After litigating the matter over several years, we represented our client in a two day pre-trial mediation, after which the claims were withdrawn for a small fraction of their value.

IT reseller, disputed team moves, enforcement of restrictive covenants and confidentiality obligations – we acted for a national IT reseller in commencing proceedings and seeking injunctive relief against former employees who have breached their restrictive covenants and/or confidentiality obligations, with a view to protecting our client’s business interests. We achieved successful outcomes at the interim injunction stages and through settlement.

"Trowers & Hamlins fields 'top-level lawyers who are experienced at dealing with complex, high-value litigation'. The practice's key strengths are Middle Eastern-related work; heavyweight commercial disputes involving corporate, banking and insurance matters, together with a specific aviation and aerospace focus; and commercial disputes involving public sector bodies" - Legal 500, Commercial Litigation 2018

In brief

  • Experienced lawyers handling and resolving complex and heavyweight commercial disputes
  • International work – both through our own international offices and our membership of Interlaw (with lawyers in over 150 cities worldwide), with particularly deep experience in disputes relating to the Gulf and to Malaysia
  • In-house judicial insight
  • Regularly work with litigation funders
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Tillman v Egon Zehnder Ltd 2019 UKSC 32

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