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Commercial Dispute Resolution: South Bank Legal

commercial dispute resolution

What is a commercial dispute?

A commercial dispute is a disagreement or conflict that arises between two or more parties engaged in a business or commercial transaction. These disputes can occur in various contexts, such as business contracts or other B2B agreements. They may involve issues related to payment, delivery of goods or services, breach of contract, non-performance, quality disputes, intellectual property rights, and so on.

Resolving commercial disputes typically involves negotiation, mediation, arbitration, or litigation. The method used will depend on the nature and severity of the disagreement and the preferences of the parties involved. Many businesses seek to resolve disputes efficiently and effectively to minimise disruption to their operations and maintain positive relationships with clients, suppliers and shareholders.

If you are experiencing a commercial dispute and are in need of expert legal advice, then our team of commercial solicitors are on hand to assist you. Our specialist dispute resolution team at South Bank Legal have many years of experience and work tirelessly to achieve favourable outcomes for our clients.

Examples of common commercial disputes

  • Breach of contract disputes: These can arise when parties disagree about the interpretation of contractual terms or, or whether there has been proper performance of the contact by one or more of the parties.
  • Payment disputes: These types of disputes can occur when there is a disagreement over the amount or timing of payment for goods or services rendered. This can involve issues such as invoicing discrepancies, disputed charges, or non-payment.
  • Shareholder or partnership disputes: In partnerships or joint ventures, disagreements can arise regarding management decisions, profit sharing, management responsibilities, or breach of fiduciary duties.
  • Intellectual property disputes: These disputes involve disagreements over the ownership, use, or infringement of intellectual property rights. Such rights may include patent rights, trade mark rights (be it a registered or unregistered trade mark), copyright, or trade secrets.
  • Debt collection disputes: Disagreements between creditors and debtors regarding repayment terms, amounts owed, or debt collection practices can lead to commercial disputes.
  • Commercial property disputes: Commercial property disputes can involve issues such as lease agreements, property ownership, boundaries, property development, or construction contracts.


What is Commercial Dispute Resolution?

Commercial dispute resolution refers to the various methods used to settle disagreements arising between businesses or individuals involved in commercial activities. The commercial dispute resolution process aims to reach a mutually acceptable solution between the parties to the dispute, allowing the parties involved to move forward with their business activities.

Commercial dispute resolution can take various forms, including:

  • Negotiation: This is usually informal and often the first step in resolving a commercial dispute. Parties directly discuss the issues and attempt to reach a settlement without involving third parties. Negotiation can occur through direct communication or with the assistance of legal representatives or mediators.
  • Mediation: In mediation, a neutral third party, known as a mediator, assists the disputing parties in reaching a voluntary agreement. The mediator facilitates face to face communication, helps identify areas of agreement, and explores potential solutions. Mediation is a non-binding process, meaning that the parties are not required to accept the mediator’s recommendations. Mediation will often take place after litigation has commenced, and prior to a final trial.
  • Arbitration: Arbitration involves submitting the dispute to a neutral third party, known as an arbitrator or arbitral tribunal, who renders a legally binding decision. Arbitration proceedings are typically less formal and more flexible than litigation. Parties have some control over the selection of the arbitrator and the arbitration process.
  • Expert Determination: In some instances, parties may agree to submit specific issues or technical matters to an independent expert for determination. The expert’s decision is typically binding and enforceable, although the process may be less formal than arbitration or litigation.
  • Conciliation: Similar to mediation, conciliation involves a neutral third party assisting the parties in reaching a resolution. However, in conciliation, the conciliator may take a more active role in proposing solutions and may offer recommendations for settlement.
  • Litigation: If pre-action negotiation or mediation fails to resolve the dispute, and if the dispute is not amenable to arbitration, parties may resort to commercial litigation, which involves bringing the case before a court of law. Litigation follows formal legal procedures, including statements of case,  disclosure of documents, exchange of witness statement evidence and expert evidence, interim hearings, and a final trial, culminating in a judgment by the court.

Commercial dispute resolution methods can vary in terms of cost, time, complexity and level of control over the outcome. Parties engaged in a dispute should carefully consider the options available to them and choose the most suitable dispute resolution approach based on their needs and business relationships.

Benefits of Alternative Dispute Resolution

Alternative dispute resolution in commercial cases provides several advantages compared to traditional litigation in court. One of the primary benefits is cost-effectiveness. Methods such as negotiation, mediation, and arbitration typically incur lower expenses, including legal fees, court costs, and procedural expenses.

Additionally, these processes are generally quicker than litigation. This allows parties to resolve disputes more promptly and focus on their core business activities without prolonged disruptions.

Confidentiality is another significant advantage of alternative dispute resolution. Many methods, particularly mediation and arbitration, offer greater confidentiality compared to court proceedings. This can be crucial for businesses concerned about protecting sensitive information and their reputation.

Parties involved in alternative commercial dispute resolution have more control over the process and outcome as they can select the method of resolution and choose, or have input into the choice of, the mediator or arbitrator. Furthermore, they can actively participate in crafting a solution that meets their interests and objectives. This control assists with collaboration and communication between parties, helping to preserve business relationships and avoid further conflicts.

Businesses are able to tailor the dispute resolution process to suit their specific needs, preferences, and the complexity of the dispute. This flexibility enables creative problem-solving and innovative solutions that may not be available in a more formal and traditional courtroom setting.

Additionally, in arbitration and expert determination, parties have the opportunity to select arbitrators or experts with specialised knowledge and experience relevant to the dispute. This ensures that the resolution process benefits from the expertise of professionals who understand the technical, industry-specific, or legal aspects of the dispute.

How can South Bank Legal help with commercial dispute resolution?

Our team of commercial dispute resolution solicitors are highly experienced in assisting in a range of disputes. Whether you are bringing or defending a claim, our solicitors can help.

Our legal teams provide services on a wide range of commercial issues. These include multi-national intellectual property disputes, employment law, financial services, contract disputes and property disputes.

If you would like to discuss the process of commercial dispute resolution and how our law firm can assist you, please contact us using the form below. Alternatively, you can call us on 02035765179.


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