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Commercial Dispute Resolution

Business Disputes

Chun Wong
Partner
Claire Kitchen
Partner
Ruhul Ameen
Partner

Disputes between business owners can be very stressful and take time away from running a business.

The breakdown of a business relationship can become very acrimonious between people who were once close and trusted each other. In some cases, trust has disappeared completely between business partners, and people that used to get on and work together very well are at loggerheads.

This takes valuable time away from your business and it is essential that early advice is taken where a dispute has occurred.

Hodge Jones & Allen Solicitors can act for people and businesses who find themselves embroiled in such a dispute.

Company disputes

Company disputes can take many forms. Hodge Jones & Allen Solicitors have acted in many different kinds of company disputes, including:

  • Shareholder disputes
  • Prosecuting and defending unfair prejudice petitions
  • Claims against directors for breaches of fiduciary duties

Shareholder disputes

The starting point in any claim is considering shareholder agreements (if there are any). Any advice on how to proceed will take into account any dispute resolution clause within the Shareholder’s Agreement.

Unfair prejudice

Unfair prejudice actions revolve around an issue where a shareholder feels that his shareholding has been prejudiced due to another shareholder’s actions. In such a case, a detailed history of the dispute will have to be considered.

"MICHAEL GAVE ME CLARITY, A SENSE OF SECURITY, AND CONFIDENCE THAT A SOLUTION WOULD BE FOUND. NO HESITATION ABOUT RECOMMENDING HIM SPECIFICALLY AND HJA IN GENERAL."

Claims against Directors

A company can make a claim against a director for failure to run the company correctly. In such cases, the Articles of Association and Memorandum should be the first port of call. Again a detailed history of the dispute will have to be considered.

We have successfully pursued claims against company directors and shareholders over the last 20 years. The key is to take early advice on the range of resolutions available in such cases.

Partnership disputes

Relationship between partners can often become frayed, for a number of reasons. One partner may feel that another is not pulling his or her weight, or losses may have been sustained by the partnership due to the actions of a partner.

In these cases, the most recent partnership agreement should be considered carefully. A partnership agreement should describe the duties of the partners, and also include a dispute resolution clause.

If there is no partnership application in place, the provisions of the Partnership Act 1890 must be considered.

Hodge Jones & Allen understands that you need to devote time to your business. Litigation can be a costly and time consuming exercise. Early resolution is of benefit to most sensitive disputes, and all methods of resolution should be considered carefully.

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Litigation

The senior members of our team have many years’ proven experience in carrying out litigation in the High Court and Court of Appeal. Hodge Jones & Allen Solicitors have acted in cases for businesses and individuals for over 40 years. We understand how stressful, sensitive and time consuming litigation can be. For that reason, we also advise it that entering into litigation should be a last resort.

The focus of Hodge Jones & Allen Solicitors is to resolve the dispute. Our first task, upon instruction is to understand your business, from the products or services you sell to company structures and finance. This allows us to provide strategic and relevant advice.

Alternatives to litigation

Our priority is to solve the problem as soon as possible, and not exacerbate a dispute. Due to this, we will always consider other forms of dispute resolution, commonly referred to as alternative dispute resolution (“ADR.”)  Examples of ADR are mediation and negotiation. We are also able to advise if arbitration is appropriate, or even necessary.

Hodge Jones & Allen always considers all forms of dispute resolution before advising that litigation is the most appropriate course of action

Where ADR cannot assist, and recourse to litigation is necessary, we are able to proceed efficiently with litigation. Litigation can be a costly and time consuming exercise, and we provide our clients with clear cost advice. Due to the size of our team we are able to offer a range of legal fees. This ensures any unavoidable litigation is carried out proportionately and promptly.

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