Litigation & Dispute Resolution
Our specialist team gets quick results where necessary or will help you find an alternative solution when faced with or bringing a civil action.
Our team have experience in protecting intellectual property for a range of businesses. Whether this relates to trade marks, copyright, trade secrets or know how, we are able to advise you in relation to how best to protect your intellectual property, or challenge others who may be passing off your products, services or ideas.
- Securing patent protection
- Protecting your brand(s) by securing a trademark
- Maximising the commercial potential of your intellectual property
- Advising you on all aspects of intellectual property litigation
- Securing early injunctions to prevent damage before it’s caused
- Working with specialist barristers and using alternative dispute resolution to avoid publicity on contentious disputes.
BOUNDARY & NEIGHBOUR DISPUTES
Everyone knows boundary and neighbourly disputes are difficult to litigate. The Court’s don’t like deciding them and cooler heads really need to prevail. We’ve got the skill, expertise and experience to make sure that when something as heated as a boundary disputes arises, you’re properly advised and protected and every step is taken to ensure that the Court sees you as the reasonable party. Of course, when the gloves have to come off, we have tenacious litigators ready to fight your corner.
Boundary disputes can be over a few feet of land or many metres and they can quickly escalate to make your living conditions far from ideal. We know precisely how to handle these types of dispute, by working with expert surveyors and boundary experts to get to the nub of the dispute and to stay on the right side of the law. These disputes quickly escalate and as a litigation team that’s been involved in over 200 mediations and alternative dispute resolution methods, we’ll always try and ensure that not only do you get the best outcome, that your future and that of your family is at the forefront of the decisions that we make.
Right of Light Disputes
Your neighbour may be building an extension or modifying their property. If it impacts on your property, we can help to ensure your rights are protected, that by acting quickly we can secure a modification to the design of their building before it impacts on valuable light to your property. See our specific section on Right of Light here.
Party Wall Disputes
If you or your neighbour are planning redevelopment works to your property, both of you must ensure that you comply with strict Party Wall legislation. We have years of experience to ensure your rights are protected, if Party Wall Awards are not made when they should be, to ensure that the legislation is complied with and if Awards are made where they shouldn’t be or if a surveyor has simply got it wrong, we’ll guide you through a very complex area of the law by applying to the County Court where necessary. We work with experienced party wall surveyors who know their area and who are the best in the business. We deal with these disputes regularly both in a domestic but also in a commercial context.
Harassment and injunctions
Sometimes neighbours just can’t or won’t get on. These disputes are rarely easy to deal with and can become nasty, quickly. Just like boundary disputes, cooler heads need to prevail. However, sometimes the other side just won’t listen. If that’s the case, we’ll handle your case robustly, and if necessary by obtaining restraining orders and injunctions to protect you, your family and your property. No one wants this situation to occur, but when it does, you need firm but sensible legal advice and your neighbours need to know you won’t be taken for granted.
Rights of Way and Property Disputes
These disputes are complicated. They require an understanding of property and land law and they require the lawyers to give the highest quality of advice to ensure that you always adopt the correct legal position. Sometimes there’s no clear answer but often there is – it just needs to be found. You can always rely on us to work closely with our property law team to ensure that we get to the bottom of the dispute and to enforce your rights where you’re…in the right.
We can help you with a variety of personal property litigation matters. We have experience and expertise in dealing with all of the following situations:
- Disputes about the ownership of property; sometimes at the outset there isn’t a clear agreement about how a house or property is to be owned and the shares. This is a complicated area but we’ve dealt with many dispute and we understand this area and will give you the best advice. Sometimes the ownership is not as straightforward as it seems;
- There can be many different personal property disputes; you may have bought or sold a property but not paid or received the full amount of the price. If a dispute arises in these situations, we can always help;
- Often properties are purchased in the name of one party or the other. In the future, agreements may not be complied with or the evidence might be tricky to produce. We’ll help you to bring or defend such a claim, and piece together the evidence to make sure you’ve got the best chance of success;
- We specialise in fraud and dishonesty situations; if you’ve been the victim of a fraud or your property or money have been transferred away from you, sometimes by forgery but even if you think you’ve been the victim of undue influence, we’ve got a real specialism in this field. We can apply for injunctions quickly and we’ve got all the expertise that you’ll require in this fast-moving area.
- We are renowned for our expertise in recovering possession of residential property for landlords. We receive instructions from most of the specialist lettings agencies in South Essex, as well as from landlords directly and we deal with all work on a fixed fee basis. Download a copy of our price list here.
Contract law is always evolving. Courts are always making decisions that change the way that certain clauses are to be interpreted. We are always up to date with the law and we’ll give you clear and concise advice from the very outset. Our specialist team gets quick results where necessary and can seek alternative dispute resolution channels that save you time and money. Often, ADR clauses are built into the contract itself. We’ll help you decide if you can avoid that mechanism or how you can enforce it if it’s in your interests. If you own a small business, or you’ve managed to get into a dispute over land, property or money, we’ll keep the costs in check and most importantly, the end in sight.
DEBT RECOVERY & ENFORCEMENT
Are you owed money? Our robust system for debt recovery gets you your money and it doesn’t need to cost you a penny. We offer flexible fee arrangements depending on your requirements and our connection with the County’s best Insolvency Practitioners will ensure that your position is best protected if the worst happens and your debtor becomes insolvent. Our tenacious debt recovery experts strive to ensure that you not only secure a judgement, you also get your money back.
We specialise in bringing and resisting injunction applications. Our work in this field was recently recognised by the Legal 500 – the client’s guide to the legal profession. We have the resources and expertise available to carry out the necessary work at short notice, particularly where matters are time-critical and strength in depth is paramount. We specialise in obtaining and defending the following types of injunctions:
- Freezing Orders – both pre- and post- Judgment
- Orders seeking the preservation of land or property;
- Search Orders
- Restraining Orders against neighbours or other individuals
- Injunctions against co-shareholders or directors
- Safeguarding personal or business interests;
- Injunctions in relation to the preservation of your reputation
- Stopping nuisance or trespass relating to land
- Preventing the presentation of a winding-up petition or preventing its advertisement
- Enforcing restrictive covenants, in employment contracts or in land or title documentation
- An injunction to secure specific performance – such as the signing of a contract
When injunctions are necessary, or if they’ve been issued and you need to be released from a Court order, you need a firm and a team that can deliver. We have the team with the expertise and years of experience in handling emergency matters. Strength in depth in a team is critical and that’s where we specialise. We have experience in Directors and Senior Solicitors, with the ability to provide hands-on individuals in trainees and paralegals to go through urgent and large amounts of documentation quickly and decisively. Read more about our success here.
RESTRICTIVE COVENANTS & CONFIDENTIALITY
Whether you are in the process of negotiating your contract of employment or looking to move on, it is important that you fully understand any restrictive covenants or confidentiality obligations and the impact these may have in the future. Similarly, you may have changed employment and already be in breach or alleged breach of your previous contract. Things can get messy. Litigation can be expensive and time-consuming, and could also cause problems for your new employer. We’ll help you avoid this.
Our specialists co-ordinate to give you expert advice in relation to restrictive covenants. They can arise in employment contracts, partnership agreements, shareholder agreements, business acquisition agreements or management buy-out agreements. Basically, in a whole variety of situations. Moreover, they’re often entered into without much thought into what might happen if things go sour.
Often called non-compete clauses, this is an area of law that is complex and one which changes regularly. It can change with trends in employment, particularly if a high-concentration of specialists are located in a small geographical area. They can also arise to ensure that you don’t compete with your employer post-termination, or that you don’t compete with someone who has acquired your business. They are often used in the City of London in fields of finance or insurance and where our expertise really lies.
The consequences are often severe. They can result in injunctions, claims for damages, reputational damage and problems for your future or new employer. Our specialists are here to help you navigate this risk. Forearmed is forewarned and therefore obtaining advice on the potential liabilities is always advisable and we’re here to provide that advice.
Quite often, clauses can overreach and be excessive both in terms of time, geographical restrictions and areas of work. We’ll help you to challenge the clauses were appropriate and to minimise your risk if necessary. If the worst happens and proceedings are issued, our specialists work with our litigators to obtain the best outcome and to look at things strategically to allow you to move forward with your plans.
For your convenience, we have offices in the City of London and across Essex. We have a wealth of experience, acting for senior individuals in the insurance, banking and finance sectors in this constantly evolving and challenging area of the law. You need to be advised quickly and decisively not only about your options but how the other party is likely to react. This means you need advice from individuals who’ve encountered the situation previously and know the options that the other side have available and who can act strategically to ensure the risk of you being embroiled in lengthy and expensive litigation can be minimised.
RIGHT OF LIGHT
Planning a new development, for example a housing estate or a block of flats?
Planning an extension to existing property?
Own a property near to other property or land which is being developed? Then you should have heard of rights of light!
What is a legal Right of Light?
If a window in your home of commercial premises has existed for more than 19 years and 1 day then you will probably have acquired a “legal right of light” through that window. If your neighbour builds a structure which affects the light through that window, you may be able to either prevent that structure from being built or claim damages from your neighbour for the “injury”.
If you want to develop your property you will need to investigate whether any neighbouring windows have acquired this legal right of light over your land.
If legal rights of light exist:
– If you are developer and your build will affect your neighbour’s light – your neighbour might be entitled to an injunction to prevent you from building; or
– you may have to pay them compensation for their loss of light.
If a nearby development affects the light to your property – you may be entitled to either prevent the build or receive compensation in return for the injury to your light.
Many people assume that a surveyor is the first step in a right of light matter. Did you know that often, there is no need to incur surveyors fees because some buildings do not have the benefit of legal rights of light? If you are planning a development or your light is adversely affected by a nearby building call us or have a look below to see how our specialist right of light lawyers can achieve the right result for you.
|Rights of Light Reports|
Whether you are developing land or are affected by a development, you need to know the position with regard to legal rights of light. Where legal rights of light do not exist between buildings or land, there is often no need to incur surveyors fees.
By considering Land Registry and other documents (or deeds where land is unregistered) we will provide:
|Negotiation and Compensation|
If legal rights of light exist between neighbouring properties, and building on one would injure the other’s light, the parties can agree a settlement.
We are often able to achieve modification of the development to negate or reduce light injury (”cut back schemes”).
We also provide advice on compensation payments.
|“Deeds of Release”|
Where legal rights of light exist between neighbouring land, and those rights have been or will be injured by a development the parties can enter into a “Deed of Release of Rights of Light”; to give one or both parties the right to build despite the injury to legal rights of light. This “Release” invariably goes hand in hand with a compensation payment.
We have vast experience of both drafting and reviewing Deeds of Release of Rights of Light; and will guide you through the process.
Our advice includes:
|Light Obstruction Notices|
A Light Obstruction Notice (LON) can be used to prevent somebody’s land from acquiring a legal right of light over yours. They are mostly used where you are worried that your build will injure neighbouring windows, but those windows are less than 19 year and 1 day old.
The process involves an application to the Upper Tribunal (Lands Chamber).
We are experts in the process. Our service includes:
|Injunctions||Our team includes litigation lawyers to assist developers threatened with injunctive proceedings to halt their development. Affected owners who want to prevent a development or seek damages for the loss of light into their property.|
|Insurance||Sometimes, the least risky, most cost effective path is indemnity insurance. A typical policy will protect developers against the risk of adverse claims by affected parties. We are able to recommend a number of insurers who specialise in right of light insurance.|
Nadia is our in-house aviation expert. Nadia comes from a family of aviation specialists and has many years experience in this field. Nadia can help you with the following:
- Aircraft purchase and Sale Agreements
- Leases & Charters
- Repossession of Aircraft
- Engine Disputes
- Financing of Aircraft & Engines
- Registration & Operation of Aircraft
- Dispute Resolution
- Aviation Contracts
Building disputes can range from a straightforward contract for a small extension or the construction of a conservatory. They can also involve large scale rebuilding projects involving many different contractors, other professionals, architects, structural engineers and they can become more complex when dealing with listed buildings. Fortunately, our litigation team has dealt with all types of building and construction disputes and we have experience of using all of the dispute resolution methods that are available in this highly technical area of the law. We’ve litigated in the Technology & Construction Court, we’ve dealt with Adjudications, Arbitrations, Mediations, Joint Settlement Meetings and we’re always there to protect you and your property.
We’ve years of experience in dealing with adjudication. We use specialist barristers where necessary who understand the nature of this type of dispute resolution, aiming to provide a quick and relatively cost effective dispute mechanism and often allowing the parties to move on after dealing with a dispute that comes across from time to time in long running building and construction projects. The entire process is designed to be streamlined, fast and binding and you need solicitors who can work quickly, efficiently and in a team to make the most of this resolution method.
Arbitration is generally a private, enforceable and binding method of dispute resolution and in the days of vastly expensive litigation, is thought to provide a cost effective way of being able to deal with complex and highly technical disputes. We know the best abritrators in the business, we know the preparation required to deal with this method of dispute resolution and we work with the best barristers at the top chambers to ensure that your case is prepared properly and to give you the best chance of success.
If the gloves have to come off, then we’re in your corner to obtain the result you’re after. Our advantage is in our team, with strength in depth at all levels and with experience of litigating over complex construction projects, working with other professionals and really concentrating on the parts of the litigation that will make a difference to your case. We’ve litigated highly complex design projects in the City of London, pursued claims in negligence against architects over a cooling facility in Essex and pursued various contractors in a multiple-owner site with competing building interests. We really have the litigation know-how to deal with project based litigation, working with you and with tightly controlled budgets, insurance backed where necessary to ensure your project is properly protected.
DIRECTORS, SHAREHOLDERS & EXECUTIVES
Acting for Directors, Senior Employees and Board-Level recruitment can be complicated and challenging. We can help with complex employment issues and we’ll steer you through contracts, claims and disputes.
We specialise in advising on all contentious and non-contentious issues in this specialist area of the law. Often, employment contracts have to be read in conjunction with partnership or shareholder agreements, or Memorandum and Articles of Association and restrictive covenants and other obligations may also have to be interpreted in light of other formal documentation. We have specialists not only in our employment team but also in our corporate and commercial team and we’ll work together, to ensure that the preparation or dispute in relation to one form of agreement is also considered with other contractual remedies that could be available to you.
We can negotiate an exit package for you which may also need to end any company-law or partnership liabilities that you could have and we’ve got an entire team who will co-ordinate to enable you to get the best possible outcome.
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