Business Legal Services | Disputes and Litigation
We understand that the last thing you need is a distraction from running your business. That’s why our approach to disputes and litigation is designed to reach a favourable outcome with as little inconvenience to you as possible.
Thomas Guise is a partner-led law firm with offices in Studley, Worcester, Malvern and Birmingham. We give you a single point of contact – so you are assured of receiving the best advice. Our highly-experienced litigation solicitors deal with the full range of civil claims, in both the County Court and High Court. We assist claimants and defendants with all stages of litigation – from negotiation and attempts to settle through to proceedings and beyond to appeal or enforcement.
Recent work includes a commercial dispute with a major high street bank; a substantial loss of earnings claim for a private company; a six figure negligence action against a surveyor; and a successful six figure claim in the London Court of International Arbitration against one of the UK’s biggest companies, represented by a Magic Circle firm.
It is an unfortunate fact that not every invoice you present will be paid. County Court procedure, even in relatively simple claims, can be confusing. We aim to recover the maximum possible amount of your debt, together with interest and costs, whenever court rules will allow.
Our litigation team recently acted for a local business based in Redditch. They were able to secure judgment against the Defendant and with the assistance of High Court Enforcement Officers were able to recover the sums owed to the client.
There are times when the pressure of multiple debts is overwhelming. In these circumstances the only practical route can be the appointment of a third party to manage the debtor’s assets and try to raise the necessary capital. It is often an expensive process, and it is important to know whether or not the cost will outweigh the benefit.
We can advise on bankruptcy and winding-up procedures and help decide whether it is the right course to take. Our extensive network of business contacts means that we can put you in touch with insolvency practitioners, accountants and other professionals to streamline the process as much as possible.
Every service provider must adhere to professional standards, as clients can suffer significant losses if they do not. We can advise and obtain evidence on the standards that companies ought to follow. In the event of a breach we will seek to recover the maximum level of damages available. We always try to settle a claim if possible, and we strive to avoid any costs that are not absolutely necessary.
Small print only becomes relevant when things go wrong – contractual obligations, exclusion clauses and penalty clauses can all be open to interpretation and can become the subject of serious disagreement.
We are experienced in dealing with complex and poorly-drafted contracts and can advise on the interpretation of clauses, the extent of a party’s responsibility and the appropriate person to bring a claim against if a contract is breached.
Property boundaries, rights of way and even ownership of land are not always as clear as they appear to be. Our talented litigation solicitors are experienced in all areas of land law, including adverse possession, trespass and trusts. We can also advise on plans, deeds and covenants to ensure that everyone involved is aware of their rights and obligations.
Landlord and Tenant
In a world with an unpredictable economy and fluctuating valuations, property has become more complicated than ever before. Tenants can be a problem if obligations are not met or rent is unpaid, and landlords can be dilatory in carrying out their obligations.
Our litigation team represents both landlords and tenants on all contentious issues, from simple residential tenancies to large commercial leases. We deal efficiently with everything including rent arrears, eviction, rent reviews, lease renewals, service charge disputes, forfeiture and possession claims.
Thomas Guise has a particular expertise working with care home owners and operators. We deal with all areas of care home litigation, including claims for unpaid fees against both private individuals and local authorities.
We have an impressive track record representing our clients in disputes with the Care Quality Commission. Our services also include the provision of representation at the Care Standards Tribunal and the County Court and High Court, as well as advice and assistance on protection for vulnerable adults.
Dealing with regulators is a complex and time-consuming exercise. We will always begin by looking into preventative measures, liaising and communicating with the regulator to try to resolve problems at an early stage and presenting evidence of action taken where appropriate. If necessary we then assist with regulatory proceedings in both the High Court and in statutory tribunals, as well as with disciplinary proceedings and judicial reviews.
Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR)
There are many ways to resolve disputes that don’t involve court proceedings. In fact, these alternative methods are often preferable, as they can be faster and less expensive than litigation. Our Disputes & Litigation Team has extensive experience in negotiation, mediation and arbitration. Wherever possible we use the court only as a method of last resort, and will always try to resolve a dispute by means of one or more of these methods before entering into litigation.
Our litigation team successfully acted for an American Company who were sued for breach of agency agreement. Our team assisted in settling the claim via mediation thus saving the client in excess of £100,000 in costs.
Judges are not infallible, and not every unfavourable judgment is given for the right reasons. Particular rules apply to determine if and when a judge’s decision can be appealed.
If you are dissatisfied with the outcome of a claim and feel that the decision was wrongly made we can give advice on your prospects for a successful appeal, as well as the procedure to be followed.
The court has ordered your opponent to pay – what now?
There are many ways to enforce a monetary judgment, and the right one for you will depend upon many factors including the amount of money the debtor has, whether or not he is employed or owns property or whether he has debts of his own.
Our wide experience in pursuing debts at all levels means that we can decide the most appropriate steps to take to ensure that your money is recovered as efficiently as possible.
Our client received a letter from his former employer’s solicitors alleging he was poaching their business for his new employers who competed with them. They demanded a signed admission and undertaking together with full disclosure of names and addresses of clients he had dealt with. An unrealistically short timescale was given. We were able to advise our client on his reply which rejected the allegations and highlighted their lack of legal grounds to take action. After a series of progressively less convincing threats to sue and the passing of several deadlines without action they gave up.
Mr X fell out with his Business Partner and the rift between them caused their business to suffer. The employees felt caught in the middle and there was a risk of them leaving. Court proceedings were threatened on both sides. What would have happened to the business whilst they fought in the courts for several months? They were at risk of fighting on the deck of the titanic.
Confidential “without prejudice” negotiations followed which resulted in settlement. We drew up a detailed agreement resolving all matters and providing for one partner to leave and the other to continue the business.
Meet our Disputes and Litigation Team
Geoffrey Ellis – Director
Thohura Bibi – Paralegal