Businesses depend heavily on its business partners, suppliers and contractors for their commercial success. With numerous transactions of varying values and complexities taking place on a day-to-day basis, it’s no surprise that commercial contract disputes are commonplace.

The costs and disruption of a contract dispute can often be limited through early intervention, so it’s best to involve us early on. But if you’re already in a dispute, our lawyers will unravel the facts and take an innovative and strategic approach to help you resolve your dispute either through alternative dispute resolution or litigation.

As a business, you’ll want to keep any disruption to the running of your business to a minimum and our team will try to find a way to resolve the dispute quickly and as cost-effectively as possible without going to court. Whatever approach is best suited to your business, we’ll work with you as a team to get the result you want.

Of course, it’s best to avoid disputes altogether, and we can help you learn lessons from your contract dispute to help avoid similar situations from happening again.

How Debenhams Ottaway can help you with your commercial contract dispute

Our commercial litigation team will first consider using alternative dispute resolution methods, but should it need to go to court, we have experience of helping clients through all stages of the litigation process.

We work with a range of businesses, from small start-ups and entrepreneurs to large corporations in London and across the South-East and we advise on both issuing and defending claims. This allows us to be one step ahead and secure the best outcome for you and your business.

Our lawyers can help your business with all types of commercial contract disputes, including:

  • contract disputes with suppliers or customers
  • disputes over incorporation of terms of business
  • disputes over enforceability of contractual terms
  • consumer contract disputes
  • agency disputes including introduction fee claims
  • IT disputes including outsourcing and software disputes
  • business sale and warranty claims.

If you need help with a commercial contract dispute, please contact us today.

“They are all hard-working, commercial and pragmatic lawyers who go the extra mile for clients. The firm has a good collegiate culture and a modern settlement-focused approach to litigation.” The Legal 500 UK, 2023

“The team’s in-depth knowledge and experience is comparable to a London City firm.” The Legal 500 UK, 2022

Steps we take to help you resolve your commercial contract dispute

Having a well written contract in the first place that clearly sets out what is required from both sides will put you in a good position if a dispute arises. Commercial contracts should be very robust as the courts are increasingly upholding even the most onerous of clauses. The clearer they are, the less room for disagreement.

Our approach to commercial contract disputes involves analysing

  • the contract – what was agreed, is it clear and enforceable?
  • the facts – what are the relevant facts? What is agreed and what is in dispute?
  • the law – has this type of contract or clause been considered by the courts before? Would the facts establish a breach of contract? Are the losses recoverable?
  • The level of damages that are recoverable.

Once the facts of the situation and your legal position are clear, our team can then talk you through your options, their relative merits and the likely outcome. You can then decide about what next steps you want to take that best reflects the overall interests of your business.

Wherever possible, we will work to reach an early resolution for your dispute, protecting your business while saving you time, money and conflict. In many cases, commercial contract disputes can be resolved with a well-drafted letter before action.

This letter, prepared by a lawyer, sets out the nature of the dispute, your legal position, the outcome you want to resolve the dispute and the next steps you will take if a satisfactory conclusion cannot be achieved.

It is normal for both sides to want to avoid going to court due to the time, expense and potential for conflict and reputational damage. As a result, alternative dispute resolution methods such as constructive negotiation and commercial mediation are often preferred.

Our specialist lawyers can

  • talk you through the various alternative dispute resolution methods and their advantages
  • represent you in negotiations
  • prepare you for mediation
  • review the terms of any agreement you reach through alternative dispute resolution.

If taking the dispute to court is needed to get the right outcome for your business, our team can support you through every stage. We’ll start by preparing your case and secure the best available representation for your court hearings. We’ll also talk you through your options if you are unhappy with the court outcome.

What Clients Say
  • Juliet Schalker is a powerhouse. Her team covers the full range of dispute resolution work and does so to an extremely high standard.

    The Legal 500 UK 2023
  • Juliet has a sharp mind but is very client focused and also empathetic. She goes the extra mile.

    The Legal 500 UK 2023
  • Juliet is extremely responsive, knowledgeable and technically and commercially astute. She has a great understanding of the industry and clients love her. We have a number of mutual clients who also hold her in high regard.

    The Legal 500 UK 2023
  • They are all hard-working, commercial and pragmatic lawyers who go the extra mile for clients. The firm has a good collegiate culture and a modern settlement-focused approach to litigation.

    The Legal 500 UK 2023
  • Alex Neale is a fantastic lawyer. Great to work with and always puts in the extra effort for clients. He is very capable and conscientious and is excellent at settling disputes.

    The Legal 500 UK 2023
  • Debenhams Ottaway are a very professional and long established firm.

    The Legal 500 UK 2022
  • Excellent legal service in my contract dispute – erudite and hard-hitting letters written by my lawyer carrying the full weight of the law.

  • Constructive and concise explanations, friendly and helpful advice at every turn – we are truly grateful for the help you have given us.

  • The entire service from start to finish was excellent, from the initial phone enquiry to the provision of notes from the solicitor, the whole process was faultless, professional, courteous, high standard from the beginning to the end. I cant recommend this firm enough, truly supportive, helpful and understanding.

  • Kept us informed all the way through the process from start to finish and were very happy with the resolution. Thank you.

  • Ease of contact and very professional in all aspects of the service. Highly recommended.