Commercial litigation is an important aspect of UK law that tens of thousands of people refer to every day. In this article, our commercial litigation solicitors London explore some of the reasons why commercial litigation matters in 2023 and beyond. We will also look at how it can impact businesses and individuals alike. If you are considering filing a commercial lawsuit or are currently involved in one, then this information is for you!
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Commercial Litigation Matters – What are they?
Commercial litigation is a legal proceeding that arises from disputes between commercial or business entities. Commercial disputes can involve companies, partnerships, or individuals and can relate to many issues, such as contract disputes or disputes involving intellectual property and employment issues.
Commercial litigation is initiated by filing a commercial lawsuit in court. The claim will outline the alleged legal breaches and relief sought, for example, by way of monetary damages against the other party (or parties). If a commercial dispute cannot be resolved through negotiation or mediation, it may proceed to trial.
Commercial and civil litigation usually follow the same process. All commercial litigation falls under the ambit of civil litigation (to distinguish it from criminal litigation), but all civil litigation is not necessarily commercial litigation. For example, personal injury claims are part of civil litigation, but they are not commercial disputes but disputes falling under the ambit of negligence or rather the law of Tort.
The person who is suing (the plaintiff) usually instructs a solicitor or a barrister if they are prepared to deal with direct access work. There will then be a pre-action letter written by the plaintiff’s lawyer to the defendant or their solicitors if they have one at that stage. The party being sued is the ‘defendant.’ Then both sides investigate what happened and look for laws, either statutory or common laws, that might apply. If they can, they try to settle the case. If they can’t, the plaintiff’s lawyer files a lawsuit. Then there is an exchange of pleadings, such as, for example, a statement of claim filed by the plaintiff followed by a defense or defense and counterclaim filed by the defendant. There are strict time limits for these processes. Both sides make a discovery (ask each other for evidence), and then there is an inspection of those documents given by the parties. If it still can’t be resolved, there’s a trial.
Examples of Commercial Litigation Matters
There are many examples of commercial litigation, but here are some of the most common:
- Breach of Contract disputes: Contract disputes are one of the most common types of commercial litigation. Contract litigations arise when parties to a contract dispute disagree about the terms or performance of the contract. For example, parties may dispute the amount of money owed under an agreement or whether a particular task was completed following the contract.
- Consumer fraud: when consumers are victims of false or misleading advertising, defective products, or other deceptive business practices, they may file a commercial lawsuit seeking damages.
- International trade issues and anti-trust: these matters are also familiar sources of commercial litigation. For example, a company may file a commercial lawsuit alleging that another company has engaged in anti-competitive behavior.
- Construction Cases: commercial litigation may also arise from construction disputes when a contractor fails to complete a project on time or within budget due to poor quality or other issues.
- Debtor or Creditor Actions: commercial litigation often arises when a company or individual owes money to another party and there is now a process of debt recovery in progress. For example, it may arise between two companies who have agreed on the terms of an agreement, but then one party does not pay for services rendered according to those terms.
- Employment Cases: commercial litigation often arises from employment cases. For example, it may occur when an employee alleges that they were discriminated against based on their race or nationality.
- Intellectual Property Issues: commercial litigation often arises due to intellectual property issues, for example, the infringement of a trademark or breach of copyright or passing off. Intellectual property rights are a type of legal right granted by law for original creations such as inventions and trademarks
- Shareholder Issues: commercial litigation may also arise from shareholder issues. For example, when a company is sued by its shareholders for alleged wrongs such as mismanagement or fraud. For more info, read our article called, how to sue a company.
- Tax Disputes: commercial litigation may also arise from tax disputes. For example, a dispute between a company and the Inland Revenue as to the tax issues.
What Does a Commercial Litigator Do?
A commercial litigator is a lawyer specializing in representing clients in commercial problems and disputes. Commercial litigators are typically usually experienced in cases that focus on business practices.
Why Does Commercial Litigation Matter in 2023 and Beyond?
Commercial disputes are becoming increasingly common in the UK. This is partly due to the ever-changing business landscape and the growing trend of commercial transactions. A recent study found that commercial disputes account for over 50% of all litigation in the UK.
Another reason is commercial litigation can impact businesses and individuals alike as they deal with complex legal issues that arise from commercial transactions or disputes between parties involved.
For example, a commercial property development case can result in a commercial dispute where the development company may have to pay out $20 million to settle claims made against them by a group of homeowners who had been affected by the commercial property project.
Commercial litigation can have a significant impact on the business and individuals involved. Therefore, it is crucial to understand the basics of commercial litigation so that you can make informed decisions about whether or not to file a commercial lawsuit. In addition, if you are currently involved in a commercial litigation legal problem, it is essential to understand the process and what to expect.
How Does Covid-19 Pandemic Affect Commercial Litigation?
The commercial litigation landscape in the UK has changed dramatically since Covid-19. As a result, many argue that legal experts should not be so quick to use commercial litigation as a means of resolving disputes and instead focus more on mediation and arbitration, which are often cheaper alternatives to trial.
There is no doubt that commercial litigation solicitors will continue using litigation as a means of resolving commercial disputes. Still, they will need to be mindful of the potential consequences that can arise from doing so during a pandemic.
For example, suppose one party seeks an injunction to stop the other party from conducting business during the pandemic. In that case, there is a greater risk that the court could grant such an injunction and impose a temporary restraining order on both parties.
How Complex is Commercial Litigation?
Commercial litigation is typically more complex than civil litigation. This is because disputes in commercial contexts are often more complicated, and the evidence that needs to be considered can be more extensive.
Commercial law is often based on English Contract Law, which can be complicated in its own right. In addition, several particular rules and procedures apply to commercial disputes, making the process even more complex.
Commercial litigation is often complex and can involve several legal issues. This can make it difficult for businesses to navigate without legal assistance. Therefore, it is essential to seek the advice of a qualified lawyer if you are involved in commercial litigation or are considering filing a commercial lawsuit. A lawyer can help guide you through the process and assist with negotiations and settlement options.
Is Commercial Litigation The Only Way?
Commercial litigation can be expensive and time-consuming for an average person to deal with. Therefore, it is vital to understand the potential consequences of filing a commercial lawsuit before deciding whether or not to do so.
In addition, commercial litigators often recommend that parties explore Alternative Dispute Resolution options such as mediation and arbitration, which can be cheaper and faster than going to the UK courts.
If you are involved in a commercial dispute, it is crucial to speak with a litigation expert to understand your options and the potential consequences of proceeding. Commercial litigators have extensive experience and can guide you on how to best protect your interests.
Even though the landscape for commercial litigation may be different in 2023, businesses still need to understand their options and protect themselves. Litigators will continue to play an essential role in making sure disputes are resolved fairly and quickly, so businesses can continue to operate with as little disruption as possible.
Businesses need to stay informed about the latest commercial litigation trends, and commercial litigation lawyers can help guide them through the process.
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If you have any questions about commercial litigation or any other legal matter, please don’t hesitate to ask our expert legal team who will be able to explain the key principles of litigation and dispute resolution and also guide you through the process and ensure that your case is resolved quickly and fairly.
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Armen Andonian is the CEO of Solicitors Marketing, a London-based legal marketing agency. He is a legal content marketing expert who writes on UK individual immigration, business immigration, family law, finance, employment law and intellectual property. He has a passion for researching and communicating complex legal concepts and ideas in a clear and engaging manner and has developed a reputation as a highly skilled and versatile author on UK law-related issues. He has written for numerous publications, both online and offline, and his work has been featured in a variety of high-profile media outlets.