Banking and Finance
Fraud and Asset Recovery
Shareholder and Partnership Disputes
Trust and Property
We aim to understand your goals from the outset and then devise and deliver the most cost-effective and commercial strategy to achieve that outcome. We will engage with you throughout and can offer innovative funding solutions to suit you
Our team will consider all available methods to resolve your dispute including mediation, arbitration or simple negotiation. If proceedings are necessary, then our experience will enable us to successfully navigate the courts to maximise your position. We regularly represent both claimants and defendants in courts throughout the UK including the High Court, Court of Appeal, Supreme Court and International Court of Arbitration. We can also advise on litigating and enforcement in foreign jurisdictions.
Banking and Finance
We hold a long and successful track record in acting for banks and other lenders. Our financial institution clients include a major clearing bank, new-entry banks and ‘platform’ lenders, insurance companies, brokerages, and other secondary lenders. We can act to secure early judgment against high-risk individuals (whether in relation to guarantee proceedings or other security documentation including SWAP agreements ) and corporate entities followed by all aspects of enforcement .
We can also deploy a full complement of recovery tools including asset-tracing and the securing of both freezing and search orders.
Further details of our work for banks and lenders can be found here.
Unlike larger firms we are not conflict-bound enabling us to assist you successfully defend claims brought by banks and other creditors.
Following the “banking crisis” banks and other lenders increasingly require additional security for all forms of lending. Typically, this takes the form of a personal guarantees from the directors or third parties. Lenders are often swift in calling in guarantees when a business fails which frequently puts you as a guarantor at risk of losing your home causing enormous additional stress particularly at a time when your business has failed.
Numerous defences can be available to a guarantor which we can explore with you including:
- A breach of the terms of the principal lending by the lender (on which the guarantor can rely);
- failure by the bank/ lender in properly making demand under the guarantee;
- misrepresentation, for example, where a guarantor is induced into giving the guarantee by a misleading statement;
- undue influence or duress, for example, when a third party (typically a husband or wife) is made a guarantor of the business’ liabilities against their will or better judgement;
- misconduct on the part of the bank/ lender.
Fraud and asset recovery
Dealing with all kinds of fraud and asset recovery is integral to our practice including breach of duty, breach of trust, conspiracy, dishonest assistance, knowing receipt and fraudulent trading.
The key to a successful fraud action or defence is diligent preparation, a detailed investigation of the facts and a clear strategy from the outset to increase the scope for recovery of assets.
Such matters often involve facts going back many years and we have access to comprehensive document management and systems to assist complex disclosure exercises.
Protection of target assets is pivotal using the varied tools such as a tailored disclosure application (whether before or after proceedings are issued) or the securing of search and seize orders or a worldwide freezing order to prevent the risk of assets been dissipated.
Our detailed Factsheet regarding freezing orders is free to download here.
In contentious matters we regularly act for and against office holders in bankruptcy, liquidation and administration situations. We are familiar with all claw back claims, including wrongful or fraudulent trading, preferences, transactions at undervalue, misfeasance, post-petition dispositions and transactions defrauding creditors.
Our specialised team frequently represents directors and is well versed in claims involving directors’ duties, phoenixism or trading with a prohibited name. Further details of our experience in claims against directors is available here. We are entirely familiar with regulatory actions, for example, defending directors in claims brought by the Government under the Company Directors Disqualification Act. Further details regarding assistance we can give regarding director disqualification can be found here. We also have experience of defending insolvency practitioners in claims brought by their regulatory bodies.
Our reputation in this field is best demonstrated by regular referrals from insolvency practitioners and other firms of solicitors without insolvency /restructuring expertise.
Shareholder & Partnership Disputes
Management disputes can cripple even a successful business and can be costly and time-consuming. Our specialists can advise business owners of their rights and responsibilities in event of disagreement. We can the facilitate most cost-effective solution in collaboration with your accountants, tax consultants or funders, and can advise on any structural reorganisation and prepare necessary transactional documents.
If recourse to court is unavoidable, we can guide you through the various options to secure the relief for shareholders or partners.
Increasingly businesses and individuals rely on advice from their professional advisors and where that advice proves to be wrong swift decisive action is necessary to limit the resultant damage and disruption to your business. The present difficult financial climate has led to an increase in such claims as professional advice is constantly under review whilst businesses seek to streamline. Furthermore, parties may consider that an insured professional party is a lesser risk.
The handling of such claims requires a team which combines experience and focus to consider alternative dispute resolution processes where appropriate to maintain a business relationship. Where litigation proves necessary, we also have extensive experience to ensure that the claim is pursued with vigour.
We have successfully represented investors, property developers, banks and other financial institutions, and private individuals in claims against solicitors, accountants, surveyors, architects, financial advisers and other professionals.
Trust & Property
We can advise property owners, trustees, settlors and beneficiaries on a range of complex trust and probate claims, claims under the Inheritance (Provision for Family and Dependants) Act 1975 and property disputes involving both a domestic and international element.
Issues of breaches of trust and fiduciary duties arise frequently in property disputes as do all kinds of trust claims, including knowing receipt and dishonest assistance. Our property litigation lawyers act in all manner of disputes involving commercial property and commercial leases for landlords and tenants, developers, lenders, funders and local authorities. We also assist borrowers facing possession claims by their lender.
Our property litigators have particular expertise in the following:
- Commercial and residential landlord and tenant disputes
- Dilapidation and disrepair claims
- Possession actions including properties unlawfully occupied by squatters
- Recovery of rent arrears and service charges
- Landlord or tenant insolvency
- Termination of lease claims
Disputes arising from contracts are widespread and frequently form a part of wider litigation. We have expertise in disputes involving credit and security agreements, guarantees, insurance, agency, gaming and wagering, construction and the sale of goods and services.
We are well-versed in the more arcane aspects of contract law and have a comprehensive understanding of relevant legislation including the Unfair Contract Terms Act 1977, the Sale of Goods Act 1979, the Supply of Goods and Services Act 1982 and the Consumer Rights Act 2015.