Commercial Disputes


We have experience in assisting clients to resolve a range of business disputes, which can be divided as follows:

IP and technology disputes

These disputes can cover a wide rage of issues. By way of example:

  • Our client, a university spin-out company, had licensed some patents to a European diagnostics company, which was developing diagnostic kits that were claimed by the patents. The licensee was acquired by a well-known European pharmaceutical company, and the development programme was terminated as part of a strategic review. Our client had been engaged in inconclusive discussions with the licensee for over 18 months before we became involved. After obtaining leading counsel’s opinion that our client was entitled to terminate the agreement, we assisted our client to obtain a seven-figure sterling sum as compensation for the licensee’s failure to exploit the patents.
  • Our client, a UK biotech company, was unable to make the equipment work satisfactorily in a “real” environment. The supplier (the UK office of a US company) claimed that the equipment met its written specification, and refused to provide a refund. We obtained an expert opinion on the defective equipment and instructed counsel, and by our actions demonstrated that the client was willing to litigate the dispute if necessary. The supplier eventually agreed to provide a full refund (a six-figure sterling sum) and a substantial contribution to our client’s legal costs.
  • A dispute between our client and a cybersquatter over the use of a domain name. We assisted our UK client to mount a successful claim before the WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center, in Switzerland, to obtain a domain name from a cybersquatter (an Indian company).

General business disputes

We have negotiated settlements on a commercial basis to save costs and, where necessary, can represent clients at a full-scale trial. We have a pragmatic approach and have taken over the conduct of several disputes that have proved difficult to resolve.

Much of our work has an international element. The transactions on which we advise are often between parties based in different countries, or concern activities to be performed in more than one country (e.g. international clinical trials, or the grant of intellectual property rights in more than one country). Where issues arise outside the UK, we can assist clients by recommending and/or instructing appropriate specialists on the client’s behalf.