We are the firm of choice for clients seeking to resolve their business and property disputes in Newcastle upon Tyne and the wider North East.
Disputes are an unfortunate reality of business. Our team can assist and advise you through what can be a difficult time for both you and your business in the following situations:-
Disputes can, and often do, arise over any transactions you have entered into and services you agreed on. We can assist and guide you toward reaching a resolution either by way of negotiation or, via the Courts as a last resort should you or your business find yourself in such a situation.
From time to time professionals make mistakes and these can have a serious impact on you personally or your business. We can act on your behalf in securing damages if you have received negligent advice or service from a professional advisor.
Shareholder and Partnership disputes
Sometimes a simple break in the personal relationship between business partners is sufficient to provide a reason to break up the company. Alternatively, it may be that there are distinct business differences or life choices which lead to the need to split.
We can promptly implement the right strategy for achieving a satisfactory settlement. We take a practical approach to each case and accurately assess when to consider mediation or other forms of dispute resolution, ranging from facilitating an informal conclusion to pursuing the case in Court.
Unfair prejudice actions
Business relationships don’t always work out as hoped and events can very often lead to a complete breakdown of the business relationship. Shareholders may be aggrieved for many reasons for example, have concerns about the way in which the company is being managed and feel that they are being prejudiced. We can assist you in identifying if any such prejudice exists and if so, how to remedy the situation.
Our litigation team work closely with our commercial property department to provide a full service to our clients in order to complete transactions negotiated between parties or, to give effect to Court Orders where appropriate. If you have a dispute relating to property, including boundary disputes, nuisance or building disputes (such as Party Wall Act actions), we can help you with cost-effective and pragmatic advice.
Landlord and Tenant Act lease renewals
A tenant of a business lease has a statutory right to a lease renewal at the end of the contractual term if it satisfies certain criteria under the Landlord & Tenant Act 1985 (“the Act”). There are different procedures for termination and renewal of a lease under the Act depending on who initiates them. The landlord initiates termination or renewal of a tenancy by serving a Section 25 notice and the tenant initiates renewal of a tenancy by serving a Section 26 request. Our team can assist you in either scenario.
It is common for these claims to relate to repairs that a tenant has failed to implement. We understand that as a landlord it is crucial that you are able to re-let your property without having a substantial rent-free period in which your property is repaired. If the situation arises in which an agreement cannot be reached with regards to repairs our team will provide you with options on how best to proceed.
We can help at the outset of your exciting new business venture by advising and drafting the required agreements and documents listed, but not limited to, below:-
If you want to incorporate a company limited by shares or guarantee then we can assist you with the incorporation process. We have experience the formation of companies along with the preparation of the company’s Statutory Registers and the Articles of Association.
A Shareholders Agreement is a contract between the individual shareholders and the company. The Agreement is designed to set out the rights and duties of the shareholders and to regulate the affairs of the company at key moments its lifespan such as the annual business plan, what happens when the shareholders wish to retire from the business and a procedure for when decision making becomes deadlock.
A Partnership Agreement is an important constitutional document of any partnership. The Agreement regulates the roles of the partners and sets down what happens with the finances of the partnership, what happens when a partner retires or new partners are appointed. Having an effective Partnership Agreement can ensure the smooth operation of the business by ensuring that there is a clear framework for how the partners are to operate.
Terms and Conditions of Business
If you are contracting with other businesses it is important to ensure that the contract which you are proposing to utilise adequately represents your position. We can assist you in the preparation of such contracts and advise on any proposed amendments. We are also able to advise on any business to business contracts received by you from a legal and commercial risk basis.
Alternative Dispute Resolution/Mediation
In dispute resolution, going to Court is very much a last resort. We will discuss with you the alternatives of litigation such as mediation or arbitration.
- Mediation can take place at any stage of the dispute. The advantages of mediation are that the parties can settle the dispute without the need of a lengthy trial which can be uncertain due to the nature of litigation.
- Arbitration is an alternative to the traditional trial based dispute resolution. The process uses a trained arbitrator often an experienced Barrister or Solicitor to determine a dispute and issue a binding agreement on the parties. The benefit of arbitration is that it is often quicker and more cost effective than other forms of litigation.
Serious injury claims
Our team understand that serious injuries can have a significant impact not only to the lives of those injured but also their families. We will support you through this difficult time and ensure that your serious injury compensation claim is progressed as easy as possible. We can assist you with injury claims on a Conditional Fee Agreement funding basis including (but not limited to):-
- Traumatic amputations;
- Loss or fractures to limbs.
Fatal accident claims
We understand that dealing with a claim at such a difficult and emotional time following the death of a loved one as a result of an accident can be overwhelming. A claim can be brought on behalf of the estate of the deceased, or by a person who was financially dependent upon the deceased against anyone found to be responsible for the death. Our team are experienced at helping families come to terms with their loss and begin to plan for the future.
Frequently asked questions
I want to settle a dispute – what should I do?
It’s best to start by thinking about what you want to achieve and then consider your options in line with those aims. We can help you assess your options and take on much of the burden of the dispute process.
What type of professional advisors can be sued for professional negligence?
Any professional advisor including, but not limited to, the following can be sued for damages if their advice is incorrect and leads to you or your business suffering losses:
- Financial advisors
- Insurance brokers
What type of conduct amounts to Unfair Prejudice?
Unfair prejudice is a flexible concept and the following are just a few examples of conduct which may amount to unfairly prejudicial conduct:-
- Exclusion from management in circumstances where there is a (legitimate) expectation of participation
- The diversion of business to another company in which the majority shareholder holds an interest
- The awarding by the majority shareholder to himself of excessive financial benefits
- Abuses of power and breaches of the Articles of Association
- Repeated failures to hold AGMs; delaying accounts, and depriving the members of their right to know the state of the Company’s affairs may all be unfairly prejudicial to a member’s interests.
What evidence do I need for a boundary dispute?
Where boundary disputes are concerned, there is a great deal of misinformation regarding how the position of a boundary is determined. Expert advice is usually required to determine precisely where the legal boundary actually lies, by considering the legal presumptions and all available plans, deeds and other physical and historical evidence.
What type of accident does my serious injury claim have to arise from?
We handle compensation claims arising from the following:-
- Road traffic accident claims
- Accidents at work claims
- Accidents in public places claims:
- Claims against Councils
- Children’s accident claims
- Supermarket accident claims
- Slips, trips and fall claims
Will you only pursue compensation for my injury as part of my serious injury claim?
No, we don’t just deal with your serious injury compensation claim. We can also deal with the following on your behalf provided that it is directly attributable to your accident:-
- Loss of earnings
- Care claims
- Out of pocket expenses
- Travel expenses directly relating to the obtaining of medical treatment
- Domestic services
- Gardening services
- Rehabilitation costs
In a Fatal Accident claim what can I claim for?
Such claims may include an award of compensation in its own right, known as the “Bereavement Award” as well as a dependency claim brought by anyone who was financially reliant on the deceased. This will include, for example, loss of earnings or pension, but also represent the loss to everyday family life of the deceased, including chores, DIY and their general contribution to those around them.
What is a Conditional Fee Agreement (“CFA”)?
A Conditional Fee Agreement (also known as a “no win no fee agreement”) allows you to make a claim, with no financial risk to you and without paying any Solicitors fees up front.
You only ever pay anything if your no win no fee claim is successful. If your case is unsuccessful you won’t have to pay any legal fees to your own Solicitor but you may still have to pay your opponent’s legal fees/costs subject to taking out an insurance policy to protect against this.
Meet the team
Solicitor – Commercial and LitigationView profile
Legal Secretary - Litigation and Commercial Property
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What our clients say
“We just wanted to thank you and express our heart felt gratitude to you. We think you were very clever, astute and skilled and through you we secured the very best outcome. A big thank you. Mr Gibson is very lucky to have you.”
“Samuel Phillips have been very proactive, very approachable and on the ball. Should there ever be a case in the future I would want them to represent me.”Personal Injury client
“Since Samuel Phillips took over my case, they moved it along significantly, were very clued up on my injury and I had every confidence in them. Really excellent and fought my corner for me.”Personal Injury client
“Really good firm, and they handled my case with compassion.”Civil Litigation client
“Samuel Phillips were diligent, impressive and arguably saved the day.”Commercial Litigation Client
“Very accommodating, prompt service, excellent handling of the case.”Partnership Litigation Client
“Samuel Phillips were extremely professional in their approach and listened to my thoughts and concerns before executing tasks accordingly.”Property Dispute Client
Top 3 Tips
Here's our top three tips to think about before your initial meeting with us.
Gather together all relevant documents for review
Prepare a chronology timeline of relevant events
Write a list of questions you want to ask