Following the U-Turn from Christine Lagarde from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) on the UK economy, which is now accepted as the strongest recovering economy of all the developed countries in Europe, there is still a hangover from the recession when in comes to commercial disputes.

There has been a significant increase in the number of commercial disputes which are ending in litigation and this has been picked up in two different reports coming from two different city law firms.

RPC, a London firm of solicitors, reported an increase of 16 per cent in cases litigated at the commercial section of the High Court.

The increase now can be attributed to the downturn, even though it may seem like a long time ago, the nature of commercial disputes are that they are complex and lengthy, especially when they involve commercial transactions and large sums of money. Because of their high value and their complexity, the preparation time before a commercial dispute case comes to trial can be lengthy.

Not only have RPC highlighted a significant rise in commercial disputes, another London law firm, Eversheds has been working on a report called ‘Companies in Conflict: How Commercial Disputes Are Won’ alongside King’s College in London and the University of Surrey.

They have been studying the reasons behind the types of commercial disputes that companies are facing, and in order to do this, they have interviewed over 80 general counsel about their companies.

The most common commercial disputes are the discontinuation of contracts along with contract renegotiation. These areas of commercial law have clearly become more difficult to manage during the recession.

At the same time, there has been an increase in commercial disputes involving regulations, like the rates swap ‘deals’ which were miss-sold to many businesses by the banks, or the miss-selling of Payment Protection Insurance or PPI.

The impact of a commercial dispute on your business can be wide and far reaching and it doesn’t matter whether you are facing a claim against your business or if you are the instigator of the claim.

Sound legal advice from a specialist commercial solicitor about your prospects of success are crucial because you need to make an informed decision about whether to take your claim forward or try to settle. Either way, without proper legal advice, you may be left guessing what you should do next.

For more information about this article or any aspect of our commercial legal services, please call us on 0800 142 2775 or reply to this email and we will be delighted to help you (there is no charge for initial telephone discussions).