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Litigation & Disputes

Litigation & Disputes

Disputes arise in everyday life and in commercial relationships. We will help you resolve your dispute by considering options with you and guiding you through the process. We will:

• Advise on merits and keep those under review
• Provide an estimate of costs and consider funding options
• Give an indication of timescale
• Assess the likely value of the claim (where appropriate) so that a costs versus benefit analysis can be undertaken
• Devise a strategy to meet your objectives
• Keep you informed

We have pursued and defended cases from the County Court to the Court of Appeal, in Tribunals, through mediation, adjudication and arbitration.

Thank you so much to Sarah Payne for bringing our commercial contract case to a successful conclusion. Your advice, help and patience have been greatly appreciated throughout.
Deans Farm, Fowlmere

We can assist you with many different types of dispute and methods of resolution in a pleasant, practical, cost effective and timely manner.

Call 01223 417200 and ask for a member of the Litigation Team.

Commercial Disputes

We represent companies, partnerships, charities and individuals. Even the most successful business can become embroiled in a dispute tying up valuable management time, upsetting commercial relationships and sometimes affecting reputations. Disputes may arise with third parties such as customers, tenants, insurers, advisors and suppliers. They can also occur internally between directors, shareholders or partners. They may be small or even threaten the entire business.

We seek to identify your commercial objectives early on, establish issues and advise upon an appropriate strategy which is both realistic and cost effective protecting your assets and reputation. We will review the options with you and guide you through the case whether by means of Alternative Dispute resolution or Court action. We always aim to achieve the best result for you within a practical timescale and at reasonable cost.

We look for any lessons that the business can learn to avoid a similar situation arising in the future.

The types of matter we can assist you with include:

• Alcohol and entertainment licensing
Alternative Dispute Resolution
Boundary, Covenants, Property & Rights of Way Disputes
• Breach of Warranty
Building & Construction Disputes
• Contractual disputes
Debt Recovery
• Insolvency
• Judicial Review
Landlord & Tenant Disputes
Libel and Slander
• Partnership disputes
• Product liability
Professional Negligence
Public Authority Representation`
• Shareholder/Director disputes

"I thank Sarah Payne for her no-nonsense, professional approach in recovering the monies owed. I was originally very pessimistic about the outcome."
Clive Haylock of Alliance Asbestos Services Ltd

Call 01223 417200 and ask for a member of the Litigation Team.

Disputes for Individuals

Disputes cannot always be avoided. They arise in many aspects of everyday life between for example family members, friends, neighbours and with professional advisers or tradesmen. We know disputes can cause anxiety and worry. We will work with you to achieve the best outcome in an effective, timely and cost conscious way without impact upon the quality of our advice. We take a pragmatic and professional approach and always review whether there is an alternative to Court action as this is in many cases now the last resort but may still have to be called upon when faced with an intransigent opponent or need to establish a particular right.

We can help you with the following areas:

• Alcohol and entertainment licensing
Alternative Dispute Resolution
Building & Construction Disputes
Contentious Wills, Inheritance & Probate Disputes
• Contractual Disputes
• Co-ownership Disputes
Debt Recovery
• Financial Services Disputes
• Insolvency Disputes
• Judicial Review
Landlord & Tenant Disputes
Libel and Slander
• Loan/mortgage disputes
• Powers of Attorney Disputes
Professional Negligence
Property, Boundary, Covenants & Rights of Way Disputes

"We would like to thank Sarah Payne for her help in our dispute with our buyer and former conveyancing solicitors. We have learnt a lesson and will now leave all our conveyancing to Barr Ellison."
Ivan and Sue Woodhouse

Call 01223 417200 and ask for a member of the Litigation & Disputes Team.

Mediation and Alternative Dispute Resolution

Mediation is increasingly finding favour as a means of resolving disputes in preference to a fully contested Court action.

Litigation takes time and sometimes years to complete, can be expensive and is very much an all or nothing process. In most cases one party wins and the other losing party faces a substantial costs bill. The prevailing view is Court proceedings are a last resort except in cases where there is a point of law to be decided, assets in need of urgent protection or the other party is intransigent.

There is an obligation upon all potential litigants to consider alternative dispute resolution including mediation. In fact, the Courts will enquire about what efforts the parties have made as to ADR. Early resolution often has commercial benefits. Mediation can preserve reputations and relationships. It avoids an escalation of legal costs provided it is pursued at an early (but appropriate) stage of the case. It removes the inherent risk of litigation such as the Judge who takes a particular dislike to a witness in a case dependent on oral evidence.

Mediation remains a voluntary process and inevitably requires a degree of compromise on both sides. It enables issues to be agreed upon as part of the settlement which a Court could not order. Any terms agreed at mediation are recorded in a binding written agreement signed by all parties. The process is confidential and without prejudice which means that, if unsuccessful, what was discussed and any concessions made cannot be relied upon in subsequent proceedings.

We can advise on the choice of mediator, are able to host mediations and are versed in representing our clients at mediation.

Examples of recent mediations we have dealt with on behalf of clients gives an insight as to the wide range of disputes the process suits:

• Dispute over a right of way – resolved.
• Contract dispute over performance of client’s extraction system – resolved.
• Dispute between co-owners – resolved subsequent to mediation.
• Family dispute over property deal and solicitor’s negligence – resolved.
• Contract dispute about promotional event at nightclub – unresolved but settled in favour of our client three days before trial.
• Dispute over whether £150,000 was a loan or a gift – unresolved. Judgment in favour of our client at trial.
• Family dispute over stud land and mortgage – resolved.
• Dispute over deceased’s estate – unresolved but settled at the door of the Court.

Call 01223 417200 and ask for a member of the Litigation Team.


Cambridge's civil court building is literally just around the corner from our own, somewhat older, offices. So there is an added convenience to using our long-established general civil litigation agency service.

Hearings can be undertaken by a solicitor or clerk depending on the complexity of the case, which typically cover:
• mortgage possessions
• personal injury
• insolvency
• interlocutory applications
• family hearings
• chambers and open court
• attendance by Clerk with Counsel

Prompt reports can be faxed on the same day as hearing. Where appropriate, we can agree a fixed rate.

We are also able to undertake fixed price issuing of documents and arrange service if needed.

Call 01223 417200 and ask for a member of the Litigation Team.