Disputes & Regulatory
Offering commercial, innovative and cost-effective solutions to your problem
- Updates & publications
- Arbitration and international litigation
- Commercial and contract disputes
- Construction disputes
- Data Privacy
- Financial Services Disputes
- Emergency injunctions
- Intellectual property & technology disputes
- Property Disputes
- Regulatory & compliance
- Tax Litigation
Greenwoods GRM team members are first-class dispute resolution specialists
Even the best-run businesses can find themselves in a dispute from time to time. This can be within a supply chain, with advisers or even an internal conflict.
Disputes are always disruptive and can sometimes threaten the viability of a business. We advise on dispute avoidance as well as representing a wide range of businesses in the pursuit or defence of claims. We want to help you avoid problems, so it is best to get us involved as early as possible.
Our Disputes team boasts high-calibre lawyers who are recognised in the Legal 500 and Chambers & Partners as “leading individuals” and “rising stars” (click here to Meet The Team). Our commercially astute dispute resolution lawyers are experienced, exceptionally skilled and focused to achieve the best solution. The size and talent of our team means we can deal with a wide range of national and cross-border disputes cost effectively. We are regularly referred clients by larger London firms where a dispute requires a more personal, tailored and cost-effective approach
Please use the navigating tabs on the left of this page to find out more about our wide-ranging specialisms, experience and work highlights
How do we deal with your dispute?
We take the time to understand a situation and discuss what “success” means to you before agreeing the best strategy to achieve your goals. With that comes an honest, realistic analysis of the options open to you: court proceedings, mediation, negotiation, adjudication, insolvency proceedings and any other possibilities.
We always deploy strategic thinking and a creative approach to resolve your problem as quickly and cost effectively as possible.
Our approach to pricing sets us apart from many of our competitors and other law firms.
We start by carrying out a full cost-benefit analysis, making sure that our strategy is rooted in your budget. We have a dedicated in-house pricing manager with specialist knowledge of the relevant issues which may play out in your case.
Where other law firms might typically only offer an hourly rate cost option, we offer pricing options which reflect a more collaborative process, with your needs firmly placed at the centre of the process. This includes fixed price and risk-sharing. We can also call on established relationships with third party funders and insurers to assist in building a cost strategy.
Having developed a clear understanding of what is important to you, and the extent to which you want to assume or share price risk, the pricing choices can include:
- traditional hourly rates;
- fixed fees for the entire case and/or individual stages;
- “cap and collar” arrangements;
- conditional fee agreements (CFAs); and
- damages based agreements (DBAs), our team being one of the first in the UK to successfully use them.
We will then document the arrangement so that there is clarity as to the terms of our engagement, and any assumptions and exclusions that may apply.
Our goal is to ensure that however the matter plays out, you feel you have had good value for money and no cost surprises.
What others say about us
The team is rated as ‘Top Tier’ by the Legal 500 and commended in Chambers & Partners. Recent highlights include:
“Greenwoods GRM ‘has a fantastic range of clients and a growing team that is dynamic and ambitious’.” (2020)
“The firm handles a large caseload of regional work as well as a growing number of high-calibre cross-border matters.” (2019)
“’Always quick to respond with excellent, unbiased advice’. Huw Wallis is ‘very commercial and gets straight to the heart of the matter.” (2016)
Our Disputes team is proud to share cutting-edge and thought-leading digital content for its free legal updates, social media channels and other media. Our four core sub-teams regularly share our insights through free email updates: construction (Foundations), general commercial disputes (Solutions), property disputes (Property Focus and Property Guardianship Insight) and regulatory (Regulatory). If you would like to subscribe, please click here.
Our Disputes team comprises highly experienced lawyers who routinely handle complex and high-value international disputes
International disputes require specialist legal advice due to the complex, and often high-value issues at stake in cross-border litigation.
Businesses’ supply chains mean that trade often crosses borders. Arbitration is the dispute resolution method of choice for many businesses, state entities and parties where a neutral, confidential resolution forum is preferred.
Our arbitration and international litigation team
We have a team of lawyers skilled in conducting litigation in the UK and abroad for and against foreign parties. We have also acted in arbitrations under all the major institutional rules including LCIA, ICC, ICSID and UNCITRAL, across a variety of sectors such as banking and finance, construction and engineering, energy, oil and gas, insurance, shipping, international trade and transport. The combined experience of our Disputes team in relation to arbitration and international litigation is outstanding which is augmented further by our team’s expertise in various sectors, including for example: oil and gas, Euan Palmer and construction, Howard Crossman.
We also have extensive experience in advising clients involved in disputes across multiple jurisdictions, where necessary working alongside trusted foreign lawyers with expert knowledge of each locality through our close links with overseas firms.
We can provide expert advice on worldwide freezing orders, asset tracing and recovery and enforcement of foreign judgments in England & Wales and enforcing domestic judgments overseas.
In each case, our aim is to provide pragmatic and commercial advice, whilst exercising a flexible, cost-effective approach to international issues that maximises the opportunity for our clients to achieve the best result.
- Acting for a high-profile individual in Formula 1 (and related family companies) in Commercial Court proceedings relating to the recovery of circa £300m spanning the UK and India
- Acting on a treaty arbitration claim against the state of Georgia
- Acting in relation to English Commercial Court proceedings for a declaration arising out of sums paid to companies associated with a West African oil company and a relative of the former President. Sums were in excess of £100m
- Defending a US$14m LCIA arbitration for one of the “Big Four” accountancy firms in Africa
- Successfully defending a high net-worth Bahamian/UK national in a London Circuit Commercial Court trial of a fraudulent representation/deceit claim arising out of a US$3m investment offering in the US Read more
- Acting in relation to a dispute against a major bank regarding a leveraged Contract for Difference currency trade following the Swiss National Bank’s unexpected removal of the Swiss France/Euro currency peg
- Acting for an AIM-listed oil and gas company in relation to a claim for a share of oilfield assets claimed further to an undocumented agreement
- Acting for Persia Petroleum Plc in a dispute with Silverqueen Plc in relation to non-payment of approx. £10m of invoices due to allegedly defective performance of agreement for seismic surveying services
The combined experience of our Disputes team means there are few commercial disputes that we have not come across
We understand that managing risk and disputes diverts valuable resource and time from a business. Disputes can be particularly time-consuming, costly and reputationally damaging for organisations. Dispute avoidance and early resolution of disputes is our main aim.
From shareholder or partnership disputes, breach of warranty claims, recovering sums due under a contract, misrepresentation to terminating commercial agreements, we can help. We have significant experience and technical expertise advising on unfair prejudice petitions and fraud claims having worked on many significant cases in the last few years.
Our commercial and contract disputes team
All our Disputes team from partner to associate level are experienced in advising on general commercial disputes. The team’s combined experience means there are few commercial disputes that we have not come across. We also benefit from relevant experience across a variety of sectors, including manufacturing, oil and gas and education. Lawyers such as Head of Disputes Huw Wallis, Adele Whaley and Jamie McConnell also offer exceptional regional insight to clients based in and around Peterborough and Cambridge.
- Acting for a high-profile individual in Formula 1 (and related family companies) in Commercial Court proceedings relating to the recovery of circa £300m spanning the UK and India
- Several unfair prejudice claims, acting for both petitioners and respondents: one arising from the sale of a construction business for circa £100m, and another, a reported case, arising from the breakdown of a former motor racing/property investment business (Rees v Oliver  EWHC 922 (Ch))
- Acting for one of the largest growers and suppliers of high-quality fresh vegetables in Europe in relation to a landmark claim for damages against one of the UK’s largest supermarkets arising from a breach of the Groceries Code
- Acting for Gulf Keystone Petroleum Limited in its successful defence of a claim for damages of up to US$1.65bn in relation to four oil fields in Kurdistan
- A £1.2m breach of warranty claim arising from the sale of an international data cable company
- Defending a multi-million-pound Commercial Court shareholder/breach of fiduciary duty claim for an international construction/aviation group
- Advising on a reported landmark claim and injunction dealing with the proper scope of an expert’s instructions (M P Kemp Limited v Bullen Developments Limited  EWHC 2009 (Ch))
Our construction team is involved in advising on major construction projects in the UK and overseas
Construction disputes can be time-consuming and expensive with the potential to cause serious disruption to a project or construction schedule. Greenwoods GRM’s Construction Disputes specialists are experienced in handling the most complex and contentious disputes as quickly and effectively as possible to minimise any impact on your business.
We act for all sides of the industry including major contractors and sub-contractors, consultants, developers, educational institutions, professionals, housing associations and trade federations.
We regularly advise on final account disputes, loss and expense prolongation claims, contractual and payment disputes, retention of title and professional negligence claims. Many of the disputes we work on involve an international element. The team also benefits from lawyers well-known for their expertise in respect of health and safety issues.
Our construction specialists provide commercial, strategic and practical advice, considering a variety of resolution methods such as: mediation, adjudication (and enforcement via the courts), Technology and Construction court proceedings, expert determination and international and domestic arbitration.
- Defending a claim by a main contractor in a major post-Grenfell cladding dispute
- Acting for a multi-billion dollar international construction and engineering consulting group on construction related matters
- Acting for a large contractor in respect of a dispute relating to defective design
- Advising on the meaning and effect of “Practical Completion” in a £1.2m final account claim
- Advising on a multi-million-pound professional negligence claim concerning the drafting of EPC contracts for the construction of power plants in China
- Acting for a major UK contractor in a case that reached the Court of Appeal on the construction of a clause within the FCEC Form of Sub-Contract for civil engineering works covering a sub-contractor’s rights to recovery of benefits under a main contract.
We are always happy to arrange a no obligation call. Contact Lorna Carter for more information.
“The service I received was absolutely first-class and, in my experience, almost without equal” (2020)
“Greenwoods GRM is known for a ‘fantastic response times from obvious experts in all aspects of construction, especially high-end matters, with useful and practical information at their fingertips, good client relationships and in-depth knowledge of the industry and law.’” (2019)
“Howard Crossman ‘beats everyone else hands down and is the man you want for construction disputes’” (2019)
Data privacy law is fundamentally regulatory concern: compliance and enforcement is monitored by the ICO, an executive non-departmental public body, which has independent powers to issue fines for non-compliance. However, the GDPR also allows individuals to bring court claims for damages (both material and non-material, including for distress) alleged to have been suffered as a result of an organisation’s failure to comply with its data privacy law obligations. We can assist in both capacities.
- Public authorities: advising on how data privacy law obligations differ from commercial organisations
- Health and safety: advising on data privacy law obligations as part of wider health and safety law (for example assisting clients to collect, use and monitor personal data lawfully to ensure sustainable workplace reopening during the pandemic)
- Corporate governance: advising on board-level data privacy law accountability obligations and governance practices which can withstand ICO scrutiny
- Regulatory investigations: advising clients on handling supervisory authority (for example ICO) investigations from initial individual complaint to resolution
- Litigation: assisting clients to defend claims brought by individuals arising from allegations of a breach of the GDPR (including non-material claims of distress, mental health issues or psychiatric harm)
- High-profile: recent work has included advising a global charity on the data privacy law elements of a much-publicised working practices scandal and assisting a national political party in relation to a media-scrutinised data security incident involving inherently sensitive and private information.
- Advising a national political party on a media-scrutinised data security incident involving inherently sensitive and private information
Contact our John Macaulay to talk through any issues you might be facing.
Sign up to our Big Data mailing list. Big Data will keep you up to date with all relevant developments in data privacy law, including the UK’s future relationship with the GDPR, ICO decisions and guidance and its impact on technological developments.
Greenwoods GRM has outstanding expertise in disputes relating to technical financial services and banking issues.
We frequently act for national and international banking and financial services clients on a diverse range of disputes. Those disputes are often not only significant in value but also complex in nature.
We also have experience of acting for lenders in all aspects of dispute resolution (including secured and unsecured debt recovery).
Our financial services disputes team
Our team, led by Huw Wallis (Head of Disputes & Partner) and Jamie McConnell (Senior Associate), have extensive banking and finance litigation and arbitration experience gained from regional and City law firms in the UK. We act for a mixture of lenders, borrowers, fund managers and financial services businesses. We have also developed an extensive referral network in the sector, enabling us to work with an impressive portfolio of diverse clients.
Jamie spent 3 years working within a specialist financial services litigation team at a leading national law firm. Jamie is consistently recognised and recommended as a key lawyer the Legal 500 for his expertise in the banking & finance sector, possessing a wealth of experience in advising banks and asset finance companies.
- Acting in relation to a dispute against a major bank regarding a leveraged Contract for Difference currency trade following the Swiss National Bank’s unexpected removal of the Swiss Franc/Euro currency peg.
- Advising the sponsor of an investment scheme in a UK plc in relation to a threatened class action by a number of the scheme’s investors.
- Advising a major UK financial planning and investment management company relating to alleged negligence/FSMA claims arising from various investments and with international elements.
- Advising a fund manager in relation to allegations regarding the management of a number of pension schemes.
- Representing a client in relation to a pension mis-selling claim against an independent financial advisor and a leading long term savings and investments company.
- Acting for a client in relation to a dispute arising from alleged investment and/or financial planning advice provided by a firm of independent financial advisors.
- Advising a lender in relation to the enforcement of its security over land and property which involved complex environmental issues.
Our Disputes team is highly experienced and well-structured to tackle emergency injunctions as quickly and cost-effectively as possible
If you need to urgently preserve or prevent the loss of an asset, protect against financial harm, prevent loss or damage to reputation or safeguard or secure information, it may be necessary to apply for an injunction.
We have extensive experience applying for, obtaining and defending injunctions relating to the wrongful use of confidential information, restrictive covenant breaches, breaches of contract, copyright, trademark and other IP infringements, defamation, privacy and trespass. In the past we have effected (and defended) the freezing of bank accounts, assets and land in the UK and globally. We also have extensive experience of tracing assets through bank accounts in the UK and in other jurisdictions, with a particular expertise in fraud.
We understand that these issues can be critical to your organisation. Our highly-experienced team offers responsive, tactical and strategic advice to help minimise impact to you or your business, as quickly and cost effectively as possible.
- The recovery of a classic Ferrari, and subsequent proceedings in the Australian courts relating to a retention of title claim;
- A freezing and tracing injunction involving a Turkish/UK property fraud valued at over £5m
- Successfully opposing a worldwide freezing order made against a third-party involving fraud proceedings in France;
- Preventing the misuse of confidential information and securing delivery-up of company assets for a business in the water utilities sector including enforcement in Scotland;
- Multiple claims involving enforcing restrictive covenants involving former employees; and
- Securing property using urgent trespass proceedings.
Applications for injunctions can be expensive, reflecting the amount of work which needs to be done in a short space of time. Our experienced team can offer competitive pricing options to suit your claim, pricing preferences and financial needs.
Today, technology and intellectual property is an integral element of most businesses’ value. Disagreements relating to software development contracts, outsourcing arrangements, systems integration contracts, patent and copyright infringement can be of critical value to your business.
The Greenwoods GRM team has expertise in dealing with complex technology claims including those in the specialist intellectual property courts and arbitration. Our intellectual property and technology disputes specialists work closely with the Business & Finance team to protect your business’s intellectual property and the goodwill that goes with it.
Jamie McConnell is recognised by the Legal 500 as a “Rising Star” in the intellectual property and IT & Telecoms sector.
- Defending a multi-million-pound design right infringement claim for a major UK luxury boat manufacturer
- Successfully enforcing a UK based manufacturer’s Community Trade Mark
- Representing a software developer in securing injunctive relief and subsequent proceedings relating to its software and underlying source code
- Preventing the misuse of confidential information and securing the delivery-up of company assets for a business in the water utilities sector including enforcement in Scotland
- Representing a leading hospitality software supplier in a contractual dispute with a £10m+ turnover business
- Defending an IT and telecoms provider in a complex dispute with a reseller of its services
- Defending a logistics software writer in a high value dispute with a purported licensee
We are always happy to arrange a no obligation call. Contact Jamie McConnell for more information.
We are known for our technical competence in all property disputes but particularly those concerning commercial property – acting for both landlords and tenants.
We resolve disputes in a way that is commercially viable, and client-focused. Our priority is delivering a commercial, practical and straightforward service. The breadth in expertise of our team allows us to offer fast and cost-effective solutions on a variety of property disputes.
Our Property Disputes team is lead by Chi Collins,who is recognised as one of the UK’s leading experts in leasehold enfranchisement.
Kirstie is a “…leading expert in the emerging area of property guardianship and clients remark that she ‘responds to queries very quickly and always has ideas and strategies on best practice and issues of a reactive nature, she is very knowledgeable in this niche area of law and has gradually become the guru for guardianship companies’”. Kirstie and Amy led the team in winning a landmark High Court decision on the status of property guardianship in the UK.
The team is also recommended for contentious commercial lease renewals, dilapidations claims, leases under the Telecommunications Act and breaches of covenant.
Our team can advise on:
- Service of notices under the Landlord and Tenant Act 1954 and break notices
- Contentious commercial lease renewals
- Termination of leases, associated dilapidations claims and negotiating agreements to surrender
- Breach of commercial leases including non-payment of rent, nuisance, unauthorised alterations and forfeiture proceedings
- Long residential lease disputes including service charge disputes
- Recovery of land or premises from guardians, tenants, licensees, trespassers or squatters by way of peaceful re-entry or court proceedings
- Real property issues from boundary disputes, easements and adverse possession claims
- Contentious lease extensions and enfranchisement proceedings under Leasehold Reform, Housing and Urban Development Act 1993
Recent work highlights include:
- Successfully defending a third-party’s urgent application for a proprietary interest on farm land
- Representing an international property guardian company in possession proceedings where the guardian claimed tenancy rights and pleaded the claimant had no standing to bring the claim
- Represented a claimant in dispute over parking and access rights, where a residential owner was obstructing the entrance to the hotel’s laundry facilities by parking in front of it resulting in substantial interference with the claimant’s business
- Advising a national housing association provider immediately prior to completion of a conditional contract upon disclosure of potential underground trespass by adjacent land owners
- Advising on a conditional purchase following an unforeseen Town and Village Green Application, which if granted, would severely impact our client’s development plans
We are the “go to” lawyers for clients seeking cutting edge advice in new and developing areas of corporate crime
Our Regulatory team lead, Kathryn Gilbertson, is a leading light in the sector. We are best known for our work within the hospitality, SME manufacturing and construction and can advise you on:
- Bribery act compliance
- Corporate manslaughter
- Dawn raids
- Directors’ liability
- Environmental regulation
- Fire Safety
- Food law
- Health and Safety
- HMO Licensing
- Interviews under Caution
- Modern Slavery and Human Trafficking
- Product liability and Recall
- Risk Assessment
- Trading Standards
We provide clients with a “route map” through the laws that affect their businesses. This approach allows them to achieve compliance without restricting their corporate goals.
We give time-critical advice and practical solutions to business in connection with the Environment Agency, Food Standards Agency, Gangmasters Licensing Authority, Groceries Code Adjudicator, Health and Safety Executive, and Local Authority enforcement officers (including Trading Standards).
As well as handling a caseload of high-profile matters, we also regularly provide specialist training to clients and professional bodies. Recent talks include:
- The Society of Food Hygiene and Technology
- CIEH 10th Annual Housing and Health Conference: ‘Meeting the housing challenge’
- Safety and Health Expo: ‘Working at height: lessons learnt from recent incidents and prosecutions’
- British Safety Council’s Annual Conference: ‘Post Grenfell – The implications for fire safety management and future regulation’
Let us help you avoid the criminal courts, and the PR damage to your brand and reputation, by having a legal compliance review today.
We are always happy to arrange a no obligation call. Contact Kathryn Gilbertson for more information.
Voted Food Safety Regulator Law Firm of the Year in England – 2018
The Legal 500 positions the Greenwoods GRM team as top-tier and places team lead, Kathryn Gilbertson, in the prestigious “Leading Individuals: Hall of Fame”:
“Kathryn Gilbertson has an outstanding reputation for regulatory and business defence matters nationwide.” (Environment, 2020)
“One of the best in the region for corporate crime matters.” (Crime, 2019)
“The practice at Greenwoods GRM is regarded as one of the region’s leaders in the field of health and safety, thanks largely to the stellar track record of leading light Kathryn Gilbertson who leads the regulatory team.” (Health and Safety, 2020)
Greenwoods GRM has expertise in tax disputes focussed on delivering results for corporate clients and high-net-worth individuals.
We advise high net worth individuals, owner-managed businesses, trusts and large corporates on tax disputes with HMRC, from enquiry stage through to appeals before the tax tribunals and courts.
We also advise on commercial disputes arising out of tax issues, including claims against professional advisers in relation to negligent tax advice, financial institutions involved in structured planning and fraud claims.
Our team, led by Huw Wallis, have extensive tax litigation experience gained from regional and City law firms in the UK. We have also developed an extensive referral network in the sector, enabling us to work with an impressive portfolio of diverse clients. We acted on several high-profile cases brought before the tax tribunals and UK courts.
- Derry v HMRC  UKSC 19: a successful Supreme Court tax dispute in relation to share loss relief
- A reported case for an £8m claim arising from alleged MTIC carousel fraud (Autogas (Europe) Limited v Ochocki & Ors  EWHC 2345 (Ch))
We are always happy to arrange a no-obligation call. Contact Huw Wallis, for more information.
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