Services include advice on lease provisions, licences, service of notices, defaulting tenants, termination of leases, forfeiture, surrender, levying distress for unpaid rent, breaches of covenant, dilapidations and 1954 Landlord and Tenant Act renewal issues.

Our clients seek advice from us on a wide range of existing and potential disputes, whether as Claimant, Defendant or as a third party. Typically the disputes cover contracts for supplies or contracts for services, in different commercial settings, ranging from termination to non-payment and performance.

This is a vast area, and typically would include actions by a minority shareholder who is attempting to protect his interest in a company where there has been a fallout with the majority shareholder, related actions for unfair prejudice, actions to remove a Director, issues relating to Directors' Duties, applications to restore a defunct company to the Register, and defending proceedings brought under the Company Directors' Disqualification Act.

These tend to arise in a number of different ways from small house extension projects, to much larger and more involved construction contracts, and can involve issues of warranty, such as NHBC (or similar), issues of professional negligence, against a surveyor or architect, or issues concerning the interpretation of contractual terms.

Frequently expert evidence will be required from a surveyor, and we are experienced in drawing together a team of experts to protect the interests of our clients.

Partnership disputes can be quite varied, not least because many partnerships have no Deed governing their relationship, and the terms of the relationship fall to be determined by the provisions of the Partnership Act. In common with minority shareholder actions under company law, if acting for an individual exiting partner, our remit will frequently be to secure the exit in such a way that secures his or her financial interest in the partnership, while if acting for the partnership, the emphasis will be to secure the best possible terms and the ongoing viability of the partnership.

Advising clients as to potential challenges and defending claims under the Public Contracts Regulations.

Fraud can give rise to civil sanctions as well as criminal sanctions. When a fraud is suspected, early legal advice must be sought. This is important to ensure that the fraud is brought to an end if it is still ongoing, to limit any further damage, to secure the whereabouts of any property or money wrongfully taken, and also to ensure that sufficient evidence is preserved in order to bring a successful claim against those alleged to have been acting fraudulently.

Frequently an injunction may be required from the Court, almost invariably expert input will be required from a forensic accountant or a suitably qualified investigator. If the alleged perpetrator of the fraud is an employee, then close attention will have to be given to the strength of the available evidence and the appropriate disciplinary procedures. If the alleged perpetrator of the fraud is a contractor, then the issue becomes one of early determination of the contract.

Even with the best credit control policy most businesses experience debtors who fail to pay for goods delivered or services rendered.

If payments are not made by suppliers, customers or clients, delays can adversely affect a businesses' cash flow. Payment delays ultimately cause thousands of businesses to fail. All businesses need to ensure that they have effective methods in place for the collection of money owed to them, and this is where Batchelors can help you. With our team's specialist knowledge of the court procedures we can guide you effortlessly through the court system, maximising the potential to secure payment of monies owed to your business. We offer a fixed fee package to clients who wish to recover unpaid invoices at minimal cost to themselves.

Adjudication is a legal process by which an Adjudicator examines evidence and arguments put forward by the parties to a dispute to reach a decision which determines the rights and obligations between those parties. It is common for this to arise either as a result of a contractual term or in construction where the relevant legislation is the Housing, Construction and Regeneration Act 1996.

Arbitration is a form of alternative dispute resolution (ADR) for the resolution of disputes without reference to the Courts, where the parties in dispute agree to refer the dispute to one or more arbitrators and agree to be bound by the decision. The use of arbitration is common in commercial, consumer and employment matters, where arbitration may be mandated by the terms of employment or commercial contracts.

Alongside more formal court procedures it is also important to consider whether any dispute might be capable of resolution by mediation. Mediation is a process aimed at examining the matter in a series of round table "without prejudice" discussions facilitated by a neutral Mediator. Mediation is particularly useful in negligence cases, as it is a confidential process that enables professional reputations to remain intact, but which also provides scope for an apology, as well as compensation, but without the stress of court proceedings, and without substantial costs.

Mediation is therefore much more flexible in its potential outcome than court proceedings, is much quicker to reach a solution, and can even preserve working relationships, where for instance the professional adviser has an on going commercial relationship with the client by producing "win-win outcomes".

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35 Widmore Road, Bromley, Kent BR1 1RW

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