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The common types of commercial disputes

…and how to minimise their impact.

Commercial disputes are an unavoidable aspect of business and can arise out of many different events or circumstances.

Andrew Wylde, commercial litigation solicitor

Andrew Wylde, partner in our Commercial Dispute team, identifies the common types of commercial disputes that his team come across.

What is a commercial dispute?

A commercial dispute can occur in any sector or industry between companies and individuals. It is essentially a disagreement between two or more parties in relation to the exchange of goods and services. Such disputes often occur through a failure to perform contractual terms and conditions, or because of misunderstanding or mismanagement.

The most common types of commercial disputes that businesses experience include:

Contractual disputes

This is when a party does not comply with the terms of a contract or does not perform their side of the obligations under the contract.

Shareholder/director disputes

These typically involve conflicts between individuals who have a vested interest in the company’s success, such as majority and minority shareholders, and can involve breaches of directors’ duties and unfair prejudice petitions.


This type of commercial dispute can arise with stakeholders, shareholders, banks and insolvency practitioners once the insolvency process has started.

Professional negligence

This is when a professional fails to perform their responsibilities to the required standard or breaches a duty of care, and the poor conduct results in losses or damage being sustained by their client.

Partnership disputes

These arise from disagreements regarding ongoing issues in a business, such as company objectives, responsibility and authority, and use of income.

Construction disputes

The nature of construction projects and the law surrounding them often means that claims are made by both parties to the contract, both under the terms of the contract and for other breaches.

Patent and intellectual property (IP) disputes

IP such as patents and trademarks are often a vital business asset, and commercial disputes arise where one business infringes another business’s IP or takes action against the other for infringing their IP rights.

Debt disputes

Disputed claims for debts usually arise as a result of disputed issues of fact, often around the quality of the goods or services provided to the debtor, and will frequently include a counterclaim which the debtor raises as a set off to the debt being claimed.

Minimising the impact of disputes

Commercial disputes are an inevitable part of the business landscape, but with proactive measures and strategic legal guidance, businesses can minimise the impact of these disputes. Working with an experienced law firm that specialises in commercial law is essential for navigating the complexities of legal challenges and ensuring a favourable resolution for all parties involved.

Any commercial litigation dispute involving your business is a problem you can do without. As well as eating up time and money, they are a drain on staff resources, and can do serious damage to key relationships. At Lodders, our team of dispute resolution solicitors are dedicated to helping businesses navigate commercial disputes quickly and effectively through providing expert legal advice. Please get in touch to discuss how we can help.

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For help with a legal problem or more information on any of our services at Lodders, please get in touch with our friendly team. You can contact us via the number or email address below, or fill in the form and we will get back to you as quickly as we can.

Emily Brampton, Lodders Solicitors

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