Josiah Hincks Litigation & Dispute Resolution Solicitors in Leicester help your business fight all types of legal battles. We regularly deal with commercial High Court disputes, including contract disputes and negligence claims. We are known for being robust and for fighting our clients’ corners, and yet we also take a pragmatic view on claims to work a cost-effective solution that’s right for your business.
Our Litigation & Dispute Resolution Team
How we can help
Our litigation solicitors are available at our offices in Leicester, Blaby, Coalville, Syston and Market Harborough. All our litigation lawyers are trained to consider the bigger picture and look at your issue from all angles to determine the best and most appropriate way forward. Getting results for our clients is a passion, and we will ensure that you get the result you need.
As a result our team of lawyers can provide you with quick and straightforward advice on your best way forward, whether or not this involves County Court or High Court Proceedings or Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) such as Mediation or Arbitration. Our commercial litigation solicitors frequently attend Leicester County Court. We can also carry out solicitor agent work at Leicester County Court.
We appreciate that handling disputes can be a very expensive and stressful process, but our litigation lawyers will endeavour to guide you through this in the most cost effective and hassle free manner. We will provide you with all the information and options to enable you to make an informed choice for yourself.
We aim to assess your action, whether it be your claim or a claim brought against you and consider the merits of your case very early on, in order to mount the best possible attack or the most robust defence in the circumstances.
Our commercial litigation solicitors will only seek to recommend litigation where the realistic benefits exceed the costs likely to be involved. We’re also involved in mediation, arbitration, adjudication and alternative dispute resolution.
Please contact us now to discuss any litigation matter you have and our litigation team will gladly assist.
Most commercial disputes Josiah Hincks deal with are contract disputes. They will often be referred to as breach of contract claims, contract law disputes or simply commercial litigation.
Almost every dispute a business will encounter will stem from a contract. It might be a written contract, such as Terms and Conditions, or a Supply Contract (which can be called a wide range of names). It might be written but informally, such as on an email or detailed in a one page letter – its still a contract. If it’s not a written contract (an express contract) then it will likely be an oral contract – where you spoke and agreed to do something – and now there’s a dispute about what the terms of that contract are.
At its basics, a contract is an agreement that one party will do something in return for (usually) money paid by the other party. Its a supplier and purchaser, a customer, a client. It could be a building contract, a supply contract, it could be for goods or for services.
In law all a contract requires is an offer, an acceptance of that offer and consideration. Our litigation solicitors are experts in contract law disputes and we are able very quickly to help you determine what the contract was and how to take the matter further.
Quite often, contract disputes that relate to a written agreement. Within that agreement there will be conditions or warranties. A condition is an obligation to do something. A warranty is a promise about something. You might be a customer or a supplier, but if you have a dispute about a contract our litigation solicitors in Leicester can help.
The “breach” of contract is usually non payment. However, it can be something else, such as delay (time issues), poor quality work or goods, breach of restrictive covenants or something else undesirable.
Our litigation solicitors have been involved in the following recent breach of contract claims:
- Breach of Agency Agreement due to non payment of commission
- Construction industry dispute regarding the supply of faulty products
- Sub-contractor dispute against main contractor for non payment
- Dispute over faulty products supplied to end user through 3 different suppliers
- Breach of Restrictive Covenants
- breach of sale and purchase agreements
- breach of employment contracts
- joint venture agreements
- shareholder agreement disputes
- partnership disputes
It matters not what the contract is or relates to, or what the breach is, our dispute resolution solicitors can help. Usually, the first step will be to write to the other party and set out why we consider them to be in breach (and if necessary set out what we say the terms of the contract were). Once we have a response, our solicitors can consider the merits of any potential contract law claim and if necessary consider litigation via County Courts or High Courts. That depends on value and complexity. Our team will fight your corner robustly and ensure results. The result of course depends on the strength of your case. If you have a strong case, we will go to Court and fight to win. If there are some issues in your case, we may look at alternatives to litigation, such as mediation or ADR including simple negotiation.
For negligence claims to arise, there must be a duty of care owed from one party to another, and there must have been a breach of that duty of care which results in loss or damage suffered. Usually, the duty of care aspect is quite easy to see – with most of the people above, there will be a contractual relationship (and therefore a contractual dispute) which will include terms about the level of service to be expected. Sometimes, there will be an implied duty of care – where there’s not contract or payment for services, but the third party should have considered risk to you.
A duty of care often arises because one party is supposed to be the expert giving advice to the other. The expert is usually therefore supposed take into account all of the special circumstances before giving their advice, and that advice should be tailored to you, suitable for you and be the right option. It’s for this reason that it is often called professional negligence, it is negligence against a professional.
Once we can show a duty of care, the next question is what is the loss suffered. Loss falls under two categories, direct and indirect loss (the latter is also known as consequential losses). Direct loss for negligence claims are what immediate costs you have suffered as a result of the others negligence; so for example the costs of rectifying their mistake. Consequential losses are the losses/damages/costs you’ve incurred beyond that; they are often “If I’d have had that money then, I would have done X,Y,Z…”.
Our litigation solicitors can help you bring or defend any negligence claims you or your business face.
Franchise Disputes over Franchise Agreeements happen quite regularly and our litigation solicitors are very experienced with dealing with all kinds of such disputes.
Franchising is a fast growing sector in the UK and there are lots of opportunities for new business ventures. Unfortunately, there is a rise in franchise disputes as well, between Franchisor and Franchisee.
Franchisor = Head Company
Franchisee = Individual
A Franchisor is often a well established business with a great system, product or service which wants to expand and what better way to do it than Franchising. The Franchisor puts together the System (Franchise Manual) and a Franchise Agreement (I can help draft Franchise agreements for you too) and then goes to market, seeking to attract new Franchisees to “buy the franchise”. Buying a franchise means you pay an initial sum of money to the company in return for the system, training, goods/products etc. That all depends on what franchise is being purchased.
The Franchisee then starts out in business, using the “proven” System, to get new customers and make some real money.
There will be some on going Franchise fees to pay, usually a percentage of sales/turnover.
Franchise Disputes usually arise in a couple of different ways:
- Misrepresentation – eg the Franchisor makes claims that this Franchise will make you a £Xm within the first Y months, and it does not;
- Breach of contract – the Franchisor was supposed to do X or provide Y but didn’t, which means the Franchisee cannot run the business fully or profitably.
These are the main two issues which arise with franchise disputes, and as an experienced franchise dispute resolution solicitors, Josiah Hincks can help. There are of course other issues which arise with franchises, such as setting up in breach of restrictive covenants, the franchise territory being changed, etc.
Whether you are a Franchisor or a Franchisee, our litigation solicitors can help with your legal problems and ensure that your franchise dispute is resolved as quickly and efficiently as possible.
Our litigation solicitors can handle domain name disputes and other claims relating to the internet, eCommerce and social media.
A domain name is the www bit that you type in to the address bar on your web browser.
Our solicitors can help you if you have a domain name dispute. Usually, for .UK domains (such as .co.uk) this will be through Nominet’s DRS (Dispute Resolution Service) which is an arbitration service set up by the company that operates UK domains. Our team have also dealt with .com domains in the past.
We can help with so called “domain squatting” whereby someone has registered your brand name or something similar. In law, this usually forms a claim for Trademark Infringement or the Tort of Passing Off.
Passing Off is where one company uses a brand name, word or style of another company. Our team are vastly experienced with passing off online, where people think the law doesn’t apply sometimes! We have dealt with claims where people have sold products on Amazon or eBay that infringe trademarks and brand names. We’ve also advised on AdWord infringement. We were involved in a law-making case in 2017 involving Trademarks and Amazon AZIN selling pages.
AdWords are the paid for Google Adverts which appear at the top of every search. You often see a competitor bidding on brand terms so they rank higher than you online! We can help bring a legal case to stop this from happening. The key issue is whether use of the brand name within the ad is “likely to cause confusion” as to the origin of the relevant goods or services. If you have a registered trademark, then Google sometimes assist in removing the Ad. Otherwise, we might need to issue legal proceedings to protect your brand.
Social Media Law is a fast growing area. While claims a typically for the rich and famous, because of the costs involved, that does not mean that legal advice is necessary. Claims in respect of Twitter, Facebook etc are usually related to Defamation of Character – libel – whereby something untrue is written which affects your reputation. I can help with this cases, in issuing urgent High Court Injunction Proceedings to have Twitter remove the tweet, for example, and to sue for damages as appropriate. Social Media Law however usually involves me advising companies on “who owns a social media account”, drafting social media policies, employees posting negative or confidential information online, plus much more. In short, if something affects you or your business online or on social media, our solicitors can provide expert legal advice on the subject.
Kickstarter (and other similar crowdfunding sites like Indiegogo) are sites where businesses can get funding for a project or new product. Most of the time, they are “donation based”. Thus, you will not see many kickstarter solicitors giving legal advice. However, as with all new starting projects, there are always legal issues to consider, including protecting intellectual property such as Trademarks, Designs and Patents, as well as ensuring that your terms and conditions are the best they can be. I can help.
Why choose our Litigation & Dispute Resolution lawyers?
Why choose us?
We recognise that a large proportion of our work comes from recommendations and satisfied clients therefore for our aim is to give the maximum level of added value service at competitive rates. We accept we may not be the cheapest but we pride ourselves on the quality of service.
We provide clear and concise advice and ensure you are kept fully appraised throughout the transaction. 98% of our clients would recommend Josiah Hincks to friends, family and contacts.
Steven Mather is the Partner and Head of the Litigation Team. He qualified in 2008 and has vast experience in handling complex litigation matters. He was runner up as Solicitor of The Year in 2015 and The Times Lawyer of The Week in June 2014. He is one of the leading litigation lawyers in Leicestershire supports a great team of litigation lawyers who provide excellent service and have a passion for getting results.
In 2018 Josiah Hincks was recognised by the Leicestershire Law Society as Small Law Firm of the year 2018. This award reflects the excellent service our staff offer its clients and brings assurance to those clients working with us that we strive for excellence in all we do.