Personal Disputes arise in many different contexts. They can involve Business Disputes or matters of a conventionally personal nature such as complications with employment, shareholdings, family, property and contentious probate.
Individuals involved personally in disputes are driven by different considerations to our business clients. The issues are invariably emotive and driven by a need to prevail at all costs. Our job is to add perspective and judgment to help our individual clients de-personalise the dispute so that matters are not made worse.
Most of the skills common to resolving business disputes not surprisingly apply equally to the solution of personal problems.
The key differential is the fact the claims can be directed personally at an individual and the stakes are very high for that person. And the stakes may not simply be financial, but perhaps reputational. It will also be the case invariably that individuals will be funding the dispute so the focus on benefit and risk is and should be significant.
Since we began our business nearly 20 years ago we have acted for individuals in a diverse series of disputes (see below/right). Without losing our sense of independence and objectivity we align ourselves mentally with our clients and wanting to succeed for them is constantly with us.
It is more often than not the case that individuals will only ever find themselves in a dispute once in their lifetime. The landscape is uncertain and emotions often run high as the dispute is internalised and becomes highly personal.
Our lawyers are used to this and we pride ourselves on our empathy to clients, supporting them with their case and through the emotions that run with it.
Types of Personal Dispute
We have developed expertise in many of the areas of life that intrude on individuals and can give rise to disputes.
In the case of successful entrepreneurs they not uncommonly invest in privately owned business, and these transaction can and do go wrong. Our involvement tends to arise when there is a need to take active steps against the incumbent management team for breach of the shareholder agreement, their employment contract and statutory duties. Depending on the case we may find ourselves recommending to clients unfair prejudice actions as a result of the management of the company to their detriment.
Beyond business disputes of a personal nature, we advise clients personally on:
- Executive employment disputes: these can involve claims for breach of contract and unfair dismissal as well as claims for discrimination.
- Family matters: we have expertise in advising in marital breakdown, financial settlements and children. We have experience of obtaining non-molestation orders where circumstances demand.
- Property: typically these disputes involve disputed boundaries and can also involve claims of harassment and nuisance.
- Construction disputes: in high value build contracts it is not uncommon for issues to arise that require intervention either by mediation or Court action.
- Negligence: whilst we do not undertake lower end personal injury claims, we do work with clients on more significant allegations of personal injury or professional negligence in the provision of services.
Personal disputes in particular require the lawyer to maintain perspective for the client. We do not serve our client’s interests best by repeating their narrative without rigorous analysis. We appreciate the need to extract emotion from the case and focus on getting a realistic outcome for the client and for a proportionate cost.