At Freeman Fisher we have a robust, cost conscious and focused approach to commercial dispute resolution, never losing sight of your objectives and the commercial impact a dispute has on your business.
Where practicable we will always look to settle disputes by effective negotiation, mediation or arbitration.
Although our personnel formerly acted on a national basis for banks we now predominantly act for banking customers but with the advantage of a complete understanding of the bank processes and decision making layers. We handle mis-selling claims on behalf of customers and other banking relationship issues.
We have extensive experience of dealing with disputes between shareholders; removal of directors (acting for either the director or the company); and boardroom disputes.
Our background expertise in this area of the law includes acting for the banks in recovering the results of fraud; acting as receiver to the Crown Prosecution Service in the enforcement of confiscation of assets and a wide commercial client base in recovering the losses incurred by internal staff fraud, dissipation of assets and opportunities. Our experience of freezing injunctions and search orders can often be of vital importance in the prospects of recovery.
Commercial disputes require commercial resolution and in many cases the litigation process is not necessarily best resolution as it involves devotion of time and funding to its conclusion. As such litigation in a court should be a last resort. If it has to be litigation we are firmly on your side in achieving the best result for you. If a commercial settlement is to be achieved we are on your side in achieving the best outcome whether it be by settlement negotiations or by more formal means such as mediation. We have extensive experience of mediation, a settlement meeting assisted by a trained mediator whose task is to try to bring the parties closer together to the point where they can achieve a compromise settlement. Any settlement process requires proper preparation and a clear understanding of the settlement options and desired outcome.
Judicial Review and Human Rights
We have handled some of the largest and most complex Judicial review cases and have great experience of this jurisdiction of the court. Our experience includes acting for the members of a national association in judicial review of part of the Government’s tobacco policy relating to the ban on selling cigarettes through vending machines (Sinclair Collis Limited & National Association of Cigarette Machine Operators v Sec. State for Health  EWHC Civ 437 (Court of Appeal));
Acting for the UK mink industry in its challenge by Judicial Review and Human Rights claim, to the Government scheme compensating them for their loss of livelihood following the banning of the industry in the UK. R (on the application of Leonard Kelsall and Ors) v Sec. State for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs (2003) EWHC 459 (Admin)
In 1979 Alex Megaw had the opportunity to advise a local branch of Williams & Glyn’s Bank Limited (as it then was) in regard to a recoveries matter which was significant to the branch concerned. He realized that the case required very urgent attention and advised the use of a restraining injunction which had then only been used in the context of international shipping. The bank’s principal advisers advised that it could not be done. The subsequent application to the High Court (made by Alex without counsel) resulted in the first freezing injunction in the commercial arena (Williams & Glyn’s Bank Limited v Makanjoula – 1979 unreported). Alex went on to deal with all such injunction cases for the bank including its subsequent entities Williams & Glyn’s Bank plc and Royal Bank of Scotland plc for the next 15 years becoming an authority on the development of the injunction. The injunction is now enshrined in Part 25 of the Civil Procedure Rules 1985 and is extensively used in civil proceedings.
The search order (the civil equivalent of a search warrant) became an early part of the armory used in fraud cases for the banks. From its early beginnings the procedure for obtaining a court order to allow a search and the procedure for executing the search has changed and tightened. Alex Megaw has become a national leading expert in this area of the law acting for the party searching, for the party being searched and as a court appointed expert supervisor of the search. Louise Goodwin also has significant experience in this area of the law.
The work requires experience and accuracy, often under intense time pressure. Alex Megaw’s reported cases include some significant decisions in this area of the law including a case concerning the interplay between the privilege against self-incrimination and the requirement to comply with a search order (C Plc & W v (1) P; (2) Sec. State for Home Office (3) Attorney-General (2008) Ch1 (Court of Appeal). The case was described by Queen’s Counsel for P as “one of the most significant cases for a generation”. The case attracted the attention of the Home Office and the Attorney General both of whom intervened in the proceedings. The case was due to be heard in the House of Lords when it was settled. We have supervised at least 50 searches, some of which have been reported:
Interactive Technology Corporation Limited v Jonathan Ferster & Ors  EWHC 393 (Ch);
Irish Response Limited v Direct Beauty Products Limited & Anor  EWHC 37 (QB);
Al-Rawas v Pegasus Energy Limited (2007) EWCA Civ 268
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Our areas of expertise include:
- Banking disputes
- Corporate transactions disputes
- Commercial fraud
- Contract disputes
- Partnership disputes
- Professional negligence
- Judicial Review
- Human Rights
- Freezing Injunctions
- Search & Seizure Orders* (acting and supervising)
The Commercial Dispute Resolution team
Find out more about, or contact any member of our Commercial Dispute Resolution team by clicking on the pictures below.