Our commercial law experts can help with your goods and services disputes

Commercial disputes can be expensive and stressful. Even minor disagreements can escalate to the point where they threaten your business and your livelihood.

If you supply or buy goods and services as part of your day-to-day dealings, it is almost inevitable that disputes will arise between your business and another at some point. 

What are goods and services disputes?

Goods and services disputes are disagreements that arise when one party does not – or is perceived not to – supply goods or services in accordance with the terms of a commercial contract.

It could focus on late payment or refusal to pay for the goods and/or services in question, defective goods, or low quality workmanship.

How should I go about resolving a dispute against me or my business?

If someone from another business raises a dispute against you, it is likely that you will want to reach a solution quickly for the good of your cash flow, reputation, and future health of your business. With this in mind, there are a few rules you should follow when negotiating a resolution:

  • Try to reach an amicable settlement.
  • Assess the strength of the case against you at an early stage.
  • Seek expert legal advice to help decide whether you can settle the dispute early on, or whether it needs to go to court.
  • Prepare for a protracted battle if the dispute goes in front of a judge.
  • Consider if you’d rather accept a reasonable offer, potentially with the guidance of a solicitor, rather than going to court.

What should I do if someone threatens to sue me over a goods and services dispute?

If you receive a threat of court action in written form, then you must take it seriously. Do not ignore the issue.

It is likely the court will require a response from you by a set date. If you wish to deny the claim against you, responding within the deadline is your best hope of minimising the damage.

The point at which the dispute goes to court is also the stage that your costs will start to rise. With this in mind, it may be best to try and resolve the issue before it gets to that stage.

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How do I sue someone?

Firstly, you must establish whether or not you have a legal basis for a claim against the other party - our solicitors can help you assess that.

Secondly, you must tell the other party in writing that you are considering taking them to court. This is the other party’s opportunity to put things right by paying their debt to you, giving you a refund or agreeing to some other form of agreeable settlement.

If they fail to settle the issue – and you have a strong case – you may be able to proceed with a claim.

To start court proceedings, you must fill out a claim form and send it to the appropriate court (for example, your local County Court), together with the details of your claim and your fee.

If the other party intends to fight the claim, the court will send the case on one of three tracks:

  1. Small claims track 
    For claims up to £10,000 (up to £5,000 in Scotland, using 'Simple Procedure';  and up to £3,000 in Northern Ireland).
  2. Fast track
    For claims between £10,000 and £25,000.  (over £5,000 in Scotland, using 'ordinary cause procedure'; values over £3,000 and up to £30,000 in Northern Ireland should issue a civil bill through their County Court)
  3. Multi-track
    For more complicated claims with a value of £25,000 or more.

The court will make an 'order for directions'. This sets out how and when the involved parties must disclose documents, the schedule and so on. This allows you and the other party to prepare for the trial.

Finally the claim will be 'listed' for trial before a judge, who will then decide the outcome.

What will a solicitor do for me that I couldn't do for myself?

Instructing one of our commercial law solicitors, with the relevant expertise and experience, will give you the best chance of achieving the resolution you're after.

If you find yourself in a commercial quarrel, our solicitors can analyse its legal basis. They will also be able to provide impartial advice on the strengths and weaknesses of your position, as well as the costs and outcomes of each of the options available to you.

Get in touch for a free review of your situation.

Do you have a legal question?

  • Get it answered within 60 minutes when you call during normal office hours.
  • Free initial advice from our trained legal advisors.

Holly was amazing, her attentiveness, understanding and her general customer care was outstanding. Made me feel very comfortable speaking to her. I could not recommend a better company to speak to and with such amazing staff.

Miss Emma J

I was dealt with the most kind and caring manner by Rebeka. Also very efficient by explaining everything I had to know and connecting me to a solicitors who would deal with my claim. Thank you!

Mrs A Hill

Nice staff, very helpful and very easy to deal with. The initial part only took a few minutes. Staff also very knowledgeable and know what they are talking about.

Mr Richardson

Spoke with a lovely advisor called Chelsea who was great. She listened to everything that I said and gave brilliant advice. Her customer service was brilliant, she was very polite and gave me all the information about what are the next steps.

Mr N Dean

Get in touch today to discuss your requirements 08005677866

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