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Dispute Resolution

United Kingdom

The CMS Dispute Resolution team offers the full range of integrated support, sector and commercial experience and a world-class service to respond quickly to you - a true 360° approach, from long-term planning and deployment of case strategy to emergency response, injunctions and applications and expedited procedures.

We handle all your risk and dispute interactions from regulators to reporters, on issues from data breaches to disputes, in arenas from cyberspace to the c-suite. Whatever your risks, you need to deal with them in ways that build your resilience and protect your reputation. We will be there around the clock and around the world, whenever and wherever you need us.

Our team is experienced in all forms of dispute resolution, including commercial litigation, corporate crime, regulatory and internal investigations; international arbitration, mediation and alternative dispute resolution, judicial review and reputation management.

Members of our team regularly appear as advocates in courts and arbitration.


At CMS, we have thought more about Your World. You do not want to litigate. You want to avoid disputes and when they do arise, be with the right team to resolve them.

CMS’s Litigation practice is global. In the UK CMS has one of the largest disputes practices in the City. We work with our clients to navigate the most complex matters and embrace a range of technologies, project management expertise and resource to deliver value for them.

Where your dispute cannot be resolved in any other way, we will deploy our expertise and resources to fight your corner to the end.

We are proud that since our merger on 1 May 2017 we have been recognised as follows:

  • Highest number of cases profiled, The Lawyer Top 20 Cases to Watch, 2019
  • Top 50 Global Litigation Firm, The Lawyer Global Litigation Top 50, 2018
  • Top 3 London Litigation Firm, The Lawyer Global Litigation Top 50, 2018
  • Highest year on year growth in Litigation Lawyers, The Lawyer Global Top 50, 2018
  • Highest number of Disputes clients, The Lawyer FTSE 250 Report 2018
  • Highest number of Disputes clients, The Lawyer FTSE 100 Report 2017
  • Firm of the Year Reputation Management The Legal 500 Awards 2018
  • UK Firm of the Year for Dispute Resolution The Legal 500 Awards 2017

In addition CMS is proud to be a Founding Member of London International Disputes Week demonstrating that we are a firm leading change in, and the promotion of, one of the major global litigation centres.

LIDW 2019 logo


Recognised as one of the world’s leading arbitration practices by Global Arbitration Review (GAR 30), our International Arbitration team is one of the largest of any law firm and spans the globe. It is made up of a diverse range of specialists, and our sector-led approach carries with it a huge depth of experience especially in construction, energy, insurance, technology, media and telecommunications sectors.

Our cross-jurisdictional practice comprises over 100 partners and 400 fee-earners conducting multi-billion dollar commercial and investor-state arbitrations. We operate from all the major venues for international arbitration including London, Paris, Madrid, Hong Kong, Singapore, Dubai as well as across Central and Eastern Europe, Africa and Latin America, and we represent clients under the rules of the world’s leading arbitral institutions including:

  • ICC 
  • LCIA
  • WIPO
  • SIAC

Many of our partners are regularly appointed as arbitrators and we speak and write regularly on matters of interest in the arbitration world. In many cases we will conduct advocacy in arbitrations ourselves.

GAR 2019 logo
ICCA 2020 Edinburgh Logo


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"All the lawyers I dealt with at CMS had a very commercial approach. They excelled at providing recommendations and suggesting practical solutions when things got tricky."

Chambers 2019

They are outstanding on client care, very thorough and commercially astute.

Chambers 2016

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    As someone looking for advocacy advice, it is essential you get seamless legal representation, efficiency, accessibility and speed. CMS has extensive advocacy experience in courts and tribunals across the United Kingdom on a broad range of matters. These include commercial contracts, construction and engineering, oil and gas, employment, fatal accident inquiries, judicial review, personal injury and property damage, planning and consenting, and public procurement.

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    Alternative Dispute Resolution

    Avoiding costly disputes is often the favoured route for businesses when challenges arise. Alternative dispute resolution – which includes mediation, moderation, and expert determination - is an increasingly attractive option for clients wishing to avoid lengthy and costly proceedings. 

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    Aviation Disputes

    Our experienced team has a deep understanding of the aviation sector and supports clients across the industry on large scale commercial litigation and arbitration. 

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    Class Actions

    Class actions in Europe are on the rise. Our leading team supports clients to triage class actions events across multiple jurisdictions and deploy the most effective defence strategy for their business.

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    Commercial Disputes

    In today's global marketplace, despite best business practices, litigation and disputes are often unavoidable. As a large publicly listed company or a small privately owned business, you will need lawyers who will deliver the outcome that meets your objectives and work within the commercial realities you operate in day to day.  

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    Construction & Engineering Disputes

    At CMS, we strive to spend more time looking outward at your world than inward at ours. As a leading and trusted adviser to the construction and engineering sectors, we aim to give you an advantage today by anticipating your challenges of tomorrow.

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    Corporate Crime, Compliance and Forensics

    When your business faces a criminal or regulatory risk, whether it be competition, cyber, environmental, health and safety or otherwise, you need advisors who will act quickly to investigate and protect your corporate reputation. You will also need to know how to investigate the issues, while protecting the integrity and confidentiality of the process and maximising the protection of legal privilege where available to avoid exacerbating the problem.

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    Employment Disputes

    When you’re facing an employment dispute, you need a legal adviser who will give you clear advice on the best route to a solution. This will include a commercial assessment of prospects, likely costs and timeframes.

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    Energy Disputes

    International energy companies operate in a complex and challenging environment. Investments in the energy sector are often high-value, high-risk transactions involving projects that rely on cutting edge technology. In addition to the technical challenges in this heavily regulated industry, the progressive development of reserves and infrastructure around the globe, and the need for ongoing geographic diversification, have exposed energy companies to increased legal and political risk. In such an environment, despite best business practices, disputes may be unavoidable.

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    Finance Disputes

    CMS' Finance Disputes team at CMS consists of litigation and international arbitration specialists within our 20-Partner market leading Financial Services & Regulatory team operating out of offices in London, Bristol and Scotland.

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    Financial Regulatory Disputes

    As a financial services business, the daily challenges you face in doing business in a highly regulated, cost pressured environment mean you need advisers who have an unparalleled understanding of the regulators’ expectations, how they apply to your business and are commercial, practical and resourceful.

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    Insurance & Reinsurance Disputes

    Whether you are an insurer, broker, reinsurer or insured party, your world is changing rapidly as tougher capital and risk requirements impact your business.  

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    International Arbitration

    International businesses are increasingly turning to arbitration as a confidential, flexible and effective means of resolving their complex cross-border disputes. Our team has a significant track record in international arbitration, from advising on the drafting of arbitration agreements through the conduct of the arbitral process to enforcing arbitration awards, including acting in related Court proceedings.

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    Judicial Review

    When a public body or official has made a decision that impacts on an industry, sector or project, sometimes the last available resort is to challenge the decision on legal or procedural grounds by way of judicial review. A party involved in a challenge needs the support of a team who understands their industry and the challenge process.

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    Life Sciences Disputes

    Our Life Sciences disputes and investigations specialists advise clients across the sector, handling disputes from judicial review to contractual, shareholder, product liability and patent disputes, and advising on investigations. 

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    Real Estate & Planning Disputes

    Whether you are a developer, landlord, contractor or occupier, when a real estate project or transaction becomes contentious, you need legal advice from a disputes team that understands the issues peculiar to the sector.

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    Reputation & Defamation

    Reputation is one of the most valuable assets a person or organisation can have. When this is under threat, it is important to defend it quickly and fervently. The Defamation Act 2013 is designed to create a balance between freedom of expression and the right to a good reputation. This has introduced a whole range of new complexities.

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    Risk & Investigations

    The risk and regulatory landscape is becoming more complex and requires greater investment of time, resources and skill in order to develop a formal, effective and transparent response.

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    Technology Disputes

    New technologies create new opportunities, and new challenges.  Our technology disputes team has a deep understanding of the technology sector and we support our clients on all types of disputes arising from the use and misuse of technology, whatever the nature of the technology involved. 

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    Law-Now: Dis­pute Res­ol­u­tion
    Vis­it Law-Now for leg­al know-how and com­ment­ary
    Dis­putes Di­gest
    Au­gust 2017
    Ex­pert Guide to In­ter­na­tion­al Ar­bit­ra­tion


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