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Dispute Resolution

United Kingdom

At CMS, we have thought more about Your World. You do not want to litigate, and neither do we. You want to avoid disputes and when they do arise, have the right team to resolve them.

Unlike most major law firms, you will not find a traditional litigation department at CMS. What you will find is a large team of specialist lawyers who share a refreshing approach to disputes. Structured according to the industries our clients work in, we bring our deep sector expertise to your dispute ensuring you will always receive advice in the context of your own market. 

Where your dispute cannot be resolved in any other way, we have the expertise and resources to ensure your dispute if pursued through litigation and arbitration, including, where necessary, appeals and challenges to the highest courts and tribunals.

Consistently ranked in the Global Arbitration Review ‘GAR30’ of the world’s busiest international arbitration practices and as one of The Lawyer’s Top 50 Global Litigation firms, you will have a team experienced in all forms of dispute resolution.

We advise clients on international arbitration (both commercial and investor-state), litigation (either of the underlying dispute or in support of arbitral proceedings), expert determination, adjudication and mediation.

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

Chambers 2016

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    Advocacy

    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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    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

    The magnitude of the sums involved, the time needed for a project to come to fruition and reach completion, the scope for variations to be made and extensions of time granted, the technical nature of processes such as testing and commissioning, and the number of entities that can be involved – it is no wonder that the construction, engineering and infrastructure sectors are among the most contentious industries in the world.

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    Corporate Crime

    If your business faces allegations of illegality or other wrongdoing, whether from whistle-blowers, regulators or other authorities, you will need to act quickly to investigate and protect your corporate reputation. You will need to know how to respond to the issue in the minutes and hours after it has arisen, both internally and externally, in order to protect the business and avoid exacerbating the problem. 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.

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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

    Disputes involving financial institutions can be complex and involve vast sums. This is where our experience gained through long-standing relationships with major banks and financial institutions can deliver efficient and effective solutions for your business.

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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

    Arbitration is a good choice to resolve disputes when you need flexibility, enforceability and an award which reflects the realities and complexities of your business. To achieve this, particularly in industries like insurance, energy, construction, engineering and TMT, you will need arbitrators and advisers who are comfortable with the technical detail. 

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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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    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

    Fraud, corruption, tax evasion and money laundering are issues high on the public, political and enforcement agendas around the world. Regulatory and trade bodies’ more stringent restrictions and transparency requirements, as well as improvements in corporate internal controls, have also led to better internal reporting of concerns, generating a new series of challenges in terms of appropriate analysis and investigation of reported issues.

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    Technology Disputes

    Our Technology Litigation Team provides dispute resolution services to clients in all industry sectors. We advise on disputes relating to hardware implementation, software design and implementation, systems integration and development projects, IT outsourcing and off-shoring, software licensing, software copyright, (including ‘look and feel’), computer implemented inventions / software patents, database protection and extraction, e-commerce and online contracts, online infringement issues and ISP defences, online and computer fraud, including criminal actions, and domain names, including cyber-squatting, typo-squatting and other domain parking. 

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    Law-Now: Dis­pute Res­ol­u­tion
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    Dis­putes Di­gest
    Au­gust 2017

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    1 May 2017
    CMS, Nabarro and Olswang com­plete largest ever mer­ger...
    Cre­at­ing a new fu­ture-fa­cing firm
    07 Nov 17
    Spot­light Series: Priv­ilege: Key Is­sues for Your Or­gan­isa­tion...
    18/04/2017
    FAPL v ISPs - the next fix­ture of the Premi­er league sea­son
    In Foot­ball As­so­ci­ation Premi­er League Ltd v Brit­ish Tele­com­mu­nic­a­tions plc and oth­ers, the High Court gran­ted the Foot­ball As­so­ci­ation Premi­er League Ltd (“FAPL”) a block­ing or­der tar­get­ing stream­ing serv­ers.
    15/09/2017
    ‘Ser­i­ous ir­reg­u­lar­ity’, in­ap­pro­pri­ate be­ha­viour and con­fid­en­ti­al­ity
    The los­ing Re­spond­ent in an ICC Ar­bit­ra­tion with the seat in Lon­don chal­lenged the Award on the grounds of ‘ser­i­ous ir­reg­u­lar­ity’ and ar­gued that as one of the ar­bit­rat­ors had ac­ted in­ap­pro­pri­ately, it should be set aside and not re­mit­ted back to the ar­bit­rat­ors.
    18 April 2017
    Dis­putes di­gest
    Is­sue 6: April 2017
    10/04/2017
    High Court grants in­ter­im in­junc­tion against news agency in breach...
    In Brevan Howard As­set Man­age­ment LLP v Re­u­ters Lim­ited and oth­ers, Mr Justice Popplewell in the High Court gran­ted an ap­plic­a­tion for an in­ter­im non-dis­clos­ure or­der pre­vent­ing the pub­lic­a­tion or use by a news agency of in­form­a­tion con­tained in doc­u­ments.
    01 Nov 17
    Spot­light Series: Priv­ilege: Key is­sues for your or­gan­isa­tion...
    08/09/2017
    Pub­lic policy and the en­force­ment of ar­bit­ral awards
    In Anatolie Stati and oth­ers v Kaza­kh­stan [2017] EWHC 1348 (Comm), the Eng­lish High Court held that the De­fend­ant’s ap­plic­a­tion, to set aside per­mis­sion gran­ted to the Claimants to en­force an ar­bit­ral award, should pro­ceed to tri­al as there was suf­fi­cient evid­ence.
    9 February 2017
    CMS first law firm in Europe to ad­opt in­nov­at­ive ma­chine...
    24/08/2017
    Cross-bor­der lit­ig­a­tion after Brexit: steady as she goes?
    The UK Gov­ern­ment aims for civil ju­di­cial co­oper­a­tion with the EU after Brexit to con­tin­ue on a sim­il­ar basis as the cur­rent re­gime, ac­cord­ing to a po­s­i­tion pa­per re­leased on Tues­day. In the pa­per, the Gov­ern­ment out­lines the prin­ciples it be­lieves should ap­ply.
    13 December 2016
    CMS, Nabarro and Olswang con­firm Prac­tice and Sec­tor...
    31/07/2017
    Nor­way’s Court of Ap­peal up­holds valid­ity of new tar­iffs for the trans­port...
    The Court of Ap­peal in Nor­way has now pub­lished its highly an­ti­cip­ated rul­ing on the ‘Gassled’ ap­peal, fol­low­ing an un­suc­cess­ful chal­lenge to the valid­ity of tar­iffs for the trans­port of gas in the Dis­trict Court in Oslo.
    11 November 2016
    12 Olswang part­ners re­cog­nised as Band 1 in Cham­bers...
    28/07/2017
    No priv­ilege against em­ploy­er over per­son­al doc­u­ments on em­ploy­er’s...
    A prop­erty de­vel­op­ment com­pany has suc­cess­fully res­isted an ap­plic­a­tion by its former Group Fin­ance Dir­ect­or to re­strain use of per­son­al doc­u­ments on the grounds of leg­al pro­fes­sion­al priv­ilege. The High Court held that the dir­ect­or was not able to as­sert priv­ilege.
    Benjamin Hendry
    10 October 2016
    CMS, Nabarro and Olswang com­bine to cre­ate 6th largest...
    28/07/2017
    Com­pet­i­tion Ap­peal Tribunal dis­misses £14 bil­lion col­lect­ive ac­tion...
    Mas­ter­Card has suc­cess­fully op­posed a col­lect­ive ac­tion in the Com­pet­i­tion Ap­peal Tribunal (“CAT”), in the latest in­stal­ment of the mul­ti­lat­er­al in­ter­change fee (“MIF”) lit­ig­a­tion.   Mas­ter­Card faced a £14 bil­lion claim – the largest ever filed in the UK – brought.
    October 2016
    CMS, Nabarro and Olswang com­bine to cre­ate 6th largest...
    25/07/2017
    How to con­duct a pro­cure­ment chal­lenge in Eng­land and Wales
    The Tech­no­logy and Con­struc­tion Court (the TCC) - the gen­er­ally pre­ferred for­um for pro­cure­ment chal­lenges in Eng­land and Wales - has ad­op­ted a Guid­ance Note (the Note) on the con­duct of pro­cure­ment chal­lenges.