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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
    Vis­it Law-Now for leg­al know-how and com­ment­ary
    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
    04/07/2017
    The New Fla­menco – Su­preme Court al­lows own­ers’ ap­peal
    The Su­preme Court, on 28 June 2017, found in fa­vour of the own­ers in the long-awaited “New Fla­menco” judg­ment - Glob­alia Busi­ness Travel S. A. U. (formerly Travel­Plan S. A. U. ) of Spain v Fulton Ship­ping Inc of Panama.
    27/11/2013
    In­ter­na­tion­al Ar­bit­ra­tion
    21/06/2017
    The Ver­dict - Round-up of cor­por­ate crime de­vel­op­ments across CMS
    We are pleased to send our new is­sue of The Ver­dict, an at-a-glance round-up of re­cent leg­al de­vel­op­ments in re­la­tion to cor­por­ate crime. In this is­sue, the spot­light is on some sig­ni­fic­ant changes to anti-cor­rup­tion laws in the Czech Re­pub­lic, in­clud­ing.
    17/05/2017
    Drastic changes in re­new­able en­ergy laws trig­ger dam­ages award
    In an award dated 4 May 2017 (pub­licly avail­able in Span­ish only) is­sued in Eiser In­fra­struc­ture Lim­ited and En­er­gia Sol­ar Lux­em­bourg S. à. r. l v The King­dom of Spain (IC­SID Case No. ARB/13/36), an ar­bit­ral tribunal found that Spain’s le­gis­lat­ive changes in the.
    20/03/2017
    Due di­li­gence and pro­por­tion­al­ity un­der scru­tiny in latest IC­SID li­ab­il­ity...
    Sum­mary In a de­cision dated 21 Feb­ru­ary 2017, a tribunal act­ing un­der the aus­pices of the In­ter­na­tion­al Centre for Set­tle­ment of In­vest­ment Dis­putes (“IC­SID”), the World Bank’s ar­bit­ra­tion in­sti­tu­tion, in Am­pal-Amer­ic­an Is­rael Corp.
    06/03/2017
    PIP-case: ECJ cla­ri­fies scope of no­ti­fied body’s re­spons­ib­il­it­ies...
    In the PIP-case, a French man­u­fac­turer sup­plied thou­sands of wo­men with (al­legedly) de­fect­ive breast im­plants. Amongst oth­ers, pa­tients in Ger­many star­ted lit­ig­a­tion against the no­ti­fied body in ques­tion - TÜV Rhein­land (“Tuv”).
    10/02/2017
    In­dia Budget 2017 - 2018
    On 1 Feb­ru­ary, Fin­ance Min­is­ter Ar­un Jait­ley presen­ted In­dia’s an­nu­al Uni­on Budget for 2017-2018 (the “Budget”) for the fisc­al year be­gin­ning 1 April 2017. The cent­ral aim in this year’s Budget ap­pears to fo­cus on the most vul­ner­able with in­creased spend­ing.
    10/02/2017
    As­sess­ing pro­por­tion­al­ity in pub­lic pro­cure­ment? The un­cer­tainty re­mains
    On 14 Decem­ber 2016, the European Court of Justice ("ECJ") answered the Dutch Su­preme Court’s ("DSC") pre­lim­in­ary ques­tions re­gard­ing Art­icle 45 (2) of the EU pub­lic pro­cure­ment dir­ect­ive (Dir­ect­ive 2004/18/EC) and gen­er­al prin­ciples of equal treat­ment and.
    06/02/2017
    New reg­u­la­tion comes in­to force sup­port­ing cre­ation of a European...
    The new reg­u­la­tion n°655/2014 sup­port­ing the cre­ation of a European bank ac­count pre­ser­va­tion or­der pro­ced­ure came in­to force on 18 Janu­ary 2017. This is now en­force­able through­out the Mem­ber States of the European Uni­on, ex­clud­ing the United King­dom and Den­mark.
    09/11/2016
    The pro­tec­tion of cross-bor­der in­vest­ments un­der the Canada-EU trade...
    Fol­low­ing ne­go­ti­ations first launched in May 2009, the Com­pre­hens­ive Eco­nom­ic and Trade Agree­ment (“CETA”) was signed by Canada and the EU on 30 Oc­to­ber 2016. CETA is a free trade agree­ment, which is sub­ject to rat­i­fic­a­tion by each EU mem­ber state and to the.
    28/10/2016
    European Com­mis­sion pub­lishes Cor­por­ate Tax Re­form Pack­age, re­launch­ing...
    As part of a Cor­por­ate Tax Re­form Pack­age, the EC has pub­lished four pro­pos­als for Coun­cil Dir­ect­ives. 1. Pro­pos­als to re­launch the Com­mon Con­sol­id­ated Cor­por­ate Tax Base First, the European Com­mis­sion (“EC”) has an­nounced that it is re­launch­ing its pro­pos­al.
    19/10/2016
    Is a Rus­si­an court com­pet­ent to re­solve an in­vest­ment-re­lated dis­pute...
    Sum­mary On 5 Au­gust 2016, Rus­si­an busi­ness­man and former co-own­er of the Lithuani­an Bank Snor­as, Mr. Vladi­mir Ant­onov, filed a claim against the Re­pub­lic of Lithuania (rep­res­en­ted by the Min­istry of Justice) for an amount ex­ceed­ing 40 bil­lion Rubles (more than.
    03/10/2016
    Tribunal leaves door open for full pro­tec­tion and se­cur­ity to en­com­pass...
    In its Award dated 27 June 2016, the Tribunal dis­missed the Claimant’s claim in Peter A. Al­lard v The Gov­ern­ment of Bar­ba­dos (PCA Case No. 2012-06) re­lat­ing to the Re­spond­ent’s al­leged breach of its in­ter­na­tion­al ob­lig­a­tions un­der the bi­lat­er­al in­vest­ment treaty.
    05/07/2016
    Leg­al de­vel­op­ments in product li­ab­il­ity: With re­strict­ive le­gis­la­tion...
    The med­ic­al in­dustry is un­der in­creas­ing leg­al pres­sure these days ow­ing mainly to a con­sumer-friendly risk en­vir­on­ment. This is evid­ent from re­strict­ive le­gis­la­tion and re­cent land­mark cases, such as the PIP case, con­cern­ing a French com­pany that sup­plied.
    09/06/2016
    Ger­man land­mark de­cision on sports ar­bit­ra­tion be­fore CAS
    On 7 June 2016 the Ger­man Fed­er­al Su­preme Court ruled that the ar­bit­ra­tion agree­ment between the pro­fes­sion­al speed skater and five-time Olympic medal­ist Claudia Pech­stein and the In­ter­na­tion­al Skat­ing Uni­on (ISU) was val­id.
    07/06/2016
    Trade Secrets Dir­ect­ive ap­proved by the European Coun­cil
    On 27 May the European Coun­cil ap­proved the Dir­ect­ive on the pro­tec­tion of un­dis­closed know-how and busi­ness in­form­a­tion (trade secrets) against their un­law­ful ac­quis­i­tion, use and dis­clos­ure ("Trade Secrets Dir­ect­ive").