The solicitors at MKB Law have many years of experience in acting for clients in a wide range of commercial disputes and claims for business and individuals. Our goal is to resolve a dispute for you or your business as quickly and cost efficiently as possible. Often this involves identifying the key strengths and weaknesses of a case at an early stage and exploring the possible of alternative dispute resolution (“ADR”).
Our commercial litigation and dispute resolution team is well placed to advise clients on the best forum for resolving disputes whether it be by mediation, negotiation or litigating a matter, relying on MKB Law’s extensive experience of the courts in Northern Ireland.
Our team can help with issues such as:
Breaches of Contract Shareholder and Director Disputes Partnership Disputes Intellectual Property Infringement Defective Goods and Products Land and Property Construction and Building Disptues
What is a breach of contract?
Most basic forms of agreement between parties constitute a contract. Often disputes arise in relation to the validity of a particular term or agreement in general or questions arise over interpretation with the potential for significant detriment or benefit being caused to the respective parties.
MKB Law has a vast array of experience in resolving contractual disputes to our clients’ satisfaction. Recent case examples include:
Recovering substantial damages for a local telecommunications business following breach of contract terms by a major network provider;
Recovering substantial damages for a sole trader denied commission on sales under a VAR (value added re-sale) agreement;
Successfully obtaining an emergency injunction and then a money judgement for a national business following breaches of a sales contract.
What are shareholder and director disputes?
Shareholder Agreements are common in many incorporated companies and govern the shareholders’ obligations and benefits arising from a company and its performance.
Perhaps particularly at times of change and challenge to the economy like those we are currently experiencing , disputes often arise between those responsible for the ongoing s success of a company or who are set to benefit financially from it.
MKB Law’s litigation team has significant experience and a track record of success in resolving promptly, and at minimum cost, disputes between shareholders and directors. Recent case examples involve:
Successfully resolving a high value shareholder and directors dispute within a construction company with significant payments becoming due to our client;
Successfully resolving shareholder and director disputes in a number of IT start ups;
Successfully resolving a shareholder and directors dispute in a well-known local jewellery business.
What are partnership disputes?
Many businesses in Northern Ireland remain unincorporated and, rather, take the form of trading partnerships. Occasionally, a partnership deed or agreement is in place. However, in most instances the partnership is an informal “partnership at will”. These arrangements are governed and protected by the Partnership Act 1890. This Act, among other things, sets out the process for dissolving a partnership and for assessing the contribution of each partner upon dissolution.
MKB Law have significant experience in acting for trading partnerships and resolving disputes successfully, including for farming businesses and construction companies.
What is intellectual property infringement?
In our modern world, as a result of globalization and modern communication technology inspiring creativity, Intellectual Property Rights are particularly lucrative and wide ranging. MKB Law has significant experience and are adept at assisting clients in bringing and defending Intellectual Property Disputes.
Recent successful case examples include:
Resolving a high value dispute with a major watch supplier involving allegations of intellectual property infringement;
Resolving breach of confidence claims arising from the use by a trade competitor of our client’s original design;
Successfully injuncting a concert promoter and venue to prevent infringement of our client’s IP rights.
Can you help me with a defective product?
MKB Law have successfully acted on many occasions for businesses who have obtained goods from suppliers which are defective or not fit for purpose. These have included claims arising from defective goods which have subsequently been sold and fitted to our clients’ customers’ homes.
What are land and property disputes?
MKB Law have significant experience and a track record of resolving disputes involving land and property. This is perhaps best highlighted by our success in the Court of Appeal case of CPS -v Bywater Capital Limited. Types of cases we regularly assist and resolve include:
Business tenancy disputes;
Right of way and boundary disputes
Can you help me with a construction dispute?
MKB Law act for numerous clients arising from construction and building contracts, whether JCT contracts or other more informal contractual arrangements. We can provide expert and cost efficient advice and representation in adjudication, arbitral or court proceedings as required.
Professional negligence cases take many forms and can be applied to any service in which you have been offered expert advice. There are regrettably instances where the standard of professional service provided by advisers to their clients falls short. The most common areas in which we see claims include accountancy, architecture, engineers, quantity surveying, solicitor services, financial advice and insurance brokers.
At MKB Law, we aim to help our clients by giving a clear explanation of the following:
The steps which solicitors are obliged to follow under the pre-action protocols
Alternative dispute resolution (ADR) methods allowing a settlement to be reached out of court
Costs and funding options- particularly whether an after the event (ATE) insurance policy could be obtained
The procedure by which the relevant records are obtained
The expert evidence that should be procured
With a wealth of experience in this area of law and renowned as one of the leading professional negligence solicitors in Belfast, our Disputes department can advise you in any case of professional negligence.
Whatever the nature of your professional negligence claim, our team will do their utmost to achieve the best possible result for you and will keep you fully informed throughout proceedings.
If I think I have a professional negligence claim, what steps should I take first?
If you are unhappy with the service or advice given to you by a professional you should consult with your solicitor at MKB Law to determine if you have grounds to make a case. Time is an essential factor in professional negligence cases and so it is vital that you get in contact with us as soon as possible in order to ensure that your case is heard.
It is also important to gather as much information together as possible by recording any details, transactions or dealings that you have had with the service provider, e.g.: receipts, letters, emails, text messages and any other documentation you feel may be relevant.
What are the costs involved in such a claim?
The cost of prosecuting professional negligence claims can often prove to be prohibitive, and they can be inflated by a number of factors, including:
Involvement of experts
The ‘Front-Loading’ of work envisaged by the Commercial Court pre-action protocol
The engagement of barristers
The fact that these cases tend to be very paper-intensive
We make the discussion of funding options a priority early on in these cases to ensure our clients are fully prepared. Options such as the availability of after the event insurance (“ATE”), which protects the client against substantial costs they may be liable for should the legal action prove unsuccessful, can be worth looking into.
For cases with a value in excess of £30,000 and which, therefore, fall within the jurisdiction of the Commercial Court, there is a recent pre-action protocol (setting out the steps parties to prospective litigation are obliged to follow before the issue of Court proceedings) with which this firm is well-versed.
What is accountancy negligence?
Accountancy negligence arises when you have received advice from an accountant that turns out to be inaccurate or even untrue. This advice may cover steps taken to reduce your tax liabilities or financial matters relating to your business. If you have suffered financial loss as a result of acting on this advice, you may be able to sue your accountant for negligence. Someone may wish to pursue a claim for professional negligence against their accountant for many reasons. Common examples include:
Overvaluing or undervaluing of assets
Failing to spot important issues when carrying out a financial audit
Negligent advice on tax
What is architect negligence?
An architect may be found to have been negligent if they have failed in their role, particularly if the result has been that the customer has suffered substantial financial loss. In many cases, these failings will result in significant delays or a drastic increase in costs on building projects. The Professional Negligence Solicitors at MKB Law have many years of experience acting on behalf of clients to recover sums lost as a result of architect negligence, in many cases reaching settlements without the need for court action.
What is solicitor negligence?
The list of circumstances in which you can claim negligence against a solicitor is extensive, with typical examples including:
Negligent commercial law advice
Negligently drafted wills
Missed limitation dates, often for personal injuries
Errors in drafting legal documents
Failures made during court proceedings
Often the result of such negligence is that financial loss is suffered or a case in which you are a party is decided against you. A claim for negligence against a solicitor will generally have to be made within six years, however this may be extended if the negligence only comes to light at a later date.
Judicial review is an important “check and balance” in the Northern Ireland system. It provides scope for the challenge of a decision by a public authority on a number of grounds, principally: illegality, procedural impropriety, irrationality and breach of legitimate expectation.
MKB Law’s Dispute Resolution team has extensive experience and numerous recent successes in the field of judicial review, in particular in relation to challenging:
Planning decisions; Decisions to grant liquor licences; Decisions to grant pharmaceutical licences; Educational placement decisions.