Commercial litigation – specialist areas

by evolvedlegal on September 22, 2012

  • SumoMe

There are some areas of law where it is rarely a good idea to instruct a generalist, and when we say generalist we mean a generalist in that area not a solicitor who deals with numerous areas of law, typical of sole practitioners.

Non-lawyers will often lo0ok for a litigation solicitor or a civil litigation solicitor thinking that a general litigator will be able to deal with any kind of dispute competently. Certainly, the volumes of searches online relating to litigation and commercial disputes are much higher for the generic search terms than the specialist ones.

The skills associated with being a litigation solicitor are obviously transferable to different disputes – a good negotiator is a good negotiator, but certain areas of law such as disputes relating to intellectual property or civil fraud claims are highly specialised. Having a lawyer who does not have the specialist skills needed in these niche areas can be disastrous., especially for high value disputes.

The same point applies to applying for a business injunction. When it comes to search and seizure orders, there are a whole new set of rules to comply with, including the necessity for there to be an independent solicitor present when the search is conducted and a raft of other requirements. Making errors in this regard can prove to be extremely costly.

With higher value disputes, the court system recognises the specialist issues arising and in the High Court there are specialist sub-divisions such as the commercial court and the construction court.

Aside from process, experience is also a factor. With particular types of business disputes, there will be a different set of barristers who tend to be the best in that area. Having experience assists in having the right connections to get the best team together. Then there is the law, it can be highly complex. Taking perhaps the most simple form of business dispute, a breach of contract. Remedies for breach of contract, the type of damages which can be claimed, gathering evidence of losses, these are all far more complex than they appear.

Consequently, with a  commercial dispute it is paramount to find the right solicitor, with particular skills and experience in that area. Just as all solicitors are not the same, all litigators are not the same either.







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