Commercial Contract

We advise and litigate on the full spectrum of commercial contract issues, in both the civil courts and a range arbitral forums.

We regularly deal with issues concerning the formation, validity and construction of contracts, implied terms, performance, discharge and remedies. We have special expertise in penalties and restraint of trade. Such cases often arise in the context of proceedings for conspiracy, fraud and breach of fiduciary duty.

We have a particular specialism in dealing with disputes concerning bonuses, share-schemes, and other contractual incentives.  Recent examples of this type of work include Macleod v Mears Ltd [2014] EWHC 2191 (QB); [2014] EWHC 3140 (QB),Brogden and Reid v Investec Bank plc [2014] EWHC 2785 (Comm), [2014] IRLR 924 and Elliston v Glencore Services (UK) Ltd [2014] EWHC 3431 (QB).  Our members also acted in the leading cases in the field, including Cantor Fitzgerald v Horkulak [2005] ICR 402, Clark v Nomura International plc [2000] IRLR 766, and Commerzbank AG v Keen [2007] ICR 623.

We also regularly act in disputes arising from business sales in relation to deferred consideration, earn-out terms and warranties.  For example, our members act for the claimant in Cavendish Square Holdings BV v Makdessi [2013] EWCA Civ 1539 & 1540, which is the leading case on the penalties doctrine, and the first Court of Appeal authority on the new contempt provisions in CPR 81. It is due to be heard in the Supreme Court in July 2015.  We have acted in commercial disputes concerning the supply of goods (O’Sullivan v Aggregate Industries UK Ltd,) and the sale of a book of business in the insurance broking industry (Besso v Bennett Gould and Partners, forthcoming Commercial Court trial).  We also regularly advise public authorities on their commercial contracts with suppliers and others, including matters relating to our pre-eminent public procurement practice.

Our junior members also regularly litigate commercial contract issues in the County Court.  Recent cases include a commercial construction dispute, and a high-value trial relating to a business sale.