Case Study:

Business Disputes

Richard Barnett acted for a specialist company that supplies PCB services and equipment for computer numerical control (CNC) systems. Our client had ordered some equipment from China: when the kit arrived and turned out to be faulty, they naturally refused to pay the balance.

The Chinese company threatened to sue. Our client didn't want court proceedings in China, so we acted quickly and started proceedings in the High Court in London. We then negotiated with the Chinese supplier and persuaded them to go to mediation, rather than trial.

We instructed an independent barrister for the mediation, which took place over a single day and involved lawyers from London and Hong Kong. The mediator – an independent barrister – took into account our client’s claim and the dispute was settled out of court.

"More often than not, mediation succeeds," says solicitor Richard Barnett, who handled the case and represented the client at mediation. "It saves an enormous amount of money – in a case like this, you could be looking at £100,000 – and time running into months, or even years. If you're involved in a dispute with the potential to get serious, the important thing is to talk to us early."