0113 372 0025 pab@paulbrook.com

Services

Members of the public and their advisers (e.g. accountants and property consultants) can now access legal advice directly from a barrister, so please feel free to give me a call for a no obligation chat about the issue you’re facing. I’m also interested in speaking to individuals and businesses who want a cost effective way of managing the risks of potential issues before they arise.

You can find out more about my areas of expertise below.

Commercial Services

Commercial disputes come in all shapes and sizes, whether between businesses or within businesses amongst the stakeholders. Of course, disputes are best avoided altogether. That requires focussed and timely advice to set up the structures and agreements needed to anticipate issues that could develop into conflict. I have substantial experience in drafting and advising on business terms and conditions, commercial contracts, shareholder and partnership agreements. Let me help you to get it right from the outset!

Where things have gone wrong, my knowledge of the commercial dispute resolution process will stand you in good stead in securing the best possible outcome. Elsewhere on this site you will find information about my expertise in ADR and mediation, injunctions and other procedural steps which can be used to protect your business. I provide a full advisory and drafting service and represent my clients forcefully at mediation, in court and in a range of tribunals. Contact me if you have problems with your business partners, have issues with senior employees or have contractual or other problems with suppliers, customers, distributors or agents.

Shareholders

Running a business can be stressful. It can place pressure on the very relationships which have held a business together and caused it to grow. On occasion, the stakeholders in a business disagree about the way forward or find that they can no longer work with their colleagues. On other occasions, someone may act in way which is damaging to the business, whether deliberately or otherwise. In all of these situations it may be that the only solution is for one or more of the owners to move on.

Of course, moving on usually means that a financial settlement is needed with a leaver’s shareholding being acquired by those who will continue to run the business. These issues can sometimes be resolved by negotiation. Where the relationships have become strained, mediation or even litigation may be required.

Minority shareholder protection and the control of errant directors is a particular specialism. I have been involved successfully in many such cases and am always ready to discuss conflicts as they develop.

Property Services

I have over 20 years experience of managing property-related claims. From commercial lease renewals, forfeiture and possession claims and breaches of leasehold covenants to issues such as trespass, nuisance, infringements of rights of way, light, drainage and support as well as claims about ownership and sale contracts.

Property disputes are capable of having serious implications for land owners and their neighbours, landlords and their tenants and those holding security over property. Dealing with these types of dispute effectively requires the experience and attention to detail which I have gained over many years at the Bar.

Injunctions

In a commercial context disputes can arise very rapidly and can have the potential to inflict catastrophic damage on the health of even the soundest business. Where the threat is severe, swift and decisive action is called for. An injunction is never sought lightly but where appropriate it is often a game-changer which puts the victim of wrongdoing into a position of strength from which to negotiate a favourable outcome or secure a judgment from the court without a trial.

I have expertise in securing freezing and seizure orders and other forms of injunction in commercial disputes, having acted for banks and other businesses in this context. Injunctions can be used to preserve assets and information which may be being misused by a business associate or a competitor at the expense of its owner. If you have concerns about this type of activity contact me immediately.

Alternative Dispute Resolution

The Civil Procedure Rules, under which the Courts in England & Wales operate, require legal advisors in every case to consider with their client whether a dispute is suitable to be resolved without the need to go to court. The obligation to consider whether ADR is right for any case continues throughout its life, even where court proceedings have started.

Mediation is the most popular and effective form of ADR in the UK. I have extensive experience of mediation, both as an advisor and mediator. I regularly advise on the detailed preparation and tactics required to secure the best possible result at mediation. On the day of the mediation, I see my role as both lead negotiator and advisor and as a guide to what may be an unfamiliar process for my client.

 

Agriculture & Rural Issues

Having a family with a background in farming I am passionate about the countryside and the rural economy. A substantial part of my training at the Bar was spent under the supervision of a Barrister who, in a former life, was a farmer and this provided a great grounding in the legal issues affecting farmers and rural property.

There are a wide range of commercial and property issues which affect the owners of rural businesses and, with increasing emphasis on the role of the farming community in countryside stewardship and the trend towards farm diversification, planning and environmental concerns often require careful management. I can help you with these processes as well as with the more traditional issues that affect rural business so please do not hesitate to contact me for an initial conversation.