Reaching swift and effective resolution

Whether you’re involved in a dispute with an individual, business or any other organisation, the consequences can often be detrimental to your personal and financial circumstances. For that reason, finding a swift and effective resolution is likely to be in the best interests of the parties involved.

Drawing on a wealth of legal knowledge and practical experience in the area of dispute resolution, Smith Partnership offers a dedicated dispute resolution team that can fight your corner and secure the resolution you’re looking for.

Contact our team today to find out what we can do for you.

Clients from across the UK instruct Smith Partnership in commercial claims relating to director and shareholder disputes, breaches of contract and construction claims, among others. The Derby offering is headed by ‘knowledgeable and highly skilled’ Russell Davies, who has significant experience in property disputes with commercial development aspects as well as commercial lease disputes.

‘Passionate about our business and fully understands our business model and offer not only the best legal advice but also the most commercial.’

‘Russell Davies – Knowledgeable and highly skilled individual who is always on hand to offer advice and support. Always offers a commercial decision as well as legal advice.’

Legal 500 2023

Our dispute resolution services

As one of the East Midlands’ leading law firms, Smith Partnership’s dispute resolution team offers extensive experience resolving disputes regardless of sector or circumstance. Our key services and areas of expertise include:

No matter the complexity of the dispute, our highly experienced solicitors pride themselves on finding solutions that work in our clients’ best interests. We provide actionable legal advice from the moment you instruct us all the way through to the conclusion of your case, offering the legal know-how needed to determine the best course of action.

Our approach

Dealing with a dispute can be costly and time-consuming, putting significant strain on the resources that matter to you. This is especially the case if disputes develop into a lengthy court case, so we work tirelessly to resolve the dispute as soon as possible.

Our approach begins with identifying your ideal outcome, considering all available options along the way. Tailoring our advice to your specific circumstances, our legal expertise helps you resolve conflict in a client-focused and cost-effective way.

The importance of providing straight-talking, jargon-free legal advice plays a central role throughout our legal services, and we keep you informed of any potential costs along the way. Whether a resolution is best achieved through negotiation, mediation or litigation, our solicitors offer the first-rate advice and representation you need.

Commercial dispute resolution

Commercial relationships play a crucial role in determining success in today’s competitive marketplace. As a result, businesses operating across market sectors regularly enter into contractual agreements with commercial partners.

When these relationships break down, businesses may often find themselves involved in a commercial dispute that requires a prompt resolution. Commercial disputes may relate to:

If you’re faced with a commercial dispute, it’s important to take action sooner than later. Our legal team can help identify the best course of action for you, so feel free to get in touch.

Expertise recognised by the Legal 500

The quality of our dispute resolution services has seen Smith Partnership feature as part of the Legal 500 – the independent guide to the UK’s top law firms and legal professionals. Highlighting our expertise dealing with a wide range of cases relevant to dispute resolution, the Legal 500 states:

Noted for its ‘very good response and service levels’, Smith Partnership has particular strength in property litigation and litigation regarding breweries, both specialisms of practice head and mediator Russell Davies, who attracts praise for his ‘experience, honesty and understanding of situations from a legal and personal perspective’.

Legal 500 2022

Contact our team today

To find out how our expert team of solicitors can help you, contact us today on 0330 123 1229, send us an email via or complete our contact form.


Sometimes, perhaps through nobody’s fault, business relationships reach a natural conclusion. When this happens, it is important that all parties continue to communicate effectively to ensure that the value they have created in the business is not lost.

Engaging in sensible discussions at an early stage will allow both parties to go their separate ways, whilst retaining as much value as possible in their respective businesses. Early resolution, perhaps through mediation or without prejudice discussions, can allow the business to be carefully and fairly divided up, or for one party to exit the business with an appropriate amount of compensation.

In these circumstances mediation is a particularly effective tool, allowing all parties to resolve their issues and go their separate ways without destroying the value in the business.

Directors of companies have specific duties to the company (known as fiduciary duties), which oblige them to act in the best interests of the company, even if those interests conflict with their own personal interests.

Sometimes directors try to syphon parts of the business off into their own companies, so that they can retain the profit for themselves. If you become aware of a director doing this it is important to challenge the behaviour as soon as possible to avoid any suggestion that you have accepted it by conduct. Recovering loss for the company is more difficult than preventing it occurring in the first place. If you become aware of any activity like this, it is important to seek legal advice as soon as possible so that you can assess your options.

Generally speaking, there are far more options open to you at an early stage of a dispute than later on, when positions have become entrenched, or serious damage has already been done to the business.

What each partner is entitled to do in a partnership is defined by the partnership agreement, or the conduct of the parties established over a period of time, or a combination of both.

If you have discovered that your partner is in breach of their duties under your agreement you need to act swiftly to ensure that irrecoverable damage is not caused to the business.

If, for instance, a partner is taking money from the partnership account for their own ends, as well as depriving you of the potential benefit of that money, your partner may also be failing to pay debts to your suppliers, which in turn could leave you personally liable for the debts of the business.

In these circumstances it is important to get advice quickly on your options, hopefully before any serious damage is done to the business.