Financial disputes are common, despite the tight regulation that exists in the UK governing investment advice and an advanced system of law relating to the provision of finance and lending generally.
The sort of disputes that arise may include allegations that lending terms have not been complied with and that instructions which are part of a financial agreement have not been followed, that appropriate documentation was not set up to safeguard a loan or investment or that advice given was inappropriate. This is the normal allegation in the many cases now ongoing involving interest-rate swaps, where businesses suffered large losses by entering into agreements presented as providing a way to hedge against changes in interest rates.
Where the dispute arises because of the fallout from a collapsed deal or where it is over a deal where the financial arrangements were complex (as is common in mezzanine finance deals, debt-for-equity swaps and so on), there can be a 'double whammy' of complexity combined with the businesses involved lacking free cash flow for a legal battle.
Often 'satellite proceedings' take place in which, for example, a lender to one of the parties may take proceedings to recover debts due from a party which is in turn seeking to recover money from another party. Such circumstances require experience and the ability to manage sometimes delicate negotiations.
In disputes of this kind, the legal issues tend to revolve heavily around the legal duties involved and the individual facts of the case, and it is important to ensure that the concentration remains on the core issues.
Once the legal rights and responsibilities of the parties involved have been established, the question of resolving the appropriate financial settlement arises. This often requires the evaluation of reports produced by expert witnesses, and this may involve each party obtaining their own expert witness report or having a 'joint expert'. In both cases, the best result is obtained by using an appropriately qualified expert, who is clearly briefed and presented with all the appropriate evidence.
Where each side requests a separate expert witness report it is not unusual for the experts to come to different conclusions, in which case a critical evaluation of the 'other side's' expert report is necessary.
When a couple used a credit broker to negotiate a loan to consolidate debts, they found that the broker took more than 18 per cent of the total loan in commissions of various sorts, without giving them sufficient notice or receiving their 'informed consent'.
Arguments that the broker owed them a duty of care and that this had been breached by his behaviour brought them a refund of more than £4,000.
How Selachii Can Help
Selachii is a dynamic litigation and dispute resolution law firm based in Kensington, London. We put the best interests of our clients at the heart of everything we do. We work with both businesses and private individuals, giving them legal advice and support which is unique to them and their situation.
We don’t believe in simply handing out one-size-fits-all solutions to problems. We will focus on your specific circumstances before working out the best and most cost-effective way of helping you achieve your aims.