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  • Overview

    Published December 2021

    2021 has been a challenging year for most businesses. Although some have flourished, many continue to be negatively impacted by the pandemic. As 2022 approaches, we explore what this could mean for commercial dispute resolution.

    Director and shareholder disagreements

    Many leadership teams have had to make hard decisions, against a backdrop of unprecedented Government restrictions, unpredictable trading conditions and an uncertain economic outlook.  The repercussions of some of these decisions, viewed now with the benefit of hindsight, may well provide a catalyst for disputes between directors and/or shareholders, if they have not already.

    Typical sources of disputes include those that relate to the financial, strategic and operational management of a business, and it would not be surprising to see an increase in disagreements on these issues. Indeed, now that the majority of Government support launched at the start of the pandemic has drawn to a close, with the Furlough scheme ending and CBILs becoming due, the true impact of the pandemic and the decisions taken to deal with it, will now start to be felt by more businesses going forward.

    Intellectual property rights

    The increase in start-up businesses launched during the pandemic, as well as established organisations changing their business models, to take advantage of the increased demand for online services, has been well documented. This trend looks set to continue, particularly with the risk of further restrictions looming.

    However, the rapid shift to online trading may well generate an increase in copycat businesses passing off the identify of more established brand owners, including their names, logos, insignia, and registered intellectual property rights, such as trade marks and design rights.

    Supply chain disputes

    Global supply chain issues, skills and materials shortages, rising oil and gas prices and inflationary pressures, have dominated the news in the later part of this year.

    These factors have had a significant impact on margins across industry sectors, with large financial implications across the supply chain. With no clear end in sight, it is likely that disputes will increase, as businesses look for ways in which they can mitigate, or recoup, their losses, where they are able to do so.

  • Related Services

    Dispute Resolution

    Our team of experienced and highly specialist lawyers includes experts in contractual, commercial and international disputes, insolvency, shareholders’, directors and partnership disputes, in disputes arising from construction/engineering projects and we also act for clients seeking to protect or defend intellectual property/IT rights.

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