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John Wiblin

John Wiblin

Partner and Head of Commercial Litigation
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When you’re involved in a dispute, your business will benefit enormously from the advice of an experienced dispute resolution solicitor who has seen disputes of that kind before and who is very familiar with the process. Businesses are keen to avoid cost and there is no doubt that professional services are costly. Here are some suggestions for maximising the value you receive.

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Have you heard the phrase ‘90% perspiration, 10% inspiration’? It applies to many things in business and negotiating your next deal is no exception. For some reason, many business people believe that skill in negotiation is down to natural personality, charm or ‘gift of the gab’. Those things can help but the fact is that negotiation skills can be learned. A well prepared but inexperienced negotiator can achieve a better outcome than a more experienced counterpart who is ill prepared.

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Clients often ask this question. The facts seem clear. The law seems clear. The other side have no case. But they carry on oblivious and all efforts to show them that they are on a hiding to nothing, fall on deaf ears. And that can mean that a court case that should settle early drags on and costs more.

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Generally, litigation – the process of taking a dispute through the court to a final judgment – is something that any business will want to avoid. It can be as expensive as it is time consuming, and there are often much more efficient ways to resolve your dispute out of court. That is why alternative dispute resolution, such as arbitration and mediation, is becoming increasingly popular for businesses.

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A garage that had used the same branding as the AA’s breakdown and repair service on a number of company vehicles and online adverts has admitted infringing copyright laws.

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Benjamin Franklin said “Time is money”. Surely no-one who runs a successful business doubts that he was right. Management time is the most valuable of all. Few things suck the time of executives and business owners than disputes. Worse still, disputes are emotionally burdensome to even the toughest and most experienced business people. Some disputes are so serious that they can’t be ignored and must be dealt with at the highest level. In those cases, a prompt resolution process is needed.

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Disputes swallow up management time, cause stress and injure business relationships. But few businesses that have traded for some time will have been able to avoid disputes altogether. The next best thing is to resolve any dispute quickly and cost-effectively; mediation is a very effective method of doing that.

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Is it reasonable ever to refuse an invitation to mediate a claim? If one looks at the recent court decisions on this question, it is easy to conclude that the answer is ‘ almost never ’. Courts are now placing greater...
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This blog—the last in a series focussed on inhibitors to the settlement of disputes—explores confirmation bias: a leading reason why parties take losing cases to trial and a phenomenon that is widely recognised by psychologists. According to...
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An injunction is a court order forcing the person, company or entity named in the order to do something (a “mandatory injunction”) or to stop doing something (a “prohibitory injunction”). Courts can make injunction orders that have...
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This is the second in a series of blogs that consider how subjective assessments of cases can act as inhibitors to their settlement. Context matters. It provides a reference point for our assessment. This ‘framing effect’ can lead to a poor...
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This is the first of a series of blogs that consider how clients and solicitors’ subjective assessment of their cases may lead them to make the wrong decisions and result in cases not settling or taking longer to settle than should be the case. In a...
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I have already blogged in the important recent decision of the Court of Appeal in PGF II SA and OMFS Company 1 Limited and explained why it is likely to increase the number of cases that go to mediation or another form of Alternative Dispute Resolution...
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The Court of Appeal has determined that a litigant who ignores an invitation to take part in a form of Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) will, as a general rule, be treated to have behaved unreasonably. The decision was handed down on 2 October 2013 in...
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“Mediators: Fit For Purpose?” was the title of the 6th Mediation Symposium of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators held in London yesterday. During a packed program of keynote addresses, panel discussions, and training workshops most speakers...
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I can’t think of a less productive way to spend money than on a dispute with a business partner or customer. And yet, if you are in business, disputes of some kind or another are inevitable. Here are 3 common sense steps to keep unavoidable differences...
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On 1 October a new court system was launched to deal with low value Intellectual Property ‘(IP’) law disputes. Small IP claims (currently up to a value of £5,000) will now be heard at the Patents Court. The court will deal with...
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Employers are often reluctant to provide detailed references for former employees and that is especially the case when it comes to providing negative references. They worry that disgruntled employees will sue if inaccuracies creep into the reference or if...
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A sensible employee lines up another job before giving their notice. Where the new job will be with a competing business, the employee may have conflicting claims upon their loyalties. What are the employee’s legal obligations in those...
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