Skip to content
Sub practice
Sub practice

Commercial and Contract Disputes

As one of the world's leading litigation practices, Allen & Overy has enormous experience litigating, arbitrating and resolving corporate and commercial disputes.

Whether it is a dispute involving a merger and acquisition/sale, commercial contract or business competition, our litigators take a practical, commercial approach.

After a thorough analysis of the law and facts, we work with our clients to fashion the right approach: is the dispute appropriate for aggressive litigation, in which case we fight to win, or is a more nuanced approach to resolving the dispute called for?

In each situation, our global network means we can deliver accurate, commercial advice quickly, wherever the dispute takes place. If the dispute covers multiple jurisdictions, our local experts on the ground can quickly form an international team. Our lengthy experience means we know what to expect and how to achieve results. We never lose sight of the need to tailor our approach to the needs of the client we are representing, whether they are a large corporate undertaking or a smaller enterprise.

News & insights

Publications: 30 MARCH 2020

Covid-19 coronavirus - force majeure, imprévision/hardship and emergency legislation on contracts under French law in light of the Covid-19 pandemic

The Covid-19 pandemic and its consequences are having a major and sudden impact on economic activities and in particular the conditions in which contracts are being performed.

Read more

Publications: 25 FEBRUARY 2020

A misprediction is not a mistake: settlement not set aside despite change in law

A change in the law made shortly after a compromise agreement was entered into did not give rise to a common mistake of law capable of setting aside the agreement.  The High Court held that while the doctrine of mistake operates in the context of compromise agreements, there was no “common assumption” between the parties as to the relevant law in this case and therefore no mistake.  The court observed that “a mistake will more likely arise where a well-established and unquestioned rule of law is dramatically overturned than where a single decision on a new and difficult point is overruled”.  The decision highlights the reluctance of the English courts to disturb already concluded settlements on the basis of a future revision of the law: Jeremy Philip Elston v (1) Lawrence King (2) Sue Roscoe (trustees in bankruptcy of Jeremy Philip Elston) [2020] EWHC 55 (Ch).

Read more

Publications: 25 FEBRUARY 2020

Legal advice privilege subject to “dominant purpose” test – how to deal with multi-party email communications

The dominant purpose of a communication must be to obtain, or give, legal advice for legal advice privilege to apply.  The Court of Appeal considers how, in the light of this, to analyse privilege and internal multi-party email communications between in-house lawyers and non-lawyer employees. Three Rivers No. 5 is criticised but acknowledged to be binding: The Civil Aviation Authority v Jet2.Com Ltd, R. (on the Application of) [2020] EWCA Civ 35.

Read more

Publications: 25 FEBRUARY 2020

Oil and gas joint venture parties not bound by good faith or rationality when discharging operator

Parties to an unincorporated oil and gas joint venture were free to act in their individual best interests in deciding whether to discharge another party from its operator role.  No duty of good faith or rationality applied: (1) Taqa Bratani Ltd; (2) Taqa Bratani LNS Ltd; (3) JX Nippon Exploration and Production (UK) Ltd; and (4) Spirit Energy Resources Ltd v Rockrose UKCS8 LLC [2020] EWHC 58 (Comm).

Read more

Compact contract

Wooden jenga blocks scattered across a table

A brief look at topical issues in contract law

A blog where experts from Allen & Overy analyse the latest contract law themes and developments, and what they mean for your business.

Recognition