The law does not exist to benefit law firms.At BBM Solicitors, our clients always come first.

At BBM we exist solely for the benefit of our clients. We succeed when we make our clients happy - And we do that by building a close relationship; by managing their legal risks and resolving their legal headaches.

Litigation

Whatever dispute you may be facing, getting expert legal advice early will often result in the best chance of a quick resolution. Embarking on thorough, objective negotiations or engaging in an alternative form of dispute resolution, such as arbitration or mediation, with the support of specialist and knowledgeable solicitors, may result in a more preferable solution. However, when the stakes are high, litigation may be the only option. In either event it is usually best to receive a robust and expert appraisal of your position.

Many businesses or individuals will be wary of investing the cost and time involved in resolving a dispute through litigation. However, when the chips are down, it’s vital to have the support of experienced litigators who will work strategically and tirelessly to protect your interests. Whether you need to enforce or defend your rights, it’s vital to get a realistic, commercially-minded perspective so you’re fully informed of your chances of success. If litigation is the most suitable route, you need to ensure that it is comprehensively managed and conducted so time or cost are not wasted.

From complex commercial contract disputes to heated disagreements over property boundaries, resolving these issues in a practical way that gets the best possible outcome for our clients is at the heart of all we do. Our civil and commercial litigation lawyers have been helping clients navigate the legal avenues available for many years. However, we like to think that as well as experience we are well known for our innovative and problem-solving mindset.

The BBM Litigation team has experience in many areas of dispute resolution including arbitration, adjudication, tribunals, the Court of Session, the Sheriff Court, and the UK Supreme Court. Whatever dispute our clients are facing, we use this vast experience and specialist knowledge of negotiation and advocacy to help them find and achieve a cost-efficient and effective solution. We are also experienced in alternative dispute resolution and if the case is best dealt with, for example, through mediation, we are experienced in resolving disputes in that manner.

Civil Litigation Solicitors Edinburgh, Caithness, Inverness, Wick and Aberdeen

Below is a comprehensive list of our services as offered to individuals, small and medium-sized businesses, corporate clients, Insolvency Practitioners, other legal firms and training organisations.

Appeals to the Sheriff

Scotland’s Sheriff Courts are organised into six geographical areas known as Sheriffdoms (namely, Grampian, Highland and Islands; Tayside Central and Fife; Lothian and Borders; Glasgow and Strathkelvin; North Strathclyde; and South Strathclyde, Dumfries and Galloway).

Each Sheriffdom has its own Sheriff Principal responsible for all the Sheriffs and Sheriff Courts within his Sheriffdom. In the six Sheriffdoms there are a total of forty-six Sheriff Court Districts (as at 1 December 2013) with their own Sheriff Court. The Sheriff Principal can hear appeals from the Sheriff Courts within his Sheriffdom. Click here for more information on the structure of the Scottish Court system, including the role of the Court of Session and Supreme Court.

If you have tried to resolve a dispute and need to raise court proceedings in a Sheriff Court in Scotland, or if you need to appeal a decision to the Sheriff Principal, our solicitors can help. Please give us a call for a discussion of your circumstances in the strictest confidence.

Arbitration Rules

Arbitration has a long history in Scotland, dating back some 700 years. Now thanks to the  Arbitration (Scotland) Act 2010 Scotland is widely regarded as operating one of the best and most modern systems of arbitration in the world.

Arbitration in Scotland is a confidential process, and the insistence upon confidentiality is enshrined in the legislation.

If a challenge is made to court in respect of an arbitration, the courts will not reveal the parties’ names, keeping the details anonymous.  Indeed, it is possible in certain cases to persuade the Court that the case should not be reported at all.

Arbitration is seen as a good, practical solution because of the potential advantages it offers over going to court in the right case.  
Those advantages can include:

  • Unlike in court, parties can select their arbiter based on their having an appropriate degree of practical experience in the disputed subject area.
  • Arbitration works significantly faster than litigation generally speaking, and a time limit can be placed on the length of the process at the outset.
  • Cost is always a key consideration and arbitration is cheaper, more dynamic and less formal than court proceedings.
  • Unlike court rulings, arbitration proceedings and arbitral awards remain confidential. This can be a key consideration in ‘sensitive’ disputes where there is likely to be media interest.
  • Unlike in court, there are very limited mechanisms to appeal against an arbitral award. Generally, this gives a clean and final resolution to a dispute.
  • Finally, arbitral awards are sometimes easier to enforce in other nations than court judgments as a result of the provisions of the New York Convention 1958.

If you are involved in a dispute that you feel could be resolved through arbitration please give us a call at BBM. We will be happy to talk you through the process that can lead to a  resolution of your problem.

Commercial Court

BBM can help you raise or defend proceedings in the commercial courts in Scotland. The main court for commercial actions in Scotland is the Commercial Court in The Court of Session in Edinburgh, which has rules and practices intended to bring commercial disputes to a head quickly. We can also assist in respect of commercial actions in other courts where necessary, such as in Edinburgh Sheriff Court which has now introduced the Commercial Action Procedure (CAP). If you would like to raise a commercial action, fill in our contact form or call: Edinburgh 0131 5263280 Wick 01955 604188

Commercial Litigation

Commercial Litigation is an umbrella term that covers everything from contract disputes, corporate disputes, fraud and defamation, competition and cartel claims right through to product liability issues.

BBM’s commercial litigation department offers a full suite of advice, strategy and litigation services for businesses. Our focus is always sound commercially-minded advice and pragmatic outcomes that work best for clients in the short, medium and long-term.

Need help raising or defending a commercial action? Fill in our contact form or call us: Edinburgh 0131 5263280 Wick 01955 604188

Contract Disputes

A breach of contract occurs whenever a participant in a contract agreement fails to perform their agreed contractual obligations. This can take various forms for example, the failure to supply goods or services on time.  There are a number of potential scenarios in a breach of contract dispute ranging from an actual breach to an anticipatory breach (when it becomes clear in advance of a deadline that work will not be completed on time).

A breach of contract will generally entitle the innocent party to pursue an action for damages where the contract is reneged upon, and where a condition of the contract is breached.

In a breach of contract case the object of damages (compensation) is  to ensure that the injured party is elevated to the same financial position they would otherwise have been in had the contract been properly performed. 

In Scotland, the injured party can also ask the court to order the implementation of the contract.

BBM are skilled practitioners in all aspect of contract law and whether you feel you are the victim of a breach or contract or find yourself in a possession where you may breach the conditions of an agreed deal then we will almost certainly be able to help clarify your situation and options.

We take an unapologetically pragmatic and commercially-focused approach to resolving your contract issues. Speed of resolution, risk analysis and of course, cost are always guiding considerations and our recommendations are made on the basis of knowing you and your business objectives.

BBM deal with disputes relating to all types of commercial contracts including, but not solely relating to: insolvency and finance, property,  intellectual property, share and asset sale and purchase and issues arising from employment law.

We are well equipped to deal with both large and complex contract disputes and we have a track record of robustly defending the interests of businesses and individuals from all over Scotland as befits a national firm. Whether you are a large corporation, a Small-Medium Enterprise or a sole trader we take the same prompt, considered action on your behalf. That could be through the courts if necessary Our bottom line is always that we seek to resolve issues to our clients' benefit in as swift, considered and as cost effective way as is possible. 

Involved in a contract dispute? We can help. Fill in our contact form or call us: Edinburgh 0131 5263280 Wick 01955 604188

 Court of Session Work Specifically On Behalf of Law Firms Outwith Edinburgh

BBM specialises in representing small and rural law firms the Court of Session in Edinburgh, where our commercial litigation solicitors have established a wealth of experience. If you need representation, fill in our form or call us: Edinburgh 0131 5263280 Wick 01955 604188

 Damages

In law, damages are a compensation award, usually of money, that is paid to a person or organisation as redress for loss or injury. The rules for damages can vary based on the type of claim which is presented. Examples of claims liable for damages include Personal Injury or Breach of Contract. General Damages can be awarded to mitigate against physical or emotional pain and suffering, loss of companionship, physical disfigurement, a loss of reputation or an impairment of mental or physical capacity as a result of an other’s actions. General damages claims are obviously not easily quantifiable in many cases. Who and what is awarded depends very much on the individual circumstances of the claimant and the nature of the complaint. Generally speaking, judges in the United Kingdom base the award on the precedents set by similar previous cases.

The calculation of damages often means there is the need to retain independent expert witnesses such as forensic accountants, who can assist the court.

If you feel you have suffered a loss – either personally or professionally – that could result in a damages claim then please give us a call. We will be happy to discuss your circumstances in confidence and without obligation.

For more information on claiming damages in Scotland, fill in our contact form or call us: Edinburgh 0131 5263280 Wick 01955 604188

Fraudulent misrepresentation

Fraudulent misrepresentation occurs when someone attempts to persuade another into action with intent to deceive and based on information that they know to be false and repeat it recklessly for the purposes of deception. An action for fraudulent misrepresentation allows for a remedy of damages. Any damages or legal ruling would seek to restore the deceived party to the situation they were in prior to the fraudulent misrepresentation; if it was such a misrepresentation in respect of a contract, the contract would be ‘reduced’.

An example of fraudulent misrepresentation could be someone posing as a satisfied client of a particular business to prospective clients only for it to subsequently be revealed that the same person was a paid employee of the firm rather than a reliable, independent third party.

If you feel you have been defrauded due to a fraudulent misrepresentation then please give us a call. We will help you clarify your situation in what is a complex area of the law in Scotland.

For more information on fraudulent misrepresentation, fill in our contact form or call us: Edinburgh 0131 5263280 Wick 01955 604188

 Inner House of Court of Session

The Inner House is the senior part of the Court of Session, the main civil court in Scotland; the Outer House forms the junior part of the Court of Session. It is a court of appeal and a court of first instance. BBM can help you initiate, defend or appeal proceedings in the Inner House. Fill in our form or call us for more information: Edinburgh 0131 5263280 Wick 01955 604188

 Land Court

The Scottish Land Court has jurisdiction relating to the realm of Scottish farming. The Lands Court has authority to resolve a range of disputes, including tenancy disputes, in agriculture and crofting. The Court is based in Edinburgh, but holds hearings throughout Scotland. BBM can help you raise or defend proceedings for the Scottish Land Court. Fill in our contact form or call us: Edinburgh 0131 5263280 Wick 01955 604188

 Lands Tribunal for Scotland

The Lands Tribunal for Scotland is an independent civil court. It has statutory power to deal with disputes involving land or property. BBM can help you raise or defend proceedings at the Lands Tribunal for Scotland. FIll in our contact form or call us: Edinburgh 0131 5263280 Wick 01955 604188

 Negligent Misrepresentation

Negligent misrepresentation is a concept that arises primarily in contract law in Scotland.

In general, misrepresentation refers to a situation in which someone makes a false statement for the purpose of making a deal, resulting in the person who relies on the statement suffering a loss.

In the case of negligent misrepresentation, someone makes a reckless statement without any grounds for knowing whether what they are saying is true or false, knowing that their statement is likely to help them persuade someone to sign up to a deal. If a car dealer claims to have believed that the previous car owner had kept their vehicle well maintained without actually knowing whether this was true or false, he may be committing a negligent misrepresentation.

Negligent misrepresentation differs from both innocent and fraudulent misrepresentation under Scots Law.

With innocent misrepresentation, someone making a false statement believes they are being sincere in making their deception, believing what they have said was true when they said it. Perhaps they are relying on outdated information or incorrect information passed on from someone else such as an authority figure, that the person making their statement in error had every reason to believe was true.

Crucially in fraudulent misrepresentation there is no dubiety. The statement is inaccurate and the intention is to use the inaccuracy to deliberately deceive.

If you feel you have been defrauded due to a misrepresentation then please give us a call. We will help you clarify your situation in what is a complex area of the law in Scotland.

For more advice, fill in our contact form or call us: Edinburgh 0131 5263280 Wick 01955 604188

 Referrals on Behalf of Rural Firms

BBM regularly act on behalf of rural legal firms in Scotland’s courts, particularly in respect of the Court of Session in Edinburgh. If you need help raising an action in the capital, fill in our form or call us on: Edinburgh 0131 5263280 Wick 01955 604188

 Professional negligence

Most solicitors and other professionals such as architects, surveyors, tax consultants and financial advisers do a good job, providing an excellent service. However, there are occasions when things do not work out well (for a whole host of reasons) for the people who contract their services.

When that happens BBM can advise you as to exactly what action you can take to make things right again.

We are a highly regarded boutique solicitors firm with significant litigation experience in this area of law and we represent clients across the length and breadth of Scotland from our offices in Edinburgh and Wick, Caithness.

We believe sincerely in a client’s right to expect a high-level standard of client care from professional people. We provide this ourselves and expect the same personal standards from other professionals. When they fail to meet your expectations as a result of negligence, we are here to make sure that you don’t have to carry the can financially. It is a matter of personal pride for us that we can help make amends for clients who have suffered at the hands of negligent professionals and it is also a role we take extremely seriously as lawyers.

Have you suffered as a result of professional negligence, we can help. Fill in our contact form or call us: Edinburgh 0131 5263280 Wick 01955 604188

 Property Litigation

Such is the size and value of the property market that it seems almost inevitable that things go wrong when homes and commercial premises are being bought and sold.

We advise on warranty claims, boundary and title disputes as well as general issues arising from land possession and ownership.  We have particular expertise in access, servitude, and warrandice claims.

We have been involved in some of the leading cases under the Title Conditions (Scotland) Act 2003, on real burdens, community burdens and management powers. 

BBM are also often instructed to deal with troublesome tenants, anti-social behaviour and non-payment of rent (including irritancy procedures).

We advise developers, landlords, tenants owners, factors and registered social landlords such as housing associations.

If you need advice or representation on a property litigation matter, fill in our contact form or call us: Edinburgh 0131 5263280 Wick 01955 604188

 Regulatory Crime

Individuals  and businesses can often face Health & Safety, Food Safety, Fishing, SEPA SSPCA, and other similar investigations.  From time to time individuals and businesses may also have to deal with statutory prosecutions under the Road Traffic legislation (overloading, careless/dangerous driving, speeding, drink-driving).

 ‘Innocent’ businesses may find themselves caught up in  such a regulatory investigation – and feel the need to defend themselves.

At BBM, we always seek to minimise exposure to risk and our expert lawyers are experienced in implementing sound compliance management procedures, conducting internal audits and defending complex criminal and regulatory charges. We can provide pragmatic, commercial advice on fraud, bribery and corruption, regulatory breaches and competition and enforcement at every stage of your business’ development, from sole trader to major corporation.

We are fully appreciative of the fact that for a business like yours, and especially a business that exists within the glare of the public eye, the stakes can be high and the consequences profound. 

At BBM we will manage the potential impact of financial and reputational damage a criminal or regulatory investigation might have on your business. As your legal adviser, we will always bear in mind the need for timely, robust and effective action in defending  both your reputation and your business interests.

The stress associated with a regulatory crime investigation should never be under-estimated. However, with BBM with you every step of the way you are in the best possible hands when it comes to getting a favourable outcome for you either in negotiating with the reporting body or Crown, or if need be, defending you before the court.

For more information on guarding against regulatory crime, fill in our contact form or call us: Edinburgh 0131 5263280 Wick 01955 604188

Restructuring

Restructuring is a catch-all corporate management terminology describing the act of reorganising the legal, ownership, operational, or other structures of a company.

This may be done for many reasons. Companies may restructure with a view to becoming more profitable, or better organised – in a style similar to a cabinet reshuffle in a stale government front bench.

Other reasons for restructuring may include a retiral in a family business or a change of ownership or ownership structure. A demerger from a larger entity (for example following a management buy-out) could also lead to a business being restructured.

Generally speaking however, a restructure will usual result from bad news - a crisis or major change in the business, insolvency or a loss of profitability or market share. Depending on its focus, restructuring may also be described as corporate restructuring, debt restructuring or financial restructuring.

Executives involved in restructuring often hire financial and legal advisors to assist in the process of creating the new vision of the company. At this stage BBM would like be brought in and consulted on the best way ahead from a legal and risk management perspective.

Typically a new CEO will be hired specifically to fire-fight the immediate crises and save or reorganise the company. A financial restructure generally involves refinancing debt, selling assets or parts of a business to either streamline operations or aid cash-flow, and a reorganisation along reduced lines.

Corporate debt restructuring represents a re-focussing of a business’ outstanding debt liabilities.

This is generally used by companies that are facing difficulties in repaying loans, especially within a changed lending climate. Football clubs for example, might be forced to consider a financial restructuring of this kind due to the financial overspending of a previous boardroom regime.

 In the process of debt restructuring, repayment obligations are spread out over a longer term with individual payments reduced. This allows companies to meet debt obligations while still allowing them to trade on.

For more information on restructuring a company, fill in our contact form or call us: Edinburgh 0131 5263280 Wick 01955 604188

Scottish Decrees

Bad-debt judgments issued in Scotland are referred to as decrees. They are issued through the Sheriff's Courts and are considered to be Scotland’s equivalents of English county court judgements (CCJs).

Scottish Decrees are supplied by the Sheriff Courts to The Registry Trust who maintain a public register containing all Small Claims and Summary Cause money decrees entered in the Sheriff’s Courts during a six-year period.

The various credit reference agencies make note of all decrees, recalls and dismissals on a regular

Like a CCJ, a Scottish decree will remain on your credit file for six years from the original judgment date, regardless of whether the outstanding debt has been settled or not. Decrees are extremely damaging to a credit score. Once a decree has been paid it should show as satisfied on your credit files, as opposed to being removed.

Whenever a decree has been issued in error it can be ‘set aside’ and evidence of it completely excised from your files.

If you have a query relating to an existing Scottish decree, or feel you may incur when you should contact BBM for a full and confidential discussion of your options. Fill in our contact form or call us: Edinburgh 0131 5263280 Wick 01955 604188

Shareholder Disputes - s994-996 of the Companies Act 2006

Seeking relief from Unfair prejudice by the majority represents one of the key remedies available to a minority shareholder, where the lack of voting power leaves them powerless to effect decisions.

There are two elements to the requirement of unfair prejudice, and both are needed to progress a claim.

Firstly, the conduct must be prejudicial in the sense of causing prejudice or harm to the relevant interest of the shareholders in part or whole.

Secondly, the conduct of the controlling shareholding must be proven to be demonstrably unfair – that is, that the persons controlling the company have ‘acted deliberately in bad faith, or with a conscious intent to treat them unfairly’.

Common examples of what may constitute unfairly prejudicial conduct are:

  • Exclusion from management decisions in circumstances where there has been a legitimate, prior expectation of participation.
  • The creation of a business relationship to another company in which the majority shareholder holds an interest solely to serve their own commercial ends.
  • The awarding excessive financial benefits by the majority shareholder to themselves.
  • General and specific abuses of power and breaches of the articles of association.

Also repeated failures to hold an AGM, delaying the publication of accounts, and depriving the member of their right to scrutinise the company’s books may all also be considered unfairly prejudicial to the member’s interests.

Section 996 of the Companies Act 2006 lists particular types of orders which may be made by the court if it decides that there has been unfair prejudice. The powers listed range from an insistence that the conduct of the company's affairs is properly regulated in the future right through to the authorisation of civil proceedings against the majority shareholder, or even the winding-up of the Company.

Solicitors Negligence

Solicitors in Scotland enjoy an excellent reputation worldwide but while the vast majority of clients are happy with the services they receive some people inevitably suffer at the hands a lawyer’s error or negligence.

If you feel that your solicitor or a member of their staff may have mishandled your case, then you may have cause for a claim against them.

Before considering making a claim, you will need help to uncover whether or not you have a winnable case.

It is not enough just to be generally dissatisfied with your experience of a particular firm or solicitor.

To establish that your solicitor was negligent and that you have a valid claim, the law requires you to be able to show:

Firstly, that your solicitor owed you a duty of care. Secondly, that your solicitor breached that duty of care, and lastly that there was a precise, calculable loss to you resulting from that breach of care.

Making a claim and proving negligence can be complicated and you may need to ask a specialist solicitor such as BBM for assistance.

Where negotiations fail, the courts are a last resort that will decide the outcome of your claim. There are time limits that apply to claims of negligence. After the expiry of those time limits, you may be unable to pursue a claim.

If you feel you have been the victim of solicitor negligence then, in the first instance, talk to BBM in the strictest confidence.

Surveyor Negligence

Buying a property is usually the biggest single investment people ever make and in doing so they usually seek a surveyor’s advice either independently or through a mortgage lender.
The surveyor’s report can vary from a basic mortgage valuation, a home buyer's report or a much more comprehensive full structural survey.

The level of detail included in the valuation report or survey will depend on the type of report which the surveyor was instructed to prepare. 

Unfortunately, even good professionals make mistakes and your surveyor may have erred in his evaluation of evidence or missed something important when compiling the survey report. Perhaps you feel that you were left without the full picture pertaining to a property’s value or condition ahead of making a purchase?

If the surveyor over-valued the property you may have over paid. If they failed to assess the property and warn you of obvious potential problems that they ought to have seen then you may have been the victim of surveyor’s negligence.

If you then incurred financial loss, which you have been unable to recover, then you may be able to claim compensation.

For a claim against any professional in Scotland to succeed it will need to be shown that there was a duty of care owed; that this was breached and that the breach caused loss to you which was foreseeable by the professional.

Of course, many honest errors or misjudgements may not amount to negligence at all and, in considering whether the surveyor breached their duty, their conduct will be judged by anyone looking at your case with comparable reference to the work ‘of a reasonably competent surveyor’.

Before considering court action it’s worth exploring other options first:

  • Firstly, use the surveyor’s complaints procedure. The Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors is the surveyors’ professional body. RICS regulation requires that regulated firms to have a complaints handling procedure and, if you have a complaint, you should seek to follow it.
  • Secondly, if you are still dissatisfied with the response you receive on complaining to the surveyor’s firm then complain to the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) itself. The RICS considers matters such as a failure to use a complaints handling procedure; a failure to answer correspondence; and misuse of client money though it does not operate its own compensation scheme.

If the complaint to a surveyor still cannot be resolved then it can be referred to an independent redress scheme such as an ombudsman.  There are a number of different redress schemes and the complaints handling policy should dealt with by whichever scheme your complaint is appropriate to. 

The Ombudsman Services Property Scheme, for example, is free to access and whilst they cannot determine allegations of negligence they can investigate matters such as poor or incompetent service, making a financial award up to £25,000.

If none of these alternatives resolves your complaint and if we believe you have a viable claim, against a surveyor, then BBM may be willing to act for you in a professional negligence claim.
We would consider a viable claim to be one where we consider that you are both more likely than not to win your claim and that the claim is of sufficiently high value to ensure that the costs of bringing the claim are not disproportionate to its value.

Whether we can take your case or not we can discuss your prospects of succeeding in a claim during an initial no obligation and confidential discussion of your complaint.

Supreme Court

The jurisdiction of the Supreme Court in relation to Scotland extends to appeals from the civil Scottish Courts and it is the highest appellate Court.

It hears appeals from the Inner House of the Court of Session in Scotland. Appeals are normally heard by five Justices, but there can be as many as nine involved.

If you need representation in the Supreme Court, fill in our contact form or call us: Edinburgh 0131 5263280 Wick 01955 604188

call us: Edinburgh 0131 5263280 Wick 01955 604188

Contact our Civil Litigation Solicitors Edinburgh, Caithness and Wick

If you are looking to raise an action we can help. We serve clients in Edinburgh, Midlothian, Wick, Caithness, the Highlands, Inverness, Aberdeen and across the whole of Scotland.

To get in touch with us, click here or call us: Edinburgh 0131 5263280 Wick 01955 604188188

BBM Solicitors

To get in touch with us, click here or call us: Edinburgh 0131 5263280 Wick 01955 604188188

- See more at: http://www.mltechnology.org/~bbmsolic/index.php/insolvency#Liquidation

 

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