Commercial disputes

Resolving commercial disputes, in the largest sense of the word, is our core business.

The disadvantages of traditional court proceedings are well known: high costs, lengthy duration, uncertain results, a solution which oftentimes is unsatisfactory to both parties, and last but not least: serving a writ of summons usually puts a final end to any commercial relationship.

Court proceedings are often the very opposite of what businesses and businesspeople need: fast, practical and useful solutions, cost control, no waste of time through all kinds of procedural issues.

Working with arbitrators, mediators or mediators-arbitrators who, such as the members of CEDIRES, spent most of their professional lives in large international law firms or specialized boutique firms, guarantees that your case shall be dealt with by experts having the right know-how and reflexes to resolve any commercial dispute.

In cases where a settlement turns out to be impossible, we are able to take balanced and delicate decisions. When we are asked to end a dispute (i.e. in arbitration or mediation-arbitration), we apply, in principle, a purely legal logic. Considerations based on equity and fairness may have a certain influence, but are in principle inconclusive. This allows us to avoid random results.

Our conception of the law is pragmatic and practical. We do not burden a debate with academic or theoretical considerations. As O.W. Holmes said: “The prophecies of what the courts will do in fact, and nothing more pretentious, are what I mean by the law.”

We resolve the dispute through a solution supported by all parties, and if that turns out to be impossible, we are able to reach a solution that most closely matches what could be expected from court proceedings.

We have particular expertise in the fields of:

• banking and finance;

• construction projects;

• complex contracts;

• conflicts between shareholders;

• conflicts between family shareholders;

• distribution disputes;

• international trade law;

• failed automation projects;

• failed real estate transactions;

• post-acquisition disputes;

• private equity;

• project finance;

• venture capital.

From our experience as arbitrators and mediators, we are also able to act at an early stage of a (nascent) commercial dispute, namely as mediators when contract negotiations threaten to hang. In these situations our clients value our expertise, our practical and pragmatic attitude and our discretion.

Disputes can not only arise before or after, but also during a commercial relationship. For disputes that arise because of a specific point of contention during a commercial relationship, the method of a binding third party decision can be useful, in addition to the already mentioned methods of dispute resolution. We are able, for instance, to render decisions on pricing, based on information we obtain in the market and from the parties.