Civil litigation is a broad practice area of law where one or more parties seek monetary settlement or compensation from another individual or entity. Commercial litigation, or what others refer to as business litigation, is one form of civil litigation that is more specialized because of the nature of the parties involved. It virtually encompasses every potential dispute or conflict in a business context.
Commercial litigation becomes complex when the commercial transactions from where the initial dispute arose involve particularly high stakes and multiple parties. Contracts typically govern and support business transactions. It can be challenging to pinpoint the breach of contract or duty when a transaction involves numerous contracts and financing agreements as well as fiduciaries.
What are examples of complex commercial litigation cases?
Business relationships are not always straightforward, and each business relationship is multifaceted. Therefore, there is so much potential for conflict in a business. Several people may also have access to corporate funds and sensitive business information that can make or break a business.
Here are commercial litigation cases that can be complex:
- Contract disputes, including tortious interference with contracts and breach of contracts
- Corporate and partnership disputes
- Disputes between shareholders and board members
- Derivative suits
- Intellectual property disputes, trade secret claims and restrictive covenant disputes
- Construction disputes
- Corporate misconduct and professional negligence
- Financial fraud
- Employment disputes and whistleblower claims
There are shareholder agreements, employment agreements, partnership agreements, by-laws and operating agreements that should prevent disputes in the business relationship. However, sometimes they can also complicate matters.
Navigating through complex commercial transactions and litigation
The reason commercial litigation becomes complex is because there are valuable assets and business relationships at stake. Furthermore, state and federal laws vary and heavily regulate commercial litigation procedures and practices. One wrong move can harm a business and the reputation of its stakeholders.
It is not only a matter of protecting yourself and the people around you. You also need to protect your processes. Remember that even simple transactions can spiral out of control if you do not do it properly.