Practice Areas

Best Lawyers works with leaders in the legal marketplace to keep our practice area lists current, allowing clients and referring lawyers to more easily locate the precise expertise they are seeking.

View region-specific practice areas by first selecting a country from the drop-down below.

  • Administrative & Public Law

    Administrative & Public Law Definition

  • Advertising & Marketing Law

    Advertising & Marketing Law Definition

  • Agriculture & Rural Affairs

    Agriculture & Rural Affairs Definition

  • Arbitration and Mediation

    Arbitration and Mediation Definition

  • Asset Finance Law

    Asset Finance Law Definition

  • Aviation Law

    Aviation Law Definition

  • Banking & Finance Law

    Banking & Finance Law Definition

  • Capital Markets Law

    Capital Markets Law Definition

  • Chancery

    Chancery Definition

  • Charities Law

    Charities Law Definition

  • Clinical Negligence

    Clinical Negligence Definition

  • Commercial Dispute Resolution

    Commercial Dispute Resolution Definition

    Disputes are a feature of commercial life. They can include disputes about the meaning and effect of a contract, claims for damages for breach of contract or for negligence, disputes between shareholders, or claims for fraud. 

    Dispute resolution lawyers, also known as commercial litigators, advise clients how best to resolve these disputes either prior to or by means of litigation. 

    Parties will naturally seek, if possible, to resolve disputes at an early stage, ideally before the issue of court proceedings but in any event as soon as possible prior to a trial. Indeed, the English and Welsh courts require parties to follow protocols of conduct before issuing proceedings to seek to settle or, at least, narrow issues in dispute. Being able accurately to assess the merits of a dispute, to effectively present arguments in pre-action correspondence/discussions, and to elaborate realistic settlement strategy are all key skills of the commercial litigator.?

    Where parties are unable to resolve disputes between themselves, they may need to seek recourse to the courts. Key steps in court litigation leading to a trial include setting out the parties’ respective positions in statements of case (pleadings), disclosing documents which help or harm a party’s case, and taking witness statements from intended witnesses. Disputes can also require expert technical evidence from accountants or other specialists. 

    In emergencies, temporary injunctions may need to be sought from the court, for example, to freeze assets of a defendant or prevent some other immediate harm pending a full trial of the issues.

    Litigation does not always end with the handing down of a judgment by the court following trial or an appeal. Obtaining a judgment is one thing, enforcing it can be something else, particularly if the debtor seeks to avoid enforcement by concealing assets. There are various methods of enforcement and tools for gathering information to aid the process.

    Reflecting the increasing globalization of commerce, much commercial litigation now has an international element involving overseas parties, contracts, assets, or laws, which gives rise to additional challenges. Often related litigation will be ongoing in multiple jurisdictions requiring careful co-ordination.

    Commercial litigators assist in all these aspects of disputes with the aim of achieving their client’s objectives in the most cost-efficient way.

  • Commodities

    Commodities Definition

    There is no specific law called “commodities law” in English law; rather it is the combination of a number of laws and contractual provisions.

    The most important area relates to the sale and purchase of commodities.  The main legal provisions are contained in sale of goods legislation.  In the UK the current law is the Sale of Goods Act 1979 as supplemented by the Sale and Supply of Goods Act 1994.  Absent anything else this deals with how commodities are to be sold as well as the requirements relating to quality and other conditions of the commodity.  This includes when title passes and when payment must be made. 

    In practice, many commodities are often sold by reference to terms and conditions created by organisations representing sellers and buyers of a particular commodity.  Grain and Cocoa are included in this list.  Oil is often sold using terms and conditions devised by key operators in that market.  The most popular of these are the terms and conditions devised by BP.  These are incorporated into a sales contract and apply unless the specific terms are contrary or exclude them.  Thus, it is possible to have specific terms regarding date of delivery and price, whilst using standard terms and conditions to deal with the rest. 

    Commodities are often stored in warehouses before being sold and sometimes are sold in a warehouse.  The law for any sale is invariably the law where the warehouse is situated.  However, the position can be made clearer where the warehouse issues a warehouse receipt or warrant evidencing that the commodity is being stored.  Even though this is often not a document of title, it is a useful way to show where commodities are and how they might be sold.

    Where commodities are sold internationally they are, often delivered by sea, rail or air.  There are international conventions which can apply to the sale and delivery of commodities in those circumstances.  Additionally, the Incoterms 2010 rules are a standard set of trading terms which define the terms generally used about delivery of goods by whatever form of transportation is used.  Terms such as ‘free on board’ then deal with matters including the transfer of risk in, transfer of, title to and payment for the commodity.

    Commodities can be sold whilst being transported where they are represented by documents issued to evidence their transportation.  Where commodities are transported by sea they are represented by a ‘bill of lading’ issued by the Master of the vessel.  There are discussions as to whether this represents a document of title but it certainly is a means to transfer rights to the commodity.  There are equivalent documents for transportation by air (the ‘waybill’) and by other forms of transport including rail and truck.  Often a party undertakes the transportation across multiple means of transportation and will use some form of multi-model document.  A freight forwarder will issue a document (receipt) called a Forwarder’s Certificate of Receipt (FCR) which evidences their transportation.  Whilst these are not documents of title they enable parties to buy and sell commodities whilst being transported or to evidence transportation in order to obtain payment.

    Where payment is made by a letter of credit or Bank Payment Obligation (BPO) the above documents can be key to payment. 


  • Competition Law

    Competition Law Definition

  • Construction Law

    Construction Law Definition

  • Corporate Finance Law

    Corporate Finance Law Definition

  • Corporate Law

    Corporate Law Definition

  • Criminal Practice

    Criminal Practice Definition

    It is an immutable fact that criminal trials in England and Wales are adversarial. The prosecutor presents evidence to the court said to implicate the defendant in the criminal conduct charged. In contrast, the defence lawyer will seek to challenge the prosecution evidence and present defence evidence, which may include the defendant giving evidence. It is up to the judge (or lay justices) or the jury to declare guilty or not guilty verdict. It the police by and large who gather evidence to prosecute and the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS), generally, who decide to prosecute.

    Non-white collar crime can range from motoring offences at one end of the spectrum and murder at the other where imprisonment for life is mandatory. There are other offences in the calendar of offences which have serious impact on the defendant, by deprivation of liberty or serious financial penalty or the loss of his good character resulting in his ability to earn a living.

    It is crucial that the individual facing criminal proceedings secures the services of an expert solicitor from the outset. The solicitor can guide and protect his rights in the police station at any interview. He can negotiate the level of charge with CPS (or other prosecuting authority) where appropriate. If the matter proceeds to trial the experienced solicitor will deal with disclosure of the prosecution evidence and bring any challenge to the trial court if necessary.

    At the trial the solicitor advocate or the instructed counsel (barrister) will advise the defendant on what prosecution evidence to challenge and cross examine relevant witnesses. The defendant will be advised on whether to give evidence and taken through his evidence in-chief.

    In the event of a guilty verdict the experienced criminal practitioner will be on hand to advice on appealing the sentence or the verdict. There are different time limits for lodging an appeal dependent on the court of conviction. Where leave is required to appeal the sentence or conviction the solicitor will offer hands-on advice on the prospects of success in the Crown Court or in the Court of Appeal (Criminal Division). The services of an experienced solicitor is essential for the individual facing a criminal charge.

  • Debt Recovery

    Debt Recovery Definition

  • Defamation Law

    Defamation Law Definition

  • Derivatives

    Derivatives Definition

These practice areas are open for nominations but are not yet included in our publications.

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