Business and Commercial Litigation

50th Anniversary Party at the Museum of Natural Science

In North Carolina, corporate and business disputes can fall under the jurisdiction of state district courts, state superior courts, or federal court. Complex and significant issues of corporate and commercial law may be litigated in the North Carolina Business Court, a specialized forum of the state court trial division. The litigators at Tharrington Smith have experience representing clients in each of these forums, and of the laws governing business within them.

All businesses face a range of challenges and risks arising from disputes, from contract matters and collection of debt, to regulatory and administrative compliance issues. Our corporate litigation attorneys believe the best defense against disputes begins with understanding our clients’ needs and objectives, active exploration and prioritization of concerns embodied in the kinds of contracts that achieve results while minimizing potential litigation. Our experience drafting agreements helps inform our skills in enforcing them or challenging their enforcement in court. We represent businesses in matters including:

  • Complex litigation assigned to NC Business Court
  • Contract preparation and negotiation
  • Contract disputes
  • Creditor‐Debtor disputes
  • Intellectual Property Disputes
  • Licensing / Regulatory / Administrative Matters
  • First Amendment issues
  • Construction disputes
  • Partnership disputes
  • Franchise disputes
  • Fiduciary duty disputes

Contract Disputes Among the more damaging risks to business, both in terms of cost and reputation, are contractual disputes. Disputes over a party’s failure to comply with terms of a contract comprise a large proportion of commercial and business lawsuits. Our knowledge of contract principles and experience litigating disputes also enables us to prepare and negotiate contracts and business agreements to better avoid potential issues.

Disputes that bring businesses to court may stem from contract ambiguities, breach of duties, failure to fulfill obligations, matters involving use or misuse of intellectual property, and conflicts between general partners, limited partners, or shareholders.

Tharrington Smith attorneys are committed to resolving disputes of rights and obligations under commercial contracts in the most cost‐effective manner. We will encourage use of dispute resolution alternatives such as mediation, where the circumstances warrant. However, if litigation is the best course of action, our knowledgeable and experienced attorneys understand the interplay of state and federal laws as well as industry regulations and practices.

Construction Matters Owners, contractors and architects are often parties to complex construction contracts that lead to disputes over such issues as contract requirements, contract performance, change orders or out‐of‐scope work, site access, subcontractor substitution, and construction defects. Tharrington Smith attorneys have experience drafting such contracts and pursuing relief under them. Whether you are the owner, contractor or the architect, we will assist you in pursuing and resolving these and other disputes that may arise during the construction process.

Constitutional Matters Constitutional issues, involving both our State and Federal Constitutions can also impact North Carolina businesses. We are prepared to assess those potential impacts and understand how they can arise in a litigation context. For example, North Carolina has recently decided that Constitutional challenges to State Laws in civil cases must be brought before a 3-judge panel and venue for such challenges is exclusively in Wake County.

We recognize that parties involved in small businesses often prefer amicable solutions to preserve goodwill established over many years. We can help you effectively navigate the extensive array of disputes that may impact your business through mediation, negotiation, or litigation. Our goal is to protect your investments and assets expeditiously so that you experience minimum disruption of day‐to‐day operations. The business and civil litigation attorneys at Tharrington Smith can help you understand your rights and obligations, as well as to clarify your goals in any potential litigation. Contact us today for consultation and evaluation of your business dispute matter.