Legal cases involving trade


Past court decisions which relate to trade issues are commonly known as trade cases. Trade cases can involve commercial agreements in any industry and are often relevant to cases in other industries as well. The combined rationale of all the trade cases results in trade law under the common-law system.

Negligent traders

A number of legal disputes can arise out of trade. Case law has been heard by civil courts in relation to contractual disputes arising out of trade. Negligence claims against traders have also been heard by civil courts in recent years.

There has been a raft of trade-case law relating to traders who have carried out work negligently. Some of these traders may be providing a service, for example:

  • Builders
  • Contractors

If the service the trader provides is deemed to be ‘negligent’, you may have a claim in tort law against the trader.

Contractual disputes

Trade case law has also been heard in relation to both consumer and commercial contractual disputes. Consumer trade disputes could arise where a trader sells unsatisfactory goods or provides an unsatisfactory service to a consumer. A consumer is defined as a private individual who is not acting in the course of business.

Commercial contractual trade disputes arise where both parties are acting in the course of business. There has been a lot of trade case law on commercial related disputes. Some of these disputes involve:

  • Breach of contract claims
  • Damages claims

How trade law cases are decided

The common-law system is a legal system in which every dispute heard by the court is decided based on past court decisions, rather than Acts of Parliament.

The legal framework evolves, therefore, through the constant correction or affirmation of existing law in the courts. When a legal question comes before the court, the judge must seek to apply a rationale found in a past decision to this legal question in order to resolve it.

In the vast majority of cases the judge simply finds a similar past case and applies it to the current one. On occasion, however, the two advocates bring up equally valid points, using two decisions which, when applied to a current case, conflict with each other.

In these cases the courts:

  • Tend to recognise that a change must be made to the law, and so...
  • ...A past case is either distinguished or it is overturned

Through this system of common law, trade cases can be evaluated by legal professionals before they are brought to court. If you have a case regarding trade, and you think the courts will find in your favour, you should see a commercial solicitor before bringing the claim. Doing so will ensure that the law is in your favour and thus will allow you to proceed with confidence.

If you are involved in any type of trade dispute, you should seek expert advice. Some trade disputes can involve complex points of law and evidence. A solicitor can help you with this and can also ensure that you defend or present your trade case in the strongest possible manner.  

Do you have a legal case you wish to bring forward concerning an issue relating to trade law? Contact Law works with specialist trade lawyers around the country who can represent you to gain the outcome you need. Please call us on 0800 1777 162 or complete the web-form above.

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