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Litigation and Arbitration enable parties to obtain binding and enforceable decisions, but are adversarial and typically expensive, slow and draining.

Mediation on the other hand has a proven success rate (> 85% CEDR) as a more effective method of resolving disputes. It is a form of assisted negotiation by which a mediation lawyers seeks to assist the parties to narrow the issues and facilitate a resolution. It can be set up relatively quickly, is private, non-binding (if and until a resolution is reached), and offers the parties the flexibility to craft solutions that a court or arbitrator could not order.

We have a number of practising mediation solicitors who, via their extensive training, personal skills, and commercial mediation experience, are able to help parties to solve their problems, break deadlocks, and resolve their disputes. If successful, the parties can then move forward positively.


If you would like to discuss our commercial mediation services, please get in touch. Our  charges are on a case by case basis. Usually fees are based on the value of the dispute.

Read more about some of our mediation lawyers

Tim Toomey

Tim Toomey

Practice Areas

  • Contractual Disputes
  • IT and Technology
  • Insurance
  • Professional Negligence
  • Partnership and shareholder disputes
  • Landlord and Tenant/Property


My background is in commercial dispute resolution. After qualifying and working in the commercial litigation department of a major International law firm, I went on to found a boutique practice specialising in the IT industry that was rated as a leading practice in its field. For the last 15 years I have been a senior partner in the commercial litigation department of Ward Hadaway, Newcastle.

I have for over 15 years been rated as ‘Leading Individual’ (by Chambers & Partners, Legal 500, and the Legal Experts Directory) for my work in technology/IT disputes, insurance and professional negligence. Beyond that I have a wealth of experience in both the public and private sectors in all aspects of commercial disputes, including commercial contracts; partnership and shareholder disputes; agency; intellectual property, sale of goods and services; and manufacturing.

Personal Style

I ensure I am thoroughly prepared and have been described as having ‘an easy grasp of the commercial issues’ with a ‘positive, calm and assured manner’. I enjoy working with different personalities, plus helping the parties focus both on what is important to them and what a deal might look like. I then seek to adopt a pragmatic approach in working through the points of difficulty to achieve a successful outcome. This includes continuing to work with the parties to get a resolution over the line if success has not been possible on the day.

Contact details

See below.

CMC Registration: D7546

Steven Petrie

Practice Areas

  • Insolvency and debt recovery
  • Breach of contract
  • Professional Negligence
  • Partnership and shareholder disputes
  • Landlord and Tenant/Property and boundary
  • Money, wills and inheritance
  • All types of commercial disputes.


My background is in commercial dispute resolution dealing with all major litigation disputes. I commenced my legal career in 1995 at a small practice in Newcastle upon Tyne (Linsley & Mortimer). I cut my teeth dealing with all the major industrial disease claims such as asbestosis, chronic bronchitis and emphysema, vibration white finger and noise induced hearing loss claims. I developed an insolvency practice in 2005 and have dealt with many large contentious insolvency disputes.

I have extensive experience in both contentious and non-contentious insolvency matters with a particular focus on contentious matters. I am well known around the country acting for all of the leading insolvency practitioners and have developed a sound knowledge of tracing assets abroad and realising these assets for the benefit of creditors.

As a mediator, Steven brings his deep understanding of commercial disputes with a natural flair for creating a resolution for all types of civil and commercial disputes. He is one of the most senior and sought after lawyers in practice today and has built a unique first class practice.

“Steven Petrie is extremely approachable and works with his clients for the best results” – Legal 500

“…takes client service to another level” – Chamber & Partners

Contact details

See below

Colin Hewitt

Colin HewittColin is Senior Partner and previously led our Company Commercial Team.

Colin has over 40 years’ experience of advising on commercial and corporate law matters. Although he has been primarily involved in non-contentious matters in recent years, he has retained involvement in some contentious areas such as commercial contracts, shareholder, LLP and partnership disputes, directors duties, partner and members duties.

His experience in commercial contracts and contract renegotiations, including as part of pre-litigation advice, makes him highly suited to helping parties to resolve commercial disputes in a pragmatic way and finding commercial solutions.

Colin has also advised on procurement matters from both sides and so is able to provide an insight into public sector contracting in a local authority and an NHS context.

He is recognised as one of the North East’s leading commercial lawyers by Legal 500.

Colin is a CMC Registered Mediator.


Contract claims

  • Advising on the renegotiation of a contract for the supply of goods where major discrepancies were found in a third party specification on which the supply was based.
  • Mediating a dispute concerning a design and supply contract where the specification was found to be inadequate.
  • Advising on the procurement of a long term service contract where a renegotiation was required whilst remaining within the parameters of the procurement.

Shareholder and partner disputes

  • Advising a shareholder in a group of family businesses which led to a demerger with the members taking different parts of the business with a balancing payment to equalise value.
  • Advising a shareholder in a fast growing business who had given shares to a third party who took no part in the business for years but who tried to exert influence over the business to benefit his own position, leading to a buy-out on advantageous terms.
  • Advising a partner in a family partnership at will which was terminated and left multiple claims with creditors and between the parties to be resolved.
  • Advising a member of a legal LLP concerning the failures and misdeeds of other members of the LLP and various claims arising and negotiating  the terms of departure of the client to another firm.
  • Resolving a dispute concerning a family business by creating a structure whereby the younger generation of shareholders held control of the day to day business but significant value was retained by the previous generation with their shares to be acquired over time.
  • Resolving an intense shareholders dispute by establishing a structured approach to a sale of the company as a going concern on the open market and thereby avoiding litigation.

Contact a specialist

Tim Toomey

Partner | Commercial Litigation

+44 (0) 330 137 3317

+44 (0)773 802 8207

Email Tim Toomey

Read bio

Steven Petrie

Managing Partner

+44 (0) 330 137 3237

+44 (0)771 140 1285

Email Steven Petrie

Read bio

Meet the whole team

What people say

  • I would like to thank Mr Steven Petrie and his team for facilitating our mediation and helping us to come with a solution to our dispute. He exercised a lot of patience before and during the mediation. I am happy we were able to reach an agreement. Thank you so much for a job well done.

    Client quote
  • Steven provides an excellent, balanced and straightforward approach to mediation which focuses parties on the objective of the day, reaching settlement. Certainly a go to mediator for commercial disputes.


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