Greg is a partner in the commercial & private client litigation team specialising primarily in commercial and corporate disputes. In particular he deals with complex commercial contract disputes, commercial agent disputes, shareholder/partnership disputes, warranty disputes, recruitment industry disputes, high value contested debt and enforcement action.
Greg’s expertise includes working with clients ranging from FTSE 100 companies to small owner-managed businesses. Greg has a particular focus working in the IT, internet, social media, recruitment and retail sectors.
Greg’s background working in the management team for leading online job board Jobsite and his own internet consultancy business prior to entering the legal profession means Greg is well placed to deliver practical, pragmatic, commercial advice with a thorough understanding of what it is like to be in the client’s position.
Greg has been involved in actions in the County Court, High Court, Mercantile Court and Companies Court.
Greg joined Clarke Willmott LLP in 2006 from Shoosmiths having studied in law at the University of the West of England, Bristol.
Greg is in his spare time a trustee of a local charity as well as being a lifeboat man and lifeguard.
Complex commercial contract disputes – Greg advised on a multi-million dollar contract dispute relating to the licensing of intellectual property rights to a well-known children’s book character. From an unfavourable starting position for his client Greg was able to engineer a favourable settlement of the dispute by way of a series of amendments to the original contract which reduced the exposure and risk to his client.
Commercial agent disputes – Greg defended a six figure claim threatened by a commercial agent against his former principle. Relying on the detail of the House of Lords judgment in Lonsdale v Howard & Hallam  UKHL 32 in extensive pre-action correspondence and without prejudice negotiations, Greg was able to conclude a settlement at less than 20% of the figure sought. The terms were concluded on a confidential basis without resort to court proceedings.
Recruitment – Greg regularly advises on disputes relating to recruitment agency fees. Recently he has successfully defended a claim by a recruitment agency claiming a fee where a candidate’s CV was sent to the eventual employer on the basis that the introduction was not the effective cause of the recruitment of the candidate (as per Wallace Hind Associates v Lastolite Limited, Court of Appeal, unreported). Greg has also recently brought a successful claim for a substantial fee on behalf of an executive search and selection company. The claim was brought on the basis of quantum meruit as the candidate was introduced without standard terms and conditions being incorporated into the contract between the parties.
Debt – Greg has extensive experience of high value debt collection against both individuals and companies. Greg uses a combination of enforcement techniques including court proceedings, bailiffs, charging orders, attachment to earnings orders and where appropriate insolvency proceedings. Greg has recently acted for a fee paying school in clearing an ageing debt book of outstanding school fees.
Shareholder disputes – Greg acted for a minority shareholder and former director of a company seeking to bring a claim for unfair prejudice under section 994 of the Companies Act 2006. A robust defence was also run against claims by the company of breach of fiduciary duty and a complaint to the director’s professional governing body. Greg managed to manoeuvre the matter to a pleasing settlement at mediation after a year of hostile litigation.
Enforcement – Greg has advised a series of private lenders on the successful enforcement of security under legal and equitable mortgages. Taking a very hands-on approach Greg coordinated a team of bailiffs to enable the mortgagees to take possession of the properties, secure them and sell them quickly in order to recoup a substantial part of their substantial investments before the borrower was made bankrupt.
Greg Hughes is highlighted by clients, who praise his practical skills