How to Choose a Complex Commercial Litigation Attorney

Complex commercial litigation generally describes a range of legal disputes pursued or filed by companies and businesses. Choosing an attorney or law firm can be a daunting task, unless approached in an organized manner. Here’s a guide.

What is complex commercial litigation?

Complex commercial litigation describes a wide range of legal disputes pursued or filed by companies and businesses, i.e., commercial entities, frequently involving corporate fraud and breach of contract. As an example, Company A may claim that Company B failed to fulfill a contractual duty or obligation — and because of that failure, now Company A is asking for financial compensation via litigation.

How do I choose a commercial litigation attorney or law firm?

Choosing a commercial litigation attorney can seem overwhelming. We recommend keeping it simple, and focused on three elements:


Choose a firm with experience working in the jurisdiction where the case would be tried if in-court proceedings becomes the only option. Ex., if the case would be tried in Los Angeles Superior Court, only consider law firms experienced with LASC judges and proceedings.


Visit the law firm, and meet the attorneys in-person. Only consider firms that practice clear and straightforward communication. The right firm will quickly help you and your team develop a sense of trust.


Choose a firm with a track record of successful settlements and in-court proceedings. Consider whether the firm has experience with the legal issues you are likely to face — as these issues will often cut across industries.

If all three areas are addressed positively, only then consider moving forward to retain the attorney and firm.

What does a commercial litigation attorney do?

A commercial litigation attorney represents a business or company in a legal dispute, i.e., related to contracts, financial claims, or other legal contests. Some cases may go to civil court, and others may be decided out of court via arbitration, mediation and settlements by litigation attorneys representing each party. At BNSK, we frequently advise clients to pursue a satisfactory out-of-court settlement, simply because it saves time and money.

Common Types of Commercial Litigation Disputes

The most common commercial litigation disputes we see are business to business disputes. However, the types of cases vary widely:

How much does a commercial litigation attorney cost?

Commercial litigation costs are generally based on an hourly fee. It’s common for larger firms to charge more, and boutique firms to charge less. As an example, BNSK fees are typically up to 30-40% less than a large firm — even though all our partners have extensive large firm experience. In some cases, a flat fee will be considered and negotiated.

In rare circumstances, a commercial litigation attorney may work on contingency, meaning the case costs client nothing out of pocket, as all fees are paid only when the case is settled or won.

One financing alternative that we encounter more and more frequently is “litigation financing.” Under this model, the client takes a loan from a third party “litigation funder” that is only repaid when the case is won. The possibility of commercial litigation funding is based on the bank or lender’s confidence that the case will be won. Because of this reality, approvals are not guaranteed.

What is a commercial litigation loan or commercial litigation funding

Frequently, a commercial litigation loan is a “non-recourse” loan. Meaning, it must only be repaid by the principal, if the principal wins their case. Because of that, most litigation loan finance companies will only fund a litigator representing a case that the finance company deems to have merit — and is therefore highly likely to “win” their case or settlement.

Something to consider, the finance company offering the commercial litigation loan will frequently include stipulations in the loan agreement that specify how the monies provided by the loan can be used. In most cases, an experienced litigation firm is well-versed in commercial litigation loan stipulations. However, it’s always smart to be aware of, and even negotiate these financial stipulations while applying for, and agreeing to the loan contact.

What are commercial litigation services?

Commercial litigation services typically refer to some of the procedural duties required to professionally research and gather evidence. From forensic services to taking video depositions, commercial litigation services are the responsibility of the law firm. However, individual litigation services can be outsourced to a third party to take advantage of specific expertise — or simply help things proceed more quickly.

When do I need a commercial litigation lawyer?

Contact a commercial litigation lawyer the moment you suspect corporate fraud, breach of fiduciary duty, or an abuse of trust. Generally, the consultation should be free.

Do I need a commercial litigation attorney near me?

We recommend choosing a commercial litigation attorney who has experience in the industries involved, and the jurisdictions where the case will be tried. For example, if it’s an intellectual property case that will be tried in Los Angeles Superior Court, we recommend working with one of our intellectual property attorneys who are familiar with LASC judges and proceedings.

(310) 593-9890

About Brown Neri Smith & Khan, LLP

We are complex business litigation attorneys in Los Angeles. With backgrounds across complex law practice areas, and hailing from some of the world’s largest law firms, BNSK attorneys are experienced litigators successfully defending clients around the world. Our partners founded BNSK on the belief that successful client relationships are driven by our extensive experience, and our unmatched resolve to achieve successful results. For a free consultation, visit or call us at: (310) 593-9890