Disputes will arise in the course of business relationships, with the potential to impact on the finances, productivity, reputation and future success of the companies involved.

However, it can be hard to quantify the true impact of a fought dispute on the companies involved and we wanted to find out if it would be possible to do so. That's why we partnered with Scott Evans of the London Business School in this comprehensive study of litigation events experienced by AIM and Standard listed companies during the past 14 years. Specifically, our objectives were:

  • To better understand the frequency, type and impact of a disclosed dispute on share price performance and valuation of mid and small-sized companies.
  • To understand the likelihood of success or failure in a dispute and any notable trends.

To the best of our knowledge, this is the first study of its kind and the culmination of nearly two years of data gathering and analysis.

We firmly believe the findings will be instructive in helping to shape a structured and considered approach to managing potential disputes and maintaining effective commercial relationships.


  • The study looked at all companies listed on AIM and the Standard segment of the main market that had disclosed involvement in some form of litigation in the 14-year period to December 2021.
  • We searched all regulatory news service announcements from January 2008 and created an extensive database of legal disputes involving listed companies.
  • We used multiple information sources to categorise the type (claimant or defendant), the duration, the location and the outcome of litigation.*
  • Each company involved in an event or events was categorised by size, sector, domicile, and main country of operation.
  • Using a proprietorial database maintained by London Business School, we carried out an extensive analysis of the impact that litigation has had on share price performance.

We found over 300 companies listed on AIM and the Standard segment of the main market which had disclosed involvement in one or more litigation events between 2008 and 2021.

  • Just over 70% of the disputes occurred in countries outside of the UK.
  • 57% of companies were subject to litigation being brought against them as defendants.
  • Most disputes were between companies and other companies or individuals, with 15% occurring between companies and state institutions.

*Defining the outcome of a litigation event depends on the position of the parties involved – whether they are claimant or defendant. It is further complicated by the fact that in some cases, a party may win on some points and lose on others. After careful analysis of the disputes involved in this research, we have adopted the following definitions:

Positive The situation of the party involved was improved.
Neutral The situation of the party involved was neither improved nor disadvantaged.
Negative The situation of the party involved was disadvantaged.
Unknown Not possible to determine the outcome.
Ongoing Case still in progress.


To read and share these findings with your colleagues and access further data from our research, download our full slide deck report.

Download >> Taking AIM: How litigation can strike company value

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.