Civil Disputes and Litigation
Disputes of any kind can be particularly unpleasant, time consuming and stressful for the individual concerned, particularly if you are unsure about the costs and procedures involved. If you find yourself in a dispute with no resolution in sight, we can help.
Our Disputes and Litigation Team are specialists in dealing with all types and sizes of disputes including:
- Breaches of contract, including unpaid bills, poor workmanship, unfinished and negligent work, defective goods etc.
- Professional negligence
- Wills and probate disputes
- Boundary disputes
- Rights of way, rights to light and party walls
- Landlord and tenant disputes
- Rent arrears
- Possession proceedings
- Nuisance actions
Our focus is on providing clear and transparent advice in plain English to help you keep control of the dispute and the costs associated with it. We aim to resolve your dispute as quickly and cost effectively as possible using a range of options, including mediation and Court action. Our advice is tailored to the individual circumstances of your case to help you achieve the best outcome possible.
Above all we are approachable and supportive in even the most difficult circumstances.
Losing a family member is one of the most traumatic experiences many people will experience. This can be compounded if there is a dispute over a will or the way in which the estate is being administered.
We are specialists in dealing with the complexities of these difficult claims. We act for executors and beneficiaries in disputes involving wills and the administration of estates.
It may be that you have concerns that a will may not be valid or you feel you have not been properly provided for in a loved one’s will. You may have concerns about the way the executors are dealing with the estate or you may be an executor faced with someone else contesting the will. We have the experience and expertise to assist you.
Our lawyers are approachable and supportive in even the most difficult circumstances. We work closely with our colleagues in the Private Client Department to ensure that our clients benefit from a full range of expertise and experience when dealing with a dispute.
We are known for our pragmatic, clear and cost effective approach to these sensitive claims which enable us to achieve the best outcomes for our clients in often very difficult circumstances. Many claims are resolved without the need for protracted and costly Court proceedings.
We are able to explore a range of funding and resolution options with you at the outset to give you peace of mind.
Sadly sometimes professionals such as accountants, architects, surveyors, veterinary surgeons, teachers or even solicitors, don’t get their advice right.
While some complaints may simply be due to poor service and can reasonably be addressed by the professional’s ombudsman or regulator, others can result in significant financial detriment to the individual or business concerned.
We understand the wider implications of negligence for businesses and individuals, including damage to reputations and relationships, and work hard to achieve practical and cost effective solutions to minimise the impact to you or your business.
Most professionals are required to carry insurance to protect the consumer if they are negligent.
If you believe you have suffered financial loss as a result of the negligence a professional our expert Disputes and Litigation team can provide expert assistance in investigating and pursuing a claim. We are able to offer a range of funding options and will work closely with you from the outset to help you achieve practical and cost effective solutions tailored to your particular circumstances.
Litigation Funding - Finding the Right Option for you
It will not cost you anything to contact us for initial guidance. We are happy to have an initial confidential telephone discussion with you to assess whether you may have a claim.
If you then decide to instruct us, we will review all the available funding options with you so you can decide which one is most appropriate for your circumstances.
There are various ways of funding your claim. The most common are:
Conditional Fee Agreement (‘CFA’)
Known as a “No Win, No Fee” agreement Not all cases are suitable for ‘No Win – No Fee’ agreements but we are always happy to consider this option with you during our initial discussion.
If we accept your case on a ‘No Win – No Fee’ basis and you do not win your case then you do not have to pay our fees. However if you win, you pay us a success fee in addition to our basic charges and expenses. You can recover our basic charges and expenses from your opponent providing your claim is successful. However, please bear in mind that the Court has a wide discretion in relation to the costs based orders that it can make. The success fee is not recoverable from your opponent and you alone are responsible for it.
We may advise you to take out an insurance policy to guard against the risk that you might lose your case. You are solely responsible for the cost of that policy although most insurers defer payment of the premium until the conclusion of your case. Often the premium is self-insured by the policy and thus not directly payable by you if your claim is unsuccessful.
If your case is not suitable for a CFA we may be able to offer you a discounted CFA.
This way, we agree to charge discounted fees as the case progresses. If you win the case, you agree to pay the balance of our normal fees, which are usually recoverable from your opponent.
Legal Expenses Insurance
Many people have what is known as “Before the Event (BTE)” insurance as part of their motor, home contents or other policy.
This may be described as Legal Expenses Insurance or Family Legal Protection. The coverage may not extend to your claim so you should check the policy carefully and contact us with any queries.
If you are a member of a Trade Union, it is possible they may provide some help with legal issues but again you should check with them that they cover the particular circumstances of your case and the extent of any cover.
Private Payment/Pay as You Go
If you fund your claim yourself, you will be required to pay for the cost of the case as it progresses.
We will submit interim accounts to cover the work done for you on a regular basis to help you to budget for the costs that will be incurred. If you win your claim, it may be possible to recover the majority of your costs from your opponent, depending on the particular circumstances of your case. However, please bear in mind that the Court has a wide discretion in relation to the costs based orders that it can make. When those costs have been paid by your opponent we will reimburse you for the sums you paid us on account up to the value of the costs recovered from your opponent. You will still be liable for any shortfall.
Where possible we will agree fixed fees for different stages of the claim so you can be certain what the costs for each stage are likely to be before you decide to go ahead.
Confidential Information and Restrictive Covenants
Restrictive covenants are often included within an employment contract by a business to protect their commercially valuable information (confidential information) from misuse after an employee leaves. Employees are usually required to agree them when joining a company and will form part of their employment contract. The pro-active employers should therefore be reviewing their contracts and restrictive covenants as well as their systems and controls to ensure they afford the right protection to those in business development, client facing and revenue generating roles.
However, with the continued competition amongst employers to attract and retain the most talented employees, the number of issues and claims arising from the breaches of restrictive covenants contained in employment contracts are on the increase. Many employers and, on the other side, employees will likely require legal assistance, especially given the complexity of this area of law and the next steps that may need to be taken, which for example may include an application to the High Court for an injunction and associated search orders as necessary.
For details of each option, please see our Terms and Conditions.
You can be confident that if we believe you have a good claim, we will use our best endeavours to find a way of funding it.
Get in touch to discuss how we can help you by calling 01752 292201.