Litigation is normally recommended as a last resort, when all other options to resolve a dispute amicably have been exhausted. The cost of hiring a litigation solicitor and obtaining a judgement needs to be considered, plus litigation could result in a lost customer or supplier and potentially negative publicity.
If you are caught up in a dispute, court action may not always be necessary and parties are often advised to undertake formal mediation as a first step towards resolution. The Law Department can provide all forms of mediation that are required.
The role of a litigation solicitor is to assume an oppositional position and must be willing to take on conflict and controversy. At The Law Department, we will work with you to select the most appropriate course of action to recover your debt. We will also outline the expected costs before starting any proceedings under your instruction. We will help you to protect your interests, while keeping the costs under control.
Disputes can range from breach of contracts to major issues involving property and construction. Many cases involve problems such as partnership and shareholder disputes. We have experience in dealing with a range of disputes including insolvency and bankruptcy proceedings. We can also become your outsourced credit- controller and put a system in place to protect your business from bad debtors.
We also provide robust and practical solutions and sound advice based on our vast experience. We have considerable experience of cases involving the following:
- Contract disputes
- Building disputes
- Corporate/partnership disputes
- Debt recovery and Credit control
- Disputes with customers
- Fiduciary duty claims
- Insurance matters
- Landlord and tenant disputes
- Insolvency related disputes
- Personal Injury
In addition, if litigation should land on a company’s doorstep we can conduct damage limitation to protect the position of the company or individual. We act and react quickly and fairly and our clients can afford to rely on us and our standard of expertise. Furthermore, we offer additional assistance to ensure that our clients are always fully supported and protected from future litigation wherever possible.
What does litigation involve?
There are seven stages of litigation: investigation, pleadings, discovery, pre-trial, trial, settlement and appeal. Not every litigation case will go through all seven stages; most are settled before trial and many cases that make it to trial are not then appealed.
A lawsuit can last from several months to several years, depending on the complexity of the case involved. The discovery stage is normally the longest as it is the most labour-intensive.
Small, Fast and Multi Track Claims
Depending on the value of your claim, it will be allocated into either a small, fast or multi track:
- Small claims track: a claim which is not worth more than £5,000, subject to special provisions for personal injury/housing disrepair claims.
- Fast claims track: a claim worth between £5,000-£25,000 which are likely to last no more than one day at trial.
- Multi claims track: for all claims of more than £25,000 or where the case would take more that one day at trial.
Claims are allocated to their respective track after the Defendant files their defence in court. The general rule is that the smaller the value of the claim, the less costs a successful litigant can obtain from their opposition. In the fast track, the recovery of costs of a party’s representatives attending a trial is also limited, even if that party was entirely successful. In practical terms therefore, care must be taken to assess the likely financial value of the claim at the outset, bearing in mind the limited costs of recovery once a trial has occurred. We will help you to assess what your options are and whether going forward with the action to recover a claim is in your best interests.