Litigation and dispute resolution – four key points from our commercial litigation solicitors
Litigation and dispute resolution - four key pointers
Becoming involved in litigation is rarely welcome and is seen by most businesses and individuals as an action of last resort. A dispute can be a time consuming and costly endeavour, so having a solicitor that always gives clear and commercial advice is vital.
Every day, our commercial litigation solicitors and dispute resolution lawyers advise businesses, corporations and individuals on how to bring and defend claims in the courts. They have identified a number of key considerations that litigants should be mindful of, when starting dispute resolution or litigation.
- Recognise that there is a dispute, don't delay and start planning
If you have exhausted negotiations or a claim has been issued against you, don't delay and start planning. Recognising there is a problem and seeking legal advice could save you money in the long run - and could encourage an early settlement, avoiding lengthy court proceedings.
- Set a realistic budget, which includes both before and after trial
Litigation can be lengthy and you should consider whether you can afford to fund the litigation right up until trial. If you obtain a judgment for money against another, remember you may incur further costs in extracting the money from - known as enforcement.
Solicitors are required to give you an estimate of your likely costs for the whole of the litigation - and we are committed to giving clients the best possible information on costs from the outset.
Don't forget - costs are not just limited to solicitor's fees. Court fees and the fees of barristers must also be factored into the costs budget. If you are not successful, you may also be ordered to pay the winner's costs.
- Can the party you are suing afford to pay you, if you are successful?
Most claims involve one party claiming money off another, by getting judgment at court, or through negotiation with the threat of a trial. However, there is no point going to the trouble of suing an individual or a business, if they can't pay. A victory on paper rarely makes commercial sense. If you are being sued, can the other party afford to pay your costs, if they lose?
- Engage in negotiations and Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR)
The courts expect you to consider and (usually) explore settling disputes outside of the court system. This can be through informal negotiations or more formal mediation or arbitration. This is known as Alternative Dispute Resolution and can often be cheaper and quicker than going to court. The courts often take a dim view of parties who refuse to engage in ADR and can impose financial or other penalties on those who don't.
In summary, it is important to bear in mind the following;
- Recognise there is a dispute and get planning
- Work out your likely costs, throughout the life of the litigation
- So far as possible, establish the financial strength of your opponent
- At each stage of the dispute, engage in negotiation or Alternative Dispute Resolution
How we can help?
Saunders Law specialises in litigation. Our size allows us to give a personalised and partner-led service, but our experience means we are equipped to handle complex and high-profile litigation.
From multi-million pound cross-border litigation, to smaller professional negligence or breach of contract matters, we will always give you the best possible commercial advice, at a sensible price. We will always give you an initial, free, no obligation appraisal of your matter and can be contacted on 0207 632 4300 or [email protected].