Settlement of Disputes solicitors in London and Essex
Disputes arise in all areas of life and in business; some are unnecessary, and others are unavoidable. Although we will fight our client’s corner with rigour where that is the appropriate strategy, we strongly believe that going to court is an option of last resort and that, in most cases, every attempt should be made to try to settle the dispute by way of negotiation or other form of alternative dispute resolution.
There are a lot of reasons to try to avoid litigating in the courts, including:
- The courts may give you credit (by a costs order against your opponent) for trying to settle the dispute if things do go all the way to a court hearing or trial.
- You may be penalised by the courts for unreasonably refusing to participate in out-of-court dispute resolution.
- If you lose your case, you will likely be ordered to pay your opponent’s costs as well as any damages or other award ordered against you.
- If you win your case, you might be awarded your costs to be paid by your opponent, but you will never make a full recovery of your costs.
- Litigation – as well as being expensive – can last for a long time; often many months and sometimes over a year or longer than that. The process is likely to require a significant input of your time and may have a dramatic impact on your daily life.
- If your case involves legal issues which are not clear-cut, we will carefully consider the legal merits of your case but there is no guarantee that a judge will arrive at the same or similar conclusion. This is an inherent characteristic of complex legal disputes.
As your legal advisors, we will discuss the legal merits and a costs-benefit analysis of your case. We will also advise on how we think the dispute can be settled, including tactical moves to put pressure on your opponent to settle the dispute.
So, how can you try to resolve a dispute outside of the courts? Well, here are some popular methods:
- Negotiation – trying to agree terms of settlement with your opponent by way of “off the record” correspondence and contractual negotiations.
- Mediation – a neutral third party is brought in to facilitate a settlement at a meeting or series or meetings.
- Expert Determination – the parties agree to be bound by the opinion of a chosen professional expert.
- Arbitration – governed by the Arbitration Act 1996, a less formal trial of the dispute conducted outside of the courts and on a confidential basis.
- Early Neutral Determination – a neutral expert is instructed to give a non-binding opinion on the dispute before the case proceeds through the courts.
Our unique selling point is that we understand what clients want from their lawyers. We will manage your transaction proactively, with careful attention to detail while never losing sight of the bigger picture.
We offer a range of pricing options and will be happy to discuss these with you. As a client-centred law firm, we will be transparent with you about our pricing and actively manage these in line with our agreements.