Disputes can arise within almost any aspect of life.
Most people dislike disputes and confrontation. This aspect of a solicitor's work is probably the most difficult, draining and unsatisfactory for everyone concerned.
We see our job as trying to help clients get their situation back under control with the least cost and bad feeling possible. We recognise this is not easy because, by its very nature, a dispute implies both parties expect to win and dislike losing and obviously not everyone can win.
If solicitors could simply pick winners they would be immensely popular and would always be able to tell their client what they want to hear. However, like doctors, they must do a reasonable job with what facts present themselves, not make an imperfect situation into a perfect one. That would be asking too much.
If a dispute does not settle by negotiation, its ultimate venue is a civil court of law. This will be the county court in most cases and we are happy to represent you, or for particularly complex cases or where there is a substantial amount of money at stake, the High Court, again we are happy to arrange representation.
Fortunately, the majority of cases do not reach a final trial in court and the aim must always be to try and avoid that final trial in order to save costs if at all possible. Between a potential dispute arising and a final trial we believe our expertise, put at your disposal and with your cooperation will bring most disputes to a conclusion.
Everyone knows that for example disputes can be a claim for negligence, or a breach of contract, or a debt, or a boundary dispute, or a Nuisance, or defamation, or a road accident, or a personal injury, or employment dispute.
We have helped our clients with negligence claims against hospitals, doctors, builders, solicitors and others. We have helped our clients for claims for mis-representation, breach of contract, defamation and for road accidents and almost any time of claim. We rely on our clients to give us an accurate account of the facts and to support those facts with evidence so we can appraise a case at an early stage and tell them whether their case is likely to succeed. We have helped our clients to defend cases and again, early appraisal of a case normally helps us to negotiate effectively.
We seek ways to help our clients minimise costs in what can become disproportionate without careful guidance.
Now that Legal Aid has disappeared for most cases, we are happy to provide fixed fee consultations for people who conduct their own cases and we find such consultations have become popular and cost effective.
In order to avoid a dispute, many employers offer a Settlement Agreement to employees who are leaving. We are happy to draft these for employers but we are frequently asked by employees to be the 'independent advisor' necessary for such agreements to be valid. If, sadly an employment does not end on a basis of a settlement agreement, we can assist with Employment Tribunal cases and indeed any other cases in a tribunal.
In any event, we still aim to help our clients avoid a problem turning into a crisis.