We are aware that legal disputes can be very time consuming and stressful for our clients.
We will seek a thorough understanding of your situation, your expectations and your objectives to enable us to advise you on the law in straightforward terms and devise the strategy which will work best for you and then implement it in a friendly and efficient style.
WHAT CAN WE OFFER?
Our litigation department can advise on a number of legal issues including:
- Landlord & Tenant issues
- Contract & Trading disputes
- Supply of Goods & Services
- Professional Negligence
- Shareholder issues
- Retention of title
Costs in litigation can vary considerably and we can also advise you on the likelihood of recovering your costs from another party. We may be able to offer you a fixed fee meeting to give you initial advice on your options. Where possible we wish to help settle disputes before costs esculate. Litigation cases can though typically cost between £1,500 to £30,000 for our fees and Court fees. Once your objectives and options have been explored, we will carry out a cost-benefit analysis and review this regularly with you. We will aim to inform you of the following in respect of costs:
• What options are available for resolving the dispute such as alternative dispute resolution (ADR) and estimate of cost and advise on the possibility of costs sanctions if the parties refuse to try to settle.
• That litigation can be costly. Significant disbursements may be incurred in addition to the solicitors’ fees (for example, experts’ or counsel’s fees), some of which may need to be paid up front.
• Advise on various funding options.
• The courts view on costs , the court has power to control and scrutinise costs with an emphasis on proportionality.
• An overview on costs in litigation (who pays and who recovers) are always in the discretion of the court, except in certain circumstances where they follow automatically such as on discontinuance of an action, or when a settlement offer under CPR 36 is accepted or taken into account after trial. The general rule is that the loser pays the winner’s costs, but this is not always the case.
• The court must have regard to all the circumstances of the case (including the conduct of the parties) when deciding what order to make on costs. The court may reduce a winning party’s costs, if their conduct has been unreasonable. If costs are not agreed by the parties, costs are quantified in an assessment process. This has two bases:
o standard basis; and
o indemnity basis.
(The former is less generous to the receiving party than the latter. On both bases, the court will not allow costs that have been unreasonably incurred or that are unreasonable in amount. On the indemnity basis, doubt about reasonableness is resolved in favour of the receiving party. On the standard basis, doubt about reasonableness is resolved in favour of the paying party and the court will also only order costs that are proportionate. Proportionality trumps reasonableness so just because costs have been deemed reasonable does not mean that the court cannot further slash them as disproportionate. When considering whether costs are proportionate, the court will have regard to the sum in issue in the proceedings, the value of any non-monetary relief sought, the complexity of the litigation, any additional work caused by the paying party and any wider factors involved in the proceedings such as reputation or public importance. )
• Because of the basis of assessment, proportionality and the reasonableness of costs is crucial, and this is ultimately a decision for the court.
• 100% (or any large percentage) costs recovery is unlikely/extremely rare
• Costs management by the court during the case could mean that certain costs are not approved