Dangers of Litigation
There are ways of resolving disputes other than through costly and stressful court proceedings. Our Litigation Solicitor, Zaid Anwar, discusses some challenges of litigation.
We are now coming out of lockdown and the past few months have undoubtedly been testing for everybody. This includes employees, employers, business owners and customers. Indeed, strange times for us all. One thing I have noted however is that litigation enquiries have been on the rise.
The purpose of this article is to provide some comments on the challenges of litigation and to highlight alternatives. Whatever the challenges, however, at times there may be no other option but to involve the court to determine the outcome of a dispute between the parties.
There are a few key questions and points that anyone engaging in litigation must consider before engaging in the court process:
Litigation can be costly. This is the harsh reality. Although lawyers will do their utmost to limit costs and ensure the matter is being dealt with proportionately, there is a cost implication to court proceedings. Depending on the value and complexity of the claim, legal costs can be substantial. This should be considered before commencing any litigation.
In addition, depending on the value of the claim, there may be significant cost implications which parties will need to be aware of. The general rule in civil claims is that the loser pays the winners’ costs and being aware of this risk at the outset of a claim is critical.
At Lennons Solicitors, looking after your interest is our paramount consideration. If a matter is likely to be disproportionate, you will be told of this from the very get go. All the dangers of litigation and the costs implications are explained from the outset. We pride ourselves in being transparent and open.
Litigation is not a walk in the park. It is a very demanding process and before engaging in the litigation process, one must consider the stress they will likely suffer, particularly where a case involves disputes that are very emotional or personal.
There may be times where the dispute relates to matters which extend over years or even decades. This will require parties to produce evidence going back several years. This can prove to be a substantial burden.
Is it worth it?
I appreciate this sounds a little cliché, however it is a critical point which one should give some serious thought to. The litigation process is undoubtedly a stressful one. It is not something that everyone is able to endure. Several hours will be spent with solicitors to prepare a case for trial.
So, the question ‘is it worth it?’, should be considered in terms of costs, energy, effort, and time. Will the potential upside and outcome of the case outweigh all of this?
The above being said, there are times that litigation is necessary to resolve a dispute. The purpose of this article is simply to remind you that issuing court proceedings is not the only way to solve a dispute. I have listed some alternative methods for coming to a cordial resolution:
Negotiations through pre-action correspondence
A useful tool is to invite the other side to engage in pre-action correspondence. This can help iron out any issues and assess the scope of coming to an amicable resolution.
At Lennons Solicitors we would, depending on the circumstances, give this paramount consideration. If a dispute can be resolved through correspondence, this will result in a speedy and far more cost effective solution.
Round table meeting
If matters are dire and parties are not able to resolve issues through correspondence, you could consider proposing a settlement meeting. This would involve parties airing their thoughts out in person in hopes to reach a cordial outcome.
This is again something that I would encourage my clients to consider.
Depending on the matter, parties may require a third party to mediate between them, someone who is impartial and independent and who is not emotionally connected to the case. This may result in the ‘voice of reason’, encouraging the parties to reach a settlement without involving the court.
To summarise, as a Dispute Resolution solicitor, my aim is not to drag matters through the court process. My initial thoughts for any matter will always be, ‘how can this matter be resolved in the most cost effective and efficient way? At Lennons Solicitors, this is our paramount objective.
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