In any dispute, there may come a time when an attempt to persuade another person or business to do what they have agreed to do or put right a wrong they have committed fails.
Even when you use your best efforts to compromise and to achieve a negotiated settlement, sometimes that isn't enough, or the action taken by the other party may simply be too flagrant or economically significant to deal with informally.
When this is the case, you must consider litigation i.e. seeking to obtain the desired end through court proceedings. The court in which the hearing takes place will depend on the type of dispute (whether it is a civil or commercial dispute) and the size of the claim. Complex or high value litigation will be allocated to the High Court, where the judges have more specific experience and expertise. Find out more about our high court litigation solicitors here.
Litigation Solicitors for Claims, Defences or Counterclaims
Regardless of whether you need to claim, defend or counterclaim, our litigation solicitors can help you. And the following are some of the main areas in litigation and our lawyers can help you with each type:-
3 Main Areas in Litigation
The process of civil litigation follows set rules in the UK (the Civil Procedure Rules or CPR), which normally require that an attempt is made to resolve the dispute 'out of court' using Alternative Dispute Resolution before litigation starts. Find out more about our civil litigation solicitors here.
Commercial litigation, which deals with arguments involving breach of contract, construction disputes, breaches of intellectual property rights and so on are heard in different courts from civil litigation so follows a somewhat different process, but the process is essentially similar. Find out more about our commercial litigation solicitors here.
An exception to the normal timetable for litigation is where an injunction is needed to prevent something occurring, to stop it continuing or, less often, to require someone to do something. Injunctions are sought where there is an immediate requirement to act to prevent a continuing or potential harm from happening. For example, an 'asset freezing order' is an injunction that stops assets being used and may be sought, for example, in a cross-border dispute where it is likely that funds in the UK will be withdrawn from a bank account and be taken abroad where they will not be accessible to pay an award made by the court.
Expert legal advice is needed at each stage in any litigation. The first stage is to prepare and file a claim against the other party, or starts with the notice of a claim. Even at this stage, there are pitfalls. For example, the claim must be made against the right person and on the right legal grounds. Selachii will help you to identify the right person to claim against and the right arguments to make or, if you have an action taken against you, to identify any defects in their submissions.
After that, the two sides to the dispute assemble their evidence and request disclosure ('discovery') of evidence from one another. During this process, disclosure of material 'without prejudice' may take place in order to achieve a settlement.
Where such disclosure takes place, the evidence or information supplied cannot be used in court.
During this stage, the legal issues that will be argued in court are generally 'sharpened up' and each side has the ability to evaluate the strength of their and the other side's cases and to negotiate towards a resolution of the dispute or at least minor matters within it. Our guidance here will prove invaluable.
Often, expert witnesses will need to be instructed: the choice of expert can be important in the successful resolution of technical and economic loss issues. Here, our experience and wide network of connections may be of great benefit.
If the dispute is not settled, it will be listed for a court hearing. Often, before the hearing (sometimes on the steps of the court) an offer will be made to settle the dispute. The strategy and negotiations involved at this stage demand both experience and a commercial approach.
In English law, when a dispute goes to trial, the loser pays the winner's legal costs as well as their own. When an offer has been made to settle the dispute, the general rule is that if the court awards more than the offer, the winner's costs are fully met by the loser. If the award made by the court is less than the offer, the winner's ability to recover costs is restricted. This is not true in all jurisdictions. In many, each side pays its own costs, so in international disputes, obtaining a hearing in the 'right' jurisdiction may be highly desirable.
Assuming the dispute goes to trial, we supply expert and tenacious representation, to give our clients the best possible chance of a successful outcome.
View our Case Study
Commercial Agent Case Study
When a commercial agent's contract was cancelled by a client which gave three months' notice as opposed to the required 12, each side accused the other of having breached the contract. The case turned on which emails sent between the two companies were and which were not admissible as evidence. The finding that a particular email had caused the breach proved conclusive and a compensation payment of £180,000 was ordered by the court.
How Selachii Can Help
Selachii is a dynamic litigation and dispute resolution law firm based in Kensington, London. We put the best interests of our clients at the heart of everything we do. We work with both businesses and private individuals, giving them legal advice and support which is unique to them and their situation.
We don’t believe in simply handing out one-size-fits-all solutions to problems. We will focus on your specific circumstances before working out the best and most cost-effective way of helping you achieve your aims.