Disputes between individuals, firms or companies can occur in a variety of different circumstances, some arising out of pure chance and unfortunate circumstances, others from dishonourable or unreasonable conduct by one or all parties involved.
Claims come in many varieties and the following are simply examples:
- Disputes relating to the sale of goods.
- General breach of contract.
- Wills and inheritance.
- Professional negligence.
- Actions based on personal injury.
We can assist individuals and companies in disputes and civil claims.
What is the Civil Litigation Process?
Claims of up to £50,000 in value are normally dealt with in the County Court. Above that figure the writs are issued in the High Court. The civil litigation process in both events is similar. Court hearings with the district judge are arranged in order to ensure that full and complete disclosure of all relevant documents (whether helpful to the party or not) is given and all verbal evidence has to be reduced to writing and witness statements exchanged between the parties.
Beesley & Company are experts in this legal work, which is handled only by experienced, qualified solicitors with the assistance of competent staff.
What is mediation?
Mediation is a non-binding procedure by which an independent mediator will seek to bring the parties together with a view to resolving problems before heavy court expenditure is incurred. The Courts virtually insist that this procedure is put into effect in the hope that it will cut down the amount of litigation which goes through the Courts.
Any party who does not co-operate in a mediation procedure can be severely penalised by later costs orders if he proceeds with the litigation.
What is a Small Claims Court?
Small Claims Court is a section of the County Court designed to take cases of £10,000 value or less. On such small matters, all legal costs are not awarded against the losing party and all a winning party is likely to recover is a small contribution to costs in the region of £200. For this reason, litigants in small claims can very rarely afford to engage a solicitor. In a complicated case the bill would exceed the amount that could be won in Court. Unfortunately small claimants have to act as their own lawyers in cases that might in themselves be quite complex.
What happens to the losing party?
A losing party is usually ordered to pay the costs of his successful opponent. Even a winning litigant however has to pay his own solicitor. Winning the costs means that the losing party can then be required to repay to him such costs as are ruled by the Court to be reasonable and necessary.
Will I be entitled to Legal Aid?
We will carry out an assessment as to whether you qualify for Legal Aid. Legal Aid is available in some categories of cases such as Civil Actions Against The Police. Personal injury cases can be conducted on a 'no win no fee' basis but they are the exception to the general rule.
The majority of litigation cases that are brought, are funded privately by the individuals or companies bringing such cases. It is therefore important that any person or company seeking to pursue such a claim, has funds available in order to litigate. Advice will be provided as to the level of such funding required.
We charge at a rate ranging between £120 and £205 per hour depending upon the status and experience of the fee earner undertaking the work and the subject matter in question. The overall cost is assessed on the time taken on meetings with clients, conferences with counsel, attendances at court, telephones, letters, court appointments, studying documents, witness statements, claims, defences and other pleadings, taking proofs of evidence etc. We will always provide a quotation and cost estimate including hourly rate and overall costs to you at your initial meeting with us. Contact us for an estimate of what fees may be involved.