Meet David Mallinson, Head of Dispute Resolution:
Expert Litigation Lawyers
The team provides wide-ranging advice and a dispute resolution service that deals with all types of commercial and contractual situations. At Girlings, our main aim is to guide clients towards a cost effective and speedy resolution and to avoid, wherever possible, an extended time consuming and costly litigation process. An experienced litigator in our team will be able to advise you on all types of disputes, irrespective of how simple or complex they are. We offer a full litigation service and are experienced in acting for a client base that includes large corporations, SMEs, partnerships as well as individuals.
Where litigation appears to be the only course open to a client, we do regularly represent our commercial clients (both large and small) in substantial matters in both the High Court and the local County Courts.
Our services extend to other related commercial areas which include:
- Commercial contract disputes
- Commercial property disputes
- Construction disputes
- Landlord and tenant
- Partnership disputes
- Professional negligence claims
- Shareholder actions/disputes
- Insolvency and winding up procedures.
If you need help with resolving conflict in the workplace, please contact one of our expert Employment Law Solicitors who will be happy to help.
At Girlings, our main aim is to guide clients towards a cost effective and speedy resolution and to avoid, wherever possible, an extended time consuming and costly litigation process.
Alternative Dispute Resolution
As well as providing advice about conventional forms of litigation, we can also advise you on alternative dispute resolution methods, including arbitration and dispute mediation (both formal and informal), which an increasing number of our commercial clients are opting for nowadays.
Debt Recovery Services
In addition we provide a dedicated and cost effective debt recovery service, based at our Ashford office, which deals with all steps from an initial 'letter before action' through to the issue of formal proceedings and the application for and enforcement of judgments.
Often an initial letter is sufficient to generate a positive response from the debtor. If further action is required, this is always dealt with in close consultation with the client to ensure costs are minimised throughout the process and unrecoverable debts are, hopefully, identified at the earliest possible opportunity. For further details of this service, please see the Debt Recovery Services section of this website.
Conditional Fee Agreement (CFA)
For some matters it may be appropriate to use a Conditional Fee Agreement and we will discuss this with you.
Conditional Fee Agreement – Our Terms
Where we provide representation under a Conditional Fee Agreement, you will be required to fund our success fee from your damages upon the successful conclusion of your claim. Our success fee is calculated as a percentage uplift of our normal (“base”) chargeable costs and will typically be within the range of 50% – 70% but cannot exceed 100%. The precise terms of the CFA would be negotiated and agreed with you prior to commencement. You will also be required to pay any insurance premium you have elected to take out from your damages upon the successful conclusion of your claim.
If the claim fails, you would have to pay disbursements (the money which we have to pay to other people for example expert reports, Court fees, Counsel etc.) but we can arrange legal expenses insurance for you which would cover these disbursements so there would then be nothing at all to pay if the claim should fail.
If you terminate the Conditional Fee Agreement against our advice, we then have the right to decide whether 1) you must pay our basic charges and our expenses and disbursements including barristers’ fees (but not the success fee) or 2) pay our basic charges, and our expenses and disbursements including barristers’ fees and success fees if you go on to win your claim for damages.
If a finding of fundamental dishonesty is found your claim would be struck out and you would be required to pay our basic charges, and our expenses and disbursements as well as the basic charges, and expenses and disbursements of your opponent.
The Conditional Fee Agreement automatically ends if you die before your claim for damages is concluded. We will be entitled to recover our basic charges up to the date of your death from your estate. If your personal representatives wish to continue your claim for damages, we may offer them a new conditional fee agreement, as long as they agree to pay the success fee on our basic charges from the beginning of the agreement with you.
In order to assess whether we would be willing to undertake a specific matter on this basis an initial assessment of the merits and value of any claim (and the strength of any defence which has been raised) would be undertaken initially and reviewed by the departmental manager and managing partner of the firm. This would normally involve an internal process only but where we consider that obtaining external counsel’s opinion is a requirement in order to gauge the merits and prospects for success of the claim that advice from counsel will usually incur a fee of between £1000 plus VAT and £2500 plus VAT, depending on the precise issues involved. An advice from counsel would be required for example in the context of any policy of insurance which is applied for to cover the potential for adverse costs which may be awarded against the client if the claim is ultimately unsuccessful. In the event that we intend to render any fee for our work in obtaining an advice from counsel at the preliminary stage we will notify you at the time and in advance, although we would not expect that to be any more than 2-4 hours in the majority of instances.