Meet David Mallinson, Head of Dispute Resolution:
Expert Dispute Resolution Solicitors
Our Dispute Resolution team is able to offer friendly advice extending from initial informal advice through to full representation in court if required. Speak to a litigation lawyer in our team who will be able to assist and guide you towards a cost effective and speedy resolution of any dispute or issues which you may be experiencing, whether you wish to start proceedings or are subject yourself to a claim made by another.
Our litigation Solicitors have a wealth of experience in resolving conflicts and can provide litigation advice and assistance which includes the following areas:
- Partnership disputes
- Boundary disputes: boundary fence law, boundary wall disputes and other related problems
- Building disputes
- Debt claims
- Landlord and tenant dispute resolution
- Consumer protection/credit/sale of goods
- Claims against professional advisers
- Contentious Probate: Will and probate claims.
If you find yourself involved in any type of dispute or potential claim, speak to a member of our team at Girlings to see if we can help. We are also able to refer you to other specialists who may be able to help such as an accountant, an insolvency practitioner or a surveyor, with whom we have close professional contacts.
We are familiar with the expense and the pressures which can be created by any form of dispute, and we will always do our best to minimise the impact of these issues.
Alternative Dispute Resolution
Court proceedings can be expensive, so we offer clients advice on a variety of Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) options. These include arbitration advice (appoint someone to resolve the issue), mediation (both formal and informal, appointing someone to help negotiate a decision) and other forms of alternative dispute resolution - as well as the more conventional forms of court proceedings.
We are familiar with the expense and the pressures which can be created by any form of dispute, and we will always do our best to minimise the impact of these issues. Legal costs can become an additional burden, so we are flexible about funding arrangements. We recommend, for example, that clients initially check their own household insurance policies, as increasingly these do provide cover for certain types of dispute.
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.