Unfortunately in a world as complex as ours disputes do arise and the parties concerned will frequently benefit from the advice of lawyers. Contrary to the popular impression of lawyers, at Percy Short & Cuthbert it is always our aim to resolve a dispute as quickly and economically as possible. We usually advise that settlement negotiations should be attempted and this can sometimes be undertaken by mediation or other methods of alternative dispute resolution. In some cases court proceedings are necessary but the vast majority of cases are eventually resolved by agreement. For further information relating to alternative dispute resolution please read our information sheet on the subject or contact us for further details.
We have wide experience of civil disputes including debt claims, partnership and business disputes, trust, probate and inheritance claims, building disputes, personal injury claims, landlord and tenant disputes, nuisance, negligence and property disputes.
We can no longer handle these disputes on legal aid. In such cases if a client cannot afford to litigate we may be prepared to act on a conditional fee basis if he or she does not have the benefit of legal expenses insurance. We may also be able to arrange after the event insurance to provide cover against liability for the costs of the opposing party if your case is unsuccessful. You should check your insurance policies to ascertain if legal expenses cover is provided.
For privately paying clients we generally charge for our work on the basis of the time spent on the matter and we will provide details of our charging rates when we are instructed. We will also endeavour to give an estimate of the total cost of taking a case to a conclusion but this can never be more than an estimate because so much depends on the attitude of the other party and cases can develop in unexpected ways.
A “small claim” is a claim for up to £10,000 which is normally allocated to the Small Claims track under the Civil Procedure Rules 1998 if it is defended. If you are successful in making or defending a small claim, the court will rarely order the other party to reimburse your costs apart from court fees and sometimes for loss of earnings when attending the trial. We do not therefore generally act for clients in relation to small claims because the costs will be excessive in relation to the likely benefit.
However, the court system can be confusing and/or intimidating for those unfamiliar with its procedures and terminology. For that reason we can provide initial advice to help you at the outset of the claim, for example helping you to draft the claim form or a defence, and we can also provide general advice regarding court procedures, preparing for trial and other relevant matters.
Our fees in relation to small claims will depend on the amount of help you need but we offer an initial meeting for up to 30 minutes at a cost starting from £50 plus VAT. We can provide an estimate of costs for any further advice which will be charged for on the basis of the time spent.
If you wish to consult us please contact Michael Kilbane on (020) 7700 0265 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Initial advice can rarely be given on the telephone because most cases involve the consideration of documents and it is important to meet to try to ensure that you have confidence in us and we have confidence in you and your case.