Dispute Resolution Frequently Asked Questions
How do I sue someone?
It is always best to get advice from a solicitor before starting court proceedings. In the first instance, the parties to a dispute are always encouraged to try to resolve the issue between themselves and a solicitor could help you do this.
This route will help you to resolve the dispute more quickly and avoid costly court proceedings. If the dispute cannot be resolved at an early stage, or alternative dispute resolution is not appropriate, the solicitor can then prepare court proceedings to be issued at court on your behalf. Starting a claim is one of the most important steps in the court procedure.
If you try to do this yourself, you risk stating your case incorrectly in terms of the law, or leaving parts of your claim out. When this happens it can cost a lot of money to correct your case at a later date. In a worst case scenario you could even lose your case and have a court order made against you, requiring you to pay the other party’s costs.
If you are considering suing someone and wish to know how much it could cost to issue proceedings, please contact our Dispute Resolution department and we would be happy to provide you with a fee estimate.
What is professional negligence?
All professionals are bound to demonstrate reasonable skill and a duty of care in their specialist field. Professional negligence occurs when a qualified, professional individual does not perform their responsibilities adequately or fails to perform their duties to the expected standard.
If you have been on the receiving end of improper conduct and have lost out financially, it may be possible to make a claim for professional negligence. Disputes can rise in a variety of different situations when dealing with all manner of sectors. Theoretically, it may be possible to bring a claim against any sort of professional including: accountants, financial advisors, tax consultants, architects and engineers amongst others.
Do I have a Professional Negligence claim?
This is ultimately a decision a solicitor will make. However, for a professional negligence claim to be successful you must be able to demonstrate that you were owed a duty of care by the said professional, which was breached, causing a loss to you. A good benchmark to go by in these claims is whether the professional in question has been negligent where another reasonable professional in their positon would not be.
Just making a mistake does not necessarily constitute negligence – it needs to be proved that the professional fell below the adequate standards you would expect of a competent professional. If it is clear that there has been a breach in their care of duty, it is then necessary to demonstrate that you suffered a direct financial loss as a result of their negligent actions.
Certain time limits apply when bringing a claim against a professional. For this reason it is vital to contact a solicitor as soon as you can to set the wheels in motion. Our solicitors will be able to inform you specifically in regards to these time limits.
It is not always necessary that your claim goes to court. A strict procedure and protocol is followed whereby the parties have the opportunity to settle. If no settlement can be reached then court proceedings would need to be issued.
When is the best time to consult a solicitor in respect of a dispute?
At the earliest possible opportunity after it becomes apparent that there is a matter which is or is likely to become a dispute. The earlier advice is sought the sooner a party can be advised of their strict legal rights and position and take a commercial decision based upon this advice and the options open to them. The earlier in the dispute the more options there may be and it is often possible to head off disputes altogether if advice is taken early. Even if this is not possible, it is usually easier to resolve issues satisfactory if they are addressed early, often before any significant loss has been sustained by either party to the dispute and the parties’ positions have become entrenched. Steps to mitigate any potential loss can also be put in place at an early stage where necessary. Delay may prejudice your position and you may inadvertently take steps which damage your position.
A clear strategy can be determined in respect of any dispute which it can be foreseen is not or is not likely to be resolved without some form of dispute resolution being undertaken or some form of extended negotiation. There is more chance of a successful outcome the sooner the problem is addressed and addressing the dispute sooner rather than later often results in saving costs.
What is the difference between litigation, arbitration, adjudication and mediation?
Arbitration is a process for the resolution of disputes outside of the Court system through an arbitral body. Determination of the dispute is by an arbitrator who is an impartial referee acting as judge and who is selected and appointed by the parties or by an appointing body. The litigation and arbitration processes share a number of similar features but a key difference between arbitration and litigation is that arbitration is usually carried out in private.
What is a section 21 notice?
A section 21 notice is an eviction notice used by landlords when they want to evict tenants at the end of a fixed term.
What is a section 8 notice?
A section 8 notice is a legal notice that informs the tenant that, should they fail to remedy a breach within a set time period, the landlord can ask the court to evict them. The landlord may also seek compensation from the client.
An example of when a section 8 notice could be used is when a tenant is in rent arrears and the landlord wants the missed payments to be made by a certain date.