At Davisons, our civil law solicitors resolve disputes as swiftly and effectively as possible. Our specialist team offer clear, practical advice tailored to the needs and requirements of each client.
What is litigation?
Litigation is the process of settling a legal dispute in court. Disputes can arise for several reasons. You may have a boundary dispute with your new neighbour, a disagreement with family members over the terms of a will, or perhaps the quality of workmanship carried out by a builder.
Taking a dispute to court can be stressful and expensive, but there are alternative ways to resolve issues. Our litigation solicitors will discuss your situation and options with you to help you decide which approach is best.
Taking the first step
The first step is to try and resolve the dispute yourself.
If your dispute is with a neighbour and you cannot speak to them in person, consider writing them a polite letter. If your dispute is with an organisation, follow their complaints procedure or talk to their trade association or industry Ombudsman.
Have you paid for a product or service by credit card? You may be covered by the Customer Credit Act and be able to receive a refund through your credit card provider.
It is time to contact a civil litigation solicitor if you have not resolved the matter.
Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR)
At Davisons, we are committed to helping our clients resolve disputes without going to court, where possible. Courts require parties to engage in pre-action steps and look to Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) before issuing proceedings unless there is a good reason not to do so.
ADR is less stressful, faster and costs less money than going to court. Mediation and Arbitration are the most usual forms of ADR.
ADR is voluntary, so all parties in a dispute must agree to engage in the process.
When might you go to court?
If you cannot settle your dispute through ADR, you may decide to go to court or must defend proceedings brought against you as the Defendant. You will need to prove the legal basis for your claim or defence, so it is vital to seek legal advice before starting the process or on defending the Claim.
You will need to fill in a claim form and follow a series of steps before going to court. This is to ensure the necessary information is shared between parties and that all other avenues of settling the dispute have been explored.
If defending a claim, you will need to ensure the Defence deals with all aspects of the Claim against you and consider whether there is a Counterclaim that could be pursued. There are strict time limits in responding to a claim that must be complied with to avoid a judgment being entered against you.
If you decide to go to court or defend a claim, our specialist litigation solicitors will prepare your case, provide clear advice and with their experience strive to achieve the best outcome for you. At the outset, we will advise you on the likely costs of the Court case.
Talk to our civil litigation solicitors today
At Davisons, we know that disputes can be stressful and uncomfortable for everybody involved. We work with you to find the best outcome with an honest assessment of your case and seek to achieve a resolution that avoids undue unpleasantness, unnecessary costs and prolonged anxiety.
We will assist you through every step of the dispute resolution or litigation process, making sure you understand your options. We promise to keep you updated on costs throughout so there are no nasty surprises when your dispute is resolved.
Disputes and Litigation FAQs
Mediation is when an independent mediator helps two parties to resolve a dispute. The Mediator does not impose decisions on the Parties but facilitates negotiation. It is a less formal and more cost-effective way to resolve a dispute than going to court.
Mediation is confidential, so nothing that is said can be used in court. If an agreement is reached during mediation, a contract can be signed, which is a legally binding agreement enforceable through the Courts.
Agreements reached through mediation tend to be successful because people have resolved their own problems instead of having decisions imposed upon them by a court. In addition, at mediation, the Parties can agree settlement on terms that a court may not be able to impose as an order, providing greater flexibility on what can be agreed to resolve a dispute.
Arbitration is like going to court on a smaller and less formal scale.
Both parties might present their case to an independent arbitrator who, like a judge, decides the outcome. The arbitrator’s decision is legally binding.