At Clarke & Son, we have experience in dealing with many types of claims for businesses and individuals.
When making a claim against an individual or a business, it is important to get the right advice at the outset. Legal proceedings can be very expensive and the costs will escalate out of control. Especially if you do not have a clear plan and strategy.
We have experience in dealing with many types of claims for businesses and individuals. This enables us to identify and focus on the material issues. As well as helping you make a sensible judgment about the merits and method of proceedings.
Book an Appointment
Our Dispute Resolution team are on hand to assist with a range of claim enquiries, get in touch to book an appointment.
Everyone has heard of the ‘compensation culture’. That phrase can be misleading because it has a resonance that claims are brought without any regard to the merits. That is not our approach.
Firstly, we act for both Claimants and Defendants and use our expertise to give a discerning opinion. Secondly, we advise as to the prospects of a successful injury claim or defence to a claim. From our experience in the majority of cases where a claim has merit, all parties will co-operate to achieve an early and reasonable settlement.
We have advised in relation to many types of accident claims, including accidents at work, road traffic accidents, occupiers’ liability claims and disease claims. In addition to Animals Act claims, fatal accident claims and many others. We can help businesses and individuals manage those claims.
You should always check first if you have the benefit of legal expenses insurance cover. This can be through a specific policy or under the terms of home insurance. If you are a prospective Defendant, you may well have liability cover. Therefore we would recommend you contact your insurer immediately. If this is the case the insurer may seek to refer you to a panel firm. In practice most cases for claims and in some instances for defending a claim, you can insist on a free choice of solicitor.
Making a Claim
We will review the matter initially in a fixed fee meeting with you normally at a discounted cost. This cost is confirmed prior to the meeting. Therefore you will know exactly what the expense is to ensure you are happy to proceed.
Once we have taken instructions from you, and if you are happy for us to take matters forward, then we will normally engage with the other party or their solicitors in correspondence initially. We will send a letter of claim on your behalf. This will set out your complaint and the remedy you are seeking, whether financial or otherwise.
Part of our initial review with you will involve consideration of the prospects of the potential defendant being able to meet any judgment or settlement obligations. If you are pursuing a financial remedy but the responsible party is impecunious then there unfortunately may be little point in pursuing the claim on commercial grounds.
When matters are resolved at an early stage it is often the case that you do not recover your legal costs. This is a reason to ensure there is a strict focus on the key points.
In some cases formal or informal mediation can help to bring matters to a settlement. The Courts are anxious to see that the parties do seek actively to resolve disputes and use mediation unless there is a strong reason not to do so. Even if there are quite significant differences of views, if some effort at mediation is not taken, this can result in costs penalties being imposed by the Court at a later stage.
Should it not be possible to resolve matters, or in some urgent cases, for example where an injunction is sought or a limitation period is about to expire, it is necessary to issue proceedings. We will advise you and deal with this. Throughout our approach remains to achieve a resolution of your claim on acceptable terms at the earliest point. Rarely is ongoing litigation productive to any of the parties and that is particularly the case where a focus on negotiating a settlement fades into the background.
We can assist you by:
- Providing initial advice on the merits of your claim and the best strategy
- Preparing a letter of claim
- Considering any reply and advising you
- Seeking to negotiate settlement
- If necessary, issuing court proceedings and pursuing the claim to settlement or trial
- Dealing with enforcement as necessary
Where we are able to do so providing fixed fee quotes for our work or parts of our work
Legal Expenses Insurance
Before bringing a claim we would always recommend you consider whether you may have the benefit of insurance to cover your legal costs.
You or your business may have a specific policy or this could be an add on to a household or business insurance policy. You may not have realised you have this cover! Check this at the start of the matter as cover is not normally retrospective.
If you have cover then your insurers may direct you to a panel solicitor. However, if you are about to bring a claim then you should be entitled to your own free choice of solicitor who will then be covered by the insurance.
Defending a Claim
When defending a claim if proceedings are served on you by the Court or a Claimant, you need to act urgently.
We can assist you by:
- Giving initial advice relating to the Court process;
- Giving initial advice on the matter itself;
- Acting for you generally in defending the proceedings.
We will always advise you frankly about the prospects and the costs.
Using Clarke & Son as your Litigation Consultant
If you plan to make a claim you may wish to have some legal advice but do not want to instruct a solicitor permanently. You just need some guidance or simply want to discuss the merits of the claim with a lawyer.
The need for help may come at any stage of the action.
Also known as an ‘unbundled’ service.
We will assist by providing fixed fee quotes for this type of work.