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Dispute Resolution

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My legal practice frequently overlaps between civil and criminal case work. The cases I appear in are decided in both criminal and civil courts or regulatory tribunal. In civil cases, the underlying allegation is serious and could be heard in a criminal court. Often these cases involve factual disputes over something which has happened, with witnesses examined and cross-examined, followed by submissions made to the court or tribunal

Dispute Resolution and Civil Litigation Lawyer

I can assist with:

  • Fact-Finding Hearings in Family Courts
  • Tribunals procedures
  • Small Claims (for claims of less than £10,000)
  • Fast Track (for claims of £10,000 to £25,000)
  • Multi Track (for claim of over £25,000)
  • Breaches of contract, including unpaid bills, poor workmanship, unfinished and negligent work, defective goods etc
  • Professional negligence
  • Consumer problems
  • Construction works

Small Claims Track – What is it?

The small claims track is the updated version of the now non-existent small claims court.

The small claims track deals with disagreements between two parties where a claim for money is £10,000 or below. Providing the case isn’t complicated – if the complexity of the case is higher, then the court may give it a full hearing or allocate it to a different track. So, know What is Dispute Resolution and make dispute resolution easy with dispute resolution lawyer.

All small claims are within civil law – meaning they do not include any dealings with the criminal law, family law or insolvency. They are purely between 2 disputing parties where one is claiming money from the other. this could include a business is owed money by a client. Or a service has been paid for, but the service was not been received. They can also be between tenants and landlords – proving the claim is below £10,000.

When applying to take someone to court for dispute resolution, you’ll be asked to complete a Directions Questionnaire. A judge will then look at your case and allocate you to either the small claims track, fast track or multi-track for smooth dispute resolution.

The small claims track is made to be as informal as possible so that issues may be resolved easily and amongst the disputing parties themselves. Know exactly What is Dispute Resolution to find the best dispute resolution process with an experienced dispute resolution lawyer.

What should I take into consideration?

When making a small claim against your opponent consider if they as an individual or organisation have the money to pay you. If they don’t, you won’t win anything. Contact dispute resolution lawyer to know about What is Dispute Resolution to protect your interests.

Do you have the money to pay for court fees?

There will upfront charges to make your claim. For any claim this is up to £10,000, there will be a maximum charge of £455. There is also a trial fee that will be valued according to your claim value. However, if you’re on low-income household you may be exempt from paying fees.

Are there any procedures I need to follow?

Yes, there are civil procedure rules (CPR) are rules you must follow during your case. The CPR instructs you on how to go about your case and when. Not following them could result in losing your case, or your money.

 

The Fast Track

The procedure for issuing a claim and filing a defence are the same as for small claims. The court will usually allocate claims between £10,000 and £25,000 to the fast track. Thereafter procedures are more complicated than for the small claims track and the consequences of losing are more significant.

Before the hearing

If your dispute resolution case is allocated to the fast track, you will an allocation order that will tell you what you have to do to prepare for the trial. These instructions are called ‘Directions’ and will give you a series of dates to do various matters including disclosure, witness statements, returning the completed listing questionnaire to the court, and the trial date or trial period.

A typical timetable might be:
Disclosure (followed by inspection): 4 weeks
Witness statement: 10 weeks
Listing questionnaires filed: 22 weeks
Trial: 30 weeks with dates running from the date of the directions court order

If any aspect of the defence is not clear, you can ask for additional information or clarification. You should first write to the defendant with your request, asking for a response within a specified reasonable time period. If you do not get a response, you can apply to the court for an order to give the information. If you make the request in a letter, the letter should not also deal with other matters.

Disclosure

Disclosure means telling the other party about any documents you have or have had in your possession that you are required to disclose. The court may order standard disclosure or it may direct that no disclosure take place or it may specify the documents, or classes of documents, which the parties must disclose. Standard disclosure means you must disclose documents which support, undermine or oppose your claim and those which support the defendant’s case. You must know exactly What is Dispute Resolution to make a reasonable search for these documents.

Inspection

Inspection is when you look at the documents on the other party’s disclosure list and then request copies of certain documents. You must provide each other with copies of documents if requested, on payment of copying charges. You do not have to show the defendant documents that are ‘privileged’. Usually these are documents created when you are planning litigation or because they are correspondence between you and your solicitor about your case.

The listing questionnaire

The court will send you the listing questionnaire and the notice of date for returning the listing questionnaire to court. The listing questionnaire will ask for information to help the court fix a date for trial, to confirm the estimated length of trial and to set a timetable for the trial itself.

The court will send you an order setting out any further directions the judge gives. You will be sent a notice of trial date not later than 21 days before the trial is due to start.

What happens at the hearing?

The hearing is normally in public. A judge will hear your claim. You may speak for yourself or be represented by a solicitor or barrister. You cannot be represented by any other representative, but the judge may allow you to be accompanied by a friend to take notes, quietly make suggestions and give advice (this is sometimes referred to as a ‘McKenzie friend’).

Witness statements must have been exchanged before the hearing for any witnesses to be called. Only evidence in the statement can be given unless the judge gives leave for other evidence to be given. Witnesses must normally be called in person.

At the end of the procedure, the judge may give his or her decision immediately or decide to give the decision later. If ordering one party to pay costs to another, the judge will normally assess them on the same day. Parties should exchange details of costs with each other before the trial. The costs that can be claimed for legal representation have specific limits.

After the trial, the court will send you an order (judgment), setting out the judge’s decision and any order for costs that was made.

Costs

You must pay court fees unless you are entitled to fee exemption or you can show that paying the fee would cause undue hardship because of the exceptional circumstances of your case.

You must pay a fee to start your dispute resolution case. You must also pay a fee when your case is allocated, when you return the listing questionnaire and before the final hearing date. Other fees are payable if you make other applications to the court.

If your claim is dealt with under the fast track and you win your claim, you will normally be entitled to have some of your costs (including costs of legal representation) paid by the defendant. Equally, if you lose your claim, you will normally be ordered to pay some of the other side’s costs. In each case, this will be set out in a costs order.

You should be prepared for the possibility of paying the other side’s costs and should factor this in as a consideration when deciding whether to make a claim, or, if an offer of settlement has been made, in deciding whether to settle your claim.

The Multi Track

The multi-track is generally for claims in excess of £25,000. The procedures are similar to those in the fast track and the person who loses generally has to pay the winner’s costs for dispute resolution. Multi-track cases may also be heard in the High Court.

Before the hearing

There is no standard procedure for multi-track dispute resolution cases. Each claim will be managed by a judge according to its individual needs. The judge is likely to give you directions for disclosure and inspection. The judge may hold one or more case management conferences. These are informal meetings involving all the parties and the judge to review the progress of a case and to make orders regarding any necessary further steps.
If any aspect of the claim or defence is not clear, you can ask for additional information or clarification. You should first write to the defendant with your request, asking for a response within a specified reasonable time period. If you do not get a response, you can apply to the court for an order to give the information. If you make the request in a letter, the letter should not also deal with other matters.

Disclosure

Disclosure means telling the other party about any documents you have or have had in your possession that you are required to disclose. The court may order standard disclosure or it may direct that no disclosure take place or it may specify the documents, or classes of documents, which the parties must disclose. Standard disclosure means you must disclose documents which support, undermine or oppose your claim and those which support the defendant’s case. You must make a reasonable search for these documents.

Inspection

Inspection is when you look at the documents on the other party’s disclosure list and then request copies of certain documents. You must provide each other with copies of documents if requested, on payment of copying charges. You do not have to show the defendant documents that are ‘privileged’. Usually these are documents created when you are planning litigation or because they are correspondence between you and your solicitor about your case.

The listing questionnaire

The court will send you the listing questionnaire and the notice of date for returning the listing questionnaire to court. The listing questionnaire will ask for information to help the court fix a date for trial, to confirm the estimated length of trial and to set a timetable for the trial itself.

When you complete and file the listing questionnaire, the court may order that there be a pre-trial review. This will help the judge decide on a timetable for the trial, who will give evidence and in what order, the content of the ‘trial bundle’ (papers required for trial) and the date it has to be delivered to the court, and the time to be allowed for the trial.

What happens at the hearing?

The hearing is normally in public. A judge will hear your claim. You may speak for yourself or be represented by a solicitor or barrister. You cannot be represented by any other representative, but the judge may allow you to be accompanied by a friend to take notes, quietly make suggestions and give advice (this is sometimes referred to as a ‘McKenzie friend’). If you know What is Dispute Resolution, then you can find the right track for your Dispute Resolution case.

Witness statements must have been exchanged before the hearing for any witnesses to be called. Only evidence in the statement can be given unless the judge gives leave for other evidence to be given. Witnesses must normally be called in person.

At the end of the procedure, the judge may give his or her decision immediately or decide to give the decision later. After the trial, the court will send you an order (judgment), setting out the judge’s decision and any order for costs that was made.

Unlike small and fast track cases, costs in multi track trials are not subject to a fixed limit. At the end of the trial, the judge may summarily assess costs on the day or order a detailed assessment which will take place later. The judge can also order an initial amount to be paid on account of costs.

Costs

You must pay court fees unless you are entitled to fee exemption or you can show that paying the fee would cause undue hardship because of the exceptional circumstances of your case.

You must pay a fee to start your case. You must also pay a fee when your case is allocated, when you return the listing questionnaire and before the final hearing date. Other fees are payable if you make other applications to the court.

If your claim is dealt with under the fast track and you win your claim, you will normally be entitled to have some of your costs (including costs of legal representation) paid by the defendant. Equally, if you lose your claim, you will normally be ordered to pay some of the other side’s costs. In each case, this will be set out in a costs order.

You need to be aware that you could have to pay all or some of the other side’s costs if you lose. In a multi-track case, these costs could be significant, and you should factor this in when deciding whether or not to proceed with your claim.

For successful dispute resolution, it is important to know about What is Dispute Resolution process. So if you want to know What is Dispute Resolution , then contact Dispute Resolution lawyer today and
get practical legal advice.

Get in Touch

Tanveer is happy to be contacted directly by individuals, solicitors, in-house counsel and other professionals. He primarily accepts instructions on a private basis, however, in limited circumstances, he will accept legal aid instructions.

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