Advice: Should I sue or should I talk?

By Curtis Law Solicitors

13 Nov 2013

Anis Waiz, head of commercial litigation at CLS, says that whilst a day in court may feel like what you deserve, sometimes it can be better to simply talk matters through.

To some potential clients, I have some rather upsetting and shocking news.

As a solicitor specialising in commercial litigation and some other rather obscure areas of law, when I’m asked to advise on issuing proceedings, my first response is 'do you really need to?'

This tends to baffle my clients. A litigator asking why we want to issue proceedings? What has the world come to!

Let me explain. Yes, some clients are determined to have their day in court, but that is until I explain that very often civil proceedings are the last thing certain clients need. Blank looks.

Proceedings can be costly, very time-consuming and to a certain extent unpredictable; the court may not even accept the client’s evidence. Is that really what the client wants?

To many business clients the idea of not issuing proceedings (except in urgent matters where money/assets have been taken) is much more understandable. To the average person who for example is owed money by another person, my answer at first seems very odd. But there is an alternative I say. More blank looks. Why not offer to meet the other party to see if we can settle the dispute on a wp basis? Clients tend to love the serious legal words ‘without prejudice’, but alas, not many lawyers understand how the rule operates.

If the client can settle a potential dispute without the need for proceedings, it’ll save time, money on court fees and even expert fees and lawyers. Yet some still want their day in court despite my advice!

Let’s put this into a business context. In 2008 CEDR (Centre for Effective Dispute Resolution) found that business disputes cost businesses £33bn a year. 80% of these disputes have significant impact on the running of businesses. The cost of business disputes comprises not only the amounts paid in legal fees but also the damage incurred by a business as a consequence of those disputes; the costs of this damage (£27bn), far outweighs the legal fees (£6bn).

Of course settling civil disputes without the need for proceedings is nothing new. Mediation has been a key part of the English legal system for a number of years and proved very successful. CEDR noted in their Fifth Mediation Audit 2012 that mediation achieved a high level of success. Just over 70% of their cases settle on the day, with another 20% settling shortly thereafter with an aggregate settlement rate of around 90%. (Source: www.cedr.com/docslib/TheMediatorAudit2012.pdf)

Even parties in civil proceedings must consider mediation, as a failure to engage can have serious costs consequences. So you see, a commercial litigator telling you not to issue proceedings is not that odd, just sound advice from lawyers you can trust!Anis WaizHead of commercial litigation CLS

Enjoyed this? Read more from Curtis Law Solicitors

Latest news

1

Darwen gets go-ahead for 'transformational' manufacturing site Darwen Manufacturing Research Site Chapel South Visual

Darwen gets go-ahead for 'transformational' manufacturing site

24 May 2024

2

Uncertainty over devo deal progress after election call Lancashire Devolution

Uncertainty over devo deal progress after election call

24 May 2024

3

Lancaster seeks approval for 135-home community development Skerton High Proposal

Lancaster seeks approval for 135-home community development

24 May 2024

4

North West charities benefit from donations by law firm Napthens NWAA-LI-May-2024.jpg.jpg

North West charities benefit from donations by law firm Napthens

24 May 2024

5

How much money do you need to have a financial adviser? article placeholder listing image

How much money do you need to have a financial adviser?

24 May 2024

Lbv116 Ltb Strip980
Background image for hub sign up block

LBV Hub

Reach 50,000 members of the Lancashire business community

Post your news
Post your events
Post your offers
Company profile
Social reach
Magazine coverage
Sign-up
Events
Business Networking in Blackburn - BNI Vista
EVENT LISTING SIZING Vista.png.png
LBV Hub Networking
28 May 2024

Business Networking in Blackburn - BNI Vista

Hampton by Hilton, 2 Frontier Ave, Blackburn, BB1 3AL

06:45 - 08:30

Business Networking in Chorley - BNI Endeavour
EVENT LISTING SIZING Endeavour.png.png
LBV Hub Networking
28 May 2024

Business Networking in Chorley - BNI Endeavour

Oak Royal, Bury Lane, Chorley, PR6 8SW

06:30 - 08:30

Business Networking in Preston - BNI Diamond
EVENT LISTING BNI Diamond.png.png
LBV Hub Networking
29 May 2024 - 29 May 2024

Business Networking in Preston - BNI Diamond

The Marriot Hotel, Garstang Road, Broughton, PR3 5JB

07:15 - 09:00

Business Networking in Lancaster - Eden Business Network
Eden Business Network.png.png
LBV Hub Networking
29 May 2024 - 29 May 2024

Business Networking in Lancaster - Eden Business Network

The Borough, 3 Dalton Square, Lancaster, LA1 1PP

18:30 - 20:30

Business Networking in Accrington - BNI Zeus
EVENT LISTING SIZING Zeus.png.png
LBV Hub Networking
29 May 2024

Business Networking in Accrington - BNI Zeus

The Mill House, Corn Mill Yard, Accrington, BB5 5HX

06:45 - 08:30

Business Networking in Lancaster - BNI Castle
EVENT LISTING BNI Castle.png.png
LBV Hub Networking
30 May 2024 - 30 May 2024

Business Networking in Lancaster - BNI Castle

Vale of Lune RUFC, Powder House Lane, Lancaster, LA1 2TT

06:45 - 08:30

Business Networking in Burnley - BNI Kudos
EVENT LISTING BNI Kudos.png.png
LBV Hub Networking
30 May 2024 - 30 May 2024

Business Networking in Burnley - BNI Kudos

Prairie Sports Village, Windemere Avenue, Burnley, BB10 2FU

06:45 - 08:30

Business Networking in Preston - BNI Brunch
EVENT LISTING SIZING Brunch .png.png
LBV Hub Networking
31 May 2024

Business Networking in Preston - BNI Brunch

Samlesbury Hotel, Preston, PR5 0UL

09:30 - 11:00

Business Networking in Blackburn - BNI Infinity
EVENT LISTING BNI Infinity.png.png
LBV Hub Networking
31 May 2024

Business Networking in Blackburn - BNI Infinity

Hampton by Hilton, 2 Frontier Ave, Blackburn, BB1 3AL

06:30 - 08:30

Business Networking in Chorley - BNI Endeavour
EVENT LISTING SIZING Endeavour.png.png
LBV Hub Networking
04 Jun 2024

Business Networking in Chorley - BNI Endeavour

Oak Royal, Bury Lane, Chorley, PR6 8SW

06:30 - 08:30

Business Networking in Blackburn - BNI Vista
EVENT LISTING SIZING Vista.png.png
LBV Hub Networking
04 Jun 2024

Business Networking in Blackburn - BNI Vista

Hampton by Hilton, 2 Frontier Ave, Blackburn, BB1 3AL

06:45 - 08:30

Business Networking in Preston - BNI Diamond
EVENT LISTING BNI Diamond.png.png
LBV Hub Networking
05 Jun 2024

Business Networking in Preston - BNI Diamond

The Marriot Hotel, Garstang Road, Broughton, PR3 5JB

07:15 - 09:00

Advertise with us

Reaching 50,000 members, our print, digital and event platforms offer a fantastic way to raise your business profile and help you grow.

Find out more LBV116 Online Graphic
Subscribe now

Weekly news bulletin