Dispute Resolution

Dispute Resolution Solicitors

Our dispute resolution lawyers advise clients in a wide range of civil disputes such as contract disputes, professional negligence, contentious probate and debt recovery. We understand the last thing you want is for your dispute to escalate into a lengthy and costly court case, unless absolutely necessary. Our clients range from individuals to businesses who seek our advice to resolve their legal issues and disputes.

At Hodge Jones & Allen Solicitors we have a team of expert dispute resolution solicitors based in London who give prompt and effective advice from the beginning, putting you and your needs at the heart of the matter. We will always try to avoid unnecessary costs. It’s how we have built our business. You need solicitors you can trust to fight on your side. If you would like to speak to one of our specialist team in confidence call 0800 437 0322 or request a call back online.

What is dispute resolution?

Dispute resolution is the process of resolving a civil dispute between parties. This could be from unfulfilled contract terms, breach of fiduciary duties, a disputed will or claims of professional negligence. Sometimes, our solicitors have to advise on urgent matters such as injunctions. We act for both individuals and businesses.

We can help with most civil disputes including:

  • Breach of Fiduciary Duty
  • Contentious Probate
  • Contract Disputes
  • Debt Recovery
  • Data Protection and Breach of Privacy Rights
  • Professional Negligence

As well as providing you with effective legal advice in your situation, we also help you to find the best way to resolve your dispute. This may be through negotiation, mediation, arbitration or ultimately by going to court if necessary.

Introduction to our Dispute Resolution team

Our dispute resolution solicitors have a number of approaches to help to resolve issues out of court including:

  • Mediation: A neutral third party assists disputing parties in negotiating and resolving their issues. It is known to be a cost-effective and a quick way of resolving any differences. Anything said in mediation is confidential and without prejudice- therefore, the parties can speak freely.
  • Arbitration: This is a form of private litigation. The parties agree to arbitrate and be bound by the arbitrator’s decision. This agreement can happen prior to a dispute, and may be mandatory if included in a contract between the parties. The parties agree an arbitrator. Any dispute is decided by the arbitrator.

How can our dispute resolution solicitors help?

As dispute resolutions solicitors we help clients resolve issues before they become complex and costly. We give prompt advice in a wide range of civil disputes, whether personal or business related. We will work with you to avoid litigation, by using other forms of alternative dispute resolution; however if litigation is unavoidable our solicitors will fight your corner and protect your interests.

What is the difference between dispute resolution and litigation?

Litigation can form part of dispute resolution. The two are not mutually exclusive. There are many ways in which someone can resolve a dispute and we will be able to advise the most appropriate course of action for your particular case.

Why choose Hodge Jones & Allen Solicitors to resolve your disputes?

At Hodge Jones & Allen Solicitors, the team’s aim is to work on your behalf to explore all avenues available to you. We look at innovative ways in which we can provide you with the desired outcome. Our solicitors are highly experienced and have a deep understanding of how to approach and deal with disputes; this is proven by our excellent track record of successful outcomes.

Due to the nature of the work if you are looking to recover damages of less than £10,000 we may not be able to assist as it may not be in your interests to do so.

We also understand litigation can be very expensive, therefore, we offer competitive rates. To speak with one of the dispute resolution solicitors contact us on 0800 437 0322 or request a call back online.

What happens when you contact one of our dispute resolution solicitors?

  1. When you contact us, we take all the information about your dispute and what outcome you would like to achieve.
  2. We then discuss your options and strategy to achieve this.
  3. We consider different funding options and provide you with a quote. Once we have this agreed we begin working on your matter to resolve your issue.

Dispute resolution case studies

Trust of Land Claim

The client and his ex-partner (“X”) purchased a property together with the intention that it was a shared venture. They paid the purchase price jointly and met the mortgage payments. However, very soon after the purchase the relationship broke down. X decided she wanted to return to her home town to start a new life. The client gave her the balance of the monies left in their joint account and thought nothing further of matters. The client paid off the mortgage and treated the property as his own. He started a new relationship and wanted to sell and move with his new family. He then found out that X’s name remained on the title. Initially X seemed co-operative in removing her name but subsequently refused. Proceedings were issued for a declaration that X had no beneficial interest in the property. An order for sale was also sought.

We managed to successfully negotiate for X to sign a transfer for the property to be in the client’s sole name in return for a payment of £10,000.

Professional negligence against a barrister

The client instructed a barrister (through her family solicitors) to represent her at a hearing settlement was achieved at the hearing and an agreement signed to reflect this. It was previously anticipated that the client would receive 50% of her ex-husband’s pension. What in fact transpired from the settlement was that she only received 33%.

A letter of claim was sent. Expert evidence was obtained to prove the loss suffered and the amount required to rectify the negligence.

Proceedings were issued and all directions up to filing and service of witness statements were complied with. Although settlement was not achieved at mediation or a subsequent without prejudice meeting, these paved the way for further negotiations wherein settlement was agreed and embodied into a court order which avoided the need for a trial. The client received over £150,000 damages and over £60,000 costs.

Contentious probate

The client was the sole beneficiary of a previous will made by her mother’s friend (“Y”). A subsequent will was made by Y which left his entire estate to his ex-wife (“X”). It was contended that the second will was invalid as Y was in hospital at the time of execution so did not has testamentary capacity. In the alternative there was undue influence exerted by X.

Proceedings were issued against X. Expert medical evidence was obtained confirming that Y did not have testamentary capacity. Representations were then made to the then Legal Services Commission who duly withdrew funding for X’s case. X eventually signed an order withdrawing her defence and counterclaim. We requested that the matter then be tried on the papers alone to avoid the need for oral representation at the trial that has been listed. Eventually a declaration was made in the client’s favour and probate could be obtained on the previous will

Dispute Resolution FAQs

I instructed a solicitor to pursue a personal injury claim but they failed to issue the claim within the time limit. Is there anything I can do?

If a solicitor has failed to issue a claim within time and subsequent efforts to submit a claim were rejected, you may have a Professional Negligence claim. The burden is on a claimant (the person bring a claim) to prove, on a balance of probabilities, that the solicitor’s negligence was caused his loss. The claimant may recover damages based on the loss of the chance of making a gain. In such cases, the court trying the professional negligence action can usually only speculate about the outcome of the original proceedings. The solicitor will be liable for the client’s loss of the chance of winning. The court will assess the prospects of success and the likely value of the original claim.

I instructed a solicitor to pursue a personal injury claim, but feel that they settled the claim for less than it was worth. Can I pursue a claim against the solicitor?

When you instruct a solicitor to pursue a claim for damages you rely on the solicitor to advise you on what losses you can claim and what these losses are worth. If a solicitor has failed to include certain losses within your claim or incorrectly valued your claim causing you loss then you may be able to pursue a claim for Professional Negligence.

In order to pursue such a claim we have to consider the solicitor’s file relating to the personal injury claim and what information and evidence they had available and whether the advice and valuation the solicitor gave you was within a range of what a reasonably competent solicitor would advise. If it was not then you may have grounds to pursue a claim against the firm of solicitors. If you suspect that you have been incorrectly advised or your claim was under-settled then contact us today to discuss your options.

I was successful in a claim against a builder who carried out work on my property. The builder failed to pay and my solicitor found out he has sold his assets and cannot be traced. Can I pursue a claim against my solicitor for the damages?

Unfortunately in some cases obtaining an order or settlement is only half the battle as it does not guarantee that you will receive a payment. With all litigation there is a risk that a defendant cannot or will not pay damages even if ordered to do so. In this case, we would have to consider the circumstances of the claim, the conduct of the parties to date, and what investigations had been carried out to establish what (if any) assets the builder had.

If it was anticipated that the builder may try to avoid making a payment then it may have been possible to obtain some security (i.e. a charge over any property he owned) for the amount due to be paid to you. However, if he did not have any assets then this would not be possible. If your solicitor knew that the builder was likely to dispose of his assets to avoid payment then he should have advised you of your options in order to preserve your position. Equally, when the builder failed to make payment consideration should have been given to what steps could be taken to enforce the order or agreement. These cases are not clear cut and we suggest you contact us so we can talk through your options with you.

My next door neighbour has erected a structure which is partly located on his land and partly on my driveway even though he has no right of way to access my land. What do I do?

You may need to apply to the Court for an injunction and to issue proceedings on the basis that your neighbour is trespassing and committing a nuisance on your land. You should seek legal advice if you are in any doubt.

An elderly relative asked me to move in with them to help look after them. I was promised a share in their property and I looked after them for 4 years. However when they died I was not included in their Will. How can I get my share of the Property?

Ideally any such arrangements should be registered on the property’s title entries held by HM Land Registry at the time they are made, though often this is not done.

In order for your claim to be successful you will have to prove that the promise was made to you and that you reasonably relied on that promise to your detriment.

This will often involve talking to other members of the family and those people that were close to the deceased about what they may have said about their property and you caring for them. If it can be established that a promise was made then consideration will have to be given to whether it was reasonable to rely on the promise as well as to your employment prospects (i.e. what opportunities you may have turned down or missed as a result of relying on the promise that you would receive a share of the property).

These situations are rarely clear cut and often involve a long history of complex facts and anyone in this situation should seek legal advice about their situation.