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How Do You Settle Cases Without Going to Court

Posted: Thursday, 17 December 2020 @ 10:25

Once you have involved the legal process there are a number of ways to settle a case and to try to resolve it:

1.     You get your lawyer to make a Without Prejudice Offer to the other side. 

2.     You get your lawyer to telephone the opponent's lawyer up and have a verbal conversation to see if you can get a deal or venture one.

3.     You can try to sort this out directly with your opponent(please do tell your lawyer prior to doing so otherwise he or she may get a little cross). 

4.     You ask a mutual friend to act as a go between.

It is also worth considering mediation in any legal dispute, but this can can be expensive and it is worth evaluating all the costs which would be incurred prior to considering this step. 

Within the context of Covid 19(December 2020) and the current delays in some of the Courts there has never been a stronger time to consider alternative dispute resolution but that does not just mean turning up to a mediation or trying to consider any method of settlement, it means having a particular mindset. e.g a mindset willing to consider settlement.

There remain inherent risks in cases going to Court which your lawyer will be mindful of. It is very easy to get sucked into a dispute and the costs to build up.

And it can have consequences.

Irrespective of the rights and wrongs of the dispute, beware of building up costs and assuming that these will all be recovered.

During the case of a Weisz V Weisz & Ors[ Weisz v Weisz & Ors [2019] EWHC 3101 (Fam) inheritance dispute, a High Court Judge struggled to understand the £74,000 costs built up for the one-day hearing.

Judge Francis J gave a warning on the issue of probate costs. He claimed that treating family issues with a ‘commercial’ mindset could reduce the amount of money spent during legal proceedings and commented: “The claimant’s costs – and this is just for today and not the claim overall – are just over £18,000. The costs of the third and fourth defendants, who are two of the children of the deceased, are £37,880. Remarkably, I am told that the executors of the estate do not even know what their costs of today are, and I should say that if any of the lawyers in this court appear in front of me again not knowing what their costs are for the application in front of me."