Introduction » Stage 1 » Stage 2 » Stage 3

STAGE 3 - the "battle" begins - you formally issue proceedings

If attempts at settlement has failed then the only option, other than just accept the situation, is to take the case to court for a trial.  It may be that you have limited choice about going to court where for instance, the libel is very serious but the defendant maintains its truth and "adds fuel to the fire" by continuing to repeat it.  However neither side should lose sight of the duty to keep an open mind about settling the case - even after proceedings are issued.

Once the claim is formally issued (with "particulars of claim" attached or to follow) then the court will follow a methodical route to trial.

  1. There will be a "case and costs budget" hearing to give directions (ie orders) to set a future "agenda" giving dates for certain actions to be completed (there can be serious penalties if these directions are ignored or breached).
  2. One of the early requirements will be for each party to provide "disclosure and inspection" to the other.  This is normally disclosure "by list" followed by inspection of your opponent's documents if requested, normally at the opposing side's solicitor's office.
  3. The next critical stage is for the preparation of and then a mutual exchange of witness statements with the opposing side including any expert witnesses that are being called.
  4. The final stage is the trial (this is sometimes preceded by a pre-trial review hearing) itself when each side will be able to call its evidence and be able to cross-examine on the evidence presented by the other; following which the court will pronounce its judgment including the quantum of any damages and an order as to determination of legal costs. 

Word of warning:  Even though we do offer "no win no fee" and "fixed fee" arrangements for funding our firm's legal fees the fact remains that should you lose the action the opposing side's legal bill will normally have to be paid since the normal rule is that the loser pays the winner's legal costs.  An opponent's costs can be substantial.   

There are also likely to be additional costs to be incurred such as paying for an expert's report (medical or engineer's reports) or for instructing a barrister to conduct certain hearings such as the trial itself (although much of the non-trial work is done by us in-house the costs of which will be factored into our own fees).  These extra third party costs (ie. money we have to pay out to others) vary considerably from case to case but they will be fully discussed and agreed with you in advance of them being incurred.  

All our cases are privately funded - we do not take cases on legal aid. 

Stages

There are 3 stages to the work we can do for you, please see below:


Introduction

Introduction


Stage 1

Initial Assessment


Stage 2

Negotiated settlement attempt BEFORE issue of court proceedings


Stage 3

Litigation AFTER court proceedings issued