Introduction » Stage 1 » Stage 2 » Stage 3

STAGE 3 - the battle has begun; seeing off the attack and defending to win.

Occasionally a libel claim will not be capable of an amicable settlement; perhaps the differences in personality and objectives are just too great, or there are issues of principle involved. Perhaps the libel is believed to be totally true and to settle by payment of damages would unethically enrich a rogue, a villain, or simply a mistaken claimant who will not listen to common sense.

The decision to issue proceedings will, of course, be the claimants and to this extent defendants are outsiders. However, it is important to remind oneself that defendants should defend only winnable cases and not fight in the hope that something may turn up. There is a legal obligation on both sides to keep an open mind to settle throughout the life of the case, and so, even after an opponent has started the fight settlement may still be possible.

The formal process is as follows:

  1. A defendant will receive a claim form accompanied or followed by the particulars of claim.

  2. The defendant will need to file a defence within a set time. 

  3. The court will hold a "case and costs budget" hearing and give directions setting an "agenda" with dates to take certain steps or actions; any party that ignores or fails to comply with these directions could face severve penalities in costs and other sanctions.

  4. Parties will need 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.

  5. 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.

  6. The final stage is the trial (sometimes preceded by a pre-trial review hearing) where each side will call its evidence and cross-examine the evidence of its opponent. 

​We have 27 years experience of "fighting your corner" and whilst knowing the law and the rules of procedure are very important, it is also crucial that your advocate is able to gather the evidence needed, see the "wood from the trees"; and fight on the issues that matter and on which you will win.  

Mr Sahota is able to offer fixed fee quotes for fighting the case from receipt of the claim form through to trial and judgment. A real bonus to any defendant who wants to know, with certainty, his or her financial exposure in advance.  




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



Stage 1

Advising on the first letter of complaint

Stage 2

Negotiating and attempting to settle prior to issue of court proceedings

Stage 3

Defending AFTER court proceedings issued