Inevitably, disputes arise. When they do, it’s important to identify the best way to proceed.
After getting a clear understanding of your objectives, we will suggest ways to achieve the desired result.
If there is a written contract in place with the other party, we would ask to see it as the contract will often shed light on how the dispute is to be resolved. For example, some agreements may have an arbitration clause, or may have some provision that is pertinent to the actual dispute that has arisen.
Sometimes litigation is necessary, despite your best efforts to steer clear of a dispute. For example, if the other party is blatantly infringing your rights, or is making completely unreasonable demands, then litigation may be unavoidable. Similarly, if you have made a bad deal (for example, franchise contracts can sometimes turn out to have been a poor investment) and it is too costly to continue with the contract, you may have no alternative but to terminate early, and risk being sued.
Whatever the circumstances, it is important to remember that litigation is a business tool like any other, which has its place.
If an initial exchange of correspondence with the other party is not enough to stave off litigation, you will need to consider the likely impact of court proceedings. The question of financing the litigation is especially pertinent.
Generally speaking you risk having to pay your opponents' costs if they win, as well as your own, whereas if you win, your opponent is likely to be ordered to pay your costs. Costs awards will not cover the full costs incurred.
Litigation is often funded privately. Other ways it might be financed include:
1. Legal expenses insurance. For example existing policies may cover legal expenses.
2. Litigation insurance can sometimes be taken out either before or after proceedings are issued. This might cover your opponents' costs should you lose in the litigation. Sometimes you can obtain insurance to cover not only your opponents' costs but also your own. Premiums can be as high, depending on your chances of winning.
3. Your Employer or Trade Union may in some cases cover your legal fees.
4. Legal Aid may be available to you depending on your case, income and capital. We do not undertake this work.
5. Conditional or Contingency Fee Arrangements. This is sometimes known as a "No Win No Fee" arrangement. We do not currently offer such arrangements except in rare cases to existing clients.
6. Unless it is possible to agree a fixed fee for certain aspects of the work, normally our fees are calculated on an hourly basis. We invoice at the end of each month for work undertaken during that month.
We cover all matters relating to technology and contracts, including trademarks, franchising disputes, copyright including anti piracy, domains, designs, patents and privacy laws. Our business model enables us to keep our overheads low, and yet bring together a large and expert team to handle most sizes of dispute, so please contact us for an initial consultation.
If you need legal work please call us on +44 (0)20 7700 1414 or if you prefer send us an enquiry using the form below. Depending on your requirements we may suggest a free meeting. This is often the best way to assess whether we would be the right firm for you, and to understand the work involved, your priorities, attitude to risk, and desired timescales.