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Why Settle for
anything less?
because sometimes it’s the sensible thing to do.
Court disputes are expensive, time consuming, out, the jackpot or a halfway compromise.
stressful and are laden with uncertainty and
therefore should not be entered into lightly. At Blakeley Legal we believe every issue between parties in
Accordingly, during any litigation, constant litigation is negotiable. While people will utter the familiar
consideration must be given to the possibility of words, “it’s not negotiable” they seldom actually mean it
settling the dispute without having to submit to the (even though they think they do). The secret is finding the
court for resolution. right key, the right trigger to bring a party to the negotiating
table and achieve agreement. Finding that key is dependent
While lawyers can advise their clients on the prospects of on a lawyer’s experience in litigation and the ability to
success at trial it is impossible to state with accuracy the correctly identify weaknesses in the opposing side.
outcome. Conversely, settlement has an irresistible
special ingredient – certainty and finality. While it may Additionally, a matter often overlooked by businesses is
seem odd that litigation experts advise clients to settle, at the disruption caused by litigation. Disputes can rage for
Blakeley Legal we actively encourage settlement between years tying up senior management and other staff whose
parties so that clients are not exposed unnecessarily to time could be used more efficiently & productively on
high risks and possible devastating outcomes. other projects. Furthermore, unresolved litigation can
impact on insurance policies both in terms of renewals
The biggest deterrent to court litigation should be legal and premia. Again, settlement disposes of these issues.
costs. Litigation is expensive. It’s expensive because of
the time dedicated to trial preparation and spent in court. But what if your opponent will not budge and refuses even
In the majority of cases - as a general rule - the losing the most generous of offers? At Blakeley Legal we
party is ordered to pay the winning party’s costs. encourage clients to continue making offers no matter
However, such an order normally only results in the how many times they may be ignored or rejected because
winning party obtaining 65% of their actual costs thereby we know the importance of protecting our clients in
leaving a shortfall that can be significant. The issue is a advance of costs orders from the courts. We know that
simple matter of arithmetic: if a party’s legal costs are by continually making offers throughout the litigation
£100,000 then, even if they win, they will end up £35,000 process when these are brought to the courts’ attention it
out of pocket. It is obvious therefore that in such an will be readily apparent our client has been reasonable in
example if the value of the dispute is £35,000 or less even the most hostile battles and failure to reach a
there is simply no point in litigating. compromise is not a fault lying at the door of our client.
It is true that motoring on to trial could achieve a windfall The message is clear: if you are involved in a dispute, ask
but it could also bankrupt you and so the question is, “can your lawyer to advise you on the options available for
you live with that outcome?” It is not dissimilar to the settlement. While you may not achieve the goal you were
television programme ‘Deal or No Deal’ in which hoping for you may achieve something better all round to
contestants have three possible outcomes: a total wipe the benefit of you, your business and your finances.
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