• January 2015
    Hope for the best, prepare for the worst..settle if you can

    We all hope to avoid getting involved in a dispute in our lives, but unfortunately sometimes this becomes inevitable.  It could be a dispute with your neighbour over a boundary, regarding a lease, against a professional adviser for negligence, or in respect of a deceased’s estate, to name but a few.

    Now that legal aid is no longer available for most civil claims, it is more important than ever to prepare for the possible eventuality of getting drawn into a legal dispute. The best way to do this is to take out legal expenses insurance which can be a stand-alone policy or as an attachment to a housing or motor policy. The cost is not likely to be high but it could make all the difference to being able to take the necessary action to protect your interests. The cover in such a policy is sometimes quite generous to enable you to proceed without risking your financial well-being by being personally responsible for your costs, and also the opponent’s if you lost. The terms of legal expenses policies vary and there are usually exclusions which you will need to be aware of. You could discuss the different policies available with your insurance broker.

    Even if you have the benefit of legal expenses insurance cover, and particularly if you do not, the settlement of a dispute at as early a stage as possible is of great importance. The cost of going to court and a trial is very high, and can run into many thousands of pounds. The outcome of a case cannot be predicted and the process is time-consuming and stressful. The court procedures now actively require parties to consider settlement of disputes to save court time and costs. This can be by a range of different methods such as negotiation, discussion and mediation.  At Jackamans we have seen many cases satisfactorily settled by these methods.

    For further information please contact Paul Stevenson 01379 643555 or email

    This article provides only a general summary and is not intended to be comprehensive.  Specific legal advice should be taken in any individual situation.


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