Tuesday 12 December 2017 
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case studies

Here are two examples that illustrate how C L Law Solicitor operates:

The importance of looking at each case individually
We acted for the creditor in a matter relating to an unpaid account for funeral services. It became apparent that the debtor was not in a financial position to pay the debt. A County Court judgment was obtained and further correspondence did not move the matter forward. Consideration was given to the various enforcement options that are mentioned in the specialist services section. None of these looked promising to the client. At this stage the normal action might well have been to write off the debt.

However, we carefully examined the contract documents. These revealed that the debtor was a potential beneficiary in respect of a property. By undertaking searches of the appropriate public records we were able to put together enough evidence to make an application to the court so that a charging order was placed on the debtor’s beneficial interest in that property.

The importance of this example is to recognise that that the chances of recovery are improved by a careful consideration of matters that at first sight might not be of any relevance. A simple application of the court enforcement procedure would have only increased the client’s costs and would not have improved their chances of recovery. However our actions gave the client a much improved chance of full recovery of the debt.

Getting to the nub
We acted for a supplier in a matter regarding a dispute about the supply and installation of building materials. The facts looked complex and the legal costs had the potential to grow out of proportion. The case was not clear cut and there was a risk that either side could lose.

However, the issue was whether our client had supplied what was agreed. We investigated this point thoroughly with the client. In broad terms they had supplied the correct equipment to the standard required by the contract. Knowing this we were able to put forward a robust defence while making a discreet settlement offer to try and offset the risks of the litigation.

The other party to the contract was aggressive in prosecuting the court case but were not as attentive as to whether the correct equipment had been supplied in accordance with the contract. Costs increased as the claim progressed. The other party’s case began to change as a trial became closer. This meant that they had to pay more costs in respect of wasted effort. But it was only when they realised that the issue was whether the goods supplied met with the terms of the contract, that real progress could be made to settle the dispute. As a result they moved their settlement offer on four separate occasions. Our client’s position only moved once.

Settlement was achieved to the client’s satisfaction. This example demonstrates that aggressive tactics are only likely to be successful if you are sure of the issues. Getting to the nub of the case is the high ground of the civil litigation battlefield.
 

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