Out of Court Settlement

In the majority of cases, an out of court settlement is usually a better option. Court cases can be costly and in some cases, may take months to be resolved, causing clients added pressure and stress when perhaps, this could’ve been avoided. At Farani Taylor, our specialist solicitors will examine your case providing you with out of court options. In using our expert judgement, we will create a strategy based upon your circumstances, delivering the best results for you and your situation.

How our solicitors could help

Our solicitors pride themselves on providing the best results for our clients. Your needs are at the forefront of every action we take, resulting in many of our cases not requiring the input of the courts. Using our extensive experience, we have created bespoke solutions for disputes, the majority of which achieve settlement without the necessity for court action.  

What services do we provide?

Very few cases we work on end up in court. Our solicitors will explore every option available before residing with a court settlement; utilising the knowledge of our multidisciplinary team, to provide a collaborative approach to your case. 

From meditation to cultivating relationships to resolve disputes amicably, our dedicated team will deliver results in a timely, cost-effective manner, ensuring your reputation and needs are considered throughout. 

For more information on how we can help you reach a settlement with or without involving the court, contact our team for free, confidential advice.

Reasons not to litigate

More often than not, litigation legal fees far surpass the value of the claim itself. Whilst we intend to follow our client’s requests for action, we also endeavour to explore out of court settlement options before ultimately residing on court action, and here are some of the reasons why: 

Usually the full cost of legal fees is not recoverable: The rule generally is that the winner recovers its legal costs from the person losing the case. Whilst this may be true, recovery is never usually 100% and commonly falls between 60-80% of the total associated legal fees.

Proportionate costs: All costs have to be incurred reasonably and proportionately. Many clients opt to use expensive solicitors in a bid to give them a ‘better’ chance of success, however if more reasonably priced solicitors, with the same skill sets are available, the risk is that you are forced to pay some or all of the opposition’s legal fees. This can occur even if you win the case.

Unnecessary stress: It goes without saying that any matter that needs resolving can cause stress , however, combine the added pressure of a court and someone else ultimately deciding the outcome of your case, the stress and pressure can elevate considerably. Our solicitors will always consider the best outcome for you, working with you to ascertain your needs, your intended outcomes and of course, the options available to you. In the majority of cases our clients hugely benefit from out of court settlements, we will always go through your options with you, ensuring you are fully aware of every potential outcome before we act.

Out of court settlement is often preferred under UK law: The UK legal system encourages out of court settlement between parties. This is often overseen by an independent mediator. If you cannot demonstrate attempts to settle, the court can order that you pay some or all of the opponent’s legal fees, even in the event of them losing. In addition to this, Jury verdicts are more uncertain than having a judge. Studies have discovered that juries tend to be more empathetic to defendants in certain situations than a judge might be. Consider whether you are willing to take that risk.

The cost of going to trial

Litigation can often become very expensive. This type of case often accrues significant disbursements over and above solicitors fees (for example, Court fees and barristers’ fees). At Farani Taylor we encourage regularly carrying out cost-benefit checks in relation to your case. These checks should compare the costs you may incur, your chances of recovering the costs from your opposition and of course, the most likely outcome of your case.

Who ultimately will pay the legal costs will be determined by the discretion of the court. In very few cases the court won’t make the final decision ( for example if a party withdraws the claim). However, it is open to both parties to mutually agree terms prior to the court making the final ruling. The court will rule based upon the circumstances of the case. They may also take into account the conduct of both parties before and during proceedings. The court will also consider whether it is reasonable for the party to raise, pursue or contest the issue and whether a winning party has potentially exaggerated their claim.

The Unpredictability of the Outcome

The most common reason the majority of cases are settled out of court is that the outcome can be difficult to determine. Many people don’t want to risk potentially wasting time, energy and money if there’s the slightest possibility of not winning the case. You and your opposition can appeal a court verdict but an out of court settlement terminates the dispute, providing legally binding outcomes for both parties.

If you are considering an out of court settlement but are unsure of the best route for your case, please get in touch with our solicitors. We can provide a free consultation examining your options to provide you with professional, legal advice before you decide what action to take.

What is Out of Court Settlement ?

An out of court settlement is an agreement between parties involved in a litigation case that removes the lawsuit and any further litigation proceedings. This is commonly the preferred option to court proceedings as it relies on both parties to create a mutually agreeable outcome rather than the courts making a decision on your behalf.

How to achieve out-of-court settlement?

In almost all cases we have come across that have been issued at court, there is an opportunity to seek an out-of-court settlement. Examples of this are as follows:

  • Obtaining An Injunction: This is an important stage where the party could be in a stronger position, whether they fail or succeed.
  • After disclosure: At this stage both parties are required to share their documents that are relevant to the issues in a dispute. 
  • Intention to ‘Strike out’: This is when the defendant seeks to strike out the whole or part of the case.
  • Counterclaim or Additional Parties: If more people and parties are involved in the claim, everyone’s risk increases; therefore maximising an opportunity to settle out of court.
  • Cost order: If a cost order has been issued by the court or tribunal, one of the parties would pay for part or all of the other party’s legal costs. That party may be aware of the attributed costs and further issues litigation can bring, thus providing a better chance of settling out of court.

Sometimes we increase the pressure on the opposition knowing that they or you do not want the case to end up in court. This can  open a route to out of court settlement discussions. On occasion  initial offers are rejected and are later re-visited.

When is the timing for a settlement offer?

Settlement considerations and negotiations can begin at any point during litigation. We do, however, recommend them beginning as soon as possible and ideally out of court to keep costs at a minimum. 

In our experience, there are key points that we have discovered settlement is most likely to be achieved. One of the key points usually coincides with dates the parties are expected to progress a case, thus incurring more legal fees. Our expert solicitors can help you keep track of this and advise you on how and when a settlement agreement is best introduced based on your circumstances.

It has been known that the court may  suggest pausing proceedings to enable each party to receive mediation or whilst another medium of alternative dispute resolution is sought. It is always encouraged to receive some legal advice before embarking upon any form of litigation case, saving you time and money further down the road. Contact our team today and let us support you in your decision making.

Mediation 

Basic Ideas of Mediation

Mediation  is vast becoming a popular method used in solving disputes. It is an entirely voluntary process which the courts will actively encourage. The advantages of mediation is that it is quicker and definitely more cost effective than resorting to a court settlement. Mediation also provides parties with control over their case and its outcome, unlike court where a decision is forced upon them.

Both parties mutually agree when to meet and are facilitated by an independent mediator who will ensure both parties discuss their issues in a safe, non-judgemental setting. 

The mediating process will help you identify what the issues are and support you in finding mutually agreeable outcomes to settle the dispute out of court. 

 The offers that are exchanged in the mediation process are “without prejudice” – i.e. they are private and cannot be reported to the Court. This is different from arbitration as the mediator cannot impose a decision on either party. The purpose of mediation is to encourage openness and a readiness to negotiate, with both parties working with one another towards an agreed settlement.

Advantages of Mediation

As previously mentioned, mediation is becoming more commonly preferred and is a quick and cost effective solution to dispute resolution in comparison to court proceedings. Parties are in control of the outcome and all decisions are made with the support of an independent mediator.  Mediation is flexible and can be utilised at any point during litigation proceedings. 

Even in the event of mediation being unsuccessful, it is often found useful by both parties as it provides them with a safe platform to voice their opinion and be heard by their opposition. 

Arbitration 

An alternative to litigation is Arbitration. Arbitration takes place under a statutory framework, facilitated by a former Judge or specialist barrister. The decisions reached in Arbitration are binding for both parties and there is a set guideline parties must adhere to. 

Both parties must accept that the arbitrator’s decision will be final and binding and that, if required, they will need to apply to court for an order to give effect to it.

Arbitration is similar to the court process in that it requires disclosure of specific documents pertaining to the case. 

Arbitration is predominantly used  for more complex disputes. Arbitration is not as flexible as mediation, meaning fewer clients opt to use this route to settlement.

Collection Agencies

Collection agencies act on behalf of individuals or businesses to pursue payments for outstanding debts. Most collection agencies recoup monies owed for a fee or a percentage of the total amount of money owed. The main benefit of hiring a collection agency is that it becomes their matter to resolve, releasing time and effort from you or people who work for you, that could be better spent on other matters. In addition to this, amounts not recouped by the agency may impact the credit history of the debtor, thus encouraging debtors to make payments and settle matters in a more timely manner. If you want to speak to a debt recovery solicitor then click here.

Collaborative Law

Both parties and their solicitors commit to reaching solutions by agreement rather than through the courts. Face-to-face communication between the parties can help to reduce costs and improve the chances of working together again in the future.

Refusing to seek alternatives for Litigation 

If you unreasonably refuse to pursue alternative litigation options such as mediation, you may be ordered to pay the opposition’s legal costs. 

The court may deem the following as legitimate reasons for refusing mediation: 

  • There’s no common ground and communication as entirely broken down
  • The parties are too far apart
  • It’s a simple matter of contractual interpretation. This requires a judge to decide;
  • The party only wants to  to prove they are right and any negotiations would be nullified
  • The other side hasn’t fully outlined their case and we are yet to receive and examine all associated documentation.
  • We reasonably believe the other side’s case has no merit.

The UK legal system encourages out of court settlement between parties. This is often overseen by an independent mediator. If you cannot demonstrate attempts to settle, the court can order that you pay some or all of the opponent’s legal fees, even in the event of them losing. In addition to this, Jury verdicts are more uncertain than having a judge. Studies have discovered that juries tend to be more empathetic to defendants in certain situations than a judge might be. Consider whether you are willing to take that risk. 

The cost of going to trial

Litigation can often become very expensive. This type of case often accrues significant disbursements over and above solicitors fees (for example, Court fees and barristers’ fees). At Farani Taylor we encourage regularly carrying out cost-benefit checks in relation to your case. These checks should compare the costs you may incur, your chances of recovering the costs from your opposition and of course, the most likely outcome of your case.

Who ultimately will pay the legal costs will be determined by the discretion of the court. In very few cases the court won’t make the final decision ( for example if a party withdraws the claim). However, it is open to both parties to mutually agree terms prior to the court making the final ruling. The court will rule based upon the circumstances of the case. They may also take into account the conduct of both parties before and during proceedings. The court will also consider whether it is reasonable for the party to raise, pursue or contest the issue and whether a winning party has potentially exaggerated their claim.

The Unpredictability of the Outcome

The most common reason the majority of cases are settled out of court is that the outcome can be difficult to determine. Many people don’t want to risk potentially wasting time, energy and money if there’s the slightest possibility of not winning the case. You and your opposition can appeal a court verdict but an out of court settlement terminates the dispute, providing legally binding outcomes for both parties.

If you are considering an out of court settlement but are unsure of the best route for your case, please get in touch with our solicitors. We can provide a free consultation examining your options to provide you with professional, legal advice before you decide what action to take. 

What is Out of Court Settlement ?

An out of court settlement is an agreement between parties involved in a litigation case that removes the lawsuit and any further litigation proceedings. This is commonly the preferred option to court proceedings as it relies on both parties to create a mutually agreeable outcome rather than the courts making a decision on your behalf. 

How to achieve out-of-court settlement?

In almost all cases we have come across that have been issued at court, there is an opportunity to seek an out-of-court settlement. Examples of this are as follows: 

  • Obtaining An Injunction: This is an important stage where the party could be in a stronger position, whether they fail or succeed.
  • After disclosure: At this stage both parties are required to share their documents that are relevant to the issues in a dispute. 
  • Intention to ‘Strike out’: This is when the defendant seeks to strike out the whole or part of the case.
  • Counterclaim or Additional Parties: If more people and parties are involved in the claim, everyone’s risk increases; therefore maximising an opportunity to settle out of court.
  • Cost order: If a cost order has been issued by the court or tribunal, one of the parties would pay for part or all of the other party’s legal costs. That party may be aware of the attributed costs and further issues litigation can bring, thus providing a better chance of settling out of court.

Sometimes we increase the pressure on the opposition knowing that they or you do not want the case to end up in court. This can  open a route to out of court settlement discussions.  On occasion  initial offers are rejected and are later re-visited.

When is the timing for a settlement offer?

Settlement considerations and negotiations can begin at any point during litigation. We do, however, recommend them beginning as soon as possible and ideally out of court to keep costs at a minimum. 

In our experience, there are key points that we have discovered settlement is most likely to be achieved. One of the key points usually coincides with dates the parties are expected to progress a case, thus incurring more legal fees. Our expert solicitors can help you keep track of this and advise you on how and when a settlement agreement is best introduced based on your circumstances.

It has been known that the court may  suggest pausing proceedings to enable each party to receive mediation or whilst another medium of alternative dispute resolution is sought. It is always encouraged to receive some legal advice before embarking upon any form of litigation case, saving you time and money further down the road. Contact our team today and let us support you in your decision making. 

Mediation 

Basic Ideas of Mediation

Mediation  is vast becoming a popular method used in solving disputes. It is an entirely voluntary process which the courts will actively encourage. The advantages of mediation is that it is quicker and definitely more cost effective than resorting to a court settlement. Mediation also provides parties with control over their case and its outcome, unlike court where a decision is forced upon them.

Both parties mutually agree when to meet and are facilitated by an independent mediator who will ensure both parties discuss their issues in a safe, non-judgemental setting. 

The mediating process will help you identify what the issues are and support you in finding mutually agreeable outcomes to settle the dispute out of court. 

 The offers that are exchanged in the mediation process are “without prejudice” – i.e. they are private and cannot be reported to the Court. This is different from arbitration as the mediator cannot impose a decision on either party. The purpose of mediation is to encourage openness and a readiness to negotiate, with both parties working with one another towards an agreed settlement.

Advantages of Mediation

As previously mentioned, mediation is becoming more commonly preferred and is a quick and cost effective solution to dispute resolution in comparison to court proceedings. Parties are in control of the outcome and all decisions are made with the support of an independent mediator.  Mediation is flexible and can be utilised at any point during litigation proceedings. 

Even in the event of mediation being unsuccessful, it is often found useful by both parties as it provides them with a safe platform to voice their opinion and be heard by their opposition. 

Arbitration 

An alternative to litigation is Arbitration. Arbitration takes place under a statutory framework, facilitated by a former Judge or specialist barrister. The decisions reached in Arbitration are binding for both parties and there is a set guideline parties must adhere to. 

Both parties must accept that the arbitrator’s decision will be final and binding and that, if required, they will need to apply to court for an order to give effect to it.

Arbitration is similar to the court process in that it requires disclosure of specific documents pertaining to the case. 

Arbitration is predominantly used  for more complex disputes. Arbitration is not as flexible as mediation, meaning fewer clients opt to use this route to settlement.

Collection Agencies

Collection agencies act on behalf of individuals or businesses to pursue payments for outstanding debts. Most collection agencies recoup monies owed for a fee or a percentage of the total amount of money owed. The main benefit of hiring a collection agency is that it becomes their matter to resolve, releasing time and effort from you or people who work for you, that could be better spent on other matters. In addition to this, amounts not recouped by the agency may impact the credit history of the debtor, thus encouraging debtors to make payments and settle matters in a more timely manner. If you want to speak to a debt recovery solicitor then click here.

Collaborative Law

Both parties and their solicitors commit to reaching solutions by agreement rather than through the courts. Face-to-face communication between the parties can help to reduce costs and improve the chances of working together again in the future.

Refusing to seek alternatives for Litigation 

If you unreasonably refuse to pursue alternative litigation options such as mediation, you may be ordered to pay the opposition’s legal costs. 

The court may deem the following as legitimate reasons for refusing mediation: 

  • There’s no common ground and communication as entirely broken down
  • The parties are too far apart
  • It’s a simple matter of contractual interpretation. This requires a judge to decide;
  • The party only wants to  to prove they are right and any negotiations would be nullified
  • The other side hasn’t fully outlined their case and we are yet to receive and examine all associated documentation.
  • We reasonably believe the other side’s case has no merit.
Can any disclosure made to settle the debt prior to court be held against me?
Open Can any disclosure made to settle the debt prior to court be held against me?

With the support of a solicitor, it is possible to ensure that anything you say in a bid to resolve your dispute cannot be held against you if the matter remains unresolved. However, the rules on this are complex so it is advisable to receive some free legal advice before acting in the interim.

Is there anything I can do to put pressure on my opponent to settle?
Open Is there anything I can do to put pressure on my opponent to settle?

There are numerous strategies that can be used in an attempt to pressure your opposition to settle, all of which are created to incur further financial costs to them if you are proposing a reasonable offer but they still refuse.

The most common and effective strategy to utilise is to make a ‘Part 36 offer’. This is a formal offer made by the claimant or defendant as a strategic way to convince the other party to settle rather than going to court. It is recognised by the courts and will be taken into account whilst deciding which party should pay for the costs associated with the dispute. 

Part 36 offers can be made at any time during the proceedings up to point at which a judgment is made. It is made without any admission of liability and the offer must be accepted in 21 days; the party proposing the offer can withdraw it within this time.

Key Contacts

If you are looking for help and guidance or have a question relating to Out of Court Settlement, please contact us today on +44 (0)20 7242 1666.