Our experienced disputes solicitors are here to help if you find yourself involved in a dispute which cannot be resolved through informal discussion. We will give you a personalised service to meet your objectives, and we will take time to understand your needs and offer pragmatic advice with a transparent fee structure, tailored to your circumstances.
Our dispute resolution expertise
Our team has experience across a wide range of disputes including:
- Breach of contract
- Cohabitation disputes
- Commercial disputes
- Contentious probate
- Inheritance Act claims
- Residential landlord and tenant disputes
- Professional negligence claims
- Property disputes
- Will disputes.
In our experience, resolving a dispute on the best possible terms needs specialist legal advice. We will always provide you with a bespoke service to do so. Nevertheless, even with the best advice, dispute resolution can be a difficult, stressful and expensive exercise.
If you approach us for advice, we will first want to assess whether we are best placed to provide you with specialist legal advice. This will entail the following steps.
What is the value of your Dispute?
This is a key question for you to answer in determining from which provider you should seek legal advice.
With the exception of our fixed-fee debt recovery service for commercial clients who are seeking to recover sums due for unpaid invoices, if your dispute has a monetary value of less than around £10,000, it is unlikely that it would economically advisable for you to seek legal advice from us. We would instead recommend that you seek legal guidance from one of the following organisations who may be able to provide free legal guidance:
- Citizens Advice Bureau
- Law Works
- Anglia Ruskin Law Clinic
- Suffolk Law Centre
- Norfolk Community Law Service.
What if your Dispute does not have a monetary value?
Some disputes do not have a monetary value or the value is difficult to assess. In those cases, our first step would be to assess whether it would economically advisable for you to seek legal advice from us.
Initial Advice for a Fixed Fee
Assuming that it was economically advisable for you to seek legal advice from us, the first step would be for us to provide you with initial advice for a fixed fee.
We would agree the fixed fee with you and it would be payable in advance. The minimum amount of the fixed fee would be £500 plus VAT. The fee could be significantly greater than that amount depending on the amount of documentation we had to review, the legal/factual complexity of the matter and what level of advice you were seeking from us initially.
In some cases, we would be willing to provide you with initial advice without charging a fixed fee. This may be appropriate in the following types of cases:
- Will disputes
- Contentious Probate
- Inheritance Act disputes.
What would we need from you to provide Initial Advice?
We would expect you to provide us with the following:
- A written explanation of what the dispute is about and your objectives
- A copy of the relevant documents.
It is very important that you provide all of the relevant documents to us at the same time. This is so we can ensure that our advice is as accurate as possible and gives you the most realistic view of the merits.
We would first review the documents and then hold a meeting with you in order to go through the documents, listen carefully to your explanation of the background facts and then understand your objectives and what you want us to do on your behalf. We would then provide you with our initial advice on the legal position and recommend next steps. Depending on the amount of the agreed fee, we would (if appropriate) confirm in writing.
If possible, our initial advice will include our initial view of the prospects of success, but may confirm that further investigations are necessary in order to confirm our view. It may also be necessary for us to recommend that you seek advice from a specialist barrister and/or expert witness.
Next steps in the dispute resolution process
It is important for you to understand that in order to resolve a dispute in the most efficient and cost-effective way, it is necessary to go through a process. Our role is to guide you through that process and provide you with advice along the way until the conclusion of the process, either by way of either a binding settlement achieved via negotiations or a determination by a court.
Elements of that process may involve gathering evidence from documents or witnesses, seeking advice from expert barristers, instructing expert witnesses, negotiations with the other party, setting out your claim or defence in correspondence, exploring funding options, and (if necessary) going through litigation in court.. We will be with you every step of the way to provide advice and guidance.
Our approach to dispute resolution
We believe that going to court is a last resort and that parties in dispute should first exhaust all possible ways of resolving the dispute before proceedings are issued. Alternatives to going to court may involve negotiations or some form of Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR for short) procedure such as mediation.
We also believe in providing our clients with a high-quality, bespoke service, and therefore, our services may not be an affordable option for all prospective clients. We are not seeking to provide a low-cost option. We are also professionally obliged to consider affordability before agreeing to act for a prospective client.
Resolving a dispute is very often an expensive process, but we will endeavour to ensure that our charges are proportionate to the amount at stake. This may mean that we will not be able to advise you because of the monetary value of your dispute.
We will only take on your matter if we have the capacity within the team to do so, and this means that we may have to decline to act if we do not have the capacity to do so.
‘Ashtons have always impressed us. All of the people at Ashtons are intelligent, focused and professional. Their communication skills are excellent and we have never had to chase them.’ – Chambers & Partners
‘The litigation practice at Ashtons Legal is ‘highly experienced and client-focused’. – Legal 500
‘They work well on furthering their client’s interests whilst retaining a high degree of objectivity and understanding of what is achievable and what is not achievable.’ – Legal 500
Contact Our Dispute Resolution Solicitors in East Anglia
To set up an initial consultation: