Head of Professional Negligence & Partner, Robert Johnson, provides pointers to consider when making a claim against a professional.
As an individual or business who has a claim against another, you will need to be advised by your lawyer (at the earliest stage) (1) what the prospects of your claim succeeding are; (2) what the value of your claim is; and (3) how much it is likely to cost to pursue your claim to a successful conclusion.
With this information, you are able to make an informed decision as to whether it is commercially sensible to pursue your claim and, if so, to what stage and with which firm. It is often the issue of costs that represents the greatest risk in pursuing the claim. This is not just your legal costs but also (potentially) the legal costs of your opponent. Although the award of costs in this jurisdiction is always in the discretion of the Court, it is usual for the Court to exercise that discretion in favour of the winning party. Thus, as a claimant, if you succeed in your claim against your opponent, you can expect to recover the reasonable costs that you incurred with your lawyer from your opponent but the reverse is also true, i.e. if you are unsuccessful, you are likely to have to pay the reasonable costs of your opponent.
As will be apparent, the key risk for the Claimant is the possibility of not succeeding in the claim. In that event, you will not only have to pay your own legal costs but also a (significant) proportion of your opponent’s. Healys can significantly reduce and sometimes eliminate that risk. This is by means of a combination of:
- Acting on a no win no fee agreement which means that you do not pay any of this firm’s fees unless/until you are successful in your claim. We are also prepared (in certain circumstances) only to charge you our fees once recoveries are received from the defendant. As will be appreciated, judgment is grand but of no practical significance unless it can be converted into monies.
- Obtaining after the event insurance by which you are insuring against the possibility of losing your claim. In that event, the insurer will pay the costs of the defendant. In addition, insurers can be persuaded to fund disbursement costs to include the Court fee and for experts (and which only become payable on a successful outcome).
Robert Johnson and his team often share the risk with their clients to assist them in pursuing their claims. Robert has been doing this for his clients for over 20 years and as a consequence has built up extensive expertise in such retainers. He has additionally built up very strong relationships with barristers who are also prepared to share the risk in the same way and after the event insurers.
If you feel that you may have claim and want to seek to take advantage of Robert’s expertise in such matters, please contact him via telephone on (direct dial) 020 7822 4106 or (mobile) 07899 973306. Alternatively you can email Robert at: Robert.firstname.lastname@example.org.
For more information on Healys LLP’s legal services, please visit: www.healys.com.