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FAQs & Contractual Disputes

These FAQ’s are intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.

Choosing the right law firm can be a daunting and difficult decision, but it is also an extremely important one. Before making your decision, do not hesitate to ask questions to ensure that you’re comfortable with a firm’s philosophy, experience, and history of success.The FAQ’s below include answers to some of the most frequently asked questions we receive. If you want additional information or would like to discuss your individual case in more detail, contact BHP Law by telephone at any of our offices, or by e-mail at info@bhplaw.co.uk

Questions answered on this page are:

  1. Do I need a solicitor?
  2. Why should I choose BHP Law?
  3. If I instruct BHP Law, will I meet a solicitor?
  4. What makes BHP Law different to other law firms?
  5. Will you take my case?
  6. How much will it cost to hire BHP Law as my solicitor's?
  7. I want to hire BHP Law, what happens next?
  8. How long will proceedings take?
  9. How are contract disputes dealt with?
  10. What can a claimant recover in a commercial or consumer claim?
  11. If I have a commercial or consumer dispute is it essential to sue before I can obtain redress?
  12. How long does a Claimant have to decide whether or not to bring a case against a Defendent(s)?
  13. Is there a pressure to settle cases out of Court?
  14. What is Mediation/ Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR)?
  15. Who pays the expenses of commercial litigation?
  16. I'm unhappy with the result of my case; can I appeal?
  17. Does BHP Law handle any other types of cases in addition to Commercial cases?

 

Do I need a solicitor?

If you have a significant commercial transaction or dispute, or a question about the law that may affect your business or financial interests you should at least talk with a solicitor before deciding how you proceed.  We will often provide a brief no obligation consultation to help you decide whether you need representation. 

 

Why Should I Choose BHP Law?

BHP Law and its lawyers have successfully litigated cases in all domestic courts, from the County Court to High Court, Court of Appeal and the House of Lords (now the Supreme Court) and on to the European Court of Human Rights, and have a successful track record of getting results.

 

If I instruct BHP Law, will I meet a solicitor?

Your first contact, probably a phone call, may be with a paralegal or staff member, but a lawyer will speak with you if you request it and if one is available.  If you schedule a meeting, a lawyer will meet with you. During the course of our representation, you will have a legal team on which a solicitor will always be active and responsible for paralegals or legal assistants.

 

What Makes BHP Law Different From Other Law Firms?  

Whilst some cases are won or lost at trial, the reality is that most cases are won or lost during the phases of litigation before any trial.  Thorough investigation, careful analysis of discovery documents, requisitions and further information, probing witness statements, expert identification, selection and preparation: these are the hallmarks of successful litigation lawyers.  Here at BHP Law we prepare every case from the start with the end in mind that it may go to trial.  It is this preparation, dedication to excellent client service throughout, and our determination to exceed expectations that sets BHP Law apart.Beyond our determined litigation and advocacy experience, BHP Law fully understands that people are at the heart of what we do.  People do not hire solicitors unless they need help, and often our clients are in the midst of a difficult time in their lives.  So we keep our focus on the client, providing conscientious and compassionate guidance to those in need of our professional services.  We take enormous pride in being chosen by our clients to represent them, and you can be assured that your case will never receive less than the very best service that we offer at BHP Law. 

 

Will You Take My Case?

Every case is different, so the only way to find out if we can help you is to contact us for a no obligation consultation.  You can also email us at info@bhplaw.co.uk or fill in our online Contact Form.  We will meet with you at your convenience, day or night, weekdays or weekends, if necessary, and we are always willing to travel to your home, your business, or anywhere else you feel most comfortable. At our meeting, we’ll listen to your concerns and give you our best judgment about the strengths and weaknesses of your case and how best to proceed.

 

How Much Will It Cost to Hire BHP Law as My Solicitors?

The prospect of costly litigation prevents many people from even investigating their legal options. Obviously, legal proceedings can be very expensive, but there are potential fee arrangements that could minimize, or at least reduce legal costs. We pride ourselves on being cost conscious and keeping you updated of this at each stage of the process.

For our corporate and institutional clients, we have developed fair hourly rates that are reflective of the complexity of the work we perform and the experience of our individual staff. We will work with you to negotiate a rate that satisfies your company’s needs, and there will be no hidden fees, charges or expenses. We carefully maintain and monitor our work product, and we will provide you with a detailed breakdown of costs that itemises every tenth of an hour of work performed on your case.

 

I Want to Hire BHP Law, What Happens Next? 

Step 1: After you have made the decision to hire BHP Law to represent you, we begin the process of constructing your case. While every case is different, the first step is to conduct a detailed interview. This will enable us to get the facts we need to investigate your case and decide on our strategy to advance and protect your interests. We will also consider with you all funding options relevant to your situation.

Step 2: Depending on your individual circumstances and the requirements of your case, the next step is a detailed investigation. Every case is different, but typically we may contact witnesses and financial, valuation or other experts, we will obtain and review documents and records, and we will analyse the facts of your case to develop a comprehensive strategy for achieving the best result possible. Throughout we will consider and discuss with you the cost benefit analysis of the case. 

Step 3: The third step is preparing the background to comply with the Civil Procedure Rules Pre Action Protocol relevant to your dispute, and considering with you Alternative Dispute Resolution, prior to issue of any proceedings.

Step 4: Court Action. Once proceedings have been issued, and the litigation process is underway, we work diligently to move your case forward. We will keep you fully informed throughout this time-consuming and difficult process, because we never lose sight of the fact that this is your case, and that you have hired us to robustly represent your interests.

 

How long will the proceedings take? 

The length of time proceedings take varies. It depends on a number of factors, these include the complexity of the case, the number of parties involved, the amenability of the parties to resolve the case and the court's timetable. Relatively straightforward proceedings, without any complex legal or factual issues, could be over in a few months. However, more complicated proceedings involving several parties could take several years to resolve. The implementation of the Civil Procedure Rules and judicial case management means that cases should not be allowed to drag on without being progressed. We appreciate that our clients are concerned about the speed and pace of their case, and so we are committed to providing the best representation possible within the time frame discussed at the start. We keep our clients fully in touch and informed of progress throughout the case, so that they know that we are always working hard to bring their case to a timely and successful resolution.

 

How are contract disputes dealt with?

Whenever parties enter into binding legal agreements – whether to obtain certain types of insurance, to offer employment, or to enter into an agreement for the provision of professional services — disputes can later arise, sometimes years later. Such disputes can cause confusion, anxiety, and the potential for serious financial losses.

Whether an individual supplier or contractor failed to provide services as agreed, or you need help interpreting and resolving an ongoing dispute with a company, or government institution, the team at BHP Law can provide the resources, experience, and skills to conclude the dispute in an effective way.

In contract litigation, the claimant seeks remedies in the civil court from a defendant for breaching an agreement. To resolve the dispute, the court will examine the following:

  • The contract document itself. What, specifically, does the agreement say? Are any clauses contradictory or ambiguous? Were multiple drafts of the contract written? Who prepared the contract? What is the level of sophistication of the respective parties? If there is no written agreement, can the oral agreement be enforced? 
  • Circumstances of the dispute. How did the alleged breach occur? How did this breach negatively affect the claimant, financially or otherwise? How was notice of the breach communicated? How might the past and present relationship between the claimant and defendant inform the dispute?  

Applicable law: Many contracts require that disputes be handled in particular courts, under specific laws. Other contracts require the parties to submit disputes to mediation, Alternative Dispute Resolution or arbitration. A lawyer handling a contract dispute should always know which laws might apply. Are there precedent cases that might have a bearing? If so, what were the results in those cases?

BHP Law represents both claimants and defendants in complicated commercial and business contract litigation on a regular basis. Our litigators have decades of collective experience. We can scrutinise the contract in question and design a strategy to achieve the best outcome for you, whether that means negotiation or litigation. We can also introduce you to tools and best practices, so you can avoid similar disputes in the future.

Unpicking complex contracts: Whether you operate a business that contracts freelancers, agencies, and suppliers on a regular or occasional basis; or you provide services in a heavily regulated industry, you probably have neither the time nor the expertise to review all of your contracts with a fine-tooth comb. Moreover, the time, money, and energy it takes to resolve difficult disputes can frustrate your business, sap your energy and reduce profits. The variety of contract disputes is essentially limitless. 

Fortunately, our legal team has the skill, experience, and resources to address even the most complex disputes efficiently. Our litigators have pursued and defended hundreds of cases successfully, and we can help you, whether you’re struggling with the fine points of a joint venture agreement or you’re facing a breach of contract claim that could, theoretically, cost you hundreds of thousands of pounds. 

BHP Law can empower you to conclude your dispute and return to focusing on your business and personal life. We can also streamline, clarify and scrutinise agreements you make now or in the future to minimise your risks of future litigation.

 

What can a claimant recover in a commercial or consumer claim?

In most cases, a claimant seeks damages measured by financial losses or possibly lost profits believed to have been caused by the defendant. Sometimes a claimant seeks redress other than money, such as an injunction or court order to require or prevent some action by a defendant.  How much and whether a claimant will recover depends on many variables, including the nature of the loss and whether and how it can be measured, and many other factors, including whether a contract or statute limits or provides for a certain amount of damages or legal fees.

 

If I have a commercial or consumer dispute is it essential to sue before I can obtain redress?

Absolutely not:  In some cases we are able to negotiate settlements with the other side after investigating the case but before any proceedings are issued at court.  However, many disputes are not resolved until significant leverage is applied by lodging proceedings at court.  Cases are often resolved through alternative dispute resolution (“ADR”) processes such arbitration or mediation.

 

How long does a claimant have to decide whether or not to bring a case against a defendant(s)?

A claimant must issue proceedings at court within the time period allowed by the limitation period that applies to the case.  These vary from case to case, depending on the applicable law and particular circumstances. You should consult a knowledgeable solicitor to obtain advice on the applicable limitation period, when it starts to run, the likely expiry date, and whether any extension of time is possible.

 

Is there pressure to settle cases out of court?

Courts encourage settlement, but can’t force parties to reach an agreement. It is usually in each party's best interest to settle a case without going through a trial. Trials can be expensive, and spend time and money that could be better invested. Nevertheless, sometimes no settlement can be achieved. As such, the parties are entitled to have their dispute decided at trial.

 

What is mediation / ADR?

Mediation is a common form of voluntary Alternate Dispute Resolution process (ADR).  Usually an experienced neutral mediator meets with the parties and assists them in negotiating a resolution.  The mediator does not adjudicate on the case, or make a judicial decision on the law or evidence. The mediator facilitates the negotiating process; acting as an honest broker or in some cases will evaluate it for the parties to assist them in making a better judgment as to whether to settle.

 

Who pays the expenses of commercial litigation?

A judge may order the losing party to pay the costs of the winner. The rule of thumb is that “costs follow the event” or that the loser pays the reasonable costs of the issue. These costs may include the costs of the winning party’s solicitor and barrister in preparing the case, a success fee if the case was conducted on a Conditional Fee basis, and any After the Event legal costs insurance policy, plus disbursements or expenses, such as experts’ fees, court fees and witness expenses. The over-arching principle however, is that each party is responsible for paying his or her own lawyers’ fees. If your case is below £10,000.00 it will be allocated to the small claims track. A claimant, even if successful at trial, on the small claims track, is likely to be responsible for their own legal costs.

 

I'm unhappy with the result in my case, can I appeal?

An appeal is only possible in limited circumstances, where there has been an error in the law applied by the court. Courts of appeal are limited to deciding questions of law, not fact.

 

Does BHP Law handle any other types of cases in addition to Commercial cases?

Yes, BHP Law is a multi- service law firm. Our firm handles a variety of legal matters, including family law, inheritance and will disputes, trust and estate claims, and cases involving intellectual property, employment, insolvency, personal injuries and accident claims such as defective products, medical negligence, road traffic accidents, industrial accidents, occupational diseases, pharmaceutical cases, and many others. 

 

Call our team on 0800 590 019 or email any questions to us at info@bhplaw.co.uk, alternatively you can fill in the online enquiry form.

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