BridgeMcFarlandSolicitors

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Bridge McFarland can offer you practical, uncomplicated advice, support & guidance when you need it most. Whether it be an employment dispute, family advice, an accident or negligence, life planning or moving house, let us help you.
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Our commercial team in Lincoln, Hull, Market Rasen and Grimsby prides itself on its sound business sense, commercial insight, local knowledge and first class understanding of the relevant legal disciplines ranging from employment law, business contracts, dispute resolution to agriculture and property development. From company formation to sale, succession, dissolution or dispute resolution, you can trust our team to deliver first class service and results.
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Chris Green
Senior Solicitor
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Janet Wilson
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Rob Ripley
Partner
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Lee Whiting
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Litigation & Dispute Resolution

Our expert Dispute Resolution lawyers in Hull, Grimsby and Lincoln work with you to provide straightforward commercial advice and to secure the best outcome for your business in a pragmatic and cost effective way.

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“We received a very efficient personal service throughout and the conveyancing was completed quickly and without fuss. We were kept informed throughout the process and the charges were very reasonable. We will definitely continue to use Bridge McFarland for all legal matters.”
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Our highly-regarded litigation solicitors act for businesses of all sizes from our offices in Hull, Grimsby and Lincoln. We have extensive experience and expertise in litigation in the High Court and County Court and all forms of Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR), including mediation, expert determination, adjudication and arbitration.

Our Dispute Resolution & Litigation services include:

We understand that disputes can be costly, time-consuming and damage business relationships. Our skilled lawyers will work closely with you to understand your objectives and to identify and achieve the best outcome for your business quickly and cost effectively. We will help you to resolve and settle disputes wherever possible, including by alternative dispute resolution. But when litigation can’t be avoided, we are also formidable and successful litigators.

In appropriate cases we will share the risk with you through flexible and innovative funding arrangements, including conditional and discounted fee agreements, fixed and capped fees, legal expenses insurance and disbursement funding arrangements. You can view and download details of our funding options below.

Our Dispute Resolution lawyers are recognised as leaders in their field by the Legal 500 and are members of the Commercial Litigation Association (CLAN).

If you are interested in understanding how we can help you, then please contact us.

To find out how our Dispute Resolution lawyers can help assist your business, contact us on 01482 320620, request a call back or enquire online.

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Rob Ripley
Partner

T: 01482 320 620

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Lydia Hamnett
Partner

T: 01472 311 711

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Mike Wilson
Partner

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FAQs
How are commercial disputes resolved?
Disputes can be resolved in a number of different ways, including by legal proceedings (litigation) and by alternative dispute resolution (ADR), which can include (but is not limited to) mediation, expert determination, arbitration and adjudication. Most commercial disputes are settled without legal proceedings being issued or before trial. This is often a result of negotiation (whether between lawyers or the parties themselves), by settlement offers or through ADR.
What is mediation?
Mediation is an alternative way of resolving disputes. It is commonly used to avoid or settle legal proceedings (litigation). An independent third party (often another lawyer) is appointed by the parties as mediator. The mediator’s role is to try to facilitate a settlement, not to decide or determine the dispute. The process is voluntary and non-binding. It is also ‘without prejudice’ meaning anything said or discussed at mediation cannot be used in subsequent legal proceedings. The success rate for mediation is high: it is often put at more than 75%.
What to do if faced with a potential dispute?
1. Seek legal advice early. By giving strategic advice and support from an early stage in the process, we can help to resolve disputes quickly or avoid them altogether. If a dispute can’t be avoided, we can make sure you are in the best possible position to pursue a claim or defend your position. In urgent cases, by acting quickly it may be possible to obtain an injunction, delivery-up or other interim remedies to protect your business from harm. 2. Consider alternative dispute resolution. Litigation can be costly, time-consuming and damage commercial relationships. It should usually be a last resort. 3. Preserve relevant documents (including electronic documents). 4. If served with a letter before claim, legal proceedings or a statutory demand, don’t ignore it. There is usually a deadline for a response, after which it may become more difficult to effectively defend your position.
How are legal proceedings started?
Pre-action protocols set out the procedure to be followed in most cases. The first step is usually to send a letter before claim setting out details of the claim and giving the receiving party a deadline by which to respond and/or provide proposals for settlement. The court can impose sanctions (including on costs) on any party that fails to comply with the relevant pre-action protocol. The next stage, if the dispute is not resolved, is for one party (the claimant) to issue proceedings in court and pay an issue fee. The claim is then served on the other party (the defendant) which will usually have 14 days to acknowledge the claim and, if they do, another 14 days to serve a defence. These time-limits can be extended. If the defendant fails to do either, the claimant can apply for judgment in default and take steps to enforce the judgment. If the claim is defended, the court will set a timetable for the case management of the claim through to trial.
What to do about unpaid invoices or debts?
Our debt recovery team deals with the recovery of unpaid invoices and commercial debts efficiently and cost effectively. The first step is usually to send a formal letter demanding payment (often within 7 days). If a debt is not then paid and is undisputed, it can be pursued either by legal proceedings and enforcement action or by insolvency proceedings (service of a statutory demand followed by a bankruptcy or winding-up petition). Where goods have been supplied under terms reserving title it may also be possible to recover the goods. Our success rate for the recovery of undisputed commercial debts is extremely high.
How long does litigation take?
It varies enormously depending on the case and whether or not it is settled. Many claims are settled very quickly without legal proceedings or at an early stage in the process. Debt claims are often resolved within days or weeks if a debt is paid or settled or a default judgment obtained. On the other hand, a complex claim or one that is heavily contested could take 12 to 18 months to get to trial. So called “fast-track” claims (those with a value between £10k and £25k) are usually at trial within 30 weeks.
Who pays the costs?
The rules on the recovery of costs in litigation are complex, but the usual principle is that costs follow the event, meaning the successful party will usually expect to recover legal costs from the unsuccessful party. The amount of those costs will then be assessed by the court or agreed between the parties. The receiving party is unlikely to recover all its costs and will have to meet any shortfall. The recovery of costs can also be affected by the conduct of the parties and any settlement offers. Most claims with a value of more than £50k will be actively costs managed by the court. Claims with a value of less than £10k are usually “small claims” and in most cases no legal costs can be recovered. At Bridge McFarland we offer a comprehensive range of funding options for commercial disputes.
What is a small claim?
A “small claim” is a lower value and complexity case, usually with a value of less than £10k. The small claims procedure is a simplified process designed for litigants in person to bring and defend claims in the County Court without the need for legal representation. Claims can be issued online. As a general rule, a party cannot recover legal costs on a small claim even they are successful.