On occasion, a civil dispute can escalate to such an extent that one of the parties involved feels it necessary to launch court proceedings. If you have received formal notification that court action is being taken against you, it is essential to seek appropriate legal support as promptly as possible. Otherwise, you run the risk of a court judgment being issued against you, followed by subsequent enforcement action.
At Aristone Solicitors, our skilled dispute resolution team can offer the objective and urgent support you need to prevent such an outcome from occurring. We will provide you with the bespoke legal support and representation you need to understand your rights, your obligations, and the options available to you.
From personal disputes to the most complex corporate matters, our team will advise you on the most appropriate course of action, without the usual jargon or complicated terminology. For more information or to discuss our civil dispute defence services in more detail, contact a member of the team at Aristone Solicitors today.
Hearing Your Side of the Story
During your initial consultation with Aristone Solicitors, we will aim to build a detailed picture of the claim that has been filed against you as quickly as possible. We will take the time to hear your side of the story in full, and assess the extent to which you have a viable defence.
Our team will provide you with the objective and impartial advice you need to choose an appropriate course of action, based on the information you provide and our own analysis. With our help, a potentially laborious and time- consuming process can be simplified, often negating the need for court involvement.
Aristone Solicitors specialises in alternative dispute resolution, helping settle even the most contentious of cases outside the courts. In doing so, we are able to save our clients time and money, while keeping all aspects of the dispute discreet and private – away from the public eye. If you would like to learn more about our approach to alternative dispute resolution or have any questions regarding a civil dispute defence, we would be delighted to hear from you anytime.
Civil Dispute Claim FAQs
What should I do if I’ve been threatened with court proceedings?
The first thing to do after being threatened with court proceedings is to reach out to a knowledgeable and experienced legal team. This will put you in the best possible position to mount a strong and viable defence, based on the circumstances of your case. It is also essential that all documentation relevant to the dispute is preserved, which you may need to present as evidence at a later juncture.
Will I receive an advance warning before proceedings are formally served?
Yes – it is a legal requirement under Civil Procedure Rules (aka CPR) for a business or individual raising a dispute (aka the claimant) to send a pre-action protocol letter, prior to court papers being served. It is at this point that you should contact an experienced civil dispute solicitor, who will provide you with the information and advice you need to choose an appropriate course of action.
How long do I have to respond to a pre-action protocol letter?
It is usually necessary to respond to a pre-action protocol letter within 14 days, but this may be longer depending on the nature and complexity of the dispute. The letter must, in all instances, clearly state how long you have to respond, and what action will be taken against you if you do not.
Can I resolve civil disputes outside the courts?
Yes, and this is almost always the preferred option for those involved in civil disputes. Civil disputes resolved through alternative dispute resolution (ADR) can be faster, simpler, and less costly than a dispute brought before the courts. Mediation and arbitration are just two of the many ARD options available, which can negate the need to involve the courts in the matter. Only if attempts at ARD fail will it become necessary to involve the courts in your case.
What are the timings when served with court proceedings?
If you are served with formal notice of court proceedings, you are given 14 days from the date of the document’s issue to file an acknowledgement. This means responding to the courts with a document indicating that you admit the claim, intend to defend some or all of the claim, or contest jurisdiction. After filing this acknowledgement of service, you will then have 28 days to file a defence, if this is your chosen course of action. Be mindful of the fact that if you do not respond to the initial notice of court proceedings within 14 days, it is highly likely that the claimant will receive a judgement by default from the courts against you. This effectively means that the courts will rule in favour of the claimant, without the matter having gone to trial, or been fairly arbitrated.
What do I need to know when hiring a business dispute lawyer?
The most important thing to look for when hiring a business dispute lawyer is an established background in cases similar to yours. Experience and expertise hold the key to quality legal representation, particularly with more complex disputes. You should also be invited to discuss your case with your solicitor with no advance payment, in the form of an obligation-free initial consultation.
Where can I learn more?
If you would like to learn more about the dispute resolution process or have any questions regarding civil claims, the team at Aristone Solicitors is standing by to take your call. Contact us anytime for a free initial chat, or email us at your convenience and we will get back to you as soon as possible.