Is Legal Action the best way to proceed with a Civil Litigation case?

While legal action can be an effective way to resolve disputes, it’s essential to consider all the aspects and implications before heading to court.

Prior to doing anything, we would always advise evaluating the strength of your claim with a qualified solicitor. This is the best way to assess the legal merits of your claim and how likely you are to succeed in court.

Sometimes limited financial resource is the biggest barrier to appointing a commercial solicitor. If a case becomes protracted or involves multiple stages, legal fees could accumulate and escalate quickly. Or it may not be feasible to hire a solicitor for a small claim.

Fortunately, there are things you can consider to avoid incurring excessive costs and gain access to legal assistance on more favourable terms.

What’s the value of your case?

It should go without saying, but it is important to consider the proportionality of your legal costs compared to the value of any Civil Litigation claim.

In certain scenarios, hiring a solicitor for a small civil litigation claim might be beneficial. But there are also circumstances where it may not be necessary or the most cost-effective option to take. If the legal fees are higher than the potential recovery, it might not be financially viable to engage a solicitor.

In our experience, Civil Litigation claims worth less than £10,000 may not be worth it as the cost of hiring a solicitor will probably outweigh the amount you could potentially win.

Obviously, this does not apply to Clinical Negligence Cases which are dealt with differently and have a different Costs structure. Cases like this can often be pursued on a No Win, No Fee basis known as a Conditional Fee Agreement.

If you are in any doubt about funding your case, please get in touch for a friendly and informal discussion.

Do you have Legal Expenses Cover?

To avoid incurring excessive costs, we would always advise checking to see if you have any pre-existing legal expenses cover or assistance available.

Legal Expenses Cover is often attached to some other form of insurance, such as household or motor insurance, giving you free access to legal advice and assistance. In some cases, it may be included as part of a bank account or credit card. It is also available as a standalone policy.

If you are a member of a Trade Union, they may also give you access to legal advice and assistance to resolve your matter on more favourable terms than instructing us directly. The provider of any such legal cover may also retain a panel of solicitors to do the work which would impact on our ability to take on instruction in the case.

If you do have this type of cover in place, we recommend contacting your insurer as soon as possible as there are often strict time reporting requirements if you wish to utilise the policy.

Who else offers free legal advice?

Civil Litigation claims for smaller amounts typically centre around straightforward issues, which may not require extensive legal knowledge.

For some disputes, the facts are clear and the legal principles involved are relatively simple – including unpaid bills, property damage or breach of contract. There are many other instances too.

If your case is straightforward, you may want to handle the claim on your own.

If you are not confident of navigating the process without professional legal assistance, there are several organisations which are approved to take on ‘pro bono’ work and offer free or low-cost assistance for small claims.

A great alternative to hiring a commercial solicitor, these resources can offer invaluable assistance, and we regularly advise people to get in touch with them as they may be the most cost-effective way to pursue a claim.

Law Works

A registered charity committed to giving people access to justice, Law Works offers free legal advice, family mediation and representation in a court or tribunal.

Find out more:

Law Centres Network

Specialising in social welfare law, the Law Centres Network have an in-depth knowledge of issues which communities face, helping people to keep their jobs and protect their homes and family.

Find out more:

North East Law Centre

Delivering specialist advice across the North East of England, they are a not-for-profit organisation that provides specialist legal advice for family, education, immigration, discrimination and employment law.

Find out more:

Access to Justice Foundation

In a bid to give everyone access to justice, they award grants to help people access legal advice for a wide range of issues – including homelessness, ill health, unemployment, broken households and many more.

Find out more:

Citizen’s Advice

A national charity with a network of local branches, they offer free and confidential advice over the phone, in person and online; allowing you to find a way forward no matter what the problem may be.

Find out more:

Who should you speak to first?

Whilst there are many ways to fund your Civil Litigation case, it can be confusing. It usually depends on your personal circumstances and the nature of your case.

If your case is worth £10,000 or less, it might be advisable to contact one of the organisations above in the first instance. Or take advantage of our free 30-minute consultation and find out whether we are able to assist you.

Should you be in any doubt, or if you want to find the best funding option for you, get in touch and arrange a friendly discussion.

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