Dispute Resolution FAQs

We have answered our most frequently asked questions relating to all matter of dispute resolution below. If you don’t find the information you need please feel free to get in touch and one of our dispute resolution experts will get back to you as soon as we can.

  • It depends on the nature of the dispute. Costs are important and in our very first meeting we will discuss costs and your funding options.

  • After a meeting the first step in the dispute resolution process is normally a letter before claim. This sets out your case, what you seek and gives your opponent an opportunity to respond. Subject to the response received, if the dispute is not resolved, it may be that some form of Alternative Dispute Resolution is appropriate. If it is not appropriate or if it is unsuccessful, the next step would be to issue court proceedings.

  • Litigation is the Court method of resolving a dispute where a judge decides the case. Arbitration and mediation are both forms of Alternative Dispute Resolution (known as ‘ADR’).

    Arbitration is a non-court method where an independent arbitrator is appointed by the parties to make a decision which is usually confidential and binding.

    Mediation is another non-court method which is flexible, voluntary and confidential. An independent mediator helps both parties to work towards a negotiated settlement if possible.

  • Disputes which may involve court proceedings are complex. A solicitor can help guide you through the process. If you are feeling the stress and anxiety of dealing with a dispute, expert Dispute Resolution advice can help.

  • A simple dispute might be resolved by agreement between the parties in a matter of weeks. A claim which ends in court proceedings might take anywhere from 3 months to 12 months+ depending on the complexity of the case.

  • You will be assigned one of our Dispute Resolution solicitors who will assist you throughout.

  • Contact us on 0113 201 4900 or email us at dispute.resolution@emsleys.co.uk to book an initial free consultation.

  • Costs are important and in our first meeting we will discuss costs and your funding options. This might include whether you have any legal expenses insurance and if you are eligible for our ‘no win, no fee’ arrangement.

  • There is no fixed definition but it is generally understood to mean a claim brought in the courts and the rules and procedures relating to it.

  • If someone brings a claim against you then you are involved in litigation. Whether you choose to admit or defend all or part of the claim will be up to you. Subject to any contractual obligation, you are not obliged to engage in arbitration or mediation but the Courts do encourage ADR in many cases.

  • The ‘without prejudice’ rule allows the parties in a dispute to compromise and not have any admissions held against them when a judge makes a decision on the merits of the case. Statements, whether verbal or written, should be expressed to be made on a ‘without prejudice’ basis and they must be a genuine attempt to settle the dispute.

  • Using a solicitor might not cost as much as you think. We can help you weigh up the cost of the case and the benefit of pursuing it.

  • It depends on the value and complexity of your claim. A proportion of your costs can usually be recovered, unless your claim is worth less than £10,000. In such claims, which are allocated to the ‘Small Claims’ track/Court, you can normally only recover your Court fee, fixed costs and certain out-of-pocket expenses.

  • A simple dispute might be resolved by agreement between the parties in a matter of weeks. A claim which ends in Court proceedings might take anywhere from 3 months to 12 months+ depending on the complexity of the case.

  • The person bringing the claim pays the Court fee.

  • The sooner the better. If you have a good claim or defence we can help you pursue it in the most effective way. If you are in the wrong then you need to know and we can help with damage limitation.

  • We will meet with you to discuss your case. You should bring all relevant papers to the meeting and be prepared to discuss the facts of the case.

  • Yes. People taking action themselves are known as ‘litigants in person’. Useful guidance is available for litigants in person from the Citizens Advice Bureau and the Law Society.

  • Depending on the funding arrangement you have with your solicitor and the value of the claim, the greatest risk is that your claim is unsuccessful and you are responsible for your own costs and a large proportion of your opponent’s costs.

  • Yes, depending on the type of claim, however the value of this heading of the claim may not be as great as you would hope.

  • In any kind of neighbour dispute remember that you may be living side by side for a very long time. If a problem arises try speaking to your neighbour in a polite and respectful way. In this case you would be asking your neighbour to trim their overhanging branches. If they refuse you are allowed to trim the overhanging branches back to the boundary line. The branches remain the property of your neighbour and you must give them back.

  • The vast majority of boundaries in England and Wales as shown on Land Registry title plans are only ‘general boundaries’. This is due to the complexity of mapping boundaries and the sheer number of them. The Land Registry can be asked to determine a boundary and as part of this one of the factors which could be considered is how long the boundary feature has been in place.  

    Where you are not the owner of the registered land but you have been in ‘adverse possession’ for a period of 10+ years you may be able to claim title to the land if you can prove that you have factual possession of the land, with the necessary intention to possess and did not have the owner’s consent.

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