At Larcomes, we have an experienced, professional and knowledgeable team of litigation solicitors. We provide practical and transparent advice on various matters that require litigation, both in personal and business circumstances.
In this article, we explore some of the most frequently asked questions that we face relating to civil litigation. We also speak to Gemma Brown, a litigation solicitor who gives us some insight into her role at Larcomes and her background.
What is civil litigation?
Civil litigation is the process by which a civil dispute is resolved. Typically, a case involves seeking financial compensation for relevant damages or losses.
There are a variety of circumstances that might require the intervention of a civil litigation solicitor. At Larcomes, we act for both commercial and private individuals and can work on your case whether you are facing a civil dispute claim against you or need to pursue a claim against somebody else.
What is alternative dispute resolution?
Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) is a framework which aims to facilitate a dispute to be resolved without the intervention of a court. If a case proceeds to Court prematurely without consideration or participation in ADR, the parties expose themselves to adverse cost risks, regardless of the overall outcome of the case being heard. Judges can also impose court ordered stays on proceedings for the purposes of ADR. The need to have consideration for ADR does not end when proceedings are issued, they should remain a focus for parties throughout the claim.
The most common form of ADR is mediation. Mediation involves a neutral third party who will assist in the negotiation process to hopefully achieve settlement or narrow the issues in dispute.
For most people, Alternative Dispute Resolution is more cost and time-effective in the long run than court proceedings.
Larcomes’ civil litigation lawyers are equipped to support you through the entire process, whether that involves mediation or another form of ADR, or court proceedings.
What does a dispute resolution lawyer do?
In all cases, even if you are uncertain, you should aim to seek the advice of a trusted lawyer as soon as a dispute arises. With this, you have more chance of exiting the case successfully.
When you initially instruct your solicitor or legal professional, they will advise you as to the strength of your case. They will then support you through the pre action stage, ADR, and any potential court proceedings.
What are the different types of a civil litigation?
At Larcomes, our team are well-equipped to support clients in a variety of civil litigation matters, including:
- Building Disputes
- Professional Negligence Claims
- Breach of Contract/Consumer Rights
- Debt collection and enforcement
- Contentious Wills and Trusts and Inheritance Act Claims
- Boundary Disputes
- Co-Ownership Disputes
- Landlord and Tenant Claims
Meet the Team – Gemma Brown, Solicitor
Gemma Brown qualified as a solicitor in 2016, having completed her training contract with Larcomes. Gemma has experience in undertaking all aspects of civil litigation matters. She has answered some questions to give you an insight into her working life. Take a look below.
What do you enjoy most about working in litigation at Larcomes?
The motto of Larcomes is correct- “big enough to specialise, small enough to care”. I remember citing this line at my trainee solicitor interview back in 2014. You have the opportunity to meet, act and help various client types and develop experience in multiple disciplines. This is something that you just wouldn’t get with a big ‘factory’ law firm, where you would likely just focus on one distinct area under the umbrella of litigation. You are more hands-on with all aspects of a multitude of instructions from start to finish. The firm itself is also close-knit and I feel that this closeness between the departments transpires with interaction with the clients.
Why did you decide to work in the legal industry?
I have always loved history; it’s a passion. When I was 11 or 12, my grandfather took me to London, and we went on a legal London history tour. I was fascinated, we visited the famous inns of London where large areas have remained unchanged since the medieval times, being shown priceless ancient artefacts, being told about the secret passages and ancient rituals that continue to this day. I remember going into the Royal Courts of Justice, up the grand old staircase and into a courtroom as you see on TV, with creaky uneven wooden floorboards. I thought of the stories those rooms could tell, what they have witnessed, and the most famous trials of English history. I knew then that it was either a history teacher or being part of the legal world. The legal world won out.
What advice would you give to aspiring litigation solicitors?
Do your homework and be sure that it is the right fit for you. Given the nature of the job, you rarely deal with anyone who is happy, and it is your job to help them. It is not transactional law where the process is laid out for you. A lot of ‘black letter’ law is involved: problem-solving. You must think on your feet, work well under pressure. No two days are the same; no two files are the same. You will need to be resilient, an eye for attention to detail and be a good communicator. Be prepared to go out of your comfort zone.
What were your favourite subjects at school?
I was more of an ‘expression student’. I loved history and English, anything where you had to give opinions and creative writing. I found that interpretations were the key to obtaining marks, as opposed to Maths, where you had to just ‘get it’ or not. However, that being said- Maths crops up a lot more in my working life than I expected before I started studying Law. I went onto College and took History, Law, Sociology and English Language.
What is your biggest career achievement?
Litigation work comes in all shapes and sizes, some are short, and some are long- years long. The files and clients that always stick in my mind are the ones where I have helped individuals achieve a life-changing outcome; it is very emotive. A contract dispute instruction I worked on for more than two years, during my transition from trainee to qualified solicitor, the client wanted me to run the matter, they were not wealthy clients, and the outcome determined whether they could keep their family home. We were successful, and I will never forget the gratitude they showed toward me.
“I honestly never thought this day would come!! Thank you for getting me over the finish line!
Thank you to Gemma, Asaph, and Ben for all your hard work”.