Civil Litigation FAQ

What are the costs of Civil Litigation?

The most difficult issue to nail in civil litigation is its cost. This is because costs are heavily determined by the complexity and duration of your matter. However at Herman Bersee we do offer fixed prices for letters of advice, letters of demand, summonses, bankruptcy notices and winding up notices.

For a costs estimate tailored to your specific circumstances, please contact our staff today.

At Herman Bersee we are committed to minimizing your legal expenses wherever possible. A large problem in litigation is over servicing by lawyers. Cost effectiveness in civil litigation arises from experience. Our best practice ethics dictate that there must be prompt assessment of tasks and having the right staff to do them. That is why at Herman Bersee we are not only proud of our solicitor’s experience, but also our reputable team of law clerks, secretaries and other office staff. Many litigation tasks can and should be performed by qualified staff at lower hourly rates than solicitors. This in turn will save you costs wherever possible.

Are my legal costs recoverable?

If you are successful at Court, you may be able to recover some legal expenses. However it is important to remember that often an order for costs is capped at a scale, such at the Supreme Court Scale of Costs. These costs will not usually cover the legal costs that you may have incurred and can range between 55% and 70% of your actual costs incurred.

What is litigation?

Litigation is the process of settling a dispute in Court. Some disputes can be settled our of court, however some cannot. Some cases settle by agreement before a judge, and other which cannot be resolved proceed all the way to trial. Parties to a case may be individuals or companies or a combination of both.

To start a law suit, one party called the plaintiff sues another party called the defendant. This is don’t by filing a complaint and paying a filing fee. The filing fee varies depending on the court the matter is to be heard in. The defendant must then be served with a summons to come to court. The defendant will then usually file an answer to the complaint called a response or defense. The defendant may also counter sue the plaintiff. The parties then begin a process called discovery, which is a series of legal tools to get information from the other party. For example, if a plaintiff is suing for payment of an outstanding debt, the plaintiff may be able to use the process of discovery to access documents held by the defendant confirming the debt. The Court manages the progression of these steps.

To find out more about the court process please see the Courts Administration Authority website

I have been served with a summons, what do I do?

If you have been served with a summons it is important that you seek experienced legal advice from Herman Bersee Solicitors. These matters need to be dealt with expeditiously and effectively, to ensure that your legal expenses are kept to a minimum.

Are there other ways to resolve my case?

If a matter has not yet reached Court there are several alternative dispute resolution processes which parties may access to resolve a dispute without court intervention. One of the most common processes is through mediation. A mediation is chaired by a mediator, someone who is an independent third party, who guides the parties through a structured negotiation process. If an agreement is reached at mediation, this can be converted into a formal contract which is binding and legally enforceable against each party.

Even if a matter is in the Court processes, it can be settled by agreement between the parties. This is sometimes done through informal settlement conference between the parties and their lawyers, or through more formal mediation sessions as well as the Court’s pre-trial process which include conciliation conferences and the like. Usually, attempts to settle a case between parties may and do commonly occur right up until the trial has started.