Frank, no-nonsense advice – that’s what you can expect when you engage my services. When you need help with a dispute, I’ll analyse the evidence, assess your objectives and develop a detailed strategy that will help you to get the best outcome.
When I can, I’ll seek out a low-cost, pragmatic solution, but if necessary, I’ll adopt a more aggressive stand through to trial or arbitration. Either way, you’ll receive dedicated support at every stage to ensure your case is presented as compellingly as possible, and I’ll make sure you’re fully aware of the risks and benefits of litigation or alternative dispute resolution.
I enjoy getting to know my clients and their businesses, and it’s fascinating to learn about such a diverse range of organisations. I work with businesses of all kinds, from SMEs to large corporates, and also help individuals to make claims and defend against them.
Taking on new challenges and developing new skills is what motivates me. My appointment as a Deputy District Judge in 2015 encompassed these and the experience gained from this role assists me in advising clients on the realistic outcomes of disputes.
Away from work I enjoy playing tennis, walking – especially the Northern Irish coastline – and fundraising for Guide Dogs for the Blind.
When entering into a contract, make sure you fully understand what you’re committing to, and what might happen in the event of a dispute.
Be prepared to compromise: don’t argue points of principle. Focus on solutions rather than who’s right and who’s wrong.
A lack of documentary evidence could prove fatal. Be sure to minute key meetings and telephone conversations; preserve all contracts, letters and emails; and confirm key information in writing (including email).
Do I have to go to court?
This depends entirely on the nature of the dispute. Sometimes, you may need an injunction to prohibit a party from doing something or to compel them to do something. In most cases, if you are the claimant, you’ll have time to seek advice on the merits of your claim. Even if court proceedings are issued, most settle before trial – 99% of my cases last year settled long before trial.
How much will it cost?
The million-dollar question! I can’t give a single estimate for the costs of resolving a dispute – it may settle at an early stage or run to trial. However, I’m transparent on the costs involved for every stage of the dispute, and will tell you if you’re potentially liable to pay a contribution towards your opponent’s costs. Where possible, I’ll agree fees with you for fixed stages.
Can I get the other side to pay my costs?
In certain circumstances, yes, but a full recovery is unusual. Most cases settle before trial and often costs are a key area of compromise. Litigation is rarely ‘cost neutral’, which why it’s often preferable to settle early.
Will I win?
I can never promise that you’ll win your case, but with an early assessment of the evidence, and the strengths and weaknesses of the claim, I’ll be able to develop a strategy that aims to provide a realistic outcome.
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