I’ve been working in Dispute Resolution for almost 40 years. My work is enormously varied, and a day rarely passes where I do not have to research a new issue which has arisen.
I enjoy the feeling of satisfaction when you have helped a client out of a fix and pride myself on an experienced, conscientious, and proactive approach. My approach is: to gather the facts, to provide early advice on merits and to treat clients fairly, which involves managing expectations, giving accurate cost estimates, and charging for value time only. Clients instruct/entrust you with major problems and issues: my role is to respect that trust, problem solve, take some of the burden and go the extra distance for them.
I work with individuals, partnerships, corporates and not for profit organisations. I advise on a wide range of legal specialisms, including contractual disputes, product liability claims, claims relating to corporate mergers and acquisitions, shareholder and partnership disputes, professional negligence claims, defamation, and judicial review.
Outside of work, I enjoy cycling. To me, road biking is the perfect antidote to work. My other passion is open water swimming and it’s where I usually come up with a solution to most professional challenges.
Be open with your lawyer, relay the background both good and bad. The conversation is privileged, and it is much better hearing from the client about the bad points than the other side’s lawyer.
Don’t walk before you can run – follow a pre-action protocol so you can flush out the other side’s case before litigating and be sure of the merits of your legal case before litigating.
Even if you are sure of your legal case, the process of litigation involves peaks and troughs. Don’t abandon hope at the first trough.
Will I win?
Sometimes you can answer this question definitively. However, especially when you are dealing with an opaque issue such as the interpretation of a contract, a lawyer’s advice cannot be definitive about prospects: but this should then lead to a discussion about a plan to achieve an acceptable outcome, not necessarily the best outcome.
Will I end up in Court?
The probability of a claim going to trial remains very low. The higher probability is achieving a resolution through effective use of Pre-Action Protocol and ADR, such as mediation.
How does mediation work?
It is a voluntary, not a determinative process. The role of a mediator is to find a resolution, i.e., getting one party to make an offer and then going backwards and forwards between the parties to move their negotiating positions to a position of compromise. A mediated outcome is often seen by parties neither as a win nor a loss, but rather an outcome they can live with.