Legal disputes and issues which affect you personally are distracting and they can also be immensely stressful, time consuming and emotionally draining. Our team of experienced dispute resolution solicitors, based in Southampton and Winchester, recognise that there is a need to navigate and resolve these matters quickly, efficiently and successfully.
We will advise you as if we were standing in your shoes; providing not just legal comment on your situation but also our honest opinion in plain English. We can be involved in your case as much or as little as you would like us to be; whether you seek a one hour appointment to go through a claim you are managing for yourself, or to instruct us to have complete conduct of your case. We will match our service to your requirements and financial circumstances.
Court cases can be extremely expensive to run. Just paying the court fee to issue the claim can cost 5% of the amount of the claim, up to a limit of £10,000.
More and more of our clients are looking at different ways to settle disputes in a more cost effective way. Collectively these methods are known as Alternative Dispute Resolution or ADR.
We can help you decide on the most appropriate form of ADR. It might be as simple as well prepared and well organised “round table” meeting, a Mediation using a qualified Mediator to broker a binding but shared settlement, an Arbitration using a professional Arbitrator to impose a binding decision, or an Expert Determination where a technical expert provides a non binding opinion on whose case is likely to win.
As well as cost, these options have the added advantage of putting the parties more in control of the process and the outcome.
Managing LLP Partner
Chartered Legal Executive
Our personal debt recovery service is focused on debts owed by individuals and companies to individuals. Pursuit of such debts may require a different approach to that of ‘business to business’ debts, particularly where sums are owed by family members, friends or acquaintances. The lender may, for example, be completely at a loss as to their legal rights, how to formally commence the recovery process, how to pursue their claims through to the full recovery and, most importantly, the cost thereof as they may have never been a party to litigation previously.
We appreciate that without some careful assistance and guidance, litigants in person may find themselves walking through a minefield of court directions and feel entirely alone without any strategy. Our team will guide you through each and every stage of litigation and we will ensure that you understand the steps required of you, the risks and most importantly, the cost. The size of the outstanding debt will have a direct impact on the number of directions you may need to comply with (potentially through to trial) and therefore it is important to us to ensure you understand what is being demanded of you through what could be a complicated process. It is our goal not only to ensure you fully understand the process from start to finish, but also to assist you in achieving a full recovery of any debt owed to you.
We treat your debt as our own, as our testimonials reflect. For your peace of mind, we offer a fixed costs charging structure for full transparency so that you can fully appreciate and plan for each potential stage of the recovery process. Contrary to common perceptions, we do not start charging the moment you pick up the telephone to us with an initial enquiry, so please do feel welcome to call one of the team with any queries you may have so that we can start advising you on the process as early as possible and put your mind at ease.
Property related disputes and arguments arise for a multitude of reasons. It may be a dispute between landlords and tenants, ownership and adverse possession arguments, covenants permitting or restricting certain use, activities or access, rights of way, removal of squatters. Arguments arise over boundaries, party walls and even the interpretation or wording of key documents. Resolution of such disputes requires specialist expertise and experience.
We act for individual buy to let landlords, institutional investors and local authorities in all forms of housing disputes including in particular the recovery of possession for rent arrears, disrepair, unsocial behaviour (service of section 8 notices) and from assured shorthold tenants on 2 months notice (s21 Notices). We also act for tenants against landlords for breaches including landlord’s statutory and express covenants to keep premises in repair. We always provide a personal, solicitor led, cost effective approach to the resolution of these issues usually to a fixed price.
An increasing number of people are finding themselves as unwilling participants in litigation when a neighbouring landowner asserts a claim over part of their property. Such matters range from claiming or denying rights of way to outright land grabs, where an unsuspecting owner returns from a holiday to find that a fence has been moved. Boundary disputes can involve very modest parcels of land of insignificant value which nevertheless cost a substantial amount to resolve. Our aim is always to de-fuse disputes at an early stage and with the minimum of expense, typically at a mediation.
Being a company director is a serious undertaking and one that is strictly governed by the Companies Act 2006 and the Company Directors Disqualification Act 1986.
You may have a fellow director who is not performing, or who is behaving in ways that are detrimental to the success of the company itself.
You may have been in the unfortunate position of having a company fall into liquidation and the insolvency practitioner may be seeking to disqualify you.
We have experience in acting both for and against company directors in a whole range of different businesses ranging from software development companies through surveyors to travel companies.
We work in collaboration with our specialist corporate lawyers to devise a strategy to resolve the issue as quickly and effectively as possible.
These sorts of disputes are by their very nature very personal, and are often hard-fought in an emotionally-charged atmosphere. Even a comparatively modest estate is usually sufficiently valuable to cause difficulties between family members in the event of perceived unfairness, and these can escalate to the extent that court proceedings are required to resolve them. At the other end of the scale, substantial estates often have trusts in order to mitigate tax, and these can become contentious if situations arise that were not contemplated at the time the trust was set up. Complicated family structures can add to the complexity, but even conventional family arrangements have the potential to generate conflict.
We have specialists within the firm who have significant experience of a wide range of matters of this type, and who are available to assist you in the event that you encounter difficulties in the administration of trusts or estates, or need to make or defend a claim.
We have a wealth of experience in helping individuals bring successful personal injury compensation claims.
We have represented clients involved in many types of accidents including:
If you have been injured in an accident that was not your fault, we can help you to achieve the compensation to which you are entitled.
We offer a high quality bespoke service. We take the time to understand your needs and objectives, as well as the factual and legal issues in the case, which enables us to provide clear, practical and relevant advice. You can also be assured that we will keep you informed of progress throughout your case.
Personal insolvency – the condition whereby an individual (in business or otherwise) is unable to meet all of their debts as they fall due – can arise in a great variety of situations. The individual may be a sole trader, they may have guaranteed a level of credit provided to a company, they may be facing an unexpected tax liability or claim. They may have been wronged in some way and suffered a financial loss as a result, but be unable (from their own resources) to afford the litigation required to address that wrong.
Personal insolvency is often extremely distressing, not only for the debtor themselves, but also for their families and can often impact as badly or worse upon non-insolvent business partners, co-owners of property, employers and others. The Insolvency team at Paris Smith is sensitive to these issues and often able to assist in the resolution of personal insolvency scenarios and/or the mitigation of their worst effects on debtors and those around them.
Members of the Insolvency team often work with insolvency practitioner accountants who are qualified and appropriately regulated to provide advice as to a whole range of options, many of which will involve one or more legal processes with which we can assist. We can bring this external expertise in as necessary but we also act for insolvency practitioner trustees who are tasked with recovering assets and pursuing claims (such as transactions at undervalue and preference claims) against individuals. That experience allows us to offer insights to individuals in terms of how best to avoid, tackle and (if necessary) defend such claims.
In higher value and more complex personal insolvencies, such as the bankruptcy of a formerly wealthy individual faced with even higher value liabilities, personal insolvencies also involve a significant amount of corporate and/or property and trusts law, where it is important to be able to call in experts in those disciplines who understand how they operate in an insolvency context.
Since we are alive to the consequences of personal insolvency, we can also assist lenders and borrowers in non-contentious scenarios, where there may currently be no fear of insolvency at all, but where a future insolvency could cause creditors or insolvency practitioners to scrutinise a dealing or transaction after the event.
Mike Pavitt, head of Paris Smith’s Insolvency team, has for many years been recognised as one of a relatively short list of UK-wide experts in personal insolvency by the legal directory Chambers and Partners. He acts for trustees in bankruptcy and IVA nominees and supervisors at a range of insolvency practices, including BDO, Begbies Traynor, James Cowper, KPMG, Mazars, Moore Stephens, and Smith & Williamson. He also has particular experience in complex bankruptcy annulments, insolvent deceased estates, bankruptcy jurisdiction disputes and cross-border asset recovery.
There will be occasions in your life when you need to engage a professional. A solicitor to buy your house or draft your Will, a surveyor to value your house, an accountant to minimize your tax bill or a financial advisor to put you into the best investments.
Sometimes these professionals get things wrong. They carry professional indemnity insurance to protect them and provide a source of compensation when they make a mistake.
We have experience in making claims against all types of professionals and most commonly resolving these disputes out of court via alternative dispute resolution.
If you or your company are charged with a motoring offence, let us help reduce the stress and uncertainty of a court case by supporting you with clear, practical advice and working with you to achieve the best outcome possible.
Our expertise includes the following areas:
We will agree our fees with you at the start of the case. We may be able to offer you a fixed fee depending on the case.
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