Q. Do you offer payment options?
A: There are various options. Firstly you should check your insurance policies which often include legal expenses cover. If the claim is accepted by your insurer then they will pay your fees. If you do not have such cover you may be able to obtain it from an ‘after the event’ insurer, although this kind of cover can be expensive. If you are paying for our services yourself we will give you full details of our rates and indicate the approximate times when funds will be required to pursue the matter. In the unlikely event that your matter qualifies for Legal Aid, we will make sure that you are advised accordingly. Please note that Curwens does not operate a Legal Aid franchise and you will need to appoint another firm of solicitors.
Q. What will it cost to resolve this dispute?
A: Each situation has its own variations and hence it is not possible at the outset to ascertain the total cost of completing the work. We do fully understand that you will wish to keep costs to a minimum and we will assist by giving you clear explanations of your options, throughout the matter. We will give you an estimate and in some case can offer a fixed-fee service for you. We will always discuss with you whether there is greater merit in continuing the case or whether it would be more beneficial to settle. We will try to ensure that you remain in control.
Q. What are the rules about paying the other sides costs? Can I claim my costs from the other side if I win?
A: Generally speaking if the claim is for less than £10,000 then each side will pay their own costs, whether winner or loser. If the claim is greater than £10,000 then the winner’s costs are normally paid by the loser. This is not always the case and the judge will ultimately decide. Even if you win and the judge orders costs be paid by your opponent, you will not always receive the whole amount and on top of this, if the loser ultimately cannot pay, then you may receive nothing. We are experienced in managing negotiations, ensuring that the court we see how hard we worked to achieve a reasonable settlement prior to the hearing, thus aiming to keep costs down. Assuming we then win, the court will often see that the now higher costs were not our fault and will, accordingly, decide in our favour. You, our client, will ultimately be responsible to Curwens for our costs.
Q. The $64,000 question – Will I win?
A: We cannot guarantee a particular outcome. Many factors influence a judge. He or she is human after all and the decision may come down to small details or how convincing a particular witness is, on the day. We will of course give you an assessment of the strength of your case and any factors giving concern about the outcome. With this information, we will discuss with you the cost implications of proceeding to trial versus the option of trying to come to an acceptable settlement.