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In Place of Strife

The Mediation Chambers

Civil and Commercial - Professional negligence

Summary

Claim by litigants in person.    Allegations of negligence against solicitor.

Background

The Claimants, a husband and wife, lived in the country.   They had a few acres of land.   They wanted to develop parts of the land for commercial purposes including the establishment of a nursery and tea room.    Funding from their original lender was insufficient.  They needed to refinance.    They obtained terms from a non-status lender both for refinancing and a subsequent further advance.     They fell into arrears, the lender obtained possession and sold their property.    Their contention was that, properly advised by the solicitors, they would not have entered into the finance agreements with the non-status lender.    Proceedings had been issued.  The Claimants had retained their solicitor on a no win, no fee basis.   Those solicitors had gone into liquidation.    Estimated cost to trial was in the region of £150,000 for each party.    The Defendants denied liability absolutely.
 
Outcome

The matter was resolved at a one day mediation.    The Claimants had an opportunity to explain their position to the defendants and their insurers.    Ultimately it was agreed that the defendants would make a payment to the Claimants.    The key drivers around the amount of money so far as the defendant was concerned was that the prospect of recovering costs in the event that the claim failed were negligible to non-existent.    So far as the Claimants were concerned the focus was around what they needed, in terms of money, to put their lives back on track rather than what they thought they might be entitled to in the event that their claim was to succeed.     The settlement was upon terms which would have been impossible of achievement through court since the court route would have produced either a win or a loss for the Claimants, the latter being much more likely.   This solution meant that they had  a sufficient sum to acquire a couple of acres of land with the potential to place a residential mobile home upon it and get on with their lives.