Statements of Truth

All statements of case and certain other documents (including formal statements of your evidence) must be verified by a statement of truth, to the effect that the party putting forward the document believes the facts stated in it are true. This can be signed by the party or it’s legal representative. Where the party is a company the statement of truth needs to be signed by a person holding a senior position in the company. It is our policy that clients should sign their own statements of truth or, if this is not possible (perhaps because the client is abroad) they must first provide a written statement authorising us to sign on their behalf and confirming the truth of the facts stated in the statement. A false verification will carry exposure to civil and criminal penalties and costs and you must therefore read these documents with care and be sure that you understand them.

Preservation of Papers and Evidence

It is important that you ensure that all documents and evidence (including electronic material such as emails) relating to your case are preserved. These include documents which are both favourable and unfavourable to you. This is necessary for you to comply with your legal obligations and for us to be able to give you proper advice and assistance.

During the course of the proceedings you will be required to provide a list of all documents that need to be disclosed. You will be required to make a “reasonable search” for any documents which fall into this category and we will advise you on this when it becomes relevant. However, you should be aware that your list of documents would have to contain a statement signed by you. This cannot be signed by your legal representatives. The statement must set out the extent of the search which has been made to locate documents, certifying that you understand the duty to disclose documents and that to the best of your knowledge you have carried out that duty. As with statements of truth, making a false disclosure statement is potentially a contempt of court and in any event a failure to preserve documents or evidence may result in influences being drawn which are adverse to your case.

Summary Assessment of Costs

Courts are encouraged to assess costs as they go through a case and not wait until the conclusion. On each application to a court where one party is seeking a costs order from the other, the judge is likely to assess the costs of that hearing immediately and make an order for the costs to be paid at once, which will usually mean within 14 days. In the event, therefore, that such a costs order is made against you, you will need to be in a position to pay this within the time period ordered by the court. You should be aware that the firm will not fund these costs on your behalf and if therefore we do not have the funds in time this could have serious consequences for your claim or defence.

Orders for Costs

As explained in our Terms and Conditions of Business you remain liable for our costs regardless of the outcome of the matter. However, in the event that you are successful you may be entitled to a contribution to your costs by the other party. Where this is the case, however, you should be aware that you are unlikely to recover anything more than a portion of the costs involved. This may be because the court allows recovery at a lower hourly rate than we charge or the court does not allow recovery in respect of all the work we have carried out on your behalf.

If you are unsuccessful in a matter you may be required to pay the other side’s costs and interest in addition to your own costs.

If the court considers that you have acted unreasonably in connection with the litigation, it may order costs to be paid on a more generous basis. You should also appreciate that if the other side has entered into a conditional fee agreement (“no win no fee”) and has taken out insurance to meet it’s costs liability, if you are ordered to pay their costs you would also be liable to pay any success fee they have negotiated with their solicitor and the cost of the insurance premium (subject to the reasonableness of them both).

If for any reason your costs or the other side’s costs in this matter are assessed or contested, you should be aware that we will incur further costs on your behalf in dealing with that contest, which you will be required to pay. This will include the costs we incur in preparing any formal bill of costs on your behalf and the costs of attending at any assessment hearing.

Insurance

Before The Event Insurance

Please let us know if you have any insurance which might cover our charges and expenses or your liability for another party’s charges and expenses. Sometimes clients will have insurance cover without appreciating that such insurance may be attached to another policy, such as householder’s policy or car insurance policy.

After The Event Insurance

It may be possible to take out an insurance policy that provides cover for the costs incurred in the pursuit or defence of litigation. This type of insurance can be purchased for nearly all areas of litigation. Let us know if you want to apply for this form of insurance.

Contingency Fee (“No Win No Fee”) Arrangements

We will sometimes agree with our clients to enter into a formal agreement with them under which we are only paid if the outcome of a case is successful.  In general, however, we only offer this facility in personal injury cases, but if it is something you wish us to consider please let us know. You should appreciate that in such cases, in addition to our normal fees, we charge a success fee as a percentage of the overall costs awarded and that, if you lose, you could still be liable for the other party’s charges and expenses unless you were able to insure that liability.

Public Funding (“Legal Aid”)

Public Funding is available for most types of cases. It is available to those who qualify financially and have good prospects of success (i.e. over 50%). This firm no longer undertakes publicly funded work and if you believe that you may be entitled you must make enquiries with a firm that does. This is something that you should consider at the outset of your case and at any time during your case, should your financial situation change.