Early Steps in Litigation

1. Solvency

Check the financial position of the person/company you are intending to commence proceedings against to see whether they are likely to be able to pay any damages and/or costs awarded against them in the event that proceedings are issued and they lose.

2. Witness evidence

Draw up a detailed proof of evidence. Interview and draw up proofs from people involved in the proceedings.

3. Documentary evidence

You will usually be asked to provide the solicitor working on your case with the following:

a) All documents relating to your matter. For example, if your claim relates to a breach of contract for purchased goods then the relevant documents may include; a copy of the contract (if any), copies of any correspondence between yourself and the potential defendant(s) etc.

b) Any documents demonstrating/arising from the internal investigation undertaken.

c) Any documents showing the payment history.

4. Find expert witnesses

You may need an expert witness to determine some outstanding question which can only be answered by an expert.

5. Preserve physical evidence (if any)

An expert will need access to samples of the goods (if goods are in question). This will assist the expert to easily identify any question of liability or damages in the outset.

6. Pre-Action Conduct

Pre-Action Conduct will apply; you should comply with the Pre-Action conduct by following the procedure set out by writing a full letter before claim.

This must include:

A fuller explanation of the basis for your claim,

A fuller explanation of the calculation of the damages which you seek, and

Copies of the documents upon which you rely.

The Practice Direction also requires us to consider whether there is any suitable form of Alternative Dispute Resolution.

If you’d like to know more about this article please send an email to Martin O’Brien quoting the article title and any questions you might have, alternatively call the office number on 02380 235 979 or send an enquiry through our contact form.

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