In the past many disputes tended to result in legal proceedings and we are very conscious of the fact that even in cases where one party is successful, this does not necessarily mean that they end up happy with the outcome. This is particularly so in family law cases.
Our approach in all areas of law is that we want to achieve a settlement which meets the client’s expectations and which is in their best interest. Litigation and arbitration are not always the best options for a client and for this reason we will advise in relation to pre-litigation steps that can be taken to resolve the dispute and we can also assist in advising clients to take steps to avoid disputes occurring in the first place.
If a dispute has occurred and is likely to result in legal proceedings, we have developed links with other organisations to assist in the resolution of these disputes. We will advise the client to issue legal proceedings only as a last resort.
A carefully drafted employment contract can prevent many disputes arising. We see many contracts which are perfectly legal but which are not comprehensive enough to cover all difficulties that can arise in a normal working environment. Every organisation should have a detailed grievance procedure and a detailed conflict resolution procedure. We offer a service whereby we will attend at your offices and take full instructions concerning all legal requirements with the particular emphasis on a review of practices in relation to the handling of potential disputes. Our aim is to prevent disputes occurring rather than dealing with their consequences.
We will advise on an ongoing basis concerning employer’s rights and duties under employment and equality law and in relation to health and safety matters. We can assist in the preparation of Safety Statements and best practice guidelines in relation to health and safety matters and work place accidents.
We have developed particular expertise in assisting both employers and employees in relation to disciplinary investigations.
In our view, the last place a couple need to be in order to resolve difficulties that have arisen between them is in a court of law. This should absolutely be a last resort. We have developed close links with a number of organisations, who can assist couples, who are in dispute. Amicus Mediation provide mediation services but we are particularly impressed by their conflict coaching service. We accept that while we are highly skilled lawyers, there are areas particularly in relation to alternate dispute resolution where outside assistance would be extremely beneficial and we are happy to refer individuals on to Amicus in appropriate circumstances. We have also advised clients to attend the Mater Hospital TAFIT course for couples who are already in the legal system. We are also very impressed by some of the services offered by Barnados, who organise parenting classes and anger management courses. We have experience of a number of other professional bodies, who have impressed us over the years and we are happy to refer clients on to them in appropriate circumstances.
In our experience, many product liability disputes end up in court simply because the product provider was not made fully aware of the consequences of their actions. We have been involved in numerous cases where a vigorous approach to the product provider has resulted in a settlement without having to proceed to court and we are very conscious of the fact that many solicitors have been criticised for being too quick to issue legal proceedings. Our approach reflects our fundamental philosophy, which is that our job is to represent our client’s best interests.
Many clients have suffered at the hands of professionals, whether they are solicitors, auctioneers, accountants or financial advisors or any other professional. We do not believe it is acceptable to simply send an initial warning letter and follow that up with a set of expensive High Court proceedings.
If we are acting in our client’s best interests then those interests will be served by obtaining a satisfactory speedy settlement to the dispute rather than become involved in a traumatic, expensive and lengthy legal process. With this in mind, we have developed links with arbitrators, conflict managers and alternative dispute practitioners, who can assist us in areas where we feel their expertise is required.
We are happy to advise clients that disputes in relation to tenancies can often be resolved through the alternative dispute resolution scheme operated by the Private Residential Tenancies Board. Disputes in relation to taxies can be dealt with by the Taxi Regulator. The Pensions Ombudsman will investigate and recommend in relation to disputes concerning pension matters and the Financial Services Ombudsman will do the same in relation to complaints concerning financial service providers. There are also impressive alternative dispute resolution practices emplyed by the Commission for Aviation Regulation, the Commission for Energy Regulation and the Commission for Communications Regulation.
We completely appreciate that dealing with these bodies can itself be difficult and complicated and we are happy to assist either in personally resolving disputes without having to issue legal proceedings or directing you to relevant bodies who can assist in this manner.