Litigation & Disputes

Josiah Hincks Civil Litigation & Dispute Resolution Solicitors in Leicester help you in your civil litigation matters. We regularly deal with a wide range of civil litigation matters, such as boundary disputes, trespass claims, contract claims and claims against professional advisors. Our litigation experts aim to provide excellent service from each of our five offices across Leicestershire. We will fight your corner robustly while at the same time considering alternatives to Court such as mediation, to ensure that the best result is achieved.

Our Litigation & Dispute Resolution Team

How we can help

Our civil litigation solicitors are available at our offices in Leicester, Blaby, Coalville, Syston and Market Harborough.  All our litigation lawyers are trained to consider the bigger picture and look at your issue from all angles to determine the best and most appropriate way forward. Getting results for our clients is a passion, and we will ensure that you get the result you need.

As a result our team of lawyers can provide you with quick and straightforward advice on your best way forward, whether or not this involves County Court or High Court Proceedings or Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) such as Mediation or Arbitration. Our litigation solicitors frequently attend Leicester County Court and other Courts across the Country.

We appreciate that handling disputes can be a very expensive and stressful process, but our litigation lawyers will endeavour to guide you through this in the most cost effective and hassle free manner. We will provide you with all the information and options to enable you to make an informed choice for yourself.

We aim to assess your action, whether it be your claim or a claim brought against you and consider the merits of your case very early on, in order to mount the best possible attack or the most robust defence in the circumstances.

Our civil litigation solicitors will only seek to recommend litigation where the realistic benefits exceed the costs likely to be involved. We’re also involved in mediation, arbitration, adjudication and alternative dispute resolution.

Please contact us now to discuss any litigation matter you have and our litigation team will gladly assist.

Most commercial disputes Josiah Hincks deal with are contract disputes. They will often be referred to as breach of contract claims, contract law disputes or simply commercial litigation.

Almost every dispute a business will encounter will stem from a contract. It might be a written contract, such as Terms and Conditions, or a Supply Contract (which can be called a wide range of names). It might be written but informally, such as on an email or detailed in a one page letter – its still a contract. If it’s not a written contract (an express contract) then it will likely be an oral contract – where you spoke and agreed to do something – and now there’s a dispute about what the terms of that contract are.

At its basics, a contract is an agreement that one party will do something in return for (usually) money paid by the other party. Its a supplier and purchaser, a customer, a client. It could be a building contract, a supply contract, it could be for goods or for services.

In law all a contract requires is an offer, an acceptance of that offer and consideration. Our litigation solicitors are experts in contract law disputes and we are able very quickly to help you determine what the contract was and how to take the matter further.

Quite often, contract disputes that relate to a written agreement. Within that agreement there will be conditions or warranties. A condition is an obligation to do something. A warranty is a promise about something. You might be a customer or a supplier, but if you have a dispute about a contract our litigation solicitors in Leicester can help.

The “breach” of contract is usually non payment. However, it can be something else, such as delay (time issues), poor quality work or goods, breach of restrictive covenants or something else undesirable.

It matters not what the contract is or relates to, or what the breach is, our dispute resolution solicitors can help. Usually, the first step will be to write to the other party and set out why we consider them to be in breach (and if necessary set out what we say the terms of the contract were). Once we have a response, our solicitors can consider the merits of any potential contract law claim and if necessary consider litigation via County Courts or High Courts. That depends on value and complexity. Our team will fight your corner robustly and ensure results. The result of course depends on the strength of your case. If you have a strong case, we will go to Court and fight to win. If there are some issues in your case, we may look at alternatives to litigation, such as mediation or ADR including simple negotiation.

Our civil litigation solicitors are experts in bringing claims in negligence against professional advisors such as:

  • Negligence claims against IFA/Financial Advisors
  • Negligence claims against solicitors
  • Negligence claims against accountants
  • Negligence claims against architects
  • Negligence claims against doctors / NHS

For negligence claims to arise, there must be a duty of care owed from one party to another, and there must have been a breach of that duty of care which results in loss or damage suffered. Usually, the duty of care aspect is quite easy to see – with most of the people above, there will be a contractual relationship (and therefore a contractual dispute) which will include terms about the level of service to be expected. Sometimes, there will be an implied duty of care – where there’s not contract or payment for services, but the third party should have considered risk to you.

A duty of care often arises because one party is supposed to be the expert giving advice to the other. The expert is usually therefore supposed take into account all of the special circumstances before giving their advice, and that advice should be tailored to you, suitable for you and be the right option. It’s for this reason that it is often called professional negligence, it is negligence against a professional.

Once we can show a duty of care, the next question is what is the loss suffered. Loss falls under two categories, direct and indirect loss (the latter is also known as consequential losses). Direct loss for negligence claims are what immediate costs you have suffered as a result of the others negligence; so for example the costs of rectifying their mistake.  Consequential losses are the losses/damages/costs you’ve incurred beyond that; they are often “If I’d have had that money then, I would have done X,Y,Z…”.

Our litigation solicitors can help you bring or defend any negligence claims you face.

When someone makes a mistake and there is negligence, as a Negligence Claims Solicitor I can help get you compensation.

Negligence against IFAs

Many of the negligence claims against IFA or other financial advisors we see, the negligence will fall under “mis-selling claims”. Our solicitors are experts with all types of financial services claims.

Often IFAs will mis-sell financial products, such as pensions and investments. Negligence claims arise here because there is a clear duty on behalf of the advisor to give proper and suitable advice. With Financial Products, there is also a set of rules known as the FCA Conduct of Business Sourcebook rules and guidance which apply and which state certain rules which an advisor must meet. For example, they must communicate in a clear and not misleading way, and they must ensure you understand the product and that it is suitable for you in your circumstances. A proper IFA will carry out a risk assessment (Adventurous, Cautious etc). This determines the types of products which are suitable for you. We find that in negligence cases against IFAs that they do not carry out a proper assessment or assess someone incorrectly so that they can be invested into higher risk (and therefore more profitable commission wise) products.

Negligence against Solicitors

It’s unfortunate that sometime people make mistakes. With lawyers, however, mistakes can be very expensive. In the past year, we’ve dealt with negligence claims against solicitors in respect of:

  • Negligent Will drafting
  • Negligent settlement advice on personal injury claim
  • Missed limitation dates
  • Negligent advice
  • Negligent dealing of estate / probate
  • Negligent conveyancing – such as failure to identify planning breaches etc
  • Plus more

Our civil litigation solicitors are frequently instructed against solicitors firms in Leicester and Leicestershire but further afield as well. We are not afraid to pursue claims against our competitors.

Negligence against solicitors is relatively easy to show. You get our second opinion as to whether it was negligent and then we can look at bringing a claim.

Negligence against Accountants

Negligence against accountants is more rare than against solicitors, primarily because you can go back 2 years and amend a tax return. Normally then, if you’re not happy with your accountant, you will move firms and the new firm will highlight the mistake and correct it. If this happens, any claim might be limited to just the rectification costs and any HMRC penalties.

Sometimes though, it’s not that simple and therefore we are instructed to bring a claim for negligence against the accountant or the accountancy practice.

Over recent years, Josiah Hincks have been involved in a negligence claim for failing to identify tax reliefs, particular R&D Tax Credits, which amounted to some £250,000 to simple mistakes which haven’t been dealt with in accounts properly.

Whatever the mistake, as a professional negligence claims solicitor, our civil litigation solicitors can assist.

Negligence against Doctors / NHS – Clinical Negligence Claims

Claims against Doctors are sometimes known as clinical negligence claims. This is where a medical practitioner has done something negligent; mis-diagnosis or a botched surgery for instance. Please see our dedicated pages on clinical negligence and personal injury.

Most property litigation is complex, and the facts are rarely straightforward. The Law is not easy and the dispute often emotionally charged. Property Disputes will usually require expert evidence from land agents and land surveyors too.

Our civil litigation solicitors can help with a variety of claims such as:

  • Boundary Disputes
  • Neighbour Disputes
  • Dilapidations and Repairs
  • Lease renewal disputes
  • Rent arrears and service charge arrears
  • Forfeiture
  • Trespass
  • Landlord and Tenant disputes
  • Insolvency issues
  • Charging orders
  • Land registry rectification

Boundary Disputes

Our litigation solicitors deal with Boundary Disputes and Neighbour Disputes, primarily in Leicester and Leicestershire.

Disputes over joint boundaries are very common but my advice to everyone involved in a boundary dispute is to consider early mediation. The worst cases can be resolved by agreement and in the long term, given that you need to live next door, it will be better to reach an agreement rather than go to Court and get a Judge to decide where the Boundary should be.

Boundary Disputes involving reviewing title deeds, aerial photos, expert surveyor evidence, photographic evidence of historic boundary positions plus anything else that might demonstrate where the boundary might lie.

If a boundary dispute cannot be resolved, then as a boundary dispute solicitors, we can assist you with issuing Court Proceedings (usually in Leicester County Court, but sometimes in the Lands Tribunal).

Trespass (including Japanese Knotweed claims)

Trespass to land involves a wrongful interference with your land by another. I have dealt with trespass by horses (gypsy’s fly-grazing), trespass by people (gypsy travellers on your land or fields) as well as more common things such as neighbour trespass (building fences, overhanging trees etc).

Many of our trespass claims involve Japanese Knotweed and Josiah Hincks are local experts in Japanese Knotweed Claims in Leicester.  Japanese Knotweed is a very fast growing, difficult to get rid of, weed. It will move from one person’s property to another, usually when the land is not maintained. For instance, we’ve dealt with cases from railway sites, derelict buildings and building sites as well as natural land.

Insolvency, Bankruptcy and Charging Orders

As a litigation solicitors in Leicesters, our team frequently act for individuals (and companies see our separate page) who are being made bankrupt or liquidated, and property is involved.

For individuals, it is usually the family home being repossessed by a Bank or other creditor. Our litigation lawyers can help defend such actions, whatever the stage of proceedings. It is important to know what equity is in the property and even if it is in one persons name, whether in fact the equity should be shared with your partner/husband/wife etc. It is also usually important to consider the underlying loan or guarantee documents, to see whether there is any liability in the first place.

If you are owed money, and have a County Court Judgement (CCJ) against the debtor, then I can help you get a Charging Order in place with a view potentially to getting an Order for Sale. You may have issued the claim yourself online, but it can be tricky meeting all the very exact process requirements to enforce a CCJ, so as expert property litigation solicitors, we can help you. Equally, if you are facing a Charging Order application as a debtor, we can help ensure you get expert advice on the issues at hand.

If you’re a consumer and you purchase goods or services that aren’t up to scratch, then you are entitled to bring a claim against the supplier. As civil litigation solicitors in Leicestershire, we are instructed by consumers and homeowners, to assist them in bringing a claim against the selling company.

The Sale of Goods Act 1979 (which has been refreshed and included in the Consumer Rights Act 2015 specifically for consumers) requires goods and services to meet certain minimum standards. These are called the Statutory Rights, and they include:

  • Goods to be of satisfactory quality
  • Goods to be fit for particular purpose
  • Goods to be as described
  • Other pre-contract information included in contract
  • Goods to match a sample
  • Goods to match a model seen or examined

Our team are experts in civil litigation and consumer rights and have vast experience in advising on disputes and claims in relation to the Sale of Goods Act, the Consumer Rights Act and in relation to other consumer protection laws.

Works Done At Home / Construction / Builders / Plumbers / Electricians etc

We often see Sale of Goods / Supply of Services claims when a homeowner has work carried out at their house. Although this would be a breach of contract dispute too, it is usual for there not to be any written contracts. As lawyers, we therefore need to look at the statutory rights, sometimes known as “implied terms” into what was agreed.

Our civil litigation lawyers regularly see disputes with builders all the time, both defending and bringing claims. Acting for the householder, the argument is usually that the cost is much higher than expected, or that the quality is not good enough – or even that the builder has caused more damage. All of these usually mean that the homeowner has “lost all faith” in the builder to carry on work, and therefore tells the builder not to come back. Another builder will be brought in to finish the job. We have dealt with claims for overruns in budget whether fixed priced contracts or estimated build costs. We have also been involved in claims for unpaid invoices and disputes over unpaid invoices.

In all the circumstances, we look at what was agreed by the parties, look at the Sales of Goods / Supply of Services Act (and more recently the Consumer Rights Act and consumer law), and decide what action to bring.

The first step will be to write a letter before action or letter of claim to the supplier or business, setting out the issues you have. If they are ignored or not dealt with satisfactorily, then we will need to consider issuing County Court proceedings. As civil litigation solicitors in Leicester, we are frequently instructed by individuals or businesses in Leicester to deal with their case.

The Consumer Contracts (Information, Cancellation and Additional Charges) Regulations 2013

We are seeing many businesses fall foul of this new legislation. It used to be known as the “door step” regulations, and involves contracts concluded at your home or elsewhere not at the businesses premises.

The law gives consumers 14 days cooling off period to cancel contracts made at your home. If no notice is given, the 14 days starts once a notice is given. This is a really strong consumer protection, as it allows homeowners to cancel a contract even if work has started and if no notice is given, they can potentially avoid payment!

Why choose our Litigation & Dispute Resolution lawyers?

Why choose us? 

We recognise that a large proportion of our work comes from recommendations and satisfied clients therefore for our aim is to give the maximum level of added value service at competitive rates. We accept we may not be the cheapest but we pride ourselves on the quality of service.

We provide clear and concise advice and ensure you are kept fully appraised throughout the transaction. 98% of our clients would recommend Josiah Hincks to friends, family and contacts.

Steven Mather is the Partner and Head of the Litigation Team. He qualified in 2008 and has vast experience in handling complex litigation matters. He was runner up as Solicitor of The Year in 2015 and The Times Lawyer of The Week in June 2014. He is one of the leading litigation lawyers in Leicestershire supports a great team of litigation lawyers who provide excellent service and have a passion for getting results.

In 2018 Josiah Hincks was recognised by the Leicestershire Law Society as Small Law Firm of the year 2018.  This award reflects the excellent service our staff offer its clients and brings assurance to those clients working with us that we strive for excellence in all we do.

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