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Claims Against Team once again ranked in the Legal 500

Smith Partnership, one of the largest firms of solicitors in the Midlands, is delighted to have been recognised again as “one of the leading firms in the East Midlands” with a reputation for “exceptional service” in this year’s Legal 500 report, the annual guide to UK law firms. Smith Partnership have achieved their best results in the 2018/19 Legal 500, earning recognition across the East Midlands within every category entered.

Celebrating another successful year, the law firm has been moving up the rankings in the Legal 500 report year on year and is very excited to have recorded its best year ever, maintaining its position offering one of the only Family and Crime legal services team in Leicester with Legal 500 ‘Top Tier’ status.

It is also clear from the report that the focus it places on customer service has remained central to the way it works today, as it has since it was established over 30 years ago!

Smith Partnership has always prided itself in delivering excellent service and building long lasting relationships with its clients, with the Legal 500 reflecting this belief with a commendation of having a stand-out reputation for openness, friendliness and no-nonsense straight-talking, being quoted as “nothing short of excellent and brilliant at delivering a great quality service”.

The Legal 500 is an annual guide to all law firms in the UK, aimed at buyers of legal services, to see who is leading the way in the profession, naming both practises and individuals. Law firms are invited to submit their details each year, with expert researchers interviewing lawyers and clients to grade each firm.

Alison Neate, Partner at Smith Partnership said: “Our performance this year has exceeded all our expectations again and we are […]

By |November 28th, 2018|Uncategorized|Comments Off on Claims Against Team once again ranked in the Legal 500

What happens next?

If you instruct us to take on your case, we will consider if we are able to offer you a Conditional Fee Arrangement (CFA); this is sometimes known as a “no win no fee” agreement. In order to decide this we will need to assess the strengths and weaknesses of your case. This will involve looking at all of the relevant documentation in your possession. We may not be able to offer a CFA from the outset, however, this does not mean that we will not be able to offer a CFA later on.

 

We would also need to know whether you have any existing insurance policies which might cover your legal costs in relation to a claim.

By |March 19th, 2018|Uncategorized|Comments Off on What happens next?

What is a standstill agreement?

A standstill agreement is an agreement which has the effect of stopping or suspending time for the purposes of limitation. It may be used to allow negotiations to take place to settle a dispute, and thereby avoiding court action, or perhaps a claimant is not ready to issue a claim form or has issued a claim form but not yet served the particulars of claim.

The effect of a standstill agreement is that the action “stands still”, which means that neither party can complain to the court about the inactivity of the other party.

By |March 14th, 2018|Uncategorized|Comments Off on What is a standstill agreement?

What is limitation?

Limitation is the legal principle that there should be an end date to litigation. The main reason for this is to protect defendants against claims being made against them after a long period of time when they may have destroyed evidence available to rebut those claims.

The time limits on when a party can start court action are set out in the Limitation Act 1980. The period of limitation depends upon the type of court action. In most cases, proceedings must be brought within 6 years from the date on which the cause of action

If a claim is not brought before the limitation period ends, the claim will be barred. This means that it will be no longer possible to make a claim against the alleged wrongdoer.

By |February 27th, 2018|Uncategorized|Comments Off on What is limitation?

What is the pre-action protocol?

The protocol is a code of good practice that must be followed by all parties prior to starting court action. The aim of the protocol is to try and allow the parties to resolve the dispute without court action, to ensure that all parties understand the issues in the dispute and to avoid unnecessary expenses.

The protocol outlines the steps that must be followed before taking court action;

A letter (called the “Preliminary Notice”) must be sent to the professional to outline the grievance.
As soon as it’s decided that there are grounds for a claim, a detailed Letter of Claim must be sent to the professional.
The professional must respond to the Letter of Claim within 21 days of receipt. The professional will have 3 months to investigate and respond to the Letter of Claim by writing a Letter of Response and/or a Letter of Settlement.
If the claim is denied then it is open to you to start court proceedings.

Court proceedings should always be a last resort.

If a party does not follow the protocol then the court may decide to impose sanctions.

If you need any advice regarding this or any other professional negligence matter, give us a call or fill in our online form and one of our experts will be in touch.

By |February 21st, 2018|Uncategorized|Comments Off on What is the pre-action protocol?

What is a Small Claim track?

If your claim is worth £10,000 or less then it will be allocated to the small claims track of your local county court.

The procedure of the small claims court is designed to enable parties to represent themselves. You can still ask a lawyer to assist you, but you will not be able to recover any of your legal fees from your opponent even if you win your claim. If you lose your claim you will not have to pay your opponent’s legal costs. There are only a few limited exceptions to this rule – you can recover the court issue fee and some limited expenses.

To start a claim in the small claims court, you will need to complete a claim form (Form N1). This can be completed online or as a paper form. You must pay a court fee when you make a claim.

If you need any advice regarding this or any other professional negligence matter, give us a call or fill in our online form and one of our experts will be in touch.

By |February 20th, 2018|Uncategorized|Comments Off on What is a Small Claim track?

Claims Against Team ranked in the Legal 500

Smith Partnership, one of the largest firms of solicitors in the Midlands, is delighted to have been recognised again as a leading law firm with a reputation for being clear, approachable and very experienced in this year’s Legal 500 report, the annual guide to UK law firms. Smith Partnership have achieved their best results in the 2017 Legal 500, earning recognition across the East Midlands within every category entered.

Celebrating its 30th birthday this month, the law firm has been moving up the rankings in the Legal 500 report year on year and is very excited to have recorded its best year ever, maintaining its position offering one of the only Family and Crime legal services team in Leicester with Legal 500 ‘Top Tier’ status.

It is also clear from the report that the focus it places on customer service has remained central to the way it works today, as it has since it was established 30 years ago!

Smith Partnership has always prided itself in delivering excellent service and building long lasting relationships with its clients, with the Legal 500 reflecting this belief with a commendation of having a stand-out reputation for openness, friendliness and no-nonsense straight-talking, being quoted as “great with clients”.

The Legal 500 is an annual guide to all law firms in the UK, aimed at buyers of legal services, to see who is leading the way in the profession, naming both practises and individuals. Law firms are invited to submit their details each year, with expert researchers interviewing lawyers and clients to grade each firm.

The aim of the Legal 500 is to build up a detailed bank of information, as well as an insight into law firms that excel in a variety of […]

By |October 13th, 2017|Uncategorized|Comments Off on Claims Against Team ranked in the Legal 500

Increase in Negligence Claims against Law Firms

The number of negligence claims being brought against law firms has risen dramatically over the past few years. This trend is likely to continue as the effects  Government cuts to legal aid, recent massive rises in court fees and increasing limitations on the recovery of legal costs bite further. These increasing financial pressures mean that all firms are having to find ways to work more efficiently to stay in business. Unfortunately this can also give rise to mistakes which impact upon the consumer.

 

One area which has recently come under the spotlight is the online “Portal” system for Road Traffic Accident claims which came into use in July 2013. Claims are submitted electronically and where liability is admitted the parties can make offers and counter offers to settle the claims. The idea behind it is that the process is more streamlined, more certain and claims get resolved much more quickly. Solicitors receive fixed fees for each successful case so it is common for them to do the work quickly and in bulk to maximise their fee income. Many firms employ inexperienced staff as a further means of keeping down costs and maximising their profits.

 

In the recent case of Draper v Newport the Claimant’s solicitor was pursuing a personal injury claim for him through the Portal. Liability was admitted and the Defendant made an initial offer of settlement. However, the offer was too low so the Claimant instructed his solicitor to reject it. Unfortunately the solicitor clicked “accept” instead of “reject” and although the mistake was spotted immediately and notified to the Defendant, they refused to accept that the offer had been rejected. Court proceedings ensued and the Court found that the Claimant was stuck […]

By |April 10th, 2015|Uncategorized|Comments Off on Increase in Negligence Claims against Law Firms

We are proud and excited to announce that our Leicester offices at Charnwood Court and Pocklingtons Walk have been short listed as Finalists in the category of Law Firm of the Year 2015

We are proud and excited to announce that our Leicester offices at Charnwood Court and Pocklingtons Walk have been short listed as Finalists in the category of Law Firm of the Year 2015. We are joined in the category by other well regarded Leicester firms Weightmans, Glynis Wright and Emery Johnson Astills. 

Smith Partnerships Leicester offices are based right in the heart of the City of Leicester offering a full range of all commercial and private client legal services. The team in both of the offices pride themselves on their ability to deal with clients in the most efficient and effective way and to avoid legal jargon. Alison Neate Managing Partner in the Leicester Offices said “ I am so proud of both the offices for being nominated in the Law Firm of the Year Category. The nomination alone is a great accolade to the hard work and commitment shown by each and every member of the team”.

The winners are to be announced on the 15th May 2015 at the annual Leicestershire Law Society dinner and legal awards 2015 to be held at the Athena Leicester.

We will be tweeting about the awards right up to the 15th May 2015 at @ClaimsAgainst

By |April 2nd, 2015|Uncategorized|Comments Off on We are proud and excited to announce that our Leicester offices at Charnwood Court and Pocklingtons Walk have been short listed as Finalists in the category of Law Firm of the Year 2015