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Litigation and Dispute Resolution

Litigation and Dispute Resolution

Legal disputes can arise in all walks of life, and require a careful approach if a smooth resolution is to be reached. The litigation and dispute resolution solicitors at Walker Foster are here to help you achieve this.

Walker Foster's litigation and dispute resolution services encompass a broad range of legal fields, providing legal guidance and representation for a variety of issues, including commercial disputes over contracts, property disputes, professional negligence claims and will disputes. Our dispute resolution team always prioritises alternative dispute resolution methods to avoid unnecessary litigation; when this is not possible, we will help you navigate the civil litigation process to protect your rights.

At Walker Foster, our blend of local insight, extensive experience, and commitment to transparency sets us apart. We prioritise legal solutions that are tailored to your specific needs, aligning our strategies with your circumstances, while delivering a cost-effective service that's focused on achieving the best possible outcome for you. Our team is renowned for their negotiation skills and in-depth understanding of litigation and dispute resolution law, ensuring that every aspect of your case is handled with the utmost precision and care.

Get in touch with the litigation and dispute resolution lawyers at Walker Foster today, and we will help you find the solution to your legal dispute that best meets your needs. Get in contact with us to find out how we can support you.

Our litigation and dispute resolution services

Walker Foster can offer practical legal advice on litigation and dispute resolution across various sectors:

Walker Foster’s commitment to excellence is evident in every case we handle, with a focus on delivering not just legal solutions, but peace of mind and reliable support throughout the dispute resolution process. We work carefully to understand the nuances of each case, ensuring that our approach is tailored to your specific situation and ideal outcome.

Our team’s dedication, combined with a long track record of success, means that you can put your full faith in us as trusted partners through each step of the process.

Contract disputes

Walker Foster’s dispute resolution lawyers can help you to address disputes over contracts, whether this involves not getting what you were promised, confusion over contract terms, or a failure to meet the necessary standards. Our dispute resolution solicitors can support you in the following circumstances:

  • Breach of contract: Assisting when services or products aren’t delivered as agreed, leading to potential claims for damages or corrective action.
  • Contract interpretation disputes: Helping to clarify and argue the meaning of contract terms to ensure your rights are protected.
  • Non-performance issues: Addressing cases where companies fail to meet their side of the agreement, with advice on seeking remedies.
  • Goods and services disputes: Offering support when the quality or delivery of goods and services fails to meet contractual standards.

In cases where litigation is unavoidable, our solicitors provide steadfast representation, backed by a detailed understanding of contract law and a legal approach tailored to your specific case, maximising the likelihood of a favourable outcome.

We specialise in identifying the core of the dispute, interpreting complex agreements, addressing failures to meet obligations, and resolving disagreements over the quality and delivery of what you've agreed to. Our approach is designed to safeguard your rights and ensure fair outcomes, making legal processes straightforward and effective from your perspective.

Landlord and tenant disputes

Walker Foster understands the intricacies of landlord and tenant relationships, and offers expert legal services aimed at resolving disputes as smoothly as possible. Our services include:

  • Rent and maintenance disputes: assistance with disagreements over rent payments, arrears and property upkeep, aiming for resolutions that satisfy both parties.
  • Eviction and occupancy issues: guidance through the legal complexities of eviction notices and tenancy termination, including forfeiture and possession proceedings, balancing the legal requirements with the rights of all parties involved.
  • Statutory compliance advice: expert advice on adhering to housing laws and regulations, helping landlords and tenants navigate their legal obligations and avoid potential disputes.
  • Lease agreement reviews: rigorous examination of lease terms to ensure clarity and enforceability, safeguarding the rights and obligations of landlords and tenants alike.

In complex disputes where mediation and other forms of alternative dispute resolution are not successful and court proceedings are needed, we will provide robust legal representation to ensure that you can put forward the best possible case.

At Walker Foster, we aim to smooth the complexities of landlord and tenant disputes, providing clear, practical advice and strong representation to protect your property interests.

Professional negligence

If you have experienced damages, harm or financial loss due to a professional's failure to perform their responsibilities to the necessary standard, Walker Foster can help you make a professional negligence claim. This may involve a contractual breach, a failure of the professional's duty of care; or a breach of statutory or fiduciary duties owed to you.

If you have experienced professional negligence, our litigation and dispute resolution solicitors can help you in the following ways:

  • Case assessment: we offer a comprehensive review of your case and your circumstances, to determine whether you have grounds to make a claim.
  • Legal advice: our team will provide expert advice on the legal avenues available to you, including all of the available alternative dispute resolution methods, to ensure you understand the process and potential outcomes of your case.
  • Building your case: we will gather all the evidence to prove the case for professional negligence and give you the best chance of a positive outcome.
  • Representation throughout the process: we will represent your interests robustly, aiming to secure fair compensation for any losses incurred due to professional negligence, and ensure you are supported if court proceedings are needed.

We focus on delivering clear, actionable advice, supporting you through each step of your claim. Our expertise in professional negligence claims is extensive and client-focused, and we will do everything in our power to make sure your case is successfully resolved.

Will dispute and inheritance claim services

At Walker Foster, our approach to resolving will disputes and inheritance claims reflects the sensitivity and emotional challenges of dealing with circumstances such as these. From start to finish, we are dedicated to protecting your interests and ensuring fair outcomes.

Our services include:

  • Handling challenges to the validity of a will: expert support for contesting the validity of wills, including disputes over undue influence, testamentary capacity, fraud or forgery.
  • Claims under the Inheritance Act: assistance for family members, dependants or partners who have not been adequately provided for in a will, guiding them through the process of claiming reasonable financial provision.
  • Executor and beneficiary disputes: navigating conflicts between executors and beneficiaries, including disagreements over the interpretation of will terms, distribution of assets, or the management of the estate.
  • Correcting wills: help with rectifying wills that fail to reflect the testator's intentions due to clerical errors or misunderstanding of the testator's wishes.
  • Trust disputes: Resolution of disputes related to the administration or interpretation of trusts arising from wills.
  • Property and asset claims: advice on claims related to specific property or assets within an estate, ensuring rightful ownership and distribution according to the deceased’s intentions.

Our comprehensive approach includes detailed assessment, strategic planning and empathetic guidance to navigate these complex issues, offering peace of mind and a sense of closure.

We have specialist expertise in this complex area of law, particularly when handling claims under the Inheritance (Provision for Family & Dependants) Act 1975. We understand that these cases often involve delicate family dynamics, so our dispute resolution team will provide a nuanced approach to maximise the chances of an amicable outcome.

Take a look at our Wills, Probate & Trusts page for more information about our expertise in this area of law.

Residential property disputes

Walker Foster provides comprehensive legal services for a broad spectrum of residential property disputes, including:

  • Boundary disputes: our solicitors help resolve disputes over the exact line dividing two properties. These often involve detailed analysis of deeds, surveys and historical use to establish rightful boundaries.
  • Land disputes: we address conflicts arising from ownership claims, land use and encroachments, offering strategic advice to secure your land rights.
  • Right of way disputes: we navigate issues related to easements and rights of access, ensuring clear, lawful use of paths or access routes that cross another's property.
  • Access disputes: our team expertly handles disagreements over access to property, including disputes over shared driveways or entryways, ensuring solutions that respect your property access rights.
  • Adverse possession claims: we provide guidance and representation for claims involving possession of land that someone else owns, through long-term occupation under certain conditions.
  • Leasehold and freehold disputes: expert guidance on issues arising from leasehold or freehold arrangements, ensuring your interests are protected and disputes are resolved effectively.
  • Property ownership disputes: assistance in disputes over property ownership, including joint ownership and succession issues, focusing on clear, equitable resolutions.

Our team is committed to delivering precise and empathetic legal support, ensuring your residential property concerns are addressed with the utmost care and professionalism.

Our approach to dispute resolution

Clear and comprehensive advice

At Walker Foster, our approach to dispute resolution is anchored in a deep understanding of our clients' unique circumstances. Our dispute resolution lawyers will work closely with you to create a tailored approach to handling your case, in line with your specific needs and objectives, so that we can offer clear and comprehensive advice.

We'll outline all of the options available to you, helping you understand the probable outcomes and the risks involved, as well as providing a transparent breakdown of any associated legal costs. We want to make sure you feel confident and ready to make informed decisions, guided by our expertise, in a way that's cost-effective for you.

Our team of experienced solicitors employs a balanced combination of negotiation, mediation and litigation skills. We are advocates of resolving disputes through the most efficient and amicable means possible, but if it becomes necessary to escalate the case to the county court or high court, we will be ready to represent and advocate for you.

Throughout the dispute resolution process, we'll maintain open lines of communication with you, ensuring that you feel informed and involved at every stage. We understand that legal proceedings can seem daunting, so we will work hard to demystify the process, providing clear, jargon-free advice and regular updates. This transparent approach, combined with our commitment to excellence and client care, reflects the ethos of Walker Foster - delivering peace of mind and reliable legal services, trusted by generations.

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Friendly, knowledgeable and professional team

Why choose Walker Foster?

Standing out while fitting in

We strive for excellence

We care about our clients

We empower our people to make a difference together

Choosing Walker Foster for your dispute resolution needs means entrusting your legal matters to a long-established and respected law firm that specialises in cases such as this. With a rich heritage dating back to 1919, we have a strong connection with the communities we serve, with local offices located in Skipton, Barnoldswick, Silsden, Settle, Ilkley, Northallerton and Harrogate. This ensures that we bring not just legal expertise, but a deep understanding of local nuances to your case.

Our commitment to being the first choice for local legal expertise means we can build long-term relationships and offer reliable legal services that span generations. We have decades of experience helping clients settle a variety of disputes, and our dispute resolution solicitors are also accredited mediators, capable of bringing all manner of civil and commercial disputes to a smooth resolution.

Our reputation is built on a foundation of trust, transparency and professionalism. By working with Walker Foster, you can work with a legal team that values your peace of mind, prioritises your interests, and is committed to successfully resolving your disputes in the way you want.

Meet the Team

Luca AngaranoChartered Legal Executive
Nick DentChartered Legal Executive

Litigation and Dispute Resolution FAQs

What are the different forms of alternative dispute resolution?

Alternative dispute resolution is an approach used to settle legal complaints with the assistance of an impartial dispute resolution body, without the need for a court case. In many cases, this will be an easier, faster and less expensive way to resolve disputes.

There are a number of different alternative dispute resolution methods:

  • Mediation: mediation involves a neutral third party, known as a mediator, who helps disputing parties find a mutually acceptable resolution. The mediator facilitates communication, promotes understanding, and assists the parties in identifying their priorities and options. However, they do not make a decision; the resolution is reached voluntarily by the parties.
  • Arbitration: in arbitration, a neutral third party, the arbitrator, listens to the evidence and arguments presented by each side, and then makes a decision that is binding on the parties. It's similar to a court proceeding but generally more flexible, less formal, and can be kept confidential.
  • Conciliation: this process is similar to mediation, but the conciliator plays a more active role in suggesting possible solutions or compromises to the parties. The conciliator may have more expertise on the particular subject matter than a mediator. The process remains voluntary, and the parties retain control over the decision to agree on the conciliator's suggestions.
  • Negotiation: this is the most informal form of alternative dispute resolution. It involves direct discussions between the parties involved in the dispute, intending to reach a mutually satisfactory agreement. It can be undertaken with or without the assistance of legal representatives, and does not involve a third party.

Each method offers distinct advantages and can be chosen based on the specific needs and dynamics of the dispute, with the common goal of achieving a resolution in a more private, efficient and potentially less adversarial manner than traditional litigation.

What are the advantages and disadvantages of litigation vs alternative dispute resolution?

In most cases, alternative dispute resolution will be seen as a preferable option compared to a potentially protracted court case. However, there may be some instances in which traditional litigation will achieve a better result.

Here, we break down the advantages and disadvantages of alternative dispute resolution:

Advantages

  • Cost-effective: methods such as mediation or arbitration generally incur lower costs compared to litigation
  • Time-saving: these processes are usually quicker, with resolutions potentially reached in a matter of months or even weeks.
  • Confidentiality: alternative dispute resolution proceedings are private, keeping sensitive information and the dispute itself out of the public eye.
  • Preserves relationships: this approach focuses on cooperation, and can preserve business or personal relationships post-resolution.

Disadvantages

  • Lack of formality: the informal nature of alternative dispute resolution might not be suitable for all types of disputes, especially those requiring rigorous legal procedures.
  • Non-binding decisions (in some cases): decisions in mediation are not legally binding unless a contract is formed post-resolution, potentially leading to further disputes.
  • Limited scope for appeal: in arbitration, the opportunity for appeal is significantly limited compared to litigation.
  • May not resolve power imbalances: in situations where there is a significant power imbalance between the parties, alternative dispute resolution may not adequately address the interests of the weaker party.

As a means of dispute resolution, litigation cannot be discounted as an option. The pros and cons of this approach are as follows:

Advantages

  • Formal and structured: litigation provides a structured legal framework, offering a formal setting for dispute resolution.
  • Legally binding: decisions made through litigation are enforceable by law, providing a definitive resolution.
  • Public record: litigation proceedings and judgments are matters of public record, which can be beneficial for precedent-setting or public interest cases.

Disadvantages

  • Cost: litigation can be expensive, with costs escalating quickly due to legal fees, court costs and other expenses.
  • Time-consuming: the process can be lengthy, sometimes taking years to reach a final resolution.
  • Public exposure: as a matter of public record, litigation can expose sensitive information or harm reputations.

Due to these considerations, the choice between litigation and ADR should be made based on the specific circumstances and needs of the dispute. This is why it is vital to seek practical legal advice from dispute resolution solicitors with expertise in this area, in order to determine which approach will be best for your specific circumstances.

For expert assistance and tailored advice in litigation and dispute resolution, contact Walker Foster today. Our dedicated team of dispute resolution solicitors are ready to provide the support and guidance you need to navigate through your legal challenges.

Contact us for a consultation and take the first step towards resolving your dispute with confidence and precision.

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