How long will it take to get my compensation?
This varies considerably depending on several factors, including how cooperative the defendant and their insurers are, and whether they are prepared to admit liability for your claim at an early stage, but also depending on your recovery period and length of time that it takes to obtain the full medical evidence to support your case. On average, and depending on these factors, most cases take anything between six months and three years to conclude, although complex cases can take longer than this if they proceed all the way to a court hearing.
What is a success fee?
A success fee is the element of legal costs that we are entitled to charge if we win the case, to compensation us for having taken a risk that we would not be paid if we had been unsuccessful. It is the success fee that you are asked to contribute out of your compensation as we are no longer able to recover that element of legal fees from the defendant, even if we win the case, because of legal changes made by the government in 2013.
How much will a PI claim cost me?
Your claim will cost you nothing at all if we are unsuccessful as you will be protected from having to pay any legal costs in those circumstances. If we are successful with your claim you will be asked to make a contribution towards your legal costs out of your compensation but this will be capped at no more than 25% and you will therefore recover at least 75%.
I have fallen out with my business partner what should I do?
Sometimes, perhaps through nobody’s fault, business relationships reach a natural conclusion. When this happens, it is important that all parties continue to communicate effectively to ensure that the value they have created in the business is not lost.
Engaging in sensible discussions at an early stage will allow both parties to go their separate ways, whilst retaining as much value as possible in their respective businesses. Early resolution, perhaps through mediation or without prejudice discussions, can allow the business to be carefully and fairly divided up, or for one party to exit the business with an appropriate amount of compensation.
In these circumstances mediation is a particularly effective tool, allowing all parties to resolve their issues and go their separate ways without destroying the value in the business.
How do I proceed if one of my directors is running a secret company?
Directors of companies have specific duties to the company (known as fiduciary duties), which oblige them to act in the best interests of the company, even if those interests conflict with their own personal interests.
Sometimes directors try to syphon parts of the business off into their own companies, so that they can retain the profit for themselves. If you become aware of a director doing this it is important to challenge the behaviour as soon as possible to avoid any suggestion that you have accepted it by conduct. Recovering loss for the company is more difficult than preventing it occurring in the first place. If you become aware of any activity like this, it is important to seek legal advice as soon as possible so that you can assess your options.
Generally speaking, there are far more options open to you at an early stage of a dispute than later on, when positions have become entrenched, or serious damage has already been done to the business.
I think my business partner is using the partnership accounts wrongly, what should I do?
What each partner is entitled to do in a partnership is defined by the partnership agreement, or the conduct of the parties established over a period of time, or a combination of both.
If you have discovered that your partner is in breach of their duties under your agreement you need to act swiftly to ensure that irrecoverable damage is not caused to the business.
If, for instance, a partner is taking money from the partnership account for their own ends, as well as depriving you of the potential benefit of that money, your partner may also be failing to pay debts to your suppliers, which in turn could leave you personally liable for the debts of the business.
In these circumstances it is important to get advice quickly on your options, hopefully before any serious damage is done to the business.