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Small Claims: Claimant's Response to Defence & Counterclaim
 
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info@redwoodlegal.co.uk +4420 7620 6265 This is the first in a series of blogs on the Small Claims Court in England & Wales, in which Redwood Legal provide free insights and practical tips and information on how to bring your own small claim, without the need for a lawyer. If you need our advice or assistance or input at any time - then we can provide it for a reduced fee. That is how our business model works for this project. We are also hoping of course to generate a client base for other other legal needs. Today we deal with how to respond to a Defence & Counterclaim. You are the Claimant and you are faced with an opponent who seems determined to cause you problems. They are not just avoiding paying. As for all our vlogs, we usual actual cases that we are currently running to make sure it is the "real deal". We have found this is better than theoretical knowledge. So in this case you have a Claimant who is chasing unpaid invoices for curtains she has made for an interior designer who has an end client that she has tried to please too hard and is now making our client pay for her, "oversell". (See the video for the brief facts.) The claim value is no more than £750 but the trouble now is that the interior designer has replied to the claim with a defence AND a counterclaim, saying that the invoices were not paid because not only was the one done improperly, but she had to spend more money on repairing the damage. Our client was about to send a long document (in effect a witness statement) in reply to the Defendants long letter reply to the claim, attached to her defence. The issue here is clarity. Sending this long document would have been a mistake. This is where you have to, unfortunately, apply some legal knowledge. Now, it's a strange anomaly that there is this small claims system that excludes lawyers but you are nevertheless expected to know the law! Ignorance of the law is no defence! What on earth do you do? You do not know the law of contract or negligence. Well, you make sure you have separated the issues and been crystal clear about what your response is and you have NOT written a long, emotional response providing evidence. Evidence is for later - the court will direct you nearer the trial on exchange of evidence. For now you just want to focus on clearly defining your case and rejecting your opponent's. So what should you do? Well, in this case, separate out the issues. 1. The Defence - the curtains WERE correct as they were what was ordered. The specification was met. The Defendant asked for a thin hem (not interlined) and this was precisely what was delivered. So the Claimant denies the defence. 2. The counterclaim is stoutly denied as any damage only came about as the result of the wrong specification that the Defendant had contracted for. However, even if there was any fault with the Claimant, the Defendant failed to give an opportunity to the Claimant to remedy the error. This is called duty to mitigate. Further, great expense was incurred by the Defendant, necessarily so. That is then all you need. The court will then receive your CLEAR response. Judges like clarity. If you bombard the court with all manner of random evidence in your outrage at your Defendant's conduct, you play into their hands. And give them ammunition. The correct place for this is your witness statement and exchange down the track. So, for example, the fact that in this case the Defendant was still using the Claimant's work in their showroom gives the lie to their case- is a matter for nearer trial once the court has sent you directions for trial and exchange of witness statement and disclosure of documentary evidence. Do not be indignant - just be clear. Crystal Clear. And finally, your response to their defence is the REPLY - and your response to their counterclaim is your DEFENCE to the counterclaim, for a claim that they are now bringing against you. Be sure to think clearly and separate these two elements out when your draft your response and sent it into the court. And title it "REPLY AND DEFENCE TO COUNTERCLAIM" if you like. 11 May 2016
Views: 4129 Redwood Information
The Landlord & Tenant Act 1954
 
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info@redwoodlegal.co.uk +44(0)20 7620 6265 This is a video for commercial landlords and tenants who want to understand better the mechanism in place for the end of a lease. The 1954 Act is a powerful piece of legislation and you cannot just exclude it from your lease.
Views: 895 Redwood Information
Small Claims Advice. How do I bring my own claim in the UK?
 
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info@redwoodlegal.co.uk +4420 7620 6265 This is a video for those who want to "Go it alone" in the courts, specifically utlising the small claims track facility to avoid expensive lawyers making it prohibitive (lawyers are not allowed in small claims track, or at least if they do they will not be paid). USUAL CAVEAT: MAKE SURE THE ADVICE I GIVE IS CURRENT. YOU CAN ALWAYS EMAIL ME ON AN ISSUE SO QUERY IF REQUIRED. 1. Costs. This is the biggest issue of course and you should know that if you are doing it yourself you are probably of a low value (under £10,000) and on the small claims track. I would estimate that for a case nearing the high end of this range (costs are on a sliding scale for most types of claims for a purely monetary remedy) then you are looking at exposure to £1,000 maximum costs if you lose. These are mostly court fees and if it is a tiny claim this goes down to as low as £100 - see EX50. Costs can also be incurred that you may have to pay for for expert (max £750) and loss of earnings for your opponent and his witnesses (£95 a day) 2. Make sure you have been genuinely wronged and you are no getting counter-claimed, for instance building works where you are a builder chasing an unpaid invoice and maybe you not have done everything right or perhaps even caused some minor damage. Consider putting it down to experience this time if it is low value. That being said, everyone may need to go to court once in their life and so see it as a educational experience and an entrepreneurial endeavour, not a grudge war. It can be cheap and easy to just bang off an N1 claim form (once you have written to them about your complaint and have been ignored) which can cost as low as £35 for a £500 claim. 3. Get it right! Make sure you complete pre-action stage properly and do not go straight to issue without a paper trail and make sure you fill in N1 correctly. If you do not you could get into trouble and if you are fighting a larger organisation they could make a strike-out application for a poorly particularised claim, for example, before the case even gets designated as "small claims" and now you are facing serious legal bills to amend your claim. The law still applies! If you make sure you have carefully filled in the N1 form you should be fine; and if there is a complex issue get a little bit of legal advice just to help with that. (Or perhaps try CAB.) 4. Be aware of various exceptions such as personal injury and tenants against landlords and non-money claims like possession claims. These claims may not fall into the standard small claims track even though they may be under £10,000. Online resources below will help you and this is all explained in court leaflets and the court rules (Civil Procedure Rules, CPR) if you do your research. 5. Legal advice? Well, the system is designed to exclude lawyers but there are companies who will help you with advice but not charge you an arm and a leg to actually represent you properly. Might be worth it if you trust them and you use them judiciously in proportion to size of claim. But obviously having a solicitor represent you in its entirety defeats the purpose as it will eat away your claim value. We may be a bit expensive as we tend to deal in more complex, higher-value claims but we are considering creating a special advice service of £100 an hour (approx). Conclusion: I claimed before I was a lawyer and found it worked well. The value was £2,000. I went to his home town where the case was transferred (as is common if your opponent is not a company). I paid a small amount of fees. He did not show up. I got my money! Remember, that the most important thing is paperwork and preparation. So before you issue you should have basically laid out exactly what the complaint is and what you want them to do to correct it and give them time to respond. Here is a list of some relevant web-sites. There are more out there: www.moneysavingexpert.com - will take your through the steps and shows you basic N1 Form to use www.citizensadvice.org.uk - they can also give basic advice www.gov.uk/make-court-claim-for-money/going-to-court - basic government leaflet on going to court www.justice.gov.uk/courts/procedure-rules/civil/rules/part27 - if you want to know the REAL detail and be sure of your ground. The Civil Procedure Rules (CPR). What is said here trumps all else. This is the law and other information sites (including this one) may easily be outdated. Do not forget to look at the Practice Direction associated with CPR Part 27. For forms, simply google: EX50 - Court Fees EX306 - Guidance on Small Claims
Views: 5951 Redwood Information
How do I draft a Witness Statement? UK General Litigation & Small Claims
 
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info@redwoodlegal.co.uk +44(0)20 7620 6265 This is a "How To" on how to draft a witness statement. Do not forget that witness statements are for producing evidence and so you should NOT send a witness statement in when you first make a claim. See separate video on drafting a Reply & Defence to Counterclaim - pleadings are what you use to state your case, evidence comes at a later stage and the court will send out an order for your to produce and exchange witness statements and all your evidence (disclosure) at a date a few weeks before trial. - this can often take claimants buy surprise, where they have issued a claim without realising that there was any problem with the work that they had performed.
Views: 723 Redwood Information
What if the counterclaim is a tactical ploy? UK Small Claims Court
 
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+44(0)20 7620 6265 info@redwoodlegal.co.uk I look at a case in the small claims track where the defendant tried to get the claimant to drop the case by launching a large counterclaim of damages that was even greater than his own claim. I emphasise the importance of focusing on procedure (and costs sanctions) to deal with such ploys... I consider the issue of YOUR QUESTIONS about COSTS?! What do I pay? What will it costs me? Will my legal bill outweigh my win? Legal Expenses Insurance? How do I pay? Essentially there will always be discretion. Proportionality is KEY. So you start by putting £300 + Vat on account. £150 + VAT is the lowest we would ever do. This could be refunded (see below) Let's say we do 2 hours work, advising and reading, then we might think you have a really good case and so say that we will take 25% if you win. Let's say a £5,000 claim. We might even refund the £300 up front. Or if it is very small, say £2,000, we might say that we will cap our fees at £450 for entire case, so that if you settle at £1,500 you will still benefit from us. A defence? We may then ask you for £500 against a £2,500 defence and if you settle for £1,000 you have benefitted. If you lose after paying us £500 we may refund £250. The point is that PROPORTIONATE means just that and we will exercise discretion. Above all, a clear story in an email and all your documents in a PDF in chronological order will help. LEGAL EXPENSES INSURANCE? Maybe, you will need to ask them. Quote them our rates and tell them what we are likely to charge. Trust that helps - I will now come on to documents in next post.
Views: 1002 Redwood Information
How does the court deal with the property in a co-habitation dispute? 6 Apr 2015
 
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Co-habitation Disputes There are certain misconceptions about English law in relation to co-habitation disputes. It is not like marriage and divorce where different law applies and nor should you treat it in the same way as you might if you were business partners buying a property together. What this means in practice is that the answer to the key question, “Is the property jointly owned and if so, in what shares?” is not to be found merely in respective financial contributions. Nor is it that a husband and wife own everything equally. The approach the court takes is to ask, “What was the common intention of the parties at the time the property was bought?” The starting point where both names are on the deeds and both are liable under the mortgage is that it is jointly owned in equal shares and it is not easy to overturn this presumption. You must have evidence to show that anything other than equal shares was intended. Alternatively, if you solely own a property and your partner is not on the deeds then the presumption works the other way. Financial contributions may be evidence of a common intention not to share equally or share equally, but they are not the starting point and the court will usually only go onto to apply a simple financial contribution approach as a fall-back. It is not about saying what is “fair” now, but what was intended then. So be under no illusions: if your partner is on the deeds you may have an uphill struggle to demonstrate you do not own in equal shares and if you are not on the deeds but made financial contributions you may likewise have an uphill struggle to prove you have an interest in the property. Relevant cases: Jones v Kernott [2011] UKSC 53 Stack v Dowden [2007] UKHL 17
Views: 905 Redwood Information
Cohabitation Property Disputes:  what if our circumstances changed?
 
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This video addresses the situation where one partner may have made a greater contribution and where the other partner has moved out of the property some time in the past. Both parties are on the title deeds. Is the valuation now or when the ex-partner moved out? This case, which is hypothetical but very typical, is one of those instances in which the court probably would depart from the rule of joint ownership or 50% equal shares. The reason being that it is not just that the financial contribution is significant (as you will know from other videos this is not necessarily a good enough reason to depart from a 50% split) but that the relationship ended and so the common intention may have changed. I also look at what steps the client should take as it is, of course, one thing being in the right but quite another actually enforcing rights. Essentially this is to take legal advice ON THE SPECIFIC FACTS OF HER CASE, then open up correspondence with the ex-partner in amicable fashion and then only if that goes nowhere to instruct a lawyer. It is obviously very important to exhaust attempts at pre-action settlement as this will protect you against costs if you then have to issue. Once the lawyer is instructed they should probably make what is called a "part 36" offer before commencing proceedings, which should be realistic. I also look at what the court might order. After all, the other party may wish to hang on to the property and wait for it to increase in value (or there may be emotional reasons). But a court would order a sale or allow one party time to re-finance. It would not be happy with the ownership being in the air like this after the couple has split up. I then look at the key issue of whether and what is the cost of a lawyer and legal proceedings. Essentially it boils down to whether or not you think your ex-partner is going to be reasonable and co-operative. If you do then a normal hourly-rate may be best. If not, it may be better to try and find a No Win No Fee lawyer who will take 15%-25% on your share of the equity in return for working largely for free. He will also bear the lion's share of disbursements which can be very expensive (an issue fee alone in this case could be £5,000). He will also take out insurance to protect you against having to pay the other side's legal bill if you lose. This can look daunting initially, but it can be powerful if the ex-partner wants to make life difficult. This is because they cannot sit back and do nothing, because if they do they could end up seeing their share of the equity being eaten up in your lawyer's legal fees and that lawyer is highly motivated to win a victory. (Fees to trial could be around £25,000 or more.) I refer to figures in the video and produces tables below to illustrate how the split in this example may work, taking a property bought for £100,000 in 2006, a relationship that ends in 2008 and a value of £220,000 in 2015. The courts are in fact used to making percentage orders and this particular example has a striking precedent in one of the landmark cases, Jones v Kernott SC 2011 in which one partner had already moved out of the property years earlier. The split was approximately 15% to him, 85% to her. A realistic and very reasonable offer in this case would be 33%. 1. Take a financial contributions approach: Contributions Her Him Deposit £10,000 £0 Mortgage payments £300 a month for 2 years £3,600 £3,600 Maintenance / Repairs etc. £600 £0 Total £14,200 £3,600 Percentage Share 80% 20% 2. Approach after the couple split in 2008: So, to conclude our example, if the property was worth £150,000 in 2008 he receives approximately £30,000 (the mortgage of £90,000 is redeemed leaving £60,000 equity). It is now worth £220,000 so if it is sold in 2015 she receives £100,000. £30,000 is approximately 25% - so the courts may like this rounded approach and this figure does in fact "feel" fair. 25% is the likely outcome therefore at trial. So in the above example she could end up with losing 15%-25% of her share to the lawyer. If we assume he accepts an offer of 33% of the current equity in the property then: He gets £43,333 She gets £73,666 (£86,666 - 15% legal fees) A conservative valuation of £150,000 has been used and a conservative offer of 33%. So she could get more and you may hope that the lawyer would be able to negotiate an extra £10,000 possibly, representing the refund of the deposit. Costs of going to trial could be anywhere around £25,000 or more. Costs to get the case issued could easily be £10,000 in a claim of this value.
Views: 594 Redwood Information
No Win No Fee Explained! Co-habitation Property Disputes UK
 
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info@redwoodlegal.co.uk 00 44 (0)20 7620 6265 I explain when it is a good idea to use No Win No Fee and when a normal "taxi meter" hourly-rate is appropriate. I drill into detail around the costs of No Win No Fee that lawyers might not tell you about! See also a longer vlog on "The REAL cost of instructing a no win no fee lawyer". I have had a couple of successes very recently in the area of co-habitation property disputes such that I am able to give good general guidance on this issue. One of the cases was a £100k + figure claim by a lady who instructed me to fight for a decent share of the property she bought with her ex-partner many years ago. I have also had a recent enquiry in a similar case which raised the same issue - a ex who may be wealthier and can play the "my lawyers are bigger than your lawyers" game and intimidate a ex-partner into settling for a derisory amount. I deal with other areas of no win no fee in other blogs, but for this one I want to deal with the problems of disbursements; the costs of actually getting your ex-partner (and it could be a business partner, not just a romantic relationship) and the difficulties that the current legislation enacted in 2015 has put in the way and how to overcome them. The biggest change in March 2015 was to court fees, which have gone up astronomically, to simply bring your claim. Of course a defendant can sit and wait to see if you are "man" enough to actually put your hand in your pocket. The ex-partner may already be fearful, let alone having to simply write a huge cheque to issue proceedings. Here are some example fee bands before and after: £300,000 Before: £1,720 Now: £10,000 £250,000 Before: £1,515 Now: £10,000 £200,000 Before: £1,315 Now: 5% of the claim value £150,000 Before: £1,115 Now:5% of the claim value Massive changes. Where on earth are you expected to find the money? The problem is you may already have been using a conventional solicitor and paying them money, but when it comes to issue, where are you? Suddenly they are asking you for £10,000 JUST to get the ball rolling! And then there is the further issue of ATE Insurance and other disbursements. What are the costs of those? They too could be £10,000, and even though you only pay the premium if you win (out of your winnings) you may be required to pay up-front £1,000 or £2,000 deposit, probably non-refundable even if you lose. You will also have issues along the way: additional court fees / expert report / counsel's fees for interlocutory hearings / applications etc. etc. These could be £1,000 or £10,000. At least they can be claimed from the other side if you win and can also be covered by the above insurance if you lose. And thirdly, there is the issue of the "success fee". This is the uplift on their hourly rate they are allowed to impose, but the law has changed so that, along with ATE insurance premiums, you cannot claim the success fee from the other side if you win. This is in fact the 25% "contingency part". So the problem is that the solicitor may have told you that it is no win no fee, but is it really? Fortunately in these types of cases there is a way, but it does need a solicitor who is geared up for this type of work and who can cashflow the litigation and has the nerve not to settle under pressure. He also has to be prepared to assist you with funding the above, which he is allowed to do. Not all solicitors - in fact not many at all - want to do this because of the risks of losing and getting nothing AND even losing out by having part-funded disbursements. You need to find those that do. Who will, quite fairly in my view, ask you to put up a % of the property to pay them for the risk. 6 Nov 2016
Views: 781 Redwood Information
Is my PPI Offer adequate? Part 1: Simple 8% Interest
 
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info@redwoodlegal.co.uk +4420 7620 6265 By reference to one of my recent cases I review the issue of inadequate redress in two videos, of which this is the first. In this video I look at where you are happy with the basic redress but feel that you suffered high borrowing costs on other debts during the time you had the PPI and whilst waiting for the bank to pay out. You may have been paying compound interest at very high credit card rates and so simple 8% is woefully inadequate. This can inflate your redress by many thousands of pounds and the money that they have been making out of compound interest is not something they want people to understand. In the case to which I refer we brought an appeal to FOS after Black Horse had offered £3,500. The client had got into real difficulty with her finances. It was a sad story as she actually died of a drugs overdose and it turned out she had been hiding her severe indebtedness from her husband and family. All sorts of credit cards and payday loans were found. But FOS ruled that there was no evidence that she would have used the money to pay down these other debts. (She might just have spent it - on holidays, a car, furniture etc.) FOS do not take great stock of what customers say in my experience, but prefer to simply look at the paperwork. This proves what I have believed for a long time, that FOS are not the right tribunal for factual disputes as they do not have the expertise of dealing with client testimony. Customers can be unreliable of course, but unfortunately a blanket policy tends to exclude cases of real individual merit. The courtroom is better. But we could not really go to court on this one either, as the client was deceased and so could not give evidence and her husband knew little about what was going on. Where you are claiming more than simple 8% in court, the burden is on you to prove that you should have been given more (compound interest at a credit card rate, for example, if you have been paying down credit card debt). Causation is the real issue here. What does this mean? Well, you may feel it is crystal clear that you were deprived of money that you could have used to reduce credit card debts that were costing you an arm and a leg, but how do you prove it in court? In this case we did not just lack a client but also the issue was complicated by a number of the credit card companies who had written off balances after they discovered she had died. So she might not have suffered such great losses in any event. But the REAL PROBLEM and the more general point, is that you have this problem of producing documentary evidence that will satisfy the FOS or court. The law in relation to this area (see Sempra Metals Ltd v Inland Revenue Commissioners [2007] UKHL 34) is that it is for the person claiming a higher rate of interest than simple 8% that they really have suffered this loss. This has proved in PPI claims to be a high burden of proof in practice. (In commercial courts pleading compound interest losses is more commonplace.) My conclusion is that you have to have really concrete evidence that if you had that money much earlier you would have used it to pay off other debts. For example, bank statements showing that you were using what surplus income you had to reduce your credit card borrowings. Unfortunately neither the courts nor FOS are likely to find for you without this. The courts have for centuries applied simple 8% and the law only recently changed - so you simply have the psychological problem of getting them to change their mind after years of accepting simple 8% as standard. I have had a lot of experience raising this issue directly with senior people at The Financial Ombudsman, Financial Conduct Authority as well as arguing it in court, so I really know what I am talking about on this issue. Bradley Say, counsel at Gough Square Chambers and one of the best in the business did a superb job of arguing the issue in court in one of my other cases. The judge was a young judge. But even he could not quite give up the idea that simple 8% as standard and I could see, although the arguments were convincing, he just could not quite go with it without better evidence. The time will come when we will find a case that has this concrete evidence above and then the law will begin to change in practice. (Ie. judges will implement it more widely.) Please email info@redwoodlegal.co.uk if you want to talk over your case.
Views: 373 Redwood Information
Small Claims UK: Documents: How do I manage my paperwork? UK Small Claims Court
 
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Please note that when first issuing your claim you should send TWO copies to the court. They will then serve a copy on the defendant. In this video I advise on how to deal with documentation, pleadings, court forms, correspondence and also what to do about filing evidence. As usual make it relevant by referring to a real, live case. Topics covered: Pleadings & Court Forms Court Correspondence Evidence versus pleadings and when NOT to file evidence Court Postage and sending docs to the other side and the court How to deal with issues in your statement of case / defence
Views: 1610 Redwood Information
"My opponent has admitted the claim..." But will they pay?! UK Small Claims Court
 
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info@redwoodlegal.co.uk +44(0)20 7620 6265 I review a small claims case in which the Defendant has admitted the claim but the issue is whether they can pay and how much. And how trustworthy are they?
Views: 144 Redwood Information
How do I draft a reply and defence to counterclaim? UK General Litigation & Small Claims
 
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info@redwoodlegal.co.uk +44(0)20 7620 6265 This is a "How To" on how to respond not just to a defence, but a COUNTERCLAIM - this can often take claimants buy surprise, where they have issued a claim without realising that there was any problem with the work that they had performed.
Views: 373 Redwood Information
Should I use the small claims court in the UK? UK Small Claims Court
 
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info@redwoodlegal.co.uk +44 (0)20 7620 6265 GENERAL INFORMATION ONLY! PLEASE CHECK THE DATE OF THIS VLOG, AS THE LAW CAN CHANGE OVER TIME! Support service hourly rates from £100 - £150. I have done a longer vlog on this area with links to lots of online resources about how to bring your own small claim: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C4VPVFIqLC4 1. Costs. This is the biggest issue of course and you should know that if you are doing it yourself you are probably of a low value (under £10,000) and on the small claims track. I would estimate that for a case nearing the high end of this range (costs are on a sliding scale for most types of claims for a purely monetary remedy) then you are looking at exposure to £1,000 maximum costs if you lose. These are mostly court fees and if it is a tiny claim this goes down to as low as £100 - see EX50. Costs can also be incurred that you may have to pay for for expert (max £750) and loss of earnings for your opponent and his witnesses (£95 a day) 2. Make sure you have been genuinely wronged and you are no getting counter-claimed, for instance building works where you are a builder chasing an unpaid invoice and maybe you not have done everything right or perhaps even caused some minor damage. Consider putting it down to experience this time if it is low value. That being said, everyone may need to go to court once in their life and so see it as a educational experience and an entrepreneurial endeavour, not a grudge war. It can be cheap and easy to just bang off an N1 claim form (once you have written to them about your complaint and have been ignored) which can cost as low as £35 for a £500 claim. 3. Get it right! Make sure you complete pre-action stage properly and do not go straight to issue without a paper trail and make sure you fill in N1 correctly. If you do not you could get into trouble and if you are fighting a larger organisation they could make a strike-out application for a poorly particularised claim, for example, before the case even gets designated as "small claims" and now you are facing serious legal bills to amend your claim. The law still applies! If you make sure you have carefully filled in the N1 form you should be fine; and if there is a complex issue get a little bit of legal advice just to help with that. (Or perhaps try CAB.) 4. Be aware of various exceptions such as personal injury and tenants against landlords and non-money claims like possession claims. These claims may not fall into the standard small claims track even though they may be under £10,000. Online resources below will help you and this is all explained in court leaflets and the court rules (Civil Procedure Rules, CPR) if you do your research. 5. Legal advice? Well, the system is designed to exclude lawyers but there are companies who will help you with advice but not charge you an arm and a leg to actually represent you properly. Might be worth it if you trust them and you use them judiciously in proportion to size of claim. But obviously having a solicitor represent you in its entirety defeats the purpose as it will eat away your claim value. We may be a bit expensive as we tend to deal in more complex, higher-value claims but we are considering creating a special advice service of £100 an hour (approx). Conclusion: I claimed before I was a lawyer and found it worked well. The value was £2,000. I went to his home town where the case was transferred (as is common if your opponent is not a company). I paid a small amount of fees. He did not show up. I got my money! Remember, that the most important thing is paperwork and preparation. So before you issue you should have basically laid out exactly what the complaint is and what you want them to do to correct it and give them time to respond. Here is a list of some relevant web-sites. There are more out there: www.moneysavingexpert.com - will take your through the steps and shows you basic N1 Form to use www.citizensadvice.org.uk - they can also give basic advice www.gov.uk/make-court-claim-for-money/going-to-court - basic government leaflet on going to court www.justice.gov.uk/courts/procedure-rules/civil/rules/part27 - if you want to know the REAL detail and be sure of your ground. The Civil Procedure Rules (CPR). What is said here trumps all else. This is the law and other information sites (including this one) may easily be outdated. Do not forget to look at the Practice Direction associated with CPR Part 27. For forms, simply google: EX050 - Court Fees EX306 - Guidance on Small Claims
Views: 884 Redwood Information
Strike Out Applications:  Small Claims Court UK  Dec 2017
 
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info@redwoodlegal.co.uk Strike Out Applications I recently had a phone call from a distressed lady who had brought a claim against a hospital and they had responded by making a strike-out application. This was BEFORE the claim had actually been officially allocated to the small claims track and so they were exposed to costs of losing. This prompted the video.
Views: 298 Redwood Information
Inheritance Act Claims - how do you challenge a will?
 
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+44 (0)207 620 6265 info@redwoodlegal.co.uk We cover a couple of cases we have dealt with involving disputes over a will. These are where a spouse or co-habiting partner do not feel as if they have been fairly treated by executors of a will. The Inheritance (Provision for Family and Dependants) Act 1975 was an important piece of legislation, allowing parties to challenge a will, even against the wishes of the deceased person who made it. As well as a look at these two cases (one a spouse going through a divorce at the time of her husband's death, the other a co-habiting partner whose boyfriend died unexpectedly and the family cut her out of the will), Richard Parsons gives a whistle-stop tour of the way inheritance claims are made and what categories of persons can make claims under the legislation.
Views: 2680 Redwood Information
Child Maintenance & Cohabitation Disputes Overview. Co-habitation Property Disputes UK
 
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An overview of when a cohabitation dispute involves child maintenance and the entirely different complexion that puts on the case. I include a summary of how the Child Maintenance Service (CMS) and the Child Benefit office overlap with the courts. You can actually calculate the maintenance you may have to pay with a calculator: https://www.gov.uk/calculate-your-child-maintenance Essentially the relevant statute for parties applying to the courts where you do not feel the CMS has helped you is Schedule 1 of the Children Act 1989. It allows a party to apply to the courts in various circumstances. These could include: --Lump sum payments for the needs of the child (case law says you can even apply for a lump sum to cover your legal costs of appealing a CMS decision!); --Orders in respect of property; --Top-Up Orders. The courts are reluctant to interfere with CMS decisions on periodic payments for child maintenance, but where you are talking about a parent on a high gross income (currently more than £3,000 a week) then they can become involved. The system can produce unfairness - for example the parent who is receiving child benefit is automatically assumed to be the parent with care (PWC) which gives them a great advantage as the non-resident parent (NRP) will have difficulty making an application to the CMS.
Views: 559 Redwood Information
Can you bring a claim for emotional distress?
 
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+44 (0)20 7620 6265 info@redwoodlegal.co.uk The short answer is, "No". Policy considerations as much as for any other reason mean that bringing a claim for damages in the civil courts where you have suffered mental distress is not possible. There are a number of exceptions, but it is worth pointing out that there have to be exceptional circumstances. For example, the contract specifically provided for mental health and happiness or there was a specific duty by the Defendant in this regard. There is a tort for intentional causing emotional distress, but this is where the matter is very deliberate or malicious. It is described by the courts as an "obscure" tort, so do not expect to rely on it unless the case is exceptional. There are possibility of claiming for injury to feelings in employment cases, of course, but there you are talking about unfair dismissal claims and the like, where there is a clear case of an employer/employee relationship. In crime there is the Protection from Harassment Act 1997 which allows a civil claim to be brought, but you are therefore looking at an actual criminal offence, far more serious than most claims in civil courts. Harassment means a course of conduct, not just one-off hurt or injury. You can claim for distress in misuse of private information cases, or Data Protection Act cases, where your data has been misused. And of course there are the privacy laws and libel and defamation, but these are not quite what we are focusing on here. Do not forget of course, that where you are looking at a personal injury cases, where there is physical injury, then you can increase the amount of award by pointing to additional emotional distress on top. But there has to be that physical injury. The courts may allow such a claim where there is a recognisable psychiatric disorder. But here you are in many ways looking at a sort of physical, personal injury claim. Simply needing therapy because someone had caused emotional distress would come nowhere near. Finally, you may well not be looking at a very substantial amount of money, even if you do make a case through one of the above exceptions and convince a judge in a county court. Is it going to be worth it? To win £500?
Views: 2084 Redwood Information
What if the contract terms are oppressive? UK General Litigation & Small Claims
 
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info@redwoodlegal.co.uk +44(0)20 7620 6265 I look at a couple of cases in which the clients faced devilish small-print in contracts that they had not been clearly told about at the beginning, but nevertheless signed the paperwork... Are they stuck? I talk a look at the issues - the subject deserves, however, a longer post and an assessment of the Unfair Contract Terms Act 1977 and its application in practice. I may try and produce a Vlog on this in future.
Small Claims UK: Will the legal fees outweigh my winnings? UK Small Claims Court
 
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I consider the problem people running a small claim face when they suddenly realise that their claim needs some legal help : is it going to cost so much that it makes the whole exercise pointless?! See also link to my blog on small claims in general: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3GPZzxt04rg&t=505s Civil Procedure Rules https://www.justice.gov.uk/courts/procedure-rules/civil
Views: 307 Redwood Information
What is mediation? UK General Litigation & Small Claims
 
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It has become pretty essential in recent years that parties explore and exhaust alternatives to litigation before issuing proceedings. Mediation has therefore become commonplace. Two things of note: 1. the courts have a small claims mediation service they will invite you to use after you have issued; or 2. you can ask for a one month stay in order to try and resolve things through your own mediation or other alternative dispute resolution. So you do not necessarily have to done it before issuing proceedings. Here is an example of a mediation service that I used recently and was not too expensive and reasonable quality: Centre for Effective Dispute Resolution: https://www.cedr.com
Should you use a lawyer? UK General Litigation & Small Claims
 
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+44(0)20 7620 6265 info@redwoodlegal.co.uk www.smallclaimstrack.co.uk - £150 an hour is our rate for small claims advice & assistance Why are you asking ME this question?! You should look at the type of claim, the lawyer himself or herself and make sure they offer a variety of flexible retainers. www.redwoodlegal.co.uk
Small Claims UK: I need your help, what do I do? (LONG) UK General Litigation & Small Claims
 
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+44 (0)20 7620 6265 info@redwoodlegal.co.uk https://www.citizensadvice.org.uk/law-and-courts/legal-system/taking-legal-action/small-claims/going-to-court/taking-court-action/step-three-filling-in-the-claim-form/ http://www.moneysavingexpert.com/reclaim/small-claims-court https://www.gov.uk/make-court-claim-for-money/overview https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TGaNsfdz6Aw&t=254s
Views: 593 Redwood Information
What is a small claim? UK General Litigation & Small Claims
 
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+44(0)20 7620 6265 info@redwoodlegal.co.uk Recorded 2018 I consider what qualifies as a small claim in the courts of England and Wales, the main criteria being claim value of £10,000 - but warning that these limits can change and there are important exceptions in personal injury and housing disrepair claims. Also £10,000 is just a yardstick and guide and other criteria may take a small claim into a higher track. Civil Procedure Rules (CPR) references: CPR Part 26 https://www.justice.gov.uk/courts/procedure-rules/civil/rules/part26 CPR Part 27 https://www.justice.gov.uk/courts/procedure-rules/civil/rules/part27 Strike Out Applications: Small Claims Court UK: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OjdjateQCdI&t=145s Will a claim under £10,000 ALWAYS be allocated to small claims? UK Small Claims Court: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6vph9hLY1cc Parliament website: https://www.parliament.uk
Can I get my claim transferred? UK General Litigation & Small Claims
 
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+44(0)20 7620 6265 info@redwoodlegal.co.uk Recorded 2018 This vlog deals with the question of which court you should have your claim filed in as well as whether you can get it transferred to your own court. https://www.justice.gov.uk/courts/procedure-rules/civil/rules/part07/pd_part07a https://www.gov.uk/courts-tribunals/northampton-county-court-business-centre Directions Questionnaire - which court? https://formfinder.hmctsformfinder.justice.gov.uk/n181-eng.pdf
Will a lawyer do my case, "No Win No Fee"? UK General Litigation & Small Claims
 
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+44(0)20 7620 6265 info@redwoodlegal.co.uk www.smallclaimstrack.co.uk - £150 an hour is our rate for small claims advice & assistance Not all lawyers do no win no fee, but where a case is strong and there is a large enough claim value, any self-respecting lawyer should be prepared to consider one, or at least a reduced-rate CFA. www.redwoodlegal.co.uk
What happens at trial? UK General Litigation & Small Claims Court
 
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+44(0)20 7620 6265 info@redwoodlegal.co.uk www.smallclaimstrack.co.uk The key to a successful trial is obvious - preparation. Civil litigation is all about paperwork, not about your advocacy skills.... £150 an hour is our rate for small claims advice & assistance www.redwoodlegal.co.uk
Views: 143 Redwood Information
Is MBNA paying full redress for PPI on credit cards? 1 Nov 2014
 
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Financial Mis-selling Braham v MBNA. The court found for our client in this trial. The client took the witness box and the judge did not doubt his honesty and said the burden was on MBNA to prove that his allegation of unfairness was wrong. They failed in this case, having tried to produce evidence of a phone call in which they said he had happily agreed to take it out. We all know of course that phone call mis-selling was endemic and consumers were pressure sold or sometimes PPI was added whether they had asked for it or not. It is a vindication for consumers who believe in their case and are prepared to go all the way. Subsequent to this video we had a hearing on the value of the claim (my bugbear with banks and claims management companies is low offers) but unfortunately we did not win our compound interest argument - in which we said that our client had a high cost of borrowing because he was relying on credit cards and so she be able to compound his PPI premiums at a credit card rate. We did win however an additional sum of money for an older period that MBNA had not included in their original offer.
Views: 142 Redwood Information
Should I use a Claims Management Company? UK General Litigation & Small Claims
 
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+44(0)20 7620 6265 info@redwoodlegal.co.uk Recorded 2018 I used a CMC once myself, and advise people that it is fine if they want the headache removed, but should be aware that the company may not be interested in getting them the highest claim value possible where the case is not a simple one. https://www.gov.uk/government/groups/claims-management-regulator
Will I incur costs on the small claims track? UK General Litigation & Small Claims
 
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+44(0)20 7620 6265 info@redwoodlegal.co.uk www.smallclaimstrack.co.uk Kep points: Claim value - 5% Expert fee £750 Hearing fees – fees order 21 Small Claim Track where the amount claimed is: up to £300 £25 between £300.01 and £500 £55 between £500.01 and £1,000 £80 between £1,000.01 and £1,500 £115 between £1,500.01 and £3,000 £170 more than £3,000 £335 Information on fees can be found at EX50: https://formfinder.hmctsformfinder.justice.gov.uk/ex50-eng.pdf - £150 an hour is our rate for small claims advice & assistance Yes - court fees and expert fees, but NOT lawyer's fees. www.redwoodlegal.co.uk
Do I have to disclose my financial affairs? Cohabitation Property Disputes UK
 
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I look at the extent to which the parties have to disclose their financial affairs. See the Family procedure rules - Chapters IV & V: FPR 9.12 - 9.19 https://www.justice.gov.uk/courts/procedure-rules/family/parts/part_09 For disclosure issues: Pre-action protocol which is at the bottom of Practice Direction 9A - paragraph 10 deals with disclosure. Costs: FPR 9.15 (6) deals with the court being allowed to make costs orders where disclosure of financial statements missing. See the Child Maintenance Calculator: https://www.gov.uk/calculate-your-child-maintenance
Dispelling the Martin Lewis Myth that claiming PPI is simple! 1 Nov 2012
 
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I recorded this video because Martin Lewis in his Money Saving Expert.com site suggests that claiming back PPI is as simple as filling in a form. Well, there are many cases where that it is true and in this video I take a look at a First Plus case where the consumer had tried to complain but got nowhere and it was complex and they finally turned to yours truly and we managed to get them considerably more than First Plus originally offered.
Views: 2111 Redwood Information
Will a claim under £10,000 ALWAYS be allocated to small claims? UK Small Claims Court
 
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+44(0)20 7620 6265 info@redwoodlegal.co.uk In this vlog, which is one of a number based around an excellent real-life example that through up a number of key issues all at once, I consider in what circumstances a case may or may not be a small claim, even though it is under the £10,000 small claims limit. Always have regard to the CPR Part 27 which describes the special small claims track procedure. Things to note: Limit your small claim deliberately and you could be on the end of a strike-out application; Be aware that a claim has not been allocated initially; Exclude PI and residential housing disrepair claims £1,000 above; Its the "normal" track - i.e. it may not always be the case!! excludes anything not in dispute - eg. interest on top; Allocation principles The principles which the court will take into account when allocating claims are set out in CPR 26.8(1) and are: --The financial value of the claim, see assessing the financial value of the claim. --The remedy sought. --The complexity of the claim. --The number of parties. --The value of any counterclaim or other Part 20 claim and its complexity, see Assessing the financial value of the claim. --The amount of oral evidence. --The importance of the claim. --The parties' views and their circumstances. --The decision on allocation is ultimately at the discretion of the court and the list of factors which the court will consider is not exhaustive. There is further guidance on these principles in PD 26.
Views: 190 Redwood Information
Is my PPI redress adequate?  Part 2: Alternative Insurance
 
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info@redwoodlegal.co.uk +4420 7620 6265 In this video I look at the issue of where the bank has made the wrong assessment of the BASIC REDRESS and so arrived at the wrong remedy. In Part 1 I simply dealt with whether the bank had made a payment ON TOP of the basic redress and accounted for the consumer's other indebtedness, for example by making compound rather than a simple 8% interest pay out. The case I refer to is a unique one in which my client was sold a 22k PPI loan on top of a 28k loan, so not far off 50% of the total amount she had borrowed of around 50k. Unfortunately she died of an overdose and it would appear that her indebtedness on this and other debts played a part. She was in terrible financial straits at the time of her death. She had kept it hidden from her husband and family. An important feature of this case was affordability. She was consolidating debts as well as accessing money for her own private expenditure. It was clear that selling single premium insurance (it meant that she had £800 a month repayments rather than £450) was highly irresponsible. And yet it would appear that she did want some form of protection in the event of non-payment. Which is of course sadly did become useful, when the life insurance part of the policy paid out. The bank agreed she had been mis-sold, so that is an end of it, surely? Thy deducted the claim on the life insurance part of the PPI Policy from the redress and offered £3,500. But the complaints handling rules allow them to treat the claim as if the person had taken out a far cheaper regular, or periodic insurance (like car insurance, a small amount each month) but they did not do that in this case, EVEN THOUGH Black Horse / Lloyds regularly use this provision in the rules in other complaints. Of course in this case they did not apply the rule, which would have meant a redress payment of nearer £25,000 - because the life insurance part of the PPI would have paid out. Furthermore, it transpires that the PPI policy could never have paid out more than it cost! Whilst this was acknowledged by the Financial Ombudsman Service, to whom the complaint was appealed (in fact they made a point of drawing attention to this feature) they said it was outside their jurisdiction to interfere with the bank's decision on this specific point. We are now appealing the initial decision to an Ombudsman, a senior adjudicator at the service. If a consumer has a claim where they feel that they did actually ask for and want protection, but feel swindled by the fact that they were sold single premium (where sometimes 80-90% is pure commission to the banker) then they might look carefully at how the bank has assessed the claim and whether they have applied this rule and replaced the single premium PPI with a regular (and much cheaper) insurance policy. It may be relevant where there is a claim on the insurance, whether for life, unemployment or accident. Just because the consumer has claimed is not the point. The point is that the insurance should have been a lot cheaper and so the consumer is entitled to redress on the difference between the costs of the two policies. (In this case the difference was between £40 a month and £350.)
Views: 127 Redwood Information
The REAL cost of instructing a No Win No Fee lawyer
 
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info@redwoodlegal.co.uk 00 44 (0)20 7620 6265 The problem here is that there are a lot of costs involved in taking an ex-partner to court over and above the lawyers' actual hourly rate. I have had a couple of successes very recently in the area of co-habitation property disputes such that I am able to give good general guidance on this issue. One of the cases was a £100k + figure claim by a lady who instructed me to fight for a decent share of the property she bought with her ex-partner many years ago. I have also had a recent enquiry in a similar case which raised the same issue - a ex who may be wealthier and can play the "my lawyers are bigger than your lawyers" game and intimidate a ex-partner into settling for a derisory amount. I deal with other areas of no win no fee in other blogs, but for this one I want to deal with the problems of disbursements; the costs of actually getting your ex-partner (and it could be a business partner, not just a romantic relationship) and the difficulties that the current legislation enacted in 2015 has put in the way and how to overcome them. The biggest change in March 2015 was to court fees, which have gone up astronomically, to simply bring your claim. Of course a defendant can sit and wait to see if you are "man" enough to actually put your hand in your pocket. The ex-partner may already be fearful, let alone having to simply write a huge cheque to issue proceedings. Here are some example fee bands before and after: £300,000 Before: £1,720 Now: £10,000 £250,000 Before: £1,515 Now: £10,000 £200,000 Before: £1,315 Now: 5% of the claim value £150,000 Before: £1,115 Now:5% of the claim value Massive changes. Where on earth are you expected to find the money? The problem is you may already have been using a conventional solicitor and paying them money, but when it comes to issue, where are you? Suddenly they are asking you for £10,000 JUST to get the ball rolling! And then there is the further issue of ATE Insurance and other disbursements. What are the costs of those? They too could be £10,000, and even though you only pay the premium if you win (out of your winnings) you may be required to pay up-front £1,000 or £2,000 deposit, probably non-refundable even if you lose. You will also have issues along the way: additional court fees / expert report / counsel's fees for interlocutory hearings / applications etc. etc. These could be £1,000 or £10,000. At least they can be claimed from the other side if you win and can also be covered by the above insurance if you lose. And thirdly, there is the issue of the "success fee". This is the uplift on their hourly rate they are allowed to impose, but the law has changed so that, along with ATE insurance premiums, you cannot claim the success fee from the other side if you win. This is in fact the 25% "contingency part". So the problem is that the solicitor may have told you that it is no win no fee, but is it really? Fortunately in these types of cases there is a way, but it does need a solicitor who is geared up for this type of work and who can cashflow the litigation and has the nerve not to settle under pressure. He also has to be prepared to assist you with funding the above, which he is allowed to do. Not all solicitors - in fact not many at all - want to do this because of the risks of losing and getting nothing AND even losing out by having part-funded disbursements. You need to find those that do. Who will, quite fairly in my view, ask you to put up a % of the property to pay them for the risk. 28 May 2016
Views: 2478 Redwood Information
Litigation Update Financial Mis selling compound interest cases Sep 2014
 
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Financial Mis-selling Following on from the previous month’s post I consider claims brought by consumers for additional redress in PPI claims where they have already had pay outs, sometimes a year or two ago. This is because the bank has not taken account of a consumer’s individual financial circumstances (as they are required to do) and have only paid simple 8% rather than compound interest to compensate a consumer for the time loss use of their money. Each case is down to its own individual circumstances and I address different examples in the video. In many cases banks have not required consumers to sign full & final settlement forms and have simply sent out cheques, which desperate consumers have simply cashed. So claims can be brought. However, whilst it does seem likely that a consumer can bring a claim, having legal entitlement and actually winning in court (or getting FOS to award additional refunds) is a different matter. For instance there may be a limitations issue if the mis-sale was very old and the bank may force you to argue the whole mis-selling over again, because their offer may only have been “goodwill” or couched in clever language. Also there must actually have been causation, so that for instance someone who would simply have used the money they were deprived of by the bank to go on a holiday will not be entitled, whereas someone who has been struggling with debts and high borrowing costs is far more likely to be entitled. Generally the good news is that the winds are blowing in a favourable direction for consumers. For the lawyers out there check out these two cases on the unfair relationships test section 140A-C CCA 1974 (as amended): Plevin v Paragon (Supreme Court giving judgment in the autumn – a challenge to Harrison v Black Horse and the court of appeal’s finding that providing the bank complies with its own codes of practice there can be no unfairness). http://supremecourt.uk/cases/case_2014_0037.html London Scottish Finance paragraph 31 (compound interest can be claimed) Next month their may be results to talk about on one key case we are running. Look out for updates.
Need extra time for filing a defence? UK General Litigation & Small Claims
 
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info@redwoodlegal.co.uk +44(0)20 7620 6265 RELEVANT LINKS: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/form-n244-application-notice https://formfinder.hmctsformfinder.justice.gov.uk/ex50-eng.pdf https://www.justice.gov.uk/courts/procedure-rules/civil/rules/part15 www.redwoodlegal.co.uk FOR ADVICE ON A SMALL CLAIM OR GENERAL LITIGATION GO TO: www.smallclaimstrack.co.uk
Do you need to make a will? UK Law
 
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info@redwoodlegal.co.uk +44 020 7620 6265 We discuss whether you really do need to make a will and look at a will pack you can buy online. Is it possible to get away with using one you can buy at a stationers? We cover some key areas that you would want to be aware of when it comes to taking a decision on how to go about making a will, and what the implications are if you do not! Plenty of us have not made a will! Is it really so bad not to have one? The lid is lifted on the unpleasant area of our ultimate demise and the preparation of a last will and testament, when it is likely the last thing we want to be thinking about! See previous video if you want to learn about The Inheritance Act. Related vlogs: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A7atZPyowi8 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=onUiqYI9S98
Views: 871 Redwood Information
Can I trust the UK legal system? UK Co-habitation Property Disputes
 
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A vlog for Polish women who may need help with a dispute with a partner over a UK property. Please email us for a free translation.
Litigation Update Financial Mis selling compound interest cases Oct 2014
 
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Financial Mis-selling IMPORTANT NEWS ON BRINGING CLAIMS FOR ADDITIONAL REFUNDS ON THE BASIS THAT (IN CERTAIN CASES ONLY) THE BANK SHOULD HAVE PAID COMPOUND INTEREST AND NOT SIMPLE 8% INTEREST ON PPI AWARDS This last 10 days has been incredibly busy as I have been engaged with 4 hearings and trials all packed into the same period dealing with the issue of bringing new PPI claims for an additional refund because the consumer thought that he has not been paid enough in the original offer. Here I deal with 2 judgments in two of our cases and I also touch on 2 cases that we settled on a “drop-hands” basis. I discuss the most important thing to come out of the two judgments (both county court district judges so not a high court but very interesting and revealing of what judge’s may do) on the issues of: 1. Causation and the importance of actually proving not just that the consumer had compound interest losses but that the bank’s actions caused them or contributed to them. 2. You still need to fully particularise a claim even where a bank has made an “admission” in their original offer of redress. So you may have to prove the mis-sale all over again. 3. Judge’s may not take kindly to a consumer who wants a second bite at the cherry. So even where the bank has not made the consumer sign in full and final settlement in respect of the original refund a judge may still find against a consumer, simply because they do not like the idea of a consumer coming back for more like Oliver Twist. But the converse may also apply where a consumer has signed a full and final settlement form but was under pressure to do so or felt obliged to do so and was in a weak bargaining position. 4. The Unfair Relationships Test (Consumer Credit Act 1974 as amended) is an incredibly powerful tool in the hands of consumers and the banks are right to be afraid. Compound interest can be claimed but the courts are a long way from routinely awarding it, preferring instead to fall back on simple 8% if at all possible, unless you have good proof of the contrary. In time this may change but probably not for a few years.
Litigation Update FInancial Mis selling compound interest cases Aug 2014
 
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Financial Mis-selling I give an update on progress being made on half a dozen PPI cases we are running in which we claim the banks have not paid out full compensation. It will be interesting to see whether the courts say that because our clients have already accepted a payment in redress they should not be allowed to come back to the table for more – like some cheeky Oliver Twist. This is the legal principle known as “res judicata” – you should not be allowed two bites at the same cherry. We say that this is overriden by the banks’ failure to properly assess the individual circumstances of the consumer at the time and present the offer as fait accompli. Who is right? We have our first trial on 18 August.
The unique way in which First Plus used to mis-sell PPI 1 Oct 2013
 
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This is an analysis of First Plus and an actual case in which they sold it to consumers by presenting the insurance as a sort of "savings account" that they could then cash in after 5 years if they had not claimed on the insurance by then. They thereby fooled consumers into thinking that there was no cost and so they might as well take it, even if they did not need it. Of course the cost was in the interest they were charging on the repayments.
No Win No Fee & Co habitation Property Disputes
 
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+44(0)20 7620 6265 info@redwoodlegal.co.uk We explain how No Win No Fee works in the context of a real case, a co-habitation property dispute.
Views: 128 Redwood Information
What should I do about Interest Rate Swaps? 20 Sep 2013
 
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Financial Mis-selling in Insolvency I have had an increasing number of enquiries about these products and have now been through the entire subject, both what the FCA has to say about them as well as the case-law. I thought I would post this video, but please note that this is not specific legal advice but a preliminary overview or opinion because it seemed to me that IPs wanted at least a summary of the subject to get a handle on what to do. The first thing to say is that the values are quite high and £100,000 is at the lower end of the scale. Moreover banks are not inclined to include consequential loss amounts in their settlement offers, it appears. So awards could be much higher. The second thing to note is that the limitation periods are a relevant factor as many of these were sold around 2007 and 2008 and therefore time on 6 years’ limitation periods is running out on one of the most important head of claims if you decide on court action. As for whether or not you should simply let the FCA deal with it and await their full review (having completed a pilot review the FCA is now running a full review with 10 banks and you can “opt-in” with your case to the review), appealing to FOS thereafter, there is a danger that the can gets kicked down the road and that by the end of the road you have missed the limitation period. There is also the problem that many of these IRSs will fall outside the FOS jurisdiction because the values are too high or the business is too big. FOS only deals with 150k max value and £2m max micro-enterprises with 10 or less staff. I am not saying do not go through the banks’ own complaints process when it arrives but that there are significant dangers and I cannot help but think that legal advice on them is needed because you might want to at least issue a claim quickly to protect against limitation. If the PPI scandal is anything to go by the banks’ tactic will be to avoid, delay and deny until the last minute. The third thing to note is that I believe that they may have been mis-sold. I mean this both from a layman’s perspective (gut instinct that it is wrong) and a court perspective (the technical advice the lawyer will give you!), because these are complex financial sector products that have intrinsic mis-selling elements where they have been sold to small and un-sophisticated businesses, like a farmer, shop owner or sole trader and so on. The way they operate may have been very oppressive on the business following the crash as interest rates could have been raised on a loan giving a double whammy effect alongside the IRS itself, which locks you in. In the limited case-law available the business partners in question were clearing going into it with their eyes open and it was sold properly, but this will not always be the case. It is clear that this was a product from a financial commercial sphere adapted for sale to small businesses that was inappropriate in a great many cases. Moreover, the FCA feels that they have been mis-sold, with up to as much as 90% incidence of breach of regulations in the initial pilot batch tested and 2 strong Ombudsman decisions against the banks. I think it is more than just bank-bashing. So my conclusion is that IPs should audit them and identify whether or not there is the likelihood of: (1) High value (losses over 5 years could already be very high) (2) 6 year limitations issue from date of sale (3) Unsophisticated business It may sound a case of selling lawyers again, but I would advise an IP to get a lawyer or someone with knowledge of these products to come in and do an audit on them, at least identifying the above 3 areas – and not to waste time doing so. I will deal with set off in another video but if PPI is anything to go by it will be the exception rather than the rule. Cases: Green & Rowley v Royal Bank of Scotland plc [2012] EWHC 3661 (QB) ; Grant Estates Ltd (in administration) v The Royal Bank of Scotland plc [2012] CSOH 133 FSA Pilot Findings March 2013
Am I likely to lose my home if I can't repay a debt?
 
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info@redwoodlegal.co.uk 020 7620 6265
Do I pay expenses with No Win No Fee? UK Cohabitation Disputes
 
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info@redwoodlegal.co.uk +44(020 7620 6265 I reflect on whether No Win No Fee means what it says, because of the problem of disbursements - court fees, insurance & barrister’s fees. Since April 2013 the law has changed and the client may have to find these fees themselves - or part with a higher percentage of their winnings. Relevant Links: http://open.justice.gov.uk/courts/civil-cases/ https://formfinder.hmctsformfinder.justice.gov.uk/ex50-eng.pdf You can find our law firm at: www.redwoodlegal.co.uk Our General Litigation & small claims support service is found at: http://www.smallclaimstrack.co.uk
Seismic Changes to the No Win No Fee Regime 1 April 2013
 
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This deals with the key changes which saw the No Win No Fee regime substantially dismantled. The law changed if you signed a retainer with your lawyer after 1 April 2013 in so far as that lawyer can no longer increase his fees (the "success fee") by 0-100% and get the losing Defendant to pay it. Nor can the lawyer recoup the insurance premium from the losing Defendant, that fee that insures against losing and having to pay the Defendant's legal fees. Now the lawyer will have to start charging a contingency fee, taking a share of the client's damages, or asking for money on account to cash-flow the case. It is unfortunate that the new law replaces No Win No Fee with a system called "QOCS" (Qualified One Way Costs Shifting) that says if the claimant has reasonably brought their case and they lose they do not have to pay the other side, with certain key caveats. BUT this has only been given to the personal injury sector, not other sectors that have been using No Win No Fee such as financial mis-selling.
5 Key Questions for Polish Women with a UK property dispute POLISH SUBTITLES
 
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info@redwoodlegal.co.uk +4420 7620 6265 www.redwoodlegal.co.uk In this short 10 minute video I answer the following questions, targeting Polish women (and men) who have bought a property in the UK with an ex-partner and want to know whether they can make a claim and if so, how. WHO ARE WE? We are a London Law Firm specialising in the area and give examples in the video of live cases. WHAT DO I PAY? You will have to pay up front for a review of your case, which could be PLN 100 or more, depending upon the work involved. We will charge you 15%-25% of the value of your equity in the property, in return for which we will do the work on a no win no fee basis. All you will pay is the small up-front fee. If we lose you do not pay us. You can find out more at www.redwoodlegal.co.uk HOW LONG WILL IT TAKE? You would expect to wait 3-6 months for simple cases and 18 months for complex ones. The key question is whether you think your partner will settle reasonably or is stubborn and will fight. IS THE LAW DIFFERENT IN THE UK? The law in the UK is different from Poland. Your law does not give a partner who is not on the title deeds any rights over the property. (Unlike marriage.) In the UK you may well have rights over the property if you have made important contributions, financial and/or non-financial. Our systems are different. HOW MUCH MONEY COULD I WIN? The UK property market is booming and you could have a large amount of equity at stake of which you may be entitled to 50%. These are serious and important cases and you can contact us by email or phone for an introductory conversation and we will not, "farm you out" to a junior or unqualified member of staff. For more information visit: www.redwoodlegal.co.uk
Views: 116 Redwood Information
How should a Polish business deal with a UK legal dispute?
 
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info@redwoodlegal.co.uk 00 48 731 846 441 I produce a blog from the British Polish Chamber of Commerce in Krakóv on the problem of dealing with UK legal disputes in a cost-effective way. The problem. It is clear that Polish businesses may be reluctant to show courage and deal with disputes, preferring rather to let them go, in the pursuit of sales and good customer relationships. But can good customer relationships ever be secured if the UK customer considers the Polish business to be a walkover? Even aside from the issue of the loss of revenue, bad debt and the management thereof. The trouble is that the problem is magnified by the dealing with disputes across national boundaries and the high cost of employing a British law firm. Indeed, it is further exacerbated by the problem of finding a law firm that you can reliably trust to deliver results and not just deliver you yet further costs and loss of management time. The proposed solution. A small UK law firm with good experience in litigation and dispute resolution based in Warsaw committed to helping small businesses with legal problems and that is not a sledge-hammer to crack a nut. It can deal with two of the key problems: 1. Cost. By having a base in Poland (Warsaw) and using Polish legal, english speaking staff. 2. Trust & Confidence. Because we are in Poland you will have a better element of trust - we are not some UK firm just billing you and making you low-priority. We want to be here and we want to work with Polish businesses. 3. USP. No Win No Fee. We have a track record in this area. Alex Woods has had considerable experience - and success - and we would, for instance in a 10k case, take £2,500 of the winnings and charge you an up front fee of £500. Or if you are a very small Polish firm, we can take on a low level dispute for even less, or if you have a number of disputes. So we can even do your small cases. 4. Finally, we have a youtube channel. We produce regular bulletins and blogs like this one here that can help you. The Court System. We do have a system, small claims track, up to 10k and probably increasing to more. It is a good system. So for smaller invoices you could issue a claim. Conclusion: We are not for the big complex commercial dispute. We want to represent the smaller business, or new businesses. We have relationships with Adams Solicitors - Sebastian Szulkowski. With have an experienced solicitor on non-contentious business matters. This service and this blog is about helping you with your smaller disputes - and showing courage and confidence in dealing with disputes. Alex Woods himself has worked in business and the name "Redwood" is from the days at Cranfield on a MBA when he was in the Red stream. Call me and for £100 I can look at your papers and talk you through the issues or a small case. I will take 25%. It can be an informal arrangement. He can be contacted on 00 48 731 683 441 or aw@redwoodlegal.co.uk 19 May 2016
Should I be worried about my opponent's legal bill? Inheritance Act Claims
 
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info@redwoodlegal.co.uk +44(0)20 7620 6265 www.redwoodlegal.co.uk FOR ADVICE ON A SMALL CLAIMS & GENERAL LITIGATION GO TO: www.smallclaimstrack.co.uk VLOG on Inheritance Act Claims in a Nutshell: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=heSuIBl5-hs I look at the fear that people have about bringing a claim under the Inheritance Act 1975 or challenging a will in the UK, about the dangers of having to pay your opponent's legal bill if you lose. Is this a real fear or a fanciful one? Listen on....