Mediation Case Studies
Commercial Disputes Solicitors Invoice
The Problem – Commercial disputes need to be resolved as quickly as possible, the claimant (firm of Solicitors) claimed for £19,694.96 owed by the defendant for failure to pay an outstanding invoice with respect to legal services provided. The defendant contended that the bill was incorrect and that he was willing to pay a percentage of the bill which he felt was valid and that the remainder should be waived as he was given a verbal assurance by the fee earner that costs would be kept to a minimum, equally what he was being billed for, a large amount he felt he could have got done for free through his own office.
The Solution – Through mediation, each side got a chance to explain how they felt, what they needed and required. The claimants advised that they had kept the defendant informed at all stages with regards to costs, at times they were without instructions and when they were indeed instructed again, this added to the overall costs.
The fee earner did verbally assure the defendant that costs would be kept to a minimum and did their best to do so, however did admit, perhaps a better explanation at certain times could have perhaps reduced costs slightly.
It was established that the defendant was given the opportunity to reduce costs by doing some of the work through his own office, this was actually tried on 3 occasions, but due to delays and not having the correct legal knowledge and training, it was ultimately for the claimants to continually put his offices errors correct, which again involved further time and expense.
After 4 hours of mediation an agreement was reached, the claimants agreed to settle for £14,000.00 and waived their fees in this litigation, the defendant agreed to bear his own legal costs.
- The mediation took 4 hours compared to the 9 months this commercial dispute had already gone on.
- The mediation cost each party £425.00 each compared to the thousands they had already spent on legal fees and the thousands they would have had to spend had they continued with Court action.