Legal costs are central to litigation. The issue of cost can often become more important than the original dispute.
Costs are not just what you pay your lawyers, they are what you risk having to pay the other side for its legal costs if you lose. Traditionally that has meant that the big guy crushes the small guy simply because he has deeper pockets.
Helix Law specialises in helping ordinary businesses litigate as if they had deep pockets. We help ordinary businesses punch above their weight by sharing the cost risks.
Using the right fee structure can mean that a client’s costs risk is halved, and in some cases, using insurance, it can also be fixed at a maximum level.
If your costs risks are handled in this way you can be much more focused and confident in negotiating a good settlement or winning at trial. We are completely transparent regarding our fees, costs risks and work. If you have any queries contact us. The information provided in these pages are not quotes and are subject to an informal no cost conversation with us before we agree the terms of any retainer with you.
If your opponent knows you are strong on costs they will take you much more seriously and be much more likely to settle. That is because they know you can afford to fight to the end and if they lose they will be paying the majority of your legal costs. That makes you a much more frightening opponent. If they think you don’t have the money to go the distance and/or they won’t have to pay your costs even if you win they may be encouraged to string out the dispute.
People often try to minimise their cost risk by representing themselves.
This is a false economy because they are still liable for the other side’s costs if they lose, would get most of their legal costs back if they win and the opponent knows they are not at risk of paying the litigant’s solicitors’ costs if they lose. The risk of having to pay the other party’s costs is a very significant factor in bringing litigants to a commercial settlement. This is often overlooked by litigants in person.
For these reasons it is hard to overestimate the importance of understanding, controlling and reducing cost risk. When you embark on a case there is just the case to worry about. After a few weeks or months the costs start to increase and can become larger than the sum in issue. Sometimes you can win a case but, for a number of complex reasons, lose on the costs. In claims of less than about £50,000 that do not settle early the parties tend to focus more and more on costs as the case goes on. At Helix we look at the costs issues upfront, tailor a fee agreement that minimises risk to our client, maximises risk for the opponent and allows our clients to make a sound commercial judgment on whether to litigate based on realistic, fully costed, scenarios.