1. Step one - Assessment and recommendation
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A client services consultant will give you information to help you decide on the best course of action for you. This may involve arranging a confidential meeting with a lawyer to discuss your matter in greater detail or asking you to gather further information. Your initial consultation with a lawyer is free as part of our service to you. It provides you with the opportunity to find out more about your claim and discuss options available to you.
If we agree to act for you, this will usually be on a No Win - No Fee* basis.
A legal costs agreement is sent to you confirming our preparedness to act on your behalf. It provides an outline of potential legal costs and how they will be calculated. Work starts when you sign and return the legal costs agreement. A legal assistant will be allocated to you to help with your day-to-day enquiries and will usually be the first person to contact if you need help.
2. Step two - Preparing to take action
Initial preparation may include:
- Gathering information about your claim
- Requesting medical reports
- Organising for you to be medically examined
- Taking witness statements, and
- In some cases, obtaining specialist reports such as an engineer
Once our investigations are complete, if we believe that you have a viable claim, we will advise you of the best way forward to pursue your case.
We constantly undertake a cost / benefit analysis to ensure that:
- Any proposed action is in your interests
- To help you to decide whether or not to commence a court action
- To accept or reject an offer
3. Step three - Settlement to court hearings
In some cases your claim can be resolved without court action.
But, if it is necessary to go to court, Slater and Gordon’s lawyers have the skill and litigation experience to guide you through the complexities of court proceedings.
In most cases the commencement of legal proceedings will result in the parties getting together to discuss resolution of the case - this is called a mediation. A vast majority of cases settle at this point.
If the matter is successfully resolved all court proceedings are withdrawn.
Remember, only a very small percentage of cases result in a court hearing. If this happens, Slater and Gordon will prepare your case and ensure you are well informed of:
- relevant court processes
- duration of legal proceedings
- how to prepare to give evidence
- what to expect during cross examination
- legal costs implications
Preparation will also involve engaging a barrister to represent you at court as well as arranging the attendance of any witnesses.
In some circumstances if you are unsuccessful in your court case you may have the right to appeal the decision to a higher court. Your lawyer will be able to advise you about this.