If you are defending a claim for damages, whether you are a company, a public sector organisation, an insurance company or a private individual, you will be only too aware that proceeding through the courts is a lengthy and expensive business.
Independent Evaluation (IE) is a fast, effective form of dispute resolution that helps you avoid the stress, delays and costs of the court process. For you, the defendant, it enables early settlement and very considerable cost savings. Whether the case brought against you is a commercial dispute or a property matter, a high value personal injury claim or a highly complex clinical negligence claim, with IE you can expect a far better financial outcome.
Time and money
The longer it takes for a case to go through the courts, the more it costs. By avoiding the court process altogether, IE saves defendants a considerable amount of money and enables disputing parties to find the right solution quickly by establishing meaningful engagement early on. This is especially the case for personal injury claims, since the introduction of ‘Qualified One-Way Costs Shifting’.
We conduct evaluations in all areas of law, so whether your case relates to business, property, employment, professional negligence or clinical negligence, you will have a better financial outcome, no matter how complex or intractable the case may appear to be.
Cost positive: substantial savings
The cost of using IE is usually born by the defendant, who pays for both sides, no matter what the outcome. The defendant may also pay out more in damages than might be expected through the courts. However, the overall cost saving for defendants is usually very much greater than the combined cost of the service and any additional damages agreed.
For example, take a medium sized, six-figure contractual dispute. To defend a case of this sort in court could easily cost in the region of £300,000 to £500,000, whereas using IE would cost in the region of £25,000. Similar savings apply in other areas of law. In a standard six-figure multi-track personal injury case the defendant could save several hundred thousands of pounds. As a rule, the higher the value of the case, the larger the cost saving.
This financial incentive means it is in the interest of defendants to take a more flexible approach and consider a more generous sum in damages than they might otherwise.
IE – how it works
IE is an independent dispute resolution service conducted by highly experienced evaluators, who are senior lawyers or judges with outstanding expertise in their areas of law. The appointed evaluator reviews the detail of the case, asks for any further information required and starts to set out the parameters required for settlement. 75% of cases settle at this very early stage; the others go forward to a one-day evaluation meeting, the equivalent of a ‘day in court’, at which the same evaluator meets face to face with both parties.
At this meeting, the evaluator discusses with the parties the strengths and weaknesses of their respective positions and advises on the likely outcome if the case went to court. This helps manage expectations and thereby brings the possibility of resolution much closer. The evaluator then proposes a settlement and, with further discussion, helps the parties reach resolution on all points in dispute, including the question of costs. It is no surprise that IE is recognised by judges, barristers and solicitors all over the country as being more effective for civil cases than any available alternative; better than mediation and better than the courts.
100% track record of success
IE has been conducting evaluations since 2012 and has a 100% record of success. Every evaluation so far has succeeded in reaching settlement. One day our 100% record will be broken, but defendants and claimants alike can be sure that when they use IE, they can expect to reach a fair and fast settlement. As a defendant, on top of this, IE will save you money.
Defendants all over the country are now referring cases to IE as a matter of course, in order to achieve early closure cost effectively and get back to running their business. Equally, in view of the substantial cost savings, insurers are now instructing their lawyers to use IE in as many areas of law as possible.
Never too late
Most cases come to us at an early stage, before court proceedings are issued, but it is never too late. We regularly take cases that have been proceeding through the courts for years. Sometimes cases come to us just before trial. We are now also able to conduct evaluations for Appeals, so if a case has been to trial and you have been granted permission to appeal, you can use IE even at this late stage and still save considerable money. Appeal cases are evaluated by one, two or three former Court of Appeal or Supreme Court judges, subject to the nature of the case.
What to do next – get in touch
If you would like to talk to us about using IE, please just get in touch. All initial advice is strictly confidential and completely free of charge.