Solicitor firms

Whether your clients are claimants or defendants in a civil dispute, using Independent Evaluation (IE) is a much better option than proceeding through the courts or mediation. IE is a fast and effective form of dispute resolution which enables settlement in as little as six weeks, instead of the stressful delays, costs and uncertainty of the court process. It also has a much higher success rate than conventional mediation. Many law firms now routinely refer to IE at the outset of civil disputes.

More effective than mediation

The essential difference between IE and mediation is that the mediator does not manage expectations or express an opinion as to the likely outcome of the case if it were to go to court. There is also a tendency to use mediation late in proceedings, purely to avoid the costs risk of trial. With IE, an experienced evaluator with expertise in the relevant area of law examines the dispute and explains the likely court outcome. As a consequence, the parties acquire, often for the first time, a realistic view of what a ‘good’ settlement might comprise. This is what makes resolution so achievable.

Benefits for law firms representing claimants

Clients benefit because of the higher level of damages often awarded and the very short time it takes to achieve resolution and payment of the award; usually weeks instead of years. IE is completely free for personal injury, clinical negligence and all other insurance-based claims.

Good for clients means good for business

By achieving better and faster results for your clients, IE will help your firm get ahead. As well as enhancing your reputation, your success with IE will strengthen client relations and make it easier to develop work in other areas of law.

Avoidance of £10,000 issue proceedings

The immediate benefit of bringing a case to IE for evaluation is that you will avoid the £10,000 court fee to issue proceedings. This alone is enough to make some solicitors give IE serious consideration.

Duty to act in your clients’ best interests

As you know, it is the duty of solicitors acting in their clients’ best interests to consider all means of ADR, including IE, and to put forward actual offers. Practice direction on Preaction Conduct & Protocols provides that litigation should not be commenced until ADR has been adequately explored. IE can now be ordered by the Court, without consent.

Avoidance of cost penalties

As you will also know, if a firm issues legal proceedings without fully exploring ADR options, there is severe risk of costs penalties being imposed by the court. To avoid this, some firms now come to IE in the first instance.

Greater efficiency and reduction of internal costs

Difficult, complex or entrenched cases can be a drain on resources. With IE, early resolution means fast turnaround, greater efficiency and less pressure on resources.

Benefits for law firms representing defendants

Defendant clients will achieve major costs savings as a result of using IE instead of litigating.

Good for clients means good for business

By achieving better and faster results for your clients, IE will help your firm get ahead. As well as enhancing your reputation, your success with IE will strengthen client relations and make it easier to develop work in other areas of law.

New income stream

IE creates a new income stream, as clients require legal representation in the initial stages of the IE process and at the one-day evaluation. Also, given that clients can expect to make considerable costs savings, any associated legal work will have a high perceived value.

Better cashflow

All costs are settled as part of the resolution and fees are paid within a few days of the evaluation.

Greater efficiency and reduction of internal costs

Difficult, complex or entrenched cases can be a drain on resources. Early resolution means fast turnaround and greater operational efficiency.