Will my dispute go to trial

A common misconception is that most civil disputes end up with a trial where both sides get to “tell their story” and have their day in court. But the reality is very different as recent statistics published by the Ministry of Justice (“MoJ”) confirm.

The Data

According to the MoJ, in 2019 there were a total of just over 2,000,000 claims in the civil courts (not including family matters or failure to pay council tax). Of these, only about 300,000 were defended. And the number falls again drastically when one looks at the number which ended in trials: just 64,754. 

This fascinating data shows that only 3% of disputes end in a trial. So, in answer to the question of whether it is likely that your dispute will go to trial, the response should be a resounding no.

What Happens To The 97%?

Most claims (the 97%) are discontinued or settled before court proceedings reach their final stages. Settlement can take a number of forms, thereby allowing parties to find a method which is most appropriate for their needs. 

This data shows that a more relevant issue to consider in respect of disputes is settlement. Of course, one must always prepare and be ready to go to trial, but settlement must not be ignored or dismissed at any stage of a dispute.

Legal professionals are under an obligation to discuss settlement at the earliest opportunity and even before court proceedings have begun. This important obligation means that advising a client on settlement is essential from the outset.

Dealing with a dispute is never straightforward, but with good advice which gets to the heart of the issue quickly disputes can be resolved in a cost and time efficient manner. Part of this advice must incorporate settlement discussions. 

At Barrett & Co we provide effective and efficient advice on disputes which means that you can get the best possible outcome to resolve the issues you face. Please contact us on 0118 958 9711 or email us on [email protected] to get further information on how we can assist you.

Further Reading:

Possession Proceedings Resume with Substantial Changes

Contentious Estates: How a family owned business can form part of the equation

SDLT ‘Holiday’ is Boost for Buyers of Larger Properties Too

Get in touch

Justin deals with all aspects of Dispute Resolution for both businesses and individuals, including including Contentious Probate, Employment Law ( for both businesses and individuals) and Commercial Litigation. This means that he is familiar with the many different courts and tribunal as well as the many different methods for resolving disputes, including alternative dispute resolution such as adjudication and mediation.

If you would like to know more or arrange a fixed fee appointment, please call us on 01189  589711. Or email Justin Sadler at [email protected] or Hilary Buckle at [email protected]

"barrettandco" and "Barrett & Co" are trading names of Barrett & Co Solicitors LLP, a Limited Liability Partnership incorporated in England and Wales under registration number OC356263, with registered office at Salisbury House, 54 Queens Road, Reading, Berkshire RG1 4AZ. Barrett & Co Solicitors LLP is authorised and regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority www.sra.org.uk (SRA Number 549694).

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