Archive for the ‘Litigation’ Category

Damages Based Agreements – An Alternative to Funding Your Claim

Friday, June 2nd, 2017

Damages Based Agreements, or DBAs, are a type of “no win, no fee” arrangement between a solicitor and client. DBAs are now permitted for commercial disputes in England since April 2013.

Under a DBA, the client agrees to pay the solicitor a percentage of the sums recovered from the losing party in a claim. The solicitor is therefore rewarded based on achieving success in the case. This is in contrast to Conditional Fee Arrangements, or CFAs, where the solicitor would calculate and charge for work carried out on an hourly basis.

If the client is unsuccessful, their solicitor will not be paid for the work carried out under the DBA. It is important to note that the client will still be potentially liable for any adverse costs, but these are mostly covered by an after the event (ATE) insurance policy.

In claims or proceedings at first instance, a DBA must not provide for a payment (including VAT) to the solicitor that is more than either of the following:

  1. 25% of the relevant “sums recovered” by the client in personal injury cases; and
  2. 50% of the “sums ultimately recovered” by the client in all other civil litigation.

 

What are the advantages of a DBA to the client?

  • Greater certainty as to how much you will pay your solicitor;
  • The client does not have to make regular or unexpected payments to his solicitor, which helps with cash flow implications of funding litigation; and
  • Mitigation of potential liability for their opponents’ costs (with the appropriate ATE insurance policy in place);

At Bloomsbury Law, we are able to consider entering into DBAs with our clients on cases within our areas of expertise where the claim is of high value (normally at least £500,000.00). It is important for us to also identify specific risk factors in your case in order to assess your prospects of success. We list below some of the factors we consider when deciding to take on a case on a DBA basis;

  • The facts of your case and the people who are likely to give evidence on your behalf;
  • The legal basis for the claim against your opponent, or the legal basis for your defence;
  • Your chances of succeeding;
  • The strength of any claims made or threatened against you by the other party;
  • The level of damages/losses that you can expect to recover from your opponent; and
  • The ability of your opponent to pay you

We believe our approach to litigation funding sets us apart from other solicitors, and we are determined to remain at the forefront in this area by assisting you where possible. If you believe you have a strong claim and are interested in funding your claim through a DBA with Bloomsbury Law, please get in contact with Jamil Ahmud or Nisha Chopra  on 0207 998 7777.

LITIGATION SERVICES

Fines For Using Mobile Phone While Driving To Double

Wednesday, March 1st, 2017

The popularity of social media has had a significant increase on our mobile phone usage and this is noticeable with increased number of road traffic offences and serious accidents occurring in the UK. Motorists often forget about the dangers that they pose while being distracted by their mobile phones and that they are a significant threat to themselves and others.

Mobile phone use while driving has been illegal since December 2003. However, the UK government has issued new harsher laws in order to tackle this problem in order to make it as socially unacceptable as drink driving. New laws on using mobile phones whilst driving came into effect on 1 March 2017. The important details that you must be aware of are:

  • Under the old rules, the penalty for using a phone whilst driving was £100. It has now been doubled to £200.
  • The points penalty have also doubled, from three to six points on the driver’s licence.
  • These changes will affect new drivers who passed their driving test less than 2 years of the offence as they will have their licences automatically revoked.
  • If a driver is caught twice and accumulates the maximum 12-points limit, the driver will automatically appear in court and face a penalty fine of £1,000 and a driving ban of at least 6 months.

It is important to bear in mind that the law applies as long as the engine of the vehicle is on. You are not allowed to use your phone while stopped in traffic, at the traffic lights or when parked and your engine is on. There is still some confusion on the usage of hands-free devices or using your phone as a navigation device whilst in a vehicle. While it is permitted to use your phone as satellite navigation, it has to be placed in a holder which is out of 45-degree angle of the driver’s view. You also cannot touch the navigation device to reprogram it whilst the engine is on. The hands-free devices are also permissible, however you cannot touch the device to answer or end the call.

One may wonder if the law on mobile phone usage changed could it potentially affect our ability to eat or smoke whilst driving? There is no such law prohibiting you from eating or smoking, however you must remember to use common sense as you still may be prosecuted if it is proven that these actions distracted you and that you were not in complete control of the vehicle which lead you to driving carelessly.

These changes to the law will no doubt act as a deterrent and will make us all drivers more aware of their behaviour whilst driving. Your safety and safety on others on the road are paramount. A call, text message or Facebook update will now have to wait until you reach your destination.

If you need advice on road traffic offences, contact us online or speak to one of our dedicated litigation lawyers on 0207 998 7777 for a free initial consultation. With our vast experience in the field, our team will work with you to ensure this process runs as smooth as possible. All information you provide us with is treated with the utmost confidentiality.

We will contact you no later than the next working day to arrange a meeting at our offices in London W1 to advise on the agreement.

Litigation Services

Other Legal Services

Flight Compensation Claims

Wednesday, February 1st, 2017

Delayed flight? Know your rights

We would have expected that the judgment of the Court of Justice of the European Union in Tui & Others v CAA, which confirmed the applicability of compensation for passengers, would make flight compensation claims a straightforward process. Unfortunately, airlines either misinform their costumers that they are not entitled to compensation or ignore their claims. As a result, thousands of passengers miss out their rightfully owed compensation.

Airline companies often use an excuse of ‘extraordinary circumstances’ such as technical issues or crew illness. Following a landmark ruling in Huzar v Jet2 such exemptions cease to be applicable and the airline is legally responsible for the delays. Consequently, in 2014 Virgin Atlantic paid out £47,000 to their passengers for a 26-hour delay.

The amount of a flight compensation claim ranges from €250 to €600 per person, depending on delay duration and distance travelled. Claims are subject to a six-year limitation period. We advise all claimants to seek advice as soon as possible and keep track of the details of their delayed journey. In the event of a cancellation or delay, the airlines are also required to provide their passengers with hotel accommodation, refreshments and reimburse any necessary expenses, therefore it is advised to keep your receipts.

Bloomsbury Law Solicitors deal with a large amount of flight compensation claims on daily basis and we understand how difficult it can be for ordinary passengers to receive their compensation. Their claims often turn into long-term legal battles and many are simply disheartened and discontinue their claims. We have a great experience in disputes with airline companies and we work on no-win no-fee basis. Our dedicated Flight Compensation Claims Team will provide you with quality legal advice and will ensure that the process of making a claim is as clear and as hassle-free as possible.

Call our flight delay solicitors on 0207 998 7777 or contact us online so we may arrange a call back. With our vast experience in the field, our bilingual speaking team will work with you to ensure this process runs as smooth as possible.

Our Litigation Services

What Is Mediation?

Tuesday, November 1st, 2016

Mediation can conclude disputes quickly and in general, most people who try it feel that it offers good value for money. This makes the process streamlined and efficient and often results in a fair agreement for everyone. If you have a commercial or civil litigation dispute, proceeding through the court system may not always be the best route for all parties involved in order to reach a settlement. For some, alternatives such as mediation, offer confidential, less confrontational and often more cost effective ways of resolving civil disputes.

At Bloomsbury Law, our professional mediation solicitors can make the process a positive experience compared to other solutions which would involve going to court. We specialise in many areas of mediation and have worked on behalf of many clients focusing on the following areas:

Commercial;
• Corporate;
• Financial;
Insolvency;
Property; and
• Trusts.

Alternatives such as litigation can take years to resolve a dispute and going to court should be a last resort when all mediation and communication fails.

Mediation and litigation can sometimes work in parallel throughout a court case. Sometimes, mediation is used during a litigation case to allow both parties to settle before it goes to trial and substantial costs are incurred. This is quite common especially when both parties realise how costly legal and court fees at a trial will be and that the outcome is still in the balance.

We must warn that mediation cannot solve all disputes and cannot be suitable where a court declaration is needed in a test case, or where an injunction has to be served to prevent illegal actions, no matter how good your mediation solicitor is.

Due to the nature of the process, all parties involved have to agree to enter mediation. If someone or one party refuses to enter into mediation, then litigation is the last resort.

If you have a dispute or want to ask a question to find out more information, please get in contact with our mediation solicitors and we will be able to process your query efficiently and effectively.

Call our Civil Litigation solicitors on 0207 998 7777 or contact us online so we may arrange a call back. With our vast experience in the field, our bilingual speaking team will work with you to ensure this process runs as smooth as possible.

Our Litigation Services

Flight Delay & Cancellation Compensation Claims

Thursday, September 1st, 2016

As a result of a Supreme Court ruling under EU rule 261/2004, passengers who have had to experience the stress, inconvenience and chaos caused by flight delay or cancellation are entitled to claim compensation against the airlines responsible. Approximately 2.3 million passengers each year are delayed due to aircraft faults resulting in cancellations and overbooking. Regulation 261/2004 was created by the European Parliament and the Council of the European Union, and despite the EU referendum results, you are still covered by the regulation. Although, if you have experienced a flight delay in the last six years, we do recommend submitting your details as soon as possible amid the departure of the EU.

The EC Regulation 261 of 2004 states that all passengers must be compensated financially if their flight has been cancelled or overbooked. Despite this ruling, airlines will often make it difficult for passengers to claim by stating that the claim is not valid or will simply ignore you, this is unacceptable and this is where we are here to help you with legal representation.

When you make a flight delay or cancellation compensation claim, we will require as much information and evidence as possible in order to support your claim. For example, we will require everything from data on weather conditions at the time to any technical faults with the plane, which may have been the reason for the delay or cancellation. This is to ensure that we have every detail necessary to increase the chances of success and maximise compensation.

It is important to note that passengers in England and Wales have up to six years from the date of their flight to make a compensation claim. The clock does not stop ticking on your claim until you have issued Court proceedings. To simply lodge a complaint with the airline does not classify as a claim in the eyes of the Court. If the flight was delayed between 2005 and 2009, you will be unable to apply for compensation, or claim through the Courts under EU Regulation 261/2004.

What about infant claims?

Claiming for infants is possible as long as the payment of the airline ticket has been made by you. Infants have up to 6 years past their 18th birthday to bring a claim.

Compensation Conditions

In order to qualify for compensation, your flight must fall under European Regulation which is the case if your departure airport is in a European member state or your airport of arrival is in a European member state and you are travelling with a European carrier. Also, you must check whether something has happened beyond the control of the airline.

In what extraordinary situations will you not be able to apply for Compensation?

• Terrorist and security issues;
• Adverse weather;
• Natural disasters such as Volcanic Activity;
• Air traffic problems; or
• A strike.

In what situations will you be able to apply for Compensation?

• Airline staffing problems;
• Pilot sickness;
• Bad weather affecting a previous flight, impacting your flight time;
• Overbooked flight causing you to be denied boarding;
• Technical faults with the aircraft (not defined as hidden defects); or
• Any other situation which the airline can take reasonability and is not seen as an extraordinary case.

How much can I claim?

The figures mentioned below are a guideline as to how much compensation passengers may claim. Compensation claims will vary on the length of delay as well as the length of the flight, but are not affected by the cost of the ticket itself. They are as follows:

• Flights delayed less than 3 hours – €0;
• Flights delayed more than 3 hours and up to 1,500km – €250;
• Flights delayed more than 3 hours and between 1,500km – 3,500km or between 2 EU Member States – €400;
• Flights delayed between 3-4 hours and over 3,500km – €300; or
• Flights delayed more than 4 hours and over 3,500km – €600.

Please note that under Regulation (EC) 261/2004, the sums are stated in Euros and are claimed in Euros. Once the airline has agreed to pay your compensation, the final sum shall be stated in Euros. However, should your compensation be transferred to your UK bank account, you will receive your compensation in British Pound Sterling. The final sum you receive will be converted according to the current exchange rate at the time.

What should I do next?

In order to have a higher chance of success, providing as much evidence as possible to us about your delayed flight will increase your chances. In addition to the points raised above these include:

• Flight number;
• Dates of flight;
• Time delayed; and
• Expenses incurred as a result of the delay such as food, drink or hotels.

How much do we charge?

Our fees are based on your success and therefore, there is no financial risk to our clients. We will only charge a fee depending on the amount of flight delay compensation received. This performance based fee is up to a maximum of 25% of the obtained compensation plus VAT. Our fee structures are as follows:

(i) Successful compensation claims up to €300 – £25 administration fee plus 25% of the compensation sum recovered. All fees are subject of VAT.

(ii) Successful compensation claims up to €600 – £30 administration fee plus 20% of the compensation sum recovered. All fees are subject to VAT.

Call our flight delay solicitors on 0207 998 7777 or contact us online so we may arrange a call back. With our vast experience in the field, our bilingual speaking team will work with you to ensure this process runs as smooth as possible.

Our Litigation Services

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