Dispute Resolution can take many forms. The most effective way to resolve any dispute is to try to prevent it occurring initially.
Where a dispute has not or cannot be avoided, the most important first step is to appreciate that there is a dispute, establish what this entails, what the risks are and how to address the issues. It is best that this assessment is undertaken before a formal 'pre-action' letter is sent by a claimant to a defendant or before a defendant prepares its response to one; regrettably, these actions cannot always be prevented.
Having made the assessment of the claim, the resolution process can commence. Howard has acted in more than 150 disputes in the last 20 years. These have ranged from small domestic building contracts and pre-acquisition house surveys to large commercial matters with values up to £100 million. Dilapidations claims are disputes and need to be managed to prevent them developing into litigation.
Many disputes are resolved when the issues are clarified and understood by the parties. Despite a protocol for dispute resolution now being in place, often claims are not well prepared and can immediately be reduced in magnitude and quantum following assessment by experts appointed by the parties. Conversely, of course, claims can also be understated and can develop.
Whatever the circumstances and possible consequences, expert advice is required to provide clarity, objectivity and balanced opinions. No one and no party should want to have their disputes resolved in Court, where control is the Judge's prerogative. Many disputes can be resolved following expert intervention, often through mediation.
Howard is renowned for his thoroughness, attention to detail and for speaking plainly to clients and their legal advisors in order that they are clear as to his opinions on their positions and the allegations. Dispute resolution is not suited to advisors who are indecisive or may be tempted to be partial or partisan, it is for those who are professional, independent, impartial and honest.