Legal action, otherwise known as litigation, is not something one ever wishes to become involved with. However, most of us, at some time in our lives, are likely to be party to it whether we like it or not; either at our own instigation or because of the action of others.
But why? The rationale and logic behind litigation is different from an individual or commercial standpoint, although some elements are common to both.
Here is a typical, but not exhaustive list, of reasons why legal action can come about:
- To right a wrong, e.g. theft of goods or trade secrets
- To prove and/or enforce a debt or of income due, e.g. unpaid invoices sent to a customer or share of profits or commission you are owed
- To take custody of a person or thing, e.g. care of a child or goods sold to another but not paid for
- To enforce an obligation on another, e.g. tenant under a lease to undertake repairs
- To settle a dispute, e.g. over a breach of the terms of a commercial agreement
- To make a claim for someone to stop or deter a particular action
- To protect the title of an asset or access, e.g. land ownership or right of way
- To challenge an action or finding, e.g. trespass over property or the valuation of shares of a business
- Under disclosure and valuation of matrimonial assets in a divorce settlement
- Assertions over the misappropriation of funds by you and/or others
- Breach of fiduciary duties, e.g. by a trustee or custodian of assets
- To challenge a fine, penalty or statutory determination, e.g. in a dispute over the amount of tax owed
- Claim by a Government Department, e.g. by Crown Prosecution Service of receiving the proceeds of crime or undertaking other illegal acts
Undertaking litigation does not mean you are going to end up in court as litigious claims or defences are often settled out of court or otherwise in mediation which provides a dispute resolution process.
Sometimes there is no logic to litigation, it just happens, regardless of whether there is any right or wrong. The nature and personalities of the parties involved are often key in the process.
At some stage in litigation, if matters cannot be amicably resolved, lawyers are going to have to be instructed. It is important therefore to ensure that any claims you may bring personally (before the small claims court) or through lawyers where the legal basis of a claim and court procedure requires you to:
seek legal representation by an advocate,
document fully the basis of any claim or defence,
provide sufficient evidence to supportyour assertions
assess the financial implications of the matter before the court
Need help, understanding and support? Crossleys is experienced in litigation cases. The scope and depth of the Forensic Accounting investigative work carried out by Crossleys, on its own or with others, varies.
Some typical examples of forensic accounting work are:
Investigation of fraud, theft, or financial irregularities
Advising on the financial aspects of disputes
Loss of earnings and personal injury
Analysing damages from breach of contract
Professional negligence claims
Valuing a business, or other assets
Shareholder and partnership disputes
Dealing with regulatory confiscation orders and claims on funds
Tribunal and tax investigations
So how can Crossleys help you?
Crossleys seeks to “Bridge the Gap” between you and those who are going to help you start or defend any legal action at an affordable cost. We adopt a practical approach and seek to make what often seems complicated easy-to-understand for all concerned; whilst at the same time ensuring any facts or claims are supported by documentary evidence and, where appropriate, third party advice.
If you would like to know more about the points highlighted in this leaflet, please contact
UHY Crossleys LLC
Telephone: +44 1624 822816
A member of UHY International, a network of independent accounting and consulting firms.
Article by Nigel Rotheroe
I am a qualified accountant working in public practice and a director of a number of licensed trust and corporate service provider companies. I am actively involved in wealth management and preservation structures for clients in the Isle of Man, where I live and further afield and this often entails working with clients and/or professional firms overseas. My work varies day to day and ranges from giving bespoke tax and structure advice, undertaking special projects, and addressing the multitude of issues that trust and corporate administration work brings. Life is never dull!