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Working With You

Gardner Croft is committed to continuing to improve the service that we provide for our clients. Our aim is to provide legal services which combine a high level of expertise with an approach which is friendly and efficient and which takes account of our client's changing requirements.

We never forget that our clients are real people who require personal attention. Whether you are a private individual, or represent a commercial enterprise or a non-profit organisation, Gardner Croft will strive to build a successful relationship, ensuring at all times that your needs receive our foremost consideration.

These philosophies are our bedrock; they govern not only how we conduct each case but also our transparent and ‘no surprises’ approach to the management of time and costs.

Our Commitment to You

Our Terms of Business contains important provisions about our relationship with our clients. At the beginning of our relationship with our clients, we will provide our current Terms of Business which cannot be varied without their consent.

The key to our business is providing a quality personal service to our clients so all feedback from this is important to us. At the end of each piece of work we undertake for clients we will send out a Satisfaction Questionnaire and we ask our clients to complete this and return it to us. We welcome critical feedback so we can review the service we provide, improving it where we can. If our clients have a complaint, they should please tell us. Please click here for further details.

Frequently Asked Questions

Currently, we do not undertake any legal aid work.

Please contact The Law for further information on other solicitors who may be able to help you with Legal Aid Advice

You are entitled to choose who acts for you, in handling your case.

If you are dissatisfied with the lawyer presently acting for you, or the way in which your case is being handled, you are entitled to seek further advice from an independent Solicitor, and if you wish to do so, to transfer your instructions to a different firm.

We have, on many occasions, taken over the conduct of cases for clients dissatisfied with the service with which they have been provided. If we feel it is appropriate for you, we will advise you fully as to what it involves, and to take all necessary steps to arrange for the papers to be sent to us by your previous Solicitors.

If you are worried about your case, do not delay until it is too late. Contact us now.

If you have legal expenses insurance cover, you may well have a policy with a company which will insist on only instructing their own panel Solicitors at the beginning. They are entitled to do this.

In a small, straightforward claim, that is probably not a problem. However, in a complex or serious claim however, it may not be the right thing for you.

Most legal expenses insurers have panel Solicitors based many miles away. Consequently, generally speaking, those Solicitors have to deal with everything by way of telephone, in correspondence, e-mail, or questionnaires. You may never get to meet your representative. Not the easiest way to get your difficult case understood.

You may find your case being handled by a “paralegal” and not by a qualified Solicitor.

Also, a distant panel firm may not have specialist knowledge of local medical experts, and will probably tend to use medical agencies, who simply choose an expert from a general panel. Again, this may not be the most appropriate way for your serious case to be presented. For example, you do not really want a general orthopaedic surgeon who specialises in hand injuries, to prepare a report on a complex spinal injury.

As things stand, legal expenses insurers may insist on their own panel Solicitors acting at the outset.  However, you later have the right to insist on your own Solicitor if it is necessary to issue Court Proceedings, or before, in certain circumstances.  You always have the right to decide who you wish to handle your case.

Our advice is that in any serious case, or one of complexity or subtlety, or where you would like to speak to your lawyer face to face, you should have your own local, specialist dealing with your personal injury claim. You will then have personal access and we are able to visit clients in their home, to establish the difficulties faced on a daily basis, both for the injured person and family or carers. Complex cases cannot easily (or in our view properly) be dealt with long distance.

Therefore, if your legal expenses insurers will not instruct your own Solicitor, how do you overcome this?

If you have a reasonably strong case, we would have no problems in dealing with the matter under a CFA (the so called “No Win No Fee”) or other arrangement (see separate page), if your legal expenses insurers will not appoint us. Then, at the stage of issue of Court proceedings, we would expect the Insurers to agree to us continuing to act for you with the benefit of their policy from that time on. If they decline to do so, we would continue under the CFA already in place. Either way, you will have the benefit of your own specialist legal advisor of choice.

You do not have to accept a Solicitor you do not wish to act for you.

It is hard to give a firm guide on how long your case might take because so much depends on the nature of your case and especially how your opponent reacts. All we can give here is a general guide.

Court rules generally require that the first thing to be done is to write to your opponent setting out your claim and seeking their response. The guidelines indicate that after acknowledging that letter, they should usually be allowed up to three months to respond.

After that point there should be a reasonable period for negotiations and further discussions. How long that period will be depends on many factors but mostly on how your opponent responds.

If they completely reject your claim the period may be brief and the same will obviously be the case if they accept it. Things may be more protracted if they partially accept your claim or want to drag things out.

If an agreement cannot be reached at this stage, you may issue court proceedings. At that point, we are in the hands of the court and the timetable they impose. The parties will have some input into the timetable but this is generally the stage that takes longest because everything depends on the court and the availability of judges, etc. to deal with the case.

The court service is incredibly overburdened and cases can take a long time to reach trial. We would normally expect a case to reach trial within a year or so of the case starting but it can take several years depending on the size of the case and what happens along the way.

We could only give a more detailed estimate after seeing you and discussing your case in detail.

Legal Aid

Currently, we do not undertake any legal aid work.

Please contact The Law Society or for further information.

Private Funding

Work undertaken by a Solicitor is invoiced regularly and often on a monthly basis. Please contact us should you wish to discuss how regularly you would like to receive an invoice, depending on your particular circumstances.

Alternatively, we can set up a monthly standing order so that you payments are at a regular fixed amount and easier to manage. These will chip away at invoices as and when they arise which can help you to manage your payments.

Moneys on Account

It is customary, to ask clients for advance payments to be held on account in respect of any future work undertaken. Therefore, there remains the option to pay sums in advance to be held on account and to settle future invoices.

Legal Expenses Loan

Some organisations offer loans that are tailored specifically to cover the costs of divorce proceedings. The amount of the loan is between you and the loan company, rather than with your Solicitor and would be subject to the company’s own terms and conditions of the loan. If you wished to explore this option further we would be able to advise you appropriately as to the costs that might be associated with your divorce and the amount you would need to borrow.

Private Lending

It is possible to seek private forms of lending from banks or building societies; however these will be subject to their own rates of interest and repayment schedules.

Assistance from Family

Some clients are able to seek financial assistance from family members and we can accept payments made on behalf of a client.

If you have an issue with funding please discuss this with us so that we may help and advise you.

Our litigation and employment team deal with almost all types of claims. Personal injury claims for accidents, etc. are dealt with by our colleague Richard Giles.

Richard deals with property disputes such as service charge disputes, boundary disputes, rent reviews, lease renewals, rights of access, shared driveways and many more. We also deal with landlord and tenant claims such as claims for possession and unpaid rent.

Richard also deals with contractual disputes between businesses, disputes between business owners internally and disputes with other professionals such as negligence claims against Solicitors, surveyors or architects.

We also undertake litigation in cases involving disputes regarding Wills and inheritance.

Please contact and we would be happy to discuss the differences.