Samuel Okoronkwo

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Does the Legal Industry Only Do Business With People at Crisis Point?

Throughout this article, I will be answering an important question: Why does the legal system only seem to do business with people at crisis point? 


The legal industry is an integral part of the economy. However, it should not be used casually; the legal system is in many cases designed to be used as a ‘shield rather than a sword’. In fact, it is often said that taking legal action and/or going to court should be the last option once you have exhausted all other alternative dispute resolution processes. 


If a case does proceed to court, the court determines the law and then imposes its decision on both parties, based on a consideration of the evidence. Prompt legal action can sometimes be the most appropriate solution to an issue, however, it is usually the last option due to the varying negative aspects of going to court. 


The purpose of a legal representative whether a solicitor or a barrister is to represent the client and to present their case. This must be done to the best of their ability, and in the best interest of the client, whilst also assisting the court to come to the most appropriate decision, which may not always be in the client’s favour. The legal representative must present the client’s case as persuasively as possible, but this also means that the lawyer must not mislead the court or allow the court to mislead itself. 


The legal industry is not required to do business with people prior to crisis; however, receiving sound legal advice prior to any hostilities can prevent a matter from ever having to go to court. 


What are the risks when taking legal action? 

A risk when attending court is that the court may not award costs against the unsuccessful party, thus the costs associated with taking someone to court should always be balanced against the possible outcome. Considering this, it is understandable that people do not seek legal advice until they reach crisis point and require a well-informed resolution. 


So, does the legal industry only do business with people at crisis point? 

Evidence does suggest that this is true, however, unfortunately, it is often at crisis point when people proceed to seek legal action. If seeking legal assistance was more accessible and affordable to all, it is likely that the legal industry would be involved from a much earlier point in the claim, rather than being instructed at crisis point. The irony is, instructing a lawyer at an earlier stage in proceedings, ideally before conflict arises and parties hit crisis point, could save a party more time, stress and money in the long run.


Are there any risks to waiting until crisis point? 

We have seen many cases where a claim has been brought to our attention and it should have been raised sooner. Whilst legal expenses are unavoidable, failure to seek early legal advice at a lower cost invariably leads to substantially increased costs when a dispute arises. 


If you have reached crisis point, is it too late? 

It is never too late to instruct a lawyer, even if you have reached crisis point. However, it is important to note that the more time that passes, the harder it may be to achieve the desired solution. 


Have you reached crisis point and need to take legal action?

At Mercantile Barristers, we are specialists consultants in law for when legal issues involved are complex, intricate and so important that the most seasoned expertise in advice and handling is required. 


Whether by statutory or mutually agreed alternative dispute resolution, or litigation, members at Mercantile Barristers will adopt a firm, swift and decisive approach to achieve the best possible results for clients within the shortest possible time. We recognise that no two cases are the same, so we will adapt our style to suit the occasion.


If you require legal advice or have a claim that has reached crisis point, we can help. 


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