Early Neutral Evaluation

Early Neutral Evaluation

Our experienced Early Neutral Evaluation (“ENE”) Barristers are experts in all aspects of ENE law as it applies in the resolution of legal disputes. They are regularly asked to advise in contentious cases, and have sound knowledge of the specialist tribunals and courts that they appear before.

Early neutral evaluation (“ENE”) is a non-binding form of alternative dispute resolution, that gives parties an independent and expert opinion on the merits of each sides case. By having an experienced specialist barrister objectively assess the merits of a case at an early stage, the parties can consider whether it is wise to avoid the waste of time and money in the protracted stages of litigation and use the opportunity of an initial ‘sense-check’ to settle by other means, such as mediation or negotiation.

ENE is usually non-binding on the parties, who can reject the evaluation and pursue dispute resolution as normal. However, ENE is a useful tool to assist the parties narrow down the issues between them and make informed decisions in the litigation process.

Mercantile Barristers Early Neutral Evaluation barristers have experience in receiving joint ENE instructions from both parties and can provide evaluations to suit the parties’ needs. Having received the papers, the barrister is able to provide an expert evaluation, either through a conference in person at chambers, or cloud video platform; or via a written report.

There is a growing recognition of the benefits of early neutral evaluation in commercial chancery practice and our barristers are willing to act as early neutral evaluators in their specialist areas of expertise, including:

ENE Agreement

The early neutral evaluation agreement will specify how the ENE will be conducted, from the identity of the evaluator; to the method of evaluation; costs and timings.

Case Summaries and Evidence

Each party will provide short Case Summaries to be sent to the Evaluator and exchanged with the other side. The case summaries and documents should be concise and informative. They should also be delivered promptly to allow the evaluator and the parties to keep to the agreed timetable.

Regarding Supporting Evidence, the preference is to provide a joint small relevant bundle of core documentation that adds to the ENE submission rather than replaces the submission. Try and avoid including pleadings, lengthy legal authorities, full witness statements and expert reports (other than brief extracts).

Core Submissions and Responses

Each parties’ submissions should be brief and include the usual elements, such as a factual summary/chronology; factual/legal issues in dispute; and what each side is claiming. Depending on the Evaluator, parties may be afforded to provide a brief response to submissions

Presentation

The evaluator may permit oral presentations, but usually is required to present their evaluation/findings whether orally, or in writing, within a specified time period.

How Our Process Works

Instructing our direct access barristers is the cost effective alternative to the traditional route of engaging a solicitor first.  The process is just as straightforward. Here’s how the process works:
You can call, email, or fill out an enquiry form to tell us about your case. One of our specialist clerks will speak with  you to make the arrangements to advance your case.

You can call, email, or fill out an enquiry form to tell us about your case. One of our specialist clerks will speak with you to make the arrangements to advance your case.

Our specialist clerk will match you with the barrister with the expertise to deal with all aspects of your case. They will also obtain and organise the papers the barrister will have to consider in your case.

Our clerk will agree the fee for your consultation with the barrister beforehand. The clerk will then arrange a convenient time for you to have the consultation by video call, telephone or in person.

In the consultation the barrister will assess your legal position, devise a legal strategy, and give you appropriate advice on the necessary next steps to achieve your objective. 

FAQs

Here are some of our FAQs which you may find of assistance. If not we are happt to talk, call now on 020 30340077

Early Neutral Evaluation is a method of Alternative Dispute Resolution intended to encourage settlement discussions to resolve business disputes without resorting to litigation. The disputing parties appoint an independent evaluator to assess the strengths and weaknesses of each side’s case. The evaluator does not make decision, but indicates what each party might realistically be able to achieve if they were to proceed with litigation.
Early Neutral Evaluation is a method of Alternative Dispute Resolution intended to encourage settlement discussions to resolve business disputes without resorting to litigation. The disputing parties appoint an independent evaluator to assess the strengths and weaknesses of each side’s case. The evaluator does not make decision, but indicates what each party might realistically be able to achieve if they were to proceed with litigation.
Early Neutral Evaluation is similar to Mediation with the aim of getting both parties understand the ‘lay of the land’ as regards proceeding to litigation, rather than to make a formal decision on the dispute. In any event, both are more cost effective; timely and are more likely to maintain relationships between disputing parties.
Early Neutral Evaluation can be used at any time, before the litigation process begins. It may also be ordered by a court or tribunal during litigation, if it considers it necessary. Evaluations are increasingly common in contractual disputes and commercial disagreements. Parties are at liberty to choose the evaluator themselves and can either be a private or court appointment.
Early Neutral Evaluation is designed to be a swift process and its resolution will usually depend on the complexity of the dispute and whether litigation has already commenced.
Parties to an Early Neutral Evaluation will have share the Evaluator’s fees to conduct the evaluation, before it begins.

We can help

Fill in the form below and one of our specialist clerks will get in touch.