Solicitor-led Negotiation

The purpose of solicitor-led negotiation is to try and reach an agreement so that the parties make a decision over what the outcome of their case is rather than the court telling them what the outcome will be. 

It can take place at any point and is frequently used both before and during court proceedings.  Simply because court proceedings are issued, it does not mean that the parties have to stop negotiating. 

Methods of solicitor led negotiation

There are a number of methods that can be used as part of solicitor-led negotiation:

Letters

The benefits are:

  • It provides time to reflect upon the contents of the letter;
  • There is a written record.

The disadvantages to using a letter are:

  • It tends to take a little longer to progress matters;
  • There is the risk that the contents can be misinterpreted.

Telephone

The benefits are:

  • Speed;
  • Less room for misinterpretation.

The disadvantages are:

  • There can be disagreement over what is said;
  • There is a risk that things can be mis-communicated when the lawyers report back to their clients.

Round table meetings

These can take place with both lawyers and their respective clients all in the same room or, if either of the clients feel uncomfortable with this, then the clients can each be in separate rooms with the lawyers meeting.

The benefits are:

  • Speed – with everyone in one place it is quick to be able to take instructions;
  • Less room for misinterpretation – if everyone is round the table then it is generally easier for people to explain their positions;
  • A Family Consultant can be used as part of the process to help the clients with any emotional issues that are causing difficulty in reaching an agreement.

The disadvantages are:

  • The upfront cost is more expensive.  However, often the progress that can be made in a single meeting avoids months of correspondence;
  • Sometimes people can feel put under pressure to agree.  However, it is important to remember that no agreement has to be reached at that point.  It is ok to say that you want to be able to consider matters.

If you would like an appointment with one of our specialists then please contact Miriam our Practice Manager on 01273 646900