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Dispute resolution glossary

We have outlined some useful terms that come up in cases of dispute resolution and commercial litigation.

 Action – bringing a claim through the court

Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) – a different way of resolving a civil dispute without taking court action

Application – a formal request to the court

Barrister – a lawyer who specialises in giving advice and advocacy.

Claim – the action you are taking through the court

Claim form – the court form that has to be completed and sent to the court to start legal action

Claimant – the person starting the claim

Conditional Fee Agreement (CFA) – an arrangement in which solicitors act on a ‘no win no fee’ basis

Damages – financial compensation for a civil wrong

Defendant – person who action is being brought against

Expert – a person who has expertise in a relevant profession and can therefore give the court an independent professional opinion.

Letter of Claim – a letter informing the defendant that you intend to take court action

Liability – what you are responsible for legally

Limitation period – the time limit you have in which to take court action

Mediation – negotiating a settlement with the assistance of a neutral third party

Ombudsman – the authoritative body that can investigate complaints about services

Particulars of Claim – the main issues as to why legal action is being taken. These are normally stated on the claim form

Remedy – the type of order the court makes to make amends

Small claims – a claim through the court that is relatively straight forward and of low value

Solicitor – a fully qualified and trained lawyer who is responsible for the day to day conduct of a claim

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