Are you involved in a dispute over building works, a property or an inheritance? Do you have issues with your landlord or a tenant? Perhaps you are seeking to recover an unpaid debt?

Taking legal advice in the early stages of a dispute can often prevent expensive and time-consuming litigation.

From our offices in Wimbledon Village and Epsom, our solicitors provide sound, practical legal advice in relation to disputes. We have a wealth of experience in resolving anything from small disagreements to large-scale, complex litigation.

We will advise you on the most cost-effective way to resolve your dispute and your prospects of success. Whatever approach we take, you can be assured that we will fight vigorously on your behalf to achieve the best outcome.

We have an outstanding record of helping people resolve their disputes satisfactorily and in a timely manner.

We advise on all areas of civil litigation with particular focus on the areas set out below.

Disputes with a neighbour are, unfortunately, all too common and are always stressful for the people involved. Due to the nature of these disputes, they need to be handled with care and sensitivity, particularly as they would, most likely, have to be disclosed on any sale of the property. It is worth bearing in mind that regardless of the outcome you will still be next door neighbours. Common disputes include those relating to boundaries, easements and party walls.

Boundary disputes can become very contentious, even if only over a foot of land. Legal advice at an early stage, particularly on the alternatives to court proceedings, is highly recommended to avoid the cost and stress of litigation.

Issues relating to party walls when someone builds an extension, converts a loft or carries out work to an existing structure, can be particularly troublesome. Provided it is followed, the Party Wall Act 1996 sets out a framework for resolving such disputes and it is important to navigate the Act correctly and get the right advice early on to avoid escalating costs and expense.

Nuisance is another issue that can arise between neighbours. This occurs if someone damages your property or does something that affects the quiet enjoyment of your land.

One nuisance that has received much publicity in recent years is the encroachment of tree roots, including Japanese knotweed, onto neighbouring property. If this has happened to you or roots have spread from your land onto your neighbour’s, you should consider taking legal advice on your respective rights or liabilities.

Other nuisances relate to noise, smell and the escape of water and noxious substances. As ever in disputes, where there is a nuisance, swift action is essential.

The relationship between a landlord and a tenant can give rise to any number of disputes. We act for both landlords (including buy-to-let investors) and tenants in relation to both residential leases.

Disputes between residential landlords and tenants most commonly involve one or more of the following:

  • The non-payment of rent or disputes over how much rent is owed
  • Services charges
  • Issues relating to the termination of leases including obtaining possession and claims for forfeiture
  • The carrying out of alterations without landlord’s consent
  • Dilapidations either during or at the end of the lease
  • The return of a deposit and whether it has been held lawfully in a tenancy deposit scheme
  • Issues relating to the management of the property

We can help you resolve such disputes in a timely and cost-effective manner.

We have extensive experience advising both traders and consumers on issues relating to the sale and purchase of goods and services.

The Consumer Right Act 2015 consolidated various pieces of existing legislation and has significantly updated and clarified the law in this area. Obtaining advice as soon as the issue arises though is  sensible particularly in cases where consumers may wish to avail themselves of short-term rights of cancellation.

Carrying out building works to your home or making alterations and improvements is exciting. It is also stressful as there are often large sums involved and a great deal of disruption while the works are going on. You place so much trust in the builder or tradesperson involved and it can quickly become a nightmare if things go wrong.

Typical disputes relate to:

  • Poor workmanship
  • Failure to carry out all the agreed works
  • The time a job takes to complete
  • Overcharging and additional unexpected costs
  • Failure to adhere to building regulations or planning requirements
  • The clearance of rubbish, waste and building materials
  • Upsetting neighbours

The best way to protect yourself is to enter into a binding written contract with the builder or tradesperson before the works start.

Whether or not you have a contract, we can advise you if you end up in dispute.

We suggest that you take legal advice as soon as you have any concerns or issues. You will be in a much stronger position if you know your rights.

Claims arising on the death of a family member, partner or friend are becoming increasingly common. One reason for this is the surge in value of many people’s main asset, their home. Another is the rise in number of subsequent marriages and second families.

The starting point where someone dies is to examine their will, if they have one (and any letters of wishes). Where there is no will, the Administration of Estates Act 1925 will apply, and it is necessary for this to be applied.

We act for executors, personal representatives, trustees and individuals making claims.

Understandably, emotions can run high on the death of a loved one and disputes can arise in any number of ways, including:

  • Claims under the Inheritance (Provision for Family and Dependants) Act 1975, under which certain family members may be able to claim that the will did not make sufficient financial provision for them. There is a six-month time limit for claims, so prompt action is vital.
  • Issues relating to the validity of the will, including whether the deceased had capacity to make it and whether it was executed properly
  • Issues relating to the will’s interpretation
  • Allegations that promises by the deceased have not be kept
  • Issues relating to the ownership of property
  • Removal of executors and issues relating to the discharge of their duties

Many people face issues relating to debt and solvency at some stage of their life. This may be due to any number of reasons such as redundancy, personal problems or simply credit spiralling out of control.

Whatever the reason, it is important to manage the situation properly by taking legal advice. The worst thing you can do is bury your head in the sand.

We can advise you on all your options such as debt management, bankruptcy or an individual voluntary arrangement (IVA).

If you require advice in relation to a potential or actual dispute, please get in touch.