Practice Areas

Co-habitation & Property Disputes

Inheritance Act Claims

Small Claims Support Service

General Litigation

Financial Mis-selling Litigation

Introductory Video

Cohabitation & Property Disputes

Please watch these videos in the video library for common misconceptions in cohabitation property dispute cases
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Pomożemy Ci zrozumieć Angielskie prawo nieruchomości i praw rodzicielskich dla konkubinatów.

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Co-habitation

We have specific expertise in co-habitation cases where the relationship has broken down and there is a dispute over the property. This area of law is not the same as family law and people often confuse the two.  There is no such thing as a “common law marriage” in English law and the issues around ownership can be complex and often relates to the intention of the parties at the time they purchased the property rather than any idea of a “fair share”, as is the case in a divorce.  

 

We can act on a standard retainer on our normal hourly rate but we can also act on a No Win No Fee basis. We have found this is sometimes necessary where a client is faced with a wealthier opponent who is determined not to part with a share of the property and the client is concerned at the legal costs he or she will be forced to incur.   In such cases our legal fees can be paid upon successful completion of the case, out of the equity in the property.  A typical percentage would be 25%, but this will vary depending upon the risks involved.

 

We do require some level of initial payment on account in most cases when we are considering No Win No Fee.  This is in order to carry out a proper assessment of the claim, because we will only do No Win No Fee if the merits are strong.  This is invariably 2-3 hours of work on simple cases, 5 hours on longer ones.  If the prospects of success of a substantial settlement are poor we may simply advise you at that point that you should “walk away” rather than spend more time and money on pursuing a risky claim.  

 

Alex Woods has business contacts in Europe and splits his time between the UK and the continent.  This service may be of special interest to overseas clients in Europe and elsewhere who may have returned home after the break-up of a relationship and need help with understanding their legal position in the UK and their legal rights.

Property Litigation

We also have general experience of property litigation.  The public are perhaps unaware that litigation and property law are quite different areas of expertise and one should not automatically expect a conveyancing lawyer to be as effective at resolving disputes and handling litigation as they are at the non-contentious business of buying and selling property. Our property expert, Richard Parsons has a background in both areas and this means that, where property is concerned, our legal service is truly comprehensive and an excellent long-term proposition for businesses and individuals in the property sector.

Inheritance Act Claims

Over the past two years Redwood Legal has run a number of successful Inheritance Act Claims, often on behalf of individuals who feel that they have been unfairly excluded from a will, or from a share of the estate where the deceased has died intestate.  The Inheritance (Provision for Family & Dependants) Act 1975 is an important piece of legislation that allows people to challenge a will in a way that were not able to previously. As well as the obvious categories (wife/husband, child etc.) the sort of people who may feel they have been unfairly excluded from an estate or will could include:

 

  •  a partner who has cohabited for 2 years prior to the death;
  •  someone being treated as the child of the deceased, even though not an actual birth child;
  •  someone else reliant on or being provided for by the deceased at the time of death;
  •  a former partner of the deceased, who has not re-married.

 

Sometimes such categories of potential claimants can struggle to afford high legal fees of bringing a claim under the act.  We are often able to help on a “No Win No Fee” or contingency basis, drawing on the funds in the estate of the client’s future share of it.  Please contact us for further details of how this type of retainer works. 

 

Please note however, that we do require some level of initial payment on account in most cases when we are considering No Win No Fee.  This is in order to carry out a proper assessment of the claim.  This is invariably 2-3 hours of work on simple cases, 5 hours on longer ones.  

Please see this introductory video on Inheritance act Claims
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Small Claims Support Service

Please see our new initiative that has been launched as of 2018
Please watch this introductory video if you need our help

Redwood Legal runs a special, reduced-rate, General Litigation & Small Claims Support Service for people who may have less-complex claims of lower value and wish to run their claims themselves. We have found that this can work very well and the courts are often sympathetic to a litigant-in-person. However clients can lose perspective on the strengths or weaknesses of their claim and may also need assistance with the Civil Procedure Rules and basic help with the technical aspects of how to put together and present a claim.

 

For this we can offer a very competitive hourly-rate service with the back-up of limited legal representation at key stages of the case, if required.

 

Small claims are of a value less than £10,000 (as of April 2013) and should not be complex. This is the courts’ special system to keep lawyers out of the process.  The usual principle in the UK court system of “the loser pays the winner’s costs” is therefore rarely applicable on the small claims track.

 

Our standard hourly rates is currently £150 for this service.

General Litigation

The founder of Redwood Legal has a background in financial mis-selling litigation and as such he has represented clients in claims against wealthy financial institutions, where the client has had a strong case but is disadvantaged financially. This may mean a small business facing a much larger company or a client who simply does not have the financial means to pursue their claim all the way to the finishing wire. Where hourly-rate is not practicable, many of our cases involve a 2 stage process:

 

  • We will require that clients initially put some money into their cases up front, in order to carry out a proper assessment of its merits. (See note below.)
  • If we are satisfied that your claim has genuine merit we may thereafter be able to assist you on the basis of a reduced No-Win No Fee agreement. This means in practice taking a share of your winnings in return for not billing you legal fees until the case is completed and only then if you are successful.

 

Litigation is best seen as much as an entrepreneurial activity as a case of enforcing your rights or pursuing a grievance. You need to be clear in your mind before you begin and you need to be prepared to go all the way. Hopefully court proceedings are a once-in-a-lifetime experience for most people and where they are embarked upon a client needs to be prepared to both commit to their claim and be realistic about their prospects.

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Financial Mis-selling

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We have a great deal of experience in running reduced-fee and contingency fee arrangements for clients in this sector and notable successes in many of the cases we have run. We have run claims against all the major banks in complex PPI claims, sometimes in defence of possession proceedings brought by lenders where mis-sold PP may have contributed to the arrears and also against credit card companies and the sub-prime sector.

 

Our opponents over the years have included MBNA, Lloyds, Barclays, HSBC, Natwest, Southern Pacific Personal Loans, igroup (GE Money), Egg, Creation, Black Horse, Welcome Financial Services, First Plus and many others.

 

We also have experience in interest-rate swap cases and have acted on behalf of both small businesses and insolvency practitioners.     

Clients should be aware of the importance of consequential loss claims in financial mis-selling cases which can radically increase refunds.  We therefore carefully advise our clients on the adequacy of offers – not just on whether the product has been mis-sold and we have key relationships with barrister’s specialising in this area. We have ties with third party experts where help is needed in the area of finance or forensic accounting.

 

We are pioneers in this sector and in the majority of our cases have had successful outcomes. Often we have gone the extra mile in winning substantial settlements after low offers from the banks. Quantum is often the real battleground. Banks may admit to mis-selling but are sometimes prone to offer clients, “take it or leave it” offers which do not fully-compensate clients for their real loss.