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HorseSolicitor saves client £40,000 by implementing court rules and minimising defence costs

HorseSolicitor was recently instructed to Defend a claim brought against an equine events display company. The Claimant alleged that their client (a sub-contractor of the company) had been injured after being kicked by a partially sighted horse.

The Claimant’s allegations were that the company had provided an unsafe place of work by having allowed a partially sighted horse to participate in a close proximity horse display, breaches of the Animals Act, and negligence. The Claimant suffered a fractured leg and claimed for care and assistance, and lost earnings.

Whilst the Defendant did have insurance it was not covered for the risk of an animal causing injury to an employee/contractor and as such the company found itself under-insured and facing a potentially hefty bill to pay a solicitor to run the defence which would have to have been paid even if the claim against them was not successful, and, if the claim succeeded, having to pay all of the Claimant’s legal costs and damages. It was envisaged that the total cost would be in the region of £60,000.00.

The company contacted HorseSolicitor who were able to explain the strengths and weaknesses of the Claimant’s case and agreed to act for the company on a private paying basis.

From day one, HorseSolicitor agreed a strategy with its client whereby a robust Defence would be prepared setting out in detail why the Claimant’s case would ultimately fail (even though it was likely that the claim would succeed at least in part). Thereafter HorseSolicitor’s lawyers set about to use court rules to pressurise the Claimant in to reaching an early settlement thereby minimising HorseSolicitor’s costs, and limiting the Claimant’s legal costs and damages payment.

Within 4 months HorseSolicitor had settled the damages claim and the Claimant’s solicitor’s costs for less than £15,000.00. HorseSolicitor’s fees were kept to a minimum and came to less than £2,500.00.

HorseSolicitor’s Neil Rees, the solicitor who ran the Defence, commented that,

“It is unfortunate that following the government’s reforms of the personal injury sector Defendants now find themselves in the unenviable position of having to consider paying money out regardless of whether or not they have done anything wrong. When these instances occur it is important to formulate a strategy for the case from day one, that way you can at least minimise the exposure to your client. Whilst it is unpalatable for a Defendant to have to make these payments it is better than less is paid sooner rather than significantly more being paid later on.”

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