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A Brief Guide to Litigation

and 10 Frequently Asked Questions

You may have heard of litigation or heard it mentioned in news stories about legal cases. But what exactly is it? In this article, we will look at what litigation is and issues surrounding it.


Litigation refers to legal proceedings where one party wants to defend a legal right (this is not the same as a lawsuit which can be part of litigation proceedings).

As an example, let’s say you made a film and someone sold merchandise based on your film without your permission. You may ask them to stop using a “cease and decease” letter. While not a lawsuit this is still a legal action and would be considered litigation.

Another big part of pre-litigation lawsuits is investigating a claim – this allows a legal team to investigate to see if it is worth pursuing.


A lot of the time companies and individuals want to avoid a lawsuit so there is usually a period of negotiation whereby the two parties attempt to reach a settlement in order to avoid going to court.

This process is important as you have to decide what you want. It is the legal representative’s job to impart any messages. However, they can also make recommendations so it is worth listening to them if you are considering any settlement package that the other side is offering and whether or not it is enough for you to settle and not go to court.

Of course, for some people money may not be the issue and may be that they want to see someone held to be responsible. If this is the case and the other side doesn’t want to accept liability, then the case may go to court.

Going to court

In the event that a settlement can’t be reached the case can go to court (this is the lawsuit aspect of the case). However, a positive verdict may not necessarily be the end of the process – a court may order someone to pay compensation but if the losing party doesn’t pay up then they may to be pursued.

Get advice

The legal pursuit of a litigation case can potentially be expensive. This is why it is important to get advice before pursuing it. A responsible legal professional should work with you to discuss the likelihood of getting a positive result (they should not guarantee it!)

At JH Gabb & Co our philosophy has always been being “big enough to specialise, small enough to care.” This means we have the resources and experience available to pursue a case. At the same time, we also believe in being responsible, discussing the facts of a case and working with our clients to help them decide what to do before pursuing anything further.

If you are looking to pursue a litigation case and want more information or are deciding what you would like to do please contact us. We have a number of specialist legal professionals who are happy to talk to you, helping you to decide what you want to do.

What methods are there for the resolution of disputes?
Which court is likely to hear disputes?
What are pre-action protocols?
How are proceedings commenced?
Is a party to a dispute obliged to disclose all documents in its possession?
Are any documents that do not need to be shown to another party?
What remedies are available?
How much does litigation cost?
How does a trial work?
Is the loser liable to pay the winner’s costs?