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Richard Moss Solicitors was instructed by four different clients to attend to four different Court hearings that all took place in the last two weeks in January 2014.

For the first hearing, Richard Moss was instructed by a landlord seeking to recover possession of his property. The tenant attempted to delay the inevitable by applying to Birmingham County Court to amend her Defence and to bring a Counterclaim against Richard’s landlord client. Richard appeared at Court and successfully opposed the tenant’s application.

For the second hearing, Richard Moss was instructed by another landlord seeking to recover possession of his property. The tenant attempted to defeat the possession claim brought by Richard’s landlord client by alleging she paid a tenancy deposit greater than that received and protected by the landlord. If Manchester County Court accepted the tenant’s allegation, the landlord would have been unable to recover possession of his property. That said, Richard’s involvement in this case resulted in the Court approving an order requiring the tenant to vacate the landlord’s  property by 10 February 2014.

For the third hearing, Richard Moss was instructed by another landlord seeking to recover possession of his property from a tenant in receipt of income support and housing benefit and who was represented by a law firm that was funded by legal aid. This immediately put Richard’s privately-paying landlord client at a cost disadvantage. That said, a strategy was agreed that would culminate in an application to Bury County Court to allocate the proceedings to the ‘Small Claims Track’ thereby stopping all further legal aid to the tenant which, in turn, would result in the tenant’s law firm ceasing to act. That strategy proved extremely effective because it led to Bury County Court ordering the tenant to vacate the landlord’s property by 3 March 2014.

As for the fourth hearing, that case was settled before the hearing actually took place and on terms agreed between Richard’s client and a housing association. The housing association had brought a claim against Richard’s client based on an allegation of anti-social behaviour. Unfortunately, the actions of Richard’s client had been recorded by a CCTV camera and that recording unfortunately meant Richard’s client had poor prospects of successfully opposing the housing association’s claim. It was for this reason the case was settled before the hearing.

On balance, Richard Moss Solicitors has had a very successful start to the New Year.

Litigate or Negotiate?

Richard Moss Solicitors was instructed by a property consultant in respect of his claim against a landowner who wished to develop one of his sites.

Our client’s claim formed three parts. The first part was valued at £70,000 but this part had poor prospects of succeeding at trial. The second part was valued at £20,000 but this part also had poor prospects of success. The third part was valued at around £16,000 and this part had good prospects of success. In other words, the most likely outcome of the litigation was our client being granted a judgment in the sum of £16,000.

At an early stage in the litigation, Richard Moss Solicitors commenced negotiations with the solicitors acting for the landowner with a view to settling our client’s claim on the best possible terms. Those negotiations resulted in the landowner offering to pay our client the sum of £25,000.

Taking into consideration the offer was £9,000 more than the likely outcome of the litigation, our client gladly accepted the landlower’s offer. Furthermore, acceptance of the offer spared our client the costs of proceeding towards trial, the majority of which he would probably not recover from the landowner if and when the first and second part of his claim failed at trial.

Manchester Law Library

Manchester’s Law Library was established in 1820 making it one of the oldest libraries in the UK and it has occupied its Grade II listed building in Kennedy Street since 1885. The Library’s members consist of solicitors and barristers only and, likewise, its committee, which is responsible for managing the Library, comprises solicitors and barristers only.

In the circumstances, it was an honour and a privilege when the committee instructed Richard Moss Solicitors to act on the Library’s behalf in a recent matter. It was particularly satisfying when Richard Moss Solicitors successfully negotiated a settlement on terms that were great for the Library.

Richard Moss Solicitors was instructed to act on behalf of a director of a Plc whose employment had been terminated.

On 10 April 2013, the Plc served legal proceedings on our director client which were accompanied by an application for an interim injunction. If the application for an interim injunction was granted by the Court, it would have had the effect of preventing our director client from working in the only business he had known since 1987 for six months.

Immediately before the Court hearing on 19 April 2013, the Plc’s substantive claim, and its application for an interim injunction, were settled but on terms that none of the parties would make any public statement on the terms of settlement.

Whilst we would like to reveal the settlement terms we secured for our client, we cannot do so. Nevertheless, we believe it is safe to say that, since 19 April 2013, our director client has been actively working in the only business he has known since 1987!

Richard Moss Solicitors was instructed to assist a client appeal against a County Court Judgment requiring her to pay £4,590 to the claimant.

Shortly before the appeal hearing that had been listed on 20 March 2013, Richard Moss persuaded the claimant to agree that (a) his client’s appeal be allowed (b) the claimant’s County Court Judgment against his client be set aside (c) the claimant’s claim against his client be struck out and (d) the claimant pays his client’s legal costs.

The result Richard Moss obtained for his client is unremarkable except that the claimant’s claim was for less than £10,000 and so it had been allocated by the Court to the ‘Small Claims Track’ in which the general rule is that the ‘winner’ cannot recover legal costs from ‘the loser’.

Despite the usual ‘no costs rule’ applicable in the Small Claims Track, Richard Moss successfully negotiated an agreement whereby the claimant paid his client’s costs.