What Our Clients Say
Some people use litigation as a device. I had the misfortune of being forced to defend myself over two years against a claim which was withdrawn seven days before the start of the trial. After eighteen months of disappointing service from a London firm, I switched to Tollers: I therefore have a direct comparison between a London firm and Tollers, a ‘regional’ firm. I learned that regional has nothing to do with attitude or competence – it simply refers to geography! The moment I transferred everything for me changed for the better. Ian absolutely understood how serious this claim was to me – that I needed to get rid of this threat – but most of all he knew what game was being played and how to win it. He listened to the nature of the claimant; he set about understanding the weakness of her position; and he explained clearly and patiently how we were going to build a diligent / robust defence. As well as mounting the necessary – process-driven defence provided by court documents and statements – Ian showed his brilliance by setting about pro-actively to challenge the claimant’s case – using a wide range of legal processes, particularly subpoenaing and summoning reluctant witnesses from the other side to challenge the validity of the claim: Ian was tactical, he hit hard, and struck at the weak points of the other side’s contentions. Ian also listened to my concerns over which barrister to instruct. Having used two barristers already through the London firm, I wanted a tough approach to cross-examination – to expose the lack of merit of the claim. Again, Ian listened. He introduced us to a quite outstanding QC, who absolutely embodied the kind of defence we wanted to put up. When the whole defence was finalized, Ian’s design was praised by leading counsel when he said: “It could hardly be stronger”. Indeed, both my solicitor and barrister were right. The defence worked – prompting the claim to be withdrawn at the last minute. But then we turned the tables. Two of the defendants – one of them being Horseworld Limited of which I was a director - had filed a counterclaim and even though the main claim had been withdrawn, we decided to press ahead with the counterclaim. All the documents were ready and had been filed: the witnesses had been arranged to appear: the court time had been allocated. So as the claimant hadn’t offered to settle, we went to trial in the High Court. Ian helped Horseworld Limited through the stresses and pressures of the four day trial with extraordinary sensitivity and confidence. During the opening remarks of the trial, the claimant was asked by the judge why she had withdrawn her claim. She admitted to the court that her solicitors had advised her that her claim was weak and unlikely to succeed at trial. For all the futility of this, the threat had been very real: had my defence against this claim failed on some legal technicality – so involving an award of costs against me – I would have lost my home. Thanks also to Tollers’ prowess, Horseworld Limited’s counterclaim won and an account of profits was awarded in recognition by the judge. Gratifyingly, Ian’s brilliance ended up resulting in what can only have been an unexpected and spectacular reversal of fortune for the claimant. The win didn’t stop this unwanted litigation being expensive, though. Here, again, Ian’s sensitivity, understanding and exceptional value was significant. He listened to my concern over open-ended fees and offered me a CFA. I knew from the off what my costs with Tollers were going to be. As you ought to be able to tell by now, I was hugely impressed by Ian Carson and his team at Tollers. He understood how daunting litigation can be to the client; he left no thought ‘unthought’; no idea was ever too stupid, and was always examined for what other possibilities it might contain; he made me feel supported and part of a very on-side team; and, most importantly of all, he won the case – in both ‘directions’ – forcing the claim to be withdrawn and winning Horseworld Limited’s counterclaim via the rigours of a four day trial in the High Court. From personal experience therefore I declare that Tollers – in both defence and attack – were quite exceptional.
Toby Vintcent - Horseworld Limited