Disputes & Claims
If you are involved in a claim or dispute you will need legal advice.
Thomas Barry & Company Solicitors have over 25 years’ experience and expertise in practically all types of litigation and legal disputes. We cover the full range from pre-dispute advice to representation before the Courts and Tribunals. We also advise on alternative dispute resolution mechanisms such as arbitration and mediation.
There is usually a limitation period within which legal claims can be made. Even if you do not intend to make a claim it is still in your interest to have the facts recorded, to consult and be advised. Memory fades and stories and circumstances can change.
We provide guidance in relation to:
Arbitration and other forms of dispute resolution, such as mediation and conciliation are collectively known as Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR). These are becoming much more common for all types of claims. Our managing partner, Thomas Barry, is an experienced arbitrator and a long-standing member of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators.
Arbitration is a means of dispute resolution whereby two disputing parties agree to submit their dispute to a neutral third party for determination.
An agreement of the parties to submit their disputes to arbitration is most commonly found in the form of an arbitration clause incorporated into a contract between the parties. In arbitration, an independent arbitrator will hear details of a disagreement from the parties involved, consider all the facts involved, and give a final decision on the issue.
An arbitration is very similar to a court case and solicitors are usually engaged by the parties
Mediation is defined in the Act as “a confidential, facilitative and voluntary process in which parties to a dispute, with the assistance of a mediator, attempt to reach a mutually acceptable agreement to resolve the dispute.”
Because mediation is voluntary, a person cannot be required to use mediation to resolve their dispute. All of the parties must agree to use mediation to try to resolve the dispute.
Even when the parties have agreed to use mediation, it remains voluntary. The parties are free to decide at any time not to continue.
Only the parties decide if, when and how to resolve their dispute in mediation. The terms of any resolution agreement reached between the parties only becomes binding on them when set down in writing and signed by them. The Act provides that, once a settlement agreement is concluded and signed by the parties in mediation, it can be enforced like any other binding contract.
This is similar to mediation. However, in Ireland, construction conciliation is a unique form of ADR: when a conciliator is unable to facilitate a settlement between the parties, he or she will then issue a recommendation that will be binding upon the parties unless it is rejected by either of them within a prescribed time.
Advantages of Alternative Dispute Resolution
Privacy – Litigation takes place in open court to which the press and public generally have access. ADR is usually held in private with only those connected with the dispute present.
Simpler procedures – As a general rule, ADR procedures are considerably simpler and less formal than court.
Greater cost effectiveness – ADR usually serves to significantly reduce costs.
Parties may opt for ADR or they may be forced to do so by contract or by Court.
Whether you are an employee suffering from an unfair dismissal, bullying or harassment or an employer dealing with employee issues such as redundancies or dismissals, you will need sound legal advice.
Employment law has become increasingly complicated. Finding your enterprise on the wrong side of just one piece of legislation, even unwittingly, can prove costly. As an employee, finding yourself up against the might of a corporation’s legal department, can feel like a lonely place to be.
Thomas Barry & Company has been active in this area for many years.
Our suite of Employment Law services includes:
- Dismissals and Redundancy – terminations, unfair and wrongful dismissal claims.
- Executive Severance – negotiation of and advice on severance packages.
- Business Transfers – employers’ and employees’ rights and duties in mergers, acquisitions and transfers.
- Litigation – injunctions, employment law claims, judicial review and shareholders disputes.
- Company Disputes – executives, directors, shareholders and partners.
- Disputes and Strikes – industrial relations, dispute resolution, third party intervention and representation.
- Contracts of Employment – service contracts, terms and conditions of employment.
- Service Providers/Contractors – outsourcing, contractors and consultants.
- Equality – equal pay claims, equality of terms and conditions, sexual, bullying and other harassment claims.
- HR policies and procedures – employee handbooks.
- Recruitment – advertising, interviews and, recruitment processes.
Since 12th January 2004 Ireland has had a specialist Commercial Court handling commercial cases involving claims exceeding €1,000,000.
The Commercial Court is not for the faint hearted. It has earned a reputation for a practical and no nonsense approach. One of its most striking features is the speed and efficiency with which a case can progress to trial. Demanding deadlines are imposed by the Court with little tolerance for non-compliance. The initial directions hearing, case management and the pre–Trial conference force parties to focus on the issues at an early stage and ensure timely preparation for Trial.
Complaints about unsatisfactory goods or services arise frequently. Most are resolved without the need to involve solicitors. Where satisfaction is not forthcoming or if you feel the complaint is unfounded we can assist to vindicate or protect your rights.
An insurance claim is an official request submitted to an insurance company demanding payment under the terms of the policy. Before an insurance claim is paid an investigation usually is conducted, often by insurance claim adjusters. If you are unsure how to claim or are unhappy with the conduct or outcome you may need legal assistance to protect your position.
Property claims and issues can arise in a wide variety of ways such as:
- property damage
- planning permission issues
- tenant’s rights
- title and ownership issues
- rights of way
- boundary disputes
You may be able to claim compensation if you have been the victim of any form of abuse, assault or harassment.
This can include:
- Child Abuse
- Sexual Abuse
- Physical Abuse
The abuse may be institutional, clerical or within or outside of the family. Such activity often leaves scars which last well beyond the physical injury*.
Among the matters you can claim for are:
- Physical Injury
- Psychological Trauma
- Treatment Costs
- Care Requirements
- Medication Care Requirements
- Loss of Earnings, including Future Loss of Earnings
While admitting to being a victim of abuse can be difficult, it can also help to move on and may prevent someone else from suffering in the same way. We can help and will treat your case with the utmost sensitivity and confidentiality. We will also work closely with any person or organisation providing support to you.
Claims can come in many forms and with different degrees of merit. If you or your business finds itself in the uncomfortable position of facing a claim you will need early, sound and practical advice. Having acted for insurers for many years we have a strong background in this area.
Burying your head in the sand is not an option. Once you know or suspect a claim will be made you need to be proactive. The first step is to get a proper professional analysis of your exposure. When this is done you may decide to counterclaim, to defend the claim in its entirety, defend it on a limited basis (e.g. accept some but not all responsibility), not defend it at all, seek indemnity and contribution from another party or adopt another approach.
We will also advise on the strategic and procedural steps that should be taken on your behalf. Our aim is to extricate you from the situation in the most sensible and cost-effective way possible.
* In contentious business, a solicitor may not calculate fees or other charges as a percentage or proportion of any award or settlement.
Since 1991, we have expanded and developed our practice areas. Using this experience and expertise we provide a tailored and effective service to help you reach a successful conclusion.