Dispute Resolution

Boundary and Property Disputes

Boundary and Property disputes are quite common occurrences. Very often boundaries between properties will not be marked clearly and sometimes boundaries change as owners move fences, trees, walls etc. The best advice that can be given is that if you believe the boundary to have been moved that you should seek professional advice as quickly as possible as sometimes leaving it to another day can be costly.

If you can avoid coming into dispute with your neighbour then great! Boundary disputes can be costly and emotionally draining. Being involved in litigation is bad enough but when you are reminded of it every time that you come home makes it far worse.

We at St Helens Law have years of experience of managing boundary disputes and avoiding litigation if we can. Sometimes a cup of tea and a talk to your neighbour can achieve a result. If that doesn’t work then perhaps call in the professionals.

The first thing that we do is to look at your title deeds to see what the boundary looks like on the deed plan. Sometimes it isn’t possible to work out from this as to what the actual boundary is. If we are unsure we would recommend one of our panel of surveyors who would be able to measure the boundary and scale it down from the deed plan.

If the plan is in your favour you can then approach your neighbour or we can do so on your behalf. If there is still no agreement we would recommend either a site meeting or a formal mediation to resolve the dispute. St Helens Law has access to specialist panels of mediators who are used to helping parties resolve disputes over land. The benefit of a mediation is that the parties find the resolution not the mediator. The mediator simply facilitates the answer being found. Also mediations are friendly meetings allowing neighbours to remain on good terms.

If the mediation does not work then sadly litigation through the Courts might be needed. If that is the case then our choice of surveyor has been important as you will need him to give evidence at Court.

Also we have access to the best Chancery Counsel in the area and we ensure that we have proper representation for you at Court. There are many ways of funding this kind of dispute so talk to us early on.

Finally if the Court decides in your favour we obtain an order that the disputed piece of land is drawn up in a deed and the parties sign it so that your rights are protected for the future.


Will Disputes

Sadly there are a lot more disputes about wills these days. Perhaps parties are now more aware of their rights than ever before. At St Helens Law we can advise you of your rights under a Will even if you are not mentioned in the will. We are able without cost to see you to go through the will and ask your view as to the wording and the bequests made in the will.

We can also advise you if you believe that a will has not been executed properly. Very often a dispute over a will can be resolved by mediation or simply agreement. If that isn’t possible we can help you take the case to Court and obtain what is rightfully yours.


Contractual Arguments

We at St Helens Law are well versed in dealing with these disputes. Some people believe that contracts have to be in writing. This is not the case. Certain contracts do have to be evidenced in writing but the majority do not. A contract in writing is easier to prove but that does not mean that it is impossible to show a contract without written evidence.

We are able to summarise what you believe your agreement is and what remedies that you might have for breach of the agreement. If you believe that you have been badly done by in an agreement take advice straight away. Do not try to resolve it first of all-you may be sacrificing for ever remedies under the contract.

If the other party to the contract will not agree then mediation can be sought and if that fails litigation. There are lots of ways of funding litigation so take advice from us first.


Elder Client Mediation

Anything that involves differing views of different parties can be mediated. Mediation usually finds a home in divorce or child issues and also civil disputes.

Until recently the nearest that a mediation would be to “elder clients” would be to mediate the various claims of the surviving family under a Will.

Recently mediation has become important to facilitate discussions between the family and outside agencies as to how the more senior members of the family are to deal with old age.

Some elder people are well able to tell people what they want and are not swayed by anyone. Some unfortunately do lose the capacity to be forceful  about what they want for their twilight years.

Mediation can help a family decide what is best for everyone involved in at least three areas. These are:

  1. Accommodation – is it better to be in a residential care home, living at home with assistance, moving to smaller adapted premises. There are many decisions to be made.
  2. Finances – who takes charge of these? Can parents be left in charge or are they vulnerable? Should the family pay for care or should it be a burden on the state? These are only a fraction of the issues that could arise.
  3. Adult Children – should they be independent of parents? Should they be allowed to run down family monies to keep themselves free of that burden? Should they be obliged to move out?

These and many more are decisions that can tear families apart at the very time that they need to be together. Elder Client Mediation is a way of avoiding family feuds and expensive litigation.

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To contact our Mediation team, please call 01744 742360, or click here to email info@sthelenslaw.co.uk >

For information and support regarding family mediation, you may contact Howard Nulty directly on 07786 073355. Howard is often available outside of normal working hours when required.