New Law Journal
13 March 2015

Elizabeth Metliss considers the judicial view of law firms

This is the final piece in a series of three articles discussing views expressed by Mr Justice Burton at a recent event at Mishcon de Reya’s offices and views of other members of the judiciary as outlined in reported cases (see “The view from the bench” 164 NLJ 7633, p 18 and “The view from the bench (II) NLJ, 16 January 2015, p 18). The first article outlined how the judiciary views aggressive inter partes correspondence, the second examined judicial attitudes towards witness statements and this article will explore what may make a law firm stand out in the eyes of a judge during the course of any given set of proceedings.

Litigation drivers

There are many drivers in litigation which impact on lawyers’ behaviour. Solicitors need to think about the facts surrounding the dispute and the strength of their client’s claim, the right strategy in terms of engaging with the other side and how to enforce any judgment, among many other factors. Ultimately, litigators assess and determine these issues against the fundamental aim of achieving the best result for the client, whether that means winning at trial, settling on acceptable terms or, at least, by reducing a client’s exposure to the risks they may face during the proceedings. A thread that runs through all these issues is the question: what will the judge think, and how can we please him or her?

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