The litigation team at Francis Wilks & Jones has significant experience in dealing with high value, high complexity debt claims, often running into many millions of pounds.

Particular expertise is required to successfully conduct a larger multi-track claim, be it for a claimant or a defendant. Our team has decades' combined experienced in these claims. We can be the difference you need when looking for a successful outcome.

Acting for claimants

There is often an advantage for a claimant in that there can be more time to prepare the claim before giving notice of it to the defendant.

Having said, that, it is vital not to lose this advantage, and our team at Francis Wilks & Jones regularly works with clients from the earliest stages of a dispute to work out the optimum way forward and ow best to put pressure on a  defendant to settle the claim in hand.

This early intervention can also ensure that the relevant pre-action protocol steps are properly followed, not only to maximise the chances of an early settlement (and avoid unnecessary legal costs moving forward), but to also provide a level of cost protection if proceedings do become necessary.

If legal proceedings are required, we work closely with different barristers and can help choose the right one for you if the need arises. We can help draft the formal claim form and particulars of claim necessary to commence the action.  

After that we can assist with all steps in a legal claim, including:

  • review of the defence (and counterclaim)
  • drafting a reply to defence (and defence to counterclaim)
  • completing the directions questionnaire and all associated documentation including the precedent H cost budgets, draft orders and relevant disclosure information
  • dealing with the costs and case management conference
  • dealing with any formal settlement negotiations / mediation / ADR
  • dealing with disclosure
  • drafting of witness statements
  • dealing with expert reports (if required)
  • pre-trial preparation and attendance at trial
  • post trial matters

Where we can, we always look to explore settlement of a claim and also use our tactical legal knowledge to take advantage of the various applications available to help put pressure on a defendant to settle. We recognise that few clients ever want to proceed to full trial if a favourable settlement is achievable by another route. We always bear in mind the commerciality of a claim as well as the wider legal and factual evidence involved.

We also consider whether it is possible to recover the debt by more hard hitting means, such as the use of statutory demands, winding up petitions and bankruptcy petitions. Our team can help advise you whether your claim is suitable for this.

Acting for defendants

We regularly act for defendants as well in complex litigation.

  • the legal skills and mindset required to act for a defendant are often different to that of acting for a claimant
  • significant and complex work is often required to be undertaken in short periods of time, often with limited notice

The ability of your legal advisers to react quickly and effectively in such circumstances can make a huge difference to the outcome of a debt claim. Equally, knowing what applications to make in the proceedings and when can also have a very positive effect when defending a claim.

We can assist defendants with all of the ten key steps as set out in the “acting for claimant” section above – but again, considering matters from a defendant perspective and how best to utilise resources to gain the best outcome in the debt claim. Equally, our knowledge of the Pre-action protocols can often be extremely beneficial, ensuring claimants properly follow them and thus allow proper time for a defendant to consider the dispute / claim in question.

Whatever your enquiry or the nature of your claim, our friendly legal team at FWJ is here to help.

Key contacts

Rachel Watkins

Rachel Watkins


Mark Ovenell

Mark Ovenell

Senior Associate

Sue Brumby

Sue Brumby

Senior Associate

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