The PNLA is the association for professionals who specialise in dealing with disputes with non-medical professionals.
The dispute starts with the involved parties. The claimant is the individual or business who sought help. The defendant is the professional adviser who may be funded by professional indemnity insurers.
As more people become involved in the dispute process, the parties concerned instruct lawyers. Expert witnesses are often required to review the service of the professional and assess breach of duty.
Litigation funders become involved when parties need help to finance the legal costs and expenses.
Mediators or adjudicators may be appointed, with the agreement of all parties, to try and resolve the dispute by Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) instead of going to Court.
More people will become involved if legal proceedings are commenced. The Court will be responsible for managing the timetable and procedure. A Judge will be asked to decide which party is successful in the outcome of the dispute.
Usually, the losing party has to pay the legal costs. Assessing the amount may need the assistance of Costs lawyers, or law costs draftsmen.
The PNLA offers a register of our members to help you find the right lawyer with experience in the type of dispute concerned, in the geographical region that is most convenient to you. It may be that you will need to go outside your region to find the appropriate lawyer to assist you. Our PNLA register of ‘specialists’ supports this process should a wider team be needed.
Find out more from Do you need a Lawyer? and Find a Specialist or contact our helpline 0117 905 5316
A dispute may start with two people, a client and a professional, and end involving many. There are hundreds of thousands of disputes every year collectively making these disputes a considerable influence in society.
The PNLA mission to protect and promote a proper and fair procedure is important. Lord Bach (Hansard 30 January 2012) eloquently describes what happens without it:
‘The perpetrators of the payment protection insurance misselling scandal – the mortgage misselling scandal of the 1980s and 1990s which noble lords will remember – and thousands of other instances when rogue professionals have abused their position of trust, will go unpunished and unheard. Their victims will multiply in a system where those who have been wronged are dissuaded from taking action’
Access to the PNLA network of events for lawyers
The PNLA offers a dedicated conference programme to lawyers and specialists. These events are aimed at keeping practitioners up to date, as well as to share ideas and discuss problems in a convivial and friendly environment. Experts within their fields, including those involved with recent, and sometimes ground breaking, cases are invited to speak, together with guest speakers from political and regulatory backgrounds.
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