I instructed Stuart to assist with a particularly difficult case following some issues with my family's former Solicitors.
After a slow start and poor communication with other lawyers, we were introduced to Stuart several years ago to support us in a case against another firm of solicitors that had completely messed up a Will trust that ended up costing our family a lot of money. He was excellent and over the last 2 years he has helped us to recover a substantial amount of the money lost. I would highly recommend Stuart (and his team) if you need someone tenacious and knowledgeable on your side.
"What started out as a simple breach of contract claim worth around £12,000 has mushroomed into a High Court appeal, a bankruptcy claim and a dispute with Trading Standards – with Stuart securing for me circa £120,000 plus all associated damages and legal fees. It’s been four years of hell and I wouldn’t wish it in on my worst enemy, but if it did happen I’d recommend Stuart being in their corner. Apart from being totally supportive and financially sympathetic too, he’s so tenacious - and takes any attack or slight on his clients personally. Every time we’ve been to court Stuart has won, he’s been absolutely awesome!"
"I have worked with Stuart for years now and I know he specialises in Intellectual Property cases. Stuart is the kind of person who when you call to chase him for something, he’s already done it – he handles things very quickly and effectively. What’s more, he thinks ahead and sees the potential pitfalls before they arise, so that if they do we’ve already got a plan in place to deal with it."
"It may go without saying that you would expect a solicitor to offer professional advice, but Jason has the unusual skill of being able to combine this with an infectious sense of enthusiasm for business and a real understanding of what it is like to run your own business."
"Andrew has been the backbone to the legal side of my company clearly outlining the legal documentation which I would require, in order to move my company to the next stage. Andrew has done a sterling job for me…"
When Professor Nigel MacLennan repeatedly experienced bad advice from lawyers during a Probate dispute, he found it difficult to trust the people who were giving him legal counsel.
After researching specialists in dispute resolution he came across EHL Commercial Law’s Stuart Southall – and he explains how Stuart helped him to achieve a positive outcome after years of trying to stand up for what was right.
Q: What did you need Stuart’s services for?
A: Mainly recovering the debt owed to me by a family member who had refused to honour their legal obligations during a Probate dispute – which that family member had started – and then for a lifetime notice of prevention of harassment.
Q: At what point did you realise you needed legal advice?
A: I knew the behaviour patterns of the family member and had been left high and dry with liabilities from that person’s behaviour in the past. When it started happening again, I knew I would have to get very heavy, very quickly, and that’s when I realised I needed a Stuart in my life.
Q: What type of advice did you need?
A: When I spoke to Stuart he recommended that we acted in two stages. The first was to go after the primary amount using a statutory demand in relation to a Court Order to recover monies for my mother and step father’s Estate. The person concerned had agreed to the formation of the Court Order and then refused to honour the very agreement they made. After Stuart served the statutory demand, the problem person had the option to challenge it in Court, or to pay what was legally due. True to form, we were within an hour of issuing bankruptcy proceedings when the problem person made payment.
The next stage was to recover smaller debts due from the same person – and that had to be obtained by other legal routes. Stuart advised this was around the small claims threshold and there was a risk that it wouldn’t be worth the money to pursue the claim. However, after the legal costs I came out just about ahead.
Q: How was dealing with Stuart any different to your experience of dealing with other lawyers in the past?
A: Firstly, my mother’s will was written by a solicitor who made some basic errors and when I noticed them and requested the files, they were mysteriously “disposed of.”
I then went to a second solicitor who advised that I “must challenge the will” which proved to be wrong advice, as it merely caused the other parties to issue Section 50 proceedings against me to remove me as Executor of the Will.
I went to a third solicitor, who advised me to let the litigation run its course – and then hired a barrister to seek advice on the matter. The barrister advised that an application should be made for rectification of the will – despite the fact that none of the legal bases to rectify were present and that advice was given seven years of time.
You can imagine how long it took to mop-up the mess and a fourth set of lawyers finally gave me the correct advice and it was finalised within six weeks. However, the agreement formed by all parties to resolve the dispute was not honoured by one of the parties – a family member again – which is when Stuart came to the rescue.
Q: Why did you choose Stuart to help?
A: Fed up with lawyers seemingly corrupt, negligent or incompetent, I did a lot of detailed research and found Stuart. Everyone that I spoke to who had used Stuart’s services was very complimentary. I called Stuart and explained that I had a (well-justified) trust issue with lawyers and he gave some goodwill advice to demonstrate that some lawyers are indeed ethical, honourable and decent.
Over the next eighteen months I got back the substantive monies and although I didn’t make much going after the smaller amount, it cost the party who had refused to honour their legal duties many times the sum that they were refusing to pay.
The party who had caused the dispute then refused to pay for the liabilities they were due and had been making harassing telephone calls, and was inciting third parties to also harass me. When I told Stuart about this he arranged a notice of prevention of harassment, which meant that if it continued, all I had to do was call the police.
That notice was later given lifetime status as the harassing behaviour turned in to what appeared to be proxy harassment of me – through Stuart – who also received clear attempts to harass him. They breached three court orders (completely) along the way and I am delighted to say that because of Stuart’s calm, balanced and effective approach, the funds were recovered and I no longer experience this person’s unreasonable behaviour.
Q: If you would recommend Stuart to others going through similar disputes, what would you say?
A: I’m such a fan of Stuart because after all of the problem I had experienced with other lawyers, Stuart was and is a refreshing and trust-restoring contrast. He was 100% right at every turn, all the way through. That in itself is good – and when it is coupled with great customer service and people skills, you have a great and sought after offer.