Litigation – (Don’t) Do-it-yourself 

Litigation - Don't DIY

DIY or ‘Do-It-yourself’ is a concept I’m sure we have all attempted or will attempt in one way or another within our lifetimes. It is an act that can be applied to (almost) anything – whether that is building furniture for your home, upgrading your garden, or customising your car. For some it is a hobby, for others a way of relaxing and winding down from the pressures of life. For a lot of people, however, DIY is a method of saving money – especially now, at a time when it feels like everything is universally more expensive. 

Over the past few months, I have read a number of articles and cases involving individuals and businesses attempting to conduct legal cases themselves rather than instructing lawyers to do it for them, with mixed results. The reasons for their decision to ‘DIY’ boil down to 3 myths: 

  1. It is cheaper not to instruct a lawyer; 
  1. It is less time-consuming not to use a lawyer; and 
  1. They believe they can manage the case better than a lawyer because they know its specific facts and circumstances better.  

I am a firm believer in DIY for a lot of things. However, in my experience as a litigation solicitor, litigation itself is not for the faint-hearted and equally is one thing that I do not recommend people attempt  without legal representation. With reference to these 3 myths, I will explain my reasoning. 

Is it cheaper not to instruct a lawyer? 

People will often consider litigation to be cheaper without using a lawyer because you do not have to pay their fees. Certainly, there is a logic in that and, in the first- instance, there may well be a perception the legal case as a whole will be less expensive if there is one fewer lawyer to pay. However, the role of a lawyer is not simply just knowing the law – it encompasses more than that. Our expertise in litigation allows us to consider the specific facts and circumstances of your case, with a view to providing you with options for you to achieve the result you are seeking in the most cost-effective way. 

Sometimes the result you are looking for is not always the most obvious one and it is not the one that is staring you in the face. The experience and expertise of a lawyer could allow for an early settlement, rather than the matter proceeding to a Court hearing months / years down the line, saving you the costs (and stress) associated with going to court. Equally, it could be that the case you are defending is defective or has no prospects and an early application could see it struck out and you awarded costs. As lawyers, we are able to identify solutions, such as these, to your legal problems and advise you of the potential costs so that we can seek to achieve the result that is legally and financially, right for you. It is our experience that allows us to do this and could save you a lot of money in the long-run.

Will I save time by not using a lawyer?  

If there is one thing many people value above most others it is time. Litigation can be notoriously time-consuming and stressful. Bringing or defending a claim takes time and effort. The wide array of research, paperwork, legal arguments, correspondence, telephone calls, advocacy and hearings will inevitably take up much of a person’s precious free time. After a long day at work, I imagine the last thing you want to be doing is spending your down-time working out how to complete a Court form or researching a legal issue, especially when you have an imminent deadline approaching. Time spent with family, in front of the TV or partaking in your favourite hobby is far more appealing! 

There is often a pre-conception that by instructing a lawyer, much of your time will be spent answering their questions and, because of this, you may as well ‘DIY’. Certainly, legal cases where lawyers are involved will require your input to a certain extent, however, part of our role as lawyers is to assist you by preparing Court documentation, engaging in telephone calls on your behalf and attending hearings so that, in most cases, you don’t have to. Our expertise in litigation allows us to undertake this work for you in a cost and time-efficient manner so that your experience of the litigation process is as smooth and stress-free as possible.  

As I mentioned previously, a lawyer is likely to be able to identify solutions to your legal problem that you may not be able to identify yourself. The lawyer’s expertise and strategic experience can help significantly shorten timescales for legal cases and bring matters to a swift and satisfactory conclusion. We aim to help avoid time-consuming administration work, hearings and negotiations where possible by assessing all options early on and aim to secure the right result for you as quickly as possible. Most importantly, we also protect you from adverse costs if you lose your case – it is generally the case the losing party pays the winning party’s costs. 

I know the case better than any lawyer 

We understand how important your legal case is to you. We understand that you will live and breathe your case and the significance to you of achieving the right result. As lawyers, we take the time to get to know your case inside and out, to understand the strengths and weaknesses of your case so that we can advise you and manage the case in the most appropriate way for the result you wish to achieve. 

Lawyers are experts in their field and as much you know about your case, a lawyer on your side will offer you invaluable advice and insight, whether that is the legal position for your problem, strategy or simply telling you the prospects of winning or losing. It is this advice and expertise that provides peace of mind. We do the legal leg-work for you and can advise you on matters that you may not even be aware of. This allows you to make informed decisions and choices that suit you. 

Ultimately, litigation can be very complex, full of complicated terminology and obligations that you may not understand. Getting it wrong can be costly and can end up putting your claim or defence at risk of failing. Sometimes this can be fixed, sometimes it can’t. Either way, it is important to get it right. Lawyers are invaluable in this regard. We understand the litigation process and we can guide you through it and ensure that your legal matter proceeds smoothly, swiftly, and error-free.     

How we can help  

Here at RLK Solicitors, we pride ourselves on our ability to help you in a cost and time-efficient way. We understand the significance of your legal problems and we aim to guide you through the legal process and help secure the best result for you.  

If you have a litigation matter that you need help with, don’t DIY. RLK Solicitors are here to help.  We have an experienced and knowledgeable team who are ready to assist you and fight for the result you want.   

If you have any questions or require any assistance, please contact or alternatively call 0121 450 7800.