Anyone who goes to court engages in litigation. In Ireland litigation takes many forms. Essentially it is an adversarial system of resolving issues of a legal nature. Every action taken culminates in a hearing before a judge but not every action ends up in court.

Criminal litigation is instigated by the State through the office of the Director of Public Prosecutions prosecuting actions against individuals for alleged crimes committed.

Civil litigation involves disputes between litigants (otherwise known as parties). The party can be a person or a corporate entity. The party taking the action is known as the plaintiff or the applicant and party opposing is referred to as the defendant or the respondent.

The most common form of civil action is a claim for compensation due to Personal Injuries * caused as a result of the negligence on the part of a defendant. All claims of this nature are required by law to be notified to The Injuries Board. If an Injuries Board award is accepted costs cannot be awarded. In this case, any fees payable must be paid out of the award.

If the Injuries Board award is not accepted legal proceedings may then be instituted. In that event, if successful, part of the costs are paid by the insurance company. These are known as party and party costs. Solicitor/Client costs may also be charged. All issues relating to fees, costs and other charges are explained, set out and agreed in advance of every transaction.

At Partners at Law no fees are charged to the client if a claim is unsuccessful.

* In contentious business, a solicitor may not calculate fees or other charges as a percentage or proportion of any award or settlement.