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Ignorance is bliss?

By David Farmer

Wilson Browne Solictors

THE phrase ‘ignorance is bliss’ is taken from a passage of work called ‘Ode on a distant prospect of Eton College’ by Thomas Gray, an eighteenth-century English poet.

However, if you adopt this philosophy in the legal world then you could be in big trouble! The worst thing you can do is ignore legal correspondence. I regularly hear from clients that have not got round to dealing with a legal letter and ring me when a bailiff is on the doorstep demanding goods to settle a County Court Judgement.

It is unlikely that if you receive a claim form in the post it will be unexpected. In most cases, there will have been a lead up to the issuing of a claim and you will already be familiar with the matter. If you do receive a claim form then you will need to take immediate action. You should file an Acknowledgement of Service which will give you a window of opportunity to take legal advice and either enter a defence or settle the case. The good news is that in 90 per cent of cases, the matter is settled long before a trial takes place. This is because legal proceedings are expensive, time-consuming and unpredictable.

The other document that is frequently received is a Statutory Demand. This is a demand for money and if you ignore this document you could face the prospect of your company being wound up and being liquidated. If you do receive a Statutory Demand then you will need to respond immediately. You have 18 days to either agree that the demand should be withdrawn or apply to the court for an injunction to stop a winding-up petition being presented against your company.

It can be frightening and stressful when you receive a legal letter. Here at Wilson Browne, recognised by Northamptonshire Law Society as the best law firm 2019, we have the largest Commercial Litigation team in Northamptonshire and we are always happy to help. If you need advice then do not hesitate to contact David Farmer on 01536 410014.

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