Civil Litigation

Our litigation team is led by Siobhan.  She is based in our Banbury office but can meet you in Bicester or Brailes if needed.

Siobhan has extensive experience dealing with a wide range of contentious matters. These include: property and boundary disputes; landlord and tenant matters; possession claims; debt recovery; consumer and commercial disputes and wills and inheritance disputes.  Whatever the problem, our team will work to find the right solution for you.

When disputes arise it can be both stressful and time-consuming. The solicitors at Hancocks will give you clear and pragmatic advice from start to finish. We understand how such matters can impact upon your life. We also understand that, for many, litigation can seem complicated and full of legal jargon. This is why we aim to make the process as simple and as stress-free as possible.

Boundary and neighbour disputes

Defining boundaries legally and on the ground can be difficult and time-consuming for a landowner. Unfortunately, if your boundaries are poorly defined it can cause lengthy disputes. Even when boundaries are well-defined, disagreements with neighbours can escalate, and quickly become a source of unwanted stress and worry. We frequently deal with cases such as:

  • who should maintain a fence or party wall;
  • where a neighbour is causing you a nuisance. This can be through their actions such as excessive noise or intrusion upon your land. Neighbours can also cause a nuisance by their inaction, for example by letting their plants or trees overgrow. We have seen and have experience with the problems caused by Japanese knotweed on a neighbour’s property; and
  • where a neighbour or third party wants to build or has built in such a way that it crosses your boundary or affects the enjoyment of your property.

We are able to guide you through the process and our aim is seek to achieve a cost-effective, long term solution for you.

Enforcement of Covenants and Rights

Restrictive covenants may stop you doing what you want with your land. On the other hand, they may give you a say in what others do with theirs. Property rights can include access, water, light and drainage – all are crucial to the enjoyment of your land and its value. Your rights are a valuable asset that you’ll want to protect.

Prescriptive Rights

Prescriptive rights are rights that you gain over land by long use.

For example, if you have walked over your neighbours drive for a period of 20 years you may have gained a right of way over that land. These rights will not always be straightforward, and they may be needed if and when you wish to sell your property. They can also become an issue when a new owner purchases a property and wishes to stop you exercising the rights you have enjoyed for a long time. Alternatively, if you have purchased a property and find someone exercising prescriptive rights, which you were unaware of, we can help find a solution.

Landlord and Tenant disputes

We have extensive experience acting for both commercial and residential landlords. Over the years we have helped clients to obtain possession orders, recover rent arrears and attend to dilapidations and damage to property. We can also act for tenants in defending such cases.

Professional negligence

If you use a professional adviser, you put your trust in their knowledge, expertise and integrity. The vast majority deliver first-rate advice and service but even professionals make mistakes – and sometimes these can affect your life. If that’s the case, we can stand up for your rights.

We work closely with all types of professionals, including accountants, IFAs, surveyors, valuers and lawyers. We know the level of advice and service expected from them. If you believe that a professional adviser has provided you with a standard of service below that expected, we will explain what you can do about it. We can explain what the likely costs of professional negligence claims will be and how your interests can be best protected. If you have suffered a loss, we’ll aim to find a solution and see whether you can recover that loss without having to face a long, drawn-out legal battle.

Consumer Disputes

Consumer disputes can arise when you purchase a product or service which falls short of the expected standard. You might find yourself in a dispute over products that you ordered online and found they were faulty when they arrived. Sometimes, it happens when you employ a tradesperson to undertake work which does not meet the standard agreed.  Whatever your situation, we have the specialised knowledge and experience needed to deal with a wide range of disputes, including those that fall within the Consumer Rights Act 2015.

Debt Recovery

At Hancocks we offer a specialist debt collection and recovery service for businesses. You can also ask us for advice and assistance, should a customer dispute your debt.

If a customer contests your claim we will discuss this with you and recommend the most effective way forward and the likely cost for this.

At Hancocks we work for businesses and individuals to resolve disputes through proactive intervention, including negotiation, mediation and court action if needed. You can contact Siobhan to find out more or give her a call on 01295 253211.