A safe pair of hands: Bellevue Law on lower-cost, high-quality dispute resolution.
Bellevue Law’s founder Florence Brocklesby and colleagues Oliver Stokes and Alexandra Key talk about the firm’s litigation practice and working in partnership with larger firms for the benefit of their clients and contacts.
We regularly receive referrals of dispute resolution matters from lawyers at international, City and national firms. They generally come to us when valued clients and contacts have disputes which can’t be handled cost-effectively by the referring firm, but are nonetheless important to the client.
We regularly provide advice and representation in smaller – but often still complex – matters that require care and attention, but which are not the focus for major firms. Colleagues at City firms know that we are a safe pair of hands and that we won’t compromise standards of advice, representation and service for their clients: allowing them to focus on their own priorities and the kind of work that they do best.
What are the defining features of Bellevue Law’s disputes work?
We are proud that our track record over the past five years shows that we are capable of handling really substantial disputes. We recently completed a complex and lengthy multi-million Euro international arbitration (which was comparable to cases generally undertaken by significantly larger firms). The construction dispute – in which we acted for a claimant – settled during the final hearing after opening submissions and cross-examination of the respondent’s witnesses.
Our team is highly skilled and able to manage complex technical disputes. For example, in 2018 we represented an overseas party in a UK High Court shareholder dispute. The matter was technically complex: we made an application disputing service of our client out of the jurisdiction as well as challenging the other party’s application for an anti-suit injunction. As a result of our approach, the case was ultimately settled on highly favourable terms to our client.
In collaboration with colleagues from our employment team, we are also well placed to represent parties in disputes between employers and former employees following moves to a competitor. These cases are usually time-pressured, high-stakes and sensitive (as the ex-employer seeks injunctive relief as well as damages) and High Court proceedings will be scheduled for speedy trial.
That being said, we also handle a number of relatively straightforward contractual disputes, and are well equipped to guide clients towards a cost-effective resolution in these matters.
How do we do this cost-effectively?
Often the perception is that lower cost often signals lower quality. However, Bellevue Law was established with an unswerving commitment to high-quality advice and best-practice standards and systems. This is achieved by the calibre of lawyers on our team, all of whom practised at magic circle and international firms before joining Bellevue Law.
Our model has eliminated unnecessary overheads and bureaucracy, championing an infrastructure of agile, flexible working that fully supports and nurtures our lawyers. It allows us to attract outstanding talent whilst keeping costs low. As a result, our clients can expect city firm standards, exceptional lawyers and attentive service, all of which allow us to handle sophisticated matters which larger firms cannot undertake cost-effectively.
How do Bellevue Law approach logistics?
We are often asked how, as a smaller firm, we manage the logistical challenges of litigation. The answer is that we have established a tried-and-trusted network of specialist service providers, which we can rely upon on short notice, and which eliminates the need for large teams of permanent support staff. For example, we work with a highly-experienced court clerk service (located just behind the High Court) as well as a specialist legal copying service and process servers. We also have good relationships with specialist counsel, and central London office facilities for client meetings. Finally, we have secure and reliable IT and document management systems that enable remote working from office, home and client premises.
How do we treat clients?
When dealing with referrals, we see ourselves as an extension of the original law firm: we will maintain the service standards set by that firm and ensure clients are well-informed, confident, and – importantly – comfortable to have been referred to us.
Moreover, although our agile way of working means that we can provide services for an affordable price, this is never to the detriment of the client: when clients need us, we are always there.
But there is no need to take our word for it. In our recent client survey, clients rated us at 9.3/10 when asked how likely they were to recommend us to friends or colleagues. In their own words, they said:
‘Truly a blue-chip service: technically brilliant, sound practical advice delivered in a professional and friendly manner.’
‘[Bellevue Law] have been consistently insightful, incisive and provided both excellent advice as well as a full range of options on our approach throughout our relationship.’
‘Communication has been fantastic, and nothing is too much trouble.’
‘I would recommend Bellevue Law to anyone: they are fantastic!’
We are also proud to have won the trust and endorsement of City and international firms to handle matters that are important to their clients and contacts but which, for whatever reason, do not align with the firms’ models. One partner in an international firm recently told us:
‘I want to take a moment and express our appreciation for the superb job you did on the matter. You were flawless, thoughtful, sensitive and very careful with your expenditure of time and our resources. I will make a point of suggesting you to my partners and colleagues for our future needs.’
Working with Bellevue Law: Next Steps
With Bellevue Law, your clients are certain to be in safe hands. Please get in touch today to find out how we can help.