One of the most important skills of a good dispute resolution lawyer is the ability to investigate claims and to assess the prospects of success of the client’s claim (or defence). Whilst this depends heavily upon factual and legal analysis it is also necessary to assess the potential impact of many other factors e.g. the availability of witnesses, the potential costs, an assessment of the opponent’s position, the attitude of the courts to claims of that type.
Assessing prospects of success is one of the most important aspects of developing a dispute resolution strategy; however, it is important to appreciate that Judges are human and, whilst they are required to reach a decision in relation to any dispute, there is no such thing as a “right answer”. Therefore, however strong a claim might appear to be (whether it is your claim or a claim being pursued against you), it will be impossible to predict with absolute certainty the decision a Judge might make. Nonetheless, it is often necessary to try to make a prediction as to the prospects of success, in order to map out a dispute resolution strategy.