What can I do for you?
I have been helping clients to resolve commercial disputes for almost 30 years and currently lead our commercial disputes team in Norwich. This sometimes involves looking for a low cost, pragmatic solution. At other times, it means a tough and tenacious battle through to trial or arbitration. Mostly, it involves guiding clients through a series of judgement calls to ensure that their case is put forward in a clear and compelling way, and that the risks and benefits of litigation or other forms of dispute resolution are fully understood.
Whatever the type of case – a contract dispute, a shareholder dispute, a claim against professional advisers or some litigation arising from a corporate transaction – I will adopt a straight talking, clear thinking and commercial approach to help clients minimise the risk and achieve a satisfactory outcome.
Supporting my clients’ objectives
I always try to paint a realistic picture of litigation (and its alternatives) and to address my clients’ concerns about a potentially costly, time consuming and uncertain process. My aim is to give clear advice about the prospects of success, the strategic options and the likely cost and timeframe, so that decisions can be made on an informed basis and surprises kept to a minimum.
Within the last few years, I have dealt with a £90 million fraud and breach of warranty claim which was settled five weeks into trial, a £30m claim against a firm of accountants arising out of negligent tax planning, and a £9.5m claim for breach of contract. At the other end of the scale. I have given one-off pieces of advice to a vast number of businesses which has resulted in low value disputes being resolved simply and quickly.
What do others say?
Clients rarely see litigation as an attractive option and I therefore employ a no nonsense approach that focuses on the outcome rather than the process. This is reflected in the comments of the two principal legal directories. Legal 500 UK 2013 states: "'Thorough, good communicator' Rachel Higgs, is core to the firm's 'straightforward, understandable approach' and her 'incredible knowledge and informative responses put clients in the driving seat'."
In Chambers UK Guide 2014, I am ranked in the first tier of commercial litigators in East Anglia and widely praised by clients for my "forthright, straightforward and to the point manner".
What else should you know?
I was a founder of the Norwich Businesswomen’s Network and have served on a number of outside boards, focusing on risk management. My appointments have included directorships of the Norwich Playhouse and Writers’ Centre Norwich. I am currently on the board of The Forum Trust.
I am also an experienced commercial mediator.