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Review Your SQE 1 Practice Records

Examination Timing: 00H01M01S

Emily, a homeowner, has a dispute with a contractor named Peter. Peter performed some repair work on Emily's roof two months ago. Recently, the roof started leaking, resulting in £20,000 worth of damage to Emily's property. Peter has written to Emily suggesting mediation and offering £2,000 to settle the dispute. However, Emily wants to take the matter to court to expose Peter's poor workmanship. Which of the following responses best explains the advice that Emily's solicitor should give her?

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Your selected option: D

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The solicitor should advise Emily that while she has the right to pursue litigation, the courts expect parties to consider alternative dispute resolution (ADR) methods such as mediation. Refusing to mediate without a valid reason can lead to cost sanctions. Emily‚Äôs desire to expose Peter‚Äôs poor workmanship may not be seen as a justifiable reason for refusing mediation, and thus, she risks facing financial penalties for not attempting mediation first. Option D might be premature since the court could view an initial offer as a starting point for negotiation rather than a final settlement figure. Similarly, Option E is not valid because one of the benefits of mediation is indeed the preservation of commercial relationships, and Emily's relationship with Peter does not fit that context since it is not commercial in nature. Options A and B are incorrect because mediation is not mandatory, and ignoring the invitation is not a strategic response. 

Key Point: Courts in England and Wales favour parties who consider ADR methods seriously. Refusing mediation without valid reasons can result in cost sanctions, emphasising the importance of attempting to resolve disputes outside of court where feasible.

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