One shot solutions
Resolving legal matters with just one letter remains our track record in hundreds of legal matters. Tell us what happened and your circumstances. We'll take over from there to prepare a letter for a fixed fee.
In this case study, in late 2015 we received a concerned call from a long established business client on the day one of its staff saw a competing business using a trading name similar to our client's brand. Our client felt its valued asset was being infringed.
Our client's brand is a registered trade mark. It makes consistent use of the trade mark, a trading name, on vans used by our client's tradies, on staff uniforms and on its business website. The website generates considerable calls and emails from home owners and agents needing services from tradespeople.
Within minutes we advised our client to leave it to us and to not contact the other party. People tend to take more notice of communications sent by lawyers. When a business proprietor makes the first contact in a business dispute, we've seen repeatedly that there is a greater possibility that the other side will not easily comply with demands. There's much to consider in effective communication. Also, people tend to ignore, delay or seek to compromise non-lawyer demands especially if compliance will involve significant costs.
Carefully drafted demand letters can be a one shot solution, avoiding wasted time and money. To prepare one requires thorough instructions.
To speed the gathering of information, in this infringing trading name case we supplied our client with a customised questionnaire. No lawyer-client meeting was required. We then made a short and discrete phone call to the other side to gather further useful intelligence.
Having gathered information on our client, as well as about the other side, we were ready to start drafting.
Half our three page letter profiled our client's business history, activities, reputation and evidence of intellectual property ownership. As is usual, it had three parts:
a detailed statement of facts about our client and the letter's recipient, all with supporting evidence - this made clear in effect that "we know who you are, what you've done, and we're ready to get an immediate remedy in court if needed";
references to the applicable law - this communicated the legal significance of the statement of facts; and
a set of specific and crafted demands, the main one being the demand for the recipient to stop its use of the similar business name by a specific date.
The finalised demand letter was checked by our client and off it then went by email and registered post. The letter asked for a response within 10 days.
Seven days later an envelope in reply arrived at our office. It contained a copy of our demand letter signed at the end by the person we'd written to, thus agreeing to all the demands. We've achieved this type of positive and efficient result in hundreds of legal matters.
In this case, as in others, convinced by our letter's detailed and clearly expressed contents, the letter's recipient saw no need to push back, no benefit from delay and no need to consult a lawyer. With facts and evidence and clear requirements put before it, the recipient was convinced that the best action was an immediate one - to change its trading name, sign (agreeing to the demands) and to enclose an official notice, confirming the change in its trading name.
Our formula for one shot solutions for letters of demand was once again validated.